Epic Mythology

Oggress the Gnarl hissed as she spoke
As she told the tale of the partying folk
Celebrating in style as a visitor called
To the village of Starne within painted walls

She described the need for the maiden fair
Held by the prince due to her hair
He’d visited Intlock, Grantala, Dassoov and Sound
And in those places no maiden was found

The largest village was the prince’s last hope
Before searching the hamlets of which the villagers spoke
Oggress heard the prince say he’d never give up
As she swirled the dark liquid within her deep cup

K’Sandra sat opposite, hungry and enthralled
Watching the events through her crystal ball
They both watched on as the prince shouted with glee
“Fair maiden I’ve found you, so you must marry me!”

Reimagined Classics: The Birth of Thomasina

And here we are, at last, at the end of Thomasina’s romp through famous paintings old and older.

This painting was horrific. It really was. Many a nightmare was had after looking at even the smallest part of it. It had to be pixelated. It had to be blurred out. It had to be tweaked to being almost unrecognisable, it was that bad.

The painting upon which this horror masterpiece is based is none other than Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, originally painted in the 1480s. In the original painting, there are a few characters, and a large shell, from which Venus is apparently emerging. As Thomasina’s version had to be created on a closed set, there were no extras. There were also no large shells available, so Thomasina improvised with a few baskets.

In the original, as the depiction is meant to be of Venus newly born, she has been painted without clothes. She was painted covering most of her, er, body parts, and this was how Thomasina demanded she be painted in this modern version.

The painting was created. Did I mention just how horrific it was? Multiply it by ten. A thousand.

This whole series was almost cancelled because of it. There was no way an image as grotesque as that could possibly appear on a blog with the calibre of this one, so in the end, Thomasina backed down and decided to put on a few clothes. Well, a tatty old bathing costume to give the image an aged look. It didn’t really add anything to the picture, but then again it added the most important part. And a huge sigh of relief.

Some would say the series should have been cancelled anyway, and in some regards, I would have to agree… but only to a point. The paintings, even this one, have been fun to create digitally. They aren’t meant to ridicule the original pieces of art upon which they are based, but instead meant to show that anything can be a source of inspiration. Some ideas are worth going with, just because. If they work, they work. If they don’t, they don’t. It’s all part of the creative process, part of the creative journey, and a little detour along the way is very good for the soul.

If you do have nightmares because of this image, then I can only apologise… although it isn’t like I haven’t mentioned it for the past few weeks. Still, it’s over now, and next week we shall see other things.

Just what, right at the moment, is to be determined.

Tales from the Superhero Diaries 6.6: Rage

“Thank you for coming – please come again soon!” The waitress waved after the foursome as they left the Pyramid Lounge.

“She was friendly, considering we only had one glass of water each!” Gladiator said, looking back and smiling. Stealth, Parrot Girl and Crimson Songbird walked behind him, but couldn’t get him out of the way in time as he crashed into somebody walking into the lounge.

“Owww!” declared the red-head with a wince, before noticing with whom she’d collided. “You? Again?? Here??? Who are you? Walking-Disaster-Man?”

Gladiator was taken aback. “I’m sorry, Miss. Have we met before?”

“Oh come on. I’m not stupid. I’d recognise those baby blues anywhere. And those muscles. And that cute smile. It’s me, from earlier – Rage! You threw me over your back.”

“You must have me mistaken with somebody else, Miss.” Gladiator was flustered.

“Not. Miss. RAGE!” Rage declared with a face like thunder.

Gladiator noticed that she was now wearing different clothes; a tight-fitting blue silk dress and a pair of short ankle boots. “Sorry. I’ve been here with my friends all evening.” He lied.

“I’ve just heard you say you’ve had one glass of water each, and it’s only just gone ten. Please don’t lie to me…” Rage noticed the three others were standing directly behind Gladiator, instantly recognising another one. “Oh. I love those glasses.” She said, to Crimson Songbird.

“Thank you, but if you’d please let us through, we have a bus to catch.”

“Oh yes. Sorry.” Rage’s face radiated with a warm smile. She looked at Gladiator. “I must have you mistaken for someone else. I do that all the time.” She gushingly moved out of their way so they could leave the building.

“She knows who you are, Green Gladiator” Viridian said in Gladiator’s mind as the Stealth Gentleman touched his shoulder.

“No kidding!” Gladiator said aloud, causing Rage to furiously glare at him. “No, not you!” he said after her, as she stormed away. He watched as she walked into the lounge, and then turned again, only to collide with somebody else entering the building.

“Oof!” Declared the gruff-sounding gent who had also not been looking where he’d been going. “I erm do apologise.” It was Raymond Reide. “You. All of you. Here. Together. What on Earth erm are you up to?” He smirked.

“We’re moving on.” Gladiator said, without even bothering to apologise in return. Parrot Girl put her arm around Gladiator’s and pulled him away from Reide, toward the exit. Crimson Songbird waited back while the Stealth Gentleman then walked passed the Superhero Controller. Then Crimson herself walked by without saying a word.

“Such an erm friendly lot of people in this town.” Raymond said as he thrust his jacket over to the cloakroom attendant whilst glaring out into the street. He looked back at the attendant and smiled. He then walked into the Pyramid Lounge, admiring the decor.

Outside, Gladiator quickly turned to look at the entrance before looking back to his three colleagues. He noticed a bright blue light in the corner of his eye, but blinked a couple of times and it went away. “I can’t believe that!”

“I know. Here of all places. What was Reide thinking?” Parrot Girl asked.

“No, not that – me walking into the two of them like that. I’m so clumsy!”

“Don’t worry about that,” Crimson Songbird said, with a grin. “That woman – she seems to like you. How do you know her?”

“I don’t.” Gladiator said, his cheeks burning. “And it’s so embarrassing how we met. And then just now! Like that. I don’t believe it.”

“Love makes us fall apart, my friend.” Stealth said, now joining Crimson Songbird with a smile as he patted Gladiator on his back.

“And she still knows who you are, Green Gladiator.” Viridian once again spoke into Gladiator’s mind.

“I don’t think I’m bothered about that.” Gladiator replied, this time in his thoughts only. “I may not be a superhero for much longer anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.” The link to Viridian ended as Stealth Gentleman moved his hand away.

“Cheer up!” Crimson said cheerily. “Let’s make this into a proper night out! Drink away all of our miseries and misfortunes. Leave the world to itself for tonight, and forget everything to do with super-“

“GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME!” A familiar voice shouted from inside the Lounge’s entrance.

“You know that you aren’t welcome in here, Miss.” the bulky doorman said, without emotion as he carried Rage in front of him, his arms curled under her shoulders, holding her aloft. Rage swung her legs in frenzy but she couldn’t get herself free. “I’m just doing my job and putting you out.”

“I’ll put you out as soon as you put me down.” Rage answered back. “NOW PUT ME DOWN!” She swung her right leg up just high enough to clip Gladiator’s left shoulder with it. He spun around quickly just in time to see the doorman drop her to the ground, where she landed with a graceless thud.

“Woah!” Gladiator said to the doorman. “You can’t treat her like that!” The doorman stared at Gladiator blankly, turned and returned into the building. Gladiator helped Rage up. “I’m sorry about that.”

“It wasn’t your fault this time,” Rage answered, having difficulty putting weight onto her right leg. “I’m sorry for kicking you just now. I didn’t mean to do that.”

“I know.” Gladiator smiled, holding her up on her right side until she could stand unaided once again.

“My knight in shining armour!” Rage gushed, looking into Gladiator’s eyes.

“We’re going to get going,” Crimson Songbird said, feeling the awkwardness of the whole situation. “Are you coming with us, G?”

“Yes. Just a minute!” Gladiator looked back at Rage. “Why don’t you join us?”

Rage looked at the three heroes who were patiently waiting. “Thanks, but no. I’m having an awful night, so I think I’ll just go home and call it a day. Thanks, anyway. Besides, I’m sure we’ll meet again.” They all watched as she hobbled off and got into a waiting taxi.

Gladiator looked back at Crimson Songbird who was grinning broadly yet again. “She likes you.” Crimson repeated. “And you her.” Crimson poked Gladiator in his stomach as his cheeks reddened once more, and she hooked her arm around his. “C’mon, let’s paint this town the same colour as your face!” She teased.

Gladiator smiled, and quickly glanced between the Stealth Gentleman and Parrot Girl, noticing once again the flash of blue light. “Let’s go and have some fun!” he said, and the group set off walking toward Mid’s Main Street. “I think we all deserve it!”

Epic Mythology

Eln played the larkl as the villagers danced
Laughing, joking, singing as they pranced
Jovial celebrations for all today
As Prince Ankela had decided to stay

A feast fit for the king had been prepared in full
Vegetables roasting and wine being mulled
Starne’s village hall decorated inside and out
Mead filling barrels broad and stout

Kailan played the airflute like a whispered dream
Adding magic to the chaos, peaceful and serene
Clammack beat a rhythm upon the hollowdrum
Altering the pace just to add to the fun

On horseback, to fanfare, Ankela appeared
The excited villages stopped dancing, waved and cheered
“Good people of Starne, thank you for welcoming me!”
Declared the prince, looking for one who he couldn’t yet see.

Reimagined Classics: Thomasina’s The Scream

Thomasina (my Inner Woman) returns this week with another interpretation of a famous painting featuring iconic women. This one is slightly different, as in Edvard Munch’s original version of “The Scream” created in 1893, there are a couple of figures in the background of the famous screaming face, although in my (extremely limited) research I haven’t been able to find out who these figures are, male or female.

Thomasina hasn’t taken centre stage in this modern version of the classic, instead, she opted to be in the background and allow Tombie (my Inner Zombie) to recreate the iconic pose. Luckily for all of us, his fingers, nose and eyebrows all remained intact and didn’t fall off into the rapidly flooding pier – that would have been quite hard to explain later, although Tombie would have probably picked others up from somewhere if they had misled.

The red skies in Munch’s version of the painting were inspired by the red skies caused by the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883/84, which caused widespread travel disruption and multiple flights being cancel… oh. Sorry. I’m thinking of a different volcano there.

However, this image retains some of the original’s look, but is still completely different, which is the aim of this series.

Tombie suffered from lockjaw for two to three weeks after this painting was created and all he could do was grunt, but nobody really noticed as this is how he communicates anyway. Well, he is a zombie after all, with only one thing on his mind. Brains.

Next week’s painting is the one that caused the most trouble. It is the nightmare painting, so this week’s leads into it quite nicely. I shall say no more for now.