i sincerely love this film though not nearly as much as the book

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #94 - The Book of Life

Spoilers below.

Have I seen it before: Yes.

Did I like it then: Yes.

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: Yes.

Was it a movie I saw since August 22nd, 2009: Yes. #325.

Format: Blu-ray.

1) I watched this about a week ago - on the actual Day of the Dead - but didn’t have time to write it because I live in Chicago and the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years. So my priorities were a little different than usual.

2) Anyone here a fan of “El Tigre”?

Originally posted by fire-miracle

Well the creator of that show - Jorge R. Gutierrez - was the writer/director of this film! Some El Tigre characters even cameo in the film’s opening, but you have to REALLY look for them.

Originally posted by oescafandronasociedade

3) The framing device of this film (a bunch of kids at a museum being told a story) is a classic fairytale/magical realism device that can be found in films such as Big Fish. It also gives the film a plot driven reason for it’s unique animation style (the characters looking like wooden figures).

Originally posted by -bawsten

4) This film has some really great humor.

Vendor Boy: “Churros! Churros! (A bird poops on the churros.) Frosted churros!”

5) I will talk about La Muerte and Xibalba as individual characters in just a second, but for now I want to focus on their relationship.

Originally posted by gifsbyrosie

I’m not overly familiar with Day of the Dead lore outside of this film, but I think the idea of having the ruler of The Land of the Remembered (La Muerte, everything good and wonderful in the world) and the ruler of the Land of the Forgotten (Xibalba, everything that is negative in the world) be lovers is a great idea. Their relationship is tense, volatile, and can be filled with conflict, but never is it abusive. Never is it hateful. You always get a great sense of love between these two and that’s what makes it work.

6) Ron Perlman as Xibalba.

Originally posted by clusterstruck

These two wouldn’t work so well together if they couldn’t stand on their own as characters. And the work so well in that field because of equal parts writing, character design, and voice over work. Ron Perlman is a regular collaborator of Guillermo Del Toro’s, the executive producer on this film, and has worked in a number of animated project before (including VP Lancer in “Danny Phantom” and Clayface in “Batman: The Animated Series”). Perlman brings a roguish charm to all his characters, even when it’s just his voice. He’s interesting, rough, and just likable! And he makes Xibalba all those things. You’re never particularly rooting against him, even though he’s technically the villain. You’re just entranced whenever he’s on screen.

7) Kate del Castillo as La Muerte.

Originally posted by beanarie

American audiences are not as familiar with Kate del Castillo as they are with Ron Perlman, although she is one of Mexico’s most acclaimed popular actresses. As Perlman does with Xibalba, Castillo brings genuine charm, likability, and charisma to La Muerte. As well as an added fierceness that lets you know this undead ruler can keep her own when head-to-head with her darker lover. You definitely get the vibe that La Muerte is the more dangerous of these two but also the kinder, and so much of that relies on Castillo’s performance.

8) Manolo, Maria, and Joaquin.

Originally posted by br0ken-5tring5

We first meet these characters and get a sense of their relationship as children, and it’s great. Yes Manolo and Joaquin both love Maria, but they’re friends first. ALL of them are friends! Later in the film Joaquin and Manolo remain friends even when vying for Maria’s affections, and they are friends with Maria before they are lovers. And I think it’s driven home by this statement from Maria as a child:

Maria [after Manolo and Joaquin fight over who’s she is]: “I belong to no one!”

They don’t belong to each other, they chose to be friends. They chose to be with together because they genuinely like each other. I love that.

9) A huge theme of this film is also seen in Maria’s, “I belong to no one!” line and that is the theme of being true to yourself.

Both Joaquin and Manolo have huge shadows they live in (a line which is actually uttered by Joaquin later): Joaquin’s dead father was a great war hero and Manolo’s father pushes him to be a bullfighter like all the men in their family have been. It makes for a unique conflict and a great message to kids of all ages: be yourself.

10) Maria as a character.

Originally posted by maria-magnolia2

You get a real sense of Maria as a character when we first meet her. Not only does she have the wonderful line, “I belong to no one!” but she also shows her placement of morality over societal values by freeing animals slated for slaughter. Her father sends her off to a convent to become, “a proper lady,” but…it doesn’t really work. At least, she doesn’t become his definition of proper. She is loving, kind, sweet, but fiercely independent and someone who follows her heart above all else. Zoe Saldana voices Maria, and breathes such wonderful life into the character you forget she’s acting. Everything about Maria just feel so real it’s amazing.

Originally posted by zoeesaldanaa

11) The decision to compose the film’s soundtrack from popular music recorded specifically for the movie (the mariachi version of “I Will Wait For You” being the earliest example) as well as original songs composed by Paul Williams is a great one. The copyrighted songs never feel out of place and don’t distract from the plot, instead playing perfectly into the emotion of the scene. And the original songs are made for the moments which are purely story and pure character, so they could not possibly be represented by something which was already written because this story hasn’t existed before.

12) Manolo!

Originally posted by annika-renina

All the characters in this film are written with such life and depth that lead character Manolo couldn’t POSSIBLY be an exception. He has skills as a bullfighter, but is deeply conflicted by his duty to his family and his duty to his heart. But it’s all guided by love, something with is illustrated by the inscription on his guitar (a gift from Maria, nonetheless): “Always play from the heart.” It is Manolo’s defining characteristic and defining struggle: that he wants to be himself, not his father or anyone else.

Diego Luna just…ugh! So I’ve seen Luna in small roles before (The Terminal, Elysium) but this film makes me a HUGE fan of his! I’m really looking forward to his role in Rogue One BECAUSE I loved his performance in this film so much. Manolo sings more than any other character in the film, and Luna infuses each song with such sincerity and warmth it is nearly impossible not to fall in love with his performance as Manolo. And he treats each line of dialogue the same. Like Saldana as Maria, you don’t feel like you’re listening to an actor. You’re listening to Manolo.

Originally posted by luna-diego

13) Grandma is hysterical.

Grandma Sanchez [after Manolo refuses to kill a bull]: “Kids today, with their long hair and no killing stuff.”

Grandma Sanchez [after Manolo’s father says everyone in their family was a great bullfighter]:

Originally posted by grumblepie

“A BEAST!”

She doesn’t have many lines but very nicely embodies the film’s wonderful characters and humor.

14) Manolo’s Father, Carlos.

I have seriously MIXED feelings about Carlos, and I think you’re supposed to. He shows a genuine desire to do the best for his son, he just doesn’t actually KNOW what’s best for his son. He pressures him into being a bull fighter because it’s the Sanchez way, and when Manolo expresses dissatisfaction with this his father shames him into doing it.

Carlos [to convince Manolo to be a bullfighter]: “Don’t you LOVE your family?”

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

(PS, I find this line to be the sign of an abusive relationship but maybe that’s just me.)

BUT Carlos has genuine moments of love with his son. He encourages him to tell Maria how he feels, he comforts him when he’s missing his dead mother, he actually LOVES Manolo. Hector Elizondo’s performance and the writing gets this across in a great way, and I think the film is better for it.

15) Channing Tatum as Joaquin.

Originally posted by fwankcastles

I do have to say of the trio of friends, Channing Tatum’s Joaquin is probably the weakest link. BUT that’s like calling one of The Lord of the Rings movies the worst in the trilogy: it was still nominated for best picture! I think it’s definitely because you know Joaquin is the third wheel, you know that Maria loves Manolo, and so it’s hard to get behind it. And you just can see that although they’re great as friends they wouldn’t make a good couple (despite Joaquin’s hopes to the contrary).

It would’ve been easy to write Joaquin as a jerk. And although he can be a bit pig headed here and there, you understand that he’s a genuinely good friend who truly cares for Maria (even though they’re not a great fit). Tatum brings a lot of this to the role, and even though I believe he’s the only non-Hispanic actor playing a decidedly Hispanic character (Ron Perlman gets a pass because Xibalba is an otherworldly creature) he has the same warmth and sincerity as Luna and Saldana have. It’s a nice way to round out the trio of friends.

Originally posted by jumpstmovies

16) I can’t tell if this joke is stupid or hysterical.

Pepe [when he and his brothers are in danger]: “I’m allergic to dying!”

Pancho: “Especially in the face!”

Originally posted by idiot-eden

17) Joaquin’s biggest failing is probably that he buys too much into societal values, and his society’s values are…sexist. He is surprised that Maria reads, expects her to be a doting housewife (as all the high up men do), and that’s not what his heart wants it’s what he thinks should be.

18) “I Love You Too Much”.

Originally posted by odazais

This is the song Manolo sings to express his feelings for Maria, and it’s beautiful. Paul Williams has crafted a quiet, loving melody which pulls at your heartstrings and is sung beautifully by Diego Luna. I think it’s my favorite song in the film and one of the best love songs I’ve ever heard.

19) Maria is awesome, if that hasn’t been made clear already.

Maria [stopping a kiss after Manolo’s song]: “Did you think it was going to be that easy?”

She’s not the girl who falls head over heels for someone just because they sang to hear. It’s appreciated, but there needs to be more than that. I love it!

20) This film never subscribes to storied cliches. It’s not like Manolo can’t be an idiot too, as noted when he and Joaquin start to fight over Maria (which she has shown to never truly appreciate).

Originally posted by lolitajohnadams

Maria: “You two are acting like fools.”

Manolo: “Wait, me too?”

You mean me, the nice guy romantic lead, is actually making a mistake? What kind of movie is this? (Hint: a great one.)

21) How long must it have taken to put out all those candles?

Originally posted by mariaymanolo

It shows devotion on Manolo’s part. As will the rest of the film, honestly.

22) One of the conflicts in this movie that gets me going the most is how unfair everyone is to Manolo. When they were children he stopped a wild boar from hurting people, but Joaquin got credit because he saved the mayor. As adults he’s ready to fight off bandits without a magic medal, but Joaquin gets credit because he does fight them off WITH a magic medal which protects him from harm. And when Maria dies from a snake bite everyone blames him. He’s not the snake! He didn’t bite her! So bug off!

23) My brother and I laughed so hard after we heard this line:

Student [after Manolo dies]: “What is it with Mexicans and death!?”

The only reason that line isn’t racist is because it was written by a Mexican in a film directed by a Mexican which is produced by a Mexican. So it’s okay to laugh.

24) The Land of the Remembered!

Originally posted by lolitajohnadams

Originally posted by lolitajohnadams

The Land of the Remembered is when this film’s visual style really takes off. Gutierrez’s imagination and the animation department’s skill bleeds through every scene in this wonderful place and it really pulls you into it’s world magnificently.

25) I mentioned in my Nightmare Before Christmas recap that Burton and company did a good job of establishing minor character with small introductions, and The Book of Life (although not Burton) follows in that tradition when we meet Manolo’s family.

Each family member - from the brutish Carmelo (voiced by the film’s director) to grandpa Luis (voiced by Danny Trejo) - is given a unique character with just a few seconds of screen time and dialogue which carries through until the end of the film. It works wonderfully.

Originally posted by lamuertes

26) This freaking line, after Jorge is established as wanting to have been a singer.

Originally posted by dukespook

Manolo [after the two laugh about it]: “They crushed our dreams. Hilarious!”

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

27) Manolo’s Mother.

(GIF originally posted by @lamuertes)

Immediately there is a difference in what is expected from Carmen Sanchez (his mom) and what there is.

Manolo: “And I became a bullfighter, just like you wanted.”

Carmen: “Me? Are you crazy?”

It turns out Manolo’s father saying his mother wanted that was…uh…wrong, to put it mildly. It’s a nice juxtaposition which establishes her as a character and not just a plot device.

28) Dude, I love this dialogue.

Xibalba [after Luis says La Muerte would never hand over her kingdom]: “She lost a bet.”

Luis: “Oh. She would do that.”

29) You get a lot of Manolo’s tender side and playing from the heart, but it’s easy to forget that he’s still a headstrong Sanchez boy. He still has the fierceness of a bull fighter, even if that’s not what he wants to do. And we see this particularly when Manolo threatens to expose Xibalba. That may not be the smartest move, but it is fierce.

30) Did I mention this dialogue and humor is awesome?

Luis [after his body is knocked away from his head]: “Hey, my arthritis is gone!”

31) The Candlemaker

Originally posted by thenugu

The Candlemaker rounds out the trio of immortals here, and falls in the middle. He is not about the Land of the Remembered or the Land of the Forgotten, he creates the candles (each candle representing a life). He is this big ball of happy childlike energy which is just fun to watch. And who’d they get to place this super upbeat and positive guy with hope and optimism dripping from him?

Originally posted by hiphop-community

It’s a nice change of pace from Ice Cube’s more hardboiled characters to see him play such a wonder filled creature, and to do it so well too! His voice work stands up there with the rest of the cast in that you never think you’re listening to Ice Cube, you’re just watching the Candlemaker. It’s great.

32) ALL THE LADIES IN THIS FILM ARE FIERCE AS HELL!

  • Maria’s fierceness has been established above.
  • La Muerte getting pissed when she finds out Xibalba cheated on the beat is fierce!
  • MANOLO’S MOTHER SLAPS XIBALBA AFTER SHE REALIZES HE KILLED HER SON!!!

Originally posted by jeunetrentenaire

It’s a lot of fun to watch.

33) The final fight before Manolo can return to the land of the living is born from a wager he makes with Xibalba (he’ll face whatever challenge is thrown his way and win).

Xibalba: “What, do tell, is your worst fear?”

And then we get this:

Originally posted by littlechinesedoll

But it turns out his greatest fear isn’t killing the bull, it’s being true to himself. This ties into what I mentioned earlier: Manolo’s defining characteristic and his struggle are the same in that he wants to be himself. And we get a wonderful song to tie it up, of the same quality as “I Love You Too Much” and it is simply called “The Apology Song”. (Manolo’s father, who’s dead at this point, said that a Sanchez never apologies but after the fight is incredibly proud of his son.) It’s a nice character climax for Manolo before we get the final fight of the film.

34) When you have no idea this is coming, it’s the funniest line in the film.

Originally posted by museelo

(GIFs originally posted by @museelo)

35) I give massive credit to the filmmakers for the way they handled Joaquin. He and Maria are set to be married now that Manolo is dead, and he knows Maria doesn’t want it so he’s about to talk to her about it before the town is attacked by bandits. Joaquin could have easily been some Gaston type but instead we got a sincere, honest character who deepens the conflict of the film.

36) This freaking movie…

Originally posted by stevenscrivello

(GIF originally posted by @stevenscrivello)

37) The entire final fight of the film is wildly fun to watch.

Originally posted by kathon

It’s well paced, well choreographed, brings in all the characters we’ve met so far (living and dead), gives us a nice “dance” with Manolo and Maria, is filled with nice character moments, good humor, and has Joaquin decide he’s going to be his own man and try to sacrifice himself for his friends (it doesn’t work, he survives). It’s a great climax to the film.

38) “No Matter Where You Are”, the final song in the film, is a great ball of energy and love. But more than that, it let me know something I didn’t before…

Zoe Saldana can REALLY sing!

Originally posted by lghtmgnt

Just thought I’d share.

39) The final reveal, that Christina Applegate’s tour guide and the security guard are really La Muerte and Xibalba, is in classic tradition of magical realism and fairytale stories. It’s a nice ending to the film.

Originally posted by good-goodbye


The Book of Life is great, and truly under appreciated. It’s representation of Mexican culture is unique in the animated film landscape, and gives the film a unique visual and musical style. The acting is topnotch, and you can feel through the writing/directing/character animation that it is truly a labor of love for all those involved. A great film which everyone should see.

Up next: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

4

My RDC3 Weekend

This is more than anything a post to thank everyone that helped me through this weekend. My anxiety was worse than I hoped it would be but maybe better than it could have been I guess? By that I mean I only had one panic attack and it passed quickly thanks to the fannibals who helped me. For me it was both bad and good but the bad was all consistently part of, or result of, my anxiety, and hopefully outweighed by the good 💖

I want to thank especially @idontfindyouthatinteresting for being my con buddy and keeping me sane! New friend @byronicwoman who is just one of the nicest most supportive people I’ve met and I am so grateful for that. And @drjlecter for all the hugs which helped me through! But also everyone who was there for me at different times with hugs and distractions when my anxiety was peaking and more generally that I got to meet and hang out with! @strangestorys @redfivewritingby @churchescollapsing @wiith-my-hands @fragile-teacup @pka42 @weconqueratdawn @wrathofthestag @theseavoices @apoptoses @the-winnowing-wind @existingcharactersdiehorribly and a whole bunch of others not all on tumblr or whose tumblr names I have forgotten because I have a serious problem with names and faces so adding online handles this weekend has pretty much blown my mind 😳

So my weekend in brief(ish): 

Fannibals: I spent a lot of the time dealing with my anxiety, hiding in room and crying lots. BUT ALSO - forcing myself out to meet other Fannibals and being all the better for it. Between being crippled by anxiety and often swinging into being hyper to cope, it was all pretty exhausting and I’m so thankful for everyone’s support. I’m sorry if I came over as weird or awkward with anyone, it can be difficult for me to interact sometimes. Massive apologies to those I didn’t manage to get to meet or only briefly 😔

I had some wonderful conversations with various peeps about rarepairs which I will post about another time. And I may have spent too much time hugging people, especially @weconqueratdawn whilst trying (often unsuccessfully) not to cry too much over Quicksilver and what this series means to me 💖

I was pretty overwhelmed by the fact that almost every Fannibal I talked to had read my stuff and were “fans” *blushes* 🙊🙊🙊. The reactions I got when asked for my tumblr or ao3 handle were mind blowing for me. I’m sorry if I came across as ungracious at all, I was just surprised and overwhelmed (on top of the anxiety) but thank you all for the kind words. So pleased to forward that love and joy onto @slashyrogue @hotsauce418 @victorineb and @tcbook when people squeed not only about our little group challenge but also about them as well. The amount of people who fangirled to me over Slashy everytime I mentioned her gives me so much life!! Hotty your smut is loved and people need more Slick series. Vic your writing is loved and your unwavering support of writers by consistent and thoughtful comments is appreciated and never goes unnoticed. Cata your art is loved and has made so many people’s day! 

I didn’t hang around much in the evenings and I’m sorry I didn’t make it to any disco, I just couldn’t do it despite my best intentions. But I did go to the Fannibal Musical and it was amazing! Wonderfully put together, especially considering this was an international project, and the every single song choice was genius. I took some photos and clips (which are on my twitter) as I had a great view - I also filmed the finale, including Hugh’s reaction to the alt ending!

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anonymous asked:

all of you phan people are dumb children smh it's got me so fucking annoyed. it's like you've never heard of fan service lmao

how does it feel to ship these guys when you must know it’s all a lie?like honestly how do you tolerate them doing this fan service bullshit for a while and knowing how their fans take it and then immediately no homo'ing again? Are yall just that deluded? 

right. okay. i have put off answering these asks for a while because judging by the way they are phrased, neither of you are open to a discussion about dan and phil and their roles as entertainers. not only that but you have clearly already concluded that anyone who disagrees with you does so because of a lack of intelligence or because they’re too young (and therefore too stupid?? inexperienced? naive?) to think critically about the content that they’re consuming. while i welcome perspectives that differ from mine in my inbox, and in fact cherish the opportunity to rethink my own opinions in a different light (because at the end of the day we are all viewers with access to the same amount of info about dan and phil and that amount is relatively minuscule), i do not in any way appreciate rudeness or condescension directed towards me for expressing my personal opinions on my personal blog. also i’m a week shy of 22. not a child.

the thing is, i receive the occasional negative message that i don’t respond to bc i think it’s pointless to perpetuate negativity. but the opinion that you’ve both put forward has been niggling at me in my own moments of insecurity and doubt and i’ve seen the sentiment reflected elsewhere by people who love dan and phil but are too afraid to trust what they have been seeing in the past few weeks with their own eyes. so i’m responding to these just to allay those fears for anyone who feels sincerely confused about what to make of the marked shift in tone of dan and phil’s content recently.

the issue with the conversation around “fan service” is that people frequently lose sight of what that term actually means. put as simply and clearly as possible, the term fan service seems to have two general uses. the first is very literal: providing an audience with what they want to see.  the second is more disquieting, and alludes to the willful manipulation of an audience by exaggerating truths or outright lying in order to provide them with what they want to see. in my understanding, dan and phil certainly engage in the first version of “fan service” which is nearly synonymous with just entertainment and therefore a bit redundant. of course dan and phil know what we as an audience want to see—that’s LITERALLY what they’re paid to do as entertainers. to provide us with content that will entertain us.

the second version of “fan service” as applied to dan and phil is the notion that they are lying to us or misleading/manipulating us to play into our desires to see confirmation of their romantic/sexual relationship. i assume by the tone of the first ask that this is the version of fan service being referenced, and the second ask basically points to it directly. it’s the version that is most often used to discuss (and criticize) dan and phil. the concept is that we shouldn’t believe any part of what dnp do in videos bc their behavior is all specifically calculated to satisfy the portion of the audience that wants them to be together. other term for this include ‘ship baiting’ or ‘queer baiting’ which one can basically use synonymously with ‘fan service’ at this point. 

i think there are a number of reasons this is a pretty terrible thing to accuse dan and phil of doing. foremost is that it would be intrinsically queerphobic of them to decide to manipulate their viewership into seeing them as queer, especially when they know and recognize that a sizable portion of that viewership are lgbtq+ themselves or are allies of the community. it wouldn’t just be a disappointment if it were true, it would be abjectly unethical and a bit disgusting. such behavior would tremendously contradict the progressive and empathetic stances that dan and phil have taken time and again on numerous issues including lgbtq ones. furthermore, i’d argue that it takes far more mental acrobatics and reaching to accuse two people who have built a life together for seven years to suddenly, seven years later, decide to fake or exaggerate any part of their interaction or relationship with each other, OR to assume that they have been faking it for seven years and yet still decided to share a home together for five of those seven, go to every social gathering together and stay glued to each others’ sides, co-own most of their possessions, etc. it is a lot simpler to follow one’s intuition that two people who have shared so much for so many years … are actually fond of each other, are comfortable around each other, bring each other genuine happiness, and, yes, love each other. i fail to see how any of that seems like a stretch or “a lie.” but even if you don’t buy any of it and you want to believe that suddenly after a massive two years of multimedia expansion and pushing products (a book, an app, a tour across three continents, a film, another film, another book) as a branded duo, after all of it is ostensibly water under the bridge, they NOW want to fake some part (or all) of their love for each other, i just would ask … why? like literally why would they? what incentive do they have? they are literally millionaires. they are already wildly successful at commanding attention and keeping their audience loyal. they sold out every one of their 79 shows, they get millions of views on each video they upload. why would they now feel the need to stoop to the level of lying and manipulation to gain viewers/make more money? 

the recent resurgence of these accusations is fueled, from what i can tell, by two things: 1. dnp’s recent behaviors that seem to flout their normal boundaries regarding physical touch and earnest expressions of affection, and 2. dan’s own comments about “what the people want,” his overall awareness of his audience and comments to that effect, and his own use of the term fan service in the joint live show they did a couple weeks back. it certainly makes sense why the past month or so might raise eyebrows, as dan and phil are acting differently to what we are used to from them. but to me the most logical explanation of these differences is not to accuse them of being straight or platonic pals who suddenly realized that performing queerness could be profitable for them. again, it’s not just illogical, it’s actually quite offensive. more nuanced and measured reasoning could be 1. they are tired of maintaining those boundaries themselves or feel that they’re unnatural, 2. they know that suddenly being more physical or flirtatious will lead to asks exactly like this one and therefore are calling out the concept of fan service THEMSELVES so people will see how absurd it is to entertain the idea that anything they’re doing is made up for views, 3. they want to rapidly normalize some of the way that they behave off-camera and instead of doing it very gradually (though you could argue that they actually are, and have been, doing it gradually) they decided that a daily offering of videos for nearly a month might do the job and are concentrating on making sure we can see the fondness between them. by the end of it we’ll all be so inundated with their affections that it’ll quickly cease to be shocking 4. idk they’re just chiller now? they’re TIRED from the year they’ve had? and also enormously CONTENT? bc their year has been amazing and why not bring some of their happiness to their youtube content???? ? is that really such an outlandish idea?

in conclusion: i want the term fan service to die unless someone has an extremely well-formulated argument for why it isn’t a queerphobic accusation and i want everyone to calm the fuck down and just appreciate the love that dnp are showing each other and us this month. they are so genuinely happy. they are working so hard to give us content that conveys that happiness. that’s the only “service” they’re providing us and instead of nitpicking what we see and breaking our brains trying to undermine the evidence of our own eyes, we should probably just be thankful and happy in return.

October - Drabble Game #3

Request: 10 and 18 with Dean

Words: 1,458 (Whoops?)

Warnings: Language

A/N: It took me ages to come up with a way to combine these - but when I did come up with something I kinda got carried away… I enjoyed writing this one though, actually… considering I felt like I was hitting my head against the wall for ideas… This is in second person but is mostly from Dean’s point of view, if you get what I mean? No? Okay. I hope the person who requested this enjoys it! I definitely think you’ve gotten me out of my slump and I am forever grateful <3 feel free to send in feedback too guys, I’d really appreciate it!

Link to reference post: x | Requests are open

*Gif is not mine* (Let’s pretend the phone is a ring box, okay? Okay.)


10. “Don’t try, I’m not worth it.”
18. “Will you marry me?”

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Asylum Audiobook Announcement from EA

Dearest Plague Rats,

As many of you know, I am over a year late on delivering to you a complete audiobook of‪#‎TheAsylumForWaywardVictorianGirls‬ that some of you have in fact been so kind as to pre-order. Being late is awkward, embarrassing, and, worst of all, perfect grounds for confusion between an artist and their audience (you are all far more than an audience to me, but you know what I’m saying). Frankly, being late sucks. From the artist’s perspective, people you adore have paid for something and are excited about it. Then, they’re disappointed and angry, and you, the person who sold it to them, equally excited, feel indescribably terrible. You can offer everyone refunds, and business-ruiningly massive discounts on everything else you sell, but you know absolutely that this is not what they really want. They want what they ordered, and they want it, understandably, immediately.

I get it.

Let me tell you something that has happened to me this past year…something that has changed my world, and the future of the Asylum and its ability to change the world, one mad girl (or boy) at a time: I signed with my absolute dream literary agent, the fantastic Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency in NYC. My goal was to reformat my entire book into something that was affordable to everyone, easy to find anywhere in the world, so that I may help as many people as I possibly can through my experiences, by opening up my brain and humbly offering it to you, and through the message that what makes you different is what makes you magical (and also that rats can talk). Working with a top literary agent is the key to making this happen, and to relaunching this book, this bible of the Asylum world that we now share, in a way that I could never have dreamt of. Besides, and let’s have a teacup of “honesty time” here, if the new Asylum becomes an internationally best-selling novel, not only can we enact more change for good, but the Asylum Musical takes over Broadway faster, the Asylum Movie takes over theatres faster, and YOU are all dressed up as rats/inmates in said movie, you guessed it, faster.

Sounds great, right?

Hell yes it does! Unless you happen to have ordered an‪#‎AsylumAudiobook‬ over a year ago.

You see, immediately after the audiobook went on sale, I agreed to join the Vans Warped Tour, 2014. This delayed the finishing of recording, editing, and manufacturing of the audiobook a few months, but you were very nice about it (thanks!!!). After all, a lot of you came to see us on this tour as we presented ‪#‎TheAsylumExperience‬ for the first time, and, let’s be real, it was pretty fucking badass.

Then, after the tour was over, and with corsets just barely dry from show sweat, ‪#‎AlleluiaTDC‬ Alleluia: The Devil’s Carnival finally went into production, and not only was I handed a script that pretty much put me in a lead role in a feature film, I’m to play a DUAL lead role, and record new music for the film. In German. GERMAN. This delayed the finishing of recording, editing, and manufacturing of the audiobook a few MORE months, but you were nice about it, more or less (thanks!!!). After all, a lot of you came to see the film, and hung out with me on the road show tour for the film, seemed to enjoy the film, and were very kind and gracious indeed.

Finally, this last year, I signed with a literary agent with the aforementioned intention of re-formatting my book for wider publication, and I have a choice to make. I had basically rewritten my book, taking the opportunity (because the Asylum is living and breathing and never stops growing and never ever ends) to make it even more magical and beautiful and empowering, introduce you to a mind-blowing new character, and add some chapters that will virtually change everything (and I do mean absolutely EVERYTHING, I cannot express this with enough force to even closely convey what I’m talking about here). So, which version do I give to you, the early purchaser of the Asylum Audiobook? Do I finish what I started and get the nearly finished recording out to you as fast as I can and give you exactly what you are expecting? Or do I basically take more time and give you the ultimate, the “oh my god what the hell just happened I had no idea this is so much more than I ever even thought I was paying for seriously though what the hell just happened did you ever see that coming the world is shattering around me and I fucking love it” version? In short, the version containing all of the new things that nobody has ever read before or will see in print for quite a while yet (because publishers take a bit of time when putting out a new book I’m told)? What the hell do I do? No, really, what the bloody hell do I do? What would you want most? I had to make a choice. I had to take a chance. And I had to hope to the heavens that I was right. Knowing you as well as I do by now, I’m pretty sure I am.

So, I took the time. I took the time, and I recorded you the new story. The story no one but you will know. I took the time, knowing that you wouldn’t understand why because I couldn’t tell you yet, knowing that a handful of you were already feeling frustrated and let down, and with the knowledge of this eating away at me day and night with every extra day later the audiobook was equating to one year lost off of my life, which the poor people around me can attest to, and which poor @MarcSenter has had to deal with all of this time, may all the goddesses bless him. I took the time, I recorded your new version, and I hoped that I was right to do so.

Now, finally allowed to tell you about this last and most important element of our delay, and only a few short weeks of editing away from sending the audiobook out for manufacture, I am experiencing the first trembles of excitement at what your ratty ears are going to hear when you push play, and I want to share my trembles of excitement with you. I want my trembles to be your trembles. Let’s share trembles.

To anyone who has requested a refund for their purchase, I completely understand and support you. I might have done the same. For anyone keeping their order but disappointed, or angry at the delay, I apologize and strongly suggest that you request a refund instead as I don’t wish for anyone to remain in a state of dissatisfaction for any period of time whatsoever. It’s just a recording, and not worth a bit of that.

Contrary to what many might suspect, pre-orders are not done primarily to take people’s money for something that hasn’t yet been made. Rather, pre-orders are done so that a company knows how many of a product to manufacture (and how many disc sets I should sign with my beautiful silver sharpie), because, simply asking “who wants one?” and manufacturing that product based off all of the people that are going to say “me” and then not purchase the product once it’s available can be disastrous to a small business, which mine most definitely is, consisting of exactly one person with zero external funding or support (me). So, if you’re still feeling let down by the delay, you do the right thing for you, be the master of your own destiny, and ask for your order to be canceled. There is still enough time for me to take that order off of my manufacturing numbers, so, in all sincerity, it’s ok. It really is.

For those of you who are on this journey with me to it’s most beautiful completion, I give you my heart, my time, and all that is the best in me. Thank you.

But why just say “thank you” when you can sing it, right?

That’s exactly what I thought.

Which is why we are preparing the ultimate Muffin Meetup here in Los Angeles within the next two months, featuring sing-alongs with me and special guests, tea and cake, and a preview of THREE newly recorded and never-before-heard songs from the ‪#‎AsylumMusical‬ (one of which happens to be Madame Mournington’s epic ballad). Keep close for details soon to come on date and location!

Now, I’m going to go and meticulously edit the new audiobook chapter where Veronica sings and then Dr. Stockill comes up behind her and…oh wait, nobody knows that part yet. But you will. Soon.

~ EA

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