Shop More Submit  Join Login

Mini Horror Reviews - Psycho

Thu Oct 23, 2014, 6:03 PM
Hitchcock by jdelgado

Movie Poster


It's October and the sacred 31 days of Halloween are upon us-time to get your gore on! The chill is in the air, the leaves are on the ground, and Halloween candy has been out since Labor Day. So while you’re waiting in the Starbucks line for an overpriced double pumpkin spice whatever, pass the time with this year’s scary movies reviews!

Psycho (1960)

Review by RWSlavin

The now legendary shower sequence in which Jamie Lee Curtis’s mom gets stabbed to death is still one of the scariest scenes ever, even though we now know it’s coming and get to brace ourselves. The rest of the movie is pure moment–to–moment heebie–jeebies with Tony Perkins at his creepiest and all along we know his mummified mother up in the attic is waiting to meet us. Knowing the story so well seems to have made the movie scarier over the years, rather than the passage of time having had its usual mitigating effect. Hitchcock had hit some snags in getting his next film produced and decided he was going to create a shocker for the ages with none of the moments of comic relief his other films were known for.  The shower scene was so brutal that he didn’t fight the studio on shooting it—and then the whole picture—in black–and–white. He feared that audiences would be so numbed by his new level of screen violence that their senses would shut down and they’d zone out for the rest of the movie. Psycho is relentless. Still a visceral experience 60 years later.

Collection: Hands

Thu Oct 23, 2014, 6:01 PM
new born at home by bres6


A subject’s hands are the make–up artist’s nightmare. But a subject’s hands are the artist’s delight. All the lines, scars or arthritic bumps are a road map of our lives. The smooth or rough of the skin indicates a life of labor or leisure (or, at least, cerebral tasks). The gesticulations of the hands, captured by the alert and sensitive artist, can often articulate so much more than mere words.

Brian Kesinger: Character Driven

Wed Oct 22, 2014, 10:39 AM
Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 4.28.13 PM by techgnotic

Disney Artist Brian Kesinger on Creating Story through Character

Foreword by techgnotic

It is with great pleasure we welcome Brian Kesinger as a guest writer to the Today Page Editorial Team. Considering his authentic citizenship within the deviantART community, his thoughts and insights will be of great value to all aspiring artists, illustrators, writers and others involved in any creative endeavor. For over 18 years, Brian has worked for Walt Disney Studios on films like Big Hero 6, Winnie the Pooh, Tarzan, Tangled, Wreck It Ralph and Bolt. Brian is author and illustrator of his own octovictorian creation, the wildly popular Walking Your Octopus, featuring Otto and Victoria, about a young turn-of-the-century London lady of distinction and her pet octopus.

Take a moment and think about your favorite movie. Now imagine that movie without the main character, as you know them, in it. I think it is important to make a distinction between the plot of a story and the arc of your main character.

The plot is a series of events that result in a character going through an emotional arc. You can briefly define a character arc as how a character feels and acts at the beginning of the story versus how the feel and act in the end. In Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol (1843), Ebenezer Scrooge hates Christmas and at the end he loves it. That is an oversimplification of his arc. The plot is there in order to provide obstacles and choices to show the the audience who they are and what their attitude toward their situation is. A good plot keeps you interested in the story but a good character will make you want to rewatch the movie over and over again. I am personally a fan of movies that have very simple plots as those films leave much more room for character development.

One way to look at a story is a series of choices made in creating the main character. As a storyteller, the more time you put into your character, the easier it will be for you to make those choices for your character be truthful.

Truthfulness is talked about a lot when discussing character creation. Fictional characters are, of course, not real. They do not exist in the real world. They are made up. You must give them reality with relatable traits. Let’s say your main character is a farm hand. How does he feel about that? Does he enjoy the hard labor, or is he bored out of his mind? Let's choose the latter. Note that we are not talking about plot, just discussing character. Does this farm-boy get along with his parents? Let's add mystery by making him an orphan. So we now have the highly relatable story of a bored young man with a decision to make. Should he continue his duties on the farm or answer an inner calling to explore the rest of his world? We know this character. Some of us are this character. So when Luke Skywalker makes his choice, it rings true, because his character has already been established as someone we understand, someone who wants more out of life. We can all relate to his situation. His story will be a bit more exciting than most tales of fugitive farm-boys, but even Star Wars might have bored us had we not been pre-invested in such a relatable character by skilled storytellers.

As an illustrator, my job is to create believable characters. At Disney it is not uncommon for us to start drawing before a writer has even been hired to write a script. Animation and art are a visual media. A picture is worth a thousand words. Drawing your character is one of the best ways to kick off the generation of those words. It is all in the details. How your character dresses, what sort of hair they have, are they big or scrawny? All these questions can be answered and explored through the drawing process. When we work on our films it is common for the character designers and story artists to work at the same time because one department constantly informs the other.

I love this part of the process, as you draw your character and you explore all aspects of them and the ideas start to gel. You put one image next to another and suddenly a story starts to develop, to talk to you. It is very exciting. We had an interesting challenge in creating the character of Baymax for the up coming film Big Hero 6.

I asked Joe Mateo, head of story on the film to talk a little about the difficulties that arose when creating a character without traditional features.

We knew that Baymax was going to be a challenge given his limited amount of facial features to express an emotional range. It's amazing though, what you can achieve with those charming dot eyes combined with a subtle head tilt, a well timed blink, and body gestures. These things plus line delivery can be very effective in expressing different emotions. We're careful though how much emotions we want Baymax to show given that he is just a non sentient robot... or is he?”

Joe Mateo, Head of story on Big Hero 6

On the film Frozen we were tasked with taking a fairy tale “princess movie” and putting a fresh spin on it. One way that we did that was by exploring the characters of Anna & Elsa and creating a believable relationship between the two of them. Paul Briggs, head of story on Frozen speaks more about that here.

One of the great things we had working for us was the tropes of princess films we had done in the past. Audiences already had an expectation we would deliver the familiar romantic love story... a romantic kiss from a prince/knight in shining armor would save the the day. Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck knew they wanted to deliver something fresh and different and took the idea from the original Snow Queen story that "an act of true love will thaw a frozen heart" and coupled that with a story about two sisters. The movie really started to focus more about family love than romantic love. The challenge was crafting two siblings that couldn't have that love between one another. We had Elsa, who was hiding a power that she thinks will hurt or kill her sister. So she lives in fear and is afraid to share her love towards her sister. We developed Anna as being fearless but she lives in a world where we she wants to give her love but it is never reciprocated by her sister. She holds onto that true love for her sister though and it's ultimately the thing that saves the day and protects and saves her sister. Anna makes the biggest choice in the movie which is she sacrifices her life to save her sister—an act of true love.”

Paul Briggs, Head of story on Frozen

Interviews Brian Kesinger's Q&A with the Following Deviant Artists


In creating your Lost Kids graphic novel what were some ways that you made your characters believable teenagers even though they are inhabiting a fantastical world?


Felipe Cagno

It's all about really turning your characters into real people, people that you could walk past in the streets and that means tons of research and world building. For every character in the Lost Kids comics I have these extensive character sheets with dozens of questions ranging from their family background, their homes, where they grew up in, the environment around them, to their biggest fears, their hopes and dreams, their psyche, etc.

All that comes into play and you must know your characters better than yourselves, you really must ask the tough questions and come up with interesting answers. A kid growing up in Brooklyn, NY, will most definitely talk and behave very differently than a kid growing up in Orange County, CA. Do they come from a rich family, a blue-collar one, from poverty, where do they go to school, are they outgoing or shy, do they use slang, or perhaps they speak perfect English, are they popular or outcasts, what are their deepest secrets and so forth.

And the most interesting task I had to go through was actually finding a way of these very different kids that should not get along, get together for this adventure. Good storytelling comes from conflict and there is nothing more boring than seeing characters agreeing on paper or screen, you want them to duke it out, you want them to have completely different opinions about the stuff that matters so you can exploit different points of view on a given subject and let the audience choose sides.

Believable teenagers have very strong opinions and views of their world, I just made sure to get all that right even before writing a word of the script.


Can you talk a little about how your characters developed from random sketches to the storylines in your web comic?


Der-shing Helmer

I don't actually sketch randomly and home storylines come out, it's pretty much the opposite... I come up with story elements that I find interesting and work to develop a character that might fit into the scenario in a unique way. For example, in The Meek, I wanted to write a story about a girl who doesn't care much for societal pressures. She started out in sketches as several types of girl, but with the goal of a story in mind, eventually developed in the my character Angora who is introduced as not wearing clothes (that portrayal is pivotal to her essential nature). I don't think the character would have been quite as effective if I had just been drawing naked women, and then tried to mould a story around that visual.

For the new comic that I am making (and will be posting more art of to deviantArt as well), I'm doing something similar; trying to create a certain vision of the future and the people who live there. With the future in mind, I get to create characters that represent my hopes and expectations, vs just randomly hoping to strike gold. My general advice is always to give a context to your sketches, even if you don't ultimately use them... it will help your characters develop into living people who feel like they might really exist somewhere.


When creating your character Veloce Visrin, what were some of the choices you made in designing her look and outfit to help tell the reader what she is all about?


Shilin Huang

I've given Veloce outfits meant for show, as well as casual outfits for the story she is in. The more story-oriented decisions were made with her casual outfit. Naturally, her look should immediately convey her character, because insignificant details on how a character chooses to dress himself/herself are usually a good reflection of their values. I've kept her outfit casual and unimpressive,despite her being the main character, to match her preference for staying away from the spotlight and blending into the crowds. Her clothes are also kept loose fitting rather than skintight, her hair kept free and not diligently kept, giving her a more relaxed air. However, she did come from a respected/feared family, and a hint of the fact that she is supposed to be an upper-class lady still comes across through the halter top, which is the same top/dress featured in her other, more extravagant and impressive outfits, covered up under the guise of her hoodie and otherwise unassuming look.


Your character drawings are so expressive. What are some tips for drawing animal characters with such human emotions while still maintaining their animalistic anatomy?


Tracy Butler

Thank you! Foremost, I’d say it’s important to get to know the subject matter. Gathering some overarching observational knowledge about anatomy, gesture and expression is pretty vital to drawing convincing pictures of such things. It also applies to the ensuing Frankensteinian drawing experiments that I would recommend as a generally effective approach to designing characters that fall somewhere between human and animal (though I’d argue that distinction is mostly philosophical).  Do a lot of sketching, in other words.

Human capacity for self-aware emotional complexities aside, it’d be difficult to mark a clear distinction between human and animal emotions. Among other mammals in particular, there’s quite a lot of overlap in the way we express basic things like fear, dejection and excitement, in fact. Whether human or wolf, a lowered head, fixed stare and curled lip is unmistakably aggressive.  That sort of thing can certainly work to the artist’s advantage when drawing an animalistic character meant to emote in a relatable human fashion.  Further appending the expression with the animal’s telltale posturing - raised hackles, pinned ears, bared fangs - can be mixed in to varying degrees of bestial and dramatic.  The more minute facial features add a layer of human nuance and specificity - the smallest adjustment can put an entirely different spin on an expression. For the given example, downward angled “angry” eyebrows would be well in line with the straightforward appearance of aggression, but simply arching one of the brows higher than the other can turn it into an expression of calculated anger.  Symmetrically high arching brows could make the expression more excited or crazed; furrowed brows could be used to convey a sort of consternated anger, and so forth.

Of course, species that don’t communicate in ways that are especially decipherable to humans and critters with physiognomies that don’t lend themselves well to forming human expressions can present design challenges that might require some careful finagling. To use a popular example, note the dramatically shortened heads of My Little Pony characters as compared to realistic equine heads.  Much of the animal appearance of the face is sacrificed, clustering the features together into an alignment more closely resembling a (cartoon-like) human.  This way, the expressions are eminently readable, never inadvertently shifting from cute to awkward.  In other situations, preserving the animalistic mien might be the greater priority over rendering consistently appealing human expressions. If you ever find yourself trying to draw chagrin on an anteater, consider that in some cases, embracing a bit of the awkwardness might not be a bad thing.  It can make for some defining, memorable characteristics.

My advice overall is to approach whatever abstracted combination of anatomies are at hand as an advantage rather than a limitation to building an expressive character.  The human and animal aspects each bring a toolkit array of physical features, gestures, behaviors and idiosyncrasies to utilize and draw inspiration from - all the more resources with which the character may exude life and emotion, presence and personality.


What led you to pick Korea as the location for your fish out of water story of frankie*SNATCH? And how does that specific location inform what situations your character goes through?


Lynsey Wo

When I initially came up with the concept for frankie*SNATCH back in 2001, I wanted to base it in a large, modern city in the Far East. At the time, Japan was experiencing a huge popularity boom (certainly within the target audience I was wanting to reach) and I wanted to avoid following that trend. After a little bit of research, Seoul seemed to contain the fast pace, bright lights, cosmopolitan scene I was looking for. In these early stages, a strong visual setting was all I was after, and Seoul fitted that need perfectly.

Frankie*SNATCH has always been a character-driven plot, and whilst the location had never been hugely influential as a whole, as the story developed darker, controversial issues, I still needed to make sure it was still appropriate. For example, a major theme of substance abuse within the story lead me to research the sort of healthcare and treatment available for those suffering with addictions, and how this sort of issue is perceived and handled by Korean society as a whole. This research directly impacted on how the character(s) confronting this issue would handle it, particularly from the societal angle. This idea of such an old-fashioned taboo against the backdrop of an otherwise modern, diverse city was something I found interesting, but it also made me realise the importance of making sure the characters were believable enough for them to address the issues presented to them with as little help from the outside as possible.

Questions for Brian Kesinger

  1. Brian has volunteered to answer any questions you might have in a series of video updates we will post soon, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for a shout-out from him.

    Leave your questions for Brian in the comments below.

Every year, the United Nations sets a theme for their International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The 2014 theme is…

Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty.”

I n a world as progressed as we believe ourselves to be it seems that poverty is still winning and growing. Income disparity in “advanced” economies such as the United States is growing rapidly with the top 1% gaining and the middle class slipping precariously. The Pope and other world leaders have identified income disparity as the greatest danger facing the world. In the former Soviet-influenced states, oligarchs amass wealth putting every capitalist of the last two centuries to shame while the general population slides deeper into deprivation.

Africa, East Asia and many parts of Central and South America remain as poor as ever even as local economic opportunity grows. In North Korea the population is simply poor.  In China, people work themselves to death while their economy is touted as the next great consumer market. We can only guess at what it means to be in a factory city working in a factory, for factory wages, without any suggestion that you will ever evolve to any other place or level. Another kind of poverty?

Of late the press increasingly carries stories that the very wealthy are “pitching-in” to solve world hunger or eradicate malaria or fund micro-banking initiatives. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Initiative, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook and his wife all announce in their names their latest “good intentions”. But the fact remains that this reinforces the notion that only the very wealthy can afford to care about the poor.

Governments and religious organizations provide massive funding for programs aimed at the poor all over the world. But even without statistical study we can tell its a thin layer of support.

Poverty breeds war. We spend more money on those. And then we spend on refugees. And then they join the ranks in deep poverty.

President Johnson in the United States announced a war on poverty only to see that dream abandoned for a war on Vietnam instead. This repeated over and over in every part of the world. Leaders and nations with great hopes and intentions towards the poor sidelined by war and greed.

Historically it has always been the working people, not the wealthy, who have proportionally donated massively more of their income to aid the impoverished at home and around the world either directly through charitable donations or through taxation. When workers’ income is falling backward, along with their lifestyles, how can they be expected to come to the aid of the impoverished? Survival is uppermost on the minds of most workers right now, not charity, let alone spending time strategizing for the great coming together of upper and middle classes for a joint effort to eradicate poverty forever.

So the question as to who will truly be “thinking and deciding how to act together” now to end extreme poverty will probably be the question on the lips of those who have read this far.

But how do you/we decide to act?

What in your daily life can contribute to aid the poor or pull down the forces that push people into poverty? How could the arts contribute beyond simply placing the reality of poverty in front of us all in pictures and in words? Could there be a universal symbol of relief, care and comfort without religious overtones to unify all world cultures? How can we teach compassion with our art?

Your Thoughts

  1. As an artist do you feel you have a special responsibility to use your creativity to invent art projects that bring awareness of injustice and suffering?

  2. Have you ever sent art to your government representatives as a way to initiate action by them?

  3. Have you found any art projects in your neighborhood or country which focus on poverty and on providing solutions to hunger, housing, and support for the disenfranchised?

  4. Do you feel in your heart of hearts that the haves and the have-nots will one day recognize each other as one family?

Movie Poster


It's October and the sacred 31 days of Halloween are upon us-time to get your gore on! The chill is in the air, the leaves are on the ground, and Halloween candy has been out since Labor Day. So while you’re waiting in the Starbucks line for an overpriced double pumpkin spice whatever, pass the time with this year’s scary movies reviews!

Frankenstein (1931)

Review by RWSlavin

The success in Spring 1931 of “Dracula” sent Universal execs on a raid of the public domain properties for a Monster Movie #2 follow–up.  They emerged from the vaults with Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic treasure, “Frankenstein.” Bela Lugosi, whose Dracula had rescued Universal a few months previously, was offered the role of Frankenstein’s Monster, but passed, because the Monster had even fewer lines than Dracula did. Director James Whale remembered the particularly expressive eyes of a bit player in gangster movies, an asset well–suited to giving the grunting, voiceless Monster some element of humanity. And so it was that Boris Karloff became King of the Universal horror pictures. His ability to “speak” with only his eyes and hand gestures and elicit a real pathos from audiences, along with the frights, revealed him to be a multi–dimensional talent — even as he was being forever “typed” as “just” a horror movie actor.

The Universal “Frankenstein” begins with a nod to original author Shelley’s existential horror of a stitched–together being living beyond death. Beyond God? (i.e., “Alive” but soul–less?) We all remember Dr. Frankenstein crying out, “It’ alive!” But few have heard the next censored–everywhere line, “Now I know what it feels like to be God!” These are scary questions. But this is a monster movie, so it rapidly switches gears and becomes a less philosophical monster–on–the–loose story. The death of little Maria is as scary as existential angst, and Boris Karloff somehow made audiences feel compassion for the Monster even as it killed an innocent child. Then there’s a quick wrap–up. There’s the now iconic peasants with torches and pitchforks chase to find the monster. He’s trapped in the old windmill, which is lit ablaze. He is now dead — until the decision on sequels is made. And, in fact, “Bride of –” (1935) and “Son of –” (1939) are that rarest of movie rarities: sequels that outshine the original. The magic of the original “Frankenstein” is that what should have been just a chase–down–the–monster flick was elevated to something so much more by Boris Karloff’s magnificent performance.

Collection: Road Trip

Mon Oct 20, 2014, 7:30 PM

Road Trip

From mass migrations of multitudes to solitary quests into college, wandering to see new places and people is as necessary to healthy human nutrition as daily meals. We base the appeal of nations on how easy they are to enter or exit. We think in terms of our own “freedom” in how quickly we could “up and leave” on short notice. Hitting the road has always been its own reward, regardless the destination. It’s as if nothing really exists until we’ve traveled there and seen it with our own eyes. The path to and from is part of everywhere on Earth.

Halloween entertainment… or invitation to evil?

We all know from the movies that a vampire can’t cross over the threshold into one’s home without being invited. And yet simply knowing that Dracula can be held at bay so easily makes issuing that invitation all the more irresistible. Could such things as supernatural beings actually be real? And could there be ways for we mere mortals to have the power to evoke them into existence or dismiss them as we might please? With Halloween drawing near, if only there were some Consumer’s Guide to Demonic Summoning… Oh, but there are many to choose from!

If You dare…

The best known Grimoires (books of magic spells and conjuring instructions) are those that hide in plain sight. The more they are considered no more than entertainments for children on rainy nights the safer they are from official sanctions and censorship. Just as Ouija boards are sold as harmless fun, despite all the urban legends of very real communications with the dead having been achieved through them, so too are grimoires dismissed as the overwrought fictions of peculiarly imaginative people with too much time on their hands.

Necronimicon is deemed to be no more than a narrative prop invented by H.P. Lovecraft to weight his horror tales with a supernatural authority. The Book of Shadows, the main text of the modern Wiccan movement, is the spellbook consulted by three young witches on Charmed. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is referred to in every Mummy movie. The Lemarchand Box is simply Clive Barker’s device for summoning Pinhead up from Hell. All just so much harmless fun, right?

But there are more ancient, more feared, more damnable texts…

In 1599 the Roman Catholic Church published its first Indexes of Prohibited Books, and woe to any soul found by the Inquisition to be hiding a copy of the Key of Solomon, a grimoire that, along with its companion Clavicle of Solomon, instructed in the safe summoning of spirits and demons. Demonology, a.k.a. “sorcery”, is still such a touchy subject to this day that the first J.K. Rowling book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone had to be retitled Philosopher’s Stone in England and other countries. The Magus, first published in 1801 but then “rediscovered” a century later, contributed greatly to a very real occultism revival in Europe and elsewhere.

But the grimoire most whispered about in hushed voices remains, since the 1700s, having possibly been first published in 1522, The Grand Grimoire. It is also sometimes known as The Red Dragon. Purportedly, it contains the necessary invocations for calling up Satan himself in order to make a deal or secret pact with him. Hardly a Halloween treat for light–hearted fun, eh?

So what is our apocryphal tradition in all this?

True diabolical evil, that manifests in all it’s attendant entities and forms upon arrival on our Earthly plane, must always begin with an simple invitation. From forbidden (screamed or whispered) incantations to Ouija boards to elaborate puzzle boxes that act as demonic permission slips for a horrific field out of Hell for legions of demons, there is no end to the variety of evil portals that connect our world to the next.

What intrigues me is that there must always be that moment of consideration: There are some lines in this universe that should not be crossed. Is this one of them? Yet… Why not? It’s all fake anyway. How bad could it truly be, right? Isn’t it just Clive Barker’s twisted version of a Rubik’s cube, after all? Sure, I’ll just play along. I’m not scared of “stories.”

But then you find yourself alone in the closing darkness, or even with a small band of friends hardly the match for any midsized demon… and you begin to think: If I believe in God, and His angels, and I believe in my own immortal soul—then why would there not exist their opposites? How can I not believe in the Devil, and his demons, and their hunger for my essence, my soul?

But then the pretty girl pulls the Ouija board out of the stack of Milton Bradley games in the closet…

What compels people to draw spiritual lines in the sand, only to cross over them on a moment’s dare?

Happy Halloween Month, Everybody!

Questions for the Reader

  1. Which of the following Grimoires do you believe to be fake and which do you think really exist? Necronimicon, The Book of Shadows, Key of Solomon, The Magus, The Grand Grimoire (Red Dragon), The Book of the Dead.
  2. Have you ever tried to cast a spell or summon the spirit of a dead person on a Ouija board, if only for fun as a child? Was it a fun or frightening experience?
  3. If you believe in Angels, do you have to logically believe in demons (fallen angels)?
  4. Do you believe there is some basis to most “supernatural” conjecture? Or is it all just Halloween fun for kids?
  5. If demons are real, would you ever want to witness the reality of one from a safe distance? Or is that a door you’re happy to leave tightly shut for a lifetime?

Collection: Forgotten Past

Fri Oct 17, 2014, 5:49 PM

Forgotten Past

schnotte is a German artist know for his photographs of rotting, decaying buildings and other dark themes. His camera explores architectural structures, but mostly to emphasize their coldness. The human figures in his photographs appear out of place, as if lost in filthy, forgotten, broken-down manufacturing machines, the cold, dark environments not built with humanity in mind. Looking through these images we can see the ghosts of the love that once inhabited his worlds and it is that love that still shines through his pictures. We are blown away by the beauty Schotte imbues to these deathly quiet scenes that are equally sad and uplifting.


Catwoman Leaks Justice League Contract Details to deviantART


Robin Tops Wonder Woman

Catwoman Leaks Justice League Contract Details to deviantART


Robin Tops Wonder Woman

This morning the Today Page Editorial Team was reading through Mike Fleeman’s coverage on The Wrap discussing Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsugihara’s press conference this week where he revealed the DC Comics movie schedule. As we were sharing our thoughts (placing our bets) we received our first major exclusive from our tip email address. It turns out it was from Catwoman.

The Miss–Chief maker, Catwoman, leaked all of the Justice League movie contracts for the new Warner Brothers slate. While we were reviewing the contracts we quickly understood why she decided to leak them to the press.

WONDER WOMAN is being paid less per film than ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER!

Warner Bros. and the Justice League have thus far refused to comment on this article.

Questions for the Reader

  1. Are you fed up with the gender pay gap?


Fri Oct 17, 2014, 5:23 PM

Who needs enemy aliens — when the oddities of space travel itself are so mind–blowing?

s the following gallery of landscapes of deviantARTist–imagined other worlds well attests to — the natural desire of humans to explore and discover knows no bounds, not even the limits of the Earth’s atmospheric shell. Whatever’s out there, beyond our galaxy: we want to put eyes on it. But space travel presents quite a problem.

Even spaceships much faster than anything we’re technologically capable of engineering today would mean voyages to the closest inhabited or habitable world lasting not years — but generations. Exploring new worlds might mean signing up for excursions that would be “one way” and completed by our great–grandchildren, and that’s if we can figure out how to protect ourselves from space radiation. And for shorter outings with a return ticket to Earth? The “twin paradox” is the curious space–time phenomenon of returning to Earth just a few years later and older (by our perspective), only to find that all our friends and family have died of old age.

In the upcoming film, Interstellar
, Christopher Nolan takes a break from fighting hostile space aliens to return the “thought–provoking” vein of sci–fi pioneered by 2001 and The Right Stuff. Nolan has expressed a desire to return to the sense of wonder in intergalactic “exchanges” exemplified by Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. While Nolan was accused of crypto-neoconservative sympathies for his “Dark Trilogy” of Batman films, his Interstellar will now no doubt provoke the rage of climate change deniers by positing a climate–change devastated barely habitable Earth in the near future. A space mission via “wormholes” must first locate a habitable replacement for Earth and then race back to Earth for an organized exodus before the “twin paradox” accelerates the planet dying along with everyone the astronauts knew in life. Nolan’s focus is the human psyche’s necessary adaptations to the “future” paradoxes that we all might be facing sooner than we think.

Our future survival will depend upon how well we can evolve our perceptions of time and being.

In an
Empire interview
Christopher Nolan:

I do liken [Interstellar] to the blockbusters I grew up with as a kid, A lot of them by Spielberg. […] there’s a great spirit to films like Close Encounters and Jaws that I really wanted to try and capture, because I haven’t seen it in a very long time.”

You can’t pretend 2001 doesn’t exist when you're making Interstellar, But the other film I’d have to point to is The Right Stuff. […] It’s one of the great American movies and people don’t quite realize how great it is–probably because it’s four hours long!”

Your Thoughts

  1. Do you have any doubts about Climate Change?

  2. Do you believe there are other inhabitable worlds in our Universe?


Thu Oct 16, 2014, 12:44 PM

Adoptables Logo

Fantasy Creatures For Sale

by istickboy

Some Creative Care and Further Evolution May Be Necessary

Over the last few years, a dedicated community of deviantART creators have built an entirely new art marketplace.

Adoptables are digital creatures created to be bartered, sold for money or purchased with deviantART points.

The marketplace has grown so dramatically over last few years that deviantART has built a category dedicated to the community the on the homepage.

Traditionally, the buyer would never touch an artist's creation. When you purchased a work of art, it was meant to hang in a golden frame or rest behind protective glass. The art patron could admire (but never change) the artist's vision. Adoptables turn that model upside down, letting patrons discover art that they are allowed to manipulate.

Creations range from rainbow colored horses to fantastical insects to hybrid animals to super-powered anime characters. Creators can decide how they want the creature to be treated by the future owner. As the artist, you can require your buyer to redraw your creation or create something new.

“Adoptables are ready-to-use characters that are available for purchase. They have the advantage that the whole design is already done, so people don’t have to spend their time trying to visualize it and can concentrate just on personality and history,”

explained deviantART creator and adoptables artist Karijn. She concluded:

“I think their popularity is linked to the fact that you can have a character designed by another artist. Just think about the amount of fanart that characters like Naruto get, who wouldn’t want Kishimoto to create a design of the same level that can be bought? Designing your own character is fun but having a character designed by someone you admire is a whole different story.”

Some creators grant patrons the right to do anything they want with an adoptable: playing with it in role-playing games, writing stories about it or using it on their website.

DeviantART creator akreon auctioned off a sheet of gorgeous Winged Tarul adoptables, a fantasy creature that combined features from dragons, unicorns and griffins. Once winning the auction with real money, the patron won complete rights to the creature. The artist described the transfer of rights:

“Highest bidder gets both the design and the art for the character. After winning the auction you can post the received image to your gallery. After winning the auction you have all the rights to re-design the character, make up your own name and history for the character, use it in your stories, role plays or whatever else you wish. I will not require any credit for the character design or the species. If anyone asks tell them where you got it, but that's all I'll ever ask for.” -akreon

Other creators stress that patrons must redraw the creature on a regular basis or they will lose their rights to the creature.

In the Nordanner adoptables group, for instance, artists offer different variations on a fantasy breed of warhorses. According to the community, these horses are part of a powerful breed, “a versatile and very high-on-demand companion for dragon hunters.” When a patron purchases one of these adoptables, they need to draw the horse themselves–literally keeping the digital creature alive and reproducing through this art.

This Creative Community Counts

1,198 members

335,686 page views

DeviantART creator chutkat brought some of the very first adoptables to deviantART in 2008, bringing a community of adoptables creators from Pony Island. Her interest in customized creatures began as a kid, designing dragons, fish and exotic pets with paint software on her computer. By 2006, she became a full-fledged creator.

“I got bored of the idea pretty quickly because they were too close to ordinary real fish, so then I decided to create the 'drandamurs' that combined Dragon and Angels.” -chutkat

Munnin's Chronicles Adoptables (MCAdoptables) was a super-group created by sambees and chutkat in 2008 to host their adoptable creations. They were joined soon after by dapper-owl who has been with them as this booming adoptable community blossomed on deviantART. Through the group, you can collect “interactive stamps” created by members. Community members can visit the group's adoption centre to find new creators or they can commission “custom bred adoptables” from the artists in the community.

To Date, This Supergroup Counts

2,594 members

298,843 page views

The adoptables community has produced some impressive sales, creating a whole new digital art market within deviantART. Adoptables artist Karijn described the range of creations in an interview:

“It’s not uncommon to see auctions reaching the $200-300 level. shrimpHEBY’s designs are an example of sought-after Adopts in the human/kemonomimi category, as are niaro’s, while for creatures you have griffsnuff, PhloxeButt and many others. With the growth of the community many of the most popular artists on dA have started making adopts, so the quality level of adoptables has risen a lot and it’s hard to limit the list to just a few names.” -Karijn

Adoptables have continued to evolve since they first landed on deviantART in 2008. With the concept of “breedables,” creators have integrated the principles of evolution and genetics into this community art form. Breedables are a fascinating subset of adoptables, raising evocative questions about genetics and art. Patrons can buy creatures for breeding purposes, creating a new adoptable child following a set of rules dictated by the creator. The Shoulder Gryphon Adopt (ShoulderGryphonsAdpt) community is a great example, a group of deviantART creators making hybrid gryphons that patrons can adopt as a companion. They also offer the opportunity to catch a wild shoulder gryphon for which you need a special bag of seed mix, a feeder, and a few days of patience:

CustomAdopts brings the latest and high quality adoptables to your message center.

This group gathers some of the most beautiful and fashionable adoptable in the community. With over 700 Members, the group is of special interest to the Custom Commissioner who is assured of strict adherence to quality and originality.

Will the strange and wonderful world of adoptables influence the future of art?

These creators are like fantasy naturalists, studying the creatures that populate popular culture, instead of nature. They look at Pokémon toys, Lion King characters and many other corners of popular culture for inspiration, blending these influences into new and emotionally resonant combinations.

When you trade, buy or purchase an Adoptable with deviantART points, you are becoming a part of the artistic process in a way that no patron ever could in the traditional world.

This evolutionary art has unlimited possibilities. Maybe we will see text-based adoptables next, with deviantART writers building a marketplace for unique characters or stories. Patrons could trade or pay for unique characters (or perhaps even short short stories) that you could use inside your own writing. Text-based breedables could be the next step, with writers selling and trading characters that can reproduce inside of an epic fantasy series or comic book collection. It would be even better than fan fiction, a way for writers and fans to connect on a creative level.

Adoptables are the perfect art form for our remix culture. Like a DJ mixing her favorite records or a YouTube artist editing videos together, adoptables let artists and fans work together—breaking down the old walls separating these worlds.

Collection: The Scottish Highlands

Thu Oct 16, 2014, 12:43 PM

The Scottish Highlands

“Outlander” is a new cable series about a young woman who time travels from England at the end of WWII to 1743 Scotland, right before the Second Jacobite Uprising. The science fiction time travel and Scottish civil war themes are simply elaborate devices to justify the heroine engaging in a sizzling “bodice–ripper” romance. The location shoot in the lush eye–popping Scottish Highlands provides a beautiful backdrop for all the hot romance. Even if British reserve, Scottish resolve and cable sex aren’t your cup of tea, the amazing landscapes framing the tale are well worth your time.

Movie Poster


It's October and the sacred 31 days of Halloween are upon us-time to get your gore on! The chill is in the air, the leaves are on the ground, and Halloween candy has been out since Labor Day. So while you’re waiting in the Starbucks line for an overpriced double pumpkin spice whatever, pass the time with this year’s scary movies reviews!

Nightmare on Elm Street(1984)

Review by Gypsycurse71

Overall Grade: A+

W    hatever you do–don’t fall asleep! Freddie Kruger is the ultimate boogeyman in Wes Craven’s classic that expertly blurs the boundaries between reality and fantasy. I don’t think anyone slept in 1984 after seeing this one! The 2010 remake was an average yet noble attempt at providing Freddy with a humanizing backstory and Jackie Earl Haley is pure gold as usual. But nothing beats the original (especially not any of the sequels to the 1984 film where Freddy basically became a bad stand-up comic).

Collection: Fall Landscapes

Wed Oct 15, 2014, 12:52 PM

Fall Landscapes

There’s something about the brilliant colors of the dying leaves of autumn that reflects the wonders and the sorrows of life. It’s as if by waking up each morning into this beautiful world of natural colors, we are being given our bittersweet reward for surviving another year on the planet. We are regaled with a brief seasonal ceremony of the turning of the leaves, nature’s gift for our eyes as a promise she will soon return after her yearly rest. And then it’s time to let winter’s grey pallor unfold over us in blankets of dark cold rain and bright brisk snows; we sleep, the autumn’s leaves having promised… the warming light will soon return.

Mashup: The Avengers and Guild Wars

Wed Oct 15, 2014, 12:49 PM

We are forever inspired here at DA HQ whenever roaming the wonderful interpretations of beloved characters that inhabit theDURRRRIAN DeviantArt page.

It seems only fitting that we recite the Charge Of The Light Brigade when imagining these otherworldly and battle ready warriors from alternate realms transformed by Daniel’s imagination as they prepare for war. “The Charge of the Light Brigade” a 1854 poem about the Battle of Balaclava (Crimean War) by then Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Collection: Caffeinated Art

Mon Oct 13, 2014, 12:07 AM

Caffeinated Art

Coffee is a very personal part of a person’s life.  Having a “way you take your coffee” is as much an indication of the crossing over into adulthood as a first broken heart. Even when psychically rudderless and adrift, awaking to morning in one of those blank margins of one’s life, there is always the next start, a new start—in that first cup of coffee. Coffee is the one nonjudgemental friend who never betrays.

Hotel for DeviantDreamers?

Ever wondered what a hotel designed by the artists of DevianArt might look like?  Probably something like the new Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, one of Beijing, China’s many newly constructed state-of-the-art luxury lodgings.

Imagine this: Spanning 18,075 square meters, the exterior glass surface is covered by more than 10,000 glass panels. The panels are angled so that the top portion of the building reflects the color of the sky, the middle reflects nearby Yanshan Mountain and the bottom section reflects the lake. At night, the hotel is lit up by hydroelectric-powered LED lights.

Glass panels on the Kempinski Sunrise Hotel reflect the nearby mountains, sky and lake.

The question is whether all these fancy new hotels, in and of themselves, will be tourist attractions enough to bring in visitors from all over the world. The repressive Chinese government is gambling that the world’s travelers will be so dazzled by these beautiful gateways into China that they won’t bother so much with venturing too far within the country’s troubled interior, where the depredations of high velocity modernization are taking a toll on the citizenry.

Your Thoughts

Most importantly, what would your DeviantArt Hotel look like?

Dracula: 15 Controversial Facts

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 11:42 PM


Stoker became interested in theatre while in school and reviewed plays as a theatre critic for a newspaper owned by Sheridan Le Fanu, who authored “Carmilla,” the best known vampire story before “Dracula.”


Stoker and Oscar Wilde were very good friends. In 1878, Bram Stoker married an ex-girlfriend of Oscar Wilde’s, souring their friendship. Stoker, the devout Catholic, also discovered some of Wilde’s habitual hidden debaucheries, and was appalled.


While in London, Stoker became the personal manager of Henry Irving, the greatest Shakespearean actor of the times. It is thought that Irving and his lascivious ways were Stoker’s main “model” for “Dracula”.


Novel–writing was a supplementary source of income for Stoker; his books were well reviewed, but he never got rich from them.


Stoker spent seven years on and off researching European vampire folklore in preparation for writing his novel.


Stoker made several trips touring the “vampire” lands of Eastern Europe, especially Transylvania.


While visiting Romania, Stoker was entertained by an innkeeper who regaled him with tales of the terrifying national hero, “Dracula” (“Son of the Dragon”) who had preserved Romanian sovereignty against the invading Ottoman Turks despite being greatly outnumbered.


The idea for Dracula came to Stoker in a nightmare, after hearing the innkeepers tales, about a debauched royal—a combination of Oscar Wilde, Henry Irving and Vlad the Impaler?—crawling out the window of a castle ruins and descending the wall in the manner of a cockroach, no doubt eager to get on with the night’s hunt for innocent virgins.


Stoker was never financially secure enough to rebuke his employer Irving nor his high society contacts like Wilde about their dissolute lifestyles—the very sort of shenanigans Stoker saw as undermining British man—and womanhood, so he instead sent his warning in his allegorical vampire tale.


Dracula’s bite was meant to represent what for Stoker, in his mind, was the purest evil: sex without love. Drinking blood was the mockery of the Christian communion ritual.


Bram Stoker was related to Arthur Conan Doyle. Such a shame we never saw an official cross-over between Dracula and Sherlock Holmes written by the pair.


Believed to have been lost or destroyed, Bram Stoker’s original 541-page manuscript of Dracula was discovered in the early 1980’s in a Pennsylvania barn. Included with the typed manuscript covered with corrections, was the handwritten title page with it’s original title "THE UN-DEAD." The title had been changed at the last minute before publishing. When auctioned the manuscript was purchased by Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen.


Bram Stoker's personal diary entries shed a light on some of the books influences. In it there is a remark about a boy who catches and keeps flies in a bottle that might be the origin of the mentally disturbed Renfield character who aids Dracula.


The first adaptation of Dracula was for the stage and was performed only once before the book was even published.


In 1819 the first acknowledged vampire novel was written by John Polidori called ‘The Vampyre’. Polidori wrote the book after spending a summer with Mary and Percy Shelley. Mary being the writer of ‘Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus’.

In case you missed it, read

The origins of Dracula

And in case you dispute these facts please read this:

Wikipedia Article

Join The Today Page Newsdesk Chat!

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 4:41 PM

Newsdesk Chatroom goes live right now!

Our on-deck editorial articles and where all this mad deviousness is headed are the topics of discussion.  Let your input make a difference now as we set course, make adjustments and have some fun.  Help us help you in waking up to more meaningful mornings!

Join The Conversation

Today Page: Behind The Scenes

Sun Oct 12, 2014, 12:46 AM

Today Page: Behind the Scenes

Chillin' With techgnotic Writing 'Today' Headlines

There's some well known sites out there that write their headlines as click-bait, and they lie to you. You click to find out the story has nothing to do with what you were led to believe. Who cares. You saw their ads, and that's all they cared about anyway. After a while you feel betrayed and never return. But you also lose a little faith about all headlines everywhere.

DeviantArt wants to attract you, but it doesn't want to mislead you. The Today Page is intended for broad audiences, so that we can help make the Arts more accessible to people by connecting Art & Artists with Popular Culture. So on Saturday, techgnotic and I chilled at my house to talk headlines. We jumped into the #newsdesk Chat and we went through all the headlines for Saturday with members of the community. Geeking about how to make them attractive, but not misleading.

Many thanks to Astralseed, copperrein, deviant-garde, sparkesauthor, tiganusi and vowbreaker for hangin' out with us and geeking, headline-style.

We came up with:

Enjoy the articles!

The Today page is a part of an overall initiative at DeviantArt to make the arts more accessible to people in the world. We do this by writing articles that that reflect popular culture through the lens of DeviantArt. Kind of like Jon Stewart, John Oliver, or The Onion do every day. Only we do so on the DeviantArt Today page from our point of view.

Tune in every day for updates!