Sandman

TV Lately But It's Just Lucifer

Looks like monthly resolution check-ins are just not a thing this year, since I keep forgetting that I even have creative projects to work on. Maybe I'll get back to it once a few hanging real life responsibilities are taken care of and I've set myself a routine.

At the moment, though, I'm visiting my sister in Missouri (on Earth), and that comes with legitimate reasons I can't do things, except for late at night when I usually just want to be watching TV. Since I have a hankering for fandom I think I'm just going to talk about said TV for a little bit.

You know how there's a difference between shows on the air that you love so much it feels like torture to wait for the new content to come out, and shows on the air that you love so much that you actually can't wait for the new content and you turn to fandom to get some kind of fix? I've had a lot of the former lately - The Mandalorian, The Boys, What We Do in the Shadows - but I can't remember the last time I felt the need to search for fanfiction and YouTube clips, until I discovered Lucifer.

Okay, so we all know I'm not a DC person except for Sandman, but Sandman alone opens you up to a lot of other Vertigo material. I haven't read any of John Constantine or Lucifer's comics, but I was aware of the characters. Lucifer's arc in Sandman explains how and why he abdicated from Hell, and it's good stuff, but I was never interested in him as a main character for the same reasons I was wary of American Gods (later validated, thank you very much). The show seemed like an easy skip too. Satan, but like, he's just misunderstood? Edgy, man.

Then I heard a couple things that made me think I might have the wrong impression, so I added it to my list and within a few episodes I'd committed to the whole thing. The premise as laid out in the beginning dispelled a lot of my suspicions: Lucifer considers himself both the offspring and the enemy of God, but it's not because he believes that he himself is good and God is evil -- or vice versa. In fact, he's not concerned about good and evil at all, as he's simply a narcissistic hedonist out to enjoy himself.

That's enough to take genuine Judeo-Christian theology out of the picture and let me view it as just a fantasy universe which shares a lot of themes and names with the Bible. Better yet, it makes the lead into a complete bastard in a way that's entirely human, meaning he's redeemable.

As far as I know, the comics never go in that direction, and Lucifer is still self-serving and amoral. Comics seem to be able to get away with that more than TV shows can, though I don't see the appeal. Even the redeemable bastard is a pretty difficult sell for a main character, and Lucifer really doesn't rush his epiphanies. Fortunately, he's incredibly charismatic, so you can enjoy him long before you start to get attached to him.

So, questions of earthly morality set against divine consequence? This is my jam. Lucifer is offended when anyone blames the Devil for their own actions or assumes the ruler of Hell must be evil, and he's got a point. Punishing the guilty is supposed to be justice, he's never sadistic about it, he doesn't kill or lie, and to top it all off, he himself was sent to Hell as punishment. The only reason given for his fall is "rebellion," and that's a really nebulous crime to pin on someone when it's not foregone that God is infinitely wise and loving.

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Lucifer has no reason to listen to everyone demanding he goes back to his sucky job, unless he acknowledges a need and a personal responsibility for it. Getting to that point takes four entire seasons, and even though some of that could be the work of plot holes, it's a fascinating emotional journey. Lucifer's already been on Earth for five years when the show begins, so it's implied that he only begins to change through the events we see from thereon in. How does an immortal, powerful celestial being with a vendetta against God become a decent person? Apparently, he goes to therapy. And he solves murders. Also, of course, he falls in love.

Okay but no seriously, the therapy sessions start out funny and then make all kinds of sense. Granted, the murders are pretty dull and I feel like the show would improve a lot if we could just skip them sometimes. Seems like everyone thinks that so it's not just because I don't like procedurals.

As for the love story...

I've gradually realized that my favorite romantic dynamic is the couple with such enormous obstacles between them that it doesn't even seem possible for them to live happily ever after. My least favorite is probably the couple who keeps changing their minds about each other just to keep the audience watching. Thing is, it's surprisingly hard to tell those apart in the early stages, but for this one I have a feeling that if I went back to the beginning and started over, everything that I thought was "will they won't they" would suddenly start to feel like "slow burn."

Sloooowwww buuuuurn. By the time Chloe finds out Lucifer really is the Devil, they've already had the Big Damn Kiss, she's shown a supernatural immunity to his power, he's made major sacrifices to rescue or protect her, there's a clear danger that she's being steered by destiny into loving him, and (well obviously) every other character knows they're meant for each other.

That revelation was a cliffhanger at the end of S3 and then the show was cancelled until Netflix picked it up. I have no idea if I'd be shipping them now if that had been the end, but I'm glad I don't have to find out. The way the next season deals with the fallout is really what makes it for me, quite aside from how I think this might be that rare show that starts out pretty good but gets better with every season.

With Buffy/Angel still somewhat of a subconscious model I have for every ship, the comparison of Buffy's reaction to Angel's true face with Chloe's reaction to Lucifer's true face was right there, and they couldn't be more different. Chloe being unable to accept it was a major heartbreaker, but I was also so impressed with her. Researching at the Vatican is actually quite a logical move, fit for a detective, since she only had one other source for the true history of the universe and she couldn't ask him. (Although, my first thought was that she should have gone to Amenadiel. I guess she thought that if Lucifer turned out to be evil, so would his brother-angel?) The conclusions she left with were logical too, and spending the entire season getting over them was the only thing that made sense.

And then, reconciliation....but there's more obstacles! She took his mojo! He won't say the words "I love you!" She's bound for Heaven when she dies but he'll be stuck on Earth or in Hell! She has a daughter who's her first priority! They have radically different lifestyles and he won't want to give his up! He's still an immortal manchild!

This is long enough, but I probably have more to say about this show, I just can't access it until someone else says something, so I hope someone says something. Have some bulletpoints, though:

• Angels have feathered wings that materialize when needed regardless of clothing. Lucifer's are white. Hot guys with white feathered wings was kind of my thing when I was a teenager aaand I never really grow out of anything so yeah, I am being played like a fiddle.

• Another fantasy, much more commonplace, is a man who's both a sex god and completely loyal. These traits rarely coincide in real life, because loyal men don't get a lot of practice in the sack, but once Chloe and Lucifer start getting it on...hoo boy.

• Lucifer's uneven friendship with Mazikeen is fantastic. Mazikeen herself is fantastic, but the juxtaposition of her extreme attachment to him and her repeated betrayals gets me every time, especially when he shrugs it off because demon is as demon does.

• I really hope Eve returns and she and Maze live happily ever after, though. I also hope that Maze succeeds in her quest for a soul, but even if she doesn't I love it that we can compare her arc with Spike and she'll almost definitely come out of it looking better than him.

• Trixie sets the show apart. She's so much more than a cute kid. All my opinions on all the other characters are just based on what Trixie thinks about them.
Perpetua

Icon ramble meme

Tagged by hamsterwoman to talk about these three icons, but totally forgot about it, but then remembered.



I honestly thought I got this one from the Hamster Woman herself but apparently not! Therefore there's not much I can say about the art or who made it, but I do know that it depicts Beren and Luthien and their Very Good Boy (you may have mistaken him for a horse but look closer), from Tolkien's The Silmarillion. I like using it for a general fairy tale mood.



Voice balloon from Saga, spoken by Alana but quoting the book that inspired her and Marko to turn on their respective cultures and elope, leading to the comic's events. I like the quote itself because it's frequently applicable to real life, but also I think the effect of switching out the normal font with Times New Roman to show it's a quote is pretty cool.



Nothing unexpected for this one - I wanted a Faith icon, I like being able to put a label on my latest obsession, and the text fits the scene. I don't stab anyone with my latest obsessions though. In fact Faith and I don't have too much in common, strictly speaking.
Psyche

(no subject)

I can't really keep up with anything lately so here's art from the end of 2020 that I never got around to posting. The tail end of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic introduced hippogriffs as a sentient race and I really liked their design so I tried converting my ponysona into one but it was harder than I expected.

I do have a working tablet now and it's a good one, but the replacement computer is painfully sluggish so I can't really multitask on it as is my wont. I should be setting aside time to just do art and ignore everything else but you know how it is, plus I'm far from mastering Clip.

Yes, I had a ponysona. I miss that cartoon. It always used to cheer me up when I felt like this.



Obligatory clarifying note, I am FINE, just tired and grumpy.
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Aes Sedai

Snowflake Challenges #4-6

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Challenge #4

In your own space, create some goals.


Original fiction:

Retronym
The Namefinder
Finish writing the first arc of a comic
Write a 2-5k word story about anything
Camp NaNoWriMo
A poem about animals

Fanfiction:

Complete a B/A one-shot
Work on one of my abandoned B/A projects
"All Partial Evil"
Rewrite the Rahne/Dany fic I started in 2020
Continue my Lion King fic
Begin my Kastle sequel

Art and crafting:

Paint another elephant
Make a fun tree or a cozy bed for Tealeaf
Advent calendar
Lord of the Rings digital art
Wheel of Time art
Take one of those monthly challenges like Inktober and actually do the whole month

Reading:

I'm actually kind of in a good place with reading goals? Not because I've hit a lot of them; I'm just not that concerned anymore with how many I read per year, or which authors I can claim to have under my belt. I read a lot of good books and I can't really think of how to improve that by making an item to cross off later.

TV and games:

Finish FFIX
Watch The Clone Wars
Get started on a chronological MCU rewatch
Through S3 of Buffy reviews

Other:

Revisit my MMO
Repost my 30-day meme
Handwritten letters or postcards to anyone who wants them, sign up here

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Challenge #5

In your own space, promote a canon/talk about a part of canon that you love.


I'm going to be talking about The Wheel of Time a lot over the next year or two - if not here, then certainly elsewhere, so I may as well explain a little about how I got so attached to it.

Timing was part of it, as it so often is with favorite canons. I was about thirteen, and I knew fantasy was my favorite genre but didn't have all that much experience with it aside from The Lord of the Rings and some schlocky stuff aimed at...well, my own age group.

Then I met a girl a couple years older than me, whom we'll call Arya (incidentally, she later introduced me to A Song of Ice and Fire). In addition to the years of fast friendship that began there, her book recs were the best - overall, probably the most formative source of my literary tastes that I ever had. Even though I didn't know that at the time, I took a chance on The Eye of the World, and found it wholly different than anything I had ever enjoyed before.

Here's the thing: I liked fantasy because it was full of animals. As I child I read books about animals, and when I outgrew them I still secretly missed the animals. But fantasy brought them back - legendary creatures, talking beasts, animal sidekicks, or even just sentient races with animal traits.

The Wheel of Time didn't have any of those, just some monsters (until Loial shows up, but let's be honest, Ogier are basically extra-tall hobbits). Even the horses are hardly anything more than transportation. Oh boy, I thought. Every single character is human. This is the real deal. A grown-up book.

Halfway through the book some animals (wolves of course) started talking after all, but I would have been hooked even without them; the humans had already proven themselves. The world with its libraries worth of history, the hard limits on what magic could be accomplished, the interpersonal drama...I had to know what happened next.

Seven books later I had to take a breather to wait for the eighth one to be published, and unfortunately that coincided with The Slog. If you've been reading my book posts for a while you'll notice I hadn't even finished the series until last year, and I'm just now thinking about the span of time that I was obsessed with this series in comparison with the span that I was fed up with it, and...the latter is like ten times as long, guys, I'm not kidding.

Alright, so far this is way more autobiographical than it is promoting the canon that I'm talking about, and now I'm concerned that I may actually be turning potential readers off of it, but here's the thing: The Wheel of Time shaped who I am. It taught me what I like to read, and therefore what I like to write. It convinced me that growing up and paying attention to humans wouldn't be so bad. It gave me my friendship with Arya, which in turn gave me the most important social circle of my youth.

If I ever looked back and realized that the books weren't actually that good, I feel like a part of me would shrivel up and never recover. Fortunately, I don't have to - I still love this epic, quirky, unique story, and I can be proud of the kid I once was, understanding the value in it right from the start.

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Challenge #6

In your own space, rec at least three fanworks that you didn’t create.


1. taaroko made this for last Halloween and it's so much fun, whether or not you love vampires.



2. I knew there was some hamsterwoman poetry I wanted to share, but I'm still not sure what it was, because while I was looking I found this one and it's based on the Great Houses of ASOIAF so you have to see it too.

House Acrostics


3. girlpire does awesome stuff with crocheting. These were my favorite.

Star-Lord/Gamora

2020 Resolutions Check-In

Fanfiction:

Write for The Lion King
Finish one of my old B/A WIPs
Work on, if not finish, my oldest B/A WIP
Complete a fic of any length for the GotG fandom
"All Partial Evil"
Finish my Kastle WIP
One X-Men/BtVS crossover


So, all three of the uncrossed off ones are BtVS - the reason I prioritized the other fandoms is that I wanted my return to Buffy to come through the episode reviews, which come further down on the list. Somewhat pleased about getting all the others done, although only the GotG one qualifies as a one-shot so the rest have really only contributed to the mental catalogue of things I ought to get written.

Original fiction:

Revisit my YA fantasy novel
Clean up and post/publish a couple poems
Complete "Retronym"
Complete the romance novel I started a few years ago
Finish writing the first arc of a comic
Write a 2-5k word story about anything
Camp NaNoWriMo


I knew I wasn't being realistic with this category but it still stings a bit. I'll carry over most of these.

Art and crafting:

Make something for my nephew and/or nieces
Paint on a canvas
Make myself a skirt
Add a dozen items to my Etsy store
Make three finished pieces of digital fan art
Learn a new medium

Woohoo! Check me out, Artist-Craftsperson 2020!

Reading:

Catch up on Squirrel Girl
Binge some classic Marvel
Twenty-four total books
Three of them from authors I've never read before
Reread Lord of the Rings and regularly post discussions on it


And this one was downright easy.

TV and games:

Catch up on Game of Thrones
Finish Lost
Finish The Legend of Korra
Revive my BtVS episode reviews
Complete Untitled Goose Game
Replace my PS2 and use it to finish FFIX


TV goals are easy too, of course, except when I stick something in there like the episode reviews. I only got one done, but I think I'll do better this year.

Other:

Revisit my homebrew 30-day meme
At least one book/movie/comic/TV/fanwork review or meta per month
Make good on my random goodwill meme promises
Revisit my MMO idea


I did the bare minimum on these, tbh, but if not for the meme I might not have bothered with any. Yay lists of goals!
Frank/Karen: headbutt

2020 Master List

Shadar Logoth

Snowflake Challenges #1-3

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Challenge #1

In your own space, introduce yourself! Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


Hello! I'm Kairos. This is the same first challenge as last year, so I'm reusing my post from then.

I'm a failed artist and non-practicing novelist who entered fandom about twelve years ago. For roughly the first half of that, I was all about Buffy, but I later went through major phases with Guardians of the Galaxy and the Netflix MCU, and minor phases with all sorts of things.

At the moment I don't do much writing for, reading of, or engaging with any fandom at all, but it's for reasons that have been good for my offline life, which I don't really talk about publicly. If you want to know more about me you can ask for access to my non-fandom filter.

It is true that I once wrote and illustrated a fic about Buffy and Angel as My Little Ponies. It is true that a friend and I once made a mix tape in support of James Gunn, and handed it to Michael Rooker. It is true that my contribution to any discussion about a film or TV adaptation will probably include "The book was better."

It not true that I wear a tutu to sleep. Where did you even hear that?

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Challenge #2

In your own space (or their own space) interact with someone new. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. No need to leave a link for this one, but if you’d like to invite others to join the conversation, please do leave one.


I want this to be in my own space but how do I attract people here so I can interact with them?

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Challenge #3: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

In your own space, tell us who, from one of your fandoms, would you most want to have dinner with (or tea, or a random afternoon visit), And why? This could be a creator, an actor, a costumer, a set designer, a director, a character, a composer, anybody! What would you talk about? What are you dying to know? Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


Okay, so the first thing that comes to mind, because of where my fan-brain is right now but mostly because it would be hilarious, is Din Djarin. HAVE SOME TEA, MANDO. Come on, all you have to do is TAKE OFF THE HELMET and DRINK THE TEA. Ooh, and one of the robots from Saga, so the great question of HOW DO THEY DRINK THE TEA can finally be answered! Let's round it off with a Dalek, since my husband has been marathoning the original Doctor Who series. Put them all together and it's an instant, very confused fight to the death! If I don't survive my tea party that's just the price to pay.

For a tea party that I would survive, let's go with the (living and dead) self-improvement champion team: Steve Irwin, Marie Kondo, Jordan Peterson, Bob Ross, and Mr. Rogers.
Baby Yoda: waddle

End of the Year Fandom Meme

Which TV shows did you start watching in 2020?
The Mandalorian, The Boys, What We Do in the Shadows, Outlander, His Dark Materials, The Witcher, Community, Beastars, Tiger King. Also started Castlevania and The Promised Neverland but don't intend to continue with either one.

Which TV shows did you let go of in 2020?
Lost, in sort of a forever way, and Game of Thrones. I don't know, maybe someday I'll rewatch the earlier seasons of both, but the endings have me soured on them for at least a few years. Rather similar sentiment toward Legend of Korra, actually. Also a few ended, like The Good Place and Bojack Horseman. And I have no intentions of ever catching up with Supernatural, but in a way I feel like it's become everyone's fandom, you know?

Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't in 2020? Why?
Relics and Rarities, again. Watchmen, Lovecraft Country, and everything that was supposed to come out in 2020 but didn't. Haven't finished Agents of SHIELD or Runaways yet, or caught up with American Gods.

Which TV shows do you intend on checking out in 2021?
The Marvel shows on Disney+, and a few shows of varied nature that don't have their premiere date years set yet. Oh and maybe that animated thing with dinosaurs? No, the other one. It might not be out until 2022, I forget.

Which TV show impressed you least in 2020?
I can't think of anything. The ones I said I was letting go of all either ended before 2020, or didn't rate much interest from me in the first place.

Which TV show do you think you might let go of in 2021 unless things significantly improve?
Can't think of anything for this one either. A year ago I was sure I was planning to cancel Netflix; that never happened and at this point I doubt it ever will.

Which TV shows do you think you’ll never let go of no matter how crappy they get?
We're talking distant future here, since the shows on air that have my emotional investment are fairly new and appear to be successful, but I could see myself stubbornly clinging to The Boys or Beastars or What We Do in the Shadows even if quality declined.

Your main fandom of the year?
Wheel of Time, Star Wars/The Mandalorian, Netflix MCU, Gargoyles.

Your favorite film you watched this year?
Soul, Die Hard, The Wind Rises, Knives Out, Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, The Old Guard, The New Mutants, Lady and the Tramp, Fargo, Back to the Future, Hamilton: an American Musical.

Your favorite book read this year?
The Once and Future King, A Memory of Light, The Odyssey, Rose Point, Because Internet, To Be or Not to Be, Ghostopolis.

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?
...
....
.....
TOSS A COIN TO YOUR WITCHER
OH VALLEY OF PLENTY
OH VALLEY OF PLENTY

Your favorite TV show(s) of the year?
The Mandalorian, definitely.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
In TV, The Boys, Community, and What We Do in the Shadows (and technically The Mandalorian because I didn't start watching until this year. Also those dragons my niece likes, two classic movie franchises I've somehow missed all these years (Die Hard and Back to the Future), and an excellent webcomic, Golden Shrike.

Your fandom that made an unexpected comeback this year?
Redwall! And BtVS, in a sense, thanks to the new Discord server.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
It doesn't seem right to call Chadwick Boseman's death a "disappointment," but I can't not mention it, either. And then, cancel culture got out of hand. The New Mutants didn't deliver as I'd hoped. Rise of Skywalker just barely got over the extremely low bar set by Last Jedi. I was irked by many aspects of Frozen 2. Also, you know, entertainment being sentenced to indefinite imprisonment or death due to 2020.

Your fandom boyfriend(s) of the year?
Aragorn son of Arathorn, Geralt of Rivia, Din Djarin, Abed Nadir, Troy Barnes, Billy Butcher, Nandor the Relentless, Counselor Jerry, Brain Drain, Sean (literally).

Your fandom girlfriend(s) of the year?
Galadriel, Roach, Cara Dune, the Frog Lady, Peli Motto, Nadja, Kimiko, Ilyana Rasputin, the horrible goose, Counselor Jerry, Doreen Green, Leah and Emily (literally).

Your biggest squee moment of the year?
Same one everyone else had in The Mandalorian. Some of the Disney Investor Day announcements. Some of the cast reunions and extra material for shows that came out of the lockdown (Parks and Rec, Cowboy Bebop, and Good Omens were all winners). Allie Brosh returning from the void to publish a sequel to Hyperbole and a Half. I finally got a Mewtwo and completed my Kanto set.

The most missed of your old fandoms?
It was really nice when movies used to come out and we could, like go see them in theaters.

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
I've got a few possibilities in mind. Lucifer, Utopia, The Clone Wars for TV shows. I haven't had a chance to see Wonder Woman 1984 or Tenet yet. Apparently I was wrong about playing much M:tG last year, but maybe it can still happen.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
The Suicide Squad, WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Hawkeye, new seasons of The Boys, What We Do in the Shadows, Stranger Things, Beastars, and The Mandalorian, man, like, everything? I just hope it feels like it's nonstop and I can't even keep up with everything I want to see.
Moon

Howling in the New Year

It's been a year of wolves.

During the first lockdown, there were stories about Denver residents howling at each other every night, just to find some way to connect. It didn't spread to Colorado Springs, but we live in a bordering town full of artists and hippies, who took up the ritual gladly. It waxes and wanes but it's still going on.

In October, taaroko came a-visiting and we took the opportunity to feed and cuddle real-life wolves and foxes at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, definitely one of those experiences you remember for a lifetime. Their paws are enormous. They give messy kisses. One was related to the wolf who played Sam in the Twilight movies.

Simon and I bought a sticker there that says "Colorado Needs Wolves," in support of the ballot measure to reintroduce wolves to the state. We won, and although it's still controversial, I believe it will pay off in the long run.

I also bought a jigsaw puzzle there. I love puzzles, enough so that I usually deny myself the pleasure because it inhibits my overall productivity, but after all, it was 2020. The wolf art was cliche but very pretty. It came with a mini-poster and I gave it to my mom when I was done to mail to my great aunt in Florida.

They keep popping up. My dear old favorite shapeshifter Wolfsbane got her live-action debut in The New Mutants. Simon's mum gave him a Folkmanis wolf puppet for his birthday. I made up a story for my nieces about a wolf pup on a magical quest, and I carved a wolf jack o'lantern (which was devoured by deer before I could even light it). There was a beautiful creature at the dog park that could only have been a wolfdog. There was Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf, and werewolves in What We Do in the Shadows and a hokey romance trilogy I got from the Little Free Library.

Anyway all this is just to ask if anyone wants to watch Wolfwalkers with me. I don't have Apple+ but we could get a trial run; this is going to be an amazing film.