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Monday Works Roundup, 1/16/17 January 16, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Sparrow x2 (sketch | Sparrow | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Gay Knights With Magic Swords (art | Del, Juniper, Leif/Thorn, Rowan, Violet | worksafe)
Doll-Size Wedding (art | Mata/Pato | worksafe)
Character vs. Inspiration: Miners (comic | Mata/Pato, Phineas, Ferb, Bram, The Boulder, The Rock | G)
Mine Rescue Gems (art | Bram, Gil, Mata/Pato, Tansy | worksafe)

Attack on Titan
RivaMika (art | Levi/Mikasa | worksafe)

Fake News
We could’ve had it aaaaaaall (art | Michelle, Barack, Hillary, Kaine, Huma | worksafe)

Hello From The Magic Tavern
Usidore Loves Birds (art | Usidore, birds | worksafe)

Yuri!!! on Ice
He was a skater boy (sketch | Yurio/Otabek | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Figure drawings 1-7-17 (sketches, NSFW)
Clover (reward chibi, worksafe)

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Wedding preparations above and below ground, as a water mage gets to work.

Erin Watches: Sailor Moon Original Flavor January 14, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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As promised, I gave Sailor Moon Crystal s3 a chance.

…and then ended up bailing again after 5 or 6 episodes.

The new stock footage was mostly good, but, guys, they used it in the opening sequence. They couldn’t even be bothered to draw enough original high-quality footage to make a theme song!

Which gives you an idea of how deep the laziness runs in the rest of the show. So much claustrophobic cropping and other cheats, instead of drawing establishing shots, or scenery at different perspectives, or any motion as complicated as “picking something up” or “swinging a sword”. It’s painful.

***

In related news, I hadn’t watched any of the original series in years, but the first two seasons of the new Viz dub are up for free on Yahoo. So I’m checking out selective episodes. Starting with the ones that DiC never dubbed (because, uh, I had not actually gotten around to seeing those at any other point in the past ~20 years).

The animation is wonky and cheap in its own way — lots of exaggerated comedy faces, simplified motion (waving a pencil up and down on a piece of paper = writing!), fading from one scene to another instead of animating the transition, general sloppiness. But the direction is light-years better. It’s so refreshing.

Take the ski-contest episode (season 1, episode 38). They use shortcuts, like panning over a still image to set a scene, or having the same roll of background whip past while a character is skiing in a straight line.

On the other hand: Lots of establishing shots and different angles on the scenery! The characters move like they have human muscles! Hair and clothes blow realistically in the wind! Crowd scenes are populated with extras! Someone bothered to design outfits, instead of only ever drawing the characters in their school uniforms! Luna moves as if the artists have seen a cat at some point in their lives!

Usagi transforms while she’s in winter clothes, and obviously her stock henshin footage starts with an ungloved hand, so they show her yanking off her ski glove first. It’s such a little gesture, but they thought it was worth the care and effort to draw. That’s a level of care Crystal never shows.

***

I thought I was gonna have trouble with the voices. Some of the actors in the original dub left such an impression that it’s hard to shake, even if you’re still mad about how messed up the translation got. Was a non-British Luna just going to sound fundamentally weird?

Guys, new Luna sounds perfect.

She sounds like Pearl from Steven Universe, to the point where I looked up the actor and was surprised it wasn’t the same person. Apparently there’s a really good way to sound like a fussy, by-the-book mentor who doles out ancient secrets to her frustratingly flighty charges, at least until she gets caught off-guard by the details she herself is just finding out.

I’m liking the rest — of the handful of episodes I’ve watched, anyway. The girls are good, especially Makoto and Rei. Beryl is perfectly evil.

The one voice that has been weird…is Zoisite. They’re dubbing him as a guy, so obviously he’s gonna sound different, but in the Japanese he has this higher, androgynous bishounen voice, right? And the guy doing his English voice sounds unnaturally deep. Not deep like a baritone, deep like a teenage boy who’s self-conscious about his voice cracking and is overcompensating by pitching it extra low.

***

I’ve been working through the backlog of the Sailor Business podcast, which is episode-by-episode reviews of the original series, and a lot of fun. (Full disclosure: I listen at 1.2x speed. They talk slowly, okay.)

The hosts don’t do a lot of research, and in the beginning it’s frustrating when they go on a tangent about being baffled by something you already know. But eventually they build up enough of an audience that they’ve got a wide base for crowdsourcing explanations.

One of the guys is really into Ami/Makoto, and keeps pointing out moments when they’re notably together. Even taking the Shipper Goggles Welded On into account, it’s impressive how much quiet subtext there is when you take it scene-by-scene.

Me, I’m getting a resurgence of Rei/Usagi feelings. They’re so intense about each other! The initial bickering for bickering’s sake develops into a relationship where Rei has a ton of respect and admiration for Usagi, while Usagi trusts Rei to keep her honest, and come through with more straightforward support when she really needs it.

They just, augh, they love each other so much you guys.

Stop talking about the disabled reporter, start talking about the disabled infant. January 12, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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So the story about Trump mocking a disabled reporter keeps making the rounds. Partly because it’s terrible, partly because his supporters keep insisting he didn’t do it, in defiance of the fact that he did it on video.

What gets to me, though, is how many people present it like that’s the pinnacle of his evil. Like it’s the worst thing he’s done. Like if you could still vote for him after seeing this, it proves your total moral bankruptcy as a human being.

People. Listen to me. Donald Trump canceled the health insurance plan that was covering his late brother’s disabled infant grandson.

Lots of people, trying to get a laugh, have been said mean things or done casually bigoted impressions. Take Jon Stewart — he’s done plenty. But he’s also been a ferocious advocate for the healthcare of veterans and 9/11 first responders, has thoughtfully and firmly spoken up for good causes, and has been known to put his money where his mouth is.

Donald Trump has lied about making large donations to 9/11 charities. There are no records of him donating at all. He once crashed an event at a charity for children with HIV, stole a donor’s front-row seat, and got his face in event photos without ever giving the charity a cent.

If you posted a clip reel of Jon’s most cringeworthy lines, and said “this sucks,” I would agree. If you went on to say “this proves he’s fundamentally a bad person, and I have no respect for anyone who supports or defends him in any way”…that would be overkill.

I’ve said and done things that were this mean. (Not recently, I hasten to add. And not on purpose.) Lots of Hillary supporters are in the same boat. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are folks who are shouting about the reporter-mocking clip as a way of overcompensating for the shame of their own past jokes.

And lots of Trump supporters thinking “I’ve done something this bad, and I know I’m a good person, so that probably applies to Donald too.”

I could pause here for a long list of Donald’s much-rarer failings in all kinds of fields, but in the name of sticking to a theme, once more for the folks in the back: he canceled the healthcare for his own brother’s disabled. infant. grandchild.

Doesn’t seem likely a lot of Trump supporters have done that. Seems likely, in fact, that some Trump supporters would never consider doing such a thing to their own children and grandchildren, their own nieces and nephews.

For crying out loud, even Ebeneezer Scrooge took a long hard look at himself when he realized he might cause the death of a little kid on crutches.

People who are explaining their hatred of Trump will give a shortlist of half a dozen things he’s said or done — usually including his racist comments toward Mexicans, his incitement of violence toward Muslims — and “mocking a disabled reporter” is almost always one of the items. I heard about it so many times in the runup to the election.

Somehow “was willing to let his baby grandnephew die in order to make a few bucks” didn’t come through any of those channels until the election was over.

One moment of bog-standard casual meanness is getting all the outrage-traction, from people who haven’t shared this incident at all. Even though this one makes it unambiguous that Trump harbors a much deeper and more entrenched form of ableism than the average edgy standup. Not to mention some fundamental lack of human caring.

…if you’re worried, and I know I was, the baby has grown up to be a happy and well-loved 17-year-old. His parents host regular fundraisers for the nonprofit that helped take care of him.

Yuletide-y Multifandom Recommendations, 1/4/17 January 4, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
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Oz | Dorothy, OC lesbians | G | The Road Built in Hope
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8886220

Dorothy stays with friends in San Francisco before the events of ‘Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.’
Neverending Story, various | Childlike Empress, Jareth, Wizard, Buttercup, Fisher King, Aslan | G | Five Times the Childlike Empress Wasn’t Really There
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8973598

That moment when all you can do is wait. And perhaps find some company to talk shop with.
Animorphs | Tobias, Loren, Ax | G | AU where Tobias is raised by Loren
https://featherquillpen.tumblr.com/post/155219551217/prompt-animorphs-au-where-tobias-is-raised-by

Prompt: Animorphs AU where Tobias is raised by Loren, perhaps about how it’d change the nothlit thing or his interactions with Ax.
Strangers With Candy | Chuck/Geoffrey, Blackman | T | Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Selfishness
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8569858

Chuck and Geoffrey discover that sometimes, if you don’t try at all, you still get what you want and need.
Fake News FPF | “Stephen”/Jon, /Tad, /Steve | M | The Truthiness about Cats and Dogs
http://archiveofourown.org/works/9044207

“Stephen” knows he’s straight but he keeps ending up having sex with men like Jon Stewart, Steve Carell, and Tad.
Compendium of World Knowledge | Hodgman, Hobos | G | The Very Secret Areas of My Expertise
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8880481

In which John Hodgman discovers that there is more to Hobo history than he had previously realized, and that sometimes truth disguised as lies is the strangest and truest knowledge of all.
The Devil Wears Prada | Miranda/Andy | M | We Arrive in the Dark
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8879404

She sees her there, standing on the steps of the ball.
Jeeves & Wooster | Jeeves, Bertie | G | OMO Wooster and the Standing Stones at Midnight
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8884471

In the thick of the Great War, intelligence officer Reginald Jeeves is injured, and forced by circumstance to rely upon the help of hapless, well-intentioned medical orderly Bertie Wooster.
Jeeves & Wooster | Jeeves/Bertie, aliens! | T | The War of the Worlds and All That
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8733454

I relayed the information I’d so masterfully committed to memory in my youth, re: the prophet Elijah being taken up to heaven while still alive and in full possession of his faculties. I’d won a prize for Scripture-knowledge and so had details of this sort at my fingertips.
Utena, Madoka Magica | Kyubey, ensemble | T | Four Ohtori Students Kyubey Never Made a Contract With and One He Nearly Did
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8882050

Ohtori is full of girls with wishes. None of these happened (except maybe the last one), but here’s what would have happened if they had…
The Martian, Yuletide | OCs | G | Revisions To A ‘Dear Writer’ Letter, Yuletide 2035.
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8925376

To whoever matched me on NASA RPF and didn’t just now default, you are my hero.
His Dark Materials | Lyra/Will, Lyra/OC, others | T | Selected Moments in Introductory Symbology
http://archiveofourown.org/works/9053491

Lyra in Oxford after the Fall, relearning the alethiometer and discovering a life of her own.
Beetlejuice | Lydia, Beetlejuice | G | Let Me Tell You a Thing
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8888698

Lydia Deetz, struggling photographer, accepts a position house-sitting, in order to have more time for her photography.
Antler Guy (Sculpture/Tumblr post) | ensemble | T | It’s a Neighborly Day in This Beautywood
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8938141

The Old One, The Sleeping Beast, Seeker of Blood and Devourer of Souls, Haunting Abomination of the Darkened Woods, woke to find his sacred grounds were no longer there.
Futurama | Amy/Kif, Fry/Leela, ensemble | G | Kiffy McKifFace
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8889247

Amy sends her love to Kif in the best way she knows how: Popularity.
birdsrightsactivist | Bird, OCs | G | Aviens Rex
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8862544

In which Brad and Steve just want to have a picnic and a Tyrannosaurus is only another kind of bird.
The Hundred and One Dalmatians | Perdita, white cat | G | Missing Persian
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8866381

Perdita understands why the white cat wants to stay missing.
Hellsing | Integra/Girlycard | M | Simple Motions
http://archiveofourown.org/works/8504059

Alucard has the strangest of ideas when it comes to presents. PWP.
Lord of the Rings | Galadriel, ensemble | T | Love Me And Despair
http://www.storiesofarda.com/chapterview.asp?sid=4728&cid=18871

The Lady Galadriel, daughter of Finarfin, Lady of Lothlòrien once thought she would sail over the Sundering Sea.
The Thrilling Adventure Hour | Frank/Croach, ensemble | M | Close Encounters of the Blue Kind
http://archiveofourown.org/works/6509029

When Sadie time-hops off to her own adventure, Frank Doyle winds up with an unusual guest in his penthouse apartment.

Yuletide-y works roundup, 1/3/17 January 3, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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Leif & Thorn
Itty Bitty Drilling Committee (art | Mata/Pato, Tansy | worksafe)
Deleted Scenes 2016 (extra panels, worksafe)

Fake News
Hello leftist, my old friend (art | Jon/”Stephen” | worksafe)
Did You Hear The One About The Comedian And The Werewolf? (fic! | Jon/”Stephen” | G)

Hello From The Magic Tavern/Labyrinth
Dangers Untold and Podcasts Unnumbered (fic | Arnie/Sarah, Jareth, Chunt, Usidore | G)

His Dark Materials
You Cannot Shut The Windows Of The Sky (fic! | Lyra/Will, others, cameos | G)

Homestuck
Kitty and the clown (sketch | Gamzee/Nepeta | worksafe)
Highbloods!!! on Ice (art | Feferi/Eridan | worksafe)
Alpha cat and the skeleton (sketch | Meulin/Kurloz | worksafe)

Oz
Toto, Too (fic | Toto, Dorothy, Billina, Eureka, ensemble | G)

General/Miscellaneous
Flagpole (wallpaper, worksafe)
2016 in Fanart (art meme, worksafe)
2016 in Webcomic Art (art meme, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Sparrow wakes up.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Elisa gets good news, but Leif is still having a rough time. Thorn to the rescue?

Holly jolly works roundup, 12/26 December 26, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
The Dove Ascends (art | the Dove | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Ceannic Quartz Team Fusions 2 (gem AU art | Thorn, Juniper, Violet, Rowan, Birch, Annie | worksafe)
Fancy Annie (art | Annie | worksafe)
The Queen and her Steed (art | Szélanya, Ragnagord | worksafe)

Big Hero 6
Genre-swapped rescue (sketch | Hiro/Abigail | worksafe)

Dr. Seuss
Who Can Un-Grinch The Grinch? (art | Cat, Grinch | worksafe)

Gravity Falls
Pacific Pines Ballet (art | Dipper/Pacifica | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Figure drawing 12-15-16 (life drawing, NSFW)
Figure drawings 12-22-16 (more life drawing, NSFW)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Dreaming Sparrow and pumpkin-drag-king Jany make their way to Halloweentown.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Elisa finds out whether her dad survived the mine collapse, while Leif keeps a lid on his own parental issues.

Lesbians for Yuletide, and other Christmas cheer December 26, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup, Recommendations.
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Yuletide is open! Here’s all the fake news (& related) fics.

It’s my second Yuletide, and the first one where I’ve written treats. So if you read a fic and think “huh, this writing style/character interpretation/combo of favorite tropes seems familiar”…you might be right.

And for a gift — guys, I got my incredibly-niche moonshot prompt — it’s Dorothy hanging out with lesbians in turn-of-the-century San Francisco!

The Road Built in Hope (5346 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Oz – L. Frank Baum
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorothy Gale/Princess Ozma
Characters: Dorothy Gale, Uncle Henry, Original Female Character(s), Eureka (Oz)
Additional Tags: Slice of Life, Canon Compliant, Misses Clause Challenge
Summary:

Dorothy stays with friends in San Francisco before the events of ‘Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.’

Bonus cheer:

NBA stars playing Carol of the Bells using basketballs. Hardcore.

Vintage holiday wishes from Catball & Clown Girl:

The one where Trump tantrums *at* Twitter, and other politics December 20, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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News That Sounds Like A Joke: “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was not invited to Donald Trump’s summit with major tech leaders Wednesday in retaliation for reneging on a $5 million emoji deal.”

How that recount went down: “I did not count a single vote during my entire first four-hour shift. Trump’s legal team was there in force, circling the room like sharks. They were challenging everything, gumming up the works and disqualifying whole precincts. I was only aware of a single Green Party attorney plus one law student in my (large) room.”

The Department of Energy pushes back: “We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”

Good explanation of the Carbon Bubble: “If we can’t burn oil, it’s not worth very much. If we can’t defend coastal real estate from rising seas (or even insure it, for that matter), it’s not worth very much. If the industrial process a company owns exposes them to future climate litigation, it’s not worth very much. The value of those assets is going to plummet, inevitably… and likely, soon.”

The Smithsonian has a whole rundown on how journalists covered Mussolini and Hitler’s rises to power:

When Hitler’s party won influence in Parliament, and even after he was made chancellor of Germany in 1933 – about a year and a half before seizing dictatorial power – many American press outlets judged that he would either be outplayed by more traditional politicians or that he would have to become more moderate. Sure, he had a following, but his followers were “impressionable voters” duped by “radical doctrines and quack remedies,” claimed The Washington Post. Now that Hitler actually had to operate within a government the “sober” politicians would “submerge” this movement, according to The New York Times and Christian Science Monitor. A “keen sense of dramatic instinct” was not enough. When it came to time to govern, his lack of “gravity” and “profundity of thought” would be exposed.

A point of hope: “I’m going to talk about some other examples of this, some smaller scale and some larger, all of which go to make the point that although Trump Nation may have Twitter, its citizens evidently do not like to put their money where their anonymous trolling is.”

I keep wanting to make a post of cute/uplifting links, and then…the world keeps happening. December 13, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Ceasefire deal in Aleppo to let the civilians evacuate. Now we have to hope like hell that it holds.

Shortlist of charities providing refugee/humanitarian aid in Syria. Also good choices: the Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders.

Trump’s grandfather was banished from Bavaria by royal decree, for skipping out on mandatory military service. Smart people. Why couldn’t we have done that?

World Weather Attribution: connecting the dots between climate events and human actions.

I wish I could tell you that when I first saw those requirements they bothered me. I wish I could tell you that it felt wrong to code something that was basically designed to trick young girls. But the truth is, I didn’t think much of it at the time. I had a job to do, and I did it.”

The students displayed a ‘stunning and dismaying consistency’ in their responses, the researchers wrote, getting duped again and again. They weren’t looking for high-level analysis of data but just a ‘reasonable bar’ of, for instance, telling fake accounts from real ones, activist groups from neutral sources and ads from articles.”

The more people who search for information about Jews, the more people will see links to hate sites, and the more they click on those links (very few people click on to the second page of results) the more traffic the sites will get, the more links they will accrue and the more authoritative they will appear. This is an entirely circular knowledge economy that has only one outcome: an amplification of the message. Jews are evil. Women are evil. Islam must be destroyed. Hitler was one of the good guys.”

Save The Food leads with the dismaying statistic “40% of food in America is wasted” — but then focuses on ways you can avoid food waste in your kitchen at home. Most of the waste is coming from restaurants and supermarkets! Fixing that is going to take laws. Tell us which senators to call, not how to cook our slightly-wilted celery.

One good note to end this on:

“The unemployment rate in the city of Seattle – the tip of the spear when it comes to minimum wage experiments – has now hit a new cycle low of 3.4%, as the city continues to thrive. I’m not sure what else there is to say at this point. The doomsayers were wrong. The sky has not fallen. The restaurant business, by all accounts, is booming.”

Monday Works Roundup, 12/12/16 December 12, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Electric Storm (art | Miranda | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Leg Cling (art | Leif/Thorn | NSFW-ish)
Deep Underground (wallpaper | Annie, the miners | worksafe)
I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)

Ace Attorney
The spirits all testify that we should make out (sketch | Maya x Phoenix | worksafe)

Fake News/Politics
This Is (Not) The News (art | Jon, “Stephen”, Sam, John, Olivia, Trevor | worksafe)

Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Tangerine Dream (art | Ciel/Lizzy | worksafe)

Steven Universe
The Big Quartz Reference Sheet (graphic: lots and lots of rocks)

General/Miscellaneous
Camouflage tile combo pack (free tiled patterns, worksafe)
Figure drawings 12-3-16 (sketches, NSFW)
Figure drawings 12-7-16 (more sketches, NSFW)
Canterlot Republic Trooper (commissioned pony, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Sparrow has a dream sequence. And it’s in technicolor!

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
A panicking miner gets a cooldown, and the drill gets an upgrade.