|Synonyms:||photo manipulation, photomanip|
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A manip is a photo manipulation, often depicting TV and movie characters in situations different from canon. Manips alter and manipulate the photo source (often a screencap or promo picture) in such a way that it shows something different than it did before. Manips can be used as fanfiction covers, banners, and illustrations. They are also used in vids, icons, and multimedia installations, and of course they can stand on their own as individual artworks.
The most well-known manip artists in the mailing list age of online fandom were The Theban Band, with their highly refined and realistic slash manips in several fandoms. Since that time, better tools have also made it easier to produce high quality manips, and DVD source has made it easier to acquire high-quality screencaps. Eventually, more and more fanartists began to create artistic works in this medium.
The first use of a photomanipped image in a fanzine is not known. However, fanzine publisher Kathy Resch remembers that "...the first pieces of CGA art I published were three pieces by DJW in 1994 in T'hy'la # 15. They accompanied Amanda Warrington's story The Kiss."
Sometimes external material (ie, not a screencap) is used in a photomanip. In the 1990s when this kind of fanart first began to appear, it occasionally was referred to derisively as "head replacement pictures" (My hed iz pastede on yay) implying that no great artistic skill was needed to create photomanips. Other fans felt uncomfortable about explicit manips because they appeared to be too close to RPF, especially when the "base" pictures used were of the actor, not the character.In 1999, a fan wrote that she didn't consider this sort of artwork "real":
A fan in 2001 wrote:I think I’ve only seen computer generated work by this artist, so it was a treat to see an actual drawing of Alison’s... I vastly appreciate and enjoy this drawing over any computerized photos, partially because, no matter how expertly done, I’m always aware that it’s photos put together and it doesn’t exist. 
Another fan in 2001 drew a different sort of line:The 'ugh' factor brings me to my soapbox topic, something I've been thinking about for a while. I refer to computer-manipulated photographs. Most of the ones I've come across have been in Sentinel fandom, and many are beautiful images, but I have also seen some really explicit shots where the very recognisable actors' heads have been superimposed on bodies in very, very explicit poses. This really is beginning to worry me, as it seems an extension of actor slash. Somehow artwork never seems so bad, as it is obviously a work of imagination and creation; there used to be a comment in the early K/S days that a picture was a very good Kirk, but not much like Shatner. The dividing line seemed so much clearer. What do others think, especially given that the photo manipulations could be picked up by outsiders? Is it fair to the actors? 
In 2002,a fan had this to say:I have only seen these in K/S and XF. I am not a fan of ones where the head is stuck on someone else's body, not because I ever considered the unfairness to the actor, but simply because you can tell at once that the body is not Kirk or Mulder or whoever. As [name redacted] said, a lot of very muscular porn-type bodies are used, and thats not the character's. If it's the character or even the actor you like, why would you want to change the bodies that attracted you? Its like those people who say they love a character and then proceed to rape and generally put him through hell. As [name reacted] said, maybe it's to show their strength but I don't like it. But back to the pix, I only like ones that manipulate scenes from the series and look more natural. Two of my favourites are XF. One is a pic where Mitch Pileggi (Skinner) was hamming it up for the cameras at some do by kissing Robert Patrick (Doggett) on the cheek - this was manipulated by changing RP for David D. Another one is of an off-duty Pileggi with his arm around DD who is holding up his hand to show his wedding ring. These two bodies were taken from separate photos but blended seamlessly. Giving these examples I've just realised I prefer manipulated pix that show affection and love rather than explicit scenes. 
Crossing the Streams
It is generally considered bad fannish behavior to show sexually explicit or nude photomanips of characters to the actors who play them, as it is considered creepy. It is usually a third party, not the actual photomanip artist, who decides it would be a good idea to do this. The Theban Band has been especially visible in this regard.
Examples of different styles and fandoms
- Of the Earth by newkidfan, a Merlin manip (half drawing, half collage)
- Master and Commander by beeej, a Master & Commander/Stargate Atlantis crossover manip
- Zelenkamatch.com by LillyJK and newkidfan, a comic strip using screencaps from Stargate Atlantis
- Escape Velocity by dogeared and aesc, another comic using screencaps from Stargate Atlantis, for the artword lj challenge community
- Kathy's comment in Even Today Dinosaurs Roam The Earth Part III, a locked post dated September 9, 2012, quoted with permission.
- Michelle Christian. RPS, Boybands, and Dead Guy RPS posted 06/21/03 (accessed 3 Jan 2010)
- Justine. I Don't Believe in Real People posted 03/04/03 (accessed 3 Jan 2010)
- from The K/S Press #35
- from DIAL #18
- from DIAL #19
- from The K/S Press #66