Pandragon Dan http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog Pandragon Dan en Sat, 14 Jan 2012 13:32:19 GMT Wed, 26 Nov 2014 05:02:58 GMT 60 Top Five Badass Heroes http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/top-five-badass-heroes <p> An alternative title for this blog was also “Top Five heroes that make me question my own sexuality” and “Top Five heroes I would secretly fancy if I was gay!” XD</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Bonnie Tyler once asked “Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?” For the longest time, the dashing hero was a staple in fiction. We all loved reading about a brave, noble man – be they prince or pauper – coming to save the day! And whilst these days, many readers seem to be turning more to the strong female leads in fiction (me included) I still think that there is still a place for a hero.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I’ve done various Top fives about my favourite female leads in various medias – and women that I think are totally badass – but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a really badass hero now and then – as long as they are done right. So today, I’ve decided to give the boys a place in the sun and talk about what I consider to be my personal favourite badass heroes. These are the top five males in fiction that, for any number of reasons, I think are totally badass! As always, these are just my own personal opinion – and listed in no particular order.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Just a little warning – there maybe some spoilers ahead! Without further ado, here is my Top Five Badass Heroes!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:left;"> <img original-height="407" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_010495419e6c4a97b11e8f9a90b68488.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 249px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>1. Oliver Queen from <em>Arrow</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I gotta be honest, I didn’t think I would like Arrow nearly as much as I did – considering that Green Arrow wasn’t really a character that I followed in great detail. In fact, when the show first started, I felt that it was trying to be too much like Batman. But actual fact, whilst the first series had a few issues story wise, the second series really upped the ante and series three – my god... that first episode of series three!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Oliver Queen was a billionaire stranded on an island for five years – during which time he went through a lot of crap (to put it mildly), but also taught himself to be a badass archer. Returning from the “dead” and returning to Starling City, Oliver uses a list given to him by his father of nasty people that have done bad stuff. He returns to fight those who have “failed” the city – becoming the Vigilante, the Hood and then eventually the Arrow.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Story wise, <em>Arrow </em>is pretty basic and most of it seems to follow the same formula as Batman, but Oliver Queen is FAR from being just a clone of Bruce Wayne. There are many sides to his character, the playboy millionaire, the tortured soul, the trained assassin and the noble hero. He’s a guy that has a lot of weight on his shoulders – even when he has people to aid him, he feels it’s his duty to right the wrongs of the city. Like any hero, he struggles to keep those he loves protected by keeping his identity a secret – but the more he tries to hide his secret, the more his family seem to suffer (although members of his family were also involved in the corruption of the city in some way). And despite trying to keep a tough appearance at all time, sometimes it does get too much for him and he just feels like a good cry now and then (it’s all right, Oliver – we love a guy that’s in touch with his feelings).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But most of all, Oliver Queen as the Arrow is just BADASS when it comes to fighting! His accuracy with his bow and arrow is just superhuman – even when the target is on a motorcycle! But he’s no wimp in close combat either and he’s managed to beat up many bad guys at once – even giving Slade Wilson a decent fight in combat. I did kinda object to the way that, in the first series, he just seemed to kill a little too much for my liking and I’ve never really been too fond of heroes that kill unnecessarily – but he’s toned this down a lot in the later series – which has actually led to some interesting story branches.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What I like most about <em>Arrow </em>is that Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen, does a lot of his own stunts – so he gets two thumbs up from me. I always respect actors that aren’t afraid to do their own stunts where possible.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Oliver Queen is overall a well rounded character, tough, heroic and also emotionally damaged. There is so much humanity in Oliver Queen that we can love him not just for being a hero, but for the person he is trying to be. Although, do we really need so many topless scenes with him. I mean, yeah he’s muscular and all... but come on guys! It’s just a male chest! How can anyone possibly be attracted to...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="447" original-width="310" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_8a7c532305e54caf9987e35ba2a70d4f.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 432px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Er... all of a sudden... I’m starting to question my own masculinity...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Um... let’s just move on!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="335" original-width="250" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_39119e73bb7e4260a70ecfe8908311b4.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 402px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>2. Seto Kaiba from <em>Yu-Gi-Oh</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Yeah, yeah, I know Yugi Moto was the hero in this show – but in my opinion, Seto Kaiba should so have been the main character? Why? Because he was a FAR better character than Yugi in my eyes (sits back and waits fan girl hate).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok, so the premise of<em> Yu-Gi-Oh</em> as a series was pretty silly to be honest – mostly it was a platform for selling card games. But for what it was, it had some really entertaining characters. Kaiba being one of them. A rich kid that seemed to have an infinite amount of resources at his disposal – and a super intelligent mind – he created a number of machines that could help bring duel monsters to life in 3D. But he also had an arrogant streak that meant he wanted to be the best in life – mainly due to the tough upbringing from his father.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Kaiba has been a “frienemy” to Yugi Moto – somehow getting involved in the major plotline in some way – usually to rescue his annoying kid brother! Unlike Yugi, who is usually kind and overly protective of his friends, Kaiba is pretty much out for himself. Now that should kinda make him the bad guy of the show – but to be honest, I actually think this makes him stand out. The main theme of Yu-Gi-Oh is Friendship – but the problem is that this theme gets shoved down the throat of the viewers almost every episode – and the amount of heroic speeches that Yugi and Tea give about friendship and playing by the rules really grates on you. So it’s refreshing to have a “screw the rules, I have money!” type of character (Thanks to LittleKurriboh for creating that meme!).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What’s not to love about Kaiba? He plays by his own rules, he’s super smart AND he has the Blue Eyes White Dragon – which is for all purposes the most powerful dragon in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe (at least it was back then). He even once possessed the God Card Obelix the Tormentor – a monster that could pretty much destroy everything in its path. Not only that, but Kaiba has one of the badass coats ever! Just look at the picture I posted! It always stays in that one position the whole time and never moves. And if that’s not enough – he even has a Blue Eyes White Dragon plane! Seriously, this guy is just a technical genius!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What annoyed me most about Kaiba was – and this may upset some Yugi fan girls – that I REALLY wanted him to beat Yugi in a duel just once. JUST ONCE! (The first series battle doesn’t count as Kaiba had to blackmail Yugi to not attacking). I mean, this is just my opinion but Kaiba was a FAR better duellist than Yugi! Yugi only won because he happened to pull the right card at the right time (Heart of the Cards my ass!) and somehow won. Come on, I’m sure I’m not the ONLY one to want this!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Seto Kaiba may not have been the star of the show – but he was definitely one of the more entertaining characters in my eyes. Now if only there was a way they could have got rid of his annoying kid brother...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="400" original-width="650" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_433470201184495f8cf00e16e4b93ab7.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 246px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>3. Carl Frederickson from <em>Up</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Sometimes, being badass doesn’t mean fighting off an army of evil soldiers, or creating awesome tech, or even stopping a villain from taking over the world. Sometimes the most badass thing can just be a simple act of love.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In <em>Up</em>, Carl lived with his wife Ellie (both she and him were fans of explorer Charles F Munzt) for many years, making a promise to her to Paradise Falls. Then, in a heartbreaking opening sequence– that still makes people weep when they see it – Ellie dies, leaving Carl alone for the rest of his life. But when he’s threatened to go into a retirement home, Carl decides to make good on his promise, attaching thousands of balloons to his house so that he can fly it to Paradise Falls – accidently picking up Wilderness Explorer Russell along the way. It leads to an amazing adventure where their struggle to get to Paradise Falls is compounded by the discovery of “Kevin” a rare bird that Muntz (who has gone insane from years of hunting this bird) is trying to capture.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now Carl himself is not exactly a spring chicken – but do NOT count him out because of his age. I mean, the guy is a technological genius! He turned his entire house into a floating hot air balloon and created a masterful steering mechanism so that he could pilot it. He’s also pretty tough as he was able to drag the house along when they were forced to walk AND he could fight Munzt in a sword fight – so he’s pretty fit for his age! Sure he could be a little grouchy sometimes, but at his heart, he is a lovely guy that just wants to fulfil a promise he made to his wife.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Carl I think stands out from a lot of badass heroes because of the fact he’s not a young man – he’s a guy near the “twilight” of his life. But despite this, he still goes ahead and masters a plan (however unrealistic) to make his wife’s dream come true. And that’s what makes him such an amazing character – everything he does he does for his wife. Come, admit it, you got teary eyed during that montage and the scene where he looked through his wife’s book.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Carl Frederickson shows no matter what age you are in life, you can still make your dreams come true. And that, for me, makes him a badass hero! Give this man the Ellie badge!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="489" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_92359a166ff24b3bb6f0591035e96e8f.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 300px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>4. Jack Bauer from <em>24</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Jack Bauer is quite possibly the most balls-out action hero there is. This guy makes Chuck Norris look like a sissy and it’s easy to see why! Jack Bauer does not **** around! He goes in for the quickest and best solution to any problem – even if it means someone getting killed or tortured!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> A CTU agent that has seen a LOT of crap in his life, Jack has battled everyone from rogue CTU agents, to terrorist organisations, to Russian mobsters to the Chinese Government. And he’s faced them all down and blown the hell out of them! Seriously, this guy has gone through things that no one man could survive in his life. He’s been shot at, stabbed, been tortured, suffered broken bones and was even once killed for a short time. But no matter how many times you try to kill Bauer, he always comes back stronger than ever! God help you if you should fail to try and kill Bauer – because he WILL mess you up... and that’s only if he decides to let you live!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> A common complaint that many people (within the show and outside) have of Jack is his willingness to do horrific things to gain information, be they torturing a suspect or stealing from his own people to get necessary information. Sometimes, Jack’s schemes involve innocent people getting hurt or killed. Although Jack himself acknowledges that he’s done some terrible things, he defends his actions by taking a pragmatic approach to the situation. Everything he does is for the bigger picture and, ironically, he’s often correct – as what he does leads to the downfall of the criminal syndicate.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> It’s not been without its casualties though. Over the course of the nine series of <em>24</em>, Jack has lost his wife Terri and several lovers (Audrey and Rene to name a few). Not only that, but his relationship with his daughter Kim is strained to say the least. Many times he has just wanted to settle down, but his duty and desire to see the bad guys punished means that he has to put aside his own dreams for the good of the country. But even Jack Bauer, whilst seemingly invincible, has his breaking point. A really poignant scene for me was at the end of series 3 when Jack Bauer secretly broke down crying after the pressure of the day. Poor guy!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Yes, Jack does some pretty nasty things – even to people that probably don’t deserve it – but it’s always been for the greater good. And the fact that he makes these choices so that others don’t have to shows how far he is willing to go to protect the country that he loves – even if it despises him. And did I mention that he was a balls out action hero? Well, if it comes to it, he has no problem pulling out a weapon and blowing you away if you so much as stand in his way.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> You may not agree with his actions, but just be glad he’s on our side!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="352" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_f01af0066ba84f6f9ad5837231e47318.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 215px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>5. Flynn Rider from <em>Tangled</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I’m just gonna come right out and say it – and I don’t care how people interpret this. I – love – Flynn – Rider! If there was ANY character out there that could turn me from heterosexuality, it’s this guy! Ok, that’s probably a bit of a stretch... but even so...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ahem...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Anyway, Flynn Rider (or Eugene is his real name) is quite possibly my favourite Disney hero of all time – and one of the most rounded characters in any Disney film. In Tangled he is a thief that steals a crown, and to hide himself from the palace guards (and the other thieves he tricked) he hides in a tower, where he meets Rapunzel. To cut a long story short, Rapunzel takes the crown he stole and makes a deal with her – take her to see the floating lights and she’ll give it back. Flynn agrees only with the idea of getting his crown back – but then realises there is another dream worth pursuing. And so begins what some Disney fans believe to be the best love story of any Disney film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What’s not to love about Flynn Rider, other than his dashing good looks? For one thing, unlike a lot of heroes in Disney films, he’s not a prince or from a royal family. He’s just a guy that wants to have a rich and profitable life, turning to thievery after he was inspired by reading stories of a swashbuckling rogue (which is where he got his name from). The audience can relate to that as who wouldn’t want to want the best from life. It makes him a lot more realistic than him just being born a prince.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I really like Flynn’s character. He’s a little cocksure and kinda arrogant, often using wit and sarcasm to deflect anything that comes his way – but Rapunzel shows him that there is more to life than just money. And with her, he finds a new dream. Also, Flynn has some pretty cool scenes in the film. For one thing, he fights off palace guards with just a frying pan! That in itself is awesome! Sure, Rapunzel has to bail him out more than once in the film, but Flynn is pretty good at taking care of himself when he has to. I have to say the best scenes are with him and the horse Maximus – they never cease to make me chuckle.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Oh, and let’s not forget Flynn has the smoulder! It’s powerful enough to make women swoon and men question their own manliness! Yeah, admit it guys, you swooned a little when he did the smoulder! XD</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But the main reason I think Flynn is so badass is because he makes, what is in my eyes, one of the most heroic sacrifices of any character in a Disney movie. When injured by Mother Gothel, Rapunzel tries to save Flynn in return of willingly becoming her prisoner. But Flynn, not wanting her to be a captive, cuts of her hair and lets himself die so that she can be free – telling her that he was his new dream. But Rapunzel cures him when a tear falls from her eyelash onto his skin (eyelash is still a hair after all) and brings him back. And then they live happily ever after.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I personally am not really big on the whole “Knight in Shining” armour trope – but Flynn Rider is a welcome change on that. He is a fun character with many good traits, but at the same time he’s still relatable as he just wants to find his dream. We need more characters like Flynn Rider in my opinion – he could certainly show Kristoff from <em>Frozen </em>a thing or two about being a hero!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Agree with my list? Disagree? What heroes do you believe are badass/make you swoon/question your own sexuality? Comment below to let me know.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for reading guys! Stay safe.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON DA</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; 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But I HAVE got some great news! I have just recently handed in the second draft of my Disney inspired novel <em>Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince</em> to my publisher - who are now going through edits as we speak! I've gone through a few changes of the novel since the last update of this - adding a few more &quot;darker&quot; elements to it, so hopefully the publishers will be ok with that. Don't worry, it will still have the family friendly elements to it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In the meantime, I have today created a Facebook page for <em>Amanda Moonstone</em> and will be publishing all updates frequently on there as they happen. So if you have Facebook, pop over there and give the page a like so that you see more amazing artwork (and even sample chapters) as they are brought out.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmandaMoonstoneSeries"><u><strong>AMANDA MOONSTONE FACEBOOK PAGE</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Release date will be early 2015 - so follow the facebook page as the updates will be posted there first of all. Watch this space!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for reading guys.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON DA</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">N</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; " target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/PandaDanWright"><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</span></u></a></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:01:23 GMT 2e2b3f4c-c4fa-41c7-8cc1-2d69508b55be Pandragon Dan Interviews Sally Wiener Grotta http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/pandragon-dan-interviews-sally-wiener-grotta <p> Hope you liked the last author interview - because I got ANOTHER one for you! Pixel Hall Press's own Sally Wiener Grotta very kindly stopped by to do a little interview and tell us about her new book The Winter Boy - and she even provided a little except of it! Let's not waste any more time and get down to the interview. Enjoy!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <img original-height="189" original-width="126" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_0de5aa7bc56442c28c2481f27dd533e7.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 450px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <p> <strong>Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Thank you for inviting me, Dan.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I’ve made my living as a freelance writer and photographer for my decades-spanning career. (I’ve never been on staff anywhere, though I’ve been a Contributing Editor at a number of magazines.) What that means is that I’ve covered a wide range of topics for quite a diverse readership.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>If you were to ask me what one word would most fully describe me, I would say “storyteller.” I use words and my camera to explore what I want to understand and what I need to communicate. It’s the conduit I use to connect with others and attempt to make that connection meaningful.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The specifics? I’ve been on assignment for many major publications to all seven continents. I’ve interviewed and photographed hundreds of fascinating or famous (or both) people. And, I’ve been honored that my work has received numerous awards, grants and accolades. But mostly, I’m happy that I’ve been able to make a living at what I love doing most. (For more traditional bios, please go to <a href="http://www.grotta.net/events.htm and http://www.amhands.com/AboutSally"><strong><u>http://www.grotta.net/events.htm and http://www.amhands.com/AboutSally</u></strong></a>.)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What first inspired you to get into writing?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I’ve always been a writer… or at least lived for story.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I suppose I could say that my inspiration started with bedtime tales that my mother read to me. Or perhaps it was my grandmother’s stories about her childhood and the years before I came on the scene. What always fascinated me were the people in the stories. How they felt, what they did, why they did it.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>As soon as I could string words together onto a page, I was creating stories. As I grew older the stories became more complex, and eventually more refined and meaningful. But only after I learned that writing is more than story and inspiration – that it requires craft, professional acumen and discipline – did I begin to earn a living at it.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Who are your favourite authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Jorge Luis Borges, Margaret Atwood, Daniel Grotta, Viktor Frankl, Shakespeare, Michael Swanwick, Mary Doria Stewart, so many others.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I love discovering new authors. Recently, I read a wonderful book by Delia Sherman that transported me to the days before the American Civil War, and allowed me to see the South through a very different perspective than I ever had. That sense of experiencing something/someone new is part of the adventure of reading.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I have no real hobbies. When I’m not doing assignment writing or managing my career, I’m working on my fiction, creating photographic portraits, mounting exhibits, etc. I’m not really a workaholic. I simply love my work and would rather create stories and pictures than do anything else.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>My leisure activities include taking walks along the stream behind our house with my husband, the author Daniel Grotta, and Watson, our Golden Retriever, swimming occasionally, and of course, reading. While Daniel and I walk, we often discuss and brainstorm our stories.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I don’t consider genre when I’m writing. I simply create the story that needs to be told. That’s why my novels and short stories tend to not fit neatly into the zeroes and ones of digital marketing. In terms of character-driven plots, I have literary tendencies. But I also enjoy exploring otherliness and imagined worlds, which are tropes usually found in science fiction and fantasy. A number of reviewers and readers have called my most recent book “The Winter Boy” literary speculative fiction, though others see elements of a political thriller and coming of age story.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Not all my fiction has speculative elements. My last novel “Jo Joe” was set in a Pennsylvania mountain village and dealt with the very real world issues of prejudice, the ethnic/racial divide and family misunderstandings.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I like the designation “interstitial” – art that exists in the between spaces (http://www.interstitialarts.org). The image I have of interstitial is a hallway of doors that open up onto a number of categories, taking from each what is necessary to create the story as it should be rather than trying to fit it to a template of something that has already been done.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new/upcoming book?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>My newest novel is “The Winter Boy,” which was just published (November 6th) by Pixel Hall Press (check out an exerpt <a href="http://www.pixelhallpress.com/the_winter_boy.html"><u><strong>HERE</strong></u></a>)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Here’s the basic blurb: The Valley of the Alleshi is the center of all civilization, the core and foundation of centuries of peace. A cloistered society of widows, the Alleshi, has forged a peace by mentoring young men who will one day become the leaders of the land. Each boy is paired with a single Allesha for a season of intimacy and learning, using time-honored methods that include dialog, reason and sexual intimacy. However, unknown to all but a hidden few, the peace is fracturing from pressures within and beyond, hacking at the very essence of their civilization.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Amidst this gathering political maelstrom, Rishana, a young new idealistic Allesha, takes her First Boy, Ryl, for a winter season of training. But Ryl is a “problem boy” who fights Rishana every step of the way. At the same time, Rishana uncovers a web of conspiracies that could not only destroy Ryl, but threatens to tear their entire society apart. And a winter that should have been a gentle, quiet season becomes one of conflict, anger and danger.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Where did you get the inspirations for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>My answer to this question could wander the compass, taking us in any direction you want. That’s because my influences come from just about everything and everyone I have encountered, read, or experienced.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I could say that it starts with people. Characters pop into my mind, fully formed, with histories, names, and a very specific problem. At the same time, I usually know the first sentence of their story and how that story will end. (All the rest is negotiation with the characters in my head, which can take years to fulfil.)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Where do these characters come from? I really don’t know. Or maybe I should say, I really don’t want to analyze too closely how they come to me. The process works for me, so I would rather not overthink it.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>On the other hand, I can state quite clearly the source of the themes of my fiction and the context of the plot. It starts with questions I have about how the world functions and the way people treat each other. The questions can come from some of my more personal concerns, such as why a friend or stranger might suddenly lash out at a misspoken word. Or it might develop out of my befuddlement about war, terrorism, bigotry, and such.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I write to try to understand, to hope to tease out some solutions – or at least, instigate discussions about why? why not? what if? how? I put characters I learn to love into difficult, if not impossible situations, and sit back to see what I can discover from how they try to dig themselves out of their problems.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have any favourite characters in the story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>That’s like asking which child is your favourite. I love them all.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>ME: Good answer ;)</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>In “The Winter Boy,” Rishana/Tayar is perhaps the closest to me, with her heartbreak when she realizes that her faith in her world and the people she loves is too idealistic, that they are much less and much more than she once believed.<br /> <br /> I deeply empathize with Ryl/Dov’s unfocused need to rebel against structure and rules that he doesn’t understand. I ache for his sense of not belonging anywhere and delight in his vitality and charisma.<br /> <br /> Impish Kaith, with her ancient knowledge and child-like sense of wonder, flits through my mind, teasing and teaching me.<br /> <br /> Dara, Savah, Hester, Kiv and the other women of The Valley fascinate me, with their political intrigues, passions and sharp intellects – as do the men of their circles.<br /> <br /> No, I couldn’t choose a favourite; I enjoy the company of all of them, and I miss them now that “The Winter Boy” has left home to go out into the world.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I think I’ll pass on this question, and hope that someday it may become an issue. (Not that I would have a say in casting any movie based on my fiction. Still, it’s a fun fantasy.)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Fair enough. Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Both</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Without plot, without a story arc or a framework in which the reader is taken through problems or situations to a hoped-for resolution, a novel has no real reason to exist.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>But it’s the characters who create and live the story and make it come alive for the reader (and the author).</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What do you look for in a good story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>To be awed and transported by excellent writing, characters I can’t forget, and a plot line that resonates, giving it meaning.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What’s the best advice you can give to authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Write and then write some more. Rewrite more than you write. Read aloud what you’ve written to hear the sounds and rhythms of your prose and dialog. Then rewrite again... and again.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>When your editor asks you to change something, listen to her/him. Maybe they are correct in what they want you to put in the place of what is there. Maybe it’s simply that what you have in that portion of your story isn’t strong enough to express your vision, so they’re trying to help you fill in the holes. Whichever it is, you need to look closely at that portion, and make sure it is the best you can write.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>And read everything you can get your hands on, not just in your own genre, but a full spectrum of styles and textures.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Whatever Fox says, it’s usually twisted. I try to listen, because I believe in hearing opposing views, and it might be grist for my stories. But I almost always end up turning the channel.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Oh wait, you were asking about the fox with the furry tail?</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Er, yeah. It was a reference to the song <em>What Does The Fox Say?</em> Never mind. Why did the chicken cross the road?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> That depends on what the road is, doesn’t it? Is it a path, a barrier, a portal? I suppose if I were a chicken, I would answer that I have to cross the road to see what adventure lay (yes, lay, it’s a chicken, right?) over the horizon. But given that I have yet to understand chickenish, I can’t say what’s in the bird’s brain.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Now that IS a deep thinking answer to an ancient proverb. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Are you talking metric or English measurements?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>ME: Never mind... XD</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks to Sally for a very interesting and inspiring interview - especially in the last questions!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> If you wish to follow Sally you can do so at the following links.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.grotta.net/blog.htm"><u><strong>Blog</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="http:// www.Facebook.com/SallyWienerGrotta"><u><strong>Facebook</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="http://google.com/+SallyWienerGrotta"><u><strong>Google+</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNWTfcn3YnQMl3HpyM1wW2A/videos"><u><strong>YouTube: Sally Wiener Grotta</strong></u></a></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/SallyWGrotta">Twitter</a></strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks again to Sally for joining me today. Authors, want to be interviewed or have a guest post? Please get in touch with me.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; 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color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:20:18 GMT e7242cac-a122-46ae-9cf8-5d731f74df11 Pandragon Dan Interviews G.S. Luckett http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/pandragon-dan-interview-gs-luckett <p> Time for another author interview! Today on my blog I have a special treat for you fans of Dark Fantasy and Horror. Please welcome to my blog - Mr G.S. Luckett.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="300" original-width="200" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_0adae6140fb942deae384e0f09793eae.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 450px;" /> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Thank you for having me. Well a little about myself; I went in the Army shortly after high school and after getting out of the Army, I worked public utilities and studied creative writing and screenwriting at U.C.L.A. and Pierce College. I have self-published two books so far, </em>Gates <em>and </em>Alpha Hunter<em>.&nbsp; Now, I live outside of Portland, Oregon with my wife and two sons.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>So what first inspired you to get into writing?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I have always loved writing and had an overactive imagination so it seemed like a natural progression.&nbsp; It also helped to get ideas out to make room for new ones.&nbsp; I like the idea that when I write a great story the reader will use it to direct their own film in their imagination and be compelled to live in the world I created for them.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>I can relate to the having an overactive imagination part! Who are your favourite authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I like Steven King, Edgar Allan Poe, George R. R. Martin, and Bram Stoker, to name a few. These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head in no particular order.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Anyone who mentions Edgar Allan Poe is ok in my books! Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Sometimes it feels that my whole world is writing but when I have time, I love to spend time with my family. We enjoy the outdoors here in the Pacific Northwest.&nbsp; I also participate in martial arts and kettlebells.&nbsp; If not that, I am researching and brainstorming new ideas.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I currently write in the Dark Fantasy, Horror, and Action/Adventure genres. With my new book, To the Gallows, you can add action western to the mix.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Why don't you let the nice people know about your latest novel - without giving TOO many spoilers away of course.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>My latest book, </em>To the Gallows<em>, is a Historical Fiction/ Action Western based on one of the first African-American U.S. Marshals.&nbsp; Cole Winters finds out that his estranged Native American brother-in-law is wanted for murder and bank robbery in the territories.&nbsp; In order, to protect him from being hunted down by hired guns, Marshal Winters does the only thing he can.&nbsp; He hunts down his brother-in-law himself. I am also pre-writing Dystopian/Zombie book, Mortem.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Sounds interesting. Where did you get the inspirations for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I have always liked the action western and saw a show on the History Channel, while in the hospital as my son was treated for Jaundice. It was about the first African-American Marshals. I just ran with it and created Marshal Cole Winters.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have any favourite characters in the story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I like Cole Winters, his brother-in-law, Joseph Two Guns, and a Jessie Wainwright, a female long-gun shooter. I like the teaming of the three and the ending is an action packed last stand.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>If your book were turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Idris Elba for Cole Winters would be awesome.&nbsp; John McTiernan as a director would be great. I hope he would want to do an action western.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ah, yes - Idris Elba. Awesome choice! So this is a question that I like to ask that often gets mixed reaction - but it's also interesting to see what people think. Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I feel you have to have both to make a great book. I think if you have, a story that has an original hook people will be interested but when you have that together with a character you love so much that you want to see them in other adventures then people flock to that book.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What do you look for in a good story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I look to be caught up in it and to have to know what is going to happen to the characters and feel like I am in their world. It also helps to have great twists that spin the story in a new direction.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>This next one is a bit of cliche, but I still think it is important to know. What’s the best advice you can give to authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I would tell you to stay at it.&nbsp; Keep at the craft of writing and always strive to better your work.&nbsp; Learn to bear criticism and rejection, because they will give way to praise.&nbsp; Also, do not be afraid to get your book reviewed.&nbsp; While I value what my friends and family say about my work, there is nothing like having someone who only knows you for your writing and love it.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on these questions and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. </strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What DOES the Fox say?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Frak-kaka-kaka-kow.&nbsp; At least that is my favourite from the song. I have never personally spoke with a fox but it is on my bucket list.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Why DID the chicken cross the road?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>To avoid the KFC down the street.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Seven cords of wood, no more, no less… Nailed it, right?</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Is the correct answer! Probably... thanks so much for being with me today and for the rest of you guys, please follow G.S at the following links.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://gsluckett.wordpress.com/">G.S. Luckett Website</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/GS-Luckett/316472175141295">G.S. Luckett Facebook</a></strong></u></p> <p> <a href="https://twitter.com/GSLuckett"><u><strong>G.S. Luckett Twitter&nbsp; </strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Authors... want to be featured on my blog for an interview/guest post? Please get in touch with me - my links are below.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; 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color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sun, 09 Nov 2014 14:46:24 GMT 77da49a4-430b-4f19-9dbc-ce7898d1891c Pandragon Reviews - Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/pandragon-reviews-depth-charging-ice-planet-goth <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="466" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_ae133df47376ee959e4ecf94c6187b3b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 652px; height: 466px;" /></div> <p> <strong>NOTE: This will be my last Pandragon Reviews for a while – as I’ve previously stated that I am no longer accepting reviews due to my current workload. Please do not send me any review requests – however I will gladly accept interviews/blog posts if you wish to contact me about that.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I’m excited guys. I really am. Because today, once again, I am highlighting the highly talented Andrez Bergen. I’ve mentioned him numerous times on this blog and lauded him with as much acclaim as possible. For good reason. In my opinion, this guy is one of the best Indie Authors out there – if not THE best. His style of writing, attention to detail – and numerous references to music, pop culture, Anime and classic cinema, all mixed in with his Australian style of humour just come together in one perfect blend. It sucks you in and makes you feel that you aren’t just reading the story, you’re living it! That was the case I felt with <em>Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat</em> and <em>One Hundred Years of Vicissitude.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So when I heard he had a new novel coming out I just HAD to read it! And as this will be my last Pandragon Reviews for a while, what better way to end it than with one of my favourite authors! So let’s wrap up warm for the journey that is<em> Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>About The Author</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Andrez Bergen is an expat Australian writer, journalist, artist and DJ from Melbourne, entrenched in Tokyo these past 13 years. He published his debut novel <em>Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat</em> in 2011, followed by <em>One Hundred Years of Vicissitude</em> (2012) and <em>Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?</em> (2013).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> He has also published short stories and comics (such as <em>Tales to Admonish</em> with Matt Kyme) through Perfect Edge, Crime Factory, Snubnose Press, Shotgun Honey, 8th Wonder Press, IF? Commix, Big Pulp, Ace Comics and Another Sky Press, and edited an anthology of post-apocalyptic noir. On the side Bergen worked on adapting scripts for feature films by Mamoru Oshii (<em>Ghost in the Shell</em>), Kazuchika Kise and Naoyoshi Shiotani at Production I.G.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> He additionally hammers together tunes as Little Nobody, he covets sashimi and sak&eacute;, and lives in Japan with his wife and eight-year-old daughter.</p> <p> </p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://andrezbergen.wordpress.com">http://andrezbergen.wordpress.com</a></strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="https://twitter.com/andreziffy"><u><strong>https://twitter.com/andreziffy</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="1005" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_54f53e91f9ca48afa183f2eb05d25465.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 462px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>Cover</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> This cover is just WOW! I love how the white background allows all the other colours to just leap out at you and Mina’s icy stare just catches you off guard. Notice how she appears to have puppet strings around her? Symbolism! This kinda reminds me of old school Sci-Fi novel covers – or even classic Horror movie posters. Either way it catches the eye.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>Synopsis</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>She's a disturbed, quiet girl, but Mina wants to do some good out there. It's just that the world gets in the way. This is Australia in the 1980s, a haven for goths and loners, where a coming-of-age story can only veer into a murder mystery.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>What I liked</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Firstly, let me just say this. <em>Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth</em> – BEST. TITLE. EVER! This is one of those titles that, even if you don’t know what the story is about, you wanna check it out just by the title alone! It’s a title that captures the surreal wit that Bergen is famous for. It also catches you off guard a little as, on hearing it, I thought it was gonna be a sci-fi story. The tale I got was a little different, but still worth reading.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Like his other novels, <em>Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth</em> is told from the POV of the protagonist – in this case Mina. Mina is a kind introverted girl with some issues – mostly abuse at the hands of her older sibling and generally being just an outcast of society. Then she meets a dark character called Animeid (read it backwards and you get a hint as to what is going down) and then s*** really starts to get real! I won’t spoil too much of the story, but rest assured things get increasing more violent as the story goes on.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now compared to other protagonists from Andrez Bergen’s previous novels, Mina is a little bit more introverted compared to say, the protagonists of <em>Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat </em>and <em>One Hundred Years of Vicissitude</em> – but she still has the biting sarcasm and wit that you would expect from Mr Bergen’s stories. She probably is a little bit more unstable mentally than many of the other characters, but I personally could understand a lot of her agony. She has a pretty unhappy lifestyle and pretty much is tormented by members of her own family. Throughout the narration, we delve a little deeper into her psychological state and, through the help of Animeid, she gains a little more confidence – possibly at the cost of her sanity.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The one thing I liked about this story is that a lot of it was opened to interpretation – especially the character of Animeid. And as a lot of this is told from Mina’s point of view, we never really are getting the full explanation. Is there a supernatural element at work – or is Anim just in Mina’s head and she’s using it as a way of coping with all the crap that’s going on and using that as a way to help her stand up to her problems. Or maybe put something else right – again, no spoilers.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> On a side note, it is great to read about a female protagonist. Not that I didn’t like his other main characters, I always enjoy reading about female leads that aren’t just “femme fatale’s”.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In many ways, the novel serves as a metaphor for growing up in general. Sorta like a coming of age tale in a way – albeit with somewhat darker themes of abuse and possibly mental illness. However, what I liked most about the story is that it doesn’t always go the way you expect it to and the tale can throw the odd twist in here and there. It means that even if you’ve worked out a twist, the story can still surprise you.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>What I didn’t like</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The only minor nitpick I would say about this (and it is just a nitpick) was that I felt some of the chapters were a little longer than they needed to be. Not that that was a major problem as the chapters are laid out so that they don’t overload you with too much info at once (which is always the trick when writing chapters), but I couldn’t help but think maybe the chapters could be shorter. That’s just a personal thing for me and the ONLY negative I would say about this book.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>PROS (Frozen – that’s the Celldweller song NOT the film! Give it a listen):</strong></p> <ul> <li> <strong>Best title ever!</strong></li> <li> <strong>A great metaphor for isolation, loneliness and psychosis.</strong></li> <li> <strong>Tale is captivating and drags you in.</strong></li> <li> <strong>Has plenty of twists and surprises.</strong></li> </ul> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>CONS (cold as ice):</strong></p> <ul> <li> <strong>Some chapters are a bit too long.</strong></li> </ul> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>Summary</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Once again, Andrez Bergen has written a tale that is entertaining, unique and has more style and substance in two pages than most recent bestsellers have in their entire word count! Why this guy isn’t winning more awards I don’t know – but he should. <em>Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth</em> is a great mix of coming of age with dark subtext and some possibly supernatural themes as well. It’s a captivating read – although maybe that’s just me being biased! Either way, I highly recommend this novel. READ IT NOW!!!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>FINAL SCORE: 4.5/5</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; " target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sat, 08 Nov 2014 11:48:33 GMT fe752a62-e62c-4fe1-8893-177eca068c48 Stygiophobia: The Curse of the Cursed Queen http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/stygiophobia-the-curse-of-the-cursed-queen <p> Here's a special treat to all you horror fans out there. Today I've released the first video in my new Creepypasta/Lovecraftian themed horror series called &quot;Stygiophobia&quot;. A while ago I put up a post on my Facebook asking people for ideas for horror stories, with the original intention of creating a horror anthology series. However, after seeing readings of Creepypasta stories, it inspired me to do this new series.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And with Halloween around the corner, what better time to debut it than now?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So here is the first video in the series - Curse of the Cursed Queen. This story is about a fangirl that discovers a DVD containing a deleted scene of her favourite film - only to be plunged into a hellish nightmare.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Like any horror story, this is best watched in a dark room (or late at night) with the sound up. If you have headphones, feel free to use them as well.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> WARNING: Not suitable for viewers under 18 years of age. You will need a Youtube account to watch this. This video does contain disturbing imagery and loud noises. So if easily offended or of a nervous disposition, please don't watch.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center; "> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Dvg9HKIP-7s?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> I welcome any feedback that you can give guys. Oh and before I forget... Happy Halloween!</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; " target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:33:45 GMT 6b6a5aa0-9ff1-4b7d-8828-72a862ca3721 Who Is The Author? http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/who-is-the-author <p> Remember the Meet My Character interview with The Author? (See <a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/meet-my-character"><u><strong>HERE </strong></u></a>if not) Well it seems that he's now spread to social media - for reasons not clear. And all I have from him is this chilling phrase.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="230" original-width="300" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_0e5c9bac0dcf4711acca48f582e7c53c.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 230px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> What his intentions are I don't know - but I get the feeling we should keep a close eye on him in case he tries something dangerous. Guys, I need your help in keeping tabs on this character. So please can you follow him on any of the social media sites below and watch him in case he tries something. Whatever he's planning, I'm sure it is nefarious!</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> </div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <u><strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Author/715874705161818">Facebook</a></strong></u></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <u><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/TheAuthorMF">Twitter</a></strong></u></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://whoistheauthor.tumblr.com/"><u><strong>Tumblr</strong></u></a></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> Thanks for the help guys. See you all next week.</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:02:06 GMT aef1b7d1-d5c3-494f-b969-f3a96f051b55 Pandragon Disney Deathmatch: The Lion King Versus Frozen http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/pandragon-disney-deathmatch-the-lion-king-versus <p> <em><strong>EDIT: </strong>After speaking to my Publisher at Paper Crane Books, she made a list of certain points I missed or was not aware about. I have added them into the blog for the sake of completion.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So... this came around a lot later than I planned, but today we present the second...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>PANDRAGONDAN’S DISNEY DEATHMATCH!!!</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Those who read my <em>Tangled Versus Hunchback of Notre Dame</em> post will know what it’s all about. But for those who haven’t read it, check out the link <a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/pandragon-disney-death-match-tangled-versus-the"><u><strong>HERE:</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In 1994, <em>The Lion King</em> hit the cinemas across the world – and instantly garnered critical acclaim. Spawning several movies, a couple of spin offs and even a bestselling musical, <em>The Lion King</em> broke several box office records and won numerous awards – especially for its music. For the longest time, it was considered by many to be the greatest Disney film of all time (possibly even the greatest animated film) and remained unchallenged for many years.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> That was until 2013 when <em>Frozen </em>arrived at the box office. This film not only matched<em> The Lion King</em> but surpassed its’ fame and accomplishment in just a short period of time. Considered by many to be the greatest Disney film of all time, <em>Frozen </em>remains firmly in the hearts of all fans of Disney and non-Disney alike. I could go on to describe the accolades and achievements this film has got, but you only need to do a google search to see how much people love this film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But... just because <em>Frozen </em>may have succeeded<em> The Lion King</em> in every aspect – does that make it a better film than <em>The Lion King</em>? This is what I’m here to find out! We’re going to find out once and for all whether <em>Frozen </em>is superior to <em>The Lion King</em> as a film – at least in my opinion. So get ready for - <em>The Lion King Versus Frozen</em>!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In this blog there will be five “rounds”, of which I will give a description of which elements work or don’t work, then award a point accordingly. Whoever has the most points at the end wins. Simple as that! And I’m keeping it to five so that there is no chance of a tie happening.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now, before we start, here are a few things you need to bear in mind.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <ol> <li> <em>Things such as awards/box office records will NOT be counted in this blog. I’m basing this purely on stuff within the film itself. That’s not to say I’m ignoring or discounting them, they just don’t have any power in this Deathmatch.</em></li> <li> <em>If you haven’t either film, be aware that spoilers are included in this blog.</em></li> <li> <em>And finally – this is the most important thing to remember – this is JUST MY OPINION! I say this because I wound up a few people on Facebook with the result of my last Disney Deathmatch (many said Tangled should have won over Hunchback of Notre Dame), so I want to make this clear. I do not claim to be a film expert or a critic. What I am is just a guy with an opinion and that is all that this blog will be.</em></li> </ol> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok enough talk. Be Prepared – we’re about to Let It Go!!!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="332" original-width="600" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_68d11e9027dbe77ced9f5c61dc646b96.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 600px; height: 332px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 1 – Protagonists</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <p style="text-align: center;"> <img height="130" original-height="400" original-width="292" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_f9c198b30e8a48d08cbbf333f247f865.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="108" /> <img original-height="567" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_3724163d8a3e465ea80a9847d2d82a55.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 150px; height: 130px;" /> <img height="131" original-height="194" original-width="259" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_f4a66023a4d443c299a42df8d0eb673b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="148" /> <img height="130" original-height="177" original-width="284" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_4763e968cbe741128dc0a6810e71c074.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="166" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> In this round, I’ll be analysing the protagonists of each film. This first round will be a “tag team” round as I will be looking at Child Simba and Adult Simba and Anna and Elsa.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now the plot of <em>The Lion King</em> follows Simba from childhood to adulthood. Next in line to the throne, Simba is forced to run away away when his uncle Scar arranges for Mufasa (Simba’s dad) to be killed and make it look like it was Simba’s fault. Simba escapes from the hyenas (who are working for Scar) and then goes into hiding, becoming friends with Meerkat and Warthog Timon and Pumbaa – until a chance meeting with his old friend Nala means that Simba has to return and face his destiny, and his uncle.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now, the problem with child characters is that if they are done wrong, they can come across as annoying. Not in the case of Child Simba – he is just adorable! Yes he does do some very stupid things – but let’s not forget that he is just a child and not fully aware of the dangers of the world yet. As such it means that he is easily manipulated by his uncle so that he can deliberately be put in danger. But the scenes of Simba and his dad together – whether it’s Mufasa giving fatherly advice or them just playing together – are just heartwarming. You really feel the bond between the two. Then, when Mufasa dies (in what is arguably the most traumatising moment in Disney history next to Bambi’s mother being shot) and Simba is trying to get his father to wake up and crying, we really feel Simba’s pain and cry with him.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Adult Simba (voiced by Matthew Broderick, who is one of my LEAST favourite actors if I’m being honest, but he does well in this film) is a little bit more morose and understandably so. Though he has a fun loving attitude to life, having hung around with Timon and Pumbaa – but at the same time, he is really running away from his past, having been forced to believe he is responsible for his father’s death. Then, when the chance comes for him to fulfil his destiny, he is torn between facing his past or running away. He has a lot of conflict in his character and this helps him grow into the hero he should be. His internal suffering holds him back, but he does thankfully grow into the King that he was meant to be. Overall, I think Simba is a really well developed character and I love seeing him grow from a young, naive child, to a powerful lion that ends up being every bit as wise and respected as his father.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Onto <em>Frozen </em>and the heroines Anna and Elsa. Elsa is a woman born with ice powers, but when she accidentally hurts Anna, her parents take her to see the magical trolls – who warn Elsa that her fear could result in her magic raging out of control and have disastrous consequences. On hearing this, her parents – being the kind, compassionate mother and father that they are – decide to lock her away and keep her away from the outside world. And then they die at sea. Mmmmm, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the trolls say that FEAR could cause her powers to spiral out of control? Surely doing this would make Elsa more afraid? Oh well, I’m sure they know what they are doing and I’m positive this won’t in ANY way go tits up. <u><strong>Spoiler alert: It does!</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Anyway, years later, Elsa is now about to be crowned Queen, but her powers start to crap out and the whole country is covered in snow. Elsa, deciding not to hold back anymore, unleashes her full power and goes into hiding. It’s now up to Anna to bring her sister back and save her through the only way she knows how. Love.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Let me just say this about these characters. I LOVE Elsa! I would actually go so far to say that she is one of the beautifully crafted characters in Disney history. Not only does she have the most kick ass powers ever, but she has a really deep emotional side. She’s pretty much spent most of her life alone and never really known true love. She has a lot of sadness in her, despite her power – much like a superhero. We can turn an old phrase here “with great power comes great responsibility” and in Elsa’s case, it results in all of Arendale being frozen over. But we can understand Elsa, she’s been held back all her life because her parents were scared of what she might become. Why shouldn’t she test to see what she can do? She’s not gonna be held back anymore and just gonna go for it. But at the same time, she just wants to be loved for who she is. She’s pretty much a perfect character – she has a lot of personal issues, but she can also kick ass!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As for Anna... erm... I like her... but I gotta be honest, she does annoy me sometimes. I dunno, she just seems too overly optimistic all the time – and don’t get me wrong, that’s not a problem. I totally respect her courage and like the idea that she isn’t wholly dependent on a man to look after her – but most of the time I just felt like her optimism was kinda rammed down the audiences throat. She’s not a bad character at all, I just felt she could have been toned down a little. And... I did feel she was <em>dangerously </em>close to being a Mary-Sue in places. Even though she asked Kristoff to take her through the mountains, she didn’t really NEED him! She was more than capable of looking after herself. Between you and me, if I had to pick between the two sisters, I would say that Elsa was the more developed character – no not in that way! XD</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><em>EDIT:</em></strong>&nbsp; <em>My Publisher </em><em>pointed out that it's actually Anna that is the protagonist and Elsa is the antagonist - as the story is supposed to be about Anna's journey of love and acceptance. This is kinda disagree on as I don't see Elsa in any antagonistic light - she's more a deuteragonist if anything.</em> <em>Also, the reason I see Elsa more as a protagonist is because I didn't really connect to Anna in anyway - hence why Elsa was included as a protagonist.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> It’s a tough choice really – because I know whichever one I pick I’ll upset fans of the other. But I do have to pick a winner for this and, what it really boils down to who I felt attached to the most emotionally. Anna I can take or leave, Elsa I genuinely love – but at the end of the day, Simba will always have my sympathy because of the heartbreaking scene with Mufasa dying.&nbsp; So with that all being said, sorry, Elsa. I love ya, but I have to go with Simba. Point goes to <em>The Lion King</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>1-0</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 2 – Antagonists</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <p> <img height="150" original-height="338" original-width="450" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_a5d355ee9ce83c4b1c6ab54e43a03671.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="180" /> <img height="149" original-height="285" original-width="256" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_40c4ca9507af43c0b6b18cfacb72a283.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="186" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> Here we look at the villains in each film. Scar for <em>The Lion King</em>, Hans for <em>Frozen</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I’ve said this time and time again – Scar is without a doubt the most despicable of all Disney villains in my opinion – possibly of all time. He is a slimy, manipulative lion (voiced brilliantly by Jeremy Irons – with vocals by Jim Cummings) that seeks power for himself and will crush anyone to get it – including his own family. To this end, he joins forces with the hyenas and plans a terrible scheme whereby he will kill Simba and Mufasa and become king himself. The scary thing is he actually SUCCEEDS in his plan, making him one of the few Disney villains to do so – at least to a point. He does kill Mufasa, but Simba runs away. Nevertheless, Scar does become the leader of Pride Rock and creates a new totalitarian society whereby hyenas rule as his army.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The above alone makes Scar one of my most hated villains. He is sly, arrogant, slimy, a little whinny and mostly cowardly when faced with direct confrontation, what makes him that little bit more evil is the fact that he is willing to murder his own brother and nephew (who, remember, is only a child at this point) to gain his goals. The scene where he stabs his brother through the paws and whispers “long live the king” is still one of the most chilling moments in film history. And then when he goes up to Simba afterwards and tells him that he is responsible for his Mufasa’s death – well, that just shows what an evil f***er he is! He has little to no redeeming features at all. But you know what, if he can inspire that much hate from the watchers then it shows he’s doing his job properly as a villain. And his death at the end is one of the most satisfying villain punishments ever!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> For Hans, you actually don’t know he’s the villain until later on. When he first appears, he seems like a typical handsome hero that Anna falls completely head over heels in love with. Until later on it’s discovered that it was all a ploy and that his plan was to kill Elsa and take her throne in an effort to prove himself to his brothers. Now I did originally say this was a good twist in my original review of <em>Frozen </em>– but now I’m gonna take that back. Because, after much consideration, I don’t think this twist works.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Those who read my <a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/top-five-lame-plot-twists"><u><em>Top Five Lame Plot Twist</em></u></a> blog will probably already know my feelings, but I’ll sum up here. The reason I don’t think this twist works as well is that at NO point during the film does Hans show any villainous tendencies. In fact, he even SAVES Elsa from being killed at one point – and if he wanted her dead there was no reason to do that. Even when he’s alone with her, he acts kindly to her. They build up Hans to be a hero so much that, when the twist comes, it feels more like an asspull than a shock. This twist would have worked a lot better if they had foreshadowed Hans being a villain in some way – like making him a little cocky, possessive of Anna, maybe a nasty look when he looks at Elsa, etc. There ARE ways you can foreshadow a twist without giving too much away.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em><strong>EDIT:</strong> In actual fact, I've been informed that his villain turn IS actually foreshadowed in the song </em>Love Is An Open Door<em> - which is something I miss, though in fairness it is fairly subtle. In this respect I will put my hands up about this - but all other points about Hans still stand.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I understand why Disney did this, they wanted to move away from the Handsome Hero they normally have in their films – but this twist doesn’t work in my eyes. They should have kept the Earl of Weasleton as the main villain as he had so much potential to be the bad guy.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Even though I HATE the idea of giving the point to Scar, he’s just more clearly defined as a villain and has a clear motivation. Hans just feels thrown in as a villain in the last minute and the twist opens up a big plot hole for me. So another point to <em>The Lion King</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>2-0</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 3 – Supporting Characters</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <p> <img height="152" original-height="366" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_37e05a00c70f44db82e78cdbe8e00f4a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="223" /> <img height="152" original-height="177" original-width="284" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_5bcd47ec62c445c9944a72f5422a037b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="216" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> Here I’ll be looking at Nala, Zazu, Timon, Pumbaa and Rafiki for <em>The Lion King</em> and Kristoff, Olaf, Sven and The Earl of Weaselton for <em>Frozen</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The Lion King</em> is full of great supporting characters. Timon and Pumbaa are hilarious to watch and I love the “adult” humour that they manage to sneak in. They help counter balance the really dark moments of The Lion King and add a much welcome relief after the shock of Mufasa’s death. I could watch these guys for hours and still laugh my ass off – it’s no wonder they got their own spin off show. Zazu (voiced by Rowan Atkinson) is also a great source of humour as the majordomo of King Mufasa. Strange as it may seem, I love the “prim and proper” English type voice, it’s really funny if done properly. Zazu unfortunately spends most of the second half of the film as a prisoner, so he does kinda disappear from the film after that until the end.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Nala is pretty cool and I like the idea that she’s not a “damsel in distress” character that you normally get in Disney films – in fact, she pretty much can look after herself. And I love female characters that can kick ass! She’s both Simba’s best friend and love interest, but also his conscience in a way – she’s the first lynchpin in helping Simba realise his destiny. Rafiki, the bat-crap crazy monkey shaman is also fun to watch. I just wish he could have appeared more, but he was there for the important parts. On the whole, I love all the characters in <em>The Lion King</em>. Even the main three hyenas are entertaining.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As for the supporting characters in <em>Frozen</em>... where do I begin? Firstly, and I will always stand by this comment – Kristoff is a pointless character. What does he actually do in the film except provide a taxi service for Anna – who, I already mentioned, doesn’t need him at all. Yes, I am fully aware that he takes Anna to the trolls when her heart is frozen, but honestly, if Kristoff wasn’t in the movie, Anna could have done the whole “wander around and stumble across the trolls by accident bit”. And even when Kristoff is told how to cure Anna from her frozen heart, he doesn’t take a chance to try it. You could argue that he knew she loved Hans and he was too much of a nice guy to “cock block” Hans... but my argument is that to get Anna back to Hans, he has to travel from one end to the other of the country to the other to get her back. How did he know he would survive the journey? He could have at least TRIED to break the curse and then, if that failed, taken her back to Hans. I dunno, I just felt that Kristoff needed to man up a lot more. Hell, even Olaf tried to help Anna more than he did.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And speaking of which, I’m just gonna say this. I. HATE. OLAF. He is without a doubt the most annoying, obnoxious little **** in the whole film. I’m probably one of the few people that WANTED him to melt at the end and was really pissed off when Elsa saved him. Maybe it was his voice, his stupid comments or the fact that he can’t sing but... I just don’t like him. Sven was ok I guess, I don’t really have a problem with him. But I’ll say it again, the Earl of Weaselton SHOULD have been the villain of the story – he was a far more sinister character than Hans was by far!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In short, I don’t like the supporting characters in <em>Frozen </em>at all. They are either pointless, annoying or a wasted opportunity. So this isn’t going to be at all surprising for you to know that I am giving ANOTHER point to <em>The Lion King</em> as the characters were much more likeable and had more personality.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>3-0</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 4 – Music</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <p> <img height="144" original-height="380" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_0ed3f0bd36024f5b9e76f5be2d845fbc.png" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="219" /> <img height="145" original-height="300" original-width="300" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_31b76a4c98fa43429232e445e6f25ea7.png" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="206" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> Here we look at the music in each film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> From the opening track <em>The Circle of Life</em>, the music in <em>The Lion King</em> takes you on an epic journey, with tribal chants, soothing harmonies and powerful chords that just sweep you off your feet, provided by musical virtuoso Hans Zimmer. Even just focusing on the music alone, there are very few scores in films that get my adrenaline pumping or make the hairs stand on the back of my neck that the music in this film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The Lion King</em> may not have many songs compared to other Disney films – but what they do have are just incredible. There isn’t a single “bad” tune out of any of them, which works in its favour. I’m not usually a fan of Elton John or Tim Rice, but the songs in here are some of my favourite songs in Disney. There’s the bouncy, optimistic<em> I Just Can’t Wait To Be King</em> (with lots of colourful imagery), the singalong tune that is <em>Hakuna Matata</em> – which is always a joy to listen to, and one that I like to hear when I’m feeling down – or even the beautiful <em>Can You Feel The Love Tonight</em>. The music in <em>The Lion King</em> takes you on a sweeping journey of emotions and draws you into the world and the magic around it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Oh, and let’s not forget the awesome<em> Be Prepared</em>! Next to <em>Hellfire </em>from <em>The Hunchback of Notre Dame</em>, this is one of the best villain songs ever. It’s dark, has a real sense of threat and – are those hyena’s marching like Nazi’s? Yikes! The music builds up in intensity and danger and you suddenly start to fear for Simba’s safety as Scar lays out his plans. Now THIS is what a villain song should sound like! What’s also interesting is that it’s both Jeremy Irons AND Jim Cummings that sings this song – but the transition from one to the next is so seamless that you wouldn’t notice it unless you listened carefully.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The music in <em>Frozen </em>may have wowed a lot of audiences – but I’m gonna be honest, I thought the music was just ok. I’m not saying it’s terrible, but I don’t feel like there are many memorable songs for me. And, maybe it’s just me, but I think the opening song over the titles is completely inappropriate for where it’s set. It just sounds too much like it’s trying to be like <em>The Lion King</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><em>EDIT:</em></strong><em> In respect of this, someone has pointed out that the chanting is actually based on a Norwegian chant, which </em>Frozen<em> is based around. Whilst this means the opening theme isn't wholly inappropriate, it still seems wrong to me and out of place with the rest of the tone of the film.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> However, the two songs in the film that do stand out for me are <em>Do You Wanna Build A Snowman</em> and <em>Fixer Upper</em>. The first one is a lovely tune that quickly degenerates into sadness as both sisters are torn apart from each other – and the singing voice of Anna really has a lot of emotion. I will say this is the most beautiful of all the songs.<em> Fixer Upper</em> is a big show tune and has a lot of energy to it, and I love those songs. But I’ll just say this –<em> The Summer Song</em> is DREADFUL!!! No disrespect to Josh Gad, but Olaf’s vocals in this song are just terrible to listen to. Maybe that’s the idea, but I can’t stand this song.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> You may have noticed I’m not talking about <em>Let It Go</em>... well anyone that’s read my blog will know what my opinion is about that song. Just in case you’re new to my blog, let me sum it up – it’s a good song, but I don’t rate Idina Menzel as a singer. Yes, I know she won an Oscar, but I just don’t like her voice. I have NOTHING against her as a person and I’m sure she’s a wonderful person in real life – but she’s a shouter, not a singer (just my opinion). In fact, whilst I’m on that subject, when I did my last <em>Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron</em> video, I had author Morgan Staughan Comnick do the voice of Elsa, and she did her own rendition of <em>Let It Go</em> with the recordings. I never ended up using it, but I will say this - I think, in my opinion, that she sings it BETTER than Idina Menzel. Yup, I’m gonna go on record and say that Morgan is a better singer than Menzel – and yes, you can quote me on that. Again, Idina - nothing personal.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><em>EDIT:</em></strong><em> I will be releasing a video showing Morgan singing </em>Let It Go<em>, so those of you who may be thinking of calling my bluff, watch this space! :)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Yeah, I know people love the <em>Frozen </em>soundtrack – but for me, it leaves me a little cold (if you pardon the pun). <em>The Lion King </em>has much more energy and emotion to it for me. So it gets the point.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>4-0</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 5 – Story and overall theme</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <p> <img height="137" original-height="396" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_70fb69aa6c0644e9a706e76600bddb46.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="225" /> <img height="137" original-height="347" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_e899f7a2b468400f987946c216d6194d.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="230" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> Here I’ll look at the plot of both films and see what I think has the better story and moral.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The Lion King</em> hasbeen quoted as the Disney version of <em>Hamlet </em>– and indeed it has a lot of parallels with that play. The Prince whose uncle murders his father and he has to avenge him – but is being held back by his own self doubt and desire to escape his fate. But for me, there is so much more to that. It’s a coming of age tale about facing your fears head on and aspiring to be what you were born to be. I also like to think of it as a really good tale of how important great parenting can be. Mufasa is a wonderful father, strict in his own way, but loving and caring of his son Simba. The lessons that Simba learns from him stay with him till adulthood, even if he doesn’t realise it. And in the end he becomes a better person than his uncle – who is essentially a monster. <em>The Lion King</em>, for me, is a tale about growing up, but also learning from your mistakes and respecting your family. Oh, and also lions are cool!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now you may think I’ve been harsh with <em>Frozen </em>so far – but before you think I’m hating on it for no reason, just read this section. Yes, I have issues with this film – but there is also a lot of good in it as well. For one, the story. <em>Frozen </em>is a really heartfelt tale about how loneliness can kill a person inside and love sets you free. However, unlike other Disney films in this case it’s family love that saves the day. This I think is a really good twist to the story and it’s one of the few Disney films that adds a feminist message to it. People are saying that this is the first Disney film that shows you don’t need a man to save you – although I say that <em>Brave </em>is more worthy of that title. (Yes I know it’s Pixar, but to me, Disney and Pixar are one and the same). My only problem with this is that the feminist message is somewhat diluted by the fact that all the male characters are either useless or just utterly crappy. My belief is that if you have to make one gender weaker to get the point across then it weakens the message somewhat. Equality works both ways guys!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><em>EDIT:</em></strong><em> In actual fact there are SEVERAL Disney films that go against this convention by having the female save the day. I mention</em> Brave,<em> but my friend was quick to mention </em>Beauty and the Beast, Mulan <em>and</em> Pocahontas<em> </em><em>as examples of females saving the day. This is something that I should have put into the blog - so thanks to my Publisher for pointing that out.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But on the whole, despite the few plot holes (which I’ve talked about in previous blogs), I DO think that <em>Frozen </em>has a much stronger message at heart and I love the idea of it going against the usual conventions of a man saving the day. So even though I think<em> The Lion King</em> is a better film, I AM going to give <em>Frozen </em>the benefit of the doubt here. So <em>Frozen </em>fans rejoice as I give this point to it. See? I do give credit where credit is due!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>4-1</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> But unfortunately it comes too little too late as, with 4-1, <em>The Lion King</em> emerges triumphant.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="269" original-width="188" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_dd5425595b5f4cd183207f4a3cc31699.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 188px; height: 269px;" /></div> <div content-type="media-description" style="width:100%;text-align:center;"> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>WINNER!!!</strong></p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And so, <em>Frozen </em>may have outshone all competition at the box office, but I personally feel <em>The Lion King</em> is more entertaining and has more energy and emotion in the songs. <em>Frozen </em>has a far better moral, but it’s weak supporting characters and a couple of plot holes just ruin it for me.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Does this take away from the achievements that <em>Frozen </em>has? Not at all! I have full respect for what this movie has achieved – but at the same time, I have an opinion like anyone else. And personally, I prefer <em>The Lion King</em>. Nothing personal guys.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Do you agree? Disagree? Do you hate my guts? Is there a flaw in my argument that you want to point out? Did I miss something? Whatever you guys feel, I love reading your comments guys, whether on my blog, my Facebook or Twitter. So please let me know what you thought of this and whether you’d like to see another one. And if you wanna take me to the cleaners – go for it!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for reading guys. Speak soon!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:11:57 GMT 84df10c9-b6dd-4d39-aff2-a6451fbd4649 Real Mermaids Don't Grow Legs by D.G. Driver http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/real-mermaids-dont-grow-legs-by-dg <p> Recently I was contacted by D. G. Driver, asking if I would be interested in reviewing her novel <em>Cry of the Sea</em>. Unfortunately, due to my current schedule I wasn't able to offer a review - but the concept of her book did sound interesting so I offered her a guest post to let her talk about it. For those who love mermaids as a concept, this book sounds right up their street - though I've been told it is NOT like <em>The Little Mermaid</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Anyway, I'd like to hand you over to D.G. Driver now so that she can talk to you a little about her novel. Enjoy!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="984" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_41dc30e1485b4c75b1f7f699bcb70619.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 452px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>Real Mermaids Don’t Grow Legs By D. G. Driver</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> I didn’t know there was a mermaid boom going on in Young Adult fantasy when I was cleaning up my novel <em>Cry of the Sea</em> to get it ready for publication. I had written the original draft of this book almost a decade earlier, when the 10th anniversary of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill was all over the news. An idea popped into my head during that time: “What if mermaids washed up in an oil spill?” I put it aside that early draft for a long time. Inspiration hit me a couple years ago, and I pulled out that story and started it over again. In February, it was published by Fire and Ice. Now it is number 60 on a Goodreads list of 117 YA books about mermaids <a href="http://(https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7878.YA_Mermaid_Novels#20870266"><u><strong>(https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7878.YA_Mermaid_Novels#20870266</strong></u></a>).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 117? And I’m sure that’s not even close to being all of them. How could there possibly be so many books about mermaids? And could they possibly be different enough to warrant reading more than a couple of them? Sorry mermaid fans, I hate to share this with you, but a lot of mermaid books are really similar to each other. That list mentioned above is ranked by number of votes from readers. Of the top 30 (that’s as far as I waded into the pool) all but four of them were about a girl who discovers that she is actually a mermaid. More than that, most of those girls wind up not being just mermaids, but princesses of underwater kingdoms. Two of the “different” books were about mermaids who turn into girls. One was a retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid” (a mermaid turning into a girl), but from a different point of view. And one was about scary sirens (that I think actually stay sirens the whole time) that call people to drown themselves.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> If I went to that list wanting to pick a mermaid novel I hadn’t read before, I would find it ridiculously difficult to choose. I’d have to go by the reviews, love for the author, the quality of writing, because the stories are simply not that unique from each other. However, if you love that plotline, most of the books come in series and there are plenty more to read when you turn the last page of your current one. &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As an author on the list with a mermaid book, how can I possibly have <em>Cry of the Sea</em> stand out?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Well, I’m here to tell you that Cry of the Sea stands out because it is nothing like those other books. There are no shape-shifting girls. No hidden kingdom under the sea. No sad mermaids longing to be with a prince on the shore, and no girls discovering that they are going to change into sea creatures on their sixteenth birthdays. (Question: why don’t parents ever tell their children in YA novels that they are going to magically change into something else when they turn 16? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that plot.) My mermaids don’t have magical songs. They don’t even talk.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In fact, the mermaids in Cry of the Sea aren’t even the main characters of the book. The main character is Juniper Sawfeather, a 17-year-old daughter of environmental activists, who discovers three mermaids washed up on the beach during an oil spill. These creatures are how I imagine “real” mermaids would be:</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> “From their facial features and upper torsos, they looked kind of like women, but all three of them had silver-colored skin. They were bald, with strange ridges marking their skulls. None of them seemed to have ears, only holes in the sides of their heads. No nose was visible, not even a bone or nostrils filled that space between their eyes and mouths. Although their mouths seemed to be moving, they were actually breathing through what looked like gills in their necks. And if that wasn’t weird enough, instead of legs, their upper torsos stretched out into long, scale-covered, silver fishtails. If I had to say what these things stranded in front of me, plagued with a thick coating of oil, appeared to be, I’d say mermaids. And no, they didn’t look like they’d start singing songs or granting me wishes. They looked a little bit scary – but fragile too. Most of all, they looked like they were going to die, and no handsome prince was there to kiss them and keep them from turning into sea foam.”</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Juniper tries to save these poor creatures and winds up in the middle of a complicated struggle between her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, the popular clique at school, the media, and the oil company over the fate of the mermaids. Can she keep them from being exploited? Or killed?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I like to tell people that <em>Cry of the Sea</em> is more <em>X-Files</em> than <em>Little Mermaid</em>, and I hope you can see why. If you are looking for a mermaid tale that offers something different than the same old story, give this one a try.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Sample the first two chapters:</p> <p> <a href="http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/dgdriver/crysea.html"><u><strong>www.fireandiceya.com/authors/dgdriver/crysea.html</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Learn more about D. G. Driver:</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.dgdriver.com">www.dgdriver.com</a></strong></u></p> <p> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/donnagdriver"><u><strong>www.facebook.com/donnagdriver</strong></u></a></p> <p> <strong>Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/DGDriverAuthor"><u><strong>@DGDriverAuthor</strong></u></a></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.d-g-driver.tumblr.com">www.d-g-driver.tumblr.com</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.instagram.com/d_g_driver#">www.instagram.com/d_g_driver#</a></strong></u></p> <p> <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/dgdriver"><u><strong>www.pinterest.com/dgdriver</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Buy links.&nbsp; Available in print or ebook:</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Cry-Sea-D-G-Driver-ebook/dp/B00IM0JF06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1413304078&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Cry+of+the+Sea">http://www.amazon.com/Cry-Sea-D-G-Driver-ebook/dp/B00IM0JF06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1413304078&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Cry+of+the+Sea</a></strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Cry+of+the+Sea&amp;type=">http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Cry+of+the+Sea&amp;type=</a></strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cry-of-the-sea-d-g-driver/1118708060?ean=9781612357867"><u><strong>http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cry-of-the-sea-d-g-driver/1118708060?ean=9781612357867</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for stopping by! Guys, please check out <em>Cry of the Sea</em> and support this wonderful author.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Till next time...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:15:19 GMT e1a60ac6-fba5-4b29-974b-150519c21e23 Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron Episode 5 Now Available http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/totalitarian-warlords-and-termination-squadron-episode-5 <p> <em>T.W.A.T.S.</em> Episode 5 is now up for your viewing pleasure - Title:<em> There's Something About Elsa! </em>(In three parts)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Hordak's dream comes true as he finally meets Elsa - his all time favourite heroine. But his changes to prove his affection to her are hampered when his past catches up with him. Will he be able to quell an angry ex-superheroine girlfriend and finally settle down with the woman he loves?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Also includes a new cast of characters from 80's cartoons to survival horror games - and a special T.W.A.T.S. rendition of a much loved Disney song! XD</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Featuring the incredible voice talents of Morgan Straughan Comnick, Mysti Parker, and new addition to the T.W.A.T.S. team Daniel Bromley - thank you to all you guys lending me your voices!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Enjoy guys! And as always, like, comment, share and tell all your friends about it. Or not. It's all cool!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8zYAwzdYV4s?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2GRkqD-7Oqg?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe> </div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp; </div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HA90sZ2xzxk?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 10:58:35 GMT 843576f5-dd83-4fc3-84b8-56a2bf1e69ea