The Sparklypoo Comic

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Fan Comic
Title: The Sparklypoo comic
Artist: GMonkey (gmonkey42)
Date(s): 23 June 2003[1]
First Published: piratemonkeysinc.com
Medium:
Genre/Style: parody
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: archived by the Wayback Machine
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Three panels from the Sparklypoo comic, page 1: Serenity Moonflower is Sorted.

The Sparklypoo comic[2] is a Harry Potter fancomic by GMonkey. It is a parody of the ubiquitous Mary Sue fics in the Harry Potter fandom during the Three-Year Summer. The premise is that a variety of stereotypical badfic Mary Sues all come to Hogwarts, and a new Hogwarts house—called "Sparklypoo"—is formed to accommodate them.

The comic comprises five pages and a total of 52 panels.

Background

GMonkey had previously created a Mary Sue fancomic for the HP Monthly fanart challenge.[3] She linked to Pat Pflieger's essay 150 Years of Mary Sue as an introduction to Mary Sues.[4]

GMonkey announced in her site updates on June 21, 2003, the day of the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that she was working on a new comic, and had only three panels left of it to draw.[5] She posted a new update on June 23, 2003, which stated:

"It's finally done! The latest comic, that is. It's five whole pages. That explains why it took me approximately a gazillion years. You can see it on the Artwork page. There's also a new link on the Snape page."

On July 12, 2003, GMonkey posted an image of the Sparklypoo house crest, which she used to create a LiveJournal icon.[6]

The comic went offline with the Pirate Monkeys Inc site in 2013 or 2014, but it can still be accessed via the Wayback Machine. It is also frequently reposted elsewhere by fans, although often only the first page of the comic is posted, causing some fans to be unaware of the rest of the comic.

Plot Summary

The comic opens with Harry, Ron, and Hermione observing a new student, who introduces herself during the Sorting Ceremony as Serenity Moonflower, a "transfer student from America" who is "Harry's half-sister, Dumbledore's daughter, Voldemort's niece, Sirius' cousin, Snape's daughter and Lupin's great-grandmother." Instead of being sorted into Gryffindor as she expects, Serenity is sorted into "Sparklypoo", a new house created to accommodate all of Hogwarts' new students. The Sparklypoo house table is full of other Mary Sues, all beautiful girls with colorful hair, color-changing eyes, and/or extraordinary magical powers.

However, Sparklypoo students have started to become concerned: Serenity isn't able to faze Draco Malfoy with her (un)witty retorts, boys no longer seem to have "pathetic crushes" on them, and their previously-colorful hair is now coming in mouse brown.

Professor Anastasia Nepenthe, the Mary Sue Head of House, announces that the reason this all is happening is because the members of Sparklypoo are each "better than everyone around [them] by [their] very nature," but "by definition, only one can be the best." The members of Sparklypoo therefore begin to fight each other to be the last Mary Sue standing, and end up blowing up the whole house.

The next day, Professor Nepenthe speaks calmly to Snape about the destruction of her house. Lupin shows up and fights Snape over her (though they both then agree that neither are good enough for her), Hermione tells her she admires her, Draco tells her she inspired him to become nice, and Dumbledore appoints her headmistress. Legolas Greenleaf joins the staff as the new Charms teacher. "And thus, balance is restored to the Sue-niverse."

Translations

The comic's first page linked to three foreign-language translations:

The German and French translations were hosted on the translators' sites, while the Italian translation was hosted alongside the original at piratemonkeysinc.com. At some point before 2007, GMonkey stopped permitting translated version of the comic to be hosted on other websites but would still add links to text-only translations.[7]

Reception & Legacy

GMonkey wrote less than a month after the comic was posted that it had generated a "huge response"[8]

In August 2003, the fan behind pottersues wrote a "Mary-Sue Sorting Hat Song" which included Sparklypoo as one of four fictional houses for Mary Sues. Mary Sues sorted into Sparklypoo were said to be "pure at heart" with "perfect looks and perkiness", and were contrasted with Mary Sues who were "losers and freaks", "skanky" Mary Sues, or Canon Sues.[9]

As of 2015, Sparklypoo continues to live in the fandom's consciousness, commonly coming up in fandom discussion and even inspiring new fanworks.

Fanworks based on the comic

Sparklypoo has inspired a respectable amount of fanfiction, fanart, and other fanworks.

Though there are some graphics that use the art from the comic or the house crest itself, as of 2007,[10] GMonkey did not give permission for any of her art to be used or modified, including for icons. GMonkey did however create her own Sparklypoo icon in July 2003 using the house crest she created, and gave permission for others to use it with credit.[6]

In August 2003, a fandom RPG on LiveJournal was started based on the comic, called sparklypoo.

Example works

"Oh man, isn't this one notorious. This was the only house I wasn't flying blind on, since by nature it pretty much HAS to have a) a unicorn mascot, and b) pink and white as the house colors. And it was easy because I only had to paint the pink. Edged the hearts in there because duh, and I think those flowers are pink periwinkle but they're generic enough to be anything."

References

  1. gmonkey42 on LiveJournal. Untitled post, 23 June 2003. (Accessed 07 September 2015.)
  2. Alt text of thumbnail on the Artwork page & link name at the FAQ; title on the comic page is "Another one for those of you who don't like Mary Sues." An earlier alt text was "more Mary Sue bashing".
  3. Mary Sue goes too far at piratemonkeysinc.com. (Archived 03 August 2003 by the Wayback Machine.)
  4. "Too Good To Be True: 150 Years of Mary Sue at merrycoz.org (original link). Revised in 2003. A shorter version was presented at the American Culture Association conference, March 31, 1999, San Diego, CA.
  5. Pirate Monekys Inc. Welcome to GMonkey's Homepage. (Archived by the Wayback Machine 03 August 2003.):
    "And coming soon: my new comic! I have just three panels left to draw. I also have 350 pages of Order of the Phoenix left to read. Hmm, I wonder which I'm going to do first... but seriously, the comic will definitely be up next week."
  6. 6.0 6.1 gmonkey42 on LiveJournal. Here's my new Sparklypoo icon. 12 July 2003. (Accessed 07 September 2015.)
  7. Pirate Monkeys Inc. Frequently Asked Questions. (Archived 18 January 2007 by the Wayback Machine.)
  8. gmonkey42 on LiveJournal. Pirate Monkeys Inc. Update. 20 August 2003. (Accessed 07 September 2015.)
  9. pottersues on LiveJournal, Untitled post, 26 August 2003. Two of the other houses were invented by the pottersues mod, and the third was suggested by theeternalmind. (See the pottersues FAQ.)
  10. In response to the question "Can I use your images?" site FAQ stated:
    "No. Sorry. I know I've been more lax about it in the past but I've been getting more requests as the site has become more popular and I have to have a policy to protect my work. Please don't use it; don't copy my images on your page or link directly to my images. This includes making user icons (for LiveJournal, etc.)."