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Sienna by ComiPa

Crimson Beyond Glass - Ms. Sienna Hyde reclines for a time during some opulent, midnight soiree : the motif of her dress singing well amid the crimson petals and moonlight.


Hello there,

As many will feel a tinge of deja vu in seeing this so soon after my more recent updates - indeed, the nearly year long gap in journals since early 2017 - I hope indeed to be more timely and traditional in my journals from here on out, as can be. But, more so, and a little later than I wished for, but we now have the ninth anniversary of my series "Crimson Beyond Glass" - the ongoing misadventures and exploits of Dr. Henia Louise Jekyll and her red headed alter-ego in Ms. Sienna Hyde. Though I must attest that this year has been less than fruitful with a surge of distractions, taxes on time and other less than savory issues which have dogged us, I do indeed hope that the forthcoming 2018 is far more productive and compelling, and will hopefully avail us of more energy, as well. Still, in celebration of CBG's ninth year and further expansion of their world and exploits, there follows some recent works, as found in my favorites gallery, which will be followed by some personal works too, as we shall see.

Guest 31 (da Approved) - Copy (4) - Copy - Copy 3 by Mercury-Pentacle

As previously seen, the elegant, urbane and beautiful Ms. Sienna Hyde reclining by moonlight at an evening's party - though it would seem that some other seeks her company... A brilliant and neigh on perfect request that was graciously fulfilled by the talented, masterful :iconcomipa: during a stream.

Sienna by ComiPa

It must be said that 2017 - among many things - has been the year of good friendships too, and as we see in a very fitting cross over between two very unique ladies. The Hermit - feral, mute alter-ego of the cosmopolitan Victoria Grant - and Ms. Sienna Hyde, the other of Dr. Henia Jekyll, seem agreed on this intimate, capricious encounter as both take to a mutual interest in their proportions. The Hermit intrigued by Sienna's small, dexterous shapes, while Sienna can't help but ponder the big, rugged sizes Hermit so sports...

A request realized by my good friend :iconnathan123qwe: through the talents of one of his artist peers.


A Soleful Encounter: The Hermit and Ms. Hyde by Nathan123qwe

As many will know, the red headed Sienna is known for cutting a sharp, refined and cosmopolitan figure in her style. This fact is clear as we consider a rich, and quite vivid take on Sienna's classic cosmo style, brought to us by my gracious friend in :iconsephzero: through the talents of the artist :iconzipskyblue: - a somewhat more rugged, and less tethered look for Sienna as she goes about her desires...

Birthday Gift - Sienna Hyde - Zipskyblue by Sephzero

My thanks again, as can be, to all my watchers, supporters, peers and friends in this as "Crimson Beyond Glass" nears a decade on dA - and indeed, hopefully beyond too. And more so, for your continuing interest and support in all my projects - both classic and yet to come, as can be. Indeed, thought 2017 has been trying and somewhat sparing in its fruits, let's yearn for a more meaningful year and times to come.

Thank you,

MP.
Hello there,

In the first, as I am sure many will remark, it has been such a long time since my last post to this journal; indeed, almost a year since the last, though my presence on dA hasn't truly waned and nor has my page been too quiet, as can be said. In all, I can wholly relate and do indeed appreciate the curiosity and seemingly odd nature of this relative absence, though I can assure readers that it has nothing to do with waning interest, and more associated with trials, issues and other distractions which have taken up too much of this year itself. Still, I will elaborate a little on these circumstances in future journals, though it's again my pleasure to celebrate Halloween with a proffering of classic tales, yarns and fables. In particular, I would like to introduce you to the work of the very accomplished and compelling writer M. R. James - an author who mingled classic with early modern horror in the pre-Lovecraftian era. These along, with other tales, I hope, will make for some dark dwelling and strange thoughts as Halloween night rolls on.


Count Magnus - M. R. James


Truly, not quite the Count many think or wish of on this night or the season past, but this tale of an English gentleman's journey to Sweden in the Victorian era doesn't bode well. The man happening upon strange histories, timorous rumors and haunting alchemy, he may yet discover the true nature of the long deceased Count Magnus of Robeck... 




Canon Alberic's Scrap Book - M. R. James


A visitor to an obscure French town happens upon a strange history, and the unnerving implications of an arcane book - the relic once belonging to a local cleric and since passing to his descendants, it's disparate pages recount a strange, ominous legacy and what may be found within. A peculiar tale to the visitor who may as yet discover the nature of its evocative power over dark things.




The Residence at Whitminster - M. R. James


Built in the 16th century, a very particular residence in the rural climes of England has garnered a strange, sinister reputation over the centuries as owner's have come and gone, and fearful rumors arise with dark forces seeming to linger around the ancient abode. Delerium, sorcery and spirits abiding close, the house's story unfolds in the telling.




The Eve of Ivan Kupala - Nikolai Gogol


Analogous to the western Halloween, the Slavic and Russian celebration of Ivan Kupala is considered a celebration mingling eastern Orthodox Christian traditions, with folklore and other time honored festivities. In some places, it's also believed that the occasion is one close to magic, the apportioning of fate and spirits too. Coming to us from the famed Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, his well known story of The Eve of Ivan Kupala" or "St. John's Eve" explores a strange anecdote in which an encounter with seemingly devilish forces marks a man's fate and leaves a village enchanted. This story is mentioned in honor of a close friend of mine of some years who happens to be Russian, and is indeed a member of our very own TF community too in the hard working :iconnathan123qwe:. A keen and good friend who has proven a robust and intelligent insight into his culture and history, as well.

The story can be read below the picture - "Night on the Eve of Ivan Kapula" by Henryk Siemiradzki".



ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/g/gogol…


An American Werewolf in London - John Landis


Perhaps a bit of a surprise to find here, in someways, this important and indeed even instrumental movie to some communities here on dA, was a legendary horror and transformation story; one of the quintessential Werewolf movies of the 1980's. But, what many may not know is that it has also been an audio story since 1997 and is now presented here for those wishing for another take on the fated David's life as an American werewolf in London.




With these stories presented, please do have a safe, chilling and indeed fantastical Halloween where you are, as you may mull over these shadowy tales.

Thanks,

Mercury-Pentacle.


Guest 31 (da Approved) - Copy (4) - Copy - Copy 3 by Mercury-Pentacle


Hello there,

Though a little later than usual, for the keener eyed among you, the present days finds again the annual celebration of the "Crimson Beyond Glass" series and its continuity too. Initially begun in 2008, the continuity finds the ongoing and sometimes peculiar exploits and (mis)adventures of one Dr. Henia Louise Jekyll and her shadowy, crimson haired alter-ego in Ms. Sienna Hyde. The latter now her "special assistant" in the former's continuing career, and ever growing dabbles in the widening world of the supernatural and occult - not to mention among those who already have long known such a life there.

More presently, and as something of an admission, though projects here and there have slowed a little in recent seasons - principally due to other factors and taxes on my time - they remain as they do, and certainly not without catching some attention given where and when such art or work pops up; and more, wither by my own intention or through others, as may be. And it's here that I would like to openly commend and applaud the work of such peers as :iconmostlyfunstuff: , :icongeviene81:, :iconamateurunleaded: , :iconsleepymei: , :iconkaiza-tg: , :iconnathan123qwe:, :iconmaskedwander:, :iconsephzero: and others who though not named have made an indelible and profound impression on my work in this community for the past decade.

In the first, I would like to thank those who - both old and new to the community - have invested such of their interest in my stories of Henia Jekyll, Sienna Hyde and their odd world, as it is: truly, you have made such endeavors - now close to a decade - an eclectic, colorful experience all the more so. In addition, to those who have followed in recent times, though who might have found activity more sparse, you all the more have my gratitude for your considerations, approval and support, as it has been for a time. Truly, the continuity would not be quite as it is without you all of the community and wider still.

Carrying onward, and in a break with convention - perhaps taking a little more from my peers - I intend for a more measured approach to the event by proffering a number of articles and points of interest for those here, though over a period of time as opposed to a more weighty burst of new material. Though not intended to protract things, I hope that this will prove more digestible and considered as we go along, over the proceeding days.

To get us started, and in suitable fashion, I have a classic transformation from the duo's early days of 2009 - a powerful, compelling and certainly dynamic transformation as Henia Jekyll becomes Sienna Hyde by the long standing talents of :iconepictits: in Indecorus Feeling: Henia to Sienna (2009).

Indecorus Feeling: Henia to Sienna (2009) by Mercury-Pentacle

A memorable work, it was one of the most remarkable - and ambitious - of the earlier projects, at the time, and an approach I fondly recall now.

Thank you all again and see you soon,

MP.


Hello there,

Many will be, perhaps, curious of the quote above, though I would wish that it stands in some stead a few thoughts I would like to share with those here - and which I believe necessary to consider as the consequences of last Tuesday's astonishing political result comes to pass. Please know that though a little of what I would like to share is somewhat sensitive - and perhaps unpalatable - I believe that it will perhaps compel some more constructive reflection on the remarkable events, just past.

In the first, I cannot deny that I was somewhat astonished by the results of the recent American presidential election result, as could be; indeed, it was a distinct - though all too often effaced - possibility, though the sweeping scale and final count remains to be considered. By many and with many a more somber face, as I have been seeing all around. Still, even as we digest - in many ways - this unprecedented and historical event, I think that what proceeds it - especially for the liberal aspect of American culture - is important to discuss, and particularly as regards the future and the direction of that institution, in American life.

The election having come to be what it is, and a Trump presidency taking shape thereafter, the election loss has stirred many profound and, indeed, understandable feelings of dejection, depression and cold astonishment among those who voted for the Democratic candidate. But, appreciable as these may be given the scale of American presidential politics, what has followed in the vicious recriminations, accusations, exclamations and other outrages has given me pause for thought - and a chance to reflect upon how not only is this unbecoming, but also untenable for the future of liberalism in the United States.

I cannot deny that this year's election cycle was unprecedented in both its tenor and contrast, though we must also understand that much was made of this election through narratives which were impelled upon the wider electorate, and which served to frame all proceeding events towards election day. In this respect, we found the Democratic and Republican candidates as they were, and more so invested with the expectations and assumptions that those same narratives have cultivated. But - as it would become - the integrity of the more ostensibly popular narrative failed to take hold, and the other candidate won out by a sizable margin. An upset almost unrivaled in the modern age, but one that must give liberals reason to collect and, above all, reflect on the road to this most particular of outcomes.

In the aftermath, as I have alluded, we have seen a veritable storm over how and why this came to pass, and both the sad and unsavory spectacle of febrile accusations and the mass indictment of many millions of Americans, seemingly justified by the new narrative that is playing out in wider media as to what brought about the defeat of the Democratic campaign. Friends, I don't deny - being both a student of American culture and history (as many Europeans and Brits are) - that this campaigning season has emboldened unsavory, backward and unpleasant elements of American society who saw one thing or another in the scenes that unfolded over a year a year, but it remains that the defeat of such a seemingly singular candidate as proposed by the Democratic Party is something far more complex and challenging than any such intemperate retort.

Speaking as someone who has studied politics, social identity and who not only became a member of a political party, but has actively contributed towards campaigning - both in victory and defeat - I can attest that politics is tumultuous thing; indeed, campaigning more often than not an answer looking for a question. Given this, it occurs that the president elect was - through many tangled and difficult circumstances - considered the answer to the questions many - of good conscience and intent - in the electorate now face, and have had to face for many, many years.

To those people - and particularly in the Rustbelt states where the election was largely decided - I would wish to believe that they voted in full and free exercise of what they saw as needing redress: both for themselves and more widely, as it may have been. More so, I think it expressly unfair and unbecoming of the liberal movement - both corporatist and particularly radical too - to demean such people as sexist, racist, intolerant, phobic or an enemy to the values many in those places consider self-evident to their culture and history. But, as it may be now, not in the party or movements that once held their loyalty.

Indeed, I don't believe that the sanctimonious scorn or truculent resentment and condescension is at all justified - as with one K. Olbermann's remark that "the Rustbelt states who turned against democracy and diversity", or misguided R. Maddow's sneer about third parties, the empty Samantha Bee's myopic noise about white woman and any number of other social commentators, activists or figures who has professed some insight into what has happened. At this point, their rhetoric, their rebuttals and acrimony help no one - least of all the people they represent and their hopes for a better future. Which, ironically, should have included the myriad voices, communities and concerns who they have now deemed to have betrayed their aspirations, and at such cost.



Not wishing to indulge this direction any further, I would wish to proffer some hopeful aspirations as the next two years may come. Though many with a shocked and aggrieved heart believe that this checking of the liberal project may be irredeemable, I would attest this is far from true and, if keener scrutiny was afforded, could have been perhaps predicted to come. More so, though I appreciate that sympathy and support is important in these days and hours of uncertainty, it must be said that indulging hyperbolic, unqualified or wild remarks about what may become of the situation does more harm than good and, though I know it's hard, must be tempered and given to cooler heads to scrutinize and give voice to what truly has gone wrong. And truly, not simply with the Democratic Party's loss, but with liberalism's fragmentation and failure to resonate beyond ironically narrowing constituencies of corporatism and radicalism which have worked to dissolve, alienate and displace the vote of citizens who do truly need a common voice of redress.

In all, though it's a bitter understanding, it must be appreciated that democracy - in as much as it's understood today - is far from the ultimate, singular thing we are compelled to see it as. More so, it's all too often forgotten that democracy has two vital components in both principle and practice. The voice of liberalism has a natural and compelling appeal, but the inflection of its last few decades has changed; and more so, the practice - always the more difficult, grimy and grinding of the two - has become wanting of a more expansive, truly inclusive voice beyond the now somewhat too comfortable cultural enclaves of the past. Again, I don't deny that a great deal of work and effort is needed in the months and years ahead, but it remains to those who would listen and amend themselves - indeed, begin to mend the fractures - which will allow for a vibrant, renewed and genuinely liberal movement to campaign for congress in 2018.

If this cannot be done, then I can only imagine that the consequences for the Democratic Party and the liberal movement will be little more than mastery of their own decline - and particularly the latter, as recent history testifies. As the above quote illustrates in Shakespeare's Richard II, the deposed king's mounting remark about the legacy of his behavior and intemperance plays all too well these days, in many ways. But, this too can prove a powerful lesson and will hopefully embolden and refine to even greater success and aspiration, those who will take heed. If, as is so often asserted, latter day liberalism and social justice is about dialogue, then now is the very day to begin such conversations and discourses with those who's exclusion from mainstream dialogue has - over too many decades - ultimately brought about this difficult circumstance now.

Thank you,

MP.



Hello there,

As so many, many millions will know, in just a day's time a electoral process which will elect one individual to the most powerful office in the world will conclude: that being, the presidential election of 2016 contested between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her Republican opponent, Donald Trump. In modern times - and perhaps in the electoral history of the United States - this has been a remarkable, compelling and sometimes extraordinary contest of political wills which will not only color the next four years of American - and indeed, global - history, but also the tone and nature of public and political discourse after a fractious, powerfully moving election. Though many Americans and their neighbors have become, sometimes understandably, vexed and weary of this more than year long process, the times seen by their European peers and elsewhere have remained just as remarkable.

Britain's fracture from the EU, wider socio-economic questions on the continent and further afield have given this most paramount of political events a particular edge as the electorate are now given their voice to decide on the potential direction of their country. And more so, following the two terms of Barack Obama's historic presidency and the many cultural, social and other movements which have worked to shape the American franchise into the form which will go to the voting booth on November 8th. Though not American myself, I have been following events in this unprecedented election closely - and often in correspondence with my friends across the Atlantic - as the respective campaigns have negotiated their twists and turns, adventures, set backs and assorted exploits which seem set to recast this election; indeed, even the hotly debated, history defining election of 2000 (Gore vs. Bush) may be overshadowed in its tumult of issues, causes and sweeping potential once the waters have started to settle and the voting heralds a winner, as the case will be.

In the former respect - and, admittedly like some others - I have been actively studying and postulating on the potential outcomes which the vote will have upon the electoral college, being a student of politics in the past, and considering the sometimes greater or lesser outcomes between the 50 states of the union upon the ultimate outcome of the election now. To this end, I have been using the electoral prediction and data site 270towin.com and its map - amenable to the varying strength of support and historical tendencies - to determine where each state's support may lie. After some thought, I have decided to offer two differing visions of the outcome and some thought on how such a map may be collected after the last vote is cast.

It's also at this moment that I would like to indicate, in firm but polite terms, that this is an analysis and speculation removed from the respective virtues or demerits of the candidates and should not be taken to be combative, controversial or provocative. This is a measured, albeit brief analysis of strategy and outcome which I hope will give some food for thought and will at least entertain, as I hope.


Scenario One:


Democratic Party (Blue): Victory


Defensive Consolidation




This election cycle has provided for a challenging, but promising bag for the Democratic Party. After the long and unexpected contentions of the nomination process, the party emerged into the race proper, furnished with a vital mix of strengths and potential weaknesses with which to face the following year or so of presidential campaigning. Benefiting immensely from the experiences and success of earlier campaigns - particularly the crucial logistics of local "ground games" seen in 08 and 12 - the blue party also benefited from a powerful majority and commanding presence in many of the more urban, populated states across the USA. Still, it has remained to be seen that this promising mix has been somewhat tempered by relative events surrounding the tenor of the campaign, the question of enthusing its coalition of voter bases and the possibility of its hard won presence in some states facing a more pronounced challenge than in years past. In this respect, and following some thought, I am postulating - as seen above - the scenario of a Democratic victory being predicated upon two elements. The first is an elastic strategy of defensive consolidation relative to its current holdings, while the second - based upon wider speculations - concerns securing North Carolina's transition from a traditionally red to rising blue state.

In the first respect, it's understood that it's possible for the party to endure a number of losses in some regions - great and small - which will provide a victory, albeit diminished. This scenario played out, the loss of Nevada, Iowa, and even the once decisive Ohio and Florida can still provide for a tight victory, reflecting the integrity of the current democratic bastions in the north, north east, mid-west and west: particularly Colorado, Minnesota and especially Pennsylvania too. More so, the flexibility of this strategy may be vindicated with an important prize in North Carolina - the state growing increasingly towards the blue party in recent elections, and indeed voted for Obama in 08 - the inclusion of this southern state would greatly soften the loss of smaller states and perhaps Ohio too, if these went Republican on the night. To this end, I will attest that the fate of North Carolina may well be the story of the election, as the once notably "purple" states of Ohio and Florida become less predictive of future success, for any campaign.

Here, I think it's credible to propose a tight, but able victory for the Democratic party if an elastic, defensive scenario comes to pass.



Scenario Two:


Republican Party (Red): Victory


Strategic Attrition





Emerging from the shock and sometimes consternation of his peers in the GOP, their candidate would go on to eclipse - albeit not without some pronounced contest - such presidential hopefuls as Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush to secure the nomination. From here forward, with a... indelibly bombastic style to his campaign, the chosen candidate led the party into a problematic, but charged appeal for the presidency of the USA. The Republican Party faced with growing demographic and ideological issues for the better part of the last decade, the strength of the organisation to contest the presidency has faltered in recent times as younger voters, other ethnic groups and aging values have seemingly disengaged the GOP from constituencies where it needs to win. Though the party controls congress and the governorship of two thirds of the states, it entered the race at a strategic disadvantage and has been challenged hard to find a path to victory. It may remain a curious irony that the growing sub-culture of anti-establishment politics and other social movements - compounded by socio-economic and other tensions - may provide for such a hard fought victory, if certain variables prevail on election day.

Though the direction of its current candidate has been often hotly debated across the media spectrum, the singular appeal seems to collect itself in a particular way - that being, a strategic attrition of some democratic bases could be enough to push a number of states red, as could be. Also, it has been postulated that the goal of this intention is to fundamentally compromise the Democratic bastion of the north east - particularly the rust belt regions of Ohio and Pennsylvania: the latter both symbolically and strategically significant given its singular value to any presidential campaign. More so, elsewhere, this approach could yield both big and small success, given the historically tight races in Florida and the relative success seen by the red campaign in Ohio and New Hampshire. Ultimately, given this singular strategy - relative to other pressures and tensions that have been nascent in such regions - the acquisition of a certain strategic cluster focused on breaching the north eastern Democratic bastion could afford the Republican party the presidency, on this occasion.

In conclusion, it may bare out that a policy of selective, strategic attrition could bring a tight, but accomplished victory for the GOP.


It's with these ruminations in mind that I hope the forthcoming election is peaceful, representative and bares out the best aspirations and values of the American people. So said, it will be intriguing as to where the day and night ahead may take us, as could be.

Thanks,

MP.
Hello there,

Though it has been a while since my last journal - myriad distractions and other issues, as can be - I do continue to hope that you and yours are well, where you may be and that the year - or at least the Winter months to come - are promising for you.

Considering the nature of the seasonal cycle where I am, this Autumn's night is, of course, Halloween - the 31st date bringing to an end a month of suitably themed, intoned and other darkly textured things as the annual celebration of all that's stirring, scary or other worldly comes to a peak on Hallow's eve night. Myself having had a somewhat distracted - or at least sedate - month of it, due in part to other concerns and taxes on my time and mind, I still appreciate the season and hope that those who celebrate it's appeal have a fun, safe and engaging time of it, this year. More so - though this doesn't necessarily preclude further possibilities, in some ways - I would like to proffer some tales of the dark, strange and enchanting which have worked to inspire me for many years, and still are a pleasure to entertain now, for those seeking more... peculiar encounters with the supernatural and the fears that linger with the unknown, beyond the fire light...

To that end, please consider five such tales - so narrated - which I hope will prove suitably inspiring for such as tonight.

The Masque of the Red Death - Edgar Allan Poe


In the waning years of the 17th century, a prince of Italy - the extravagant, bizarre Duke Prospero - works to seal himself and his peers off from a horrific plague which sweeps the surrounding country. Though, it remains to be seen if he truly has denied this strange force, one night at a masquerade ball. The guests dance, the music rises and the clock ticks on...

This splendid work is narrated handsomely by the now late, great Christopher Lee.





The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving


A classic - if not the classic - American ghost story, penned in the early years of the American nation. In the years after the revolutionary war, tales are told of a very particular American township in northern New York which seems - among other things - to be haunted by a terrible apparition of a headless, horse borne rider: supposedly a Hessian soldier decapitated during the war, and who now rides in search of his head. Surely just a tall tale of local lore, Ichabod Crane knows...

Adapted here by the talented people of "Chilling Tales for Dark Nights" on YT.




The Wendigo - Algernon Charles Blackwood


In the early years of the 20th century, a band of hikers, campers and hunters make their stay by a lake in the Canadian wilds - their night peppered by strange calls, and the lingering legends of a monstrous creature of native folklore: a transforming, looming and shadowy spirit of the wilds called The Wendigo.

A masterpiece by the great horror and supernatural writer A.C Blackwood




The Haunter of the Dark - H.P Lovecraft


The city of Providence bears a strange secret - a benighted and ancient church hides a long and sanguine history. Newly discovered by a particular man, he is enchanted: though it will be that singular fascination may lead him to places far from expected, but always at the power of something that lingers in the dark.

One of Lovecraft's most abiding and darkly compelling works, inspired by his home of Providence.




The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson


The esteemed, kindly Dr. Jekyll of London has been acting out of sorts, of late - his peers and colleagues bewildered; more so by the strange influence and presence that a shadowy, malign and enigmatic acquaintance of the gentleman has been seemingly having on him. None the less than that of a certain Mr. Hyde. What their relationship is compels a strange mystery - is man not wholly one, but wholly two?

Last, but never least here - the sum and fount of so much inspiration for me, throughout the years, and still inspiring to this day.



Have a happy and safe Halloween,

MP.

The 15 year long manga franchise ended with its final chapter on 22nd August, 2016


On the 22nd of August, 2016, a rather remarkable and quite compelling event - highly anticipated for sometime - swept through the arms and organs of Anime fandom as Bleach - brain child of mangaka Tite Kubo - finally drew to a close with its last chapter of 686. Though the conclusion of a well known and long enduring series is not unknown - as evidenced recently in the similarly enduring Naruto conclusion some while before - it will be that the fading and ultimate end of this franchise will go on to form a particular importance in the cultural lives of many, and further prompting myriad discussions as to the role it played in the popularity of the medium, and its legacy throughout the wider pop culture too. Though I can't attest a strong following of the series - being an intermittent fan at best, in the series' better days - I would like the mark the occasion with a few thoughts on the conclusion of this once titan franchise and how so many were compelled by the sword swinging heroics of one Ichigo Kurosaki, before the series' twilight.

Also, there will be some other news at the end - though still related to the core journal - about an upcoming event, to mark the occasion, in way.

Before going on, I would like to prompt that these thoughts aren't intended to aggravate or to seem adversarial: these are my own reflections - personal and more widely - upon the institution of this remarkable work, and its coloring of my own interests.

 
The first volume of Bleach (2002) and the latter anime series (2004)

Debuting in 2001, the work of the then nascent Tite Kubo - then a somewhat insecure albeit rising mangaka - the curiously named story begins with an encounter between one Ichigo Kurosaki and a shinigami (soul reaper) in the petite, mysterious Rukia Kuchiki. A mission gone bad results in Ichigo being invested with much of the latter's energy - the result being a rapid evolution of the young man's spiritual abilities, particularly in the manifestation of his zanpakuto sword, Zangetsu. His mystical evolution prompted by ever more dangerous opponents and events, it remains that Ichigo and a few of his closer friends - themselves manifesting eclectic powers and supernatural heritage - are drawn into a far reaching conspiracy which draws from the very heights of soul society (the principal afterlife in the series) and into more shadowy domains.

The manga a remarkable success in its heyday, the series was the noted winner of the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2005 and would go on to sell copies approaching 90 million by the series conclusion in 2016. Though the root of its success, it would be that much of the franchise's fame arises from the somewhat better known anime series, by Studio Pierrot, which premiered in 2004 and would go on to become a wide running fixture of popular anime fandom in that decade and somewhat beyond too.

It must also be said that it would be through this series, its spin offs and various other expressions, that numerous sub-cultures on dA would be informed by its remarkable, eclectic characters and with considerable legacy too, as is evident today with such anime favorites as the radiant Rangiku Matsumoto, the aforementioned Rukia or the taciturn Tia Harribel, and certainly Orihime Inoue too. Though the series would ultimately conclude in 2012 as planning and economic imperatives precluded adaptations of oncoming manga arcs, the anime would continue to inform and color interest in the franchise for years to come, though it can be said that these were often distinct punctuation's and other leanings which didn't always reflect the current popularity of the central narrative in the manga - the core material of most franchises - and it was here that latent issues began to arise.

As aforementioned, the impetus for Ichigo's adventures within the spiritual worlds was ultimately revealed to be the work of a great, and binding, conspiracy which drew itself over many realms and involved even more characters and players than was first mused. But, as it came to be, when this conspiracy was defeated - in bloody, desperate battle - it was struck that as Ichigo's principal impetus waned, so too did the readership's interest: the singular note so struck in the beginning blowing out around 2010 as Bleach seemed to waver in its focus and intent. A new and even more insidious threat emerging as what was found to be an intermediary arc concluded, it was finally revealed that this would be the final arc - a battle against other spiritual power users - which ultimately ended just recently.

The final chapter given some way to exploring this, the readership was opened to an epilogue with Ichigo and his companions ten years after their adventures. Though something of an understated finish, the manga itself had been declining for sometime in popularity - once regular to the top ten titles and one of the so called "Big Three" (a collective title given to the Bleach, Naruto and One Piece franchises of the 2000') - had given way to other things, and its readership engaged with each development with sometimes linear interest for one particular character or thread over the whole. A popular and 
sometimes contested topic of debate amid those interested, it would come to be that the manga's increasingly dilated focus and inconstant narrative energy would conclude with its 686th chapter - the finisher in what would be the 76th volume once compiled.
 

The principal villain of Bleach for much of the story: Former Shinigami, Lord Soukse Aizen

With Bleach's conclusion, the wider cultural history peels back onto my own, more personal history with the franchise, what has become of it, and where it went during that time. Entering college in the late 2000's, I was one to join my university's anime club and found a good interest in the franchise there - watching several episodes and a few movies - which prefigured a longer running interest for some years, as the case was. Though, as can be said, one of the essential elements of engaging with the series - like any other art - was a critical sensibility, perhaps culturally relative or not, which colored the perspective of the watcher or reader. Something which was evident when I first watched Bleach in 2007 and something which endures with me now in 2016.

Though this has certainly been said elsewhere - back in that anime club, in the abridging community and otherwise - one of the lingering elements of the series is its generally melancholic, downcast tone: the understanding that little about the world is good, especially for the protagonist, and even more so for the afterlife too. Therein lies the kernel of a very particular joke which the series embodied to its fans and which was increasingly born out time and time again as the narrative and its conventions brought us again and again to a place of uneasy rest.

The notion that the protagonist's struggles and eventual victories were not always for the best reasons or lasting ends - again, sometimes a reflection of the narrative norm, sometimes more particular to the story - was something that, I feel, began to weigh on the world being sculpted. From the conceit with which the living world was treated, to the decadent, stagnant, corrupt and broken Soul Society and even to realizing a particular vision of Hell too, the franchise increasingly gave less and less reason for the hero to fight - and if so, what for? Though so knowing and empowered, the hero seemed less and less cognizant of what he could do, and of the better things he could fight for; such things dulled and smothered by myriad calls to tradition, heritage and - as one particular and irredeemably arrogant conversation goes between two characters - "it is the way of things". 

In all, it could be understood that - at least to me and a few others - that Bleach's fans understood the stakes of the story, related to the pressures but were finally shaken off by the lack of any real fruition to personal or wider struggles - not to mention the issues which began to pervade between characters and their circumstances. Could it have been that, to so many, Bleach's joke was becoming painfully clear to everyone, except its creator and his cohorts? Though never denying that Bleach had a very distinct and remarkable voice, that same voice was increasingly pressed by ambiguity and a fatalistic arrogance or presumption which began to snag, dimming the enthusiasm of a readership and, seemingly, protagonist from seeing positive and lasting changes to his world - carrying out the vague, sometimes empty, pompous obligations so commanded: soul society, honor, rivalry, the state of nature, save things because, because, because...

Given the increasingly grinding weight of these issues that either remained unresolved, ignored or uncultivated during the course of the story, I was fatigued by Bleach during the years of its last arcs (2012-2016) and found myself watching more from the side lines than anywhere else. Still, beyond my own thoughts on the manga, it must be said that the conclusion of Bleach has been a remarkable event in the history of not only the medium but also in the history of global fandom, as well - Bleach playing out through the digital age, while its increasingly interconnected fan base promoted a fascinating dynamic for the material to bounce off of, as with many franchises, concurrent with the era.

On a closing note, perhaps it could be said that Bleach was a victim of its own potential - which, when denied or bastardized, proved destructive - but was remarkable and vivid in what it wished to say, even when given to meandering. It will be that the legacy of this story will come to not only inspire, but perhaps prove a timely, vigorous instruction on the trials of a popular franchise - strength, weakness and what they want to say about their world.

Also, to mark the occasion, I would like to indicate the forthcoming debut of a small, new project which I think will prove timely with the canonical conclusion of Bleach, and perhaps the opportunity for a new story too...

Thanks again,

MP.





The UK has voted to leave the European Union following
a Brexit victory in the referendum

Hello there,

The last two days have been something of a roller coaster for me - and particularly so given the very singular nature of events, and the legacy that they may engender following the referendum on the 23rd of June: 51% voting to leave while just over 48% voted to remain. Hence, as of the 24th, Britain will begin the long process of departing the EU towards an uncertain and challenging future.

As many here will know, I did support a remain position in this discussion and it remains - after digesting the bitter, ominous outcome - to reflect upon what has happened, and what may come next, given the magnitude of the prospects that bore out painfully on the morning of the 24th: something I watched, before retiring for much needed sleep.

In all, given the relative context, the arguments, the history, the respective forces at play and what was at stake I can't deny my disappointment and dismay at what has come about - and how. Though the vote was not that far removed - about a million votes in difference - the plateau that has now been dangerously crashed upon is unknown, fraught with depredations and trials that experts, institutions, countries and organisations the world over warned about - but to no seeming avail, as we have now seen.

In the end, Brexit did succeed - for painfully wrong reasons - and what it may bring us could be a testament to what ultimately realized this dismal, self-mutilating exhibition in the first place. Of all the things the European Union was - its history and evolution, its powers and potential - no one has ever described the union as perfect - not even the staunchest supporters of the project would proclaim that. But, having succeeded in contriving an excuse to leave the entity, it remains that Britain may have to face the numerous more implicit consequences of its departure - the impact upon human, civil and workers rights; socially just regulations and a host of other items which insulated a good portion of British life.

More so, the impression left for those of a very particular strain who supported Brexit is jubilation - and how so. Still, with the immediate and growing socio-economic consequences to come, I can only hope that the loud jingoism, petty disdain, mutual ethnic exploitation and right wing populism that raised so many in hopes of restoring "sovereignty" to the UK, will give way to something more as the long road to... somewhere, opens up.

Ironic regret.

In all, notions of Brexit must be contextualized within the political and economic constitution of the UK - that is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In this sense, as the institution that played such a part in Britain's polity and socio-economics for more than 40 years comes away, so will all the conceits, certainties, insights and understandings that allowed Britain - and its people -  such a role in Europe, and in the wider world too. And when these things begin to entwine, like a mile long python, we will come to appreciate the mistake so many have made - as they, by the million - will feel the pressure on a world view that Europe helped sustain. Thankfully, it's said of Britain that England doesn't have revolutions, it has satire. Let's hope it's very, very good satire...

And more so, what of the other nations too? Though England voted out, and Wales echoed this mostly, Scotland - north to south, east to west - voted in; the Northern Irish voting by a margin of perhaps 18 to 8 to remain also. This divide and the direction Britain intends indicts a long standing democratic deficit and has not gone down lightly. The events of the 23rd almost certainly anticipate a second Scottish referendum on independence now, as the arguments which previously prevailed against independence are compromised beyond saving.



More so, in Ireland, the particulars of the agreements between the north and the republic leave much unanswered tension - there being a mutually open border and the Republic of Ireland is an EU member, and the only such state to share a land border with the UK. This has brought further constitutional wrangling and calls by some for a referendum on Irish unification, given the potential consequences for both north and south if the border - and more over, socio-economic - issues are not addressed in times to come. 

In all, as this distasteful, painful and dismal chapter in British political history closes, a dozen more open and it could be the ultimate irony of this referendum that the issue of sovereignty - so often the rousing war cry of Brits past and present - will be the one thing that actually renders the UK unfeasible: the device of the referendum having become an instrument in the fragmentation of the Britain it believed it was making sovereign once more.

Still, I think The New Yorker magazine summed a good deal of this up, and with the help of the venerable Monty Python franchise too as the wider gravity of the situation becomes a little clearer. Cue the Ministry of Silly Walks... 



Thanks,

MP.



The UK has voted to leave the European Union following
a Brexit victory in the referendum

Hello there,

The last two days have been something of a roller coaster for me - and particularly so given the very singular nature of events, and the legacy that they may engender following the referendum on the 23rd of June: 51% voting to leave while just over 48% voted to remain. Hence, as of the 24th, Britain will begin the long process of departing the EU towards an uncertain and challenging future.

As many here will know, I did support a remain position in this discussion and it remains - after digesting the bitter, ominous outcome - to reflect upon what has happened, and what may come next, given the magnitude of the prospects that bore out painfully on the morning of the 24th: something I watched, before retiring for much needed sleep.

In all, given the relative context, the arguments, the history, the respective forces at play and what was at stake I can't deny my disappointment and dismay at what has come about - and how. Though the vote was not that far removed - about a million votes in difference - the plateau that has now been dangerously crashed upon is unknown, fraught with depredations and trials that experts, institutions, countries and organisations the world over warned about - but to no seeming avail, as we have now seen.

In the end, Brexit did succeed - for painfully wrong reasons - and what it may bring us could be a testament to what ultimately realized this dismal, self-mutilating exhibition in the first place. Of all the things the European Union was - its history and evolution, its powers and potential - no one has ever described the union as perfect - not even the staunchest supporters of the project would proclaim that. But, having succeeded in contriving an excuse to leave the entity, it remains that Britain may have to face the numerous more implicit consequences of its departure - the impact upon human, civil and workers rights; socially just regulations and a host of other items which insulated a good portion of British life. More so, the impression left for those of a very particular strain who supported Brexit is jubilation - and how so. Still, with the immediate and growing socio-economic consequences to come, I can only hope that the loud jingoism, petty disdain, mutual ethnic exploitation and right wing populism that raised so many in hopes of restoring "sovereignty" to the UK, will give way to something more as the long road to... somewhere, opens up.

Ironic regret.

In all, notions of Brexit must be contextualized within the political and economic constitution of the UK - that is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In this sense, as the institution that played such a part in Britain's polity and socio-economics for more than 40 years comes away, so will all the conceits, certainties, insights and understandings that allowed Britain - and its people -  such a role in Europe, and in the wider world too. And when these things begin to entwine, like a mile long python, we will come to appreciate the mistake so many have made - as they, by the million - will feel the pressure on a world view that Europe helped sustain. Thankfully, it's said of Britain that England doesn't have revolutions, it has satire. Let's hope it's very, very good satire...

And more so, what of the other nations too? Though England voted out, and Wales echoed this mostly, Scotland - north to south, east to west - voted in; the Northern Irish voting by a margin of perhaps 18 to 8 to remain also. This divide and the direction Britain intends indicts a long standing democratic deficit and has not gone down lightly. The events of the 23rd almost certainly anticipate a second Scottish referendum on independence now, as the arguments which previously prevailed against independence are compromised beyond saving.



More so, in Ireland, the particulars of the agreements between the north and the republic leave much unanswered tension - there being a mutually open border and the Republic of Ireland is an EU member, and the only such state to share a land border with the UK. This has brought further constitutional wrangling and calls by some for a referendum on Irish unification, given the potential consequences for both north and south if the border - and more over, socio-economic - issues are not addressed in times to come. 

In all, as this distasteful, painful and dismal chapter in British political history closes, a dozen more open and it could be the ultimate irony of this referendum that the issue of sovereignty - so often the rousing war cry of Brits past and present - will be the one thing that actually renders the UK unfeasible: the device of the referendum having become an instrument in the fragmentation of the Britain it believed it was making sovereign once more.

Still, I think The New Yorker magazine summed a good deal of this up, and with the help of the venerable Monty Python franchise too as the wider gravity of the situation becomes a little clearer. Que the Ministry of Silly Walks... 



Thanks,

MP.



The UK has voted to leave the European Union following
a Brexit victory in the referendum

Hello there,

The last two days have been something of a roller coaster for me - and particularly so given the very singular nature of events, and the legacy that they may engender following the referendum on the 23rd of June: 51% voting to leave while just over 48% voted to remain. Hence, as of the 24th, Britain will begin the long process of departing the EU towards an uncertain and challenging future.

As many here will know, I did support a remain position in this discussion and it remains - after digesting the bitter, ominous outcome - to reflect upon what has happened, and what may come next, given the magnitude of the prospects that bore out painfully on the morning of the 24th: something I watched, before retiring for much needed sleep.

In all, given the relative context, the arguments, the history, the respective forces at play and what was at stake I can't deny my disappointment and dismay at what has come about - and how. Though the vote was not that far removed - about a million votes in difference - the plateau that has now been dangerously crashed upon is unknown, fraught with depredations and trials that experts, institutions, countries and organisations the world over warned about - but to no seeming avail, as we have now seen.

In the end, Brexit did succeed - for painfully wrong reasons - and what it may bring us could be a testament to what ultimately realized this dismal, self-mutilating exhibition in the first place. Of all the things the European Union was - its history and evolution, its powers and potential - no one has ever described the union as perfect - not even the staunchest supporters of the project would proclaim that. But, having succeeded in contriving an excuse to leave the entity, it remains that Britain may have to face the numerous more implicit consequences of its departure - the impact upon human, civil and workers rights; socially just regulations and a host of other items which insulated a good portion of British life. More so, the impression left for those of a very particular strain who supported Brexit is jubilation - and how so. Still, with the immediate and growing socio-economic consequences to come, I can only hope that the loud jingoism, petty disdain, mutual ethnic exploitation and right wing populism that raised so many in hopes of restoring "sovereignty" to the UK, will give way to something more as the long road to... somewhere, opens up.

Ironic regret.

In all, notions of Brexit must be contextualized within the political and economic constitution of the UK - that is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In this sense, as the institution that played such a part in Britain's polity and socio-economics for more than 40 years comes away, so will all the conceits, certainties, insights and understandings that allowed Britain - and its people -  such a role in Europe, and in the wider world too. And when these things begin to entwine, like a mile long python, we will come to appreciate the mistake so many have made - as they, by the million - will feel the pressure on a world view that Europe helped sustain. Thankfully, it's said of Britain that England doesn't have revolutions, it has satire. Let's hope it's very, very good satire... And more so, what of the other nations too? Though England voted out, and Wales echoed this mostly, Scotland - north to south, east to west - voted in; the Northern Irish voting by a margin of perhaps 18 to 8 to remain also. This divide and the direction Britain intends indicts a long standing democratic deficit and has not gone down lightly. The events of the 23rd almost certainly anticipate a second Scottish referendum on independence now, as the arguments which previously prevailed against independence are compromised beyond saving.



More so, in Ireland, the particulars of the agreements between the north and the republic leave much unanswered tension - there being a mutually open border and the Republic of Ireland is an EU member, and the only such state to share a land border with the UK. This has brought further constitutional wrangling and calls by some for a referendum on Irish unification, given the potential consequences for both north and south if the border - and more over, socio-economic - issues are not addressed in times to come. 

In all, as this distasteful, painful and dismal chapter in British political history closes, a dozen more open and it could be the ultimate irony of this referendum that the issue of sovereignty - so often the rousing war cry of Brits past and present - will be the one thing that actually renders the UK unfeasible: the device of the referendum having become an instrument in the fragmentation of the Britain it believed it was making sovereign once more.

Still, I think The New Yorker magazine summed a good deal of this up, and with the help of the venerable Monty Python franchise too as the wider gravity of the situation becomes a little clearer. Que the Ministry of Silly Walks... 



Thanks,

MP.

The UK European Union referendum is to be held on the 23rd, June, to decide for or against continued membership 



Hello there,

As always, i hope that you are all well, as can be, where you are. Writing today, I am catching up with an intention from some days before; that being, the historic referendum on Britain's (UK) membership of the European Union and whether to continue or terminate the country's 43 year long relationship with the international group. The history and context of the referendum something of increasingly pointed - not to mention acrimonious and inflammatory - contention in the UK, recent events have brought the swirling and somewhat misbegotten race to a strange new plateau; and so it is, together, that both sides emerge blinking into a disturbing new precedence for British current politics.

Helen Joanne "Jo" Cox - Remain Campaigner and British MP - assassinated on 16th, June, 2016


To contextualize the relative forces at play, and for those unfamiliar with the dynamic of this argument, the group wishing for a vote to leave the EU is named "Brexit" (Britain exit), while those campaigning to remain have been dubbed "Bremain" (Britain remain). The popular discourse surrounding this remarkable, singular referendum coming about after a number of political twists and turns over the years regarding Britain's constitutional landscape, the campaign has gone back and forth, though strange and tragic events have forced a pause (at least until this coming Monday, 20th) after the shocking assassination of a Labour Party MP for West Yorkshire, and Bremain supporter, Jo Cox.

Emerging from a local function, she was approached by one Thomas Mair - a hitherto unassuming member of his local community, revealed to have far right and neo-nazi sympathies, along with mental health issues - who shot Mrs. Cox three times and stabbed her repeatedly: the assailant reportedly screaming "Britain First" before he was overwhelmed by bystanders and then arrested. Mrs. Cox was rushed to hospital but died of her injuries a few hours later.

The social and political legacy of this extraordinary act is already hotly debated - and not always with the best of faith - though I muse that it remains to consider what has brought us - so much of the British electorate - to this strange threshold. Appreciating that both arguments - when lent to cool, deliberate thought - have their merits, it is that so many important - but complex and challenging - issues have become singular and blunt in the need win attention, if not votes. The history of this already painfully known elsewhere, the trend of this in Britain - and particularly in parts of England - have been disconcerting at best and frightening at worst - the worst just having been witnessed in the murder of a MP (member of parliament) while performing her civic tasks.

The course of democracy is a strange and remarkable thing - and all the more so in a society ever more global, diverse and particular of its identity than before. Still, in this same ostensibly liberal and compelling locality, we find that the mediation of history, of heritage and identity still holds a singular power with people in our digitized age; particularly so if impressionable, reactive or disconcerted by a world they feel is increasingly unfamiliar to them. This powerful sentiment potently born out in the events of the last three days, my own meditations have brought a few conclusions and my decision on the forthcoming vote.

Though, in light of such events and the wider course we have witnessed, I would recommend an interesting, and fairly measured article on the ambient, social problems which have dogged this - and other - political narratives in Britain for sometime: issues which require a measured address before any real benefit can be found in a society which will continue to become more complex and challenging, as with the problems of the 21st century. I hope this may clarify, soothe and perhaps focus some of the intent that has been leveled across this campaign, and maybe temper some of the strong sentiments hurled either way before we reach the fateful date on the 23rd.

The article is provided by the Scottish news site "Common Space" and can be found here below, for the interested: Christopher MacMillan - "Too much Hampstead, Not enough Hull."

www.commonspace.scot/a…


Thank you,

MP.
Hello there,


(Update: 19/04/16)



Earthquake near Ecuadorian Coast


In the light of recent dramatic news and on behalf of a good friend, I would like to shed some further light on the remarkable earthquake near the north-western coast of Ecuador: a powerful and violent seismic event which has had far reaching and quite devastating consequences in many regions of that country, and especially near the coast too. Relative to this, and after some recent counsel with someone close to the incident, I would like to direct readers, those concerned and invested in the response to this remarkable event to consider the links below. Following is the possibility to donate to UNICEF, a branch of the Red Cross, the Ecuadorian government's account and a more general UN account too.

www.unicefusa.org/stories/powe…

www.redcross.ca/about-us/red-c…

Rep. of Ecuador/United Nations DetailsBANK OF AMERICA NY
SWIFT CODE: BOFAUS3N
ACCOUNT NAME: CCU SECRETARÍA GESTIÓN RIESGOS/PLANTA CENTRAL
ACCOUNT NO.: 01121807
BANK OF AMERICA NY
ACCOUNT NAME: UNDP Rep. of Ecuador Account
ACCOUNT NO.: 3751560139
BANK ID: 111000012
BANK TYPE: ZBA Bank


I understand that this is a somewhat abrupt break in the relative levity of the former subject, though I do believe that some good attention must be given to this demanding and very much important issue of a nation's crisis, along with all and any possibilities to facilitate their recovery from this event.

_____________________________________________________________________________
As always, I sincerely hope that you and yours are well where you are as 2016 rolls on, as it does. With Spring in gentle bloom where I am - and not without some much appreciated color - the ostensibly brighter days are not always so, as with overcast and cooler climes than one may expect in the season of daffodils and violets.

Still, in more broader news - as fellow anime and Sailor Moon fans will no doubt chorus - Spring finds the latest, if not long awaited, installment of the Sailor Moon reboot Sailor Moon Crystal in its third season: the notorious infinity arc dealing with the lovecraftian, dimension hopping terrors of the Death Busters and the ominous prophecy they bring, evoking "The Messiah of Silence". But, as may be, this new threat draws new heroes into the fold - from sometimes unexpected places - and it may be that those believed gone are much closer than we may think. In all, to face this new threat, hard on the heels of the Black Moon's defeat, what follows will be an all the more challenging, potentially apocalyptic test of the Sailor Senshi's resolve.

 
Sailor Moon Crystal: Season Three - Infinity        The Messiah of Silence?                   
 
Considering the lineage of this particular installment and the near complete consensus that the third Sailor Moon arc - in both its manga and subsequent, better known anime iteration - was one of the finer, richer and more resonant moments in the franchise, SMC Infinity has a considerable challenge ahead of it. Facing this with good confidence, anticipation is not without some caution as the previous installments of the rebooted franchise have been compelling, but not without their moments of weakness.

Infinity known for many of its remarkable characters, it also serves as the introduction - perhaps formally - of the self styled "Outer Senshi" soldiers through the debut of the lovers Haruka Tenou and Michiru Kaioh: better known as the sword swinging Sailor Uranus and the elegant, cryptic Sailor Neptune. Of course, that may not be all we see of the outer plants here, as the case may unfold. Facing them, the vanguard of the Death Busters can be found in the malign, but eclectic forces of the Witches 5 - a mysterious, but powerful group under the direction of Magus Kaolinite and the reclusive Professor Tomoe. Enigmatic, calculating and driven, this coven will prove a stern and unbending test for the senshi, in more ways than they may wish to expect. 


Songstress Mimete, Pyrotechnic Eudial, Botanist Tellu, Technologist Viluy and Reflector Cyprine

Those who may recall - or are new to my coverage of the rebooted Sailor Moon franchise - can catch up with my encounters with the seasons here: Well Met by Moonlight? (Part One) , Well Met by Moonlight? (Part Two) and Well Met by Moonlight? (Part Three) - each journal covering elements of the first season (aka. Dark Kingdom) and the second (Black Moon) between 2014 and 2015. Considering what has been hopefully learned, and the genuine dynamic behind this latest installment of the franchise, I do hope that it proves to be a impelling story. More so, one that not only compounds those classic elements that made previous iterations such a hit, but that it infuses those same elements with new energy for what will be one of the most charged, dark and vibrant of Sailor Moon stories since the reboot started in 2014. We can but hope.


Earth Guardian Mamoru?


Most are fairly familiar with the legend. A lone, svelte and indignant warrior, fighting evil by moonlight in the shadows of Tokyo's great metropolis: the heights, the depths and sprawl of the urban valleys witness to her singular destiny... But, in this, it's been my keen pleasure to rediscover that tale - but not quite as we know. A lone warrior of the Earth, not the moon, and a form familiar, yet not...

In this, I found a remarkable and quite singular vision of another time and place, with characters similar and yet potently different. A new world, new forms and remarkable inversions abound in the doujinshi (fan manga) of the stellar :iconazure-and-copper: - a gender swapped, rich re-imagining of Sailor Moon in "Pretty Guardian Mamoru - Book 1".

Earth Guardian Mamoru Cover by Azure-and-Copper

The days of a certain girl named Mamoru Chiba - stoic, studious if a little isolated - seem somewhat ordinary until a mysterious white cat delivers not only a remarkable power but a strange new destiny: the legacy of a lost kingdom, and confronting the machinations of Abyss Queen Spinelle and her four generals. Not alone in this endeavor, she will hopefully gather allies, beginning with her trusty feline in Solaris , the blonde Moonlight Knight and others too who may awaken to a strange new destiny, as seen below...

Shintennou School Girls by Azure-and-Copper Gender Swap Inner Team by Azure-and-Copper
Miyako (Venus) Masato (Jupiter) Aya (Mercury) and Ristu (Mars)

Having followed this project for an admittedly short time, as I may confess, it seems to have a keen, compelling nature to it - and certainly one of the most invested and dynamic interpretations of the Sailor Moon canon I have seen in literally years. The artist crafting a genuinely rich and quite well textured tale in a familiar world, with vibrant and distinctly resonant characters to people a story which - I will relate - will endear to many a Sailor Moon fan. My pleasure to find in this a continuing series, the creator's tumblr can be found here for work behind the scenes and conceptions of new stories earthguardianmamoru.tumblr.com… and here azurecomics.wordpress.com/.&nb… addition, the doujinshi itself can be purchased from the artist's Etsy account here, and for a very reasonable price towards an intelligent, diligently crafted and compelling work as this www.etsy.com/ca/listing/250733… - a copy of the very book itself found below for both the curious and the whimsical to consider.



I hope that a good many will consider and entertain this intriguing iteration of the Sailor Moon continuity and that the artist will find it further within themselves to continue the nascent, vigorous adventures of Earth Guardian Mamoru, as they can.

MP.

Hello there,

As always, I hope that you are well, where you are, and that 2016 is proving if not prosperous, then certainly acceptable for those here. In my own respect, the past few weeks have been somewhat demanding, as can be, but the recent step into Spring time should be interesting, and hopefully productive too. Coming to you this month, I have something of a mixed bag which I think may interest you, with a mingling of concern and fun, as they case should be. With the season witnessing green shoots and renewed color in the world, I would like to dedicate a little below to promoting those who have found themselves in need, but would desire the chance to work for their betterment with commissions, and other initiatives. In addition, a little further down, my tagging by the prolific :iconsephzero: with the recent 8 facts character meme will be met with a perusal of 8 facts concerning a noted researcher of Fahrland City's Institute of Biotechnology, that being one Dr. Henia Louise Jekyll...

First, please consider below for a number of artists who could really benefit from assistance or further attention, as the case may be...

Update: 31/03/16 - An artist who's need just peaked sometime after I composed this journal, not too long ago, :iconarofexdracona: is a compelling talent with a bubbly, vivid style to her work. Due to pressures of wider circumstance, she is faced with some looming obligations and would very much appreciate commissions to help cover the cost. Details and references of her position can be found below, for those interested.

<da:thumb id="599964075"/>

The talented and capable :iconstarsophi: has encountered a few difficulties lately which have somewhat shadowed the first months of 2016, for her. In response, she has opened a special offer of $5 bust commissions of particular quality. Details and references can be found here for the curious.
 
$5 Urgent Commissions!Yes, I will draw detailed bust sketches like this:

For $5, Paypal fees INCLUDED! Instead of $10... (2000x2000 - 300 DPI)

[STATUS - OPEN]
Why this super promotion? Because 2016 is not being "sweet" with me and lately I'm having many troubles in my life and I need to earn extra money to pay some things...so all kind of money is needed and very important for my pocket...
Even if you can't commission me, just a share is already something grateful for me... I wouldn't ask for support if I wasn't this alerted...
To order you can comment here or through note or through private message in other communities you know me!
- LIMITED OFFER: Will only maintain it till I finally pay these debts...
Note that payment comes before giving you the original! I'll ask for it once I complete it! That's because I have a job too and my time is very limited so I don't want you to wait more than a day to have your request after paying for it.


Also, please find below the compelling and quite accomplished artist :iconkulli: . Their own circumstances quite demanding and very impelling, to the say the least, I would like to recommend that their cause be considered: details, references and further links found here, as promoted by the kindly :iconchwen-hoou: .

Kulli needs your help!Fellow DeviantArt member and contributor to my commission gallery :iconkulli: is in a major financial crunch at this time. She needs rent money right away and is offering commissions and restarting the growth drive. More information about her situation and her commission rates can be found below.
Kulli's important message
Kulli's commission prices
Many of you have seen my previous commissions from Kulli before and have gotten plenty of positive feedback. If you wish to have a commission from her, send her an email and help her out. You can also offer a donation if you're feeling generous.
Thanks for your time.


Discovered by way of a mutual acquaintance, the diligent and enduring artist :iconjamster93: has had a fairly tough time of 2016, already, and would very much benefit from your consideration and interest this spring season.

Commission Info (Update)I'm gonna be opening for commissions
UPDATE: I've decided to open for Point commissions
What I do:
Latex
BDSM
Anything involving (literal) latex ballgowns
What I don't do:
Porn
Dominatrixes
Furries
Mature Content
Prices
Sketch=$10/€10/£5/250 points
Lineart=$15/€15/£10/500 points
Colour=$20/€20/£15/750 points
Cel-Shaded $30/€30/£20/1000 points
If interested, Note me
Please pay me on PayPal on my account: donald.gibson170@gmail.com
I'll be waiting =)


Preparing for a new home is a tough undertaking and a task certainly appreciated by the colorful :iconmroczniak:. In the face of this considerable challenge, she is looking to build her resources - both financial and artistic - before her she proceeds with her intentions. Any and all considerations of her cause would be gratefully received.

Commissions are open!Hi!
I recently moved from family home and I live by my own. My expenses rised but thanks to you I'm still available to buy art materials and more!~:heart:
Thanks for your support, it's always appreciated!
Thank you. :rose:
COMMISSIONS OPEN!
1. :iconvermx:
2. :iconglitchcyclops:
3. :iconreyndrys:
4. :iconundeciddundiscovrd:
5. OPEN
6. OPEN
7. OPEN
A4 size

Bullet; Orange 1 character with background; $40 

Bullet; Orange1 character with simple bg; $25 

Bullet; Orange 2 characters with background; $50
+ FAIRYDUST + by MroczniaK+ Hanamiyo + by MroczniaK


Last, but certainly not least, the dynamic :iconnay-hime: is opening to the forthcoming year with a curious, but quite novel offer of ten days dedicated service for all and any projects that a client may wish for. This offer, in all fairly competitive considering the relative service proposed, can be found below for the interested.

Art Slavery CLOSED ~I wll be opening again when I finish this one! :heart: 
I am selling 10 days art slavery! XD
How it works?
For 10 days, I will be doing drawings only for you. 
It includes full drawings, chibis, traditional and digital art (if you wish it, I prefer traditional :P).
I'll do:
• Females
• Some fanart
• Some ecchi (depends)
• Simple background
I'll not do:
• Boys (just in chibi I can do)
• Couples
• Anthros (ears and tail are ok)
• Mecha
• Difficult poses (I don't have that skills yet XD)
• Complicated background
Price:
$50 via paypal (american dollar)
Examples of my work:
        



It's my hope that all mentioned and indicated above get the necessary attention they require, and that their issues are resolved, as can so often be facilitated within our community here, on dA.

Eight Facts


Proceeding onward, and as alluded to earlier, I was recently tagged by a compatriot of mine in :iconsephzero:. Forwarding a 8 facts meme from :iconaraghenxd:, this proposes the recipient respond with 8 facts concerning a character of their's before nominating a further few people to entertain this curious meme for themselves. After some thought, please consider my own subject for questioning in Dr. Henia Louise Jekyll one of the principle protagonists in my latter day tale of Jekyll and Hyde in "Crimson Beyond Glass".


Guest 31 (da Approved) - Copy (4) - Copy - Copy 3 by Mercury-Pentacle


Dr. Henia Louise Jekyll



Dr. Henia Louise Jekyll by Mercury-Pentacle


1) Graduate of Fahrland City University


Henia Jekyll spent her undergraduate and subsequent post-graduate period at FCU - a host of varied and minor positions drawing her into the orbit of the city's Institute of Biotechnology, which works in tandem with FCU, but entertains a functional independence in other areas of interest. A major hub of local and wider post-college interest, Henia Jekyll was among those who entered with a quiet distinction and soon rose in authority and influence. In turn, she and others maintain the institute's long history of co-operation and interwoven culture with FCU.

2) Professional "rival" of Dr. Sonia Alemstedt


A point of some quiet consideration in professional and other circles would be the quiet "rivalry" between Dr. Jekyll and her philosophical contrast in Dr. Sonia Alemstedt. A tall, elegant and intellectually contoured blonde of Nordic descent, Sonia is very much the contrast of the more reserved and intellectually eclectic Henia: a career scientist who firmly sees her narrative within the corporate world, as opposed to the obscure, peculiar and trifling interests of her more diminutive colleague. Gifted and compelling in her own right, Sonia is very much a credit to FCU and to the institute, though harbors quiet - sometimes sharp - resentment and scorn for what she sees as the boring, tedious fields of some others; the diverse and sometimes quaintly colorful nature of the institute's departments meeting with furtive, resigned disdain from her.

3) Sometimes vacations in Port Somerville


In the past, and presently too, Henia developed a taste for the relaxing environs and ambiance of a particular coastal town and minor tourist attraction in Port Somerville. Once a somewhat sedate retreat for locals, the town has since become more cosmopolitan and diverse though retaining a good measure of its ambiance.

4) Often Lectures at FCU 


As with the strong rapport between FCU and IBT - themselves sometimes regarded as a common institution - Dr. Jekyll does lecture at FCU when she can, and on certain subjects; sometimes in concert with colleagues and on occasion with her personal initiative too.

5) Neo-Alchemist?


The months prior to a certain fateful experiment - one conducted a little before she employed a certain Ms. Hyde as her special assistant - Henia had long initiated inquiries and researches into esoteric, theosophic, fortean and occult subjects. These were ultimately reconciled in Dr. Jekyll's pursuit of alchemy and its potential expression in transcendental medicine. In doing so, the doctor begins fashioning a furtive, new career in what she termed as the ever growing, occult subject of "Neo-Alchemy". Her continuing duality and experimentation's predicated upon this very singular, and furtive, subject as her new, private career unfolds.

6) Henia is a member of local Theosophical, Psychical and associated societies and organisations


From an early age, Henia displayed an growing interest in a number of supernatural, obscure and esoteric subjects. While in High School, she joined a like minded group, and soon approached other associations in turn. Joining a psychical research group in her latter years of High School, she applied to and entered FCU's theosophical society: this the more junior wing of a older, more established institution in the city which had been cultivated for some time. In her professional life, Henia remains a member of various groups, and contributes regularly.

7) Henia has lectured at Philadelphia's Institute of History


Dr. Henia Jekyll has lectured at several institutions, schools and societies, many of which have included visits to other city's and their own places of learning and research. Of note - as ascribed to the institute's eclectic and often quite varied research orientation and interests - she has lectured at Philadelphia's Institute of History: the organisation often entertaining obscure or specialized perspectives on archaeological and anthropological subjects, beyond the usual remit. Among the students and colleagues of PIH is the researcher Bianca Fournier - her own perspectives enticed by the esoteric, and particularly so after a fateful visit to a certain collection of ancient ruins, by the Mediterranean coast, leaving her with her own identity issues...

8) She has a considerable collection of antique books and manuscripts


What started as an indulgence some time before her undergraduate graduation, Dr. Jekyll - compounded by her growing, furtive career in neo-alchemy - started collecting often old books and manuscripts, some of notable date, pertaining to the esoteric, occult philosophy and alchemy. This helped by well paid engagements and numerous professional or discretionary privileges, Henia has been able to study various other obscure texts, and then locate tenable copies to add to her collection. Facilitating and cultivating her more shadowy knowledge, these tomes have also drawn her mind in other directions, and the doctor's archive is more freely, perhaps frivolously, indulged by her red headed alter-ego very frequently too. And Sienna herself is most certainly not beyond exploiting this knowledge to acquire further insight, and other artifacts too.


Relative to the nature of the meme - though there is certainly no obligation on the part of those referenced - those numbered below are nominated to entertain and propose 8 facts of their own, disposing of the meme as they see fit.

:iconchwen-hoou: :iconrex--magnus: :iconkaiza-tg: :iconmatthewjamesrann: :iconjustspawn: :iconjojohyde: :iconnathan123qwe: :icongiovyloca:


Thanks,

MP.
Hello there,

I hope that February where you are is proving both hospitable and productive: the weather where I am a keen reminder of lingering winter and the demands it can make of us - as an unexpected soaking impressed on me, just recently ^^;. Still, as the month and season rumbles onward, I hope that it's not without some measure of promise and interest, as can be, for those here.

Of particular note, and sharing in the demands of the season, I would like to high light a particular friend of mine in an artist that many who frequent my pages and projects will be familiar with. Rex--Magnus, known through both their accounts here :iconrex--magnus: and :iconrex-magnus:, seems to be doing well - following the trials and travails of the previous year, and its difficulties. Successfully established in their new apartment, I would like to wish my thanks for those who so helped and supported them through a very trying period, as I am sure a good many can appreciate.

Still, the process of getting settled is not without its deeper demands and it's to this that I would like to bring to attention, as I can. More so, there are two aspects which I would like to commend the interest of others, as can be found below.

The new year and the months ahead bringing new challenges and obstacles - for all of us, I am sure - Rex is no different, albeit a bit more challenged considering their situation just a few months previously. In this respect, Rex must secure payment for a car, and assorted other expenses, in the near future - the 1st of April as Rex has indicated Urgent: Commissions! - and would like to emphasize that they are open for commissions, to a very much wide variety and competitive prices too.

More so, it's my pleasure to say that Rex has been diversifying their stance within the community - near and far - with the recent establishment of a Patreon account Check out my Patreon!. In essence, in exchange for a dedicated contribution of a small amount on a monthly basis, the artist will offer a variety of rewards and benefits - often exclusive and particular - relative to the option chosen by the interested party. This is an interesting new approach and I would like to commend any of those curious to consider Rex's Patreon page, as found directly below.

www.patreon.com/rexmagnus?ty=h

In all, anyone interested in vivid, rich commission work would be very much recommend towards Rex's current variety of options: an eclectic selection which will well entertain any client's needs, as they may come. Concordantly, those who find themselves curious, compelled or allied with Rex will find themselves keenly appreciated and rewarded by the artist, if they see fit to support them through their new Patreon account. As it is, numerous ways in which to help this talented and keen artist who continues to diligently persevere, despite their trying circumstances, and not without some great art too, as can be found in their years of work in the community.

My thanks,

Mercury-Pentacle.
Hello there,


In the spirit of the season, I hope that you and yours have had very merry festivities, if so celebrated, and that the forthcoming new year holds both promise and good opportunity.

The last few weeks being busy and somewhat demanding where I am, the recent festive day was a nice culmination of what preceded it: a warm and commendable meal with family to punctuate a good day, seemingly had by all. Reclined as I was after the principal gathering, it was a nice moment of recollection to muse on past preparations; more so, to consider upon what may come to pass in the new year and how to make the best of what we intend, come time.

It's in that spirit that I would like to commend my friends, watchers, fans and supporters here and I do hope that - wherever and however you may be - that the past few days have borne out well for you, and that the coming 2016 will be a positive and hopeful one, for all of us. 2015 receding, the trials and tribulations of the year will have hopefully taught good lessons, and more so tempered finer, better aspirations for the year to come. It's with that thought in mind that I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a hopeful, happy new year.

In the past few days, I would like to relate my sincerest thanks and gratitude to a certain few of my friends and circle here, who found it in themselves to afford me a few gifts or requests to mark the season. I was truly surprised by this and more so praise their kind generosity, as they themselves have other and quite demanding taxes on their time, as can be here and there.

These works can be found below, and it's my sincerest wish that the forthcoming year finds these creative, generous individuals and artists in the best possible standing and promise for 2016.


HC 2015 - Present - Mercury Pentacle by Sephzero   

Violette Renard, The Half-Succubus - Gifted by:iconsephzero: , art by :iconseonidas:



Holiday Bomb - The Doctor is Out by Strangerataru

  Ms. Sienna Hyde - Gifted by :iconstrangerataru:, art by :iconneme303:.


Siennatoe by Mercury-Pentacle         

Ms. Sienna Hyde relaxing - Gift and art :icongeviene81:


           The Claws of Ms. Hyde by Mercury-Pentacle

The Claws of Ms. Hyde - Request and art by :iconreokii:


Once more, my best wishes and thanks to you all for such a year as 2015 passes, and 2016 grows on the horizon. Let's hope it is bright and warm for us all.



Mercury-Pentacle.
Hello there,


As winter creeps on and the advent of December brings thoughts of festivities, I hope that you and yours are doing well; that life affords some measure of comfort and prosperity, where and how you are.

As regards this journal as we step into December, I have two important points to convey which I hope will nourish the interest of readers, as they might do.

In the first, those of you who have followed or considered my page, writings and series will know that the anniversary of my own Jekyll & Hyde series is drawing close: a date that I have sometimes missed, though I have always spoken and celebrated, in someway, the series and its characters when I could.


Birthday Gift - Dr. Henia Jekyll - Seonidas by Sephzero Guest 31 (da Approved) - Copy (4) - Copy - Copy 3 by Mercury-PentacleBirthday Gift - Ms. Sienna Hyde - Seonidas by Sephzero
Dr. Henia L. Jekyll                                                            Ms. Sienna Hyde


Beginning in a proper sense back in December of 2008 and ever since, the series has chronicled the ongoing exploits and (mis)adventures of one Dr. Henia Louise Jekyll and her alchemical, red headed alter-ego in the shadowy Ms. Sienna Hyde, as so many know - and have come to know - them today.

Without prolonging the point, I will say that the anniversary will be on the 6th of this month, and will be marked, though the actual celebration and associated events will be on the 15th of December. This is not without some reluctance, as it was my intention to be true to the 6th, though wider events and circumstances have prompted me to re-schedule, in hope of realizing a fuller experience.


An Important Appeal for a Friend...



Following on, it's of considerable importance that I speak of a recent problem, as concerning a long standing friend of mine in one :iconrex--magnus:.

As a good few will recall, they returned this November after a period of poor health, though have had the poor luck of again being frustrated by new obstacles to getting things more settled. In essence, after having to leave their family home unexpectedly, they have been residing with a friend since. It has been good news that they have been able to pull together funds for an apartment, which they will hopefully move to soon, though their situation remains problematic and quite challenging, as can be expected.

In this circumstance, another friend of their's in :iconkulli: has been running a special "Growth Drive" appeal on Rex's behalf: essentially a choose your own change style initiative in which donors choose which kind of transformation a character will undergo, in exchange for a particular sum. A very generous and inventive idea, the link is here for those interested form.jotformeu.com/53345034171… .

Not one to take things laying down, Rex has undertaken to open commissions again and their page can be found here: currently complimented by special offers and other attractions, as can be from this talented, and affable, artist.

[open] CommissionsSo, I have a few commissions I need to finish, but I should be able to start working on yours shortly, if you want a spot.
As usual, here's my list:

I also plan on doing some [Your character here] types (this would vary on price with each one, but somewhere between $20 and $50) and some adoptions of chubs of varying kinds, mostly elves of my own design at $25 for single adopts (soft cell-shaded, colors already set when I post them). There might also be some hybrids -- mostly humanoid, but with tails and digigrade legs and the like... and horns, too, of course!
Please let me know what you're interested in, so I can plan in advance!
I will currently have an unlimited number of commissions due to personal things.
Status current commissions:
1. Full-body flats [sketched, ready to ink]
2. 5-sequence WG sketch, waist up [cleanup stage]
3. 4-sequence WG sketches (half-bodies) [cleanup stage]
4. 3-sequence WG flats (full body) [started inking]
5. 3-seq


In addition, not wishing to understate the pointed nature of the issue, Rex is also open to donations for those feeling generous: their PayPal being found here whoistoknowthat@yahoo.com , with every and all donations being met with the utmost gratitude during this difficult time.

I hope that these efforts will draw some consideration from our community, and do appreciate very much so those who entertain an interest in this =).


Thanks again,

Mercury-Pentacle.
Hello there,

As we roll into the shades and tones of Autumn - not to mention the creeping nights, telling of Halloween to come - I hope that you all have been doing well, and are reasonably prosperous, wherever you may be. In my own regard, I can attest that it hasn't quite been the summer so intended, and it has shown in some ways. Multiples of distractions, taxes on my time and other issues have a uncanny way of pressing your schedule - the result being problematic in the least and frustrating at worst, as can be imagined. Still, I am hoping for a more productive Autumn as the days cool and thoughts are led to sometimes stiller, deeper places.

With summer cooling in my thoughts, and hopefully the coming months to be productive, I would like to share some news. At the beginning of this year I began to reflect on my wider online presence and how I relate my personal interests, though also my other projects and workings too. After some consideration, I decided to begin a wider process which required some initial cultivation, in places. It's in this light that I would like to debut my relatively new blog.

Named in favor of its intended eclectic, diverse and sometimes particular contents, Eldritch Works began in February of 2015 and has been growing incrementally since, with a number of topics in line to be considered for the future, though with a predilection for the strange and unusual, as can sometimes be thought.

                                                 Eldritch Works


                                          Preview Blog by Mercury-Pentacle


As found in the preview above, this is a select sample of current and future content on the blog, though for those in search of a more concise description of what may be found here, and in the future, I can say the following can be found below.

  • Literature and Strange Fiction
  • Eldritch subjects: the occult, esoteric and fortean
  • Politics and Social Commentary
  • Art
  • Reviews
  • Essays
  • Niche Movies
  • Pop Culture Reflections
  • History
  • Theater
  • Transformation and Identity
  • YouTube Media
  • Computer Games and related pop culture
  • Personal Projects

The list above fairly comprehensive in bringing the identity of the blog over, I take this step as part of cultivating a wider, progressive online presence in the future. Though relatively nascent, the link to the blog can be found below; the current focus a three part special on the early works of H.P. Lovecraft called "Before Cthulhu: Lovecraft's Early Eldritch", currently in part two - the period 1920 and 1921.

eldritchworks.blogspot.co.uk/


My thanks again,

Mercury-Pentacle.
Hi there,


As always, I hope that you are all well and that the summer seasons have been at least bearable for you, where you are. Where I am the summer months have been a mixed, but interesting bag: sometimes all too warm, sometimes refreshing though relatively busy, here and there over the last two months or so. As a good many of my projects are coming along and I have a period relatively unoccupied by a particular event or fixture, I would like to promote a feature which I introduced known as "Myriad Portraits". A relatively new exhibition concept, this proffers a selection of characters and concepts which I have come to know, have experienced or cultivate my interests here on dA, as created by other members.


For those curious, the debut of this concept and the first selection can be found below in the link for the relevant journal, from October of 2014.


Jekyll's Jade and a New Feature: Myriad PortraitsHi there,
This journal is somewhat particular in that not only is it the formal debut of a long running concept, but also the advent of a new feature which I hope to expand in the future. In this, we find not only the principal debut of "Jekyll's Jade" but also of a pen portrait selection I like to call "Myriad Portraits".
Update (28/10/2014): Please check out the Myriad Portraits "Jessica/Yuuki" section for new story installments - Jekyll's Jade Chapters 6-10.
Jekyll's Jade

In the first, it's my pleasure to present the premier of "Jekyll's Jade" - another and different tale of Jekyll and Hyde which spruces the classic tale of Victorian London and duality with a new dimensions. The culmination of some years planning and various efforts, this project was brought forward as a collaboration between myself and a remarkable fan of the concept in :icongevien



Proceeding onward now, please find below a new selection of characters - eight in all on this occasion - which have caught my eye and curiosity, either recently or over the years of my presence here.


Regina Cain & Frenzy


It would perhaps be an understatement to suggest that Marvel's symbiotes - debuting with Eddie Brock's transformation into Venom - have left a rich and remarkable legacy where characters of divided or dual identity are concerned; more so, the salience of transformation and how the symbiote works to reflect the nature of its host, given their circumstances. In this vein we find the story of one Regina Cain and Frenzy, as envisioned by :iconbiscuitkris: .

Frenzy by AraghenXD Frenzy Bio: Regina Cain by BiscuitKris

Regina's story one of tribulation and grievance, her brother's concern led to a new life in New York City, though what would ultimately unfold would bring her a new life far beyond what she could have imagined. Her bonding creating the singular identity of Frenzy, Regina has found a voice for that powerful, often ruthless nature - though it remains to haunt as to which side of her ultimately has primacy. Still, despite these often benighted feelings and fears, their relationship is not beyond its moments of brevity... 

A vivid, and richly realized duo, they have very much made a place and voice for themselves among the associated fandom. More so, I will be interested to see which path they may tread in the future, as the case may be...

Frenzy transformation by cric  Frenzied Nightmare - Page 1 by Ganassa  Frenzied Nightmare - Page 2 by Ganassa  Regina's New Dress by AraghenXD


Nathandra Barrlurd, the Drowess


Nathandra Barrlurd's place here is very much a pleasure, and affords some vindication to a curiosity which I have had for some years, almost as long as my membership on dA. First encountering the talented :iconmasterokiakai: character as the seemingly nameless, but compelling, Drowess around 2009, I was and remained intrigued with this mysterious and powerful being for some time and did enjoy her art, when and where she emerged. 

FA  Wagner Drow by MasterOkiAkai 

Mature Content

C  Drowess by JC by MasterOkiAkai
  Commission from DarkWyn by MasterOkiAkai

It was only recently that I approached the artist - coming out of a very much justified hiatus - that I proffered my question of the Drowess and was rewarded with her true identity as Nathandra Barrlurd. Rich and remarkable, her nature is intriguing and it's my hope to see more of her, as we may, in the future too. Also, my utmost thanks to the artist for being so accommodating and insightful as regards my questions about their potent Elfin warrior. 


Drowess by RiskyGraphics   Drowess Warrior by LovelyDagger   Commission - Drowess by Sayael  Comm Drowess Warrior by DarkerEve


Devin & Shadow Mistress


Symbiotic and associated changes work potently to enthrall; the mingling and bonding processes inspiring many questions over identity, and it is here that one :iconsymbiotemasklover: turned their attention. Their story, "Mask of Shadows", concerns the diligent, but stressed and very much depleted life of a college student named Devin. Into her life there happens to come a mysterious package bearing a particularly striking visor mask, and with an even more enigmatic message from her would be benefactors. Donning it, she undergoes a dramatic transformation; remade in the image of a catsuit clad, richly bodied form which promises effortless vitality where her former self would simply struggle, powerless.

Mask of Shadows - Devin by AraghenXD

Newly gifted in her nature, Shadow Mistress finds her benefactors to be a mysterious body known as "The Council of Shadows", though their ultimate purpose in providing such power to her remains as yet unclear. An interesting and inspired concept - so well realized above by the talents of :iconaraghenxd: and below by :iconsummerbrush: - Devin and SM make for a intriguing duo, and it would be interesting to see how such a nascent concept develops, if given the time and opportunity.

Mature Content

Mischievous Shadow Mask 1 by summerbrush
 

Mature Content

Mischievous Shadow Mask 2 by summerbrush
 

Mature Content

Mischievous Shadow Mask 3 by summerbrush
 

Mature Content

Mischievous Shadow Mask 4 by summerbrush



Lora Trigger


A character I only very recently encountered and was quite taken with her rugged and vivid nature. Envisioned by the talents of :iconleon-the-skull-king:, Lora is colored by a difficult - if one was to be liberal - past which has seen her fashioned into a strong, potent if problematic fighter in the urban valleys of Los Angeles. Seemingly relieved of that world by her brother, it could be that even a new city and home may do little to change her ambitions - though perhaps a better world may inform better, brighter choices for Lora, come time... A vibrant and compelling character who quite quickly took me into her world and nature, I would be happy to see her evolve, and where this enigmatic woman may go, in time.


Lora's training day by Leon-The-Skull-King  OC Lora Trigger full view by Leon-The-Skull-King Old piece of OC Lora Tirgger by Leon-The-Skull-King Info page: OC Lora Trigger by Leon-The-Skull-King


Jennifer Welch & Gloria Hyde


Characters hailing from the rich continuity fashioned by one :iconsephzero:, Jennifer Welch and her alter-ego in Gloria Hyde are fairly recent additions to a spectrum of characters informed by a conflicted nature. Seemingly the latest individual to understand the incredible potency of the Hyde formula, and its iterations, Jennifer Welch's whim was rewarded with larger than life consequences - or at least her own, in a way. 

Profile - Jennifer Welch and Gloria Hyde by Sephzero

An agent to celebrities, Jennifer's diligent and discreet work can be a challenging and occasionally thankless task; burdens all too well understood by the mild, but gently bitter brunette as she labored to keep her clients in good standing. A chance encounter with occult forces presented her with Dr. Henry Jekyll's legacy and, on an indulgent whim, she drank back the concoction. Who and what emerged from the mild, repressed life of Jennifer Welch would ultimately become Gloria Hyde: a vain glorious and ebullient blonde amazon invested with super strength. 

Jennifer's Secret Temptation - ShoNuff44 by Sephzero  Gloria's Full Exposure - ShoNuff44 by Sephzero

Liberated from the life of her former self, Gloria enjoys being the center of the glamorous throng and is more than willing to use her vast strength, even beyond her amazonian stature, to make room for herself - and whether others agree with her wants or not. Making quite an impression in some corners of the social and occult scenes, the destiny of the brunette and the blonde is still very much an open question. Though, in a sense, it will be far more exciting than it once was, as Jennifer will coolly conclude, some of the time.

Jennifer's Explosive Change - DarkerEve by Sephzero 

Mature Content

Jennifer's Sexy Changes DVD - DesingAHV by Sephzero
 


Midori & The Mask


Some may know of the "The Mask" franchise - strange, eclectic adventures revolving around a reputed relic of the Norse trickster god Loki which precipitates startling, but always liberating transformations in those who fatefully don the enchanted artifact. This premise was taken up by the dexterous and inventive :iconmaskedwander:, as we shall see... 

Character Sheet - Midori by MaskedWander

In this case, we find the person and life of a girl named Midori: diligent, talented but somewhat frustrated and awkward in her college career. Her life beyond her major of art not always echoing the color and vitality she finds on the page, the chance discovery of a certain, ostensibly ancient face piece sparked her curiosity. Growing more discerning of its true nature, she fancied that it could be just the thing to revolutionize her life. This it did, though the nascent and sharp duality that followed were perhaps not quite part of the plan...

Midori Madness - A different shade of Green 01 by MaskedWander Careful what you wish for by MaskedWander 


The transformation birthing a manic, shadowy and deviously mischievous alter-ego also calling herself Midori - albeit green faced - prompts a new duality in her once whole self as Midori struggles to resolve the powerful caprice of her other self and thrash a path in a now more complicated world. I would personally like to thank MW for his often intriguing insights and welcome as regards their curious tale of the college student, and their maniacal green faced alter-ego, as the evolution of these two has been a fascinating, colorful process to see unfold, for all concerned. Compelling and vibrant, I hope to see more of Midori and Masked Midori in the future, as can be.

Midori Madness -A different shade of Green 2 and 3 by MaskedWanderHijacked! by MaskedWanderMidori's Unsuccessful Mask Removal by MaskedWander


The Sorceress Meredith


A first glance the tall, eclectic and robust Meredith Gallagher would not look out of place among the peers of a magical guild or school, though what may surprise is that this powerful, playful sorceress is the queen of a subterranean Goblin kingdom. Another fine character rising from the imagination of :iconloverboysora:, Meredith is amicable, curious and generally amenable as both a magic wielder and monarch, though this doesn't preclude a firm resolve when necessary and mischief when she indulges her penchant for potions and sensual size warping. An interesting, singular character who I sincerely hope to see more of in the future.


The Sorceress Meredith by LoverBoySora Pokemons at the witch's grasp! by LoverBoySora

 

Zoe Richards & Perversion


Making this "Myriad Portraits" a symbiotic double bill on this occasion, we find the more playful, mischievous person of Zoe Richards; her bonding fashioning the singular, symbiotic identity of Perversion, as created by :iconaraghenxd:.

Under the Lainston Lights by AraghenXD Symbiote September Day 13 by AraghenXD

Bonding with Zoe over some years, the symbiote - so named after it began to assimilate her eclectic, mischievous tastes and outlook - Zoe and Perversion make for a intriguing and very compelling duo who bring a certain strong, vibrant levity to a narrative world often overshadowed by darker events and crisis. Quite possibly one of the strongest - perhaps even intimate - bonds I have seen of this kind, Perversion (singular identity) is a nature which resolves themselves in a potent power and dexterous nature. Always interesting and compelling, it's a pleasure to consider both Zoe and her symbiote here as we conclude this feature.


 The Ironic Hobby by AraghenXD 

Mature Content

Closer to One by general-sci
 The First Meeting by AraghenXD 


I hope that this has been an engaging and interesting exhibition for you, and that it has raised the profile of some very compelling characters in turn, as well.


Thank you,

Mercury-Pentacle.
Hi there,


With the crest of the political season behind us where I am, for a time, I would like to take this opportunity to shed some much needed and vivid light onto other subjects of importance and which, very much so, merit other's attentions. Considering the lingering, toxic legacy of financial instability and economic hardship - engendered by the years of the global banking crisis and its consequences - there remains a great many lives touched by personal and wider difficulty; often people, their families and communities so marred by problems which were little fault of their own. So many of the aforementioned part of our own community on deviantArt, gracious and kindly members have taken the time to promote their causes, and the various campaigns to try and redress some of their problems, as can be.


I would be grateful if those reading would perhaps consider, try to support or promote those issues which follow below, as may be. In the first, I would like to direct attention towards the hard work and courage of :iconrakaithwei: and his family who have been enduring very, very difficult circumstances but who have benefited from the generosity of others. Of course, there is more work to do for the road ahead and further details can be found below, as can be.


EMERGENCY FUND! PLEASE HELP!!Hello my name is Philip.  I have started this campaign in an effort to keep my family safe, off the streets, and to prevent ourselves from losing everything.  This is an effort to bring some relief to my mother and alleviate the situation which my mother and I are currently suffering.
As of June of 2014, my mother had lost her job after suffering stress-related chest pains and severe depression.  After attending rehabilitation and therapy to deal with her depression, she was able to bounce back and began to look for work again.  She has been on job searches ever since with no luck.  Fortunately, she was able to collect unemployment income for a few months but the income was insufficient to pay the rent and ended in December, 2014.  However, as of September 30th, 2014, our rental lease was up and my mother was unable to renew it so she, I, and a few friends packed up all of our belongings and put them into storage.  Unfortunately, one storage unit was



More so, there are the compassionate efforts of my friend :icongiovyloca: who has been promoting the needs of some others in her journal, as can be found below here.


Journal 4 friends in needI figured out, it would be better to have a journal like this which I can update when needed. :) This is for friends in need, I'll try to share as much as possible to try help them. Please see if you can support as well. Thank you! :blowkiss:
:icondenahelmi: has opened a petition to stop art theft. More info here:

:iconanna-marine: A beautyful artist needs to raise up some money to fund her father's lung cancer surgery. Please read more in her journal below.

  
 
:iconsirwendigo: is in a delicate phase of his life. 
He's a wonderful person and does wonderful and sexy art. Consider to commission if you can, please. 
You can find more info in his journal.
 
  
:iconangellale87: is working hard and has a sad



Also, there are the efforts of :iconladyz0e: in her promotion of a friend's needs which can be found below for further details, in her own words. In addition, to this end, it must be said that the artist is also offering very competitive and compelling commissions, which I would commend to any interested party.


forum.deviantart.com/jobs/serv… and through her page too ladyz0e.deviantart.com/ .


It must also be said that one :iconchi-u: is wishing to gather support, in aid of an injured loved one set for a long road to recovery. Their story and efforts can be found here.


Help with my Partners RecoveryHey all, I know I'm not really active here anymore but if anyone is still watching my journal activity, I'd like to announce a campaign I'm running to raise funds for my partner. This past weekend he broke his back, foot and arm in a motorbike crash and has a long road to recovery ahead. More info can be read here http://www.gofundme.com/ubu5ug and any donations or support are beyond appreciated <3 <3 Thanks for taking the time to read/view/share this, it means more than you can imagine :iconsweethugplz:


Though there are those would would benefit from both promotion and generosity, there are also others whom it would bolster to keep in our thoughts and recognize their own, often particular challenges as they come by them. In this respect, :iconcrimsonblacksun: and :iconbhryn: both have been wrestling with their respective issues, as I am sure many, many others have been too, and both have been enduring with a remarkable focus and fortitude, which we can hope carries them past and then on from their problems.


Thanks again,


Mercury-Pentacle.
Hi there,


At the time of writing, a great many thoughts are drawn to a forthcoming competition. Though some might certainly muse on a particular boxing match, other reflections are compelled towards the impending British general election on May the 7th, 2015. Coming at the close of a remarkable, and quite unique campaigning season, the stage seems quite thoroughly set for a multi-dimensional and potently charged political race to the finish. The United Kingdom practicing a majoritarian, first-past-the-post system as opposed to other countries, such as the presidential elections of the U.S.A, the complexion of the future Westminster parliament (Britain's central legislature) has become a deeply contentious debate - one spliced with great controversy and sometimes very ill regard as the months have passed by.


Considering this, I have taken to reflecting more holistically on the procession of events and have had the opportunity to contemplate some very timely theater on the subject of British elections, the dynamics of the parties and the internecine writhing which can lose or win an election for some...

One of the principle elements of politics - perhaps always - is the extent to which principle itself determines action, as contrasted with the pull and temptation of joining a wider consensus, or at least what can be perceived as such. The crux of a dilemma within the progressive, social democratic tradition of European and American politics for decades, this issue - itself pregnant with an existential challenge - was explored with potent candor in the British political drama of 1993, "The Absence of War", by David Hare, which I happened to see an new rendition of in early April of this year.

A taste of the play's ambiance and vision can be found below, in its official trailer for 2015.



The play is drawn from the remarkable, congested failure of the pre-Blair British Labour Party to win the general election of 1992: an event often considered as "old" Labour's last chance at electoral success before the rise of the neo-liberal faction within their party to prominence in the early 1990's.

The play's vision considered prescient in speaking to not simply a political culture of media control, spin and contrived, consumer friendly image, it remains a potent indictment of the issues which have plagued the institution of British progressives, and Labour, for decades: press for a principled, orthodox vision of their political mission as compared to a new, right wing consensus which abandons the essence of social democracy in favor of electoral success. This argument more complex than the ostensible and time honored tugging between right and left, time has afforded the play an almost prophetic quality in that such questions still nibble at a Labour Party now at home with right wing narratives and a market society, but also in a cold indictment of a wider social narrative. As the ill fated Labour leader, George Jones, remarks in a moment of impassioned indignation, it has become the nature of his party to indulge and pamper sensibilities which have been seen to become the norm - and not challenge them with traditional, edifying aspiration, if he wishes to be elected.



George Jones


Bounced between the political culture of early 1990's Britain and the institution of Labour's historic mission, we find a somewhat embattled and tragic figure: genuine and compelling, though ultimately a victim of not only the culture he wishes to better, but also his party and his own sense of history - a matrix which seems to lead him and his followers to their ultimate defeat.


Not overly well received when first debuted in 1993, the gripping intelligence and prescience of this dramatic work have since been proven fundamentally correct in their vision of a Britain comfortable in its conceit, a consumerist political culture of spin and the dissolution of a once vigorous, edifying movement into a business, not unlike their rivals. In the years since that first debut, the work's intellectual and ideological proposition have been found to have great traction in their subject - and especially in what Labour's ultimate mission is: that existential question which has so jabbed at the party for decades into the present day.



British Political Party Leaders, 2015


In all, the play's powerful, potent indictments reflect something more singular: framed by the period of the early 1990's when the story was conceived, though given a more universal traction by the play's conclusion as a man - and his party - struggle to realize what their principles ultimately are, and how they could be worked in a world increasingly removed from their ideological provision: if this struggle is worth while or if some other form of recourse will be the movement's saving grace. An issue some in the American Democratic Party will be familiar with during that era, the British Labour Party shared this contention; though it remains that the later expeditions of "New Labour" under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did not resolve, but only compound this sense of incongruence.


Justice, equality and prosperity remaining paramount to the vision of western democracy, it remains a cold, hard indictment of an age where growing extremes are met by increasingly vacuous, confined and ideologically deficient movements in some political traditions - a state which "The Absence of War" shines painful light upon: not simply upon one party or leader, but upon the very meaning of politics and what it means to elect our governments as the elective tradition grows ever more complex.


In turn, as the clock ticks towards the 7th of May, it remains a intriguing mystery as to whatwho and how the House of Commons (Britain's principal legislative chamber) will assemble in the following days...


Westminster - The House of Commons


Thanks again,


Mercury-Pentacle.