i was originally going to desaturate all but her eyes but

@cript-art-blog submitted to fini-mun:

Hi, I’m the anon who asked about you giving critique… This is my oc Cole (the snowshoe cat)… This is the only full body reference I have atm- I made it just the flats, so that it might be easier to critique.

anyways here’s some info on him to help your critique; he lives in Holoska (which is basically Canada), has hydro-kenisis and I didn’t give him much to wear because most male sonic character don’t wear much. Just gloves and shoes.

Ps. If you’re going to tag me- tag me as “cript-art-blog”. Its the blog I usually use- its just happens to not be my main. (I wanted my ask blog to be)

Okay sorry for the long, long delay on this. You sent this to me back when I did that bottlenose redesign thing, so I’m guessing you wanted me to give similar input for your character (”How to make it look more SEGASonicish”).

These are just my personal thoughts, and this is your character so take from it what you will!

I didn’t draw the full body because it wasn’t important towards the points I was going to make, sorry if that looks odd.

  • I emphasized the star like shape the fur was making around the head. I always think with Sonic characters that it’s a good idea to find a strong shape and work with it. You could also turn the ends of the ‘points’ of the stars upwards a bit to be more like your original design, but I just wanted to emphasize the star-like quality.
  • I like the mask you did around the eyes a lot. Very snowshoe and adds visual interest to the face. The only thing I really changed was to make it more flush with the shape of the eyes. Think of how Marine’s eyemask follows her eyes.
  • I made the ruff around the neck more ‘poofy’ and going around the entire neck. I’m trying to invoke sort of the concept of a wooly jacket hood, since the character is a Holoska native.
  • I also added the fluff to the gloves and boots, but I’m thinking the colour may have been better white rather than lavender, or even a pale tan? But anyway I was trying to make the gloves and boots look somewhat heavy duty- gotta keep those extremities warm. Since Sonic characters don’t generally wear a lot of clothing, you need to work with the articles you do get.
  • I tufted the tail, a bit like Blaze’s. There’s really nothing wrong with the blunted tail, but SEGASonic characters don’t really do that and this is slightly more visually interesting/ties with the head shape better.
  • Small, small detail, but on the legs (and would have on the arms if it weren’t covered) I made the markings begin just a little down the leg and not immediately at where the leg joins the body. It helps emphasize the limbs as being ‘part’ of the body and not placed ‘onto’ the body, if that makes sense.
  • … I changed the colour pallete, obviously. A big thing I see fanartists do is use more natural colours for their characters. I’ve done it before myself, so I’m not saying ‘never do it’. But as a rule of thumb Sonic characters aren’t coloured anything like their natural counterparts. I picked a desaturated blue and purples for your character because they gave an ‘icy’ or even slightly ‘aurora borelias’ feel, to tie into the Holoska thing. It also played well with the teals of your character’s clothing.

I hope that helps you out. Like I said, it’s your character so you’re free to do as you wish. You can use any of these ideas or ignore all of them, that’s up to you :)

Wonder Woman: A Marvel fan's perspective

I’ve just made it back from the local premiere of DC’s Wonder Woman and I want to share my impressions with the internet right away! I’ll do my best to keep it spoiler-free, because I really want people to go and see this film.

I don’t want to be one of those fans who starts a review with I’m not a fan of her music, but, but I think my perspective is very much influenced by my taste in comics, and I want to disclose that right away. I’ve read maybe a couple of dozen DC trades in my time, including a healthy dash of Wonder Woman, but I’m nowhere near appreciating the breadth and depth of the canon in the way I do with Marvel. I’m the Marvel fan who sat through the credits getting excited over the special thanks given to Lee, to Rucka, to Wein. I nearly fell out of my goddamned chair when I realised the screenplay was credited to one Allan Heinburg. THAT’S RIGHT, TRUE BELIEVERS, YOUNG AVENGERS ALLAN HEINBURG! (And it shows, so if that’s your jam, hie thee to a cinema, stat!) So maybe I’ve missed some stuff or maybe it’s given me some insight. I don’t know. All I know is it was a fucking great film and I’m usually a judgemental bitch about this stuff, so take from that what you will.

In a sentence: Wonder Woman is an excellent origin movie which doesn’t overly linger on the foundations of its story, and which pays credit to its setting and the history of the character whilst managing to make reasonably meaningful statements about the bigger picture in war, through a decently intersectional feminist lens, and almost devoid of the male gaze.

I don’t know very much about the decisions made in changing the setting of Diana’s origins from WWII to WWI. I wondered if it was something to do with being less on the nose with Gal Gadot’s Israeli heritage, but as it happens, there were some strikingly vivid depictions of the German instruments of biological warfare, perhaps more so than I’ve even seen in WWII films. Perhaps it was merely to differentiate between Diana and Captain America; perhaps it was to show a global war with more immediate physical impact upon civilians and fighting people. I would say this: it worked, it was fine, and the setting it gave to the world outside Themyscira when we got there was rich and deep.

The Themyscira of Wonder Woman was, oh blessed relief, a Paradise Island filled with women of different races and body types, up to a point – they were presented as very much a warrior people, and unfortunately, there were no fat women in the foreground. The geography felt real and lived in, and the island, cut off as it was, seemed to make sense. The costumes were not something I was thrilled about from promo shots, but in motion seemed to work much better: the desaturation of Diana’s costume appeared to be to portray it as colourful leather, and it flexed and moved quite well with her body in motion (and boy, did she get a range of motion!). The Amazons of Themyscira, absent of the male gaze, absolutely did practice the art of fighting in skimpy clothing, and wore makeup – some of them, lots of makeup – but the camerawork rigidly avoided the male gaze. They emoted, they argued, they fought and they loved – the only part which irked was the total absence of body hair. But god, at least some of them weren’t white! And her mother had WRINKLES and THIN SKIN AROUND HER COLLARBONE and SCARS. These are things I’ve never seen in a superhero film before.

The fights were excellent to my untrained eye. The clash between traditional and modern weaponry wasn’t as viciously overwhelming as I’ve seen it in some iterations of the comics, but that was probably to the benefit of the film: the Amazons gained in perceived competence when they were able to use their weapons well even when appearing outgunned. This also allowed for the only obviously gay moment, meta aside – subtle enough to presumably get past censors worldwide, but still very clearly a moment between female lovers to any viewer who regards gay people as human. (Look! This is what happens when you let Heinburg write stuff! He’s going to stick gay heroes in it and everyone’s going to have a good time.)

Steve Trevor – Chris Pine, didn’t know that until today – was pretty decently cast (my main issue being that he looked a bit All American to pass for a German soldier) and genuinely well acted. He swayed between wide-eyed innocence and awkward heroics brilliantly, clearly realising from the outset that he represented all of the wider world to Diana, and as such had a responsibility to her. Unlike the dryer DC films, the cinema where I watched, with a full house, was often shaking with laughter – unlike during the Marvel films I’ve watched, there wasn’t one cheap shot. Instead, the humour came from actual wit, not quips – this was war, there wasn’t any time for quipping. The wit was inferred by the audience. Here, a small sample: Diana sees Steve bathing. He is embarrassed and goes to cover himself, but not quickly enough. She stares for a while and asks him if he is considered to be an average member of his sex. His palpable despair at the nature of the question got perhaps the biggest laugh of the entire film (he bluffed that he was “considered an above-average specimen” initially, but that streak of toxic masculinity was soon knocked out of him).

Diana, meanwhile, was genuinely a good fit. Again, having seem promo shots, I was halfway to despair – she really does have a slight figure, and I don’t think all the hard training in the world would bulk her up all that much. But oh, how she must have trained – she was no stuntwoman like some of the Amazon actors around her, but her muscles were clear and defined, and she carried a weight through the cinematography. A fall from on high would be met with a camera-shaking THUD into the ground. There were loving close-ups showing a lot of bicep when she hefted great weights above her head. Her thighs wobbled! Again, this shouldn’t be news in 2017, but it hasn’t happened yet in Marvel. Her accent was great – I presume it’s her natural accent, and that the other Amazons were supposed to match to her? Unfortunately, some of them slipped into British English from time to time, to my well-trained ear, but it was really pleasing to hear a non-American American icon sounding… non-American. There was possibly a little unintentional humour to be taken from the fact that her key name ‘Steve’ didn’t sound very natural to her tongue, and tended to come out more as 'Stieff,’ but it was kind of sweet, the film didn’t linger on it, and it wasn’t really an issue. Her portrayal of Diana oozed charm and demanded respect. This was a young Diana, certainly – a Diana whose people are still keeping secrets from her, who wants to charge into battle and take the head of the enemy leader – when the battle is World War One – who believes extremely firmly in her gods even when her countrywomen might doubt – but whose groundings as a great leader are being found throughout the film. Gadot was utterly convincing as the ingénue who knows more than every man in the room put together. A balance was found with disarming ease in the script – she knows nearly every language and outfoxes the British government – but she genuinely doesn’t see the point in trousers, and just about screeches with delight the first time she sees a baby.

On sex: my partner, who’s ace-spec, said she felt a little alienated by the obvious inclusion of a sex scene. Me, I’ve read some Wonder Woman, and I think I would have been a bit insulted if there hadn’t been any explicit attraction between Diana and Steve at all. In every iteration of the story, it’s still the story: the first Man to the Island Of Women brings with him War, and the young Diana flees her mother’s rule, falling for him and fighting for justice. I believe that the film could have managed without a sexual attraction between the characters, but I think it’s a worthy nod to the history and a decent element of complexity for both characters, especially given the minor character reveal for Steve which takes place just as they’re getting close to one another. The film isn’t lost to slow gazes into each other’s eyes – it’s more clever than that; it uses small ideas to represent big ones. Sex is here because war is here. Glory is here but so is pain. And there are other joyful nods to her comic continuity: for those who it would really upset, I feel I must make it clear that her traditional origin story is here, but so is her New 52 origin. (I didn’t have to dig to know about the conflict there - the Marvel fans heard DC readers screaming over that one). Despite my misgivings the moment it became clear that the film was going to Go There, it wasn’t made into something which wouldn’t work outside a feminist reading – more that Diana’s people are more emotionally complex than she knows, that even the most loving of mothers can keep secrets. It didn’t rankle, and I’d really thought it would. And Etta Candy was there! And the named villain she kept coming up against was Dr. Poison! Honestly, to my untrained eye they both seemed PERFECT. Etta was a fabulous blend of side-eying quirky realness, who got to throw out nice little jabs about corsetry and getting The Vote which kept us very firmly rooted in the time period. Dr. Poison was wide-eyed genius and vulnerability – the perfect locus for the film’s musing on whether war is inevitable, whether humans are driven to destroy one another by their own ambition and pride. With incredibly few lines she gave a commanding performance. I won’t go further into defining roles played by other actors, because there’s a nice few surprises here and there – I’ll say this: the casting is great, and some Marvel pitfalls of overly screen-perfect costuming and dehumanising armour were deftly avoided.

Where the film truly shone to me was in its intersectionality. I’m SURE they could have done more, they could always do more. But given that this was a Wonder Woman film, and that we were bound to get a pale Diana and Steve, it did so much within that! From the minister played by David Thewlis, who (without comment) walked with a cane, to Etta’s charmingly full-figured portrayal – overlooked and overworked by Steve, a plot thread they didn’t pull hard on, but which added depth to the characters and their social networks, and which felt very believable. Crowd shots were incredible for this: a sea of soldiers with white faces, and amongst them, near the centre of the shot, a black soldier, for this was England during the war, and not America, and our forces weren’t explicitly segregated. His uniqueness in the image made him the focus, not the novelty. There were older women staffing the medical services, there were soldiers in tam o’ shanters, there were even Canary Girls for one very distinct shot, and I had to tell my English girlfriend who they even were. And here’s something I’m annoyed with Marvel for again – the ease with which this film handled everything, when Marvel can’t even get Carol fucking Danvers on the screen after god knows how many box office crushing successes. I don’t know if there’s any version of Diana’s origin story where she and Steve join forces with a ragtag group of international fighters, but my god, if this is how DC are going to handle characters who seem suspiciously like Marvel’s Howling Commandos, they can fucking have them. It was great. It never touted American exceptionalism, and there were some fantastic callouts, like Diana trying to find out who destroyed the way of life of The Chief, played by Eugene Brave Rock, and finding, simply, that he could point to his sleeping ally, Steve, and say “his people.” Yes, yes, yes. Saïd Taghmaoui was outstanding as Sameer – the sort of person who flourishes in historical accounts and novels of the time, but who we never seem to get on screen – a highly educated man who manipulates and fleeces others, because he wanted to be an actor – but he was “the wrong colour.” Ewen Bremner – Spud, from Trainspotting, as Charlie, fell a little flatter for me – there was nothing inherently wrong with his portrayal, but speaking as a Brit, I think the world has enough cowardly drunken Scots characters, even if they’re brimming with sadness and complexity in response to a world gone mad. DC Bombshells has a Steve Trevor who explicitly suffers from PTSD, rather than transferring trauma into a more minor character – probably this wouldn’t have been something they could manage in a two-hour film, but it was a shame, and it was a little dehumanising, as he was the only Scottish character, even if he was totally believable. Steve certainly had his moments of vulnerability, which I very much appreciated, even so.

Cinematography-wise, I think the film fell into some familiar traps. There was an irritating amount of blue and orange, though it wasn’t half so pronounced as other action films of the last decade, and there was a wonderful scene where the colour scheme was used as a fakeout and faded into glorious bright golds. Still, the hyper-colourful ending credits were a tantalising reminder of the richer, more fully-realised world we could have had. The sets, however, were fantastic, and felt grimly realistic throughout the war scenes. The single tiny point I thought seemed historically off to me turns out to be something I was wrong on – pebbledashing for the exterior of buildings, iconically used on 1930s homes in the UK, was actually used in the 1910s for outbuildings. There are probably costuming, accent or set design mistakes somewhere in the film – in a production of this scope, there always are – but I couldn’t find them, not once.

Score was fine – it’s not what I go to the cinema for, but it seemed like it was used well and in all the right places. A couple of bits were good enough that I briefly wondered if it could be Howard Shore – it wasn’t, it seems to have been a bit designed by committee, which I suppose is par for the course with these things and why I liked Shore so much in the first place. The ending theme’s composed by Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine, however, and performed by Sia! I have no idea if it was good – as always happens at my local cinema, they brought up the lights straight away and everyone started talking loudly.

Essentially, whether it’s a perfect film and whether it will stand the test of time is a different question as to whether it’s a good Wonder Woman film, which it absolutely is. Were the themes clever? I would say they were consistent, and not guilty of overreach. Wonder Woman is at its heart a narrative about whether humanity and civilization should be worth the time of a godlike figure from a paradise civilization, and, by association, for ourselves. It wasn’t hammered home, if that’s not your kind of thing, and it’s handled better than your average war film. Was it improved by a screenplay written by a gay writer who usually handles the small screen, and who’s written for comics in the past? My god, yes – and was it improved by its direction by a woman – Patty Jenkins – known for her work with intense female actors? Yes! Should you go and see it? If you like films or comics, it’s definitely worth it.