Buffy Prophecy Girl Sunlight RSD

btvsats20in20 ROUND 13: THE PACK (BtVS S1.06)

My entries for Round 13 of btvsats20in20 - actually ahead of deadline!

Beta: The erudite, eloquent, extraordinary and irreplaceable velvetwhip.
ETA:*Orange and Cat5 (Angel!Pig) reserved for Gabrielle and are NOT snaggable. Sorry.


[I cannot believe that you of all people are trying to Scully me....]

10 Themes
Orange* Unusual Crop Truth Sepia+Profile Retro
Hot Crossover** Contrast Angry Yellow+Blue
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5*
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1** AC 2*** AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

Screencaps and movie posters from Bloodqueen, Screencapped and SMG-France.
Textures by colorfilter, scoobyatemysnax and lookslikerain. Angel wing by Kyle Butler


   1 - 6

   7 - 13

    14 - 18

  19 - 23

I'd love to do this episode another round because there is SO much going on in this episode and so much fantastic imagery that I can't begin to cover it with one round. OTOH, I forgot how CREEPY this episode is, and how emotionally harrowing. REALLY creepy.

I tried as much as possible to emphasize the "victims" here, rather than the perpetrators; but also show how the victims fight back and resist victimization in their own ways. The moment depicting in the Truth icon when she sees through Hyena!Xander's facade ("Now I know") is one of my favorite Moments of Willow Badassery (TM). I remembered that Bob Flutie died terrified, eaten alive; I'd forgotten that before that he chased the pack down in a genuine rage because they killed the school mascot, and dragged them into his office, determined to put a stop to their rein of terror. Buffy manages to fight off Hyena!Xander if just barely escaping being raped or worse; then quips about it to Willow afterwards:

"He tried his hand at felony sexual assault...it's safe to say that in his animal state his idea of wooing doesn't involve a Yanni CD and a bottle of Chianti."

On a side note: it's interesting that in the episode that focuses on hierarchies and bullying in high school, Cordelia and the Cordettes are nowhere to be found. It's interesting to consider where she would have fallen on the food chain if she'd been in the episode. Was Charisma Carpenter unavailable the week they filmed that episode?


* Gabrielle has first dibs on the Orange and Cat5 (Angel!Pig) icons; these are NOT snaggable.

But all other are entirely snaggable or make suitable gifts *lol*. Please give proper credit and do not claim as your own; do not post to other websites or archives without asking first. Comments and feedback are always appreciated!

** Crossover, AC1, Alts 20 - 23: Possession starring Sarah-Michelle Gellar as a woman whose brother-in-law body may or may not contain the soul of her comatose husband after both brothers are involved in a car accident. Think a cut-rate version of Jonathan Glazier's flawed masterpiece, Birth (2003).

***Crossover, AC2: Scream2 featuring SMG in a small role as the trope Buffy is meant to subvert: the helpless blond girl in the alley (or in this case, sorority house). Watching "Buffy" crying and begging for her life while being chased by a psychopathic killer is surprisingly unpleasant, btw. (Just saying.)

WOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Like, WHOA. The clarity and light in your icons is absolutely amazing! And you've also improved SO much. I love orange, unusual crop, retro, hot, yellow/blue, cat 4-5, ac 2-5 but my favorite is crossover. WOW. Buffy's face blended into Xander's silhouette. That is a technique I don't really know how to do, it just never comes right. I admire this icon SO much! Really, truly wonderful.
WOW, thank you so so much for your lovely feedback!

Crossover is one of my favorites - remember how that theme stumped me at first? It took a few experiments to get that right but it was worth it I think.

That is a technique I don't really know how to do, it just never comes right.

Ok now I'm just blushing! I did this in ipiccy so I don't know how well that translates into PS but I could try a "tutorial" sometime. ipiccy doesn't keep a record of all my layers like PS can so i'd be guessing - but for that one I simply layered two images without masking or cutting and took advantage of the light and shadows already in the images. So one layer was in Lighten or Screen mode, and I adjusted other filters of course. (Whereas for most of my blended icons there's some masking involved, so if I can avoid having to do it? yay!)

It really was the luck of two great images in this instance.
The Pack is probably one of my favorite episodes from the early seasons. It's psychological, it's creepy, and I just like it.

I think you did an awesome job with your set. I don't blame velvetwhip for laying claim to "Orange." It's a fantastic icon.

My other favorites are truth, sepia+profile, contrast, seeing red, and hot. I'm also really digging Cat 1, AC 1, AC 2, and AC 5.
Oh thank you so much!

You name-checked the seeing red icon, yay! I wasn't sure about that one but I wanted to remember Flutie's strength and rage, even if it does him no good in the end. *RIP*

I was going to rewatch the episode and couldn't bring myself to do it - yet - just looking at the screen caps was intense enough. I'll have to though. I could do this ep as a claim five times over.

I dislike the very ending ( Giles conspiring to keep Xander's secret) but other than that it's an amazing episode. And for anyone who says that Xander doesn't have some darkness in him and he's just a nice, decent guy (there are people who think that) hello to the complexity people. He's a fascinating character but he's got major issues. (And no good male role models.)
These are great!! Yaaaay!

List of faves: sepia+profile (GENIUS. I LAUGHED. OMG WHY XDDD), hot, crossover (Which is, I think, one of the best on the set, maybe THE best. I love the clarity of the image), seeing red, yellow + blue (Your irony is delicious) CAT2, CAT4 (More slash icons plz!) AC2
Aw, thank you Kiki!

If I made you laugh, I'm satisfied. (the icon amused me and my lovely beta so I figured, what the heck.) I still always wonder when I make my sets, "Which ones will Kiki like?"

I love the clarity of the image

I'm really happy with that one too! I had two great images to work with.

(More slash icons plz!)

Well I don't do male slash often because it's not so much my thing but that shot - THAT SHOT HOW COULD I NOT - holy cow where's the fan fiction to go with it? Now I'm going to keep my eyes open for my subtext-y slash-y opportunities.

Edited at 2015-10-15 08:17 pm (UTC)
These are all wonderful - it's difficult to pick out favourites, but I do think AC2 is brilliant and I laughed out loud at the Joss Whedon ones. And the cropped closeup of Cat 1 holds a world of emotion in it.

Congratulations hon, these are all great - and they remind me how much I love The Pack - it's spawned some great fic over the years
If I made you laugh then I've done my job!

And the cropped closeup of Cat 1 holds a world of emotion in it.

Thank you! It's a gorgeous image. Aly is all kinds of amazing in this episode.

they remind me how much I love The Pack - it's spawned some great fic over the years

Recommendations? (FYI: I don't love the ending of that episode and the "boys club" like, at all - but I decided to tone down my little rant considerably before posting this. But I'd be interested in well-written fics because I don't come across any. I need to widen my circle of acquaintance I guess?)
Brilliant icons!!!! I love them all, as you know! (But I also really, really want the pig. I love the pig. *sigh*)

The pig is yours Gabrielle! Snag anything you like.

As my beta-Goddess you absolutely have first dibs anyway on anything you like, that goes without saying.

Knowing that these will go to a good home makes it all worthwhile. :D
Oh, I love your icons, all of them!
And the thought about Cordelia... how it never occured to me before? It's really weird that she's missing from this ep.
Wow thank you! That's an amazing compliment to receive! *cuddles compliment*

how it never occured to me before?

It didn't occur to me until the other day when Gabrielle and I were talking about the episode and I suddenly noticed Cordy's absence.
These are all absolutely gorgeous!!

I especially love Hot, Crossover, Contrast, Cat 5, AC 1, AC 2, AC 3, and AC 5
Thank you!

Contrast is one of my favorites btw, so I'm tickled you singled it out in particular. And yay to the Angel!Pig love! :D

Edited at 2015-10-15 08:06 pm (UTC)
These are lovely but my absolute fave is the Retro Willow one. There's so much emotion in that little hitch in her shoulder...in her posture and you captured it perfectly!
There's so much emotion in that little hitch in her shoulder..

Wow, you're making me see things in that icon I hadn't even been aware of, thank you! I love when people see things in my work that I don't. But you're absolutely right.

Aly is simply aces in that episode.


These are absolutely amazing! Love the top three above the cut the most, the framing on Hot, AC1, 2, and 5 (I'm not in the mood for expressions of anger or confrontation right now), and Alt 2 (a softer, more "fairytale" alternative of AC4). Love, love, love the blue tone and mood of Contrast and Crossover -- I can't stop looking at them.

Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you so much Felicia!

I really love those teaser images as well. I think crossover and contrast are two of my favorite icons I've made. The blue tones in those two coordinate so well don't they? It wasn't planned at all believe me.

(I'm not in the mood for expressions of anger or confrontation right now)

I couldn't even watch the episode again itself - the screen caps alone were too intense. And I know the feeling, very very much (these were actually difficult for me to do.) And I'm not going to pry but if you wish to talk about anything, here I be.

a softer, more "fairytale" alternative of AC4

I went back and forth on which one to submit!

I think because, growing up I never saw images positive images of LBGT couples and so I have a habit of wanting to give to slash couples the same gauzy romantic effects that Het couples get in the movies etc all the time. Whether or not that actually makes for better icons... (and I'm just shameless and I like bokeh and light textures anyway.)

Thank you so much for commenting!

Wow! Fascinating! I can't help grinning at "Seeing Red", aw the poor guy. The Slash one is totally awesome.

Of course, I will always always adore that "Hot" smirk. I remember seeing it for the first time. My sister and I were floored.

"Crossover" is breathtaking. I can't help but stare at it.
Thank you! I'm glad you saw these because I definitely have you in mind anytime I attempt Xander icons! (which has only been really recently. These S1 eps are pretty fascinating, I'd forgotten how much so.)

BTW and shameless self-promo alert: I think you might also like my caged Xander icon for Whedon_elite
(I have color alts of that but I have to keep them tucked in private until after the voting and then I'll flaunt them.)

aw the poor guy

Right? I feel bad for him - and he'd just been nice to Buffy a few moments earlier so I feel bad for her too. (That's also one more person she wasn't able to save or protect because one girl can't be everywhere. But that's gotta take it's toll - all the ones you knew but couldn't save never mind all the ones you didn't know about.)

The Slash one is totally awesome.

I couldn't resist that one. :D

"Crossover" is breathtaking.

Wow! Thank you so much that just makes my day!

These are absolutely fabulous hon! Your icons have a wonderful clarity and your colouring and texture use is beautiful. Also you are amazing at picking the perfect images for themes!

My absolute faves are crossover and AC1 (your blending is stunning!) but I also love orange, truth, hot, contrast, yellow/blue, C4-5 and AC 2 &4 but they are all terrific! I love seeing your progression as an icon maker - you've always had your own style and you just keep getting better and better with each batch <3
Oh I'm just grinning and blushing here - you really shouldn't fill my head with all these compliments!

Which is to say, don't stop. :D

(your blending is stunning!)

Thanks! I'm super happy with those, more so Crossover; I wish the clarity was a mite better on AC1 - I should have removed all of the text but I was trying to retain some of the "movie poster feel." Lesson learned. I LOVE blending images but I'll do anything I can to avoid intricate masking if possible. (I'm finally watching video tutes on PSE.)

Crossover and Contrast are my favorites in terms of exceeding my own expectations.
These are some really great icons! I love the images you chose for the themes, especially truth. That was such a good choice for it because it depicts Xander lying and Willow playing as if she didn't know better. My other favorites are hot, angry, unusual crop, retro, your cat set (love that you included the pig by the way), AC's 1, 2, and 5!
I had completely forgot about that moment and it is SO perfect for the theme - yet another moment when I was afraid for Willow and she proved to be of tougher (and smarter) stuff than I gave her credit for.

Getting the two of them in the shot for a square icon was a bigger challenge than I expected.

love that you included the pig by the way

Yay! Gabrielle and I have dubbed him Angel!Pig or St Herbert. That was one of those goofy ideas that I just had to play with.

Thank you so much for the feedback, hon!