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Steven Universe: Art & Origins

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Jemisin gives us such a great introduction to the book–apparently understanding very well that the audience of this book is full of animation enthusiasts and adult fans more than it is full of kids, and explaining that bewildering journey some adults had from blowing this show off as a silly kid thing to falling in love with it hard and fast.

The first timeline chart in the book features a cool sketch of the original Off Colors, which at the time this planning document was drafted included unused Off Colors Flint and Chert. The book talks about the origin, development, character design, writing and storyboarding, sound, backgrounds, animation and post production, and what the future holds. That’s part of the reason Steven Universe speaks to so many–because we see ourselves here, and know stories can be about us.Finally got those wonderful artbooks from Barnes and Noble back in 2021 and finally got them completed!

We knew of their existence already because of an episode of the podcast, but these two unexpectedly appeared as incidental characters in the Steven Universe Future episode “Homeworld Bound,” identified only in the credits. Steven Universe: End of an Era is far more than an art book–it’s also a collection of behind-the-scenes material, stories about the experience of working on the show, planning documents and associated background info, and both older versions of developed concepts AND concepts that never made it into the show. And of course it’s specified that Steven was supposed to get Pink Diamond flashbacks by going to the Palace on Homeworld. It seems like that bit was supposed to be included in Garnet’s version of the story she believed in “Your Mother and Mine. And then there’s some more “finished” art with stills alongside concepts, including some background art, revision, and really cool “fairytale” art from some of the shadowplay storytelling bits.

By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. There’s a huge amount of supplemental material in this section so there’s no way I could name it all. As Steven tries to figure out his gradually expanding range of powers, he spends his days with his human father Greg, his friend Connie, his magical pet Lion, the Gems and the other people in Beach City. Obviously just about everything is “notable” once again, but I’ll aim for unique insight or perspective on the main source material, keeping the screaming about everything new to a minimum so you can also enjoy something for yourself if you pick it up.

But another “heart” of the Crystal Gems is its relationships–particularly, Garnet, the fairy tale romance embodied. How she was selfish and selfless, never enough and always too much, and how Greg was her first partner who “challenged her” to be an equal.One of the concept art images for the Off Colors features Rhodonite crouching by Padparadscha saying “Don’t worry, I won’t let them hurt you.

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