Archive for Community

Community Spotlight: Fódlan Cuizine, coming soon [Preorders up now until August 2]

I’ve been graced with another truly unique fan project this time, and I’d be remiss to let it slide by unnoticed by the masses. Today, we’re taking a look at the Fódlan Cuizine project, a zine with more than just its print, that celebrates the food lover’s experience of the Three Houses installment. This project is led by Pear, and includes efforts from over 50 talented artists across the Fire Emblem fanbase. What’s special about this zine, you ask? Why, it’d not only be the stickers, acrylic charms, washi tape and memo pad, but also the tea towels, ceramic coasters and recipe cards.

Inspired by the everlasting bonds deepened through the sharing of teatime and meals at Garreg Mach Monastery, Fódlan Cuizine is a safe for work fanzine and cookbook celebrating the food, friendships, and families of Fódlan. Spanning 120 plus pages of original content produced by over 50 contributors, the zine includes 8 stories, 30+ pieces of artwork, and 40+ original, tested recipes along with exclusive merchandise items. Six tiers of book and merch bundles can be found on the zine’s Big Cartel.

The theme of Fódlan Cuizine is warmth and community. The zine highlights the various relationships in Fire Emblem Three Houses, raising a toast (or two!) to family, friendship, and everlasting bonds.

Preorders for Fódlan Cuizine are available from now until August 2, with expectations to ship around October of this year, and can be processed through their official web site (linked above). These bundles are available to ship out of the US, where everything is being produced. All proceeds from the sale of the zine will be donated to the charity Action Against Hunger, an international organization that works to treat and prevent malnutrition in 45+ countries.

Notable voice actor Brad Venable (Kostas, Nader, Merlinus, Cormag) passes away today

If you’re a fan of Fire Emblem, then you’re familiar with the franchise’s many notable features; a tile based combat system, a diverse and colorful cast, weapon triangles, and permanent unit death. The franchise has been around for decades, celebrating its 30th anniversary not even one full year ago, and has celebrated its successes with its increasing fanbase across the globe. As the games have developed in quality and complexity over time, we’ve seen changes that pretty much everyone can agree on, that being the inclusion of character voicing within gameplay. Voice-over showcasing really picked up with the release of Fire Emblem Path of Radiance for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2005, but between the future releases, notably Awakening, Fates, Shadows of Valentia, Heroes and Three Houses, the explosion of popularity with the games can definitely be in part, attributed to the quality of the voice talent found within these many games.

Brad Venable, from Feb 22, 2020 (via his Twitter)

Whether you’re a fan of the new direction that the games have taken or prefer the more classic and traditional feel of the games themselves, the voice over work has been universally praised, and for good reason. The voice actors themselves have been extremely involved with the community, helping out with charity drives, social activity awareness, promoting and teaching the ins and outs of the field, and even just being friends with each other and those that support them.

Cormag, drawn by Fire Emblem character and Cipher artist
Soeda Ippei

One such figure in the community, who had been handling voice-over work since 2004 in general, before diving into the world of Fire Emblem in 2019, is Brad Venable. If you’re not familiar with his work, he joined the Three Houses cast as Kostas, the game’s first boss enemy, as well as Nader, an extremely important instructional master to Claude, with a plot element that I won’t get too into. If you haven’t played the award-winning Switch release, you can also find him voicing Fire Emblem Heroes’ Merlinus and Cormag (a surefire memory to those who celebrate the Game Boy Advance days of Fire Emblem). I personally love his performance as Merlinus, though I think he had a soft spot for the “True Protagonist of Three Houses” (Kostas).

Despite the nature of my work, I myself did not get to interact with him, but I did have him on a short list to get to know him, as he definitely seemed like a well-respected member of the voice acting community as a whole. Seeing his Twitter account quickly helped me realize just how much he loved his career, and the people he worked with, and if you do a search for recent posts featuring him on Twitter, you’ll see just as much support from not only peers in his field, but fans of his many roles. My time on the Serenes Forest team has truly helped me learn to appreciate and want to get to know the people behind the games that have improved my life, and I’m fortunate to have had the chance to be a part of this community, because seeing this much love and respect has put a small smile back on my face.

It’s always hard to see someone that you respect pass away, and it’s especially hard when you connected with them on more than just a professional level, but not only Brad’s work but Brad’s heart has touched the lives of many, and I only hope that if there’s one thing that you can take away from this, it’s that you connect with those that matter to you, and let them know that you appreciate them. Whether it be a friend, family member, or just an acquaintance or idol that you look up to or have a good memory with…let them know that you’re proud to be a part of their lives.

Community Spotlight: FE Tea Houses’ Tea-themed goodies for the new year through wonderful fan project, available until January 24

Watching the Fire Emblem fanart community grow and share their successes is among one of my favorite things about being part of this fandom. I’ve seen creators come up with great ideas, such as magazines, planners, pins and key-chains, and sharing their hard work has been a joy of mine for my many years here on the SF team. That said, I’ve recently come across another one of those ‘special projects’ that is sure to pique the interest of my fellow tea connoisseurs, with a endeavor that I had never even considered.

This is the Fire Emblem Tea Houses project, which unlike other projects I’ve been following, is hard to describe simply. FE Tea Houses (check out their web site) is a project featuring a variety of super high quality art productions centered around the Fire Emblem Three Houses release, but with the added twist of not only being themed around the casual indulgent lifestyle of Garreg Mach’s denizens, but themed around the tea socialization within the game’s support and socialization system.

All four coasters are ceramic, with a cork backing

What’s more, is that this project not only features the assortment of incredible art in a collective physical book (and matching PDFs) and other great additions like acrylic charms and bookmarks, but also, many teatime based items, such as tea towels, coasters, spoons, a cookie stamp and a tea tin!

64-page Hardcover

Organized by several very talented creators of the Fire Emblem Tea Houses project, such as Saerinn, Kotaline, Ramyeon, Soojin, Kyousa, Keru and Piki, (All links here are to each individual’s Twitter) the project itself is a charity project, with proceeds going to the Tea Leaf Trust, who empower and deliver accessible education to young people living on tea estates surrounding the Maskeliya area of Central Province, Sri Lanka.

This is definitely a passion project, brimming from all sides with appreciation for the franchise. Preorders are open until January 24 (so, for just over a month from today), and are expected to ship between April and May of 2021. The FE Tea Houses team has also come up with a couple of stretch goals for additional items, with notably, a neat treat to be offered up at 500 orders (of which, they’re a little over halfway there at the moment of this post). If you don’t know if you can support it through a purchase, definitely share it with your friends through social media, so that it can get the attention that it truly deserves.

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Community Spotlight: Fire Emblem Writer’s Zine

It’s time to share another pretty radical fan group’s project, and this time, it’s the Fire Emblem Writer’s Zine, a community’s collective publication celebrating the creative talent of writers within the Fire Emblem fandom.

If you’re familiar with the Together We Ride fan zine that we’ve promoted in the past, you may recognize the group involved, as one of its members, Damosel, is part of both the teams of this Writer’s Zine and the TWR zine. Now, there are a couple of differences with the Writer’s Zine, notably how you can enjoy it, and who they support.

For starters, they’re making their zine available as a PDF, meaning that there is no concern for shipping and receiving (a great relief in these trying times). The zine itself features stories and art from each of the mainline games, as well as Heroes and Warriors, coming to over 300 pages of content! Preorders are running until November 1st, and can be placed here. As it’s a PDF, delivery will not be an issue, and the huge amount of stories included can be enjoyed on the go.

The Writer’s Zine is doing this for charity, and the organization that proceeds will go towards is We Need Diverse Books, an organization dedicated to helping provide books to the hands of those in need. WNDB helps by finding and promoting books that connect with those readers, helping them grow as individuals as well as people, and above all, promoting and celebrating diversity (racial, disability, cultural, etc) with the creation and exposure of books that highlight diverse stories and their characters.

If you’d like to follow the efforts of the FEWZ team, follow their Twitter, and you can keep up with their future projects, as well as partnered and endorsed projects. You may even be able to participate in a future edition yourself, or share this with a friend that you think may be interested in the opportunity and they could find some solace with this team or their projects.

If you’d like to support We Need Diverse Books, but either find yourself light on spare money or time right now, you can spread the word of their organization by clicking here for their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, and share those links with your friends. Every little bit helps with bringing light to a charitable organization, and even something as following or sharing a group can help bring the attention that they need, to get the results that their beneficiaries deserve.