you have to create a hero

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CHARACTER CLAIMING IS NOW OPEN!

Please read through these instructions before attempting to claim a character, there is a lot of information here!

I would first of all like to thank everyone who has signed up! This project was a lot more popular than I was expecting, and I’m pleased to have so many people taking part. Now that character claiming is open, there are a few things you will need to know:

1) You are able to claim any mythological figure you want, as long as someone else claims that character as well. So for example, if you were a writer wanting to claim Nyx, an artist would have to claim Nyx as well in order for you to create that card. Once both a writer and an artist has claimed a character, I will message both people telling them their claim has been successful. Mythological figures include Gods/Monsters/Ancient Heroes/etc. I will not be allowing any PJO characters to be claimed, and we have decided to stick to purely Greek mythology for this deck. If you are unsure whether your character is eligible to be claimed, please ask. We have provided a list of characters we’d like to see claimed, though it’s not mandatory that you stick to this list as long as your selection complies with the rules above. The list will also show which characters have already been claimed so please check it before you send your ask.

THE CHARACTER LIST CAN BE FOUND HERE

2) A set of instructions for the game can be found right here, and includes information writers will need in order the create their card. Please note, statistics created by writers will need to be checked against other cards submitted. For example, it would not make sense for Apollo to have more attack power than Zeus. If you have any questions about the game play instructions, or how to incorporate the rules into your card, please ask!

3) A complete list of blogs signed up to the event can be found here for those having trouble accessing the link on the blog!

4) Information about submitting your card will be provided at a later date, however we have included a template showing how the cards will look below the “read more”. Neither artist or writer is expected to submit their work in the format of the template as I will be constructing the cards once both artist and writer have submitted. Art will be submitted as a regular JPEG/PNG image, and writers will be able to submit their work on a regular document. If you have any questions about specifications, please ask!

TO CLAIM YOU CHARACTER PLEASE SEND AN ASK WITH THE NAME OF THE CHARACTER YOU WOULD LIKE TO CLAIM AND THE URL YOU SIGNED UP WITH

If you have any questions at all about the project, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Keep reading

The 10 Elements of a MAIN CHARACTER

To all the writers who have ever been told “Your characters have to be three dimensional!” or “They should be well-rounded!” and just felt like saying: “What does that even MEAN?! What goes into a 3-dimensional character? Specifically? And how do you go about creating one?!”

Good news. There’s a way. 

Great main characters – heroes, protagonists, deuteragonist, whatever you want to call them – have ten things in common. Ten things that are easily developed, once you know what to create within your character. So no one will ever be able to tell you “needs to be more three dimensional!” ever again. Ha. 

1) Weaknesses: Main characters should be flawed, but I’m not saying this because it will make them more realistic (though it will) – I’m saying they need to be flawed because if they’re not, they shouldn’t be a main character. Story is another word for change, or more accurately, character growth. Not character as in “fictional person”, character meaning “heart and soul”. Story is someone’s character changing, for better or worse. Main characters at the beginning of the story are lacking something vital, some knowledge of themselves, some knowledge of how to live a better life, and this void is ruining their lives. They must overcome these weaknesses, if they’re going to become complete, and reach a happy ending. There are two types of weaknesses: Psychological and Moral. Psychological ones only hurt the main character. Moral ones cause the main character to hurt other people. Easy.  

2) Goal: Characters exist because they want something. Desiring something, and the fight against opposition for that desire, is the lifeblood of story; and because character is story, it’s also desire that can breathe life into words on a page, and begin the process of creating a real person in a reader’s mind. It’s this ‘desire for something’ that sparks that first connection between reader and character. It makes us think “Well, now I have to find out if this person gets what they want.” This is a powerful link. (How many mediocre movies do we suffer through, when we could easily stop watching, because we’re still trapped by that question of “what happens?”) So if this is powerful enough to keep people watching an annoying movie, imagine how powerful it can be in an excellent story. 

Like in Up, the goal is to get the house to Paradise Falls.

3) Want: If the main character wants something, they want it for a darn good reason. Usually, they think that attaining the goal will fill the void they can sense in their lives, the deficiency they can feel, but don’t know how to fix. And they’re almost always wrong. Getting the goal doesn’t help anything; which is why, while pursuing that goal, they discover a deeper need that will heal them. Which brings us to …

4) Need/Elixir: Main characters are missing something, a weakness in their innermost selves is causing them to live a less-than-wonderful life. Through story, these main characters can be healed. Once they discover what’s missing, and accept it, and change the way they live to include this truth they’ve uncovered … they’re healed. Learning this truth, whatever it is, forms the purpose of the story for the main character. The reader, and the character, think the story is about achieving that big tangible goal the premise talks about; really, underneath it all, the story is about someone achieving a big intangible truth, that will ultimately save their life and future. Often, this need is exactly what the character fears or professes to hate. 

Like Finding Nemo, where Dory states exactly what Marlin needs to learn. 

5) Ghosts: 

Not this kind of ghosts.

Ghosts are events in your character’s past which mark the source of their weaknesses and strengths. Because these happened, the character became who they are. All we need to know about backstory are these moments, because who the character became is all we care about. There’s really only one ghost you absolutely need: the source of their moral and psychological weakness. Something happened that knocked the character’s world off kilter, and everything from that moment onward has been tainted by what happened. This moment haunts them (hence the name), and holds them back from uncovering that need that will heal their weaknesses. Pixar are masters of this: the source of Carl being stuck in the past, curmudgeonly, unable of loving anyone new? Ellie dying; his ghost. In Finding Nemo, the source of Marlin being suffocating, protective to the point of being harmful, possessive, and fearful? His wife and 99% of his children being eaten in front of him; his ghost. 

6) True Character: These are the strengths, values, convictions, fears, faults, beliefs, worldview, and outlook on life that make the main character who they truly are. 

7) Characterization: This is everything on the surface of a main character. The way they look, talk, act, etc. All of this originates from those deeper elements of their being, the strengths, values, ghosts, weaknesses, needs, that make them who they truly are. So often, you can think of this as a facade they’re projecting, a way to shield the the truth about themselves, how they wish to be perceived. The story, and the other characters, are slowly going to see deeper than this characterization, revealing more and more of the reasons it is the way it is. 

8) Arc: If the character is going to change from “Incomplete Person” to “Complete Person” there’s going to be a journey they go on to make that possible. The external story, the pursuit of that big tangible goal the premise is about, is causing an inner journey to take place. What they have to do in pursuit of that external goal will apply pressure to those weaknesses, and pressure causes change. This process has seven steps, but if I write it all here this post is going to be obscenely long. So I might wait and give this its own post.

9) Changed Person: Who is the character going to be at the end of this story? They better be different, or else the story didn’t work. How do they show how different they’ve become? What is the moral choice they make, that spins their trajectory from “the future doesn’t look so great” to “happily ever after”? This should be known right away, maybe even before anything else is settled about the character. This gives a distinct end goal, a way to work backwards, a destination in mind that you can navigate towards.  

10) Fascination and Illumination: The surface characterization, and the brief glimpses of the true character underneath create curiosity in the reader/audience. What the character says, and the implied subtext beneath the dialogue, creates a puzzle the audience wants to solve. Actions they take work the same way; if the writer indicates there’s deeper motivation behind why a character behaves in the way they do, we buy into solving that mystery right away. We can’t help it. “Who are you really? Why are you the way you are? And how is that going to effect the story?” These are all the unspoken, almost not consciously acknowledged, questions that fascinating characters provoke. Searching out meaning, connecting the dots to find the truth – we can’t resist this. We’re not fascinated by tons of backstory and exposition about a character; we’re fascinated by story, by mystery, by the technique of withholding information and having to interpret and hunt out the truth on our own.  So gradually, the story and the characters will force that character to reveal a little more, and a little more, until we have a complete picture of who this person is. Crucial that this information isn’t told up front. Gradually illuminate it. It’s just like getting to know a real person. 

So how does this work in a real character? Let’s take a look at Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert, because almost everybody has seen that movie. 

Moral Weaknesses: He’s selfish. He’s a little greedy. He’s a little rude. He uses his charisma and bravado to keep people at a distance from the real him. 

Psychological Weaknesses: Insecurity, fear of vulnerability, feels like the real him (Eugene) would be unwanted, unlovable, and have nothing – just like when he was an orphaned kid. Also, he doesn’t know who he wants to be, what he wants to live for. 

Goal: Flynn wants to get that crown. So he has to get Blondie to see the floating lights, so she’ll give it back to him, and then they can part ways as unlikely friends.  

Want: Why does he want the crown? What does it mean for him? He actually states it (reluctantly) in song: “I have dreams like you, no really. Just much less touchy feely. They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny. On an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone. Surrounded by enormous piles of money.” He senses there’s something off in his life, something is missing. But he mistakenly believes this missing piece is money, which will allow him to buy a lonely island, where he can live out his days as Flynn and no one will ever know Eugene. 

Need: “All those days chasing down a daydream. All those years living in a blur. All that time never truly seeing, things the way they were. Now she’s here, shining in the starlight. Now she’s here, suddenly I know. If she’s here, it’s crystal clear, I’m where I’m meant to go.” He wants a crown … he needs to fall in love with Rapunzel. He needs to love something more than himself, and find out that love isn’t something to fear and push away. He needs to abandon the 'Tales of Flynnagin Rider’ ambition, and get a more worthwhile, new dream. 

Ghost: The source of all of his weaknesses can be linked to his “little bit of a downer” childhood as an orphan. Interestingly, he isn’t aware of another facet of that ghost, and Rapunzel points it out to him. “Was he a thief too?” she asks. He looks taken aback, before answering “Uh, no.” Something’s gone wrong. The choices he’s making are not living up to that original role model.  

Characterization: Flynn’s charming, funny, smart, charismatic, and arrogant (in a somehow charming sort of way). He’s also rude, contemptuous, and sarcastic. All traits that help him keep up that 'swashbuckling rogue’ facade, and push people away from the real him. 

True Character: Underneath all that, he’s a Disney prince. That pretty much sums it up.  

Changed Person: “Started going by Eugene again, stopped thieving, and basically turned it all around.” He started the story as the guarded and evasive Flynn, he ends as the selfless and thoroughly-in-love Eugene. 

Fascination and Illumination: Imagine if everything about Flynn had been told, right up front. We know he’s an orphan, we know he’s upheld a fake reputation, we know he’s a kind and loving guy underneath it all, we even know about his “tales of Flynnagin” childhood dream. You know what happens? We like him … but we’re not interested in him. There’s nothing we need to find out. There’s no curiosity. And if there’s no curiosity, and nothing being illuminated, your story’s not going anywhere. So instead, we find out – alongside Rapunzel – more about Flynn as the story progresses. And that is how it should be. 

So!

Developing characters in this way, I’ve found, really reduces worries about how “well-rounded” and three dimensional I’ve made them. They feel real to me. And besides helping me create characters, this ten element technique has also let me analyze characters I like, which is strangely fun. It’s a great way to figure out why a character works, what causes them to be so effective, and how you can go about creating them yourself. 

Yeah, I’m a bit of a nerd. 

But if you want, try it out. Develop a character. Analyze a character. You might find it as useful/fun as I do.

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GIVE IT UP FOR 3000+ FOLLOWERS!!

Thank you so much for the support! I’m honestly happy that this many people are interested in this blog! Running it has been a fun ride from the very beginning, and I don’t see it ending anytime soon. Also, I reached a moment right now in which I feel like I’m breaking through with my art style and process, and getting closer to what I want to do – so all the more reason to celebrate!!

- Mod

Update: now with a canon!Katsuki edit (x)

Reasons to watch the LEGO Batman Movie
  • It’s so meta. Batman narrates through the opening logos and they show clips from the other adaptations of Batman and talk about how Joker and Batman have been fighting for 78 years. My personal favorite is when Alfred calls Batman out for all the Brooding™ he’s done since 1966.
  • It’s freaking hilarious. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the funniest movie I’ve seen in years. The jokes always hit the mark and even just how the characters act are enough to get huge laughs.
  • The characters. Batman is of course amazing but there’s also Robin who’s a literal ray of sunshine, Alfred who is the coolest butler ever and so much more, one of the best adaptations of Joker, and Barbara Gordon who is such a competent leader and fighter and so amazing in general.
  • Batman’s and Joker’s relationship. Having Joker portrayed as wanting validation from Batman that he is his greatest enemy but Batman not reciprocating those feelings creates one of the funniest, most amazing hero-villian dynamics ever to be put to film. 
  • It’s actually emotional. Amongst all the hilarity and action scenes the movie does take time to address the concepts of loneliness, confronting one’s fears, if you are really a good person or not (or if you’re in between), and the nature of family. It gives so much depth to Batman that is hardly seen in other adaptations and that’s what makes it so great. 
The 9 Elements of a VILLAIN

If we’re being honest, one character is always the most fun to develop when you’re writing a new story. It must be the main character, right? The person you’re going to follow throughout the story, the one that means the most to you?

Nope. It’s the villain.

Villains are just FUN. You get to creep into the darkest corners of your writer brain and conjure up the most unashamedly detestable human being you possibly can. 

This is how we look when we begin creating a villain. 

But sometimes, it can be difficult to to make sure they’re fully believable humans. So here are the nine elements that have helped me out when developing these terrible people … 

1) Hero’s Shadow:

The relationship between the main character and the villain is the most important one in the story, because it is the source of all conflict. Without the villain causing trouble, the main character wouldn’t have the chance to be a hero. Without that trouble, the main character’s weaknesses wouldn’t be pressured, which means they couldn’t change. The villain is a condensed and magnified embodiment of the inner weakness that the hero is battling. They’re the SHADOW of hero, the example of what will happen if the main character goes down the wrong path. Both are facing the same problem in different ways. For example Darth Vader and Luke.  

2) Conflict Strategy:  

In the pursuit of stopping the hero from achieving their goal, the villain is going to attack them on 1) a personal relationship level 2) a societal level and 3) an inner level. They’re going to attack the people around them, they’re going to cause consequences for the community surrounding them, they’re going to get into their head and plague them. Because the hallmark of a villain is that they’re the person who’s perfectly suited to attack the hero’s greatest weakness. Villains should have a distinct set of tactics to destroy the main character, on at least two levels. 

3) Flaws: 

This one’s expected. Of course a villain has flaws, it’s in the job description. But flaws do not equate to ‘He kicks turtles every morning before breakfast’ or 'His favorite hobby is butterfly stomping’ or, more within the realm of possibility, “He wants to kill the hero”. These are evil actions, NOT flaws. A lot of villains, particularly in movies, will be given horrible things to do without any explanation for WHY they do them. And it’s pretty easy to give them reasons: just give them human weaknesses! That’s it. Whether the actions they take are as small as theft or as big as blowing up a planet, these actions stem from recognizable HUMAN FLAWS. So like a main character, a villain needs mental and moral flaws.  

Yup, even Maleficent has human flaws. And she’s a dragon part of the time. 

4) Counter Goal: 

All characters exist because they want something. And what do villains want? To get whatever the main character wants (for very different reasons), to stop them from reaching their goal, or another goal that directly conflicts with the hero’s goal. As long as that big tangible thing they want locks hero and villain in battle, you’re good. Think 101 Dalmatians: Cruella and the good guys are fighting over the puppies.  

5) Surface Motivations:  

Why is it that villains always have a team of followers? Because villains never outright state their true motivations. They always have a cover story, and that cover will paint them as righteous. Villains want to look like the good guy. So their real Hidden Motivations are defended by twisting perceptions of Good & Evil, by portraying evil acts in a positive light, by indulging their followers selfish emotions and desire to feel like “one of the good guys. " 

Take Gothel for example: she’s a loving mother who wants to protect her daughter from all the world’s darkness. (Sure you do, Flynn stabber.)  

Surface Motivations never stand up to logical scrutiny and a functioning moral compass, but giving your bad guy a compelling argument against your good side always makes things more interesting, which brings us to …

6) Counter Statement:

The main character needs to learn some kind of truth that will enable them to fix their lives, overcome their weaknesses, banish their ghosts. It’s whatever statement about "how to live a better life” you want to prove with your story. Your villain has other ideas. They don’t agree with that statement, have other beliefs about living life well, and represent an argument against it. For example, Voldemort: “there is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it." 

Although your argument isn’t very convincing, Voldy. I mean, you’re living in the back of some guy’s head.

7) Characterization: 

This is everything on the surface of the villain. The way they speak, the way they look, the way they act, their role in life, their status and power. This is the facade they project for the world to see, a calculated effort to control how they are perceived. This is closely connected to that surface want, because that surface is what they wish people to believe about them. Over time, the reader and the other characters are going to be able to see through this mask and see what it conceals. My favorite Disney example of this is Mother Gothel: on the surface she’s this bubbly mom who loves Rapunzel and wants to protect her from the harshness of the world. 

You can think of this as the text … 

8) Hidden Motivation: 

And this is the subtext. That surface motivation they want the world to believe is a mask concealing their true motivation, which is always rooted in their flaws,  selfishness, and skewed beliefs. 

9) Ghosts, Justification, Self-Obsession: 

These three are closely related, so they get counted together.
Like main characters, villains have GHOSTS: events from their backstories that knocked their worldviews out of alignment, that marked the beginning of their weaknesses, that haunt them still. Because these happened, the originally benign person allowed themselves to turn into someone who could occupy the job of "villain” in a story. Usually, these events are genuine misfortunes and are worthy of sympathy, just like the ghosts of a main character. Think of Voldemort growing up in an orphanage talking to snakes.

BUT! When it comes to ghosts, the major difference between a hero and a villain is HOW THEY DEAL with these unpleasant past events. Both have suffered, but react to suffering in very different ways. A villain will be consumed by these events, obsessed with the real (or imagined) persecution or disadvantage they’ve endured, convinced that all personal responsibility is nullified by their status of injured party. Past tragedies become a talisman that grants immunity from decency. 

This scene from A Series of Unfortunate Events sums it up.  An adult makes an excuse for a terrible person by saying he had a terrible childhood. And Klaus replies: 

Yes, maybe they’ve both lived through tragedy. But THE KIDS aren’t hurting others because of it. 

Because villains, who are constantly victimizing heroes, are completely convinced that THEY are the true victims here. No matter what they do, no matter what they are, they blame everything on that ghost, whether it was another person, society, or circumstances. And later they blame the hero, who they see as the REAL villain. For example, Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame:  

“It’s not my fault, I’m not to blame”

So! WHY are villains like this?

SELF-OBSESSION! Yup, villains spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about themselves and their plights and their plots. Think of any villain and it’s not hard to see the inherent narcissism behind everything they do. Like willingness to take action is the nonnegotiable trait of a main character, self-obsession is the trait that all villains seem to share. 

So! Developing villains in this way has worked out for me so far. If it looks like it might be helpful for you, give it a try.

And in the spirit of creating someone to torment our main characters and ruin their lives, here’s one more maniacal laugh for the road:

masterofenthropy  asked:

Hi HeyWriters! I was wondering: do you have a tip to create a weak point on main characters? I´m making a story, but I´m having trouble since my main character is TOO overpowered. Could you help me with this?

(All of this is written under the assumption your character has superpowers or “special” abilities, so forgive me if you meant a different kind of power.)

I created a character concept when I was twelve. She had all the superpowers of my favorite heroes and then some. As time wore on she gained more and more until eventually my adolescent brain invented logic and realized she was actually ridiculous. Here’s how I depowered this character, who’s name is Ace, without completely ruining her coolness.

Step One:

Don’t be greedy. Any ability that does not contribute to the story needs to go. It’s taking up space that could be filled with credibility. I decided early on that Ace didn’t need most of her abilities, and by the end of the story she only relies on a few to get the job done. Also, if a character can do more than one thing that are all basically the same thing some of those should probably go (invisibility and camouflage, superspeed and teleportation, etc.). 

Step Two:

Apply real-world science. If you try to make your depiction realistic, you’ll want to have an idea of how these abilities might work and how they might not. Of course, you should suspend disbelief for some things if they’re truly essential to your character, but others can be adapted. For Ace there are some powers that only work under the right circumstances, and others that her body rejects or that give her physical pain when she uses them. Most importantly, special strengths come with special weaknesses. Sensitive hearing means loud noises are more jarring or harmful, regeneration means metabolism speeds up and the person needs to eat as much as a body builder. Any superpower you pick out will have a drawback, I guarantee it; if not a physical one then a social one (I’ll get to that).

This scene from The Incredibles is an excellent demonstration of superpower drawbacks.

Step Three: 

Consider how the character feels about all this power and why they obtained it in the first place. Ace was not born with abilities, but over time she chose certain powers for the purpose of defending herself or others. Some of her powers fade away when she stops using them, like any skill you fail to practice, and some abilities she just plain old refuses to use for personal reasons. Some are too difficult or time-consuming for her to master, and some even trigger memories of her traumatic past thus she discards them. This way she has a choice in the matter and her choice is not to bite off more than she can chew or what she doesn’t want in the first place. 

Step Four:

How do other characters feel about all this power? Perhaps some or all of your character’s powers intimidate, frighten, or anger others in the story. One of Ace’s friends dislikes how unstoppable she is, and others are taken aback by some of the things she can do or how she looks when she does them. On the whole, she hides what she can do or picks small things to do instead of big things, downplaying her own power when necessary. How your supporting characters react to the force of nature that is your MC is the most important aspect of her power.

Here’s an example from the X-Men of how other characters might react. 

For additional opinions and advice, read this https://mythcreants.com/blog/five-characters-that-are-too-powerful/ and take to heart its ending line: “There’s only one fix that avoids all the pitfalls of overpowered heroes: refrain from making them really powerful in the first place.”

Yes, Ace is a flawed concept and all the advice I just gave is only a patch kit for that flaw. However, overpowered characters continue to excite readers and viewers alike, so I would never suggest we dispense with them altogether. Just, when you’re getting a headache from how overwhelming your character is, it’s good to consider dialling it all back and focusing on the power of their personality instead.

—————————————————-

Super apologize for taking so long to respond, and thanks for asking in the first place.

things i love about my hero academia

(not all of them because then this would turn into a 500 page journal that could be published and sold and no one would buy it because no one is as much of a nerd as i am)

  • our main protagonist is not a traditionally masculine hero. he’s small, he’s weak, he’s a crybaby, he’s sensitive. especially in the shounen genre, this is a pretty rare thing to see, and even as Izuku grows as a person and becomes more confident in himself, he’s still shy and anxious.
  • he’s also a fanboy!! and not in a bad way!! it’s his fanboy nature that allows him to express himself and show how smart, intuitive, and observant he is
  • the character who does get all the traditionally masculine traits is the character everyone in the main cast acknowledges is a total asshole who mercilessly bullied and abused his classmate/childhood playmate
  • it’s also very clearly seen that Izuku has been conditioned (unintentionally) to fear Bakugou because of all of that physical and emotional abuse. just because he’s a hero in training and he’s learning and growing and becoming more confident doesn’t erase all of those years of bullying
  • it’s also acknowledged that they are children and still have room to grow. Bakugou is an asshole, but he’s not totally villainized for his behavior and is given the chance to change and become a better person because he’s only sixteen years old and still has time to change
  • and he does!! he makes an effort to change and try to adjust his behavior to make a more positive impact (even if it is a slow and arduous process, we do see him make great strides throughout the manga)
  • it would have been really easy to just throw Bakugou under the bus and make him a villain, but instead we get to see his growth as a person as he matures and enters the world of adulthood
  • All Might is the no. 1 hero, the Symbol of Peace, the man everyone thinks is invincible, and he has a chronic condition. he’s missing his stomach, he’s had multiple surgeries, he spits up blood, he literally looks like a skeleton, guys. but even after the reveal, people still admire and look up to him as an idol because he’s still All Might and he still protected and saved a lot of lives and was still a hero
  • All Might’s relationship with Izuku just in general. seriously, i could make an entirely different list just based on their relationship and 95% of the fandom has already talked about them, so i won’t gush about their relationship too much here
  • the fact that most of the adults take responsibility when they fuck up. the police force realize they’ve relied too heavily on heroes, specifically All Might, and they make an effort to change that so they can help people. the teachers at UA recognize that they’ve neglected students who need psychological help. Izuku’s mom acknowledges that she should have encouraged his dream in spite of his quirklessness. most stories, even in the west, don’t have nearly as much adult responsibility as this series does
  • the elusive living anime mom
  • okay but seriously, Inko is quite possibly one of the best fictional moms i’ve seen in a long time. she’s loving and encouraging and she tries her hardest, but she’s not perfect. she’s a single mom caring for her son, who wants to go into this incredibly dangerous profession. and when he gets hurt enough times, when her limit is finally met, she puts her foot down and says “no. i love you, but i can’t let you keep getting hurt like this.” like any reasonable parent would. and the only way she relents is when she sees how much Toshinori wants to teach him and nurture him and encourage him and see his dream recognized and she sees how badly Izuku wants to continue down this path, even if it’s under her terms.
  • this series seriously tackles a lot of topics that you wouldn’t expect it to. you know you’re gonna get the usual topics like what makes a hero, what makes a villain, etc. but, it also goes over other subjects like bullying, parental abuse, discrimination, grief, inferiority complexes, how easy it is to create a monster, redemption. this is a manga about teenagers learning to be super heroes, how did it turn out like this
  • it would have been so easy to sexualize any of the girls. this manga, in the hands of a lesser author, would have featured a lot of fan service shots of the girls. Momo especially, considering she wears a very revealing outfit. and yet, none of them are sexualized?? in any way shape or form??? yeah, we see Momo shirtless a lot and some girls wear skin tight outfits. but, you know who else has skin tight outfits and revealing hero costumes? the boys. and when we do see a shirtless girl or boy, it’s not framed in a way where we’re meant to be objectifying their body. there’s a reason why it happened and we move on. it’s so refreshing.
  • (there are only two fan service female characters. one uses her sexuality to get free shit and the other is meant to make you uncomfortable. take it what you will)
  • we get a lot of unique designs for each of the characters. there are no same faces. each character has a unique quirk and a design that belongs to them. they aren’t interchangeable with one another. Izuku looks like Izuku. All Might looks like All Might. they all look unique with different shapes and sizes
  • (admittedly the manga still kind of falls under the trap of the boys get to have weird, strange designs and the girls all kind of look cute, but it’s not nearly as bad as some other shows. and honestly, if that’s my only complaint, that says a lot)
  • fighting doesn’t solve everything! there’s a really incredible few chapters in the manga dedicated to acknowledging that Izuku and Bakugou seriously need to talk to each other about what Bakugou did to him. they’re both incredible people in their own right and they can learn a lot from each other, but only if they stop fighting and actually communicate with each other. one of the chapters is literally titled “a meaningless fight”. because it is meaningless. it’s not going to solve their problems, fix past mistakes, or make them feel better. it’s a fight to get aggression out because Bakugou doesn’t know any other way to deal with his emotions and trauma.
  • kindness is rewarded!!! cruelty is not!!! i’m really sick and tired of TV shows and movies trying to sell this pessimistic outlook that everything sucks and that gives us the right to be assholes to each other just because it’s edgy. My Hero Academia is such a positive manga and it brings me so much joy and happiness and it sends such a wonderful message of anyone can be a hero if you have a good heart and that kindness will be rewarded, even if it takes a really long time.

i love this manga so much and it’s given me so much light and happiness in my life and if that makes me weird because it’s anime, then fine. whatever. i don’t care. i’ll love it for as long as i can, dammit.

50 book asks
  • the adventures of huckleberry finn: do you think kids or their parents are responsible for their beliefs?
  • the alchemist: what are your current plans for the future? will you be upset if they don't work out?
  • alice's adventures in wonderland: how do you react to absurd situations?
  • and then there were none: do you think murderers deserve to die?
  • artemis fowl: how much do you depend on technology?
  • beowulf: is it always worthwhile to hear both sides of an argument?
  • the canterbury tales: if someone is hypocritical, do you point it out?
  • cat's cradle: do you think it's better to believe a lie than to live with an unpleasant truth?
  • charlotte's web: what's your favorite art form?
  • coraline: if you could change your family, what would you change?
  • the crucible: how heavily do you depend on others when forming opinions?
  • fahrenheit 451: do you think there's any knowledge that should be kept secret?
  • the fault in our stars: if you could have one conversation before you died, who would you talk to and what would you say?
  • flowers for algernon: how much potential do you think you have?
  • frankenstein: is it wise for humans to attempt to create life?
  • the giver: talk about a favorite memory
  • the great gatsby: what would you sacrifice for money?
  • harry potter: if you could bring someone back from the dead, would you? if so, who would it be?
  • the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy: what do you think is the meaning of life?
  • the hobbit: do you think the average person has the potential to be a hero?
  • holes: if someone poor stole from someone rich, who would you sympathize with?
  • howl's moving castle: how quickly do you form opinions about other people?
  • the hunger games: would you kill someone if they planned to kill you?
  • identical: how clear is your perception of reality?
  • the importance of being earnest: are you flattered or annoyed by gentlemanly behavior?
  • inferno: do you think you belong in hell? why or why not?
  • jonathan livingston seagull: is perfection a good goal?
  • the joy luck club: describe your family
  • jurassic park: do you think it's wrong to use animals as attractions and accessories?
  • the kite runner: if you could, what social issue would you spread awareness about?
  • les misérables: do you think people should revolt if the government is corrupt?
  • life of pi: if you were stranded, would you be able to take care of yourself?
  • the lightning thief: what would you be the god/goddess of?
  • the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe: if you could start a new life in a new world, would you?
  • lord of the flies: what motivates you best?
  • lord of the rings: is it important to work for the greater good of the world?
  • of mice and men: would you kill your closest friend to save them from a worse fate?
  • the perks of being a wallflower: does listening to other people's problems help you or weigh you down?
  • the phantom of the opera: how much do you judge others on physical appearance?
  • pride and prejudice: are you romantic?
  • the princess bride: what's your best feature?
  • a raisin in the sun: what is your most important possession?
  • romeo and juliet: have you ever done anything ridiculous for love? what?
  • stargirl: do you value uniqueness?
  • the taming of the shrew: would you be willing to be in a relationship with someone who is very dominant?
  • the tell-tale heart: is there anything you feel guilty about right now? what?
  • to kill a mockingbird: do you believe something has value simply because it's beautiful?
  • twilight: how consistent are your feelings about people close to you?
  • watership down: do you think your right to life is any greater than an animal's?
  • the westing game: if you died now, what would you want to happen to your possessions?
DOOMFIST abilities

with all these caracters creating shields 

  1. Symmetra
  2. Reinhardt
  3. Winston
  4. Orisa

Or absorbing the damage

  1. Zarya
  2. D.va

What if DOOMFIST job..is to freaking shatter them ?!

’’Oh that’s nice shields you have there, would be a shame if someone would break them !! ’’

Cause as much i love protections as a Mercy players…kind of ridiculous how many shield generator Heroes is out there…

Cause so far only Sombra can destroy that many in a small amount of time with Ult. but the hate surrounding her is still huge !

Stereotyped vs Nuanced Characters and Audience Perception

Writing with color receives many questions regarding the stereotypes Characters of Color and their story lines may possess.

There’s a difference between having a three-dimensional character with trait variance and flaws, versus one who walks the footsteps of a role people of their race/ethnicity are constantly put into. Let’s discuss this, as well as how sometimes, while there’s not much issue with the character, a biased audience will not allow the character to be dimensional.

But first: it’s crucial to consider the thinking behind your literary decisions.

Trace your Logic 

When it comes to the roles and traits you assign your characters, it’s important to ask yourself why you made them the way they are. This is especially true for your marginalized characters.

So you need an intimidating, scary character. What does intimidating look like on first brainstorm? Is it a Black man, large in size or presence? (aka a Scary Black Man) A Latino with trouble with the law? If so, why?

Really dig, even as it gets uncomfortable. You’ll likely find you’re conditioned to think of certain people in certain roles on the spot.

It’s a vicious cycle; we see a group of people represented a certain way in media, and in our own works depict them in the way we know. Whether you consciously believe it’s the truest depiction of them all or not, we’re conditioned to select them for these roles again and again. Actors of Color report on being told in auditions they’re not performing stereotypical enough and have been encouraged to act more “ethnic.” 

This ugly merry-go-round scarcely applies to (cis, straight) white people as they are allowed a multitude of roles in media. Well, then again, I do notice a funny trend of using white characters when stories need a leader, a hero, royalty, a love interest…

Today’s the day to break free from this preconditioned role-assigning.

Keep reading

Creating a Character Arc for D&D

So I saw someone ask a question that I myself have asked before. I have seen the problem take place all the time with no one really knowing what the problem is and whether or how to fix it. That question was:

How do I make a character that I won’t get bored with?

I have often seen people make characters that seem really cool and badass and have plenty of backstory and are incomparably unique. Yet, they will get bored of it after a session or two and want to kill off their special character to make a new one. This will go on with people making new characters and never getting attached to one. The solution to the problem is complex with many intricacies, but the main focus of the problem for many people, I think, is that their character has no story.

Creating a Character with a Story

A story, when referring to a character, is how that character changes over time; their character arc. D&D 5e tries to solve this by forcing players to choose aspects of their character background including their character’s traits, flaws, ideals, and bonds. This is all well and dandy, but this alone won’t define a character arc. To create a character arc, figure out how you want your character’s story to begin and how it should end using those four background characteristics.

Traits: A character’s traits could change over time. They don’t have to, but it can create an interesting character. Traits make a character who they are, and in an RPG it is often a reflection of the player. So while traits can change, I would probably suggest to change a flaw, ideal, or bond before a trait.

  • A trait could become more specific, like from “angry” to “vengeful” once they understand why they are angry. Think of the trait as evolving.
  • A trait could disappear or be replaced after some moral turning point, like a callous character becoming guilt-ridden or even benevolent after they see the sort of pain they have caused firsthand.
  • A trait can become reinforced or strengthened based on their decisions. An antihero’s traits would likely follow this route. “Do you see what happens when you trust people? They betray you!”

Flaws: A flawed character is a great character, but a character arc involves a person being confronted by their flaws. Their flaws directly oppose their goal. When faced by their flaws, they either choose to suffer their flaw or overcome it. This is why sequels are usually terrible. A character that heroically overcame its flaw in the first movie is now un-flawed. Be aware of this in an RPG. The character should always have a flaw, even after overcoming a flaw. The only time they should ever NOT be flawed is at the very end of a campaign, facing off against the main antagonist, using all they have learned on their heroic journey.

  • A flaw could be worsened. Usually a good early option in a character’s arc, as things seem bleaker and bleaker for your character until they manage to overcome the flaw later in the game’s story.
  • A flaw could evolve or become more specific, much like a trait.
  • A flaw can disappear or be replaced, especially later in the story once it has been challenged by the game’s story.

Ideals: A character’s ideal is what they believe in. Maybe it’s a religion, moral code, or instinct. A character’s ideal is a great concept that can change in a game. This is where you see tragic falls from hero to villain or redemption arcs from villain to hero. In an RPG, a good player will have strong ideals and a good GM will recognize those ideals and challenge them. This is the moral quandary, and it’s the player’s job to identify it and make a choice that will affect their character forever. Changing an ideal should always be some sort of turning point in a story.

Bonds: A character’s bonds in D&D 5e are their ties to the in-game world. It’s a fabulous definition because it’s sort of like asking “why are you playing this character?” right to your face. If your character has a family, then your character probably cares for them. Or not. If your character had a mentor, you are probably on a sort of hero’s journey from nobody to somebody. If you have no ties to any person in the game world then you are (or should be) finding a reason to belong, maybe a team of other heroes, perhaps? Your bond can affect how your ideals, flaws, and traits change, and they can change your bonds, in turn. Your character makes new memories, meets new people, and experiences new things all the time.


Update all of these things at the end of every session. Whether or not they ended up changing that day, making a habit of checking each session will keep you invested in your character and help to create a character arc. In addition, know where your character begins their arc and how it will end. Talk with the DM about your plans, and they should add some moral and character quandaries to test your character’s… character!

Examples of Character Arcs

Coming of Age: The character begins the game morally or psychologically immature or inexperienced. They grow into a more mature and experienced character by the end of the campaign. A ridiculously blunt way to put it is going from an angsty teen to a true hero. Such an angsty teen could be either a rebellious murder hobo or a distant brooding loner that when a turning point happens, they grow a moral backbone and answer the call to action. Look at Spirited Away, Dead Poets Society, or The Karate Kid.

Redemption: The character begins as a legit villain with evil intentions but finds a reason to change their ways after a turning point. Maybe they find a moral line they won’t cross and then start to wonder if what they have been doing all along is right. The character is not truly redeemed until other players and other people see them as a changed person, which should finally happen at the end of the campaign. Look at Wikus in District 9, Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List, or Prince Zuko from Avatar, the Last Airbender.

Disillusionment: The character believes in one thing at the beginning of the campaign but slowly discovers that what they believe in is morally wrong, utterly pointless, or a flat-out lie. They may go back and forth between believes a few times before making a transition, or they might be in denial. But by the end of the campaign they have realized the true path. Look at movies like Office Space, The Truman Show, Conspiracy Theory, or Fight Club.

Tragic Fall: The character follows the hero’s journey only to make the wrong choice at every turning point. Their morality comes into question, and they just don’t have it in them to change or become a hero, usually thanks to a “fatal flaw.” At the end of the campaign, this character should either retire, die, or be killed by their flaw to be a true tragedy. Look at Hamlet, Tom Powers in The Public Enemy, and McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Corruption: Unlike the tragic fall, this character is not destined to die. They are destined to become a villain. Rather than refuse a call to action, they have moral quandaries which they make the right choice at first, but then they start to question their choices. They start to think evil is easier or better than good. Then they start making the wrong choices and eventually join or become the villain they were trying to stop in the first place. Look at Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, Michael Corleone in The Godfather, or Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight.

Cynic to Participant: This character is a loner and cynic and is miserable because of it. They eventually realize that they cannot accomplish what they set out to do without help. They become less selfish and more cooperative with the rest of the adventuring party. Look at The Incredibles, every buddy cop movie where the buddies don’t get along, and every Batman team-up ever.


These are the more common character arcs, but there are plenty of different changes that your character can go through to grow, change, or fall over the course of a D&D campaign. Again, talk with your DM about where you are starting and where you want to end up. That way they can insert those pivotal turning points and put pressure on your flaws and ideals!

“The Chosen One” aspect is really interesting in the pjo series. 

Like we all know that Percy’s going to be the one of the prophecy, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. Already ignoring the fact that he’s the narrator, there are literally huge cosmic, higher power signs pointing to Percy throughout the series, enforcing the idea that Percy is the hero of the great prophecy and his role to either save or destroy the world was predetermined years before he was even born.

But in the Titan’s Curse, two extremely interesting things occur: First, three other children of the Big Three become involved into the storyline. And as they are all under sixteen, that definitely throws the off the certainty of Percy being the hero of the Prophecy. Second, and more importantly, after Bianca’s death and Thalia’s newly immortal state, Percy makes the decision to be the hero of the prophecy. Percy chooses to be the Chosen One.

That in itself creates such an interesting and conflicting concept: Percy is obviously the One of the prophecy, but his decision implies that he had a choice in the matter. Perhaps, if he had never come to that resolution, that is one of the many ways he would have razed Olympus. 

Or maybe, in order to be the chosen one, you have to choose yourself. It’s interesting to think what would have happened if Thalia never accepted immortality or if Bianca hadn’t died.

Also, I’m not sure how much this has been discussed but that is such a defining characteristic of Percy. (Whether or not the decision changed the outcome) Percy chose to be the hero of the prophecy. He deliberately accepted that as his role. And he did it all to spare someone else’s pain - so Nico di Angelo would not have to suffer more than he already did. 

My Thoughts...

Having come to a new understanding on the topic, after discussing the issue with friends that are living with oppression, I’d like to address some of the statements and questions I’ve seen over the last few days concerning cosplaying as POC.

(This is coming from the perspective of a White individual, hearing the position and opinions of a POC individual.)

The media is huge factor in developing our sense of self.

Very often as children, we are drawn to the characters that look like us because we recognize similarities. These characters become our “favorite” characters… often not for any other reason than the fact that they have similar features.

As a child, my choices were endless in characters I could see myself reflected in. I could see traits/qualities I admired or even idolized in characters that looked just like me. This allowed me to reinforce my sense of security and self worth, because I could see myself over and over again, in almost every movie or show I chose to watch.

Over and over and over again…

As a white individual, think about the amount of characters that resembled you… main characters, characters that were the focus of the story.

Not everyone has that kind of representation.

Here is one example. The first African American Disney princess did not appear on screen until 2009. By that time, it had already been 72 years since the creation of the first Disney princess. In those 72 years, the amount of white representation far surpassed POC representation on screen… and it continues to.

In the United States (and many other places in the westernized world) the media lacks balance. This can cause a lot of harm to a child’s development of self.

If the vast majority of the “hero” based characters that you see in the media do not reflect you… but instead reflect those around you that do not share similar physical qualities, how hard does it become to develop a sense of self worth, and find equal footing?

In order to create progress, coming to a place of understanding, unity and level footing is necessary. This is why it is important to work together and create an environment that is safe for POC.

This mentality carries over into cosplay…

Here is how the situation was explained to me.

Having grown up with a wide variety of characters that represent me, the comfort I feel stepping across any boundary, and dressing as any character, is not very limited. This is because I am used to seeing myself represented.

However, for someone who is not used to seeing representation, coming into a community and stepping out of the box can be incredibly intimidating. The limited amount of POC characters become something akin to a “safe zone”, and although the individual may want to step out of that safe zone, the internalized fear and discomfort can sometimes be too overwhelming.

When a white individual, who has a lot of characters at their disposal to cosplay that reflect them, steps into that safe-zone, it can be both intimidating and hurtful to someone who is not yet comfortable doing the same.  

Now we have to understand, at the heart of it… anyone, of any ethnicity, cosplaying as anyone they’d like… is not a harmful thing… wanting to cosplay a character you love, regardless of ethnicity, is not a harmful thing…

If everyone is on equal footing.

If everyone is on equal footing, there is nothing wrong with this. This is the kind of equality that we are striving for.

However, where there IS a problem, is the fact that not everyone is on equal footing.

This particular issue is not about what is fair or equal… fairness and equality in this scenario would mean that everyone is comfortable playing everyone, and that there are no feelings of guilt or uncertainty when choosing to do so… but this is not the case.

POC do not have equal representation… and because of this lack of representation, it makes it extremely difficult to feel comfortable branching out and cosplaying whoever they’d like.

In order to reach a point where everyone is comfortable playing everything they would like to play… we, as individuals that are used to playing as many roles as we’d like (because we have been given a wide range of characters that emulate us to choose from), should allow those who have grown up with limitations placed on them by society to test the water, and become comfortable in their environment.

Here’s an example I was given… You are standing on top of a cliff, and your friend is at the bottom. In order to get on the same footing, either you need to make your way all the way to the bottom of the cliff, or your friend needs to climb all the way to the top… that is a long way to climb…

However, if you can both meet at the middle, and then help each other the rest of the way, the journey becomes a lot easier/safer.

Regardless of what may be “equal” or “fair”, there are steps that must be taken in order to reach that equality… it is a process that cannot be solved overnight, or by telling someone to “Just do it”.

It’s not asking a lot for us to take a small step back, and play characters that won’t infringe on the comfort of those who are trying to become comfortable in this environment. (This does not mean that if you have done so, you did something “bad”… it simply means that you can now become aware of how to help those around you, and become accommodating of their needs and help in their progress by adjusting your choices).

This is not about conflict… this is not about blame or guilt… this is not about creating division or emphasizing differences…

It’s about people having an open dialogue… and expanding our minds, on every front, to other opinions and life experiences. 

It’s about recognizing that someone else might not be in the same position because of the way our culture has conditioned us. 

It’s about realizing that we can change, within our own circle of influence, the way our world functions. 

It’s about compromising and reaching a point where everyone can feel accepted and equal. 

It’s about showing compassion and empathy for each other as human beings.

I really wish Dragon Age fans would understand that “Moral Greyness” can be JUST as contrived and convoluted as regular “Black and White” and “Happy Ending.”

Just look at the Mage/Templar Conflict. The devs have tried their darnedest across three and a half games to present the conflict as 100% balanced with both sides equally sympathetic, and they’ve failed each time. The devs have said they felt they made the mages look “too sympathetic” in the first game. For the second game they realized too late that making the player character come from a family of apostates and have two mage companions but no Templars made Templars look bad; and they fully admitted that Leandra getting killed by a crazy blood mage serial killer was an attempt to vindicate a pro-Templar playthrough. DAI? Well, we all know about THAT… (Retconning the Dalish to have a “three mages max” rule just to make Circles look better by comparison?) All to make a flimsy, “See? Both sides are equally flawed” argument that’s as sturdy as cardboard; blow on it, and it falls over.

Just look at The Masked Empire verses Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts. In the book, the human nobles are all completely despicable, racist, genocidal asses, while Briala (and Felassan to a lesser extent) is the most sympathetic and likable character. Briala is a straight-up hero who struggles to help her people despite knowing they won’t thank her for it, and being shit on by everyone she meets right and left.

In DAI, the devs flat-out hid the many crimes and character flaws of Celene and Gaspard, and hid many of the virtues and character strengths of Briala. Why? To create a flimsy and false “All three choices are equally morally gray!” so-called “choice.”

Just look at the Qunari. You can tell the devs have been trying their damnedest from game one to depict Qunari culture as rather alien and incomprehensible to outsiders and vice-versa, but still a good system with its balances of virtues and flaws like any other. And it never works.

And any time players complain about an aspect of their culture, they try to fix it next game. Sten said “women don’t fight”? In DA2 they’re like, “JK! Since the Priesthood allows both genders, we just made up this secret spy division of the Ben’Hassrath that allows female assassins. Please love our Qunari.“ When that didn’t work, in DAI they went overtime trying to make Iron Bull THE most likable character they could, then had him lend his charisma to explain away Qunari societal faults. Plus the whole “transgender acceptance” and “free love” and “Tamassran are still like family” thing, and the sudden, “Oh, the Qunari don’t REALLY keep women from fighting. If a woman is discovered to be good in combat, they just decide he’s a man who happens to look like a woman and let “him” fight. Please love our Qunari!”

And it’s NEVER WORKED. I mean, some small minority of weirdos like Qunari despite their flaws (myself included), but MOST players just find these flimsy attempts at “MORAL GREYNESS!!!” to be just that: flimsy.

So whenever I talk about a plot hole or character failing in the series, I’m so sick to death of seeing that go-to, knee-jerk, catch-all “moral grayness” excuse.

Yes. Sometimes, when written well, a morally grey conflict can be very engaging. But sometimes some characters or divisions naturally come across as more sympathetic than another. I’m not saying “one side is innocent and perfect and other other guilty and evil,” but sometimes one side comes across as a lighter shade of grey than another; it happens. If the devs would just embrace that and run with it and tell emotionally engaging stories, instead of spending so much time and energy trying to constantly backpedal or force a square peg in a round hole just for the sake of that original vision that just isn’t coming through.

- You can’t make a conflict where one heavily tyrannical and abusive faction holds complete power over another as a perfectly 50/50 “morally grey conflict” where “both sides are equally at fault.”

- You can’t take the freedom-fighting victim of horrific systematic abuse by two perpetrators of that horrific system and try to act like she’s “just as bad” or “on the same footing” as those abusers.

You can’t take a culture that thrives on robbing individuality, stripping free will, brainwashing resisters, and severely limiting the roles of its citizens based on their gender, magical ability, etc. and expect our modern freedom- and individuality-loving society to find them anything but restrictive and tyrannical.

“Moral Grey” can be just as CONTRIVED as any attempt at “black and white” or “happily-ever-after.” Because they’re still trying to force something that doesn’t fit.

So here’s an email I just sent to Marvel, in case you’re interested

To the editors of Marvel Comics:

Many of the letters in your letters pages begin with the writer’s long history of reading comics as evidence that you should care about their opinion and want to keep them as a customer. While I may be relatively new to comics, I think I’m a pretty desirable customer. Not only do I have disposable income and a willingness to spend money on physical books in a brick-and-mortar comic shop, but I’m also a teacher and librarian with the power to get your books in the hands of the next generation.

Until recently, I was thrilled to do just that. I teach at a school that serves a very diverse population and I wanted to expose my students to heroes who look like them. I bought them Miles Morales, Sam Wilson, Ms. Marvel, Silk, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, various team books, and more. I did this not with the school’s budget, but with my own money (and I of course took the opportunity to read them myself first).

For myself (although I also share most of them with students), I have every issue of Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, The Mighty Thor, Mockingbird, Storm, and most of the recent Black Widow and Captain Marvel runs. I’ve been eagerly awaiting Nick Fury and America, and was not disappointed by their #1s. I’ve loved so much of what Marvel has given me over the past few years; I got to see parts of myself and the people I love in these books, parts that I don’t always get to see in popular media.

But none of the above were the characters that got me into comics; that honor belongs to Steve Rogers. I fell in love with him in the movies, with his steadfastness and his sense of justice and his belief in doing the right thing and protecting individuals. I went back and read Brubaker’s Winter Soldier arc, but was too intimidated by the vastness of the Marvel universe to read many of the books he was currently appearing in when I first started reading comics.

And then I found out he was being restored to his young self and getting a new series. I was ECSTATIC. I couldn’t wait to get it and see what new adventures this amazing character would go on. When I found out about the twist at the end of #1, I was upset, but everyone assured me that this is comics - it’ll be mind control or a decoy or some other trick. Soon everything would be back to normal. But as I realized how committed everyone at Marvel was to the reality of Steve-the-Hydra-Agent, I also realized that this was a book that didn’t want me as a reader. This version of Steve Rogers seemed to have nothing in common with the Steve Rogers I had fallen in love with. As a queer woman with Jewish ancestry, I felt like my concerns were dismissed and that I was unwelcome. 

So I didn’t buy the book. I kept my other subscriptions and continued to enjoy them, all the while waiting for the trick-behind-the-trick that everyone else seemed sure would come. And then Secret Empire began.
I don’t know if I can put into words how it felt to find out that according to this new story, Steve Rogers has never been a hero at all. The closest I can get is that it was a punch in the gut, although I feel the cliche fails to accurately convey the strength of my response.

Stories matter. Heroes matter. And in a world that feels full of pain and fear and darkness, stories and heroes matter even more. The people I love are living with a lot of fear right now - fear of deportation, fear of losing access to health care, fear of being attacked for who they love or the color of their skin - and so am I. We need heroes who can remind us of why we fight, why we resist, why we rise above, why we plant ourselves like a tree and say “no, you move.”

Steve Rogers used to be that hero for me and for many others. To take a hero like Steve Rogers and destroy everything that made him who he was, everything that he was created to be…I don’t know why that is a story that Marvel wants to tell right now. Or ever. It is incomprehensible to me.

And it leaves me torn. I have asked my shop to not pull any books related to Secret Empire for me, and a part of me wants to firmly declare that Marvel will never see another cent of my money at all. The other part of me remembers how much I have loved and appreciated my other experiences as a Marvel fan, the encouragement that your characters and stories have given me, the ways they’ve made me laugh and given me something to look forward to, a bright spot in the middle of the week.

I don’t know if I will keep buying Marvel comics. I want to, but I’m not sure you want me to. Right now, it seems like I’m the type of customer that you don’t want at all - the customer who values the diversity you’ve blamed for the sales slump and who wants her good guys to be good, even when it’s hard.

Hoping to remain a fan,
Rachel A. 

Writing Harry Potter fanfic without reinforcing unconscious antisemitism when you write goblins or Snape

Hi, I have a question about writing fanfic of source material with questionable/ offensive aspects. I’m writing Harry Potter fanfic and am unsure how best to deal with antisemitic undertones in both the goblins and in Snape (esp his physical appearance). I’m not jewish.

I tried researching goblins in general, and the approach I came up with so far is to remove the connection of the harry potter goblins with gold/ gringotts. In my fic they have other jobs, professions and roles besides that, and humans work alongside them in the bank. I got rid of negative descriptions like “swarthy”, untrustworthy etc, and while not really going indepth (they’re not the focus) hinted at them having their own culture not revolving around gold or treasure, but with their own traditional clothing and art.

I wonder if this is a good approach, if there are other things to be aware of or pitfalls to avoid. I’m not trying to portray goblin culture to resemble jewish culture in any way btw, but will rather have human jewish characters. 

The second thing I’m struggling with is Snape. I don’t think Rowling intended either him or the goblins this way, but he comes across as a negative jewish stereotype and I feel unsure of how to change this. Since he is such a central character, I feel less like I can completely disregard canon or make him unrecognizable. I also don’t feel like just changing his physical appearance would help at all? Doing that might only reinforce the idea that there’s something ‘wrong’ with his features. So far the only thing I could come up with is not to portray features like his hooked nose or oily hair in a negative way or as a sign of bad personality traits. I’m honestly at a loss though. – Sorry this got so long!

First of all, for anyone who isn’t aware of what OP is talking about, it’s not that JKR deliberately set out to poke us in the eye with her money-babysitting goblins and hook-nosed Snape. It’s built into English folklore this way, so much so that she most likely didn’t realize why her knee-jerk idea for what those characters should look like was informed by centuries-old garbage. So I’m not blaming her, and this is a warning that you don’t have to be deliberately racist to accidentally perpetuate harmful tropes.

Moving on to the answer: 

>> the approach I came up with so far is to remove the connection of the harry potter goblins with gold/ gringotts. In my fic they have other jobs, professions and roles besides that, and humans work alongside them in the bank

I have a question for you. Why was it easier to create entirely new goblin canon than distance them from Jewishness ? I mean, I don’t know about you, but even if goblins are upstanding citizens who save puppies and help old ladies cross the street on the daily, always do the dishes after every meal, and never misgender their friends, the word ‘goblin’ is not something commonly thought of as beautiful or heroic. It’s a GOBLIN. So if this were me I’d move in a “goblins are not Jews” direction instead of trying to turn them into ugly little heroes. (This is advice specifically for gentiles, by the way. I know several Jewish fans who like to try to reclaim, for example, Tolkien dwarves. It can be very validating–from within. And for people who aren’t me. :P )

Ways to distance goblins from Jewishness and anti-semitic tropes in general:

  • First of all, fix the noses. We as a society decided that having your nose turn down at the end makes someone monstrous and unhuman. Can we not? That’s just silly. So give the goblins either all kinds of noses including snub noses and pointy noses and uninteresting noses, or give them something totally inhuman like a Pinocchio nose.
  • If they follow polytheism in any way that’ll help drive them away from Jewishness. A goblin pantheon, etc.
  • Having human Jews in the story is the best way to make it clear your goblins aren’t Jews, IMO. Especially if they have the same “meh” reaction to them that the gentile human characters do.

I mean, trying to make them independently cool is not a bad goal, I’m just saying that it doesn’t necessarily make them seem less Jewish because let’s face it, tiny and ugly is one of the negative tropes about us even when we’re awesome and I just plain don’t want to feel ugly when I wake up in the morning!

>> will rather have human jewish characters.

GOOD :)

By the way, if this seems like way too much work – if you leave goblins out of your fanfic entirely the fact that JKR uses them won’t make your fanfic antisemitic. Does that make sense? Like, yes, the source material is problematic, but it’s also okay to completely ignore the goblins entirely within the scope of your fic. Unless you really need them there for plot reasons.

>>  Since he is such a central character, I feel less like I can completely disregard canon or make him unrecognizable. I also don’t feel like just changing his physical appearance would help at all? Doing that might only reinforce the idea that there’s something ‘wrong’ with his features. So far the only thing I could come up with is not to portray features like his hooked nose or oily hair in a negative way or as a sign of bad personality traits. I’m honestly at a loss though. 

The Snape answer is easier.

Don’t talk about those particular physical features. Does anyone reading HP fanfic not already know what Severus Snape looks like? There really isn’t a reason to mention his nose in a fanfic.

If you also show him being his usual douchecanoe self to Jewish students in addition to all the gentile MC’s, that would be cool–and another thing you could do is have him deliberately go out of his way to be a douche to a Jewish student in an antisemitic way like, if a muggle from a more observant background is ooked out about having to touch pig parts for a spell he could make fun of her and she could defend herself or one of the others could reassure her she’s okay and he’s just an ass to everyone. I mean that would make it super obvious he’s not us. But you don’t really have to do that.

~Shira

the best part of seeing ClexaCon things is to watch this place created to celebrate wlw - an actual, proper space. one you can treat the wlw characters like the heroes they are, where we can have a safe space for wlw around the world to go there and meet their favorite actresses, where these same actresses are celebrated and have the opportunity to have a firsthand experience of the impact their acting has - i know they go to other cons, but in these places being wlw is just secondary, it’s like you’re stealing a spot or enjoying the crumbs; while ClexaCon is about them, it’s there to celebrate them. You can see by the way the actresses are reacting to the crowds, they never saw so many people gathered because of their characters like this. We also have a space to discuss what representation means, how to do it better, what the shows and media in general are doing right now. We have a place where people who care about this can meet each other - and what can happen in the future because of this? They’re also empowering artists, journalists, youtubers and people in general that can speak for us. Besides that, ClexaCon is a place where wlw can be free to be themselves, wear their wlw shirt without fear, meet another fans and have the experience to see that they are valid. 

Everything we talked about through this year and before that are important issues, but they’re often invalidated, so having a con out there where we can see people talking about this is a way to humanize the discussion.

So… I found this on Instagram. If you know who made this, tell me so I can give them credit. It’s not mine.
But that’s sooooo accurate. (But not Andrew Garfield. He’s just a kid, leave him alone)

And don’t even get me started with the Supernatural cast…

Edit:  @sebastian-stan-fan is the one who created it. And, honey… You own me an oxygen thank.

Edit 2: I have no idea about how old actors are. I know RDJ is on his 50’s, and Chris E. and Sebastian are on their 30 something. Don’t hate me.
3

This is a peek at how I create my illustrations from photo reference. I have been getting a lot of comparisons to Charley Harper, which is incredibly flattering as he is a personal hero of mine up there with Kubrick, Sasek, Bass, Mead, Berkey, Oreb, etc. But the real source of the designs and ideas is nature. The thing I learned from studying Charley Harper’s work is how to spot naturally occurring graphic design. There are beautiful shapes everywhere in nature when you know how to look for them, and my favorite thing to do as an artist is observe, appreciate, and interpret those beautiful shapes into illustrations. None of it is original - nature has already created all of these designs for us. The goal of our film was to highlight this natural beauty, as well as mankind’s incredible scientific achievements in understanding the complex beauty of our world.

If you have not seen our film yet, please check it out! FORMS IN NATURE: Understanding Our Universe

“What’s your favourite type of character? The type you look up to? Or even the kind you wish to marry?”

Girls.

Girls with stars in their eyes and dragon-fire in their bellies.
Girls with pained lives whose smiles outshines the Moon herself.
Girls whose laughter is like bubbles spilling out of their throats.
Girls who have exhaustion written on every feature but persist anyway.

Girls who are carved from marble having experienced too much to cry anymore.
Girls who form waterfalls and flood rooms with their tears.
Girls who go on adventures high on wanderlust, danger, and nature.
Girls who rather stay at home and don’t mess with any ‘hero’ prophecies outside of creating them in worlds of fiction.

Girls with gold and silver magic flowing molten hot through their veins.
Girls who love and live so freely they seem to turn into wind before your eyes
Girls who trust very little and have dulled locks on their lips that only few have the key for.
Girls who sing as smoothly as a siren’s call luring you willingly into their soothing, blanketing embrace

Girls who scream at the top of their lungs for what they believe in, voices resembling sonic shockwaves more than symphonies but beautiful in it’s discord nonetheless.

Girls who can barely raise their voices above a whisper, with storms full of lightning, wind, and thunder all brewing inside them that could level cities.

Girls who are beaten, bloody, and bruised but still spits hatred right back into life’s eye and laughs, keeping within them a kindness and empathy that flourishes through their rage.

Girls who are knocked to the ground and stay down, almost tragically beautiful in their spun-glass fragility, believing themselves to be beaten but still refusing to be shattered, with golden tears freely streaming down their battered cheeks and bruises resembling galaxies in their vastness - they are simply bidding their time until they can get up again, although some of them don’t know it yet.

“But I know girls like that, they aren’t just characters, girls are real.”
And that’s why they’re my favourite.

— 

Girls Are My Favourite by Beq (me)