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As opposed to a Starving Artist who is dying for their art, someone else is dying by their art. The Art Attacker is a character who uses their art as a weapon. This could be paint, puppetry, music, video, etc.

Supertrope to Musical Assassin, Paper Master, etc. Those examples should be listed on their own pages. Art Initiates Life is also strongly related.

The attacker can be, but is not necessarily, the Mad Artist.

Examples of Art Attacker include:

Anime and Manga

  • One Piece has Mr. 3, who uses wax sculptures, and Miss Goldenweek, who uses color to paint on Standard Status Effects or other powers. They are paired together due to their art theme.
  • Naruto has a sizable stable of art weapon users. Sasori, Kankuro and Chiyo are trained puppetmasters, Deidara uses explosive clay, and Sai can bring his paintings to life. Sasori and Deidara, like the One Piece example, were partnered, but constantly argued over who's definition of art was superior.
    • The meeting of all of the above but Chiyo was the very first battle of the Fourth Ninja War arc. Chiyo got there later, after Sasori "left."
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, Kurama goes up against a demon who uses make-up to power himself and de-power others.

Comic Books

  • The Green Lantern foe the Tattooed Man and Batman villain Pyx from The DCU have the power to bring their tattoos (body art) to life.
    • Also, Kyle Rayner is an artist, and while it's not always explicitly shown, he wields his ring as an art form; that's his style.
    • And, John Stewart was an architect, and all of his ring constructs have blueprint like attention to detail.


  • The Joker in Tim Burton's Batman describes himself as this: "I'm the world's first fully functioning homicidal artist. I make art until someone dies."


  • Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series novel Greenwitch. A man working for the Dark paints a picture that acts as a spell to control the title creature.
  • Sword of Truth has a court wizard who places spells on people by drawing them, using their likeness for Sympathetic Magic.
  • In the final Dark Tower novel, this plays a major role in the defeat of The Red King.

Live Action Television

  • In Misfits, a tattoo artist turns out to be able to use his tattoos to control and attack people.
  • The girl in the Doctor Who episode "Fear Her." had been drawing children out of the real world and on to her paper. Turns out she's been possessed by a lonely little alien, but before the Doctor can find the spaceship, the alien captures him and the TARDIS in her paper. She later abducts the Olympic Stadium in London, and almost does so to the entire planet.
  • One Get Smart villain used "Dorian Gray" paint - he painted pictures of his victims who would then rapidly age and die.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Monster of the Week Artistmole

Video Games

  • In De Blob, you can take over the occupying forces by coloring the world.
  • In Epic Mickey, Mickey uses a brush and paint thinner to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. His opponent, par for the course, is the Phantom Blot.
  • Amaterasu, the main character of Okami, uses her tail as a brush to cast spells. There is also her Evil Counterpart Ninetails, who in his first form can use similarly powerful spells whenever the player tries to sketch (his brush moves slowly, so sketching faster than him is important), and Shiranui, Amaterasu's ancestor who draws extremely fast and helps the player against the Wawku Shrine Dual Boss.
  • In Comix Zone, the artist (named Sketch, natch) and Big Bad of a comic series switch places, where the hero is in the series, and the Big Bad is in the real world. To make the switch more permanent, the Big Bad draws enemies into the comic to kill off the hero. Why he couldn't just erase him is beyond me... but then again, that would make the comic look messy. Maybe he's writing in pen, too.
  • This is the player's modus operandi in the Scribblenauts games.
  • Relm in Final Fantasy VI has the "Sketch" ability which lets her use the target monster's special abilities.
  • Brauner from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. When you fight him, he paints on an easel with blood, making a pattern on the screen that damages you when you touch it. He also uses Art Initiates Life to summon monsters by painting them.
  • The Kirby series features many bosses like this, mostly as Mook Makers. The most well-known is Paint Roller in Kirby's Adventure. Kirby's Dream Land 3 has Ado, and Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards features Adeleine, as a boss turned ally.
  • The main protagonist of Graffiti Kingdom has a magic brush that turns himself into different creatures using cards. Some are hidden, some are dropped from enemies which turn you into that enemy and give you their powers. You can even acquire cards allowing you to turn into miniature versions of bosses.
  • Sly Cooper has the Panda King, a firework artist who uses fireworks in combat and to help his crimes.
  • The various rudies attack using graffiti in the Jet Set Radio series.

Western Animation

  • Chalk Zone: While in Chalk Zone Rudy can create anything he needs by drawing it with his magic chalk. Outside of Chalk Zone anything anyone draws with any chalk and erases becomes real inside Chalk Zone.
  • In one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, an artist's pencil fell into Bikini Bottom, which could bring to life a disgruntled duplicate of SpongeBob. The pencil and eraser were both used to attack and defend.
  • Splatter Phoenix of Darkwing Duck is an artist who uses her reality-bending paintbrushes to commit various crimes, including various assaults on our hero.
  • Brushogun's ink is used to create minions for the Big Bad of Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo.
  • Music Meister from Batman the Brave And The Bold uses his song and music occasionally as a form of attack, but more often as a form of Mind Control.
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