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Monday Works Roundup: Danger and Eggs, Steven Universe, Dreamworks’ Home, and more August 13, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Magical Girl Cybele (art | Cybele | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
If only I had a gardener here (art | Kale, Thorn, plant | worksafe)
Afternoon in Eveningwear (dolls | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)

Home/Danger and Eggs
Danger and Tips (art | Tip, D.D. | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Kirai Senshi Sailor Homeworld (art | White Diamond, Pink Diamond, Steven | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Asexual Flag Stamp – Base (stamp)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Miranda is the only person here who can pretend like she knows what she’s doing.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Everyone’s trying to sneak into the vine-choked wing of the opera house. Some more successfully than others.

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Danger & Eggs review: It’s really good, but mostly not for the reasons it gets hyped for. August 10, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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So I finally had a chance to watch Danger & Eggs, the Amazon Prime animated kids’ show. Only one season so far, 13 episodes, most of them consisting of two distinct 12-minute segments.

It’s a lot of cute fun.

You know how Phineas and Ferb is partly about mundane suburban family stuff, but the kids’ adventures keep pushing the bounds of fantasy and sci-fi, and meanwhile there’s a world of secret-agent animals fighting mad scientists that they keep intersecting with?

That’s the energy Danger & Eggs has. It centers around a city park where people walk their dogs, rent the clamshell for concerts, hold ren faires…and don’t bat an eye at the underground full of leftover experiments from a failed mad-science organization.

Our heroes are D.D. Danger, human girl whose father was a famous stuntman, and Phil, giant talking egg whose mother is a house-sized mutant chicken. D.D. is wild, energetic, and adventurous; Phil is nervous, quiet, and safety-conscious. They are Best Friends. The comedy writes itself.

And it’s never mean comedy, either. They appreciate each other’s differences! There’s an episode where they wander into a labyrinth controlled by a slightly-deranged AI, get separated, and the AI creates an “ideal” simulation of each of them to entice the other into staying forever. But its strategy backfires — holo!D.D. is quiet and listless, holo!Phil is reckless and hyperactive, and the real kids discover that this isn’t appealing at all, that their friendship works because of how they balance each other out.

So that’s the good part.

The bad part is, before I started watching, all I knew about the show was “it’s full of LGBTQ characters! It has such good gay and trans representation! The whole last episode takes place at a Pride parade!”

Which meant I got pretty let down as the stuff I was expecting…didn’t happen.

(more…)

Monday Works Roundup, 7/2/18 July 2, 2018

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
Dragon Sword (art | Jany | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
#GothPrideProblems (art | Angelica, Hyacinth, Hazel, Vine | worksafe)
Character Height Chart IV (art | a bunch of the men | NSFW-ish)
Lettuce Quartz (art | Gem!Leachtric, Mistel | worksafe)
Garden Parry (art | Leif, Thorn | worksafe)

Home
Boov-Human Fusions (art | Tip, Oh, Pig, DieAnne, OCs | worksafe)

Read or Die
Mini Wire Master (art | Maggie | worksafe)

Sailor Moon
Future Princesses (art | Chibiusa, Nehellenia, Kakyuu-Seiya kid | worksafe)

Voltron
Prince Carry (art | Lotor/Allura | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Lesbian Pride Flag (stripes with symbolism)

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Rowan is on bed rest, and his sister is “helping.”

Erin Watches: Adventures with Tip and Oh season 3, part 2 March 5, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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Just finished the back half of season 3! And I think this was the first time we had a real multi-episode arc plot. I didn’t even realize it was happening until we got to the full-length finale, and it started following up on elements that were established in earlier episodes. Even the solution was foreshadowed. (Maybe a little too obviously, especially since it’s not on a week-to-week release schedule where viewers might forget a plot from three episodes ago. But props for trying.)

Movie continuity shoutouts: Episode 11a involves Tip and Oh re-enacting the “interrupting cow” scene. Using sock puppets. It’s adorable. Episode 12a has Tip replace her mom’s profile pic on a dating app — a cropped screencap of the movie — on the grounds that “it doesn’t even look like her!” And the finale involves what I assume is a reference to the IRL controversy where they designed a cover for the DVD with no sign of Tip on it. (Someone releases a comic about the story, with a giant Oh dominating the cover and a tiny stick-figure Tip on the side, telling the story of “Oh And Some Human.” Tip is…not pleased.)

Gender stuff: Episode 9b has Tip and Oh start a spacegoing pseudo-Girl-Scouts group, open to all. Oh starts listing off identities that are welcome, including genders, including “boy, girl, boyboy, boygirl, boyboygirlgirl…” That last one isn’t a canonical Boov gender. Does that mean…growing awareness of non-septenary Boov? Or nonbinary humans coming up with their own variations on Boov gender? Or both?

And episode 12b really doubles down on Oh being a canon boyboy, huh. “Tip will be so proud when I tell her that I am being a brave boyboy now.”

Miscellaneous notes:

A few more episodes with repetitive themes. Tip makes a new alien friend and Oh gets jealous! Encountering a new group of Boov who haven’t interacted with humans, and treat us like exotic/scary animals (complete with “safari” through Chicago), until they make friends! At least one of them paid off in the finale.

I did like the running gag of “hot dogs are full of try-not-to-think-about-it.”

Episode 10b starts with Oh drawing AU fanart of Tip’s diary. And ends with Tip inventing a terrifyingly dramatic story in order to scare Oh away from messing with her diary in the future. It involves Sharzod and a team of Boov having a dramatic mall battle against Tip and a team of DieAnne-and-biker-friends.

Episode 12a reveals that Tip is a fan of something called Volcano Biker Cops 12. (In which “true love” is revealed to be “two misfit cops overcoming their differences before riding their motorbikes over a volcano.”) I’m so happy that there are 12 of them.

At some point in episode 13 we have this fabulous exchange: “Sharzod’s house is a spaceship!” “How did this never come up??” “I has told you many times.” Cue a sequence of strategically-modified flashbacks to earlier episodes. Much as I enjoyed the bits of the finale that were thoughtfully foreshadowed, that was a great gag.

Final thoughts: [spoiler] and Kyuubey need to make friends. [Spoiler]: “I wasn’t hiding anything! I would have told you [evil plot] if you’d simply asked!” Tip: “Who asks that.”

…Now I have to remember to draw Puella Magi Tip some time.

Monday Works Roundup, 2/5/18 February 5, 2018

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
Everybody Gets A Loaf And A Fish (art | Timothy, Reseda | worksafe)
Dapper Cat Ladies (sketch | Sparrow, Bianca | worksafe)
Sleepy Rabbit (sketch | Cybele | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Embassy Beach Episode (art | Róta, Alruna, Geirölul, Sigrún, Brynhildr, Mist | worksafe)
Screw the TOS (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)

Hellsing
An Armful of Integra (art | Alucard/Integra | worksafe)

Home
A Boov Calls (art | Tip, Oh | worksafe)

Steven Universe/Lilo & Stitch, /Sailor Moon
The Crystal Cosplayers (art | Lilo, Stitch, uncles, Steven, Lion, Crystal Gems | worksafe)
Rose Warriors (art | Connie, Mamoru | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Bookplate Borders (art nouveau, worksafe)
The Druid and the Paladin (commissioned art, worksafe)
Webcomic Woes 3: Getting on the radar (comic, G)
Webcomic Woes 4: Coming out even (comic, G)
Stars and clouds (stock art, worksafe)

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Some final Leif/Thorn cuddling, then it’s on to Valentine vampires.

Erin Watches: Adventures with Tip & Oh, season 3 (part 1) January 31, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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This has been out on Netflix for, like, months now, but I was holding off until I had the time to properly enjoy it.

I feel like we’re repeating a lot of the same themes and morals from earlier seasons. Tip hides something from her mother, and learns a valuable lesson about honesty! Oh takes some human concept to an extreme, and learns a valuable lesson about moderation! Tip gets wrapped up in social media, and learns a valuable lesson about online validation! Oh gets tempted by a prestigious role in Boov society, and learns a valuable lesson about how he’s happiest with his family! And so on.

Notes about episodes 1-7 (okay, mostly about Boov gender in episodes 1-7):

Episode 1b: DieAnne is back! And revealed to be a teenager of her species. (They’re called Roidians.) Tip and Oh show up at Roidian Prom, where it appears that adolescent female Roidians are about 1.5x as big as the males. And adult female Roidians, or at least DieAnne’s mother, are…giant flaming pit-monsters?

Episode 2a: Krunkle’s back! And is referred to as “she” now, even though that was “misgendering” when Tip said it earlier. Probably the writers just forgot, but I’ll be over here working on headcanons about concept drift/universal translator inconsistency/Krunkle coming out as trans.

Episode 2b: Tip and Oh celebrate their Friendiversary, including flashbacks to their first meeting. They redrew scenes from the movie in the show’s style. Very cute.

Episode 3a: A one-off reference to an individual Boov as “they.” (“There’s another Boov I hang out with, and they do nice things for me, and I look out for their well-being…”) Guessing that’s a boygirl or a girlboy.

Episode 3b: The whole plot hinges on “Oh learning to tell lies,” which, uh, is harder to headcanon away. He knows what lies are! One of the first things he said to Tip was “I will shoot forth the lasers from my eyes”! And the show hasn’t been doing the Boov emotional color-changing to begin with, but it’s especially notable here, where suddenly Oh isn’t turning green and it’s not a thing.

Episode 4a features a Boov singer named Chercophanie…who I assumed was doing a Cher impression, but nope, she was actually voiced by Cher. Who even did a song for them. Nice get, Netflix.

Episode 5a: Sharzod manipulates Oh into a date (they remember the continuity of the number-one date that ends with a bell-ring, at least), and at one point comments “I like a boyboy with a sense of humor.” I totally thought Oh was confirmed as a boy, not a boyboy. (Of course, Sharzod is always referring to Tip as a boy, so maybe she’s just bad with gender.)

Tip in this episode refers to Sharzod as “heheshe”, which is definitely a first. Right? (Lucy called her a boyboygirl earlier, but everyone’s used “she” pronouns.)

Episode 7a gives us talking cat-aliens. I’m surprised it took them this long, frankly.

Oh, and: there’s a standalone Christmas special! Which is…a very thin plot full of mildly-entertaining songs. Including a Jewish character who raps about Hanukkah. I appreciate what they’re trying to do, but combined with the way it handled Christmas as a generic secular celebration of giving and togetherness, it did give off an odd vibe of “all religions and their winter holidays are basically the same, right?”

Not actively off-putting overall, just very skippable. Watch it if you’re a completist, but it’s no A Colbert Christmas, is what I’m saying.

Monday Works Roundup, 3/6/17 March 6, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Top of the City (art | Cybele, Reseda, Patrick, Kara Lynn | worksafe)
Miranda Lake (wallpaper | Miranda, Poe | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Vivianite (art | Holly, Ivy, fusion | worksafe)
Rowan and the Twins (sketch | Rowan, Rosie, Rhodey | worksafe)

Home
Magnificent Boov Genders (art | George, Oh, Sharzod, Larry, Krunkle | worksafe)

Homestuck
SK4T3 YOUR H34RT OUT</a) (sketch | Latula/Terezi | worksafe)

My Little Pony
The Pay’s Terrible, But You Can Sleep At Night (art | Sunset Shimmer/Adagio Dazzle | worksafe)

Steven Universe
You’ve Got To Be A Leader, Blue (art | Blue Diamond | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Commission Prices 2017 (info, worksafe)
Mako (reward chibi, worksafe)
Figure drawings (sketches, NSFW)
Power Armor (art, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Back to the present! Camellia’s confrontation with Walker begins in earnest.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Present-day Rowan reflects on his childhood.

Erin Watches: Home, Season 2, the thrilling conclusion March 3, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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Wow, the back half of this season is loaded with gender stuff.

So many references to specific Boov characters being not-male-or-female! Sharzod being a boyboygirl keeps getting referenced. A giant greenish-teal Boov we’ve seen a couple times, Traffic Cone Larry, is identified as a boyboyboyboy. Krunkle’s gender still isn’t specified, but when they reappear in 10B, Tip congratulates them with “You go, girl!” — and then remembers, and self-corrects: “Or whatever gender you are.”

Episode 9A is Sharzod-centric. Pronouns (in Boov-to-English translation) confirmed as “himhimher.” (When the writers remember, at least. In 10A, Kyle use both “heheshe” and “she” two minutes apart.)

…btw, Larry thinks Tip’s pronouns are “it.” Although that was a Boov-only conversation, meaning he could’ve been using a Boov pronoun for Things Without Genders. I bet there are a lot of traditional Boov who think only magnificent genders “count.”

The Seven Magnificent Boov Genders appear to be a septinary system, so I dither about how to frame all this in human terms. Trans readers, what would you go with? All these are technically canon nonbinary characters, but not necessarily trans characters, because it’s easy for Boov to be nonbinary-cis.

Still! Just going by what’s confirmed so far, it’s cool.

And Krunkle’s ambiguity leaves the door open for them to be non-septinary trans, which, uh, might be my new headcanon. (Oh did say Krunkle’s gender is “the rarest”….)

Sidebar: Sharzod has been gendering Tip as a boy (did we know this already?), not like an insult or anything, but like a sincere belief. The joke plays as Wacky Misunderstanding via Clashing Cultural Gender Norms…until Sharzod makes a statue of Tip (for important plot reasons) and the statue is not “Tip’s normal appearance, which Sharzod perceives as male.” It’s “Rule 63 Tip.” It was sculpted with masculine-by-human-standards features that the actual Tip does not have.

The Doylist explanation is that the writers were poking fun at Tip not performing her gender to Earth-US-human standards, and didn’t consider that this makes no sense coming from a septinary-gendered alien. I…may have to write a fixit for that.

And finally: episode 8A opens with a game, where Oh is playing a human woman (we know “human” because of the balloons stuffed in his dress) and Tip is playing as a Boov gender (“I bet you say that to all the boyboygirls”).

It’s not something the show is likely to go anywhere with, but I could get kinda attached to a nonbinary!Tip headcanon. I’ve talked before about wanting fic that explores how the human trans community interacts with the seven magnificent Boov genders…wasn’t thinking of Tip specifically coming to identify with one of them, but now? Bring on the boyboygirl!Tip.

In non-gender observations….

There’s a “we bought a pet without reading the fine print, and it turned into Little Shop of Horrors” storyline in 8B. It’s executed really well for something so tropey…but one of the tropes it invokes is a Mysterious Old Blind Chinese Salesman stereotype. No, show! Bad! They’re aliens, you don’t have to racialize them at all, and you definitely don’t have to do it for things like this.

Two separate incidents of humans crashing their cars, nearly injuring Boov, because they were watching cat videos on their phones. Is that a thing now?

Along with the episodes that focus on Sharzod and Krunkle, there’s a Kyle-centric film-noir parody, and a Smek-centric quest for friendship in which he gets a whole song. Solid material for fans of everyone in the beta cast.

Episode 13A reveals that the Boov have invented hammerspace. Tip runs around stuffing random things into Oh’s “cloud storage,” starting with the junk in her room and escalating all the way to a shuttered building.

It’s all very Homura. (Until she breaks hammmerspace, anyway.) Who wants to write me that crossover?

Disappointed in 13B. The theme is one we’ve seen before — Oh going through some alien life change (meeting “the one”, getting the flu, etc) that threatens to displace his friendship with Tip — so obviously at the end of the episode it turns out nothing changed. Not that you can’t repeat themes, and a fresh twist on this one would’ve been a worthy season finale…but instead Oh is going through “booverty,” and they blow the whole thing on icky puberty jokes.

Overall: happy with season 2! Would mostly rewatch. Especially the one with DieAnne.

Multifandom Works Roundup, 2/13/17 February 13, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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Leif & Thorn
Cotton Candy Nap (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
Hy Fashion (art | Hyacinth | worksafe)
Fancy Olive (art | Olive | worksafe)
This Is Not An Effective Sweater (art | Leif | NSFWish)

Danganronpa
You Were My Hope (art | Mikan/Ibuki | worksafe)

Gravity Falls
Pacific Pines Embrace (art | Mabel/Pacifica | worksafe)

Harry Potter
This time I’ll be the catgirl (art | Tonks/Hermione | worksafe)

Homestuck
Soft Lips, Sharp Blades (art | Vriska/Aranea | worksafe)

Legend of Korra
That’s Some Good Handmaidening (art | Korra/Asami | worksafe)

Moana/Home
I Am A Girl Who Loves My Planet (art | Tip, Moana | worksafe)

Moana/Little Mermaid
That Scavenging Collector (comic | Moana/Ariel, Maui | G)

Steven Universe
Modern Dance Opal (art | Pearl/Amethyst, Opal | worksafe)
Are Those Space Pants? (sketch | Pearl/Peridot | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Figure drawings 2-11-17 (sketches, NSFW)

This Week in Leif & Thorn:

Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh s2 is out! February 11, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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I’m torn between wanting to binge the whole season overnight, and wanting to savor it one episode at a time. At this point I’m halfway through.

The good: References to book continuity. References to season 1. DieAnne is back! The Tip-Oh friendship is strong as ever, shattering some egregious tropes along the way. Lots of good lines, and the occasional bursting into song.

The bad: Some wince-worthy gender politics. Lots of bodily-function jokes. I can’t tell if there have been more in general this season, or if I just blanked the last round from memory. In specific, all of episode s04B is an extended fart joke. Was that necessary, show?

Any reference to the seven glorious Boov genders is catnip to me, and episode 01A gets right to it: Boy Boy Girl Band, featuring a singer named Boy Boy George.

“Their Boov hearts are breaking from disappointment!” “That’s a THING?!” “Yes! It totally is.”

In other noncishetero news, Oh gets a crush on a human boy in 02A (in the process of trying to flirt on Tip’s behalf). The boy doesn’t return it, and is pretty weirded out, but it feels like that’s because Oh is an alien — there’s no reference to gender being the weird part. I mean, very likely they kept it vague for the sake of plausible deniability, but. The lack of no-homo’ing is nice.

Oh’s impression of Tip with a crush: “I am going through human puberty emotions!”

When it turns out the boy only likes Tip because she’s cute, she gets a great outburst: “Cute is an accident! Personality is hard!”

I think the animators have gotten bored with drawing the standard Boov shape all the time. They’re going really wild with exaggerated body shapes, nostricle styles, and random colors and features.

Time loop in 02B! With bonus rips in the fabric of spacetime, temporarily fixed with duct tape.

Okay, background: the original novel has a sequel, in which Tip sneaks off to visit the Boov colony on a moon of Jupiter, and Oh struggles to invent a time machine which can retcon all his mistakes from the Gorg invasion. Here, there’s a time machine, but it doesn’t reference anything else in the books — Oh whips it up overnight when Tip has a bad day.

Lovely continuity with s1 in 03A. PomPom the pageant contestant reappears, as does the magnificent DieAnne from the Angerdome, with more muscles than ever. Tip becomes DieAnne’s peace mentor! It’s a tough job! DieAnne still tries to solve everything with punching! This is 100% going to be Jasper in a few seasons of Steven Universe, you watch.

Bodyswapping in 03B, with an impressively solid plot reason why it takes ages for people to notice that a cat brain is in Tip’s body. And then it plunges into horrifying chimera territory when the cat starts talking. Not okay!

More book-references in 05B, which features a group of Boov-hating preteen boys. Softened from the original, though. Instead of being an angry resistance in an underground hideout because the Boov invaded their planet and kidnapped their families, this is far post-invasion, and they’re mad because a Boov broke one kid’s bike.

Okay, you know the trope where a villain tries to sabotage a friendship by telling the people lies about each other, and it drives a wedge between them for long-term angst, even though the whole plan would fall apart if the friends just had a five-minute conversation about what was going on?

The boys try that on Tip and Oh. And it fails miserably, because they always talk to each other, and sort out the problem within like thirty seconds. This is great.

“Slushious is kind. She would never use baby ducks for evil!”

Slushious gets an AI voice in 07B. Cool! …It’s a female voice, and it exists for the sake of a plot about her becoming murderously jealous of Tip’s friendship with Oh. Less cool.

So it has a couple episodes that are incredibly skippable, but the good bits are excellent, and I’m excited to binge and/or savor the rest of the season.