Announcing another fun hashtag game from The Fellowship of Fantasy! Throughout September we'll be talking about #abooktaughtme ... each day has a theme and you can tell us about a book that taught you about love, life, or the lighter side ... Take a look at the graphic below, share it on your pages, and get ready to tell us what a book taught you!
Use the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to play along with our members!
We recently conducted a poll for our #FellowshipofFun ABC Characters tag game, asking you to name your favorite fantasy character for each letter of the alphabet. Some of the results were close, so we will be including a few honorable mentions, but here we go ... with the top characters chosen by YOU!
When this character shakes his mane, we will have spring again!
Yep, the winner of A was definitely Aslan from Chronicles of Narnia. It's hard to beat everyone's favorite "not-a-tame" Lion ... though Aragorn from Lord of the Rings certainly made a good try at it, coming in as our first honorable mention.
B was a clear winner. Let's all sit down for second breakfast with BILBO BAGGINS from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Bilbo is a bit of a reluctant hero, but he discovers something inside him ... and I don't think Martin Freeman's likable portrayal of him hurt him any, either.
C's winner is the second Narnian on our list. This one was really close and we had to take it into an overtime poll between the top four, but once our members were limited to those four choices, they rallied around Prince Caspian!
Our D choice was another overtime decision, but a little closer than C. The Doctor and Dobby gave this winner a run for his money, but in the end Dumbledore from Harry Potter was victorious!
Our winner for E is no man! She's, of course, Eowyn from the Lord of the Rings. Honestly, she was one of my favorite characters growing up, so I'm glad she took this slot. (image credit Nachomolina via Deviant Art). In a reversal of our first listing (where a Chronicles of Narnia character had a slight edge over a Lord of the Rings character), Eowyn just barely beat out Edmund for this slot. Better luck next time, Edmund!
The results for F honestly took me by surprise because there are pretty awesome F characters out there ... however, the winner was (by a single vote. See votes can matter) Fflewddur Fflam the bard from the Prydain Chronicles. Personally I think it is the giant cat that tips him over the top. Who doesn't love a giant cat? (Giant mice?) Image Source Honorable Mention: Frodo Baggins
The winner of G won by a landslide (which he may or may not have caused with powerful magic, I'm guessing.). Do not mistake Gandalf for a conjurer of cheap tricks. This ancient wizard and archetypal mentor just swept the vote for G. Image source Morkus13 from Deviant Art
Another overwhelming victory came from a lot of people's childhood favorite. Harry Potter characters were incredibly popular in this poll, generally speaking, but some of the letters split the Harry Potter vote (Ron or Remus, Dobby or Dumbledore). When it came to H, though (with a few Hermione and Hagrids scattered in for spice), there was a clear leader, and that was the boy wizard himself, Harry Potter.
Some characters are timeless ... Inigo Montoya is one of them. Our readers love this man with his determined search for the six fingered man and his all so quotable quotes. My favorite Princess Bride character hands down.
J was less obvious than some of the other choices. With no clear consensus we ended up choosing between a lot of different characters in an overtime poll ... Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean just barely squeaked in to win.
Another more modern character, K was dominated by Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games.
Honestly, this next winner was a childhood hero of mine for a long time. She's just so undeniably cool yet incredibly relate-able. Chronicles of Narnia's Lucy!
M was probably our second closest letter. The two heavy hitters were Merlin the legendary wizard and the small but brave Hobbit, Merry Brandybuck. Merry won in an overtime poll by a single vote. Yay MERRY!
Our next winner has the distinction (I believe) of being the only Indie creation to make the list. Nyssa Glass is a Steampunk heroine from the series of the same name by Fellowship of Fantasy author H. L. Burke. She just barely beat out Jules Verne's classic character Captain Nemo from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea for our N spot.
Yet another overtime choice ... when the fans were presented with the three top options (Obi Wan Kenobi, Ollivander, and Optimus Prime) the choice was clear. Obi Wan was the character they were looking for.
Another Narnian takes our list by storm, the always amusing and stouthearted Marshwiggle, Puddleglum. In spite of competition from more traditional "heroes" like Peter Pan and Peter (also from Narnia), Puddleglum was our voters' clear favorite. Image source here.
Another overtime poll winner (and our first true villain on this list) is Alice in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts (Q is a hard letter ... and there was some debate about whether a title counts as a name, but she really only goes by The Queen, so I think it counts, right?).
Above I said that M was our second closest race? Well, R was definitely our closest. Too close, honestly, which is why for R we have a TIE! Yes, folks, a tie. Reepicheep from Narnia and Remus Lupin from Harry Potter ended up splitting the overtime poll. After watching their numbers go back and forth for a while, we decided to end the fight and let them share.
A lot of people consider our next winner the true hero of Lord of the Rings, so it's really no surprise that Samwise won the letter S handily. Let's all send him some nice potatoes as a prize! Image source Matteo Lolli from Deviant Art.
I'm honestly not sure if our members wanted the Norse god or the Avenger when they voted for "Thor." Whichever they wanted, however, Thor won the vote for T. My personal vote is for the Avenger, but it is easier to find public domain images of the Norse god ;).
One of the few villains to make our list, Ursula from Disney's The Little Mermaid won for U!
V is Vin from Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series. She took this one easily.
For W, as you wish, you get Westley, the Princess Bride heartthrob who taught us so much about love that doesn't quite make sense ... but is still ridiculously quotable.
One of our few winners from the world of television, X was carried away by the lovely and delicate flower, XENA!
I met him in a swamp down on Dagobah where it bubbles all the time like a giant carbonated soda ... S O D A soda. I saw the little runt sitting there on a log. I asked him his name and in a raspy voice he said Yoda ... Y O D A Youda. Yo yo yo yo Yoda ... umm... yeah, Yoda from Star Wars won Y with basically no competition.
AND FINALLY! Z is for Zuko, everyone's favorite Fire Bender ... well ... maybe not everyone's ... but mine! Zuko's journey from (spoilers) spoiled villain to noble hero is one of my favorite television character arcs, and while this one did go into overtime votes (and he did get a lot of competition from Zelda, from Legend of Zelda), enough of you agree with that assessment to make him our winner for z.
So that's our list for this year. Remember, this is in no way a definitive list. Just something fun we put together for readers of this site based on random online votes over the last few weeks. I hope you enjoyed seeing the winners, though.
What sorts of articles and lists would you like to see next from this site?
You may have noticed we've got brand new, shiny logos. Many thanks to Tessa Sentell for her absolutely beautiful work. We've asked her a few questions so you can get to know this budding, new artist. Be sure to check out her website and Facebook page.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I love meeting new people, and have found that nobody is black and white or able to be summed up in a few sentences. Everyone is extensively unique and expresses creativity in a way only they can. While I could say “I have a love for good food” or “I am a recent high school graduate” (which are both true facts), those are just a few aspects of what makes me—me. I’m filling in my life one frame at a time. I’m a little messy and sometimes make mistakes that need revision. Progress is slow and I’m just getting started, but the drawings that take the longest are often the best.
What inspires your art?
The very people I’m doing it for. I love creating and making other’s ideas come to life….they provide me with a spark of inspiration and I turn it into something beautiful to the best of my ability.
When did you start illustrating?
Throughout high school I did character drawings, flyers for events, and other small things. My first fully paid job began last year in the form of a children’s book. Any recent work that has contributed towards my professional portfolio has been in the new year of 2016.
What is your favorite medium?
I am most experienced in pencil….but my newfound love is watercolor :)
Who is your favorite illustrator?
John Rocco, illustrator of the covers for (among other things) the “Heroes of Olympus” series by Rick Riordan. I seriously considered pursuing graphic design for a long time but found it made me unhappy. His breathtaking work inspired me to look at what i love, book illustration, as an actual option instead of just a far off dream.
What kind of stories do you like illustrating for?
The most fun for me is “modern fantasy.” It has all the whimsical elements that are exciting to think up and create, and just enough realism that I can make the image more modern and real. It’s a genre that produces the most inspiration and the best results.
When you're not illustrating, what do you like to do?
A good pastime and perhaps my only form of self expression is music. I play piano as a hobby and play violin in the Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra during the school season. When I have the time, I like to write anything from vague character concepts to short stories.
What was the inspiration for the Fellowship of Fantasy logo?
A rough description I was given for a shield with different elements of fantasy on it. I soon found there was just so much to the fantasy genre as a whole that it couldn’t be contained to a shield….it just spilled out onto paper and went from there.
Where can readers go to learn more about your art?
My website is tessasentell.com. That includes a description of what I do as well as an online portfolio of my work and contact information. Also feel free to like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tessakayillustrations.
A blog about all things fantasy from the elements we all love to how to write it. Posts are from our very own Fellowship of Fantasy authors.