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

Watching TV & Thoughts :

Hi Hi Y’all,

Early today I read the spoilers for one of the manhwas I was reading- The Way To Protect The Female Lead’s Older Brother. It had such a great start and I loved the premise. Then I read the spoilers and I become the classic me of ‘whyyyyyy‘. The sad part was that I really needed something amazing to keep me happy. It’s one of my ways I fight my depression. But seeing in my mind ruined awesomeness the wall that holds back the floodgates shakes.

Then I saw the newest episode of WandaVision. It was the first Marvel Tv show I was actually enjoying. It’s not like I was expecting much from the next episode but this time my expectations were destroyed in a good way. It was amazing! The entire series has been great. Whoever has shit to say about the ‘slow-burn’ is nothing but an asshole. Truly, I the notorious DC is better advocate is declaring that Marvel won this round. Everything from the sitcom reaction of grief from Wanda and the potential of Vision returning to the main MCU.

BUT EVEN BETTER THAN THAT… BILLY & TOMMY HAVE ARRIVED.

In case, you don’t know they are actually really amazing young heroes in the Marvel comics. Billy, codename Wiccan, is a gay icon whose powers may be stronger than his own mother. Tommy, codename Speed, is fast like his Uncle Pietro.

The four characters are some of my favorite heroes in the comics and seeing their successful introduction and potential within the MCU is fluttering my little black heart. The idea of a Young Avengers is exciting, even more so if we get a Kid Loki. It is like a substance stronger than cement at binding my wall back together.

My coping method is working again~

I got some inspiration back and I feel like I can do my thang. My writing thang. That one thang people say is still my talent. That one thang people say has stayed with me through everything.

Needless to say, I am very glad for WandaVision. I may even finally remember that there are things I am good at and can do.

What a morning,

I.L. Knight

WandaVision Mid-Season Trailer

Fan Fiction Friday [ 10/23 ] :

Hi Hi Y’all,

The goal is to publish updates on Fan Fiction every Friday. Normally, I think it is my most stable section when it comes to updates, goals and schedules but lately it certainly has wavered. A lot of that has to do with schedule issues, stress, work life and health. It’s made it hard for me to keep a regular schedule at the moment.

I’ve been trying in the last two weeks to figure out within the down time how to create a more realistic and productive schedule for me till the end of 2020.

A lot of those decisions and thoughts will be updated here next week. As for Fan Fiction the schedule of Friday Updates should for the most part remain the same. It is the easiest thing for me normally to update weekly.

However, this week’s update has been cancelled. It was supposed to be about how I funnily was interested in updating 3 Fan Fiction based on the letter D: (1) DC Comics, (2) Douluo Dalu and (3) Star Trek via Discovery’s new season.

But as I said, I had to cancel that update. I’m thinking of updating A Demon Lord’s Tale: Dungeons, Monster Girls and Heartwarming Bliss and Harry Potter next week. I know I should have new character images by Juliet for Harry Potter soon.

Those two aren’t set in stone but they are the most likely. I hope y’all enjoy your Friday!

I.L. Knight

On Star Trek Lower Decks :

Hi Hi Y’all~

Okay, here’s the deal. Even after a few episodes I am still unsure on where I stand with Star Trek Lower Decks.

A huge part of me is like OMG THIS IS. WHAT. JUST. JUST NO.

And there is the huge part of me that is like FUNNY. REMINDS ME OF OLD TREK. LOWER CREW MEMBERS HAVE IT ROUGH. I LOVE ENSIGN BECKETT.

I don’t know if I can form a an opinion until the season is over. With the episodes I’ve seen it is way too back and forth. I mean, it is a great and welcome relief from the hard core series drama and lack of strong humor to engage in moral lessons CBS has invested into their Star Trek shows. However, it is also a basic economic move of creating shows aimed towards money making groups.

I don’t know guys. I just can’t decide. Ensign Beckett has wormed her way into my heart. That move with the Ferengi she did for Boimler was too nice. Also, she kicks Klingon ass.

I.L. Knight

Star Trek Lower Decks First Look

Fan Fiction Friday [9/04] :

Hi Hi Y’all,

Tomorrow or Sunday I will have a post explaining in full detail everything that has really been going on in the last few months, why everything has been really hectic and crazy and why Corona virus has really effected things on my end.

I do, however, should have/maybe have/possibly have/tried to have fixed everything enough that I can get back onto a schedule and have some balance again. So without further ado I would like to introduce this week’s Fan Fiction Friday:

Harry Potter

Avatar

For Harry Potter we have three new chapters as well as more character art by the amazing Juliet!

For Avatar we have one new chapter and it’s a decent intro to the starting point of some of the side characters you’ll meet. We learn a little about the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation Ozuko’s [you’ll find out more about the name later] and his sister Princess Azumi’s characters. They are definitely starting from a place of being in a bubble and needing to learn a lot about the world. You’ll also see a bit more context around the current Avatar’s family life and the personality of the current Fire Lord Azai.

The reason these two are being updated is because during this week’s struggles I have for some reason been having dreams about some of the future ideas I had for them so I figured I could use the inspiration to write. Also, I love Juliet’s work.

Please enjoy and thanks for everything,

I.L. Knight

update chibi

Fire Bending Abilities

D & D :

Hi Hi Y’all,

Here it is. The post on Dreams Askew! Well, sorry to disappoint you, and myself, but we haven’t gotten to it yet! We got so caught up in the joint character creation part that we ran out of time for our actual session. So I present you the Dreams Askew Character I will FINALLY get to be playing : Robyn “Rob” McFeever – the Bigender Raven & leader of the Pina Coladas.

Here Are The Key Points To Include were: being a bigender raven, red eyes, fucked-up hair, gloves, overalls, support from a ghost and their associated sobriety cult  and what 2 talents they have from a list (infirmary and guns).

That transformed into this character. I would describe the hatchling as an individual with a small round face, large owl like red eyes, a tattoo of a lemon where a 3rd eye should be, red apple earrings, overalls that include one shoulder on/ one shoulder off, a giant image of a 1/2 peeled banana a large pouch below it one leg having a flare bottom and the other shredded off at the knee, a green scarf with yellow pineapples, an under black shirt that is actually sleeved on one side with a tight red pair of gloves and not sleeved on the other side to reveal a fruit themed sleeve tattoo and large steam punk/worker-esque worker glove and purple boots with coconuts on them.

The ghost became Barnabus “Barnie” The Peeping ghost. At the moment he is eternally trapped wearing the bottom half of a Barnie the Dinosaur mascot costume, an ironic t-shirt, surfer dude necklace, an over the shoulder Barnie bag and is bald.

My favorite last minute creative decision was making the sobriety group ‘The Pina Coladas’ actually a front for the local cult. Where my character used them to move into the fruit, vegetables and general produce area of the market area and create absolutely safe territory in an uncertain terrain. Somehow, making them all worship Rob as a savior/messiah.

So, yep… That’s Dreams Askew character creation guys! I’ll try to get artwork soon 😉

I.L. Knight

update chibi

Do You Like Pina Coladas – Rupert Holmes

 

 

D & D :

Hi Hi Y’all ~

So, my Dungeon and Dragon’s Campaign has had its session canceled a few times in a row now. Nothing serious or detrimental. However, in its place this week one of our members has us playing Dreams Askew. Wow, I was not prepared for such an idea. Might as well give it a go.

I have no idea who I’ll be or how it will go, but I’ll let you know next week how it went.

I.L. Knight

chibi 2 for site

Dreams Askew – Gauntlet Con

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

update chibi

 

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

chibi 2 for site

All You Never Say – Birdy