• Member Since 26th Apr, 2012
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You've got the heart of a phoenix! Profile Art by Bevin Brand. Writing: The Ex Files.

More Blog Posts60

  • 1 week
    Art Commissions Open

    Bevin has commissions open!! You like the art in Empathy for the Devil? Go support a great artist and get some of your own 🎨

    Here's some examples of what people have commissioned in the past of cannon characters and/or OCs:

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    2 comments · 86 views
  • 6 weeks
    Fanfic Spotlight: Liminal Space

    Fanfiception :pinkiegasp:

    Whoa, okay, someone just did me the super cool kindness of writing something within the Empathy-verse! It's a story called Liminal Space about Timber and Flash's new relationship, after The Exes Club but before Empathy for the Devil.

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    2 comments · 103 views
  • 6 weeks
    Empathy for the Devil Print Copies - Online Release!

    Book status: launched

    The links are live! Get yours and don't forget there's a zine with 150 pages of never-before-seen art, writing, and dorking out! (some never to be posted online ever)

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    4 comments · 345 views
  • 8 weeks
    For Everfree 2023

    I'll be at Everfree Northwest next week! Here's the deets:

    Buy copies of our stuff at Twilight's Book Nook (booth 9 in the Vendor Hall)
    Empathy for the Devil - $23 USD / $30.78 CAD

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    0 comments · 134 views
  • 15 weeks
    Empathy for the Devil Print Edition Release Date and More!

    Happy 10-year anniversary, Equestria Girls!!! Can't believe how time flies.

    To celebrate, we’ve got a book on our hands. One that could soon also be in yours.

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    10 comments · 484 views

Bonus Features: Return of the She-Demon · 12:33pm January 16th

Ladies, gentlemen, and esteemed guests: welcome to the climax. I always think of the swap at the end of 11 as the official start to the climax, but we're definitely in full-swing now! Let's jam.

Q: OMG. How do you design a demon?
BEVIN: HAAAA! Oh boy, well, speaking purely for myself and this process, it was reading the description in the chapter, getting extremely excited, then a months-long process of struggling to get the image in my head into the physical world in any form that looked remotely appealing. The eternal struggle.

But for this I did have guidelines set out by the series already, since Sunset, Twilight, Gloriosa, and Juniper all had demon forms. And jumping from those, I jumped into, okay what is this demon form all about, what is it manifesting from? I imagine all of them are rooted in the emotional reality of the characters and what they're struggling with, and the manifestation of those feelings are in part defined by how they view themselves. Sunset on some level sees herself as a demon, so when she gets lost in these parts of herself, that's what she turns into. Midnight Sparkle is all cold reason and curiosity without concern for the consequences, knowledge for the sake of itself with no connection to other people or the world at large, so she has this very neon-esque, futuristic horn and flaming glasses all centered around her head - her mind.

So what's Timber's deal? I won't spell it out here, I hope the design speaks for itself, in tandem with the context of Miss Marvel's beautiful writing (which made me cry, for the record). But yeah. Cinder, my beloved, I hope I did him justice here.

MARVEL: I enjoy making you cry almost too much 😂

Part of why we work so well together as creative collaborators (in addition to being best friends, because sometimes you can be friends with something and not work so well together and vice versa) is because our brains work in similar ways. The same brain is strong here!

I'll also let Cinder's design speak for itself, but when deciding on Cinder - how he would move, what he would look like, what his MO would be - it had to be all rooted in the core of the character. Every aspect of him that I could tailor to Timber's character and where he is right now, I did my best to, because that's what's so damn exciting about the Equestria Girls demons!!! Any time we got to see one, character exploration abound!

Q: How do you write a fight?
So this is something I've never done before this chapter. I haven't done much action writing, really, but like anything else, when I knew where I wanted this to go - all out balls to the walls demon battle - I knew I needed to up my skills. So, I did research like any writer does - by watching Youtube video essays and also thinking entirely too deeply about my favourite fights in anything!

I learned about the importance of changing the dynamic of the fight, how to keep things interesting. But largely, at the core of it, it's all gotta be character-motivated

I'm not a huge fan on action movies for the sake of action, but when I thought about it, I am a fan of creative action. Action that represents something meaningful for the characters, action that demonstrates a shifting power dynamic between characters, emotional catharsis!!!

My friends later showed me great examples that I could've pulled from (Pacific Rim, Kamen Rider: Build or other tokusatsu shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.) - but I hadn't seen those yet.

When I was writing chapter 12, what made it so goddamn fun was because it was rooted in the characters. In Sunset realizing finally learning important lessons, in Flash getting a beautiful moment to boost himself up, and especially, in Timber Brambleton Spruce and Twilight Sparkle have a knock-down, drag-out break-up fight that they didn't allow themselves to have originally!!! They've needed this for so, so long, it was so satisfying to let them finally kick the shit out of each other in the ways that only these two would.

BEVIN: That fight!! ::chef's kiss:: I did so many sketches of different moments in that fight, I love it so, so much! If I'd had more confidence (and time) I might have gone for a few of them, but ultimately I decided on the aftermath and them finally both being vulnerable when they each connect on a common point-- their fear and guilt when Flash gets hurt. It's not a big, flashy moment but it's incredibly important, and I felt it deserved its own highlight.

Need some tunes for the end of the world? Soundtrack time. (Note: Ran a little short on time, so I might update later with the relevant lyrics for the bottom half of the list)

  • Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Cinematic Pop – Sunset’s Theme
  • Bitch by Meredith Brooks – “I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother/I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, And I do not feel ashamed/I'm your hell, I'm your dream, I'm nothing in between/You know you wouldn't want it any other way”
  • Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill – “That girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood/She's got the hottest trike in town/That girl, she holds her head up so high/I think I wanna be her best friend, yeah”
  • Bad Reputation by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – “I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation”
  • King of Anything by Sara Bareilles – “Who cares if you disagree?/You are not me/Who made you king of anything?/So you dare tell me who to be?/Who died and made you king of anything?”
  • Bang! By AJR – “Been a hell of a ride but I'm thinking it's time to go/Bang! Bang! Bang!/(Here we go)/So put your best face on everybody/Pretend you know this song/Everybody come hang (come hang)/Let's go out with a bang/Bang! Bang! Bang!/ I'm way too young to lie here forever/I'm way too old to try so whatever come hang (come hang)”
  • You’re Such A by Hailey Steinfeld – “damn, you're such a/Difficult little devil/Trying to put it back together/'Cause you see I'm doing better/Without you now”
  • good for you by Olivia Rodrigo
  • Hope of Morning by Icon for Hire
  • Pop by Jonathan Young and Caleb Hyles
  • Wonderwall by Jonathan Young
  • Come Talk to Me by Peter Gabriel
  • The Heart of the Matter by Megan Hilty
  • Welcome to the Family by Watsky
  • Smells like Teen Spirit by Cast of Pan
  • Burned Out by dodie

In the wise words of Chief Clancy Wiggum, this is gonna get worse before it gets better.

Stay empathetic,
P.S. I feel like seeing people on tumblr share the story with their friends and post about it is a life-goal I didn't know I'd wanted to reach. The more you know!

Comments ( 4 )

I'm amazed by what you guys did with Timber's worst and Flash's best, especially after dabbling in EqG demon design myself. The Buddhist influences on Slash Sentry are especially fascinating, and the burning wound where Cinder Spruce's heart should be speaks for itself.

I can't help but employ my usual medium... which may require some further context, given that it's Magic: the Gathering. :twilightsheepish:

Slash Sentry, Heartsinger 2WW
Legendary Creature — Angel Bard
Flying, double strike, lifelink
Whenever an opponent casts a spell, if it has one or more targets, you may change one of the targets to Slash Sentry, Heartsinger.
After months of cheering on the Rainbooms, Flash finally took center stage himself.

(Flash has the potential to be a truly devastating force for good with a little more help... but he also can't help but draw attention to himself with that harp-guitar. True to the story, it's entirely possible that someone will end up shooting him out of the sky before he can really get going.)

Cinder Spruce, the Wildblaze RG
Legendary Creature — Satyr Demon
Haste, trample
Cinder Spruce, the Wildblaze has ward X, where X is its power.
Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on Cinder. If you control seven or more lands with with different names, put two +1/+1 counters on it instead.

(The further Timber ranges, the harder he hits and the harder he is to pin down. Once you (or Midnight) show him enough of the world, he really starts burning out of control.)

Thank you, it took some doing! I forgot to mention it in the post itself, but part of the inspiration for Cinder's design for me came from seeing what it looks like when lighting strikes a tree and sets it on fire from the inside out. Nature is the best designer of all!

And ooo, thank you, excited to give yours a read!

Oh man, we got our own FoME Magic: the Gathering cards!!! That's how you know you've done something cool! :heart: These are so good, love the descriptions

Honestly, when I saw Cinder, the first thing that popped into my head was either a satyr or Cernunnos. Both of which fit Timber's wilderness aesthetic.

Also, a couple of other soundtracks that came to mind while reading:
When Midnight and Cinder were fighting:

When Sunset confronted Sombra:

this bonus features post was made for my writer + artistic ass

I gasped when I read the descriptions and choked on my breath when I saw the art of Cinder, very dramatic of a reaction but it's true !!! I was wondering if Slash's design had any cultural influences and it's super cool how you guys integrated his music side with it! him boosting himself up gave me a bunch of emotions because the boy's been nothing but, in Cinder's words, An Angel the entire time, he deserved that time to shine!

So, I did research like any writer does - by watching Youtube video essays and also thinking entirely too deeply about my favourite fights in anything!

we really are the same person <3 and YES the best advice for fights really is if they're laced with conflicting character desires and motives! like, sure, I'll care if a character is trying not to get stabbed but I wouldn't care about it above the basic level of human respect if there isn't anything more to it. but something like TimberTwi's fight? was genuinely terrified that they were gonna end up harming each other because of how raw their bottled-up emotions toward each other were 😔

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