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.
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!