Fanart banner: A Roswell Alien in Metropolis

September 13, 2011

It’s been a while since I shared any of my fanart here on the blog, partly because it’s been a while since I’ve done any new fanart, but I want to get some blogs done this month, and I like the first enough to share it more or less right away.

This is a story banner, a kind of ‘Movie poster’ for a crossover that I wrote last year, second in my Roswell/Smallville crossover series. I was able to get a DVD screencap of Brendan Fehr as Michael Guerin from the season 3 DVDs, in fact that’s from the series finale, since I wanted Michael to look as mature as possible, but the only Smallville DVDs I own are the season 1 box set, while this story is set in season eight.

Luckily, I was able to find some good screen captures at tvscreencaps.com, though that was different from my normal process in a lot of ways. The pictures are smaller and lower-resolution than my usual DVD captures, there aren’t as many pictures for a given scene or sequence, and because they were captured off a broadcast instead of a DVD, there’s a CW logo on the bottom of most of the images, towards the right side of the screen. So, to avoid messing up the picture, I ended up gravitating towards captures where the person I wanted to include was on the left side of the screen.

I like the way this came out, with the big high-res picture of Michael on the left of the banner, little inserts of Chloe Sullivan and Davis Bloome in the top right, and Kristen Kreuk as Lana Lang in the bottom right. And I do like that text – something that hints at the complications in the plot without spoiling them is always good.


Fanfic Flashback: Divergence

June 25, 2011

This was an idea for a fan fiction story that I had been mulling over for a long time before I finally started to set it down on New Year’s eve, 2004, with the encouragement of a great friend in the Roswell fandom community, TrueLovePooh. In fact, it was actually one of those stories that had two ideas thrown together to see what became of them.

The first idea was ‘what if Alex’s death was faked by aliens?’ The way that Colin Hanks’ character, Alex Whitman, was killed off the show has always been a downward turning point in my mind – I understand some of the reasons that Ronald Moore did it, he was trying to help free Colin up for more movie work, and had the story about a high school friend of his dying in a car accident to work with – but Colin wouldn’t have wanted to do movies if they’d been able to write better plots for Alex. But anyway…

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Fanart 9: Two Firefly Banners

January 11, 2011

Fanart series index.

I want to talk a little bit more about the ‘concept’ of fanart, since I realize that some of my readers may not have been exposed to it that much. To me, the point of fanart is using images from a television or movie to create a new picture, some kind of original vision, and convey that thought to other people who are already familiar with your fandom.

There are lots of different kinds of fanart, and I’ve only tried a few. Some people do original paintings or sketches, and some can do very elaborate manipulations using programs like photoshop and superimposing images that originally didn’t have anything to do with each other into a coherent image. I’m hoping to help with a manipulation fanart sometime soon, but I’ve been finding that even my part, finding the right pieces to put together, is much harder than I expected. Mostly, as I’ve explained, I just work with fairly simple techniques – DVD captures or promotional images, simple cut and paste graphic software, and so on.

And fanart can have lots of different messages that it’s trying to convey. There are some that are very simply calling back to a moment from the original canon, like my Simon/Kaylee wallpaper, or a few that I’ll be sharing later in the series. Some are meant to raise awareness for a particular site or event within the fandom community, a bit like virtual advertising flyers, like the signature banners from two weeks ago.

And then, there are fanfic cover banners, which are a bit like movie posters for somebody’s original fanfiction story. These are possibly my favorite, since I’ve been a very prolific fanfic author in my day, and it’s a great feeling to be able to show somebody a picture that kind of sums up thousands of the words that you’ve put down.

So, without further rambling, here’s a few banners that I made in the early summer of 2010 for two of my Firefly stories. First, “Passing through the storm:”

There’s a lot that this banner conveys to a firefly fan. First, it shows the ensemble of main characters in the story, and how they mainly relate to each other – River off by herself, Kaylee with Simon, Jayne with Zoe, Mal with Inara. To many fans, that roster will also suggest the timeframe of the story, particularly because the missing characters match with some who are no longer around after the movie ‘Serenity’. Also, most or all of the pictures are taken from the movie, not from the TV episodes.

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Fanart 8: Two Ensemble/focus banners from December 2009

January 4, 2011

Fanart series index.

I did a few different story banners in December of 2009, and the first one was for another ‘concept crossover,’ Roswell Calling. This time, I took the concept of the Eliza Dushku tv series “Tru Calling”, and wished it upon a minor character from the Roswell tv series, Deputy turned Sheriff Hanson, so that he could use it to save Alex’s life. I also ended up coming with a different back-story behind Alex’s accident, since saving him from Tess on the last day of his life was something that I’d covered years before in a previous story, “Tapping Fingers.”

I actually asked if somebody at Fanatics could make a banner for this story, and wasn’t really impressed with the sample I could, but couldn’t put my finger on why. So I didn’t reply back, and left the story without a banner until I started messing around with a concept of my own, which ended up looking like this:

I’m really pleased with the way that came out, especially the shots of Alex and Hanson in the middle, and the really tiny shots running across the top and bottom of the banner.

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Fanart 6: AU/Crossover banner for ‘The Wizards of Roswell.’

December 22, 2010

Fanart series index.

Moving forward again into August 2009, I wanted to spotlight a little banner I made for an unusual AU/Crossover fanfic.

Sidetrack: I often find I enjoy playing around with the raggedy edge of crossovers rather than the traditional ‘A meet B’ formula, especially taking a concept from fandom B and transplanting it to fandom A, or re-imagining the characters from fandom A entirely within fandom B. ‘Wizards of Roswell’ was an example of the latter; I took the rules and setup from Diane Duane’s excellent “Young wizards/Feline wizards” series, but not any of the familiar characters like Nita Callahan or Kit Rodriguez. Instead, Max and Isabel Evans and their friend Michael Guerin were teenage wizards in Roswell, and Max saved Liz Parker’s life with magic after she got shot. And then I introduce the vampires.

Getting back to the banner, the pictures are fairly simple. I went with screencaps from the Roswell series pilot, since the fanfic covers some of the same material and would probably fit into more or less the same time period, allowing for the differences between universes. One shot of Michael and Max reacting to the shooting seemed too good to pass up, and I included Liz in the science lab, and a more or less random shot of Katherine Heigl as Isabel, because she’s also an important character. Maria and Alex didn’t make the cut this time.

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Fanart 5: Max/Liz banners for ‘Not Written Yet’ and ‘Las Cruces Rendezvous…’

December 14, 2010

Fanart series index.

I thought I’d spotlight two different fanfiction banners for this week – I did them both during July of 2009, and they’re both centering on ‘Dreamer’ pairing stories. First, ‘Not Written Yet’, which I wrote and finished many years ago, in the winter and spring of 2005, an alternate version of the episode ‘End of the world.’

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Fanart 4: Crossover Roswell/Doctor Who banner for ‘Children of the Molecule’

December 7, 2010

Fanart series index.

Okay, so this banner is from the same series as the last one I showed you before Nanowrimo started, the Kyle/Tess shipper one. It’s for my ongoing Roswell/Doctor Who crossover epic, “Children of the Molecule”, and that introduced a little hiccup in my usual process in that I don’t actually own Doctor Who DVDs – I saw the Billie Piper seasons on rental from zip.ca, which meant waiting in line with lots of other Canadians also waiting to see it.

So, I needed a picture of Tennant and Piper to fit into the finished artwork, and I ended up just google searching for a promo pic, which I think worked reasonably well:

Step 4 in the fanart process is taking resized images from Photo Editor and pasting them into my ‘canvas’ on Paint. This is where Photo Editor really shines, actually – Microsoft Picture Manager can resize and crop nearly as well as Photo Editor, but it doesn’t let you select a region and copy just that to another program – a sort of crop-and-copy in one step that is actually really useful.


Fanart 3: Kyle/Tess banner, ‘My Alien Wife.’

October 20, 2010

Fanart series index.

I have another Roswell fanfic banner to share with you this week, one of a series that I did in the summer of 2009 in an attempt to stretch my artistic skills. 😉

The storyline was one that was inspired by a challenge on the Roswell Fanatics forum, about any couple but Max and Liz getting married in Vegas, I think. I picked Kyle Valenti and Tess Harding.

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Fanart 2: Isabel/Alex banner for ‘Love will last forever.’

October 13, 2010

Fanart series index.

The second fan-art I wanted to share with you was the first ‘cover art banner’ that I ever made to accompany one of my own storylines. The story in question is fan fiction for the TV show ‘Roswell.’

“Love will last forever” took the death of the character Alex Whitman on the show, and a few moments where Alex appeared to his love interest Isabel Evans, and used that as the basis to set up a ghost love story between Alex and Isabel that sent both of them off on an unbelievable adventure, and for Isabel, a quest to actually bring the boy she loved back to life through alien technology.

Banner for 'Love will Last Forever'

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