these are the best ME related cosplays I have ever seen in my life.
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Iron Fist and Luke Cage Photographed by Ron Gejon Photography
The family that cosplays together stays together.
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I’m catching up on commissions.
I… I might not be able to ever look at anything else ever.
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well…for the work of a week…it looks great XD
Does whatever a spider .. uh… ken…
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11×17 print of this version of Neil Gaiman Poem collaboration- Now available here!
The other prints have sold out, and @neverwear is offering a reduced special advance price here:
Neil Gaiman reading and discussing the origin of the poem and collaboration here:
A PORTION OF EACH PRINT PRICE WILL GO TO BENEFIT THE GAIMAN FOUNDATION.
here is the entire text of the beautiful poem Neil composed:
I will write in words of fire.
I will write them on your skin.
I will write about desire.
Write beginnings, write of sin.
You’re the book I love the best,
your skin only holds my truth,
you will be a palimpsest
lines of age rewriting youth.
You will not burn upon the pyre.
Or be buried on the shelf.
You’re my letter to desire:
And you’ll never read yourself
I will trace each word and comma
As the final dusk descends,
You’re my tale of dreams and drama,
Let us find out how it ends.
A beautiful poem of love and creation set to beautiful art
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Post Apocalyptic Disney Princesses at Torucon 2014
This is just a few of the amazing girls we had in our group!
Jasmine – Batbunny Cosplay
Merida - Studio Eevia
Pocahontas – Eirin
Aurora – Timeforlemontea
Snow White – Blitzhellion Cosplay
Mulan – Ramona
Ariel – Starbit Cosplay
Elsa – Santatory
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ALL THE SUPERGIRLS
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My Mass Effect 3 Liara T’Soni cosplay.
First time putting the make up with the costume and I’m really happy it all came together so well. This was another make up test I decided to do as practise before PAX AUS 2014. I’m glad it worked!
Photo and make up by Jen of Soylent Cosplay
this looked like some high resolution screenshot. omfg
That’s what I thought it was at first, too. Holy crap.
Asari cosplayers have the sickest makeup game. i once asked a girl at con to tell me the secret to “no seams” when they apply their cowls. apparently its tiny spatulas.
ho lee cow. That is amazing head make up/wear.
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Life is, indeed, too short to not be Batman.
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Most time travel science fiction is about traveling to the past, but something just as interesting is traveling to the future.
Just a little background: General and special relativity allow us to travel to the future at different rates than everyone around us. Time goes by slower in a stronger gravitational field. GPS satellites actually have to compensate for this. We are in a stronger gravitational field closer to earth so time goes by slower for us than the satellite.
Time also goes by slower the faster you travel. If John is in a spaceship traveling near the speed of light, he will age slower than his stationary brother Henry. GPS Satellites traveling about 7,000 mph also have to compensate for this.
So those are two methods to travel to the future, but the writing prompt is this:
What do time travelers to the future do when they get there?
They could travel 50 years or 1,000 years to the future. Everyone they left behind has aged and possibly died. They could be a historian for the future. They could bring some samples to the future for comparison on how much things have changed.
Why would someone travel to the future?
They don’t necessarily have to arrive in a dystopian future that needs saving. They may arrive in a typical day; everyone goes about their business, but the time traveler has become a relic. What problems does he face?
Brilliant hackers and genius scientists do the impossible in movies and books. The hacker will mash a keyboard for a few seconds and break through a firewall protecting all the government’s secrets. A scientist will slap together a save-the-day-machine out of parts from their garage, and it will work at just the moment they need it.
Hackers in real life use much different strategies. Scientists in real life take much more time to prototype and test their ideas.
These stereotypes are used to make the plot move along faster and to keep the attention of viewers or readers.
In real life, a hacker may get access to sensitive information by much less glamorous means, such as a phone call.
“Hi, this is Jim Jennings from IT. We need to do a password check.”
Something tells me the story wouldn’t be quite as interesting if the real-life version were depicted in a story or movie.
So, for the sake of others’ entertainment (as well as my own), I’ll take the hacker fingers mashing the keyboard.
As I alluded to in my post last Tuesday, Quantum Fairy Tales is partnering up with an incredibly talented artist/writer named Crystal Yates so that we can feature her web comic, Earthsong, as it comes out every Monday.
Crystal has her own website where she posts new pages every week, so basically we’re just here to spread the word of her awesomeness and remind all of you to keep up with the story as it comes out. With an intriguing and exciting story like Earthsong, I’m sure we’ll hardly need to remind you of when the new page gets posted—I just read this week’s post and I’m already pawing at my computer screen, crying, “When will seven days end, father?” (For those of you who like obscure silent film references, yes that was a play on a line from Metropolis).
If you want to know more about the comic, visit her website. Click on the “about” tab at the top of the page to learn more about her comic; there you’ll find an extensive description of the world of Earthsong along with a little background from the author.
In case you’re wondering why the art style seems to change abruptly the first volume, Crystal recently revamped the first chapter by redrawing the panels and cutting back on some unnecessary dialogue. By doing so, she really displayed how her drawing style has changed so much from when she first started writing. I’ve followed her work for a few years now, and I am so amazed at her development as an artist and as a graphic novel writer/designer.
So without further ado, I am proud to introduce Crystal Yates and her super incredibly awesome work, Earthsong! I highly recommend you check it out. We’ll be shamelessly plugging it every week until you do! Just start reading now; you know it’s inevitable.
For those of you new to the comic, and those who already know about it, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on it in the comments below.
I have wanted to initiate this challenge for a while now—if only for my own personal development as an artist/writer—and I think it is the perfect time for me to break out…The Face Off Challenge (dun dun duuuuun)!
For those of you who don’t know, Face Off is a TV show on Syfy where movie makeup artists compete by creating fantastic makeup effects based on specific scenarios designed to mimic the movie making process. For example, last week they did an episode where the contestants had to design a creature based off of a sound effect. Here are a few of my favorites:
You can check out the rest HERE.
Pretty sweet, huh?
The most important part of creating a believable character is coming up with a backstory—and everyone knows that when the contestant has a good backstory, his or her chance of winning increases exponentially. So I thought that it would be a good exercise in character design to accept the challenges from the show.
Wikipedia has a lovely list of all of the prompts from every season:
I will add the caveat that not all of the challenges from the list can be attempted without watching the episode first, but the majority of them can be done based on the descriptions from Wikipedia. For example, you could design a character from season 6, episode 3, where the contestants had to create a human-dragon hybrid based on the appearance of a knight’s shield that they were given. The different types of shields are given in the list of adjectives next to the contestants’ names.
So explore some of these prompts and find one that you think is interesting. Say you wanted to design a dragon-man who spews sand instead of fire; you can write about him, draw him, or, heck, even compose a theme song for him!
Post your original characters in the comments below. We’d love to see what you come up with!
Hello and welcome to my first blog post! Are you excited? Good, because if you aren’t I have a rather menacing Liam Neeson Taken meme with your name on it… But let’s not waste time throwing threats around willy-nilly and just get down to the serious topic at hand: comic books.
I have been a fan of a web series called Bee and Puppycat ever since the first episode was released on YouTube on July 11, 2013. It is written and directed by Natasha Allegri, who is most famous for her contributions to the popular show Adventure Time. For those of you who watch the show, she is the mastermind behind the fabulous Fiona and Cake episodes. For those of you who don’t watch the show, these episodes feature Neil Patrick Harris playing Prince Gumball. Need I convince you further?
Bee and Puppycat is as hilariously strange and beautiful as its name. It centers on arguably one of the easiest characters to ever fall in love with, Bee, who has just lost her job and has little to no prospects for a new one. Her life is looking bleak when out of nowhere, “a cat—maybe a dog” (Bee and Puppycat, 0:30)—appears before her with an opportunity to perform temp work in universes unknown. This mysterious feline/canine combination is named Puppycat. If you feel like giving the series a try, here’s a link to the pilot episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoKGhce5-08&spfreload=10
After the pilot gained so much popularity, Allegri was able to render Bee and Puppycat in the medium that she always preferred: comic books. While I already have a burning passion to read these comics, what made me even more interested was a recent announcement from Cartoon Hangover, the company that runs the series. They said that issue #2 contains QR codes on some of the pages that link you to original songs to play while you’re reading. I’m fairly new to comic books, so correct me if I am wrong, but this is the first that I’ve seen anyone do something like this. I mean I know Deadpool recommends “the reader crank ‘Five Minutes Alone’ by Pantera” in Deadpool: Dead Presidents, but composing original songs to coincide with the story is level of fourth-wall breaking that even Deadpool would toast a chimichanga to. This kind of innovation is going to change the comic book reading experience altogether!
With the rising popularity of web comics, comic books are taking on a new life through the power of the internet. For example, Michelle Czajkowski incorporates her experience with animation into her web comic called Ava’s Demon and ends her chapters with a short video that brings her narrative to life through beautiful animation of her characters (here’s an example: http://www.avasdemon.com/0061.php). What’s even more impressive is Andrew Hussie’s web comic Homestuck, which explores the video game medium by featuring interactive games that allow the reader to become fully immersed in the story.
Speaking of web comics, soon we will be featuring a supremely talented web comic artist/writer, Crystal Yates, and her work, Earthsong! Stay tuned for more information…
Here’s her site: http://earthsongsaga.com/index.php
I think it is mind-blowing that we have the technology to include animated videos, songs, and even video games in the reading experience! Before, comic books were advanced because of enhanced printing methods that allowed for them to be mass-produced in color. Now, we don’t even need to print comic books.
What effect do you think this will have on the comic book industry? Do you think that maybe these advancements are detracting from the reading experience or enhancing it? We’d love to see what you think! Leave a comment below.
On Tuesday, I wrote a blog post regarding the basic concepts of “Show me, don’t tell me.” With today’s writing prompt, I encourage you to use examples of both “showing,” and in a limited fashion “telling” where appropriate. Today’s writing prompt:
You wake up in the morning. It is darker than what you would normally expect. Opening the blinds, you think to yourself, “Oh, no. We should have listened.”
What happens next?
This post is in response to some of the submissions we have received, as well as my efforts to help critique some of my followers’ stories on Wattpad.
If you’ve been writing for any length of time and have ever taken a class in writing or listened to a lecture on writing, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Show me, don’t tell me.” If you haven’t heard it, or if you don’t entirely understand it, what does it mean?
In more philosophical circles, it might mean “don’t tell me about your theories, I want evidence;” for the purposes of writing, however, it means that instead of telling your readers what is going on in the narrative explicitly, you demonstrate it through character action, implicitly.
Let’s see an example of what “showing” might look like:
Phillip and Leela went to investigate the strange noise. They looked all around, but they didn’t find anything. They searched the entire ship but decided it must have been nothing.
There’s a lot wrong with the above sentences, but let’s focus on our topic. Essentially, we’re telling the reader what happens. While this can be appropriate in some situations (and I’ll get to that later), you don’t want your story to be this way for anyone reading at a level above grade five. Compare with the following:
The light from Phillip’s multitool light swung back and forth, piercing the inky darkness of the cargo hold. “I don’t see anything,” he murmured to Leela in hushed tones.
She sighed. “Neither do I. There aren’t many places that someone—or something—could hide in here.”
“What do you suppose made that noise, then?” Philip peered behind the last stack of containers. As he stood, he turned to face her. Leela’s face shone with determination in the spotlight.
“I’m not certain, but I’m not going to stop looking until we figure this out. You take the engine room; I’m going to go check the bridge again.”
Phillip nodded. Guilty, he realized he hoped that she found whatever had alerted them first. She was the captain, after all.
We have a lot more information here, and instead of telling our audience right out that they didn’t find anything, we show them through the character dialogue and actions. We learn something about Phillip and Leela as well, adding to their characterization.
We also need to move plot forward. If they search the cargo hold, the rest of the ship, and never find anything, then we (as authors) never go back and address what happened, there’s no need for the scene to even occur. While there are exceptions to every rule, we don’t typically want to add scenes that serve no purpose but characterization—we should be able to do that while still moving plot forward.
This is where there are rare occurrences where telling can trump showing. These are going to be the times when you have a plot point that needs to be stated, is either something the reader already knows or can’t know until later, but needs to be conveyed to characters in the book. An example of this might be an event that happens to our main character in chapter one, that they later need to tell another character about. We don’t need to repeat the details of the event, unless how the character is interpreting that event is crucial to the plot. For the most part, however, we could get away with something as simple as:
“What happened that night?” Farnsworth turned and looked at the two expectantly.
Leela relayed the events in the most concise manner possible, Phillip interjecting only when he felt it important.
“And that is why we will never agree to transport for the Metro Zoo again,” she concluded.
Finally, there is also such a thing as too much showing, and this is a big part of “adding words tastefully.” It can be a delicate balance by showing our audience what is going on, without adding too much detail. For example:
The phone rang, a shrill tone in the silence. Deborah walked into the hall, staring. The phone rang again. She picked the receiver up, placing it next to her ear. “Hello?” Deborah inquired.
“Hello Deborah, this is Michael. Can you meet me for lunch tomorrow, at say 12:30 p.m.?”
I’m going to stop there, because this is actually getting painful for me to even write. Let’s try again.
The phone rang.
“Hello, Deborah—it’s Michael. Can you meet me for lunch tomorrow around 12:30?”
Very few words, but we’re showing our audience what is going on. I’ve picked up the phone when it rang, you probably have as well. We don’t need to go through and describe every detail of Deborah’s actions. We really don’t even need to mention that it’s Deborah answering the phone, because Michael let’s us know in the very next sentence that indeed, it was her. We probably don’t even need to specify 12:30 p.m., because most people (as opposed to vampires and security guards) have lunch around noon. It’s a cultural convention we can use to spare our audience drawn out sentences.
There is a quote I love, for engineering, art, and writing, credited to Antoine de Saint Exupéry: “It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.”
In other words, when cutting down our sentences and paragraphs, we need to find the balance between showing our audience and fleshing out our scenes with enough detail, while also not adding in more than is really necessary to convey plot and story. Easy enough, right? Well, maybe not, but that’s why we practice and have writing groups.
So, to summarize really quick, when we’re editing our work, we should ask three basic questions:
Sad news: Quantum Fairy Tales bid a sad farewell well to Starhorse, our fantastic art director for the past year. Our many thanks and good wishes go with her. Good news: she is being replaced by Princess Peeps.
Peeps is an artist haling from Arizona, the vast land of dry skin and cacti. She has an obsession with video games and animated movies and hopes to do one day do something with that love.
“I want to go into either the field of animation or game design, but I enjoy working with traditional media and am more comfortable with it.”
Peeps loves to take any commissions! You can check out some of her other works at DeviantArt. If you have any requests, feel free to contact her there or at email@example.com
In the mean time, Peeps will be coming to a website near you looking for great new talent to showcase here at QFT. Keep an eye on this one, folks. She’s going to go very far!
On Tuesday, I talked about the practice of writing practice, and I mentioned Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. So, I thought for our prompt today, I’d pull something from her book that has more practical application.
I think most of us are familiar with the concept of free-writing, or writing for a certain length of time without stopping. The idea is to get the creative juices flowing without editing yourself. Here’s Goldberg’s suggested process (pg. 10):
1. Keep your hand moving. Don’t pause to re-read what you’ve already written.
2. Don’t cross out/delete anything.
3. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar.
4. Lose control.
5. Don’t think. Don’t be logical.
6. Go for the jugular. If it’s something scary or raw, dive into it.
She suggests doing this for at least ten minutes every day. Here are a few topics she suggests, or you can choose your own:
• Choose a color, take a walk, notice anything that color, and come home and write about those things.
• Visualize a place you love, be there, see the details. Write.
• Open a poetry book to any page. Grab a line, write it down, and continue from there.
• Write “I remember…” Write anything that comes to mind—big memories, small memories, tangents about memories. Whatever.
Now, it’s your turn. Find ten minutes and go write. Don’t stop yourself. Just have fun and let the creative juices flow. Go!
I remember Brandon Sanderson once getting pretty passionate when he talked about the practice involved in writing. He said something like, you would never expect to be a concert pianist if you’d never practiced piano, but somehow there are so many people who think they can write a book without ever practicing writing.
I’ve thought about that a lot the last couple of years, and I think what he’s saying is that it’s more than just learning about craft or knowing the mechanics of grammar and usage—it’s about PRACTICING the practice.
For a concert pianist, there is music theory and the knowledge of keys and how to read music. For writers, I think most of us are willing to admit that we need a basic knowledge of writing as well, but so many of us get caught up in writing our amazing novel or polishing a perfect query letter or whatever else takes us to the next step toward our goal, that we’re unwilling to practice writing as a skill or even take a few minutes to meander and think and simply write for the joy of writing.
Sanderson wrote a ridiculous number of books before getting one published and is a great example of working on writing as a skill until he got it right.
Recently, I’ve been re-reading Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. In college I was a T.A. for a writing instructor who required it as part of the class, so I read/skimmed through it. I remembered it as one of those foofy books that’s more centered on Zen and your “true voice” than it is on practical application, but this time as I read through it—perhaps because I’m at a different place in my writing journey—I’m finding a lot of useful information.
Perhaps the biggest revelation to me, which shouldn’t be a revelation at all, is that we often run to teachers and classes and books to learn about writing, but “We learn writing by doing it. That simple” (37). She compares it to going on a diet. You don’t lose weight by reading books about diet and exercise. You lose weight by doing the diet and exercise.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the learning part. I go to conferences, I read a lot of books on craft, I read author blogs, and I work with brilliant critique partners. I do my best to learn as much as I can about writing from the experiences of others. But ultimately, none of those things will get me published. Only writing will get me published. Writing a lot of crap along the way, until someday, I’ll have learned enough from what I’ve written to write something better.
Goldberg suggests free-writing for ten minutes a day. Or filling a spiral notebook a month. Or whatever works for you. But write about random things—write down your dreams, do writing prompts, keep a journal, write through thoughts of a podcast you listened to earlier. Whatever. It’s hard to do, I think, because most of us who are trying to “succeed” as writers have limited time and feel like we should be banging out something productive and useful and sellable. But, so many times, at least for me, I think laser-focusing on that one big thing is where burnout and writer’s block come from.
Goldberg says: It’s good to go off and write a novel, but don’t stop doing writing practice. It is what keeps you in tune, like a dancer who does warm-ups before dancing or a runner who does stretches before running.
It reminds me that with each novel or short story or poem, we’re exercising different muscles. Warming-up and practicing are what keep us well-rounded and in shape. At least it’s something I’m going to try to be better at.
One of my critique partners mentioned recently that he wanted to work on a novel—“you know, the one that could be great but you don’t feel like you’re good enough to write it yet.” I think we all have one of those. I think as we practice different types of writing in little bursts, we’re fine-tuning those muscles that will help us when we take on that project we’re dying to be good enough to write.
So, as you think about writing each day, remember to take time to explore different types of writing. Take time to remember what it is you love about writing.
I’ll leave you with one more awesome quote from Natalie Goldberg, and if you remember nothing else, remember to continue practicing, “so that our writing muscles are in good shape to ride the universe when it moves through us” (20).
Practice so that you’re good enough to do justice to that story you love. The story that’s just out of reach.
What about you? Do you practice writing on a regular basis? What are some of your favorite methods?