Thursday, September 15, 2011

// Ultimate Dragon Quest Superfan Contest: César Hernández-Meraz.

This is my entry to the Ultimate DRAGON QUEST Superfan Contest.

Hello, everyone.

As anyone who knows me can attest, I am a fan of Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest is a big part of my life. Everywhere I go, I take it with me, in one form or another.

I will list here some examples to make people see my love for DQ. It might also help me get some friends with similar interests.

1) LiveJournal Dragon Quest community.

The year: 2003. LiveJournal was a place where lots of people expressed their interests, sometimes alone, other times, as a group. There were communities for different fandoms, but Dragon Quest was not one of them. Naturally, I thought LiveJournal needed a community dedicated to DQ, and that is how this community was born. My friend Lady Stewart has taken over from me as the owner recently, but you can see the first posts, when the journal was created, and the contact email (in case you do not know, "Icecypher" is a name I have used for quite some time).

2) deviantART Dragon Quest community.

The end of 2006 was nigh, and Dragon Quest had very little presence in the art-centric site known as deviantART. My love for Dragon Quest and fan art mandated that something be done to change that, so I created the Dragon Quest deviantART community, which offered a place where DQ fans could display their creations and find those of others. Sadly, there was a long period when I had no internet access; during those years, the community suffered from a lack of management (back then, each submission had to be manually uploaded to the community). When I finally came back online, the new "group" functionality had been working for more than a year, a new DQ group had been created and (perhaps more importantly) I had lost the password for the community... Still, that account remains in dA as a testament of older times.

3) deviantART personal Dragon Quest gallery.

Drawing is something I have loved since before Dragon Quest existed. It helps me bring the images in my mind to the physical plane, and it also allows me to concentrate when there is a lot of noise outside. I am almost always drawing. It may be a sketch or a finished picture, but it is a constant in my life. Marrying those two passions of mine (pictorial art and Dragon Quest) was a natural step in my life. And there are no limits on who gets selected to appear on an illustration; main characters have just as much of a chance to be featured as some more obscure characters (mine is an equal opportunities gallery). I have already said too much about this, but I will now let the illustrations themselves say the rest. Be aware, though, that there are a couple of "mature content" pictures in the gallery (only visible if you are logged into a deviantART account and its settings allow mature content).

4) Dungeons from Dragon Quest III, played with a recorder.

When I was in junior high school, the art teacher did not seem to care if we learned how to properly play our musical instrument (in our case, a recorder) or not. If we wanted to learn, we had to find a way to motivate ourselves. I found my way in Dragon Quest (and a few other series I like). One of the first melodies I taught myself to play is "Dungeons", from Dragon Quest III. I knew it as the Melody of the God of Death, since Kill-Vearn played it in the animation of Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibôken, which happens to be one of my favorite series of all time. I will share now a video of myself playing "Dungeons". I am not as good a player as I used to be, though, so do not expect it to be the best performance ever.

5) Blog about Dragon Quest.

Before 2011, I blogged using a LiveJournal account. Not a lot of people used it anymore, though, and I decided to finally move to Blogspot. Getting a new blog gave me a chance to try to better organize the posts. The style of the whole blog is decorated with pictures of monsters from the DQ series. In the Dragon Quest category on my blog I try to reach people in three different languages (Spanish, French and English), while also including Japanese original names and terms on each post. These blog entries are also interconnected to allow people to find more Dragon Quest information and art with ease; be it through direct links, suggested posts or DQ character tags, I make sure people get access to more Dragon Quest posts once they reach my blog. Now I wonder why I did not start blogging this way before (I think it was because I somehow knew I would be addicted to pageviews reports and analysis).

6) My Dragon Quest collection (or The reason why I will never host a TV show).

I cannot really say a lot about this piece of evidence here, so I will let my collection speak for itself. I am still nervous about having to speak on camera (I swear I am slightly better at speaking with someone, or speaking something scripted, but improvisation has never been my strong point). I wore the eyeliner to better resemble my user picture.

7) Hogan's Island, a Dragon Quest Monsters - Joker 2 fan video.

I like the contests held at the Dragon's Den. I just discovered them a short time ago, but I found them really entertaining and inspirational. Each one of my submissions has had its own flavor. For one of them, it was something I wanted to do for myself, even if I knew it did not have a chance to win. For another, it was a careful selection of attributes it needed to be well-liked. For this video, it was something else. I had planned to have another submission as my best card for that contest, and the idea to make an entry based on Gilligan's Island and DQM Joker 2 was just for fun. I had a lot of trouble deciding which image would be best to use as the base of a poster, since none seemed recognizable enough. Then the idea to make a video arrived, and this entry came to life. I asked my boyfriend for help, since he is the one who knows how to create videos. Both of us would watch the intro from Gilligan's Island a lot of times. Working together, we came up with this submission that, thankfully, was well received. Unlike the aforementioned entry whose entire design was thought of to get votes, this one simply revealed itself to us, coming to existence as it was always supposed to be. Of course, it is very special to me because David and I were part of its creation, and I am thankful with everyone who liked it. This video is currently displayed in my blog, and I hope it will make more people interested in Dragon Quest Monsters - Joker 2.

8) Fan art for Dragon Quest Monsters - Joker 2.
Dragon Quest Monsters - Joker 2

The release of a new Dragon Quest game is always a reason to celebrate. The way I do it is drawing fan art. This piece is unfinished at the moment, but each one of the characters that are portrayed in it has been or will be featured on individual posts in my blog. This way I try to contribute as much as I can to help make DQM-J2 a hit. Even though I could not color the characters completely, I tried to at least color the green stones each one of them has in either a ring or somewhere on their clothes.

9) My Dragon Quest treasure.
DQ treasures

This is a special piece of evidence. This is my Dragon Quest treasure. Each one of these items is a gift from a friend, family member or loved one who knows how much DQ is a part of my life. The Dragon Quest VI ruler (from Kev, to whom I mentioned DQ VI is my favorite game). A ceramic slime (from Keith, whom I met through Marvel Comics, but who knows about my love for DQ, so he created this especially for me). DQ cards (from Steve, who has been very patient with me and deserves the best). Dragon Warrior Monsters (from Matt, who was willing to let go of his own copy of the game when he learned I had been looking for it). The Silent Hope envelope (from King Slime; this one I am sure you know, since it represents our collective hope that Slime Knights will one day return and we will all be together again). One of the most important items, a bootleg Torneco game for the PS (from my brother, Óscar, who knew I could not find Torneco's game anywhere and got this for me so I could play). The most special one, the Dai no Daibôken TV series DVD (from my boyfriend, David, who started watching it on my computer with me and created a special DVD so we could watch it on TV). All of these items form my personal Dragon Quest treasure. Something so unique I could not buy with money. Thanks, everyone, for supporting my DraQue craving.

10) My boyfriend, David.
David and Dragon Quest

David, my boyfriend, is the reason why I want to win first place on this contest. He reads Dragon Quest manga with me, he watches Dragon Quest anime with me and he listens to Dragon Quest music with me. He watches me draw Dragon Quest illustrations. And he has now started playing Dragon Quest. He did not know about the series, but now he really enjoys it. But he can only play when he is using my Nintendo DSi, since he does not have any video game consoles. There are many reasons why someone would want to win, but getting a Nintendo DSi so David and I can play together is mine. He is what made me try as hard as I did and create the best submission I could. He is my best card for this contest, and, if I win, that big prize is for him.

BONUS) My road, my journey.

To end this submission, a non-competing item. My road, my journey, the ending theme from Dai no Daibôken, performed by yours truly. This is also the ending theme from Dragon Quest II.

That was all. I hope you like this entry to the Ultimate DRAGON QUEST Superfan Contest.


Ultimate Dragon Quest Superfan Contest

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