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The Eagle Reverse Bigbang Art Post!

October 17th, 2012 (09:04 am)

A few months ago I signed up for the eagle_rbb (reverse bigbang), and made this piece of artwork:

Rating: G (fic can be higher)
Pairing(s): Would prefer Het
Warnings: None
Description: The image in the background is the Pharos at Alexandria and the text is by Flaubert ([Egypt] is a great place for contrasts: splendid things gleam in the dust); Marcus and Esca may be on a mission; the lady may be a pampered slave-girl, the daughter of an important family, or a young, unhappy wife who has fallen in love with Esca...

The artwork was claimed by bunn (Yay!), who has written the most wonderful story in response, full of colourful, historical detail and with an ending that moved me to tears.

Read bunn's Splendid things gleam in the dust at AO3.

I'll try to keep the descriptions as spoiler-free as possible.

This is a general-purpose divider, intended to mark the end of a section:

At the start of the story, Esca escapes from captivity:

The lady, Aristous, discusses her predicament with her friends:

Aristous petitions the god Serapis:

Esca teaches Aristous a dance from Britannia:

Esca and Marcus discuss a strange proposal:

Esca, Marcus and Aristous's father plan a rescue:

Aristous confronts the rebel leader:

Esca rescues Aristous:

Esca and Aristous discuss the future:

Many years later:


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: bunn (bunn)
Posted at: October 18th, 2012 08:55 am (UTC)

Aren't they fab? I think the bandit leader may be my favorite, he 's so dashing!

I've really enjoyed the collaboration.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 18th, 2012 09:29 am (UTC)

I was a bit worried using the bandit leader, because I thought Aristous might fall for him. His name's Kabir Bedi, and I first noticed him in 'Ashanti', where the only part of him that isn't swathed in black is his eyes, but he's still stunning :-)

Yes, it's been fun, hasn't it? I think the really good thing from my point of view (especially since I think of myself as a writer first and foremost) is that, plot-wise, you always took the story in the direction I was hoping for (you seemed to read my mind!), and your writing always includes those lovely little scenic details that don't come naturally to me (and make me envious!).

I was thinking, on my way home from London on Tuesday, how much the story is about Esca, and wondering whether that was my fault (because of the way I designed the art prompt) or whether it's because, for you as for me (as I realised on the train), Channing Tatum (through no fault of his own but by being miscast) has sort of ruined Marcus, but Jamie Bell has brought Esca to life. I've often wished they'd cast Jamie Bell as Marcus, but I don't suppose they'd have got the funding without an American hero.

Posted by: bunn (bunn)
Posted at: October 22nd, 2012 08:57 am (UTC)

Oh, I think that was me - I always have difficulty writing Marcus. I'm not sure why. Esca or minor characters, no problem, but Marcus tends to end up as a minor character himself or even offstage.

Plus, of course, the story was always going to be 'there and back again' for Marcus, because I didn't want to split him up from Cottia, whereas it was more of a real dilemma for Esca.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 18th, 2012 09:37 am (UTC)

Thank you!

I'm not sure where the idea for Egypt came from -- I was just looking for somewhere a bit different for Marcus and Esca to have an adventure, and I'm a bit of an Egyptomaniac (though my interest is in Pharaonic Egypt). I was so lucky that bunn was inspired, because she's written an absolutely fantastic story.

Posted by: sistermine (sistermine)
Posted at: October 19th, 2012 11:31 am (UTC)

Love the collage effect of the photos on pretty backgrounds. But my favourite is the divider frieze - such lovely colours.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 19th, 2012 02:07 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

Posted by: riventhorn (riventhorn)
Posted at: October 20th, 2012 01:57 am (UTC)
eagle women

I always love your technique of interposing text with the images. And all of the pictures that you have done are lovely and fit so well with the story. I especially like the one of Esca rescuing Aristous and also the one with Marcus, Esca, and Aristous's father planning the rescue--with the firelight and the air of secrecy--it's just perfect.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)

Thank you! There were so many scenes that begged to be illustrated, with precise visual details that really exercised my Google Fu!

Posted by: Maz (thismaz)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 09:26 am (UTC)

Those are really lovely. I really like the one where Esca rescues Aristous. It captures a moment of movement - he was holding her close when something alarmed him and made him look around.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)

Thank you! I was lucky to find that picture of Esca. It's much more fun to make the ones where it looks as though something's happening!

Posted by: Carmarthen (carmarthen)
Posted at: November 19th, 2012 02:39 am (UTC)

I really like these--your choices for the OCs are great (Indira Varma = ♥), and you've merged them into scenes very seamlessly. And I'm absolutely thrilled that you picked Egypt as a setting! It makes a great change of pace.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 19th, 2012 02:17 pm (UTC)

Thank you! It was quite hard to build the images up from details in bunn's story -- the one of Esca and Aristous on the terrace, for example, uses 7 different pictures, some of them more than once! -- and some of the banners are more convincing than others, but I really enjoyed working with her text. My own favourite is 'The End', with Esca and Aristous walking across the Downs, because I loved Bunn's little bonus ending.

Yes, Indira Varma's so beautiful, and I can't think of her as anyone but Aristous now!

I'm a bit of an Egyptoholic, but I knew nothing about the Roman period. I loved seeing Bunn's Esca out of his depth but still acting in character!

Posted by: Carmarthen (carmarthen)
Posted at: November 20th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)

...you know, I didn't even notice them there. Gah, now I really want a sequel about her adjusting to life on a small British farm. Maybe if I make big eyes at bunn enough.

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