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

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

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

I’ve Been Looking At Past Fan Fic Ideas :

Hi HI Y’all,

I’ve been going over my Douluo Dalu Fan Fiction and my Is It Wring To Pick Up Girls In The Dungeon.

There’s been definitely some feelings I’ve had on them. Douluo Dalu and my other Wuxia novels always feel so hard to write. It’s like I know what I want to say but when I try to put it down in English I feel like I am writing a bad translation of a Chinese story that was never written. It’s really frustrating and annoying. Every time I try to edit it I get so angry I have to walk away. I’m trying to work on that.

In order to inspire/force myself to work on it I am leaking spoilers in hopes I get messages about it.

Tang Li Li real name is Xu Li Li. The drunk man is an ‘Uncle’ from the Tang Sect. Her mother was a Red-Eyed Ice Toad/ Sexy Onee-san. Dugu Jia is her love interest. Some but not all will achieve Godhood. No, her blue silver grass will not be like the others from the ‘Tang’ lineage.

As for Is It Wring To Pick Up Girls In The Dungeon I am immediately confronted with my inability to hate and discredit lolicon related issues. In anime it is so normal for me. However, every time I go over the characters I make I have an ‘Oh Crap’ moment and keep upping the age. Why? Because WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT YOU ARE LIKE SHIIIIIIIT!?!?!

I’ve recently upped the age of my main character, Alymae, to 16.

Personally, I don’t think that is much. I am facing the point where I need to make a decision on where I stand though with Lolicon and all the issues related to it.

News on that and the related changes to characters will be coming soon.

I.L. Knight

Douluo Dalu S2 OST

I’m Trying A New Treatment :

Hi Hi Y’all,

This update is for my fellow Spoonies. If you don’t know already I have an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis (and Fibro Myalgia and Arthritis and IBS and…). Well, to make a long story short with the newest shift in one of my disks I have pinched a major nerve.

It’s been a really bad pain that hasn’t disappeared for two months now along my left leg. Sometimes, it even spasms by my pelvis and I go falling forward. What’s worse is that even with the nerve blockers I can’t really exercise at the moment and am limping at times.

Besides the pain, it is super embarrassing and frustrating. If you have ever had a health problem you will know that those two feelings are frequent and never ending. However, at the very least we can try to lessen how bad it is for us.

Tomorrow, I have planned to get a few shots in my back. It is supposed to be a few months of nerve numbing in that area. To be honest, the whole getting shots in places doesn’t make me flinch anymore. But the thing is that all forms of ‘relief’ seem to come with costs. I couldn’t take my normal anti-inflammatories for 5 days. That means going into this I am feeling like a crazy bitchy version of Quasimodo.

I can only hope the relief will be worth the next week of recovering from other issues.

They say it will so I am hopeful and optimistic. However, I will let y’all know if I think it is recommendable for nerve pain.

I.L. Knight

What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

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

Fixing A Voice? :

Hi Hi Y’all,

Last week I went to karaoke with a co-worker of mine and her friends and it reminded me of something I’ve always pondered in the back of my mind: should I ‘fix’ my voice.

What do I mean about that?

Well, I don’t know if ‘fix’ is the proper term or ‘broke’ is either but I’ve done damage to my voice three times in my life: puberty, high school and university.

I’m not 100% sure how I did and I don’t remember much. All I remember is that during puberty when my voice was changing I was playing around with my voice a lot. During it I ended up ‘cracking’ my voice at one point. The choir teacher at the time told me to rest my voice and stop talking. Which, I did. But since that point it caused my post-puberty voice to crack after awhile and sound as if I was running out of air.

The problem wasn’t that bad or noticeable so I left it alone. By the end of high school, the length of holding a note and ability to stay on one note/tone in general decreased. In fact, there would be times when I was acting or talking when my voice would crack for just a moment before returning to normal. Still, I was by no means a singer or voice actor so I didn’t feel the need to take action. Instead, I’d rather make people laugh with the new range of funny sounding sounds I could do.

Flash forward to university and where I am now and my voice is much worse. Holding tunes is a goal for me now. Most of the time I have trouble getting to or maintaining certain sounds. When I do I run out of breath often or my voice cracks.

I don’t know if it is something ‘fixable’ or just a thing that happens to some people but sometimes I wonder if I should of ever looked into what was happening.

If I did maybe I wouldn’t sound like I was screeching a lot and maybe I could hear what I thought my voice might become.

At the very least I’d like to go to karaoke and think about getting up there and singing or sing in my shower.

I.L. Knight

Kpop Playlist