sigune: (Young Severus)
Hello hello, happy new year everybody!

I do wish my first post of the year could be one with new drawings, but the thing is, though I have been very productive in December, I don't have anything to show for it as everything is tied up in fests. I did a Big Thing for Hoggywarty and two pictures for Snapecase - in fact I have committed to do a third as a pinch-hit. I do have a few sketches to share (and again, lots more that I can't, because they concern my fest entries).

Hoggywarty Christmas is still at full swing over at [community profile] hoggywartyxmas, so I have come bearings some recs; these are my favourites so far.

So Bracing (PG-13, 9225 words), by Anonymous, is the tale of how Tom, landlord of the Leaky Cauldron, uses his wisdom and extensive experience as a barman to fix the lives of the Hogwarts Headmistress and a fellow barman in Skegness. Delightful, beautifully crafted, clever and wise. Don't miss the conversation with the mirror.

Friends, Teachers, Countrymen (R, 3700 words), by Anonymous, is the achingly perfect tale of Severus Snape's staff Christmas party during his year as Headmaster. It is very Snape (the worst and the best of him), therefore it made me cry.

Hiring Defense Against the Dark Arts Teachers and Other Unforgivable Acts (PG, 3630 words) by Anonymous. I may be a bit biased here because this is my gift, based on a prompt that I'd wanted to read for a long time :D. We finally get to see what went on behind closed doors, when a new DADA teacher must be found. The story is delightfully understated, with a perfect Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall, and an ending that - well, I shouldn't give that away.

Love Hides in Familiar Faces (G, 4300 words), by Anonymous, is a beautifully-crafted fairytale in which Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick, Severus Snape and Horace Slughorn receive a helping ... hand ... from an unexpected party. Lovely and heart-warming.

Exploding Crackers (G) is, very simply, an exquisite (animated!) Christmas picture by an artist whose anonymity I must uphold even though I'd know them anywhere :P. Enjoy!

Finally, have some Snapes on a train...

 photo snapes_on_a_train_web_zpsolikgmxh.jpg
[The children, from left to right, are Morgana (6), Magnus (10), Alexander (15) and Alba (19)]

...and Snape in a cardie. (Don't ask.)

 photo cardie_web_zpsy0f1lzc0.jpg
sigune: (Dungeon King)
Here's a happy birthday to the Man Who Undoubtedly Lived!

Let's celebrate with some recs from [community profile] hoggywartyxmas - starting with my fabulous gift! It was written, compiled and provided with selected illustrations by [profile] shiv5468 who, let's be honest, spoiled me rotten. Therefore -

Get thee to Hoggywarty to read The Sweet Smell of Success (G, 2500 words), a tale of perfume, poetry and plenty of Aubrey Beardsley.

Shiv did not only gift me with a story; she also included the entire, illustrated catalogue to which the story makes reference. I don't know what I did to deserve that XD. It's such a fabulous mix of the Hogwarts Ladies; an absent but perfect Snape; one of my very favourite artists; and a number of my favourite poets. Just- just SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE is what I say.

Now, despite the utter perfection of my gift, I didn't close my eyes to other goings-on at The Hoggywarty, and I'd like to share a few more titles I have enjoyed very much:

[personal profile] cabepfir's Big Great Hogwarts Quiz (G, art and, well, a quiz of course): go and have a look to see how well you do ;).

I have limitless admiration for people with a capacity to write comical verse. I miss [profile] _vocalion_'s and [profile] _grainne_'s jocular virtuosity, and was delighted when I came across [profile] atdelphi's A Midwinter Night's Revel (Teen, 500 words). It's just ... ahahahahahaaaa!

[personal profile] therealsnape's Case of the Cat Show Corruption (PG-13, 9700 words, no warnings), in which Spinster Detective Minerva McGonagall cracks a case for Mr Filch. I am a sucker for Hogwarts detective stories - I have always dreamed of writing one, but I couldn't write a mystery to save my life - and there are so few of them around. This one is, in one word, excellent. It is so completely in character that I suspect TRS found McGonagall's diary and passed it off as her own ;-).

I usually steer clear of anything rated over PG-13 and carrying warnings like "voyeurism", but this time round I gave in to my own inner voyeur (ahem) and went to read [profile] kellychambliss's Look Not at the Things (R, 10,600 words, voyeurism). It's a sharp and unvarnished look at Snape as a recent ex-Death Eater - an astute portrait of a disillusioned, desperately lonely and cynical young man who finds himself quite lost in an environment with, well, rather more emotionally balanced people. This story really packs a punch. It hurts. But in the end there is hope.

My gift for [personal profile] albalark is this picture to accompany her Snape birthday story, Saturday's Child, so I think I can safely post it here in celebration of the one and only Potions Master (sorry, Professor Slughorn).

 photo saturdays_child_web_zps4fa16636.jpg

It's Reeves acrylic paint on cardboard, because yes, I'm going to art school now ;-)! [personal profile] cabepfir kindly lent me a hand and beta'ed the painting. The flaws are now beginning to jump out at me, but I'm still kind of proud of it as one of my first steps in a new medium and an approach that is, quite frankly, the complete opposite of everything I have been doing in art (such as it is) so far.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013 04:46 pm
sigune: (Kundry)
Okaaayyy... I haven't been able to connect to LJ for a few days in a row, and according to it's working for everyone else... This is not fun.

So, um, if anyone is waiting for a reply from me: I can't reply. Technically impossible. I wanted to post about my gift at [community profile] hoggywartyxmas, but I can't get the link because I have no access to the site anymore ;_;. So, um, go read my gift story! But you'll have to find it for yourself :(.

ETA: [personal profile] dueltastic to the rescue! The story is On Learning to Forgive - or how an unforgivable oversight on the part of JKR can become a clever, thoughtful tale... Featuring Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape, G.
sigune: (Default)
...I have such a back log of gift art that it's not funny :p. That's what I get for being bad at gift-giving: I offer pictures instead of purchases, but I have to get them all done! And I'm not always equally inspired, so sometimes it really takes time to create something I can offer without blushing.

In any case, here is one friend 'taken care of': [profile] bettyboop_comic. He introduced me to the manga Lone Wolf and Cub (well, to all manga really - and I distinctly remember him glowering at me when, being asked what sort of manga I wanted, I replied "one in which the characters have those large eyes!". He grudgingly steered me towards La Rose de Versailles and then nearly forced me to read Lone Wolf to make up for my faux-pas...). Here is my take on the Cub from the title: Daigoro. I just love Daigoro. Being a little boy, he is so much more human than his father! At the same time, he is a Baby Bushi. Poor thing.


Meanwhile, there is some great ficcing going on at [community profile] hoggywartyxmas! I haven't read fic in a loooong time, but Hoggywarty is traditionally less ship-oriented than your average fest, which is always attractive for me. This year seems to be a particularly good one :). My personal faves so far:

The Incomplete Art of Cartography (G) by Anonymous - a wonderful, poetic, thoughtful story about three places that aren't on the Marauders' Map. Featuring Minerva McGonagall, Horace Slughorn and Remus Lupin - gen.

Humbug (PG-13) by Anonymous - Snape, hardly an expert gift-giver, has finally found the perfect gift for McGonagall. But somehow he has trouble getting it delivered. Includes Snape's close-reading of Dickens's Christmas Carol :D. Truly excellent, with a perfect Snape and delightful humour - gen.

My gift isn't up yet, but someone who wishes to stay Anonymous (though I'd recognise her art anywhere :D) has posted a lovely illustration to my (equally lovely) gift fic of last year, Reflections in Liquid by [personal profile] purplefluffycat. So I feel like I have been doubly 'gifted' :D.

Rec: Vigil (G)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 09:53 pm
sigune: (Snape staring down)
Ack! I've been so busy doing stuff for school that I haven't been very active here - and so I have failed, so far, to rec my wonderful [ profile] springtime_gen gift fic. And I'm kind of ashamed because of my lateness, because I really enjoyed the fic a lot. It is a very quiet, reflective story. After the Battle of Hogwarts, McGonagall is beset by doubts about the way she has dealt with Snape, and she talks this over with Flitwick. It's the sort of thing I really wanted to see in canon, but which of course never materialised. *hugs mystery author*

Title: Vigil
Author: ???
Recipient: sigune
Character(s): Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick
Rating: G
Wordcount: 1098
Warnings: None
Summary: It's been two days since Severus's death, and Minerva McGonagall can't sleep.


In other fannish news, Bloomsbury wants to know who your favourite character in the Potter books is. J.K. Rowling has said that she'd love to have dinner with Dumbledore and listen to his sage counsel. You know you want to have dinner with Snape, right? Go vote for the Potions Master here and make your voice heard!
sigune: (Young Severus)
My [ profile] hp_beholder gift has posted! Because of an IJ outage, it got a bit lost between the folds, and that's a shame.

A Mystery Author wrote Black Knight Moves Forward (PG-13), a story set during the summer preceding Philosopher's Stone. Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall get to know each other better as they work on the defenses for the Philosopher's Stone. Initially, they don't fancy being stuck at school when they could be enjoying the sun in the south of France, but ... well, they're Snape and McGonagall, so the company could be worse :-).

Black Knight Moves Forward has everything you can want from a story on a pleasant summer's day (what can I say? we're having divine weather at the moment): Snape, McGonagall, humour, misunderstandings, fantastic beasts, Slytherin versus Gryffindor, adventure and friendship(+). Enjoy!
sigune: (Dungeon King)
During the holidays, I joined [ profile] hoggywartyxmas. I joined rather late and was the only artist at the fest, so I didn't expect to get a gift. But [ profile] therealsnape, rather un-snapishly, thought I should have one, and so she contacted [ profile] purplefluffycat, who wrote Reflections in Liquid in response. She nailed my tastes exactly with four subtle and sensitive vignettes featuring Minerva McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore, Horace Slughorn and Severus Snape. Christmastide may be over, but the story is still a real treat :). Go read!

Title: Reflections in Liquid
Author: [ profile] purplefluffycat
Rating: (mild) PG-13
Word Count: About 1050
Characters and/or Pairings: Gen, characters: Severus, Minerva, Albus, Horace.
Summary: A quiet moment at Hogwarts' staff Christmas drinks, Albus' last Christmas as Headmaster. What could be more evocative than a favourite Christmas tipple?

- I haven't been keeping up with comments very well lately, because - well, because the holidays are over and work is back. I'll catch up as soon as I can...
sigune: (Dungeon King)
Whoa! Look at Richerand's brilliant Snape!

Severus Snape
by ~Richerand on deviantART
sigune: (Léodagan)
I'm going to rec a fan comic today, from a fandom I don't belong to - that of the animated series Avatar: the Last Airbender. I haven't seen a single episode, but I started reading the comic because I think the artist is great. She's Johane Matte, a. k. a. [ profile] rufftoon. And guess what? I discovered that you really don't need any prior knowledge of the Avatar series to enjoy Johane's comic. It's so well told that you get sucked into the story immediately. It's completely engrossing, and as a consequence, Johane is solely responsible for the fact that I haven't had nearly enough sleep last night and the night before.

-Yes, I know, maybe some more discipline on my part would have helped too, but we're not counting that, okay?

Anyway: Water Tribe. 447 (!!) pages of pure delight.

What's it about?
The story's main character, Zhao, used to be an admiral of the Fire Nation. I gather he was written out of the animated series after losing a great battle or something. Now, [ profile] rufftoon tells the story of what happened after this battle. Zhao is presumed dead, but in fact he has lost his memory and firebending powers and has been (very grudgingly) adopted by the Water Tribe - the polar opposite of the Fire Nation. As Zhao's memory - and with it his rather fierce temper - comes back to him, he has to deal with ghosts from his past.

Why should you read it?
Because it's great? :D
Johane certainly knows how to tell a good story. It has action, and humour, and strong characterisations. And boy, can she draw! She's a professional animator and currently works for Dreamworks, which I think can count as a reference *g*. She draws comics in her spare time and, as she says herself, she clearly has no life :P. Her art is wonderfully dynamic, expressive and simply beautiful. I have no idea which characters are original and which belong to the series. All I know is that I find them all very enjoyable.

Who the heck is Zhao?
Apparently Zhao is a minor character in the animated series. He's violent, greedy, insensitive and tyrannical. In one word: he's GREAT. As you can guess, living with the peaceful Water Tribe will confront him with himself, and he will change a little - but not very much, heh.

Go read! You can find the story at [ profile] rufftoon's LJ (follow the tags) or at deviantART in a community aptly called NoSelfControl :P :

Water Tribe
sigune: (True Love's Kiss)

I signed up for hp_beholder, a fic and art exchange moderated by [ profile] bethbethbeth at IJ. It is all about those canon characters who don't get enough love in fanfic. The idea appealed to me, so I offered to do some gift art. But the best thing is of course that I got a gift fic in return :D! It has posted last Friday, so now I must urge you all to go and read it, especially [ profile] lewlinx :).

Title: Driving Mrs. Weasley
Rating: G
Pairings: Arthur/Molly
Word Count: 1403
Warnings: None
Summary:Title: In a missing moment from Chamber of Secrets, Arthur and Molly make up after the Ford Anglia fight.

It's a lovely story featuring Arthur Weasley, who is one of my favourite characters in canon, and his Mollywobbles. Read it to find out why the Ford Anglia can fly, and just enjoy a great IC missing moment.

*huggles Anonymous*

...Yes, it's an anonymous exchange. I fear that as soon as my contribution gets posted, it will be immediately obvious to anyone who knows my art that it is mine XD. If I was supposed to masquerade behind an unusual style, it should have been in the briefing :P.

But what are you still doing here? Go read my delicious Weasley gift!
sigune: (The Blood of Fish)
To be honest, when [ profile] bettyboop_comic first gave me a synopsis of A Distant Soil I was quite sure I wasn't going to like it, even if he claimed the opposite thing. He lent me his copy of the first trade paperback, "The Gathering", despite my warning him that there was no way I was going to buy my own. But I took the book home and started to read, and read on and on and on and then I reached the back cover and e-mailed [ profile] bettyboop_comic to ask how many of those books had come out and could I please buy them all at once and did he have loose issues too so I didn't have to wait for the next trade?


My explanation for my instinctive dislike and how easily (and thoroughly) it was overcome is that for me the strength of A Distant Soil lies in Colleen Doran's unique treatment of her story, not in the tale itself. In someone else's hands, the premises of the plot might have resulted in horrible cliché and annoying melodrama - two things to which I am very (according to [ profile] bettyboop_comic overly) sensitive and that put me off a story, book or film immediately.

Warning: this rec is a bit longish. That sometimes happens when I start to talk about books that I love to bits... *blushes*

Read more... )

Rec: The Soul of Man

Thursday, 5 July 2007 03:08 pm
sigune: (Oscar)
I cannot recommend this highly enough. Read, adore, and believe.

Title: The Soul of Man Under Socialism
Author: Oscar Wilde
Genre: Meta, essay
Word count: 14,500
Rating: G, but if you are under 16 you probably won't grasp everything ;-)
Warnings: anti-authoritarianism, self-reliance, civil disobedience
Summary: "A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing."



Wednesday, 13 June 2007 03:57 pm
sigune: (Default)
J'ai craqué.


Blame it on [ profile] bettyboop_comic, who first alerted me to its existence: I have bought (and watched) my first DVD of the French television series Kaamelott (the second is on its way to me at this very moment *g*). The setting is King Arthur's court, and the three-minute (!) episodes are all ... completely crazy.

Although the series is to all intents and purposes set in fifth-century Britain (Rome hasn't fallen yet, Christianity is just gaining a foothold, Merlin is a druid...), it is full of anachronisms in costume and such, but most notably in its ideas. Arthur is quite the enlightened ruler; he objects to torture, he wants to abolish the death sentence - things that don't sit too well with his entourage, though they do admit that 'c'est moderne'. The comedy derives mostly from the utter ineptitude of Arthur's friends and subjects. The people he needs to accomplish his lofty goals are so incredibly stupid that they never manage to carry out his orders properly. Perceval gets his own name wrong and doesn't know the meaning of such words as 'left' and 'right' (try involving him in a campaign!); Karadoc's only concerns are food and drink; Bohort is an incredible coward; Gauvain and Yvain (see icon) are absolutely puerile; and when in battle, Arthur's soldiers do exactly as they please. Oh - and Merlin's greatest accomplishments seem to be that he vanquished the Weasel of Winchester and wrote a treatise called, "Druidism Explained to Old People". It is a small miracle that Camelot is still standing! And this motley crew is supposed to find the Grail?!

The series' creators make interesting choices when it comes to Arthurian lore; for example, they choose to highlight Arthur's infidelities. Everybody knows of the romance between Guinevere and Lancelot, but it is often forgotten that in the old texts, Arthur is not a loyal husband. In the series he has plenty of mistresses, with whom the completely innocent Guinevere is actually on good terms - so far. Also interesting is Kaamelott's exploration of the character of Léodagan (Leodegrance), Arthur's father-in-law. Tradition has it that he is a knight of the Round Table too (in fact, some sources say that the table itself was his wedding gift to his daughter Guinevere, though this is not the case in the series); in Kaamelott, Léodagan lives in Arthur's castle with his wife Séli, and he is his son-in-law's counsellor as well as his greatest critic.

The episodes do not always go somewhere definite, and I don't think the humour is everybody's cup of tea. Much of my own pleasure derives from the clash between the 'Matter of Britain' and a heap of anachronisms and French silliness; more often than not, I grin or giggle rather than to laugh out loud. It's the unusual take on characters with whom I am familiar that endears the whole thing to me. If I had any talent for absurd comedy, I'd probably be writing Kaamelott fanfic already XD.

Meanwhile I am brushing up my French. My knowledge of French insults is increasing rapidly!


I wish my second DVD would arrive... ;P

ETA: Have a taste...

Art: So Tired x3 (G)

Thursday, 3 May 2007 07:16 pm
sigune: (Young Severus)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I was catching up on the last three chapters of [ profile] _grainne_'s intriguing story Insidious last Tuesday and found myself once more totally absorbed in it. It's utterly brilliant and I'm in love with it. Unfortunately I am the lousiest reviewer ever, so, um, I tend to fail abysmally at letting [ profile] _grainne_ know 1) that I am reading the story avidly; and 2) how and why I think it so wonderful and clever and aesthetically pleasing and stuff.

But - the story's depiction of Snape inspired me to do pictures, three slight variations on one theme, and I lay them at [ profile] _grainne_'s feet as a humble sacrifice to the genius of her Snapefic. *bows reverently*

All rated G, and no warnings.

So Tired (one) )

So Tired (two) )

So Tired (three) )
sigune: (Young Aloysius Crumrin)
While catching up with my flist (which is, on account of my location on the globe, always very active while I am asleep), I got the most wonderful surprise an ardent lover of black-and-white comics, witches and warlocks can get: [ profile] tednaifeh has posted an update! Better still, in it he announces the fourth adventure of Courtney Crumrin, to start in August of this year!



Should Snape die in Deathly Hallows, Aloysius Crumrin will be there to console me ;).

I suppose that it may sound like sacrilege to many of my flisties, but actually - actually - I think that Naifeh's Courtney Crumrin series is superior to Harry Potter. Because it is a comic and published in black and white, it doesn't have quite the same universal appeal that Potter does - but it is more daring, more subtle, and it makes you think rather more. Plus, it has marvellous style. The graphics are brilliant and the dialogues sharp; the characters are wonderfully ambiguous and grey. And I mustn't forget to mention Naifeh's sense of humour :). They are among my few favourites.

For those of you who don't know the series: Introduction... )

Two recs

Friday, 9 February 2007 12:08 pm
sigune: (Default)
Minty Fresh by [ profile] lionille
272 words
Rated G
Characters: James, Remus and Lily

This kind of story is why I love the Marauders. –Yes, I do love them, though I couldn’t write them properly. I haven’t got the right esprit or the right sense of humour. [ profile] lionille has :). She writes a charmingly boyish James, a bit silly because he is in love, and an excellent, down-to-earth Remus. In less than three hundred words, relationships and personalities are sketched to perfection, and light-hearted fun is to be had. It’s a lovely little story. I found it very late last night and wasn’t capable of anything more than a small excited squee, but I’m trying to make up for that now by reccing it to you :D.

Olive Branch by [ profile] jen_deben
Rated G
Characters: Snape and Remus

Mouse does not post a lot of art, but when she does, it is guaranteed to be worthwhile :D. I immediately fell in love with her Snape in this PoA missing moment scene. The fine lineart and the soft, subtle shading are simply ravishing. Snape’s robe is wonderful, particularly because its uniform black is broken by the neckline and the small clasp. Yum.

Rec! Rec! Rec!

Sunday, 9 July 2006 01:19 am
sigune: (Default)
While I'm hanging around, I must take the opportunity to pimp two gen rec lists:

[ profile] ani_bester is setting up a Gen Art masterlist


[ profile] chthonya is setting up a Gen Fic masterlist.

Please, dear flistees, help Gen survive in this harsh world of fandom, where the poor phenomenon is threatened by strangulation with smut, kinky hanky-panky and other porn. Please recommend any Gen gems you may have encountered during your roamings on the web, and vote for those you like that are already on the list, so that we may all share in them!

Art Rec

Tuesday, 27 June 2006 04:53 pm
sigune: (Default)
There is a first time for everything; in this case, I am offering my very first art rec. Since I discovered her work at SH Illusions, I have been an ardent admirer of chicxulub (who, I have just discovered, also goes by the name of [ profile] iron___bridge). I have traced her to deviantART, where all her gorgeous pictures can be found together in one album - mmmmm... I find that there is one painting in particular to which I keep returning, trying to find out what it is that draws me to it, and that is the one I want to rec to you:


G, no warnings; it is Eileen Snape in Spinner's End.

Pictures like those make me want to take up watercolour... (Actually I bought myself a box of them yesterday, fully intending to set to work once RL allows me to.) The effects are lovely and the colours great. I also love how the artist combines the paint with beautiful, clear line work.

There is something deceptively simple about this picture, probably because its complexities are so subtly done. The composition is brilliant, with Eileen in the margin and yet eye-catching because of the bright green of her dress and bright orange of the watering can. The idea of portraying her with that can, cultivating small bits of green in brick surroundings, is just great. She is not dominated by her environment, even if the dirty cloud from the mill's chimney looks ominous and threatening.

Oh, it's just marvellous. Go and see for yourselves.


sigune: (Default)

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