It is sad to me that every time I mention Avatar I have to specify that I mean the cartoon series subtitled The Last Airbender only and not the stupid movie (or that other Avatar with the blue people either). I'll be glad when Legend of Korra starts and we can get away from all that for a bit.

But anyway, I just discovered something last night which made me very happy. Possibly I am the last person to know about this because I've never been involved in AtLA fandom, but there have to be other fans like me out there, so I'm going to share it anyway:

If you've watched all the episodes, there are 450 pages of post-finale comic beautifully drawn and written in the same style as the series (no, I am not kidding) by one of the storyboard artists for the show (no, I am not kidding about that either). It is not your typical pretty-good or even surprisingly-good fanwork. It is brilliant.

"Zhao of the Water Tribe" is the story of Admiral Zhao, whose apparent fate in the series I very much did not lament, and who in the comic is very much still an enormous jerk in many ways (which is to say, believably in character), but by the time I was finished this story I actually a) cared about him; b) wanted to know more about what happened to him; and c) was prepared to declare the whole thing canon.

Besides Zhao there are a number of familiar characters from the series (including a couple whose appearance will make [ profile] lizbee very happy), but there are also some wonderful new ones invented by the author/artist which are absolutely strong enough to stand beside them. I have so much love for Nauja, I can't tell you.

And now I must go and make scones.
Lots of people have been admiring the icon that I've used on this post, so I figure I'll answer everyone's question as to where it came from:

James Marsh Prints.

I first encountered Marsh's work through the album covers he did back in the 80's and early 90's for my favorite (though now sadly defunct) band, Talk Talk. His work is reminiscent of Magritte and Dali, but with a more overtly playful tone and an obvious passion for nature. I used to have a large poster of this print, the album cover for Spirit of Eden, but it got sadly mangled when I moved out of my parents' home and I had to get rid of it (sniff). Perhaps some day...
[ profile] twirlynoodle has just made my day.
This thread is the best HP-related thing I have seen in days. And yes, that includes both the OotP trailers.

[ profile] sydpad + [ profile] twirlynoodle = genius.
This morning my four-year-old son and I were watching [ profile] lizbee's latest Old Skool Doctor Who vid, which celebrates the dubious charms of "The Horns of Nimon" (with bonus pants-ripping action!). Simon is a sensitive little soul and easily frightened by monsters as a rule, but as soon as he saw his first Nimon he fell in love. "I like that guy!" he chirped. "I'm him! Mommy, can I have some paper and a pen?"

A couple of minutes later he proudly presented this, his very first piece of fanart )

As I said in the comments of Liz's post, I think this proves that the Nimon pretty much fail at scariness.
But if you are looking for something new to read and get insanely hooked on enjoy, I highly recommend [ profile] ursulav's delightful Elf vs. Orc. Which has an awful working title, especiallly as it really isn't "vs." at all, it's more an "and" sort of thing based on this picture and this picture among others, but... oh, never mind me, just go read it. Trust me.
I blame [ profile] lizbee for this. Well, that and the fact that I finally have a scanner.

You wouldn't know it from my artistic output now (she said, looking ruefully at her neglected deviantART gallery), but I used to draw at least one picture every day. In fact, back in my teens I couldn't imagine giving up drawing any more than I could imagine not writing. I seriously thought about taking a double major in university, with the eventual hope of writing and illustrating my own books. As time wore on, however, the writing kind of pushed the drawing out of my mental spotlight, and here I am twenty years later, still working away at the writing, but only dabbling now and then on the artistic side.

So. All that being said, I've unearthed some of my old sketches and drawings, and now I shall inflict them on you share them with you, for whatever it's worth:

Knife (1986) )

Portraits of Steerpike and Fuchsia (1987) )

Perryn A'Tavis and Rissian Isolar (1990) )

I have one more piece of old art to share, but this one was drawn by a real master -- Bill Sienkiewicz. My brother Pete commissioned it from Bill when he was visiting the Silver Snail comic shop in Toronto, and I have no idea what happened to the original, but since I still have a photocopy, I've scanned it for the amusement of my fellow 80's comic geeks. [ profile] kateorman at least should get a kick out of this one, since I know she likes Warlock at least:

Legion and Warlock, by Bill Sienkiewicz )

I scanned a few more pieces last night for [ profile] lizbee, but they're the kind of thing best saved for a "Humiliate Yourself in Public" meme (i.e. illos and fashion designs for my pernicious and now mercifully defunct sword-swinging Time Lady princess Mary Sue, who scored a smashing 102 when I ran her through the Litmus Test), so I'll spare us both the embarrassment.
I am so glad I friended [ profile] buttfacemakani's journal, because if I hadn't I would have missed some truly brilliant sketches. Like this one:

Poker Night at the Malfoys

I just love Snape's smug serenity in the midst of it all.

Hope everyone had a pleasant Christmas Day, whether celebrating or not -- our family is having our gathering today and I'm on Turkey Duty, so I won't be online much.
This story, a vignette with illustrations, is demented and bizarre and fiendishly cute all at the same time, which is pretty much standard for [ profile] ursulav. And it all sprang from one random doodle she did on the weekend after overexposure to My Little Pony merchandise.

The author writes by way of preamble, It is unpolished. It may be emotionally unsatisfying. The writing may be overly twee or overly gross or overly both. The art is occasionally rough. To which I say "whatever", because I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Little Creature and the Dream Deer.
Only substitute a baby Draco nursing for the toddler Draco reading, and make Narcissa look a lot less happy about the whole being-waked-up thing (as well as sporting a prodigious amount of baby barf on the left shoulder), and you get some idea of what our family looked like at about 3:45 a.m. last night.

(Note to self: Do not eat broccoli again, like, ever.)

But anyway, [ profile] buttfacemakani is a genius. See?

There are some hilarious sketches on her journal, too.

Also, the House staff as chibis, courtesy of the same avatar maker I was playing with earlier in the week. Hee!
If you love animation in the classic Disney style, or just cracking good HP art, you have to check out the latest HP drawings in [ profile] twirlynoodle's journal. And if you haven't seen her main site, particularly The Azkaban Project, you owe it to yourself to go and check it out.

I adore her versions of the Trio. Just adore them. Her Lupin is the best I've ever seen. And once she finally reconciled herself to the idea that Snape probably did not have a beard, her Severus sketches are superb as well.
Well, more than one rec, actually, but I couldn't resist that subject line. Anyway...

I have spent the last 24 hours going o_o ... o_O ... O_O at a couple of sites, so I thought I might share the wealth. First up is Edgeworlds, a gallery of HP sketches by pro artist Anneth Lagamo. Some really amazing stuff there, including this gorgeous, dynamic sketch of the first DA meeting in OotP, and a wonderful caricature of Ron and Hermione arguing.

Then there's Freelancer's Music Videos. I haven't had the chance to view them all, but the four or five HP vids of hers I've seen so far are delightful. Particularly The Creation of Man, a track from the Broadway production of The Scarlet Pimpernel featuring Sir Percy at his over-the-fop best, and which is also a perfect fit for Gilderoy Lockhart. Some brilliant edits here, at least one of which made me laugh out loud.

And now I'm off to work on an impossible and entirely ridiculous drabble, because [ profile] lizbee is evil and puts Ideas in my head.

ETA: Gacked from [ profile] narcissam, it's the Better Personality Quiz Result )

Hee! More than a grain of truth in that one, actually. Except for the exploding part. I think.
I'm going to be soooooooo tired tomorrow. I knew I shouldn't have had two cups of caffeinated tea late in the afternoon...!

I used a new technique for this one... )


Jan. 29th, 2004 09:41 pm
rj_anderson: (Snape by Jereeza)
Because [ profile] jereeza drew this totally amazing picture of Snape and I just had to make it into an icon -- with her permission, of course.


Jan. 16th, 2004 12:10 pm
rj_anderson: (Paul McCormick)
Lots of times, I look at some artist's conception of a character from a book I enjoy and think, "That's beautifully drawn, but not exactly how I pictured him/her." I often feel that way even about my own pictures of characters -- no matter how much effort I put into them, no matter how much tweaking I do, they never quite seem to match up with the images in my mind.

But on very rare occasions, I find a picture that makes all the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and my first reaction is "Gah! How did this artist get into my brain?!" And then I can't stop staring at it because it's so amazing, and so incredibly satisfying, to see my imagination translated into reality.

[ profile] friede's latest drawing of Paul McCormick, the embittered paraplegic hero of my fantasy novel Knife, is that kind of picture. I've already made an icon (which doesn't really do the pic full justice) and desktop wallpaper out of it and I still can't stop staring at it.

O_O I think my eyes are stuck this way now. I may need medical help.


Dec. 3rd, 2003 08:10 am
rj_anderson: (D&L Snape & Maud)
[ profile] lizbee, if you haven't seen this pic of James and Lily, go. right. now.

The hair! The clothing folds! The nice clean outlines! Wah! I have no idea how to do any of those things, even with my nice new Wacom tablet.


Dec. 2nd, 2003 02:02 pm
rj_anderson: (Saffron Cake)
If you love Dorothy L. Sayers in general and Gaudy Night in particular, you must pop over to [ profile] friede's online gallery and have a look at this. Really, really splendid stuff.

ETA: And then go and leave a comment for her here.
...and deviantART is down, I'm posting this pic here, because I've been working on it for three days and I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. Featuring a slightly post-Hogwarts Hermione, it's...

Her Natural Element )

Not quite an exact replica of my mental image of the character, but close enough for tonight. I'm going to bed!
[ profile] drmm wrote, in response to Point #5 in my unpopular fannish opinions post:

But I like anime-style fan art. Of course, I like anime, which probably makes a big difference.

For the record, I like anime, too -- in fact, I was practically obsessed with it between the ages of eight and fifteen. Back then I had no idea how much of it there was, or what it was properly called: I only knew that on the French channel there were these gorgeous cartoons like nothing I'd ever seen before.

I didn't understand more than a couple words of French, but every Saturday morning I paid rapt attention to Albator (a.k.a. "Captain Harlock") and Capitaine Flam (otherwise known as "Captain Future" -- I just went to look up the English equivalent, and found this brilliant French site where I am now listening to the theme song I remember -- oh, the nostalgia!).

I was also a devotee of Star Blazers and Battle of the Planets a.k.a. Gatchaman, though I was thoroughly disgusted by the cheap and obvious patch-up job they'd done with American animation for all the "7-Zark-7" bits in the latter. And I watched the entire Macross saga, or at least as much of it as my local station showed -- to my horror they broke off halfway through the third part and I had to run out and buy the novelizations to find out what happened to my beloved Lancer. :)

So yes, I do like anime. I haven't time or opportunity to get into the fandom (and that's a good thing, because I could easily see it becoming an obsession), but there's nothing lacking in my appreciation of Japanese animation or manga.

The point I intended to make was not that anime-style art is horrible and wrong -- it's perfectly appropriate in anime-based fandoms, or if you happen to be a Japanese artist -- but I don't understand why there's such a preponderance of this style of art in fandoms which have no anime connection, such as HP. And there's a lot of carry-over from this, too, where writers and artists seem to take it for granted that the HP males are all bishounen -- which is so at odds with canon it's just weird.

A few anime-type drawings in a non-anime fandom are one thing; an overwhelming flood of them is another. I can find pretty pictures of pretty boys anywhere. But in HP fandom I would really like to see some more realistic illustrations of the characters as JKR describes them. That's all I meant.


rj_anderson: (Default)

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