|the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.|
|I want a trouble-maker for a lover,|
Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame,
Who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate,
Who burns like fire on the rushing sea.
From Rumi’s Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi
|Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.|
--W. H. Auden
|Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face|
Do You Realize - we're floating in space
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
|The best things in life are not things.|
Kay (aka damphyr) is DeviantArt’s go-to expert on everything “Pokémon.” She also occupies the adventurous position of being one of DeviantArt's main enforcers of standards and practices. We thank her for being a guardian of artistic erotica and especially, for being able to answer every question we get asked about Pokémon and just about anything else for that matter. Supreme Keeper of all pop culture knowledge, Kay must be protected in case of global disaster.
An incongruous collection of people lined the sidewalk outside the local video game retailer just before opening on March 6th, 2011. The first in line were a pair of teenage boys in baggy jeans and band shirts, skateboards tucked under their arms. Next was a 9-year-old boy and his mother, followed by a 20-something female with spiky purple hair, a skull and crossbones on her belt. Then there was a young teenage girl, dressed all in yellow, red circles painted on her cheeks and a stuffed Pikachu tied to the handlebars of her scooter. Then a pair of young twins, a boy and a girl, with their mother, and three preorder tickets between them. Two college boys waited impatiently while talking too loudly about their strategy for the upcoming game. There was the 20-something couple, arms tangled about each other, their female friend eyeing the mid-thirties man behind her, who typed a business email on his cellphone.
The line continued to grow…
There is no one demographic, no one type of Pokémon player. The 12-year-old who started playing “Red” and “Blue” is now the nostalgic 30-year-old who still has his original Red and refuses to let his collection fall behind. At the same time, the magic of the world of Pokémon has not been lost on the new generation, as wireless gameplay, charming mini games and tantalizing secrets draw in new players.
Fans around the globe are once again eagerly awaiting the release of the newest Pokémon games, “Alpha Sapphire” and “Omega Ruby.” Nintendo has been gearing up fans for the new releases and encouraging preorders for months, offering players who make the trek to a local gaming store the codes that can be redeemed for rare Pokémon and game items, including the new “Megastones” and the previously unreleased legendary Pokémon Diancie. The promotions appear to have been effective, with over one million copies preordered in Japan alone. Pokémaniacs are clearly eager to return to the Hoenn Region once again.
Eighteen years after the release of Pokémon “Red” and “Green” in Japan, the franchise is still going strong, thanks largely to easy yet addictive gameplay, storytelling and adaptability. While “Alpha Sapphire” and “Omega Ruby” are not, strictly speaking, new games (the original games were titled “Pokémon Ruby” and “Pokémon Sapphire” and were released in 2002 and 2003) these remakes offer players a much more immersive world, with radically different graphics, more monsters to catch, more items to collect, easier social interaction with other Pokémon players, as well as minigames and activities to lose themselves in. Pokémon, like its monsters, continues to evolve, and in so doing, has deftly managed to keep the interest of veteran players and attracted a whole new generation of gamers.
Ever embracing of pop culture, Pokémon is combining the cosplay trend with their most famous monster.
“Alpha Sapphire” and “Omega Ruby” will be the first games to offer the Cosplay Pikachu! This adorable Pikachu is sure to be the star of the returning Talent Show, and will have a variety of outfits. Cosplay Pikachu will acquire special moves based upon which costumes they wear, and, like any truly dedicated cosplayer, will appear in costume even in battle.
Pokémon could not have chosen a better slogan to promote their game, as there is no question that the obsessive desire to catch them all is a major drive for many players. Pokémon games are released in paired versions, and some Pokémon are version exclusives, found in one version of the game, but not the other.
Some Pokémon have forms which cannot be found naturally in game and can only be unlocked if they are traded from one player to another.
Some Pokémon have unique appearances which change depending on the season, sometimes the same Pokémon will have a different appearance depending on its gender, while still other Pokémon have a different appearance depending on the region your game originates from.
Some Pokémon will only evolve if the player has raised the friendship of their monster, by traveling with it in their team, or spending time in the Amie mini-game, where players pet their Pokémon and hand-feed them Poke Puff pastries.
Then there are the legendary Pokémon, which are rare and difficult to find, often version exclusive with only one monster found per game. Some Pokémon are event exclusives, where gamers must bring their 3DS and Pokémon game to a certain real-world location within the correct time frame order to download a special Pokémon. Some Pokémon are distributed via the Wireless feature on the Nintendo 3DS and are offered in celebration of a holiday or special event. For the hardcore collectors, the game does not end when the credits roll, not even when the Pokedex is complete, and all 719 Pokémon have been recorded. For the truly dedicated, the game is not over until every Pokémon, every color variation, every gender variation, every shiny variation and every special event Pokémon has been acquired.
While Pokémon may be a one-player game, the game play is anything but isolating. Through the wireless connection of the 3DS, players can, at any time, see the icons of their friends and random online passersby, battle or trade with just a few clicks, or even offer a player a stat boost to help them in their game. Voice chat enables friends to connect over long distances, groups of players can trade unhatched eggs, and even those who are offline can still impact those actively playing by offering to trade a Pokémon via the Global Trade Station.
Across the Internet, Pokémon communities have become common, from groups here on DeviantArt, to Reddit and Tumblr and dedicated Pokémon fan sites. Players swap friend codes in order to explore Friend Safaris, where rare Pokémon with boosted stats wait to be found. Trades for Pokémon, both legendary and common are negotiated and breeding extras are given away to help out future breeders. The days of needing a link cable, a wish and a prayer in order to trade are long gone. It has never been easier to interact and trade with other Pokémon players.
Wireless competitions are held regularly, with different rules dictating which Pokémon and which Pokémon teams can be entered. Gaming stores and individual groups often organize in-person Pokémon tournaments so gamers can see how their Pokémon teams stand up against other local trainers. The annual Pokémon World Championship is a televised, narrated global competition where Pokémon awards over $100,000 in scholarships to video gamers and card players. The 2014 tournament featured over 500 players from 30 countries, and the tournament winner, Se Jun Park, won a surprising victory with his Pachirisu, spawning a flurry of art featuring the adorable electric rodent.
Even if you are not inclined to catch them all, Pokémon has worked hard to offer something of interest to every kind of player. Pokémon has a whole host of games, features, minigames, strategies and events beyond those featured in this article. Whether you are picking out your very first starter or if you are a master with a completed Pokedex, join us in a return to the world of Pokémon!
A new adventure and new evolutions await us all in Hoenn, and it looks like Team Magma and Team Aqua are up to no good once more, so let's go defend the world once more!
This article was edited for space considerations. If you would like to read the full text of Kay’s original extended submission, click here.
Technology is advancing so quickly that our next generation may not be able to identify the technical purpose for the archaic devices in this gallery of telephones and phone booths. The radical evolution of no other single piece of essential equipment in life has ever perfectly denoted which century a story is being told about.
In the 20th century we were tethered by a coiled wire to the wall, in a place specially set aside to conduct phone conversations. In the 21st century everything we need to communicate is carried in a small device in our pocket, freeing us to speak or be s gpoken to from anywhere on the planet.
“The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink.”
– Fran Lebowitz
“If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?”
– Stephen Levine
“How come wrong numbers are never busy?”
– Author Unknown
“Everyone I talked to was a recording—the bank, the elevator, your office, the school, a wrong number. You used to be able to call a wrong number and get a person.”
– Erma Bombeck
“Tell me about yourself—your struggles, your dreams, your telephone number.”
– Peter Arno
In Bangkok, Thailand, students are being arrested for raising their hands in the air to flash Katniss’ three–finger “freedom” salute.
That’s right, the Katniss who’s the fictional heroine of the popular dystopian sci–fi “Hunger Games” movie series. The world has changed over the last few decades in a very big way, but some are apparently unaware of it or undisturbed by the stunning ramifications.
Advanced surveillance technology is endangering not only personal privacy, but also any possibility of political organizing being kept secret from government power. So even the most democratic nations are now faced with Big Brother seeing, hearing, and knowing everything. Drones and other military tech advances have meant a reconceptualization of warfare making resistance by those who have taken stands against their governments or ruling forces a difficult undertaking. Potential political leaders can be snuffed by drone strikes before anyone knows their names. Governments snooping on text messages can stop demonstrations before they happen. Still, the need to protest remains, leading us to ask—what form is left to us?
We still have the movies.
Putting on a Guy Fawkes mask or raising the “Katniss salute” are now actual political statements.
What many see as the planet’s politically leaderless void is now being filled by our movie hero champions. Fictional movie characters are delivering those heartfelt speeches about freedom and love of humanity that move us and inspire us, while the words of our actual political leaders, for many, continue to evoke only vague hopes of a better tomorrow. There may be a breath of hope in this—but the sword of movie propaganda cuts both ways. Movies are entertainments produced by corporations for profit. “Politically correct” messages are usually imparted only accidentally. The politics of “Katniss” will be determined at the box office by what her fans are willing to hear. Let’s hope her fans demand the studio not attempt to “soften” of her character so she can remain the female “Spartacus”—a Roman slave who lead an infamous revolt and a very cool movie.
The words of movie heroes are now igniting real passion in the hearts of people in Thailand, moving them to take a symbolic action: raising three fingers into the air. If this goes against government wishes and leads to arrests being made then these protesters will go to jail for referencing a fictional story from a movie.
In China, the premiere of Mockingjay, Part 1 has been delayed. A movie about a rebellion to overthrow a fictional oppressive government is quashed by a government perhaps fearful of the example Katniss and her comrades might put into the heads of audiences in China. But in a familiar pattern of banning content, China potentially makes the movie (which millions will see anyway on illegal downloads) all that more powerful as a symbolic torch for freedom.
Popular culture seems to have created a worldwide narrative of “freedom,” though it’s still as vague and hazy as the fictional sources it’s being extracted from to find its final shape. At the end of the day Katniss is a fictional character living in a fabricated world conceived of by her creator Suzanne Collins.
She is not taking real action, not facing consequences for marching in the streets, she may be the spark that lights the kindling—but the kindling has to be there to light. The heart of revolution lies in the people. Fictional characters don’t create social change, people do.
Have you seen the Katniss three finger salute used by people at your work, at your school or in the streets? Do you have a clear sense of its meaning?
What fictional story, character or role has inspired you to political action in your own community?
As an artist, have you used symbolic images to substitute for grand ideas such as freedom or social equality on the one hand or repression and fundamentalism on the other?
Elisa (aka spotted) steps out from behind the scenes as one of our intrepid Today Page senior editors to contribute her appreciation of “The Little Mermaid.” We hope it will be the first of many contributions to come, another hidden talent having been revealed by this longtime DeviantArt special projects manager.
It was 25 years ago that a redheaded mermaid made a splash in theaters ushering in a new era for the identity of the Disney princess.
The Little Mermaid was released in 1989 and was the studio’s first princess movie in 30 years since Sleeping Beauty in 1959. But unlike her predecessors who lay in wait for a daring prince to rescue them, Ariel was no damsel in distress. In fact, she was the one doing most of the rescuing, saving Prince Eric on more than one occasion. You’ll find no gentle submissive Snow White or Cinderella here, no royal slumbering while all the action took place; Ariel was defiant, determined, and eager to explore. She was the first Disney princess with personality.
DeviantArtists might make special note of Ariel’s grotto art gallery. We get a glimpse of her forbidden collection during her big solo musical number “Part of Your World” and if you look closely when she sings “What’s a fire and why does it—what’s the word? Burn.” you’ll see she’s looking at a painting of a woman with a lamp. Art history aficionados will recognize the painting which currently calls the Lourve home as the 1640 oil–on–canvas work of French Baroque painter Georges de La Tour titled Magdalen with the Smoking Flame.
That’s not the only art history treat in the film,
The scene of Ariel on a rock staring longingly at a shipwrecked Eric is a tribute the statue of the Little Mermaid which sits waterside at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen, Denmark. The statue made its debut in 1913 and is based on the original fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen.
The Little Mermaid did more than prove a “girl’s film” could hold its own at the box office, it created a renaissance period for Disney, becoming the first Disney animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award in 13 years. It won 2 Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, and gave the studio a new sense of credibility it had lacked in past years. It also established a new formula for animated films which still prevails to this day combining a winning plot with beautiful artwork and highly memorable songs.
While many will argue that Ariel is not a feminist role model, she was the first princess to take her life in her own hands and whether for good or bad she made her own decisions and followed her own path. Ariel lead the way for more empowered leading ladies in animated films to spring forth, with Belle and Jasmine quickly following her lead, and paved the way for the most recent empowered Princesses, Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, who might not be a reality today if one ‘bright young’ woman had not gotten ‘sick of swimmin’ and chosen to stand instead.
Who is your favorite Disney Princess and what is it about her that makes her so special to you?
Do you prefer the original darker fairytales by Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm Brothers over the “Happily Ever After” Disney versions? Which fairytale is your favorite?
How do you think Disney movies have shaped the cultural narrative of each generation?
Who’s the most important person now in the Star Wars franchise? JJ Abrams? Think again!
It begins in mere weeks from now: The countdown to the first of the next Star Wars sequels, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, the first of a new trilogy for a new generation. The first 1 minute trailer, a mostly wordless montage of series’ heroes, will debut attached to Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 or on Disney-owned ABC Television. American culture stirs in its sleep. George Lucas is whispering, “Wake up…” — for he has more life lessons for the youth. He continues on in his role as our children’s modern Walt Disney.
This second batch of Star Wars movies will hopefully fare better with the fans than the near-disastrous rollout of The Phantom Menace in 1999. The Star Wars community was split in two by the prequel trilogy. While on one hand it brought in a whole new younger audience to the franchize, the older fans who had waited so many years for these films were devastated that they were skewed to such a young audience.
But there was something else missing, one might say the vital ingredients that made the original franchize so great. There was no hope that we’d ever see Francis Ford Coppola, writer and director of the fantastic Godfather Trilogy as well as Apocalypse Now, work on the scripts as he had done on A New Hope. There was also no chance that Gary Kurtz, the original trilogies producer would be back either. Gary was just as involved with Star Wars as George Lucas was. He kept George on track on both development and production through American Graffiti and their early desire to do a Flash Gordon adaptation, the latter project evolved into Star Wars.
Lawrence Kasdan. The man who co-wrote Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. The man credited with breathing life into Luke, Leia and Han, then taking them on a slightly darker path. Kasdan was the man who also helped bring Indiana Jones to the screen, co-writing Raiders Of The Lost Ark! Many fans, with serious Star Wars knowledge, were relieved when the first video journal for Star Wars had both JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan in it. A hopeful sign that JJ wouldn’t have final say on the script, something many Star Trek fans had wished someone else had on that reboot. Lawrence will be around for a while, his name already linked with the further sequels and spin-offs planned by Disney for Star Wars.
Now we wait with baited breath for the first teaser for the first film in the next trilogy. We will analyse each second of the one minute trailer for hours, perhaps weeks, hoping for glimpses of Easter eggs within it.
So as the Jedi nation grows in its multitudes and the 2015 Star Wars Celebration Convention, scheduled for April 16-19 in Anaheim is projected to shatter attendance records, there remains little evidence of the Force ever having being asleep in these years after the third “prequel.”
Lawrence, our faith is with you.
Which Star Wars characters are best suited to be featured in their own spin-off films?
Do you hope Lando makes a surprise appearance?
What are your hopes for the new series of Star Wars films?
How would you like to see Han Solo and Princess Leia's relationship play out?
What is your favorite Star Wars Fan Art or Fan Fiction?
I've been playing Alien: Isolation for the last few weeks and it is scary as hell.
Brad Wright, longtime deviant in the dA community, steps into the shoes (space boots) of Giger and Moebius as a concept designer for the Alien Isolation videogame. The game reportedly marks a return to the terror of the original “Alien” film in which scaring the audience to death was the goal, rather than the uncorking escalating levels of defensive firepower that defined the sequels. As Ripley’s daughter, players must survive with superior evasion tactics, not gun skills. A new concept to revive the series. Just the job for deviant Brad Wright.
Q: At what point did you realize you wanted to be a concept artist?
I had no formal art education, or any real introduction into the world of entertainment design. I took up drawing very late in life during University, probably due to the boredom of studying Graphic design and Advertising. Visiting older concept art communities online was the only source of educating myself. That and just grinding at teaching myself how to draw, then paint, then design. I was fortunate in getting a job relatively quick after that decision making period. Ten years later and I’m still grinding at learning this stuff.”
Q: What advice do you have for the designers in the community in getting work as a videogame concept designer?
Firstly to give up the notion that there is a shortcut, trick, or magic brush that will let you create master pieces or get that dream job. Instead do work. Lots, and lots of work. Every day we should all be drawing, and designing. Collecting sketchbooks filled with compositions, shapes, mechanics, and ideas. The harder you work, the more reward you will get. It’s getting tougher and tougher to work in this field, so you need to give yourself this edge.”
Q: How intimidating was it to take on a project that HR Giger, Moebuis, Ridley Scott and James Cameron, and David Fincher had worked on before?
Surprisingly, not at all. The source material laid out by these creatives is so solid and clear, that it’s rather a joy. The restrictions mean we were free from a lot of “umming” and “ahhing”, and instead could focus on creating beautiful art.”
Q: What do you feel was the most brilliantly conceived videogame?
I would have to say Deus Ex Human Revolution. The art direction resonated well with everything I enjoy. Cyberpunk, Neo classical Sci–fi. It was consistent, very clear and coherent.”
Does any videogame eventually get a bit boring because of the emphasis on mastery of the gameplay, especially the shooting skills?
What’s the scariest, as opposed to most exciting, videogame you’ve ever played?
Is there a videogame you won’t play by yourself, all alone in your place of residence, in the dark after midnight? Have you ever stopped in the middle of a game that became too “intense” for your nerves?
Current Residence: A Peaceful State|
deviantWEAR sizing preference: L
Print preference: As Big As Possible.
Favourite genre of music: Rock. Jazz(Hard Bop). Blues. 80's Metal. Tribal(Aboriginal thru Electronic). Classical.Troubado
Favourite photographer: Sebastio Salgado. Richard Mapplethorpe. Walker Evans. Weegee.
Favourite style of art: Post-impressionist. Abstract-expressionist. The New Digital Vanguard. Contemporary fantasy.
Operating System: OSX
MP3 player of choice: Shuffle
Shell of choice: Any Conch will do.
Wallpaper of choice: French Louis XIV Rococo Style
Skin of choice: Thick enough to persevere and thin enough to feel.