Amy Pond. Something wicked.

Judging a book by its cover.

I recently came across a video discussing how horror books have lost their identity through the constant republished cover art changes and publishers wanting to follow current trends.

And I knew others felt the same sentiment, but the video honestly really placed into words precisely my issue with the constant cover changes and trying to "fit in" with every other book on a bookshelf. Especially when it comes to genres like horror which, as explained in the video, has always had a very distinctive style. And not just book covers, but just about anything. I remember walking in a video rental store and browsing the horror section and being mesmerized by the insane VHS covers of some of the horror movies. Same with the artwork with book covers, even if I wasn't going to buy it there was something intriguing and eye-catching about it which would give me pause and pick it up to examine the art design. Whether it's pulp fiction or kid horror or just straight up horror, the fun was always the cover art and how it reflected the story within. You knew what you were getting into when you picked up the book. Nowadays though, that appreciation of the artwork and cover design has been lost, and almost every book seems to go for the minimalist appeal that is indistinguishable from everything else.

Take V.C. Andrews books, for example. I love V.C. Andrews books, and the artwork featured for the covers (and the stepback covers for earlier editions) have always captured the Gothic feel of the text inside, haunting and creepy and just mesmerizing, the drawings for the facial expressions of the characters can be unnerving or make you curious about what's going to happen. The covers always had something to do with the story inside. They had a specific and distinctive style that was undeniable. Whenever you saw a cover, you knew it was a VCA book. It was part of their identity. However, when you look at the recent reprinting of the older books, they are barely recognizable. It's now been replaced with an Instagram-looking model placed on a cheaply done photoshopped background. It hardly represents what the story is like. Perhaps it's because I hold these books dear to my heart, but it honestly makes me very upset seeing that.

I know that there's definitely more issues behind the curtain in the publishing industry, that it's probably much cheaper to copy & paste stock images onto covers than it would be to pay artists for doing a creative commissioned piece for a book, and that's incredibly sad. Still, publishers need to understand that not every book has to look exactly the same.
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Katherine Pierce.

Meme this, meme that.

Give me a show/movie/fandom and I’ll tell you:

My favorite female character
My favorite male character
My favorite book/season/etc
My favorite episode (if it's a tv show)
My favorite cast member
My favorite ship/OTP
A character I’d die defending
A character I just can’t sympathize with
A character I grew to love
My anti ship
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The Expanse. Julie Mao.

I love space operas.

I wanted to share an awesome fanvid for The Expanse's fourth season. It's a fanmade trailer made by the same person who did a fan trailer for the series (S1-S3) as a contribution to the fan campaign which was then followed by The Expanse Lives revival fanvid that got recognized throughout the fandom to celebrate the show being saved (and the original music mix from the latter was even used for the official S4 trailer!), and in general they make incredible vids that are great unofficial promotional material for the show. Watching this one just makes me want to rewatch S4 all over again. I don't think it's spoilery? It doesn't give anything big away from the season, as far as I can tell, but just in case mild spoiler warning should be applied anyway.

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I just really love this show. I loved season four, and I cannot wait for season five. ❤
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Firefly. River Tam.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge: Day 6

Day Six: In your own space, make a list — anything between one and ten things is a sweet spot, but don't feel constrained by that! - of things that you wish existed in fandom or elsewhere, or that you'd like someone to make for you.

There's one thing in particular that comes to mind, and it's that I wish to have more people to discuss fandom with.

And when I say fandom, I'm talking about anything fannish in general. There seems to be this idea nowadays, especially here on LJ, that fandom just means being an active participant in a specific fandom, when that's not necessarily true. My definition of fandom has always been this overall sense of being a fan of something, anything, regardless whether you are actively participating within an online fandom community or not, and sharing that love with others. That's it. Interestingly, that is why I joined LJ in the first place back in the day, because there were a lot of places, communities, and online friends who held the same kind of fangirl gene that I did where we would talk and share our enthusiasm about things. The kinds of shows we watched, the recent movies we saw, our pairings and OTPs, favorite characters, theories, headcanons, etc. That's how I personally connected with people. And I want that kind of engagement to be brought back again. I want conversations and discussions, I want people to share their loves for different types of media they're currently into, their most recent obsessions. It can range from being something deep and meta-y to just simply sharing squee-level excitement.

Basically, I guess I just wish for more interactions about fandom as a whole. Even though the fandom community on LJ isn't as active as it used to be back in the day, that doesn't mean people should be afraid of letting their inner fannish side out.

In the same vein, I wish for more metas in general. Something I always liked was reading people's thoughts, observations, and opinions through their constructive and researched pieces of meta and seeing things from a different perspective. This also helped with the engagement by sharing your own thoughts and opinions, whether in the comments or making a response post, adding more to the discussion no matter whether you agreed or disagreed with a person's points.
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Jessica Jones.

Awards and Marvel.

++ Aubrey Plaza was the host again for the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and her opening monologue was fantastic. I mean, everything about her is fantastic regardless, but I love her hosting ability. She proves to be entertaining and hilarious even when it's out of her comfort zone. I would say the second most entertaining aspect of this event was the Gay Man's Choir segment, which was absolutely hilarious and so perfect.

++ The Oscars was a thing that happened, and I don't care much for it except for learning that Parasite swept the awards and Taika Waititi winning, both making history. So happy for both.

++ If there's ever an article that describes my feelings about the death of Marvel television, it is this one right here. It highlights the precise reasons why I feel so bitter and devastated and angry by all of it, and I'm glad that the sentiment is shared by others and that there are actually articles being written about how much of a travesty it is. Basically, what made Marvel television so important and worthwhile was that it actually took creative risks, it wasn't afraid to do something different and challenging and to push the envelope a little bit. From tackling difficult and serious subject matters to having inclusion of varying degrees, Marvel television was able to do this spanning across many different networks and services. The MCU has never been that, mostly because the film industry is not that forward-thinking. Even now with the planned MCU-based shows, while it's too early to judge, it's still underneath Disney which is very controlling and very strict with maintaining its "family friendly" content for its streaming service by playing it safe.

The reason I loved Marvel television was because it wasn't the MCU. It existed in the same universe, but it did its own thing, had its own stories to explore and to go in a direction that wasn't entirely beholden to the MCU/Disney formula. Now that is gone in favor of the corporate franchise machine, and it fucking blows. It didn't even have to be like this, we could've had the best of both worlds with Marvel shows on Hulu while MCU shows on Disney+. But nope, couldn't have that.

(I know I'm a broken record at this point, but it's something I don't think I'll ever get over. It all started when Netflix cancelled their Marvel lineup and it just spiraled from there.)
Inara Serra. Smile.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge: Day 4

Day Four: In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private. Maybe you're not really into making goals, maybe you choose a word or a theme for the year instead.

One goal I have in mind this year is a repeat from last year, which is to read more books. Last year I actually achieved this goal rather unexpectedly, since I'm a slow reader I didn't expect to get much read however, through unfortunate circumstances, I found myself reading more books to distract my mind and I truly did achieve the goal I set for myself! So this year I want to continue that, perhaps even try to extend the number of books just a little.

Another goal is to write review/recommendation posts for the pieces of media I consume. I find that while I get into new fandoms or discover something awesome, I don't always talk about it. Sometimes I will, but other times it'll just be a small blurb or I'll just mention it offhandedly in a comment or while answering a meme, and then never mention it again. I'm someone who loves sharing the things I love, it's part of why fandom appeals to me because it helps me connect with people better with the mutual love of something or getting someone excited about a new thing. Also, I just love writing about the things I love. I already did some reviews recently, but I plan on doing more. So yeah, that is my goal for this year. Be more proactive in my fangirlishness and hope that people who also love a thing I do will come and discuss it with me.

So really, I think the theme of this year is to fangirl more and expand my mind with reading.
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Nikita. Femme Fatale.

Immigrants, we get the job done.

++ Reports are saying that the second season of The Mandalorian will be premiering in October. Happy birthday to me!

++ Hamilton is finally getting a theatrical release with the original Broadway cast. If I'm reading this all correctly, this is the version that was professionally filmed some while ago but was never released, until now that is. We have to wait until 2021, but it will definitely be worth the wait. I've listened to the soundtrack dozens of times and saw few clips from bootleg versions, but I'll actually get to see the whole thing! I'm hoping that this may be the gateway for more plays to be professionally filmed and released, either theatrically or straight-to-DVD, because this has been an issue for a long, long time.

++ I just watched Shakira and Jennifer Lopez's halftime show performance and they were absolute perfection. I love how even though they're in their forties and fifties they are basically ageless and still got the moves to pull off such an energetic performance. Iconic. ❤

++ Barnes and Noble is under fire for "fake diversity" with them selling classic novels with POC on the covers, despite the characters of the book being white. They quickly cancelled the event that would be releasing these editions due to the complaints and massive backlash, but honestly, who thought this was a good idea in the first place? This is precisely the issue I have with performative "woke culture", shit like this only hurts the cause for inclusion rather than helps it. Now, I recently went to my local B&N and they do have a section right when you walk in promoting black authors in celebration for black history month, so it's not like they're incapable of doing this properly. It's just whoever thought of this stunt actually thought they were being clever when in reality they were just carelessly ignorant and tone deaf.
Heroes. Claire Bennet.

Oh, the nostalgia.

++ For some reason I just felt a little nostalgic and decided to watch a random selection of Are You Afraid Of The Dark? episodes, and by doing so I was reminded that a.) my crush on Gary was, and still is, incredibly valid, and b.) I still very much long to be part of the Midnight Society. There is just something so appealing about being part of a group of friends hanging out around a campfire telling stories. We sort of have this now in a sense of the resurgence of Dungeons & Dragons, but there was something so mysterious and cool about being out late at night in a forest/wooded area, sitting around a campfire and telling scary stories. Whether it was trying to spook your friends or just telling a creepy but engaging story, I remember really wanting to be a part of something like that. Not that I had that many friends to make it happen, or even a wooded area that we could do that safely, but still, just the whole aspect of doing that would've been fun.

++ There's been some talk that The Mighty Ducks may be turned into a series on Disney+, with Emilio Estevez reprising his role as Gordon Bombay. If this is actually happening, I'm gonna lose my shit with excitement. I absolutely loved these movies growing up (D2 being my favorite), and Emilio was definitely one of my childhood crushes right alongside Harrison Ford.
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