This week, Tumblr has been invaded by goblins. They don't all look like your standard-issue goblin (which, to my mind, is small and green), and it's not the first time that Tumblr has been overrun by the creatures, but they’re all a part of the same event: Goblin Week.
Aptly named, Goblin Week is a time for artists to draw goblins. Lots and lots of Goblins. It's the brainchild of artist Evan Dahm, and in 2016 it's running from January 24 to January 30.
A Tumblr dashboard is, or at least can be, a very chaotic place. While a peppering of goblins arguably adds to that chaos, the drawings can also be used as moments of repose and enjoyment, especially because so many of them are idiosyncratic and beautiful.
Dahm, an artist probably best known for his Rice Boy comics, started Goblin Week in January 2013, making this its fourth year. A description of the way "GOBLIN WEEK WORKS, AS IT ALWAYS HAS WORKED & WILL FOREVER" posted on January 21st reads:
MAKE GOBLIN-RELATED THINGS EVERY DAY FOR A WEEK; ANY MEDIUM ANYTHING; WHAT DOES GOBLIN MEAN TO YOU (SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY)
FOLLOW YOUR HEART
QUANTITY OVER QUALITY
TAG THEM “GOBLINWEEK” IF YOU WANT AND THEY’LL BE REBLOGGED HERE (I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DO THIS PERFECTLY BUT I WILL DO MY BEST)
I GUESS THAT’S BASICALLY IT
Straightforward enough, but if you need a more succinct version, Dahm writes that "the whole point is just getting it done and not worrying too much, but maybe goblin week means different things for different people." Dahm also reblogs many of the goblins on the dedicated Goblin Week page.
His own contributions to Goblin Week are many and varied:
There's also some crossover with other social media platforms. The Goblin Week hashtag on Twitter contains a plethora of goblins in all shapes, sizes, and colors. As you might expect, a lot of them are cross-posted to Tumblr:
Basically, it's an excuse for artists to get out there and draw weird critters without worrying about what they're for. You might think you wouldn't need an excuse for that, but everyone worries about everything anyway, so it's nice to have a reason not to.
So if you see more goblins this week, now you know why. Goblin week, duh.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org