You might be aware that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out today.
Although many of you may already be hard at work on your virtual island — maybe the best possible diversion right now — the Polygon staff is thinking very hard about Tom Nook. While his legacy may be complex, he’s currently ushering all of us off to deserted island paradises, so it’s a good time to pay tribute.
Our idea of tribute: drawing Tom Nook from memory. (In case you forgot, we did this to poor Sonic the Hedgehog last month.)
Who captured our raccoon travel tycoon’s essence the best? Please let us know after thoughtfully considering each artist’s statement as well.
“I felt like I had perfect clarity over Tom Nook’s head and face. I could clearly see his silhouette in my mind; I also knew he had kind of a chubby, round body. When I got to his arms and legs, I felt my vision fade. I panicked. Does Tom Nook wear shoes? Does he have individual fingers? I have never considered these questions before. When I think of Tom Nook, I imagine his silhouette standing, watching me from a distance, like an adorable scarecrow. It is the shape of Tom Nook I know, not his details, because of the authority he holds over us all. Anyways, that’s a Tim & Eric reference I threw in there.”
“I thought it was important to show Tom wearing Tom — as in Tommy Bahama shirts, a favorite of dads everywhere. I feel like Tom is getting ready for some extreme Island Time right now, so I wanted to make sure he was dressed for the occasion.”
“I saw this thing on Twitter about visualizing an apple. This Tom Nook exercise helped me realize something: I can’t really visualize the apple. Or Tom Nook. I can ‘see’ the shapes and colors, but not details. So, uh, that explains my image of Tom Nook. Still sort of upset that I couldn’t remember it’s a sweater vest and not a sweater.”
“Things I’m confident about but can’t say with 100% authority: Tom Nook is a raccoon. Things I’m confident about that I can say with 100% authority: The characters in Animal Crossing hold Things. Things I’m not confident about and can’t say with any authority: Tom Nook holds an umbrella at some point during New Horizons.”
“Mr. Plante’s art may contain political imagery,” said one of the editor’s publicists when contacted for comment on his Nixonian depiction of the Animal Crossing landlord, “but that doesn’t mean his art is political. We can confirm there is nothing political about Mr. Plante’s drawing of Tom Nook.”
“My original sketch had a lot more detail, but it also had Tommy and Timmy pulling a sled with Tom Nook hugging piles of debt, like he was some sort of anti-Santa, but when I looked at the sketch I realized it felt a little too risqué.”
Simone de Rochefort
So, the big thing here that’s going to haunt me is that I forgot Tom Nook’s little face-mask. I was wondering the whole time I was drawing why his face looked so weird. And that’s why. I get extra points for remember his lil paws though. Cute.
Someone told me he looks like the mouse from CatDog.
“I began by trying to remember the qualities of Tom Nook, as a person who only played Pocket Camp for a while until it got boring. I came up with these Nook Facts: He is a raccoon. He has a typical Animal Crossing Pillsbury Doughboy body. He ... wears ... clothing? I drew the big triangle of his snout before I remembered that he was not one of the hedgehogs that sell you items. But I got back on track around the bitty ears. I feel pretty confident in the body silhouette here, and that he is at least wearing regular clothing. Then I accessorized and drew some plants because plants are in Animal Crossing.”
“I’m a bit disappointed i forgot Tom’s Iconic bandit mask. I also gave him a mouth, which was wrong of me. I’m sorry. I do feel like I captured his essence, though. Tom Nook is absolutely a Two Phones Guy. I’m also pretty sure those two smaller Tom Nooks on the island are his kids, which makes him a dad, ergo the sandals and socks.”
“I forgot how Tom Nook’s nose worked. Also, stay inside.”
“Ever since I was a child, I believed Tom Nook to be a villain — the embodiment of greed hidden behind adorable eyes. But with New Horizons, I’ve come to realize that Tom Nook not villain, Tom Nook friend. So what if he wants my money? He built me a damn house. Perhaps it’s growing up and paying bills, or the current climate of ‘yeah man, take that money where you can get it,’ or even the way Nook’s sweater fits around his portly frame the way my sweaters do — but I sympathize with Tom Nook: a misunderstood, if not opportunistic, friend and community leader. I hope I’ve captured that here for all of you to see.”
“I accidentally made him too sharp. I’m always drawing people too sharply. I promise I won’t do it again.”
“When I close my eyes, my brain is filled with trauma of Tom Nook from the original Animal Crossing putting me to work, and me trying to scrape Bells together while I wear a cone hat I can’t take off.”
“I expected Tom to show up today, since it is his world now and we’re all just living in it. I have never once played Animal Crossing, and fear it may actually be a cult. No matter. Through cultural osmosis, I have grasped that Mr. Nook has many round parts and is a raccoon. He’s also really into vests, I think. That, and there’s a phone now. This pen is leaking everywhere.”
“We all know that Tom Nook, capitalist king, loves money. And so, how better to portray Tom Nook than in the shoes of another cartoon capitalist king, Scrooge McDuck? Put him where he belongs, put him among the things he loves! Money, money, money!”
“Tom Nook loves money more than you. He’s also rocking a dope Charlie Brown print this time around.”