*quiet shriek of joy* (Quiet because it's almost 2 a.m. and I'm trying to be considerate here.)

I got a fantastic package in the mail today! Actually the tenant who rents the main house in front of my granny unit got a package - my package - oh so professionally delivered by the postal service to - I bet you thought I was going to say 'a mailbox,' right? Well, how utilitarian of you. I am given to understand that mailboxes are so last century. No, this package full of priceless art was wedged between a grimy, cobwebby exterior drainage pipe and the wall of the house, in full view of anyone passing by on the street. Good thing my neighbor noticed it and made sure it found its way to my door. I suppose I ought to be thankful the mail carrier didn't simply toss it into the middle of the driveway for cars to run over.

>:-(

However, let me speak of what was inside. You would not believe the wonderful artwork revealed once I ripped open gently and carefully removed the tape and undid the sealed flaps of the envelope. I am now the proud and somewhat dazzled owner of a veritable feast of Snape-related and Snacky art (fortunately undamaged, or there would be hell to pay), courtesy the extraordinary generosity of [livejournal.com profile] akatnamedeaster.

Many on my flist will already be familiar with Kat's achievement: complex storylines, naked men, humor, heartbreak, pervy sex, besotted sex, grand adventures, character studies, emotional kink, bottoming from the top, daft twonks, magical brutality, mutual devotion, and everything in between, all rendered in graceful pencil lines, panels full of vivid expressions, palpable emotion, and burning hotness. The amount of work that goes into a full-length comic like Advent, for example, which just concluded earlier this evening, is astonishing. Kat's gift for unfolding a story in visual terms makes me, a word person, inexpressibly envious. And her art is distinctive, her conception of the characters potent and beautiful and convincing. It's hard to describe how subtle and various the expressions are, even after many years and hundreds of drawings, how they continue to surprise and delight and breathe life into Severus and Sirius and their friends, family, and milieu.

But the art on paper - the art I've held in my hands - has an extra dimension. It really is that good. Kat really is that talented. It's brought home even more powerfully by me being able to tilt these pages to the light in order to examine the details, the pencil strokes, the highlighting, the anatomy, the careful structuring of the tale. The marvelous, beloved faces. They have a luminous quality. Just take a look at these:

Deviltry - that tensely erotic Snape/Harry pic Kat drew for [livejournal.com profile] hp_kinkfest in response to my prompt. OMG, Snape's face, so seductive and subtly disturbing.

One of my favorite pages from Advent - Severus and his braces and his dart-throwing pose!

Another favorite page - their expressions and their happiness, Sirius grabbing one of Severus' braces, Severus grabbing Sirius' tie - irresistible.

Welcome Home - rimming! Need I say more?

I also want to link to a drawing I'm in love with that Kat sent me a while ago and I foolishly failed to mention:

Smirky - Snape in his undershirt. Sardonic, intelligent, sexy bastard Snape.

I am blown away. I've been smiling nonstop since I opened the package, and I'll fall asleep thinking about them. Thanks hardly seem adequate, but even so, thank you, Kat. You are an absolute treasure, and I'm so pleased to own originals of the art that has brought me so much joy.
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You know, I've got to be one of the luckiest and most blessed writers in HP. I don't produce much (understatement), and these days I'm doing spectacularly well if I show my face online. I've fallen off the commenting wagon, and every time I make an effort to get back in the feedback swing, RL laughs at me and takes my keyboard away. (In related news, the store is surviving, but my life consists of either working or doing a passable impression of a zombie, the end.) So it's not like I'm giving other people the praise I should be or conveying how much my flist means to me or how central to my imagination all of you and your works are. I'm not doing anything to deserve this.

Yet here's a gift. A beautiful gift. The latest in a line of marvelous works inspired by something I wrote. An expression of remarkable talent, freely offered.

So, last night I made my weekly visit to deviantArt, and I checked the page of one of my favorite artists. They'd posted a new work, a pic of a bedridden Snape with a weary but peaceful and poignant face, Harry seated beside him, face pressed into his pillow. They're holding hands. The colors shimmer quietly. And there's a blaze of light across Snape's bedding that … oh. It's not a blaze, it's an angel. An angel with a sword. Oh, I said again, and scrolled down to read the artist's notes.

It's an interpretation of one of my personal favorite moments from The White Road, the sort of secretly glowing, meaningful touchstone that helped pull me through the writing of that fic.

Field of Sleepwalk by john-n-mary

Go take a look, at this and the rest of the artist's work. You'll see an extraordinary gallery full of marvelous, whimsical, eerie, elegant, intensely beautiful drawings. Leave a word of appreciation, if you like.

So much love, fandom. I'm very lucky to have found you.
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