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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Fearturing Bandwench's Frodo manip ~ "Frodo: Study in Blue" (Adult)....

Posted on 2006.06.25 at 12:41
Tags: , ,
Warning: Adult content in discussion.

Hello, fans of Frodo-erotica in its visual forms!

I just wanted to alert you to a Frodo manip made by a renowned maker of erotic Elijah Wood manips, bandwench. She just finished and posted it to her LJ.

Bandwench's LJ is typically friends-locked, but she has unlocked this entry only (at my urging), so that folks who browse here but aren't on her f-list will be able to see it, if they wish to. Some of you, I know, are friends of both this journal and hers, and you will already have seen it, but more of you are not.

Here's a detail from Bandwench's new manip, Frodo: Study in Blue:

Note: If you follow the link to her LJ, and if you enjoy her work, express your appreciation to the artist. Don't tell me; I'm just the bulletin board. Thanks! :)

About bandwench's new manip....

I already gushed to Bandwench in an e-mail, but I just love this manip (which is why I am featuring it)! It is not at all tasteless or pornish, even if Frodo is nude, and even though he is depicted as partially aroused (sexually). The manip was made from photographic elements, yet it has more the quality of a painting for me, my favourite medium for Frodo manips.

To view the whole image, full-sized, click HERE, which will take you to her LJ entry.

Warning: NC-17 for displayed genitals, in a state of partial arousal. (Not truly lascivious, however, IMO.)


After seeing the "sneak preview" of it, I told Bandwench something like this....

The image reminds me of the waking of the Eldar at the dawning of Middle-earth, except that Frodo's a hobbit, not an Elf (not that he isn't more beautiful than any Elf that every drew breath).

The background is wonderfully chosen, like a primeval woods and water, hushed, serene, and dimly-lit. You could have left it looking like a recognizable place, but your blue wash has given it an other-worldly look, perfect for something set in the mists of M-E. If it doesn't recall the waking of the Eldar under the first stars, rising naked from the newly-created earth, it also recalls to me newly-created Adam from the ancient biblical narrative, a sign of what all of us once were: pure and fresh and beautiful and without blemish.

As for the figure of Frodo, the body you used for him is just about perfect, in terms of what Frodo might plausibly look like under his clothes -- at least most fanfic Frodos, who tend not to have the Cirith Ungol tummy, LOL. The pose is perfect, too. Rising out of the water (like Botticelli's Venus rising from the Sea?) he is strong, but lithe and graceful. He seems relaxed, yet poised for movement at the same time, like a faun who has just stepped into a quiet drinking place. The face you chose fits into the compostion gorgeously.

I even love the skin. I love the droplets of water; did you put them there? Most Frodo manips have been air-brushed to bland perfection, but you have left in all the surface detail. I don't know if I am imagining it, but it's almost as though I can see the delicate network of veins and capillaries trhough the surface of his skin.

It strikes me as a visual expression of what Gandalf noted in Frodo, while he was recovering from the wound of the Morgul blade: there was about Frodo a "transparency".

About finding the work of bandwench....

I only just found Bandwench's amazing place a few days ago, having been directed there by mews.

I was scrolling down my f-list when I saw an entry showing off a very saucy animated icon made from a manip of a naked Elijah Wood. It was so well-done, I commented on it to Mews in her journal.

Mews gave me a link to Bandwench's website (which is public), Bandwench Dreams in Ink. There, Bandwench is in the midst of setting up the site to display her photomanips of Elijah Wood, and to archive her fic (slash and het, all starring Elijah Wood).

So far, Bandwench has loaded her "Tame" and "Tempting" EW manip galleries. If you take a peek in these, you will wonder where the HECK she is going to go with her "Torrid" gallery, yet to come (no pun intended).

Start with "Tame" -- because all of them are not that tame. These may be as far as you want to go, seeing EW portrayed in manips as himself. Go to that gallery, too, because "Prince Elijah" is in it, a manip of EW in costume, with long hair that looks like a painting. It is a manip to die for. There are four different versions of it. Maybe I'll have to do a separate post to feature them. *sigh*

The website notes that Bandwench is working on an "Het" and "Slash" gallery of EW photomanip images, too. (This means that, unlike the "Torrid" manips, which are solo, these manips would feature EW with a partner.)

About Bandwench's "Torrid" EW:

Even though I am not an Elijah Wood swooner, I do think he's a lovely man, and am forever grateful that he played Frodo Baggins so well in the LotR films. Furthermore, I can never resist racy material, written or visual, so, of course, I checked these out, once I had friended Bandwench's LJ, on which many of these already appear in individual entries.

This is just a note of warning for those of you who have never seen real porn*, and don't wish to: you may not wish to see these.

*By "real porn", I mean pictures in which the subject is not only fully naked, but sexually aroused, in frankly sexual situations (including, in some cases, climaxing). No sense beating about the bush.

But if you do look at her website and browse only what's in "Tame" and "Tempting", you still will see the level of excellence Bandwench has achieved in her photo-manipping craft. In many of her pieces, I really cannot tell that they are not actual photos; they are seamless. I don't like everything in the galleries, but it is a matter of taste, not lack of artistry.

There is no denying the craft of this artist, even though the level of craft varies as she has learned more over time. She told me that some of the manips are examples from her earliest days and don't show the skill she acquired later, but she hasn't gone back and "tidied" them (as I have done on several of mine, for new LJ entries). I noted that some of her early, less perfect manips are among her most charming.

I asked her how she had learned manipping so well and how long she had been doing it. She says she is self-trained (!!!), although a few other manippers have been willing to trade "secrets". She has been doing manips for a year and a half. She loves the art form (yes, "ART" form), and is not happy when people scoff at the idea that photo manipulation is an art form. She has painted and drawn for years, she says, and many of the same techniques and rules apply, no matter whether one's medium is the finest oil paint or colored pixels.

Again, Bandwench's explicitly sexual manips (in her "Torrid" gallery) definitely may not be everyone's cup of tea, but no one is compelled to look at highly-rated art sites, just as they are not compelled to read highly-rated fanfic. I say this so that people from here won't go peeking in there, and then get hysterical, after they've been warned.


I wrote last year about the right-and-wrong of using a celebrity's face for photomanips, even if they are shown only in select circles, since I was mulling over whether to post a Frodo "Art Travesty" manip I had made at that time, which partially revealed the source-model's genitals, sexual situation clearly implied.

I still am of two minds about it.

I suppose it depends on the spirit in which they were intended, for starters. Clearly, having read through Bandwench's LJ, she is an EW fan who is smart, upfront and good-humoured about her love of the actor, and of smut, and makes clear in every entry that these are the products of craft and fantasy. I think that's a lot better than writing stories or making images which explicitly or implicitly purport to reveal the "real truth" about EW's personal life -- if only EW were enlightened enough to know it -- when they are not.

The other major issue is how the celebrity feels about it. Frodo is imaginary and cannot be consulted, which is why I drew the line at presenting him in a compromising manip (fondling himself in front of all and sundry, when he ought to have been left to do this in private).

EW can, hypothetically, have something to say about it.

I doubt that EW has seen these manips, but I know that although he handled it with grace, he didn't look pleased at a press conference during the filming of Everything is Illuminated, receiving a sheaf of very soft-core manips of him and Sean Astin depicted as slash Frodo and Sam. But I'd bet that if EW saw these, he'd be secretly flattered, if not astonished.

"That's what they think I've got in my jeans?!? Holey-jamoley!!!"

Lurking on the EW thread at K-D, I think my impression of the adult Elijah Wood is that he's a good-natured, easy-going man who is a very good sport, but who might get tired of being thought pretty and precious and a little effeminate. So, I'm guessing, while he might roll his eyes at images of himself as Frodo manipped into pastel, air-brushed, soft-focus, discreet-but-nude embraces with Sam -- like slash versions of Hallmark greeting cards -- he'd respond differently if he stumbled onto Bandwench's porn shots.

If he were by himself, I think he'd first explode into a fit of laughter (for many of her filthiest manips are also witty), then stop and stare in open-mouthed admiration at the sight of himself revealed as, 'Elijah Wood: Porn Star'.

"Sh*t!" he'd probably say in wistful wonderment, "I wish!

~ Mechtild


(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2006-06-25 23:20 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mews, for directing me to her site. Almost more than her site, I enjoyed her LJ. Her writing is witty, insightful and full of joie de vivre when she is on a roll. And when she is being reflective, it's more insightful and probing, leading me to examine my own inner life. I just read through her journal yesterday, along with loads of great comments. EW manips are not really my cup of tea, unless I think of him as a model, and not as him being portrayed himself -- as a real person. But what she does with him as a "model" is often astounding. There is no getting around it, he has a fabulous face.

Some of her pictures made me swoony, but, since "swoon" definitely taps into each viewer's own personal fantasies and inclinations about sexual intimacy and love, the ones that most touched me were the ones that were the least kinky and the least "in my face."

I loved some of the ones of early EW in the "Tempting" and "Tame" gallery, which were plenty racy for me; ones in which his facial expression was sweet, vulnerable, or sleepy-eyed. But, that's me, I'm a fairly romantic person, however smutty, still fondest of the old, unadorned, passionate, real, I-Thou when it comes to erotica, visual or written. I love what is saucy, erotica with wit and silliness, but I find that more fun than erotic.

Of her "Torrid"s, I did like some of them very much, because of the beauty of the pose, or the loveliness of the model's body, the tilt of a hand, or, frankly, the beauty of a model's genitals or pubic hair (LOVE good pubic hair). But, to appreciate the manips fully, I usually needed to forget the face was EW's. But, that's me. Not an EW swooner, and still a little "funny" about looking at his head on the bodies of people posing for porn. Still, EVEN IF ONLY TO LOOK AT THE EXCELLENCE OF THE MANIPPING!!!!!!! - I wouldn't have missed any of Bandwench's work.
mechtild at 2006-06-26 06:46 (UTC) (Link)
Eee gad, Mews. You ask me one simply question and I blab for paragraphs and never do answer the question.

Have you seen the Masked Elijah she did for a Mardi Gras manip about a year ago?

The only manip I saw in her site of EW wearing a mask was in her "Tame" section. It's red-sequined. Otherwise he's wearing an open white shirt (like an 18th century shirt), a cross on a chain and black pants. If that's the one you mean, while it was an attractive image, since his face does not show, it was not a favourite. Is there another mask manip you might mean?

Besides the "Prince Elijah", which I thought stunning (in all its tints), I sort of melted over what she identified as her first 'Frolijah', which looks like FotR Frodo wearing some cute little white small clothes. She used one of my favourite Frodo faces, from that GREAT set of high-resolution series of publicity stills taken with Ian McKellen, as Frodo and Gandalf (see icon).
(Deleted comment)
shirebound at 2006-06-25 22:58 (UTC) (Link)
I only feel brave enough to view "Tame" at the moment, but that "Prince Elijah" is astonishing. Incredible.
mechtild at 2006-06-25 23:37 (UTC) (Link)
Isn't "Prince Elijah" FABULOUS?????

It makes me wish all the more he would do another film in which he could wear a great costume and wig. I know a lot of his fans like him no matter what he is sporting. But I dislike most of his bed head hair-dos, and don't like his shaved look much better. I hate and despise the "Faux-hawk". But, other fans love these looks. I just wish he'd do something to please an old long-hair-loving geezer like me. You don't see me sticking him into paintings featuring bald men, do you?

I also love his beautiful speech as Frodo, which goes out the window when he is playing modern roles.

As for "Tempting," that may be too much for you, Shirebound. Bandwench has put a lot of images in there that I would call "R" for sure - ones with testicles visible, for example. The pictures from which these are made, when they are nude, are not actually involved in a sexual situation, so they have been put into "Tempting" rather than "Torrid." But, they still are posed in ways that clearly were meant to be sexually titillating, even if they aren't highly-rated.

If I post a "Michelangelo's David", in which the statue's genitals are fully on view, I say, "NOT WORK SAFE", because, even if he's a statue, he's fully naked. But, I wouldn't call the piece "NC-17" or even "R", because the image was not meant to be erotic. It's just a man naked. But the source pics used for most of "Tempting", and some of "Tame", are meant to be pin-ups. I think that changes the character of the manips, even if they are not explicit.

So, you may not want to click open "Tempting." However, Bandwench often is quite straight about what you'll see, when it comes to literal presentation. If she says "partial view of boy bits", that means you are going to see some testicle. If she says, "veiled, aroused boy bits" (or somthing like that), it means you will clearly be able to see that the model has an erection, but through underwear or something like that.

In "Torrid," you will see something quite different. If she says, "aroused boy bits," it means there is going to be an erect penis in full view. If she adds, "self-touching", it means the model ir, or appears to be masturbating.

I should imagine the same criteria will apply when she gets her "Het" and "Slash" galleries up (which mean EW will be with a partner).
taerie at 2006-06-25 23:57 (UTC) (Link)
Not my cup of tea, I fear. Particularly the idea of doing manips of a real person without their permission. It seems like assault. I enjoyed the edited picture you displayed here though of Frodo.. it was very nice and I love the blue theme!
Manips certainly ARE an art form! Anybody who says it isn't can't do it. Sour grapes.
mechtild at 2006-06-26 00:10 (UTC) (Link)
You might really love this manip, Taerie. The EW stuff, I am sure not.

But the Frodo manip, oh, it's lovely. How different is it, really, if I put film-Frodo's face in a painting, for which a real model posed nude? What Bandwench is doing for this manip is taking the body of a [consenting] model from a nude photograph, putting it in a neutral setting (a non-consenting setting, I suppose), and putting film-Frodo's face in it. How is that different, ethically, from what I did with "Frodo: Before the Fire, After the Bath"?

Now, putting EW's face in porn shots, I agree, is another matter. But, since I really don't think he would care very much, I am not that exercised about it -- even if it really isn't my "thing", simply because EW is not my "thing".
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2006-06-26 03:21 (UTC) (Link)
Aww, your poem provided a sweet little inset for that scene, White Gull. No wonder Frodo was wool-gathering.

I often have wondered if Goldberry ("River daughter") was Tolkien's version of a water nymph, whom Tom Bombadil had "captured." (You probably already heard me say this; weren't you on that TORc reading thread at that time?)

All that said, WOW, Frodo: A study in blue, is stunning.

I think so, too. I hope you went over to Bandwench's LJ and told her so. You know as well as I, appreciative feedback is the fan artist's reward.

(Deleted comment)
frodosweetstuff at 2006-06-26 13:41 (UTC) (Link)
Awwww, I think Bandwench is soooooo incredibly talented (and a lovely and funny lady to boot). Love her manips, no matter what rating. :)

As for manipping ficitonal characters and real persons - I have done both and I do not feel bad about it. It was done out of love for the characters/persons so I don't think anyone should take offence - especially since it was made clear the pics were manips. As for EW, he did talk about the slashy manips, especially Theban Band, on a TV chat show and obviously did not mind. :) I doubt he searches the net for slashy or het pics of himself but I also doubt he minds much that they are there.
mechtild at 2006-06-26 14:12 (UTC) (Link)
[sorry - left out a sentence; will fix]

He does seem like a pretty easy-going person, Frodosweetstuff. At first I thought it was just a matter of him being a good sport in front of others, which is obviously a key facet of his personality from everything I've heard and read. But I am betting he really doesn't care very much. As an actor, too, and as Tairie said above, as an actor, probably any attention and publicity is better than none.

As to manips of celebs, again, I think it matters what the intended audience is, but also the content. I obviously am not flying into the boughs about seeing Frodo presented in [not very explicit] erotic photomanips or [very expliciit] stories, although the tone of some repells me, while others please me. It's a matter of taste. I haven't paid much attention to the EW ones, since he's not my swoon, but it did trouble me - what EW might feel about it. But, after Bandwench, told me of EW's reported remarks that he really doesn't mind fans fooling around with his picture for erotic fan use, I'd have to say that it's an acceptable pastime, even if it is not for everyone.

That makes it sound as though I'd be willing to let fans make anything out of his picture, but that would not be true. I would have a fit if I saw the images of EW (or Frodo) to show dead or tortured for pleasure. I would hate to see a manip (or a real pic) of him having sex with an animal, or the handle of a bullwhip up his rectum, like Robert Mapplethorpe's controversial self-portrait. Yet someone likes that sort of stuff, and someone would call it appreciative fan art. What happens to my, "it's just a manip; they can do whatever they want" position when I think of such things? I could say, "Well, you don't have to look at it," and I wouldn't. But I would hate the thought of it even being made.

So. When I present to myself a scenario that I personally would hate, my principle is shown as faulty. So it can't just be a matter of what any and every niche group of people thinks is "ok". It really is a more complex issue than I had thought when I first started to think about this.

I suppose the issue involves not just subject consent (actual or implied), but that they not be presented in material that would make them (and others) be revolted. That's tricky, though. For one fan, showing him in a bathtub masturbating is revolting, for someone else it is erotica. For both of these sets of people, however, showing him tied, up being dismembered would be revolting. (For Kevin in Sin City it might be entertainment, LOL). Does what is and what is not "over the top" dependent on a majority vote, then?

I still haven't figured it out *opens new hot Frodo story to read*.
bagma at 2006-06-26 17:10 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the link and the interesting discussion! I didn't know bandwench manips (I only saw the one in mews1945's LJ, and I found it lovely).
I was ill-at-ease about manips for months, until I realize it's only a visual form of fanfiction, after all. Images replace words. If I could read or write about Frodo's or Elijah's genitals, I can look at them, especially since they are all fictitious (the bits, I mean), both in image and in words. Of course, we use Elijah's face; but it's clear from the beginning we don't describe the real Elijah. What we are picturing is our fantasy of him, and we are free to do that and share the product of our imagination with others, IMO.

I don't like every manip: some are too crude for my taste, I guess, or just too bad. I need a good manip: I want to forget it's not real while I'm looking at it, like I want to believe the story is true while I'm reading a fic:).
mechtild at 2006-06-26 21:50 (UTC) (Link)
Bagma, I think you speak well and speak for many when you write,

Of course, we use Elijah's face; but it's clear from the beginning we don't describe the real Elijah. What we are picturing is our fantasy of him, and we are free to do that and share the product of our imagination with others, IMO.

But I like to know that the real actor is not outraged by it. I like him, I'm grateful to him, so I wouldn't want to make him miserable. But, it sounds as though this doesn't make him miserable, per se, even if it might cause him to roll his eyes and wonder what we see in him and the character he created.

I agreed with this wholeheartedly:

I need a good manip: I want to forget it's not real while I'm looking at it, like I want to believe the story is true while I'm reading a fic:).

I love that in a fanfic, that the author can make me suspend disbelief and believe her world (at least while I am reading it!), or believe her manip in so far as it shows good technique and presents an image of the character I can respond to and recognize (and I think we can call Elijah Wood a character in so far as he appears in fics and manips, since he is merely a model for the role created by fans).
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-06-27 19:06 (UTC) (Link)
I’m just back from telling Bandwench how much I liked the Frodo manip.

You wrote above regarding your Frodo Art Travesty ‘Before the Fire…’

I still am of two minds about it.

I have always thought this particular piece of art very tastefully done. There is only a hint of what else may be seen, and Frodo is deep in thought not looking at the viewer.

I would not have liked it with real-life EW’s face because that is not my thing (each to his own). Give me Frodo, make-up, wig and all and I’m there 111%.

I hope Mr Wood continues to be unconcerned about the manips. I know I’m being naive but I pray no one will overstep the line. Unfortunately there are some very loathsome personages out there. I love and appreciate what he did with film Frodo. *Please God protect him*
mechtild at 2006-06-27 22:32 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Este, what a sweetie you are (re: Before the Fire). Oh, I have come to think that is a very nice manip; it only worried me because I had made it from a porny pin-up. If I had found the same body in a painting, I wouldn't have been a bit concerned. I just kept wondering whose body that was, and whether I ought to credit him, LOL!

I am sure EW's fans mean him well, however they express it, and I think he knows that. Almost never have I read LJ's in which fans bore ill will toward EW, although some have been pretty nasty towards his girl friends. Still, I don't get the impression they'd actually stalk either of them or send hate mail to his house. The majority I've posts I've read every where, in fact, have been notably protective. I suppose it seems contraditory that a fan could be protective of his happiness, yet create very intimate things based on his personal life, but many of us are full of paradoxical feelings and inclinations.

All in all, I am very happy I posted Bandwench's manip, a) because it's gorgeous and I wanted more people to be able to see it and b) because perhaps it has been a good thing to talk about these concerns in print. Taerie's been great presenting one side of the argument, and I have perhaps overstated my own position, trying to represent the more liberal view (which Bagma stepped in and stated much better! Thanks, Bagma!).

I told Taerie here, and I told Bandwench in an email, there are probably other fans who have been reading this thread but not speaking, for whom the discussion has been helpful, simply to help them get clearer about what they themselves feel and think on this issue. :)
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