lostboy: (Man with a tool (thanks moscow_watcher!))
[personal profile] lostboy
Hi again!

So, I am continuing on my quest to... well I don't know what, exactly.  Something about banners and my dumb story.  Anyway, I'm trying to finish out the core four, for a total of 8 banners.  I still haven't done much physical work on Buffy's (which, I guess fittingly, will be the last one), but I have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head for it.  I also realized that I'm not at all content with how the Spike banner turned out, and I think Willow's needs some work.  So at some point I'm going to try a completely different direction for Spike, and conduct some major heart surgery on Willow.

In the meantime, I worked up something for Xander Harris.

Okay.  It's a pretty strange concept, but hear me out...

Banner #7:
Xander Harris

Okay, so... a vintage baseball card?!   WTF, Lostboy?  I'll try to explain.

When I thought about Xander's role on the show (and in my fic) I  tried to come up with a metaphor that would describe many aspects of this guy at once.  Superficially, I liked the flatness of the cards as a way to subtly reference his one-eyed lack of depth perception.  I think that the style of the old baseball cards (where artists drew the likenesses of players and then colored them in with a limited palette) also sort of references this two-dimensionality.  Plus, the pose with the ball (cribbed from an old Time Life photo) also kinda reminded me of his gruesome encounter with Jacob.  Also, those old cards have this quiet, sort of sad nostalgia about them.  Here are these little pictures of heroes long gone, with a list of their feats on the back.  That's also why I worked from a younger photo of Nicholas.  This is a frozen memory of a kid who doesn't really exist anymore.

But beyond that, the baseball metaphor seemed to really sing to me on a bunch of different levels.  Xander is a part of a "team" (that progressed through many "seasons," no less), and while some might argue his rookie year wasn't so good- with many runs, few hits, and a TON of errors - he eventually found his place on the squad.  By the end of the show, he was a clutch-player, and knocked it out of the park on a few occasions ("Grave" for instance).  And then there is that moment, at the end of "Chosen": the little girl is at the plate, and she is ready to be strong.  The connection there was sort of irresistible.

Xander's  banner was the most complex so far in terms of the actual process work.  I won't bore you with the details unless you are curious.  Basically the goal was to try to recreate the front and back of one of these old 1930's baseball cards, which involved quite a bit of splicing and texturing and hand detailing.  For the font, I used something that looks like the Boston Red Sox font (and NO, I'm not a fan of dem bumz.  Boston is another story reference, for those keeping track, heh)   I included two versions, one with the cards slightly tilted.  Not sure which way I want to go with it.

I may do a few more tweaks on this one before I present all the finals, particularly to reduce detail on the drawing and make the colors more bleed-y.  I also need to add some minor details like skinning his name onto the photo, and maybe adding a signature.  But I'd say this is about 90% done.

And if this was my job, I would SO TOTALLY come up with show-specific stats for the back of the card.  "Slaying Percentage(SP)", "Epic Spell Fails(ESF)", "Times Taken Hostage(TTH)", "Pop Culture References(PCR)", etc...


All banners so far:


Date: 2011-03-03 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abelina.livejournal.com
I like the second version best, with the tilted cards, and your explanation makes sense, absolutely. All these are fantastic, Lost Boy. I didn't reply to the other posts but I ADORE Giles' banner and think it's probably my favourite, but I have a super soft spot for Andrew in Han Solo's clothes and blaster.

Date: 2011-03-03 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostboy-lj.livejournal.com
Thanks! That photo of Anthony Stewart Head was so awesome that it's hard taking credit for that banner. The look on his face... wow!

Date: 2011-03-03 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dampersnspoons.livejournal.com
And also? Wasn't Nicholas Brendon trying for pro baseball at one point but got into acting instead? Am I remembering that wrong?

And also X 3? THAT IS EFFIN' RAD.


Date: 2011-03-03 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostboy-lj.livejournal.com
Holy crap, really?!

From his IMDB bio:
Nicholas Brendon was born three minutes after his identical twin brother, actor Kelly Donovan on April 12, 1971 in Los Angeles, California. He attended Chatsworth High School, where he struggled with stuttering but was also a starter on the baseball team. He had dreams of playing for the L.A. Dodgers, but had to pursue other options when he hurt his arm about a year after graduating high school.

I swear to Zeus, Moses and the Flying Spaghetti Monster that I didn't know that. Or at least, I didn't know that I knew it. Maybe I heard it somewhere once and it got stuck in the back of my brain? It seems like too much of a coincidence otherwise. I hope he didn't hurt his arm throwing a curveball, otherwise the tip on the card might seem like I'm making fun of him (which I'm totally not, because Nick Brendon is pretty fucking awesome.)
Edited Date: 2011-03-03 08:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-03-03 07:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] norwie2010.livejournal.com
Oh, great banner for our Xander! I think You catched it all beautifully with this one, Your reasoning is very sound. :)

Date: 2011-03-03 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostboy-lj.livejournal.com
Thanks, norwie! :)

Date: 2011-03-03 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] louise39.livejournal.com
Love all your reasons for each piece of the Xander banner. It came out very well!

Date: 2011-03-04 12:15 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-03-05 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerintine.livejournal.com
Holy Hell you're good at this. Spectacular even. This is beautiful work. and perfect reasoning for Xander.

This is a frozen memory of a kid who doesn't really exist anymore.

YES. Perfect, perfect.

Date: 2011-03-05 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostboy-lj.livejournal.com
Thanks Jams. I haven't done graphic work in a long time, but it feels kinda good getting back into it.


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