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

Fan Fiction Friday [02/12] :

Hi HI Y’all,

I’m baaack- sort of. Anyways, it has taken me forever within my schedule to finish this (and I didn’t manage to finish the chapter updates that were supposed to go along with it) but here is the character profiles for the ENTIRE OHIYON CLAN of the wonderful and amazing ALL SOULS UNIVERSE.

I hope you enjoy the characters and look forward to see which ones you’ll meet and when in the future~

I.L. Knight

Fan Fiction Friday [ 11/27 ] :

Hi Hi Y’all!

I’m back with a great Fan Fiction this week! A new chapter of Harry Potter!

Plus, updated character art by the ever fabulous Juliet~

I.L. Knight

Star Trek Discovery [ Season 3 Episode 4 ] :

Hi Hi Y’all~

As y’all know I am a huge Star Trek fan. When it comes to the Discovery series I honestly go up and down about it. Something about the whole Burnham is the future version of Jesus just doesn’t flow as well for me as obnoxious Kirk did for a six year old. However, I love the effort they put into character development. It reminds me of what I loved about Deep Space 9. I also love some of the risks that come with the change of tone CBS has done with the series.

Discovery’s Season 3 Episode 4 [ Forget Me Not ] has stood out for me though. My favorite species (outside of my obnoxious love for the Romulans & Klingons) are the Trill. A large part of that has to do with the Symbiotes. To me, they are a wonderful concept of how different cultures see ‘the end’ and its possible ‘continuation’ differently. It 100% gives me alien circle of life confirmations.

The way the episode showed the relationship between the joined host and symbiote was a cinematic master piece for me. I loved how they revealed the process of connection to the symbiotes and then to the past hosts. I really cried when I saw Adira’s ultimate joining with Gray.

Seeing Ronnie from Schitt’s Creek as a the spiritual leader was a hysterical side bar for me.

There are a few things that bothered me. The Trill species didn’t originally have spots. They had ridges. The spots were added later for aesthetic changes and personally I love the addition. Who doesn’t secretly have a weird moment of I want to be a spotted alien in their life? However, with CBS trying to really put attention to the details it was a missed opportunity to have a Trill with ridges instead of spots. This would confirm the fact that they are still a feature of some Trill and be a pleasant note. It also isn’t that hard to have a mix when you consider their budget.

Also, when it comes to spots they have changed them over the series’. It’s not like I mind the change but I do think how it came off in this episode in the close ups was a little too close and ‘non spot shaped’. When we see them we are reminiscent of spots on animals we know. Now they are starting to seem like a pattern for the sake of a pattern.

All in all, those are probably minor complaints on the episode. It’s more important to remember the fact that the relationship between the host and the symbiote is a beautiful and inspirational thing.

I’d like to take a moment to leave the episode to move to my own Fan Fiction. For those of you who know, and those of you who don’t, Outremusings and I have a Fan Fiction that comes from our original RP. We each had to make choices on characters, relationships and details within a time period of the Star Trek Universe. The timeline we went with was around Kirk era and the beginning of the Federation. It was important to show that the Federation once created wasn’t a perfect ideal but a continuous goal. It was also more conducive to playing around with our interests.

The main character I created was Cadet Wells. One of the early planned reveals is that she is actually a Human-Trill hybrid. There haven’t been many cases of them on the series and it presented a chance to be creative. For instance, when it came to the issue of spots I was able to simply say, “in natural childbirth between Trill and another species mutations on a chance can occur.” This, to me, was a good reason for her spots to be in an unusual pattern and aid in the ‘hiding’ of her heritage.

Further, the early timeline really presented me with a lot of opportunities to play around with a human hybrid character and a Trill character. There weren’t as many hybrids in the earlier years of the Federation and there was still controversy and emotions towards alien species. What kind of man would meet a Trill woman and move to the Trill homeworld?

I wanted someone who wouldn’t be so cookie cutter and in his partnership with a Trill woman present differing views on the Trill culture. I decided on a shady Greek man, whose backstory I cannot reveal at this time, and a controversial Trill woman.

The result coming together when I remembered that my original goal was to include a symbiote. At this time, no one knew about the symbiotes and the opportunity to explore the revelation of them was really exciting. Especially, if it came from the odd case of a hybrid Trill as a host.

I can say in regards to the family that both of her parents are interesting. The father comes from a less ‘wealthy’ and opportunistic area in Greece. The mother comes from an old school ‘wealthy’ family that are known for their difficulties, annoyances and advancement of Trill technology.

I can also say that the name of the symbiote is Pax. There was no way I could have a symbiote and not reference my favorite pair: Jadzia Dax. Plus, Pax means ‘peace’ and all the ironies around that are necessary for my life.

I really recommend Discovery Season 3 Episode 4 [ Forget Me Not] as a stand out must see for any Star Trek fan. I also recommend checking out the joint Fan Fiction for Star Trek. It is currently being worked on and soon may be reformatted into ‘episode’ format. There are also commissions for some of the characters and have plans for more to come.

*If you would like to help with commissioning images or specific Star Trek things please donate on Ko-Fi and let me know in the message.*

Live Long And Prosper My Lovelies,

I.L. Knight

Discovery Season 3 Episode 4 [ Forget Me Not ] – The Joining

Fan Fiction Friday [ 10/02 ] :

Hi Hi Y’all,

I went on ahead and updated Chapter 32 of the Harry Potter Fan Fiction. Remember to stop by and appreciate the work of  the project’s illustrator  Juliet !

I.L. Knight

All The Tired Horses – Bob Dylan

What Should Tomorrow’s Fan Fiction Friday Update Be? :

Hi HI Y’all,

Tomorrow is the normal Fan Fiction Friday update and I can’t decided which to update! I’m just not feeling inspired towards any of my fan fictions today. Sigh

I have updates ready for Maou-sama no Machizukuri! ~Saikyou no Danjon wa Kindai Toshi~ and Harry Potter.

I could also sit down to fix the updates for Overlord, Eragon, Digimon, Avatar or All Souls Universe.

I guess I can also see if you guys want one of the others updated.

I’ll update something on Friday, of course, but I’d really like to hear from you this week.

I.L. Knight

Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day