Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm Still Kicking . . .

Okay, so I knew starting a blog was a bad idea :)

   What happened RIGHT after I started: I got a job, and worked about 50 hours right off. Then, I had a custom glove order (Awesome!) that needed attention. And then I got a great book idea and went deep into the abyss of inspiration. This was also good, but intense. So today I am revisiting everything I have neglected in September. It's a long list.
    So hello, I'm back.

    Shealynn, from Shealynn's Fairy Shop and Blog, kindly featured our work in a wonderful blog post here, where you can enter to win a set of Elven Handflowers, and a $10 gift certificate to VirvatuliDesigns.

   Anyhow, another thing I've been behind on is the 30 Day Drawing Challenge I started back in July. I got stuck on Day 6: Favorite Book Character, which is an almost impossible task. After much deliberation, I narrowed my list down to 23 pivotal characters that I loved. Then I decided to draw ALL of them, but as chibi, instead of as full blown out pieces. I selected two of them, one male, one female, to illustrate in Manga/Fusion style, which is, of course, a mixture of Japanese Manga and American/Western art styles. For these two, I selected Sabriel, from Garth Nix's Sabriel, which is one of my favorite books as well.

 It's the story of a young school girl who lives next door to an old kingdom filled with magic, among other things. Her father is the Abhorsen, an anti-necromancer, who puts the dead back instead of calling them up. Sabriel receives a message from her father, who is caught in Death (conceived as a giant river, with different gates and levels, sort of like Dante's hell meets the Greek underworld). He sends her his sword and his bells, the tools of the Abhorsen's trade.
   Though she's terrified, and worried, Sabriel goes into the Old Kingdom, and encounters one horror after the next on her way to her father. It's a great story, and the characters are awesome. I drew Sabriel just as she is confronting one of the dead.

  You can see the picture full size here

    The second picture is of Tom Imura, from Jonathan Maberry's coming-of-age/zombie apocalypse novel, Rot & Ruin.
Now, I never would have picked this book up if not for a review I read in a literary mag. Just look at the cover, and it's about zombies (boring) and coming-of-age (worse than zombies), two things I--as a reader--have never liked in my fiction. But this review said it was more heart, less gross, and that the central story was really about two brothers' relationship in a hostile world, and that the older brother was a modern Samurai. I was intrigued, so I gave it a shot. Now it is another one of my favorite books.
    So Tom Imura. He's not the main character, rather, he's the main character's older half-brother. He's a complex guy with a story that unravels throughout the novel, showing us (and his brother Benny), that Tom is not just a calm, peaceful man who kills zombies. He's a hero, self-sacrificial, and he's got quite a past. His parents were Japanese American, which makes his Samurai thing more believable, and is a standout for YA post-apocalyptic fiction.
   I depicted Tom as he is in a memorable part of the novel-dressed in pajamas, a rain slicker, and barefoot, with his katana-on a rainy night as he heads to rescue his brother Benny, and other townspeople, from invading zombies. The aftermath isn't humorous, but the idea was, and I am in serious doubt as to Tom wearing plaid pajamas, but who can choose their look after the apocalypse, really?

       Soooo, who were the rest of the 23 characters? Here's a list with links to the books they came from-and silly categories to excuse the fact that I couldn't narrow them down. Stay posted for their chibi portraits as I color and upload them.
  1. Favorite Wizard: Gandalf, from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  2. Favorite Couple: Eowyn and Faramir from the above
  3. Favorite Elves: Luthien and Nir, the former from the Silmarillion and the latter from In the Coils of the Snake, by Clare Dunkle
  4. Favorite Drama Queen: Howl from Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
  5. Childhood Favorite: Aerin from The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley
  6. Current Favorite: Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities
  7. Favorite Revolutionaries: Enjolras from Les Miserables and Cinna from The Hunger Games
  8. Favorite Jane Austen Character: Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice
  9. Favorite Dark and Tortured Character: Edmund Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo
  10. Favorite Antihero: Mordred from The Book of Mordred, by Vivian Vande Velde
  11. Favorite Character I Identify With: Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle
  12. Favorite Assumed Vampire: Silas from The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  13. Favorite Thief: Gen (Eugenides) from The Queen's Thief series, by Megan Whalen Turner
  14. Favorite Monster Hunter: Europe, Duchess of Naimes, from The Monster Blood Tattoo Series, by D. M. Cornish.
  15. Favorite "Dreamboat": Corlath, from The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley
  16. Favorite "Odd Couple": Artemis and Butler, from the Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer.
  17. Favorite Governess: Jane Eyre, from Jane Eyre

So there we have it, a list of a few of my favorite characters. All of the books they belong to are HIGHLY recommended reading, ;), so check them out.

      Anyhow, that's all for tonight,