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Camera Man: You wanna start by introducing yourself?

Girl: My name’s Imani Paredes. I’m 16 and I’m an orphan.

Camera Man: An orphan?

Imani: Yup. My parents abandoned me at the Willow Creek Police Station when I was 2 days old. I grew up in St. Simcelia’s Home for Girls.

Camera Man: What was that like?

Imani: Hard. Sad. Fun when I had good foster parents. But that wasn’t often so most of the time it was just sad.

Camera Man: So you had multiple foster parents? Why weren’t you ever adopted?

Imani: Actually I was when I was a baby. By a lady named Maria Paredes in Newcrest. I don’t remember much about her. She died when I was four and she didn’t have any family to take me in so I went back to St. Simcelia’s.

Camera Man: That must have been hard. Losing your mom and going back into foster care.

Imani: *shrugs* Probably. I tend to black out bad chunks of my life. Unhealthy but effective. After that I guess I never got adopted again because I had too much attitude. At least that’s what the nuns would tell me. Doesn’t matter anyways. To most people I was just a check. Except the Johnsons.

Camera Man: So the Johnsons were one of the good families? Why didn’t they adopt you?

Imani: They probably would have but Papa J lost his janitor job at the science lab and Mama D couldn’t support everyone on her maid salary so they had to cut some corners. *shrugs* I was one of those corners.

Camera Man: So how did you end up out of St. Simcelia’s and in San Myshuno?

Imani: I guess the nuns figured I was more trouble than I was worth. After I got expelled from my fifth or sixth school, my case worker told me I had two options, go to juvie or become emancipated. I chose the latter. I’ve always wanted to live in the city so San Myshuno was the natural choice. Plus the rent is cheap and nobody asks questions about renting to a 16-year-old. 

Camera Man: Has being on your own been hard?

Imani: The way I see it, I’ve always been on my own. Always had to fend for myself. The only difference now is that I don’t have to worry about stealing or hiding food to make sure I have enough to eat.

Camera Man: *mumbles to someone off camera* My producer is telling me that you have to go to work so we need to wrap things up. Can we talk tomorrow?

Imani: Of course.

Voltron Character Study: Zarkon

[read more analyses like these here]

I promised you guys one of these shindigs ages ago so let’s do this, everyone’s favorite (??) scary space turtle warlord. Sphinx? Everybody talks about the galra being cats and no one accuses Zarkon of being a sphinx. What’s up with that, guys. 

I’m getting off topic.

Keep reading

poliearbear  asked:

This blog is incredible. Any chance you might look at the most recent redesigns Tamora Pierce's Song of Lioness series? I have Opinions on them, but they're also strongly tinged by outrage that they dared to change the design from the version I had growing up.

THANK U FRIEND. I WILL DO MY BEST

In some ways, this is a perfect follow-up post to my Earthsea tirade: another classic fantasy series that has been graced with some distinctly vintage #looks. In fact, it’s really worth going over some of the old designs before we get to the new one, so let’s explore.

FIRST UP we have some charming vintage covers! (i was too lazy to date all these so idk circa what year). These seem to have been pretty widespread, so it may be what you’re referring to re the style you grew up with, asker? Anyway, these are adorable. Do I take them seriously? Not really, the style is mad dated, but who cares. They’re super fun, and the illustrations are exciting and colorful and very specific to actual elements in the story. As a kid I would have eaten that shit up, and in the 90s, I’m sure this was the height of fantasy book design.

NEXT. (and I’m sorry they’ve been cropped on the sides, but I think we get the idea) (in case it was unclear I just rip these from google, I don’t compile all these images myself LMAO) I’m generally not a fan of ‘boxed in illustration w very simple type below/above it’: It’s boring, design-wise, though it’s also inoffensive and hard to fuck up. But the illustrations are really lovely and vivid; I love how scrappy Alanna looks and how we get a real sense of peril and drama and grit without literally making everything dark, or sapping it of its whimsy.

TIME FOR SOME TRULY HEINOUS ONES. These beauties below, where Alanna is being really chill about clearly having been set on fire and is also apparently living in a post apocalyptic wasteland, came out in 2010, aka the height of the paranormal YA romance craze.

You can’t tell at all, obviously.

Nope, no influence here. Bella Alanna looks totally normal with absurd photoshopped lighting/effects and her two brooding love interests who would never be mistaken for vampires. (fun fact, when you google image search “song of the lioness new covers” half the results are this single image, because the internet has devoted a LOT of blog space to going WTF at it over the years. but seriously, wtf is that shirt she’s wearing?)

And we have these, where they couldn’t be assed to do more than one illustration, or to…. put…. a shirt on her? even though she’s wearing a cloak? Where did the rest of her hair go? Shouldn’t we be seeing an indication of boobs, with that much of her chest exposed? It’s been a long time since I read these so correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t her Magic Necklace for contraceptive purposes? Is that the thing we want to devote an entire book cover to? Whatever its purpose, why does it look like that? At least the twilight covers still had alanna holding swords on them rather than inexplicable quasi-nudity.

Also, this is the collected edition that I read when I was like 13, and I am biased, but I think it’s the best:

it captures the bright, kitschy, vintage-illustration feeling of a lot of the old covers without actually being kitschy or vintage. It has the upbeat cool-lady-knight-on-an-fun-adventure vibe that the Twilight covers are missing. The type knows what’s up and is chilling, letting the illustration do its thing while still being integrated w it. 10/10.

There are tons of others, but I think that’s sufficient context, so let’s look at the new-new covers:

Hm.

Usually I’m pro-abstraction and anti-putting the characters on the cover, because that tends to be the obvious, unimaginative solution. However, unlike my feelings about the Earthsea books, I think making the the Lioness series appeal to children is actually a worthwhile endeavor, and to that end, I think it’s kind of a shame to lose the imagery of Alanna herself swinging swords around, which really does have a unique appeal. Especially since the first book is literally ALANNA: THE FIRST ADVENTURE. You’re being sold on the character as much as the story.

But for what we have, I…. almost like it? All the text is really well-balanced, to harken again back to the Earthsea conversion on Series Title Vs Actual Title, and the intricate framed woodwork thing with different color schemes as an overarching structure is working for me. The detailing is worth looking at up-close:

But up close we also notice my Problem which is the fact that these objects are photomanips, instead of illustrations. It might be argued that this is a matter of taste/ preference, but here, I don’t think it is; I think illustration was a real opportunity to be stylistically interesting/integrated with the rest of the cover and it was wasted on…. this subpar photograph of a horse.

Publishers seem to shy away from illustration on YA fantasy covers. I’m not sure why: we get plenty of trendy (mostly simplified or abstracted) illustration on YA contemp, Illustration has always been a major mainstay of middle grade covers, and art a la Uprooted/any Gregory Maguire book or the ADSOM series is sort of a Thing for adult fantasy right now, but YA fantasy is having a moment with typographically-driven covers, and, eternally, an ugly affair with photomanip. I can’t say for sure that the designers of these Lioness covers were “aiming YA” but…. Subpar Photograph of a Horse is making me think they are, or are at least taking cues from that genre. Anyway, that’s kind of a tangent but it is A Bummer Generally.

Of the four images, the shield is working the best and the cat is working the worst. They’re not terrible by any means, but they’re awfully generic-feeling, and lack any particular sense of depth or dynamism. Overall, this is one of those times where my critiques leave the realm of Concrete Terms and Measurable Inadequacies into something more ephemeral, but I feel like Lioness series covers, at their best, encapsulate a whimsy and a warmth that these just…. lack, even though I don’t really have any major fights to pick with the design. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Haunting of Braidwood Manor Soundtrack

Note: Some tracks are included @hollyashton’s descriptions.

1. A Chorus of Men’s Altos (x)

WARNING: Don’t play this at night unless you want to feel the real horror.

When The Haunting of Braidwood Manor was released, @hollyashton posted something about the music from the story (x). I wanted to give credits to her for posting a brief description of the music.

As the title frame loads, you’re hearing a chorus of altos (men?) which immediately sets the spooky mood. The same alto chorus plays when you enter the manor and look around. - @hollyashton‘s description.

2. Sinister Sounds (x)

WARNING: Don’t play this at night unless you want to feel the real horror.

This plays in a very terrifying situation or a suspenseful situation that gives you the chills. Alternatively:

When fire begins to appear in your room, and as you look around the haunted house, a quieter sound comes on accentuated by what sound like hushed whispers. I bet that’s just my mind playing tricks on me but it sounded like the wind or whispers. Creepy. - @hollyashton‘s description.

3. It Was Only A Bad Dream (x)

WARNING: Don’t play this at night unless you want to feel the real horror.

You woke up from your nightmares of Jonathan haunting you, your heart racing. It was only a bad dream.

4. The Music Box (x)

As you approach the house, the music becomes less daunting. It sounded like a music box to me, suggesting simpler, happier times. This same music plays when you encounter the tin soldiers. Does this suggest the innocence of the souls at Braidwood? They are mostly children after all. - @hollyashton‘s description.

5. Piano Melody of Braidwood Manor (x)

I love this soundtrack so much. It’s beautifully composed by the Pixelberry Team for this horror story and it’s quite relaxing too. By the way, this and “The Music Box” are considered as the “Normal Tone Music” in this story. They play when you’re with the children and Eleanor Waverley. Nothing spooky happens.

6. Hannah and Thomas’s Piano Duet (Snippet) (x)

This plays in Chapter 4 of The Haunting of Braidwood Manor, where you (canon name is Hannah) meets Thomas Waverley in the parlor. Thomas was seen playing a lovely melody on the piano. He hit a wrong note and you decided to join him, much to his dismay. Later, you two played the melody as a duet. Finally, you and Thomas bonded after playing the melody.

Total length: 0:04:25 (4 minutes 25 seconds)

3
"If hate is poison, then love's the cure
And it’s you that drives the demons from my door
When they got me cornered, close to giving in
I feel you round me like a second skin"

- Army of Angels // The Script

01.05.17. - 3 & 4/100 days of productivity

I missed posting yesterday, but I did work on some more pages in my journal the past two days! This page is just a compilation of doodles, titles, frames, and dates that I found across the internet and liked a lot. Hopefully I’ll find places for them in future spreads!