jump to navigation

Monday Works Roundup, 11/30 November 30, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Art, But I'm A Cat Person, Madoka Magica, Sailor Moon, Steven Universe.
add a comment

But I’m A Cat Person
Critters in flight (art | Being ensemble | worksafe)

Rainbow Assistant (art | Assistant | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Anime High School Bishounen AU (art | Thorn, Leif | worksafe)
Remembering those we’ve lost, 2015 (memorial art | Juniper | worksafe)
Pocket Thorn (art | tiny!Thorn, Leif | worksafe)
Ceannic City Block (art | scenery | worksafe)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Cuddly furry whiskerfaces (art | MadoHomu, MamiNagi | worksafe)

Sailor Moon
Ra Senshi Dolls (dolls | otaku senshi | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Quartz Universe (sil.) (art | Steven | worksafe)
My shiny Pearl (art | Pearl/Rose | worksafe)
Quartz Universe (art | Steven | worksafe)

Grey rock wall pattern (free tiled background, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Patrick loses the thread of his own backstory, and Miranda has to take ov

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Thorn has a truce with his niece, says hi to his nephew, and plans a fight with his brother-in-law.

BICP/L&T website downtime November 25, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn.
add a comment

My hosting provider, A Small Orange, is having domain nameserver issues. Which means that both webcomics, But I’m A Cat Person and Leif & Thorn, will be intermittently failing to load until it gets fixed.

Everything is still registered, bills are paid, and all the data is still there! Just…temporarily unreachable.

ETA: aaaand we’re back! Praise be to tech support.

Erin (Re)Watches: 30 Rock, 3rd Rock, Damages, Burn Notice, Grace and Frankie November 24, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Another post with reactions to the TV which has played on my computer over the past however-many months.

…including all the way back to March, which is when I watched Burn Notice. Did I ever mention that?

It was suggested as a follow-up to Leverage. Not quite as unrelentingly feel-good, especially during the last season or so, when it takes a turn for the unnecessarily grimdark…and our ex-spy hero is even more wrapped up in his own quests than Nate Ford is. But there’s still a healthy amount of Scrappy Underdog Do-Gooders Helping The Helpless, as well as Lovely Detailed Competence Porn.

And what I said mid-watch still holds: Michael Westen has the greatest mom. She has her own life and concerns separate from the action characters’ shenanigans, but she helps them out in increasingly involved ways as the series goes on — you really come to appreciate how much she has the unpolished version of some of Michael’s skills and abilities, and that’s where he got it from.

On the comedy side of things, Grace and Frankie was a lot of fun. When lawyer-friends President Bartlet and Sam the Eagle reveal that they’ve been secretly having an affair for years, their shocked wives, Jane Fonda and Ms. Frizzle, end up forming an unconventional support-group/friendship as they struggle to cope.

It’s funny and snappy and sweet by turns. The premise has a tough tightrope to walk — being queer and closeted and in love with someone you can’t be open about is hard, but being lied to and cheated on and divorced is also hard, but when the lies are about queer stuff the reaction can go to a homophobic place very easily. IMO the first season does a really nice job of letting everyone be hurt and angry for legitimate reasons, without vilifying anyone.

There’s plenty of room for them to bomb at it whenever the second season comes out, especially after the S1 cliffhanger. But given their track record, I’m optimistic — they’ve been good about the characters’ flaws being the product of these specific characters, rather than sweeping statements on the behavior of All People of Sexuality X and/or Gender Y.

Made it through a rewatch of 30 Rock more recently.

It kinda suffers on second viewing because the good jokes are no longer delightful surprises, so there’s not as much delight to distract you as much from the terrible bits. (I don’t want to say there are a lot of terrible bits…they’re just really outstanding in their terribleness. Like “this thing they’re referencing is rape, but the show doesn’t realize it’s rape, and seems to expect you to find it hilarious” levels of terrible.)

But, y’know, the characters are still mostly lovable in their ridiculousness, Liz Lemon is still great, and Liz and Jack’s relationship is still all kinds of heartwarming. The guy she marries didn’t wow me,  but they’re believably happy together, and the wedding was excellent. (“I’m a princess!” Ahhh, had forgotten that happened.) It’s a series with a good finale! So few manage to pull that off.

And I totally did not pick up on Kenneth’s immortality during the first viewing. That was a worthy second-watch bonus.

These days, comedy-wise, I’m working through 3rd Rock From The Sun. (For reasons other than “thematic naming.”)

It’s a nice mild sitcom about aliens. The main actors are all really good at interacting with human society in weird and confused ways — you get genuine sci-fi vibes out of it, even with, so far, absolutely no special effects. (The hilarious ’90s 3-D animation in the opening doesn’t count.)

There’s some awkwardness about social issues, nothing I haven’t been able to shrug off. You just have to keep your “product of the ’90s” filter up. Sometimes it’s even pleasantly surprising. There’s an episode where the alien family is trying to figure out how race/ethnicity works, and one of them tries to go “I don’t see race, there is only the human race”…to which a co-worker immediately replies, “dude, I’m black, it’s a thing, deal with it.”

And it’s doing pretty well in the “unrelentingly feel-good” department. To the point where I don’t think any of the characters have been mean or vindictive or petty, even for purposes of hilarity. The comedy all flows from the culture clashes, and from the aliens being sweetly, earnestly bizarre.

Back in the dramatic end of the pool: did a rewatch of Damages not long ago.

It’s a very different experience when you know from the start who’s plotting to kill who, and for what reasons! Less tense in some ways, more satisfying in others.

I would really love a show about the lawyer that Patty Hewes is pretending to be when she first meets Ellen. Tough but fair, relentless in the pursuit of justice, and without, y’know, the murder-y streak.

…and since I originally checked the series out on the promise of complicated adversarial f/f potential, I would also love a show that’s basically the same as Damages, but without Ellen getting that one reason to reeeeeally hate Patty. I mean, as-is, the hatesex would be intense, but there’s no plausible way to get anything else! If Ellen’s feelings were left to be more ambiguous…if she was pushing back against the ruthlessness of some of Patty’s methods but undeniably impressed by the results…also, drawn along by her own ambition, and slowly growing into her potential to be just as terrifying, with Patty wary of the potential competition and not allowing herself to show just how appealing she finds Ellen’s progress….

That would be some good shipping, right there.

(Basically, I want The Devil Wears Prada as a law-office AU.)

So here’s what you missed on the OTW November 22, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta.
add a comment
  • Organization holds elections to fill 2 full-term Board seats
  • There are 6 candidates, which makes this [eta: almost] the first time they’ve had more candidates than free seats
  • (There were 8 candidates to start with, but the Board disqualified one of them via some hella shady maneuvering, and another dropped out in protest)
  • (There’s also a whole thing with one of the Board members using a sockpuppet to ask questions in an open elections chat)
  • OTW voting membership (a privilege which costs $10, by the way) casts their votes
  • Top 2 candidates get the 2 seats
  • Board goes “oh btw, there’s a partial-term Board seat that also needs to be filled, and instead of appointing the 3rd-place runner-up, we’re going to vote one of the outgoing candidates — who ran for re-election, and came in last — into this spot.”
  • Massive outcry from other people working in the OTW (including the AO3), and from all the people who paid actual money to vote in this thing.
  • Within a few hours (?!?), the entire current Board resigns.


I mean, the fallout from this is gonna be chaotic as all get out, but hoooooopefully to good results? The popular candidates were the ones with reformist agendas anyway, so when the existing Board burns itself to the ground, that leaves a whole lot of clear territory to build up fresh new everything. Even though that’s a much bigger job than the 2 newly-elected candidates (plus whoever gets finagled into the 5 newly-freed seats…I assume the 3 electoral runners-up, and who else?) signed up for.

Fingers crossed that they can turn the OTW into an organization I’d be comfortable giving money to.

Erin Watches: Jessica Jones (and Don’t Trust The B—–) November 22, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

First time I’ve gone ahead and binge-watched a Netflix show on the weekend it dropped.

Jessica Jones is good, often in terrifying ways. If you have any squicks around mind control…particularly around mind-controlling sociopathic villains who order people to maim and/or kill themselves…there is a lot of that.

Never read any of the comics she appears in, so I did some backstory review on Wikipedia. Was entertained to find that our heroine’s non-powered BFF has a long history as a superhero…but before that, her character originated in a line of teen romantic-comedy comics. They did the equivalent of lifting someone from Archie and importing her into the Avengers.

(Last night I had this dream in which Wikipedia said the character of Jessica Jones had also appeared in the Precure series. For some reason, she was Cure Lemonade. IDEK.)

Notable good things:

  • Our heroine doesn’t keep her powers secret from her friends and loved ones For Their Protection. On the contrary: her BFF has known about them almost since she got them, and when it comes to her love interest, there’s a great mutual “wait, you have super-strength too?” realization.
  • The BFF, Trish, doesn’t have powers in this continuity (yet?), but has taken some serious self-defense training. One of her earliest scenes involves flipping someone over her shoulder and slamming them to the mat.
  • Jessica and Trish are extremely shippable. (There are a lot of female characters with whom Jessica is extremely shippable.)
  • Lots of fun references to comicverse. At some point Trish comes up with a mockup of comic!Jessica’s first costume, excited about having her become a Proper Superhero. (Jessica is having none of it.)
  • About the non-fun parts: the bad things are gritty and intense. (And bloody enough that I looked away for some scenes. Fortunately not so visceral that I couldn’t finish the thing.) The initial plot-hook case is heartrending, the first-episode twist horrifying.
  • Good, evocative depictions of a character having PTSD.
  • Good, unambiguous depiction of an abuser being evil. There’s a point when Kilgore basically tries to self-woobify, talking about how he was raised by abusive parents who didn’t teach him right from wrong, and how traumatic and confusing it is to have uncontrollable persuasion powers behind everything you say. And, you know, there’s a lot of potential angsty story about a well-meaning character with those issues who’s desperately trying to redeem himself…but Kilgore is so clearly not that guy.
  • Contrast that one arc in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where two characters are each claiming to be the put-upon victim of the other…and they’re both good liars, the only flashbacks you get include the narrator’s bias, for a long time you don’t have enough objective information to know for sure what’s going on. It’s realistic, it isn’t bad storytelling or anything, but there’s a specific frustration in not knowing how much you as a viewer are being manipulated.
  • …also, there’s a certain anxiety when you don’t know if the narrative is trying to get you to sympathize with a character in order to bait-and-switch you, or if the show is going to reveal something terrible and still expect you to find the character sympathetic.
  • So, yeah, no ambiguity here. Kilgore is an unrepentant rapey sociopath with an entitlement complex the size of Mars. The viewer knows it. The show knows it. You can sit back and cheer on Jessica in her quest to make sure all of New York figures it out.

Footnote: if you liked the actress, don’t miss her last starring series (also Netflixable), Don’t Trust The B—– in Apt 23.

Lighthearted comedy, also Netflixable, also with hella f/f vibes. This is the one where I couldn’t bring myself to watch the last episode for months, because I didn’t want it to be over. (Finally took the plunge a week or so ago. Aaaaugh, June and Chloe, just kiss already.)

Monday Works Roundup, 11/16 November 16, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Art, Fake News, Leif & Thorn, Madoka Magica, Misc Work, Miscellaneous, Steven Universe.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Terrifying Blonde Fashion Princess (art | Rachel | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Your world is colder than mine (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
Embassy Gem Fusion: Keyite (art | Gem!Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
Weapons (art | swords! | worksafe)
Magical Holly Transformation (art | Holly | worksafe)

Fake News
Velvet and Lace and Smoky Eyeshadow (art | Stephen | worksafe)
Angel Catching (art | Jon/”Stephen” | worksafe)

Hello From The Magic Tavern
Carnival Wilson (art | Spintax, Chunt, Arnie, Usidore | worksafe)

Our Miss Brooks
Teaching at Ganymede High (art | Brooks/Boynton, Walter/Harriet, ensemble | worksafe)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
The Girl in the Golden Gown (art | Madoka | worksafe)

Steven Universe(/Sapphire and Steel)
Sapphire and Sapphire Have Been Assigned (art | S&S Sapphire, SU Sapphire | worksafe)
Proud Stage Moms (art | Pearl/Garnet, Sardonyx | worksafe)

Welcome to Night Vale(/Steven Universe)
Night Vale: The Musical, Act II, Part A (fic synopsis, song parodies | Cecil/Carlos, ensemble | T)
Janice’s Giant Uncles (art | Janice, Cecil, Kevin, various | worksafe)
Blue Lace Agate (art | Trish Hidge/Pamela Winchell | worksafe)
Basalt and Obsidian (art | Dana, Tamika, fusions | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Angsty flashbacks continue, with Miranda, Patrick, and Dr. Rosen all filling in details.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Leif is up a tree. Thorn has to battle a hellhound — and it’s on fire. This calls for teamwork!

Veterans’ Day: when do we stop this ride and get off? November 11, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Let’s remember the people who fought bravely and well, the people who volunteered to put their lives on the line to protect others, the people who are often horribly underserved back in the US and have earned much better support, career services, and healthcare than they’re getting.

Let’s also remember things like “the US military just bombed a hospital” and “that’s not the only terrible thing we’ve done, but we should be able to pause the list right there and skip straight to the war-crimes trials.”

And while I’m here, the latest statistics on the violence closer to home:

People killed by police, 2015. 1025 and counting.

Known mass shootings in 2015. 325 and counting.

Or, to put it another way: “We’ve averaged exactly one mass shooting per day since the start of the year.

(People often cite mass shootings as a white-man thing, and given the amount of racist violence in this country it’s a reasonable guess, but the data show that it’s mostly just a man thing. “If you look at the whole list [of mass shooters], it turns out that whites and blacks are pretty proportionate to their population, very close. […] Latinos are almost nowhere to be seen. Asians continue to be heavily overrepresented.”)

I’ll give Neil deGrasse Tyson the last word: “3,400: Americans who died by Terrorism since 2001 3,400: Americans who died by household Firearms since five weeks ago.

And the shoe just dropped [My Favorite Husband vs. Burns and Allen] October 31, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fandom, Meta.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Welp, I’ve gotten to the domestic-abuse jokes in My Favorite Husband. Or, to put it another way: wow, this show talks about spanking a lot. Maybe it would work if you could headcanon in some kind of kinky domestic-discipline negotiation backstory, but mostly it just feels very Fifty Shades of Cooper.

…which is compounded by the fact that “making out” is the only thing Liz and George seem to really enjoy about each other. The narration bills them as a Happy Couple, but a fair amount of the comedy is from the “straight married people fight with each other” school. A regular gag is George saying something vaguely positive about another woman, and Liz bursting into tears about how clearly he doesn’t love her anymore. George can be super condescending, and both of them will end up in situations where they’re yanking the other’s chains, and the joy they take in it has an edge of meanness, instead of, say, fondness.

It has its charms, and at their best they’ll hit genuinely funny and clever notes, so the series is still in the “listenable” pile. Re-listenable, not so much.

For the record, there are things that don’t make the “listenable” pile. I’m not so desperate for audio material that there’s nothing I won’t bounce off of, honest.

A few old-school radio comedies that got rejected: Vic and Sade; Duffy’s Tavern; Fibber McGee and Molly (Great Gildersleeve was a spinoff of this, but even the Gildy episodes felt subpar); the radio version of The Red Skelton Show.

I said MFH felt like watered-down Burns & Allen Show — you know, it’s possible George and Gracie could’ve made something better out of the same material? Their IRL happy marriage, and their general adoration of each other, glows through their characters. (Same way Stephen Colbert’s general human decency showed through in “Stephen”, come to think of it.)

But the material they got was different, too. They don’t make fun of each other. There’s that power balance I talked about, where Liz’s George doesn’t seem to rely on her for anything, while Gracie’s George relies on her to have the talent and make the money. (And Gracie, in turn, relies on George to have good business sense…and do the housework.)

Here, have some demonstrative episode recs….

1948-10-07 Kleptomaniacs: George becomes convinced that Gracie is the compulsive thief who’s been stealing from local stores.

This is the point when George Cooper would have sat Liz down for a lecture (and maybe a spanking, for good measure). George Burns, though? He worries about her — considers that maybe he’s been contributing to her compulsive behavior by not paying her enough attention — tries to cover for her — and, when he gets caught, pleads guilty.

Gracie, who is not the thief, hears about this, becomes convinced George is really the thief…and, you guessed it, takes it upon her own shoulders to cover for him.

1949-02-17 George Collects Alley Cats: Lots of shenanigans with cats, until the new neighbors adopt one from George and Gracie. Meanwhile, Gracie gets the idea that George is being wooed by the neighbor wife. She ends up going over and demanding him back…and of course “George” is what they named the cat.

(Gracie: “…you want to buy him?” James Mason: “Yes, I’ll give you fifty dollars!…Is he worth more?” Gracie, earnestly: “No, the price is right, but I love him!”)

And this is where Liz would have started wailing, or maybe gotten all jealous of Pamela Mason and ended up cackling with joy when something bad happened to her. But Gracie? When she hears about how “George” loves sleeping at the foot of the Masons’ bed, and is all frisky and excited about living with them, she decides that if this really is best for her husband, she’ll resign herself to giving him up.

Burns & Allen are undoubtedly staying on my hard drive for re-listening purposes. Repetitive ads and all.

Anime Figurines Giveaway – Sailor Moon, Hellsing, Emma October 30, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Hellsing, Sailor Moon.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Doing a giveaway from my anime figurine collection. Most of these belong to ensembles that I’m never going to complete — so maybe they can help complete yours.

Everything’s in good condition, and it’s all free. You just give me a shipping address (you can do that by email or PM), and a couple bucks for postage/packing.


Sailor Moon: Adorable chibi plastic figures of Serenity, Endymion, Usagi, Naru, Sailor Jupiter (her tiara comes with a little antenna), and Sailor Mars. They’re a little wobbly when you stand them up, but do fine if you lean them against something.


Sailor Moon: Black Lady, sultry pose, really lovely detail for molded plastic. CLAIMED!

Victorian Romance Emma: Two of Hakim’s companions, the same model, in two color variations. Each comes with her own (plastic) pillow.


Hellsing: Mini-figures of Jan Valentine (the guns are separate pieces!) and Walter Dornez (wearing, inexplicably, jeans). And a huge poseable figure of Alexander Anderson. Comes with two extra hands, and two bayonets from his infinite supply. CLAIMED!

Comment to let me know the ones you want! First come, first serve

“People would rather imagine that they’re a beleaguered hero than that they’re creating imaginary enemies because they’re bored” October 27, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fandom, Meta.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Title quoted from this Twitter conversation (Ian JQ co-develops Steven Universe, Alex Hirsch created Gravity Falls), which starts with a flat “let people draw whatever fanart they want.”

Slacktivist has a ton of posts about this phenomenon as it affects the religious right in the US. Under the tag “satanic baby-killers”, because that’s the horrifying imaginary monster that’s always getting invoked.

For the Wannabe-Progressive Kids On Tumblr version, the tag would be “problematic pedophiles.”

This latest is inspired by a Tumblr dogpile of an SU fanartist that got so bad she’s in the hospital. FFA has details. Accusations range from “she drew teenage characters in bikinis, WHAT A MONSTER” to “she didn’t draw this Jewish guy stereotypically enough, which makes it erasure” to “in the scenery of this picture, there’s an object that was copied and pasted!! Think of the artistic integrity!”

There may be one actual child predator involved in this — a guy the artist met when she was 13, who got friendly enough with her that she did at least one art request for him. I have no idea if this is legit or just another case of frothing-accusations-out-of-thin-air, but the Tumblr mob believes it…

…and they’re using it as more ammunition to harass the artist.

Because when adult male pedophiles cultivate the friendship and emotional attachment of 13-year-old girls, that’s somehow the fault of the 13-year-old girls.

Everyone involved in this needs to go sit in a quiet room and reread their own words until the reasons why this is wrong soak in. And they can’t go back on the Internet until they’re done.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 218 other followers