I Am Not Starfire :

Hi Hi Y’all,

There’s been some buzz about one of DC’s newer graphic novel: I Am Not Starfire. Here’s the thing… I really wanted to like this more and not just find myself agreeing with the negativity around it.

But, I didn’t….

There are so many things I found wrong with this graphic novel. There are issues of self insert characters, poor story line, poor writing and disregard of previous ‘still cannon’ source material. It is the first and last two points I want to focus on, because problematic story lining and writing of graphic novels isn’t my forte and doesn’t seem as much as a problem to me as the other two points.

I’m going to start first with the disregard of previous source material. There is no problem with making up a new character for a comic. It is pretty standard to create random children and family members over the various arcs. However, in this case Starfire has a child with beloved DC hero Nightwing that bares too large of a shadow to be overlooked. The comic introduces you to “Mandy” instead of the heavily desired and asked for Mar’i Grayson.

Even if you compare these two characters on the surface you find problematic similarities. Mar’i is a black-haired and confident half Tamaranian. She is a member of the Outsiders and grew up without her mother’s shadow. Instead, she faced issues with her father and grandfather, the great and wonderful Batman. She was a character that was confident and played the role of Titan leader well. In contrast, Mandy is a fake black-haired young girl with weight issues, self confidence issues, no super powers, loner tendencies and a hard core emo phase. They are two drastically different characters for similar names and hair color- a point of connection that drives fans mad.

I agree that on the surface there is always room for both forms of superhero children stories but the Mar’i character was so beloved and desired that it makes the comparison on Mandy’s flaws even worse. Which, as an overweight young adult makes the self image issues even worse. Further, the desire to continuously keep up with a trend of making ‘relevant’ stories for youth is a huge pitfall trap for the character.

When reading the comic their was nothing I found I liked about her. Instead, she mostly got my pity, worry and lots of frustration. Even her final come to terms moment to fight for her mother just feels so contrived and annoying. You see no familiar bonds with a mother character that is heavily invested in bonds.

This all brings us to the main issue I have with this as a fellow writer: she is one of the worst examples of a published self-insert character I have seen in awhile and I am one of the queens of making self-insert characters. I really hate to agree with trolls on this issue but if you compare the physical appearance of Mandy to her illustrator and writer you cannot help but assume that these were her struggles and pent up feelings due to their similar appearances. Which sucks to even have to point out because if it was well done we could simply say so what.

It makes me feel crappy as a writer. My main DC Comics fan fiction character was actually the creation of me working through my own problems and feelings. I made that conscious choice of such a character but even I know that if I ever wanted to polish that character I’d have to remove myself from it. They have to be their own people and stand on their own without me being attached to it. When I read the graphic novel the first thing I did was flinch at my own writing choices. Was it okay for me to use my stories for not just tale telling but to work through thoughts and feelings?

Then it made me annoyed at her for making such a self insert character during the oppertunity to make either a Mar’i story or any other story then what we got.

All in all, when I have the moment to go back and update the DC Fan Fiction drafts I have up I will. Because….. I feel like I’d wallow in disappointment if I created self-insert characters that revealed themselves like Mandy.

Also, I’m pretty sure I’m never recommending this graphic novel to anyone.

I.L. Knight

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Winx Club Fate Saga:

Hi Hi Y’all,

So, I am here to talk about something surprisingly semi-serious: Winx Club Fate Saga.

Straight up, I was 100% prepared to either hate this or have more conflicting feelings than I do now based on all the promotional material. I mean the level of white characters and then Aesha had me twitching before any other commentary. MUSA IS ASIAN GUYS. CHANGING FLORA TO TERRA TO NOT INCLUDE A TAN SPANIARD/PORTUGUESE WOMAN. It almost stopped me from even checking it out on its premier.

As much as I hate the trend of revamp shows to darker ‘youth relevant’ shows I did have curiosity to see what they would do with a cartoon I loved as a child. We all know I almost always fall to my curiosity.

And here’s where I want to bang my head against the wall: I didn’t hate it.

The colorism of the actual winx club girls was more than just problematic and annoyed the shit out of me. [I almost wrote a scathing review on it before finishing the series.] The issue on colorism and represtentation is the number one thing that needs to be fixed. Second is where is Techna and my other specialist boys.

However, the show I felt didn’t massacre my childhood image of The Winx Club. Unlike other shows I will say they did a decent enough job in season 1 establishing this as it’s own, almost stand alone show.

I enjoyed the characters Terra and Musa as ‘new creations’ and by the end of it thought that if they got a season 2 and fixed the need for character development it wouldn’t be so bad.

If they gave a second season with more episodes to properly devlop alot of the characters who needed it the show could reveal the potential I saw.

However, all of these tune ups would not matter if they do not fix the blatant colorism and representation issues of the show. The Winx Club stood out at its time for the diversity within the fairies. Now is a time in history were we are clearly saying out loud to the media we want various forms of representation. There is absolutely no excuse they have not to fix it. The show should have a plethora of different ethnic identities and non stereotypical characters by these two facts alone.

The Winx Club Fate Saga can be fixed. Starting from season 2 if the right steps are taken I truly believe that we can get a good show from Netflix.

I.L. Knight

Top 10 Differences – Mojo

Fan Fiction Tentative Schedule:

Hi Hi Y’all~

Just posting the tentative schedule for the next few Fan Fiction Friday’s!

[8/14] 1/2 Prince & Maou-Sama & Harry Potter Old To-Do’s Theme Day

[8/21] Shadow Hunters & All Souls Western Literature My Mom Loves Theme Day

[8/28] Eragon & Overlord Non-Human Theme Day

[9/4] Star Trek & Re: Monster Sci-Fi Wonder Theme Day

[9/11] DC Comics Comic Theme Day #1 – DC EDITS

[9/18] Marvel Comic Theme Day #2 – House of M

[9/25] A Demon Lord’s Tale & Avatar Reluctant Heroine Theme Day

I.L. Knight

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Working 9 To 5 – Dolly Parton

Happy Monday Updates :

Hi Hi Y’all,

Happy Mondays! We’ve survived the hurricane/tropical storm and we can get back into this new weeks normal schedule~

I will be changing the Monday update though! Got to let you know about the new illustrations I uploaded on secret for Harry Potter. They’re, of course, by Juliet.

Also, I had a funny dream last night. I was dreaming of a one shot novella about a saint, a hero and a princess after the end of defeating the demon king. The saint was pretending to like the hero and be with him to cover up the fact he was really with the princess! Can’t remember why that was shocking but it was. Turns out she was cooperating with them because all she wanted to do was be done with this job she never wanted. Turns out the kingdom has to make a deal with the surviving son of the Demon King for peace and harmony between humans and the remaining demons. Only, he wants to marry the SAINT– since she is single.

Maybe, one day when I have time, I’ll write a one shot for it. Sounds interesting, right?

I.L. Knight

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All You Never Say – Birdy

KO- FI Tuesday :

Hi Hi Y’all,

As you know when running your own brand/business and/or creative endeavors in this modern world it becomes important to understand and learn social media and independent funding platforms. I, however, do not and probably never will.

Originally, I had made a random Patreon and Ko-Fi to play around with and see if I can learn. When I started struggling with it I did drop them. However, I have been convinced to go back and put the time in to really understand and sort through one of them.

I decided on Ko-Fi because it seems easier and more clear cut for me. Tuesday’s about twice a month I will be either uploading new chapters in an exclusive web novel or chapters in a series I am writing for my younger cousin for fun. She asked for it and I will deliver.

As a proper schedule and clear cut boundary develops for my differing platforms the goal for Ko-Fi is to also have previews of artwork related to my Fan Fictions, my light novels, my web novels and my D&D content.

Please, take a second when you have time to scroll through it and let me know what you like or dislike.

I.L. Knight

update chibi

Ko-Fi Explanations

On JK Rowling And Future Harry Potter Decisions:

Hi Hi Y’all!

It’s been awhile. My bad. Been having to deal with a lot of things due to Corona and the world at the moment. Wasn’t ignoring you. I am sad though that my first non fan fiction post in awhile is about this topic: JK Rowling’s stance on the trans community.

Many of you know I am a pretty big fan of the Harry Potter universe and consider myself a proud Slytherin. On my site there are a range of Harry Potter related fan fictions. However, there is no way I cannot face what has been said.

So far, my thoughts on this matter can be broken down into three main arguments:

(1) The importance of Freedom of Speech and Expression.

(2) The separation of Creation from Creator.

(3) The need for Opposing Thought for Free Discourse.

However, even separate from the arguments on these, there is the need to decide if my own values and beliefs will be compromised by this stance.

What I have decided is this:

On my Harry Potter Fan Fiction page I will continue my story. I think it is extremely important for me to finish what I started. There is this wonderful story that is waiting to be told and I am adamant about telling it. However, I will continue the inclusion of LGBTQ characters planned within it despite the initial creators opinions. I believe this is important to show that a magical universe that is built on discovery and wonder is by definition inclusive of our LGBTQ community.

Secondly, I will decide with my co-author whether or not we shall separate our story from the Harry Potter Universe or not.

Lastly, I will continue to show free emotional support towards the Harry Potter universe for those involved in it and its positivism. However, I shall no longer contribute in any economic support to it. Basically, I am saying I will share memes and comment on people who have received love from it but will not buy or advertise for any merchandise or Harry Potter goods anymore.

I hope y’all can respect my decision with this matter. Please, treat those who are working with me on this with respect and care because I will not tolerate any harassment to those individuals.

As always, I appreciate you all.

I.L. Knight

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Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen