the queen's art

My recently updated painting of Varda, Queen of the Starr’s .
Wife to Manwë and most feared by Morgoth.  
Inspired by J.R.R Tolkien’s, The Silmarillion.

Recently, as our anniversary has been approaching, I have been working on a subtle gift for my SO.  She love Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and 80s music, and seeing as she has a few albums on the wall I thought it would be fun to redesign them and slowly replace them and see how long it took her to notice. In general, I replaced one every week (give or take a few days to keep things unpredictable) leading up to our actual anniversary.

Matching the exact colors wasn’t quite as important as nailing the aesthetic and major elements enough that if not paying attention, you may not notice the change.

The first album to be swapped was Japan: Gentlemen Take Polaroids

With this one, David Sylvian was replaced with Yoshihiro Kira. (JJBA fans will know him as the persistent photo-ghost and father of pt 4′s main antagonist.  I took the opportunity to place the Stand Arrow in the negative space of the storm clouds as a nod to the character. It doesn’t hurt that the album is framed similar to a Polaroid photo.

TIME TO DISCOVERY: a day and a half

second was another Japan album: Quiet Life

For this recreation, David Sylvian is again replaced by another member of the Kira household: Yoshikage and his stand, Killer Queen.  The lighting vaguely reminds me of an explosion swallowing the entire world behind the figure (much like the ‘Bites the Dust” ability which resets time).  It is also very convenient that Kira often exclaims his desire for a “quiet life”.

TIME TO DISCOVERY: less than 30 seconds of walking in the room.  not sure if she was anticipating it or happened to glance in that direction, but there was little suspense.

Finally, 80s classic: Rio by Duran Duran

Based on the collectors edition of the album (the best reference I could find) this has a slightly different layout to the standard album, but this did not raise any issues when the time came to make the switch.

As DIO (main antagonist of pt 3) is a VERY fashionable modern vampire, it felt right to carry over a few touches of the iconic and super stylish album art.  DIO (all caps, very important) is wearing the makeup and earrings of the titular Rio. As DIO is known to wear lipstick, this helped to maintain the look. The band’s name was changed to DIO’s catchphrase (more accurately, MUDA MUDA MUDA!) and the album title to his own name.

What shocked me was how well all of these designs worked on a deeper level, as this has a few symbolic coincidences. The small label already sported an eye logo, which was changed to the eye of RA in honor of the Egyptian setting.  There are also 6 stripes to the left side, rising up and moving forward, almost like the 6 Stardust Crusaders as they travel to Egypt to confront DIO.  There are also 6 stripes inside the box, which could now represent the second half of the story.  The stripes coincidentally fall into locations that could very easily represent important details of the final battle.  Two fall on DIO’s hands, one across his throat, and another crosses his eye (as if representing a character who is able to “see” Dio’s stand power).  In addition, one stripe passes by behind DIO, sneaking around unseen during the final act.

TIME TO DISCOVERY: 2 DAYS (a youtube video calling attention to Bruce Banner’s Rio shirt in Thor: Ragnarok prompted her to glance at her copy on the wall.

Shuri’s Greatest Adversaries, #4: Ohyaku

First Encounter With Shuri

Black Panther Vol 5. #8

Background

A dangerous tech-enhanced fighter with mysterious origins, Ohyaku works for a secret organization that seeks leftover weapons and equipment from superhero battles.

Ohyaku was sent to disrupt Shuri’s investigation on who attacked T’Challa during the events of “Deadliest of the Species.”

Abilities

-Electrical whips similar to that of Iron Man’s villain, Whiplash.

-Expert martial artist

Importance

On paper, Ohyaku seems like the usual highly-trained mercenary we often see in comics, and she kind of is. Her sole focus is accomplishing her mission of stopping Shuri’s investigation on its tracks via direct confrontation. She also has a knack for arrogant quips during combat.

From a non-narrative standpoint, she might be the only villain in Shuri’s publication history that is exclusively “hers.” Ohyaku was created to confront Shuri, and she did so in more than one occasion.

Conflict

Ohyaku delays Shuri’s investigation; Shuri is forced to retreat; Shuri finds another lead and encounters Ohyaku (and her goons) once more.

Shuri proceeds to methodically beat the crap out of Ohyaku and her goons.

Shuri then contacts her team, while dragging an unconscious Ohyaku back to her Quinjet.

Ohyaku’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Coming Up

Next up, Ohyaku’s “contractor”: the Desturi. Things get a whole lot more interesting.