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Ludi Price [userpic]

The butterfly pendant weirdness

January 11th, 2014 (11:00 am)

Current mood: giddy

You know, shortly after I finished writing House of Cards way back in 2006, I just happened to go into H. Samuels (a UK jewellery shop), a place I never go to……and guess what I find? The butterfly pendant! So of course I had to buy it (although I didn’t have to shell out the kind of money Remy did on it).

Coincidence or fate????


Ludi Price [userpic]

A few thoughts from HoC Gambit about Rogue...

December 20th, 2013 (11:31 pm)

Current location: kitchen, half sleep
Current mood: calm

I wanted to share with you a little scene I wrote a few years back that just popped into my head one day. I wrote it down in my HoC notebook, dated 31st May 2009. It doesn't really take place in any particular time frame - although probably during or after their third meeting in HoC (after her mission with Troy Rifkind).

Anyway, those of you who get a kick from Gambit' s POV might enjoy it... :)

NB: strikeouts are from original text as written. Some of the text was reused in the
HoC sequels.


He'd stared a long time at her, her milkmaid skin glimmering like marble in the moonlight. It was only when she slept, beautiful and naked beside him, that he allowed himself to wonder. To wonder how much was of her was truth, and how much was lies. How much of what she gave him was real.

There was a time he w it would never have crossed his mind to question. He had a memory of her, one of the memories he treasured most out of all the ones he possessed... She was pure, real and uncomplicated, bringing to him nothing but herself. He had seen it in her eyes. Her trust innocence, her trust expectation, her trust. Trust in him, a thief, a liar, a man whose ultimate purpose was only to betray her.

It was the biggest turn on a man like him could have get.

And it was that trust in him that had stayed with her, throughout the dark marching of the years, through to that very moment when he'd lain lay beside her and wondered. For though that remained unchanged, something else had not. Somehow, she'd become different.

He'd reached out and touched her in the darkness. Run his fingers across her milkmaid skin, an abundant sea of milky smoothness. Trying to work out what the change was. Why he suddenly found himself questioning her when all she'd ever given him was blind faith, something he'd never deserved in the first place.

She'd opened her eyes then. No shyness in them as she'd felt him touching her, only a knowing smile, faint and welcoming on her pale pink lips. She'd taken his hand, guided him away from whatever answer he'd sought, mistaking his questing for desire.

And still there was trust in her eyes, letting him take whatever he wanted, however he wanted it.

And he'd taken it. He'd kissed her, sunk himself inside her and felt her moving against him, her voice breathless in his ear, and it suddenly came to him:-

Is it only me, chere? Am I the only one you give this to?

He knew now.

The answer was no. In heart perhaps; but not in body.

Ludi Price [userpic]

Rogue at the Ritz gala in House of Cards

December 12th, 2013 (03:20 pm)

Current location: by the fire
Current mood: stressed

This little sketch has been sitting around in my notebook for years now, and I thought I'd share it with you.  It's the gown I envisaged Rogue wearing to the Ritz gala as Marie D'Ancanto in the House of Cards chapter, "Masks".  I love the fact that Rogue actually loathes this kind of look (she'd choose functionality and comfort over beauty and elegance every time.  That doesn't mean to say that Remy didn't appreciate the effort she took. ;)

For those not in the know, this chapter is retold from Remy's POV in "The Other Side of Masks", chapter 8 from Threads.  (I know some of you prefer to read Remy's voice, so I'm just throwing this out there for you guys).  Remy turns out to be a naughty boy on this particular mission, but I guess we can cut him some slack since he managed to achieve what he set out to do, which is save Rogue from a bit of a pickle... :p

In another life, fashion was my thang...


Ludi Price [userpic]

Sketch of Remy and Rogue in The Con

December 8th, 2013 (06:30 pm)

Current mood: sick

Well, not actually the con itself, but Remy and Rogue on the con.  Figured it'd be nice to draw them looking 'fine' for a change.  At some point I will hopefully get this finished up, but I have no idea when that will be...

PS - Forgot Rogue's clutch...

the con_small

Ludi Price [userpic]

On Caliban

December 3rd, 2013 (09:01 pm)

Current location: Just out the bath
Current mood: hot

There isn't much more to say on Caliban, except that after screws him over in Chapter 14 of House of Cards, he ends up being caught by Ahab and turned into a Hound.  It's impossible to say whether he gets killed or survives later events, but certainly no one ever sees him again.

Just thought I'd share an illustration I did of him in the sewers for the print version of HoC.  I saw him more as the X-Men: Evolution incarnation of Caliban, rather than the comics one.


Ludi Price [userpic]

Gambit, Devereux and the Oyama job.

December 2nd, 2013 (10:54 pm)

Current location: Home
Current mood: nauseated

After getting exiled and leaving the New Orleans Thieves Guild, the only logical place for Remy to go next was New York City.  It was a place he could be faceless, blend into the crowds, get bothered by no one, and start working his way up again.  He started to make himself useful to the criminal underworld there, which wasn't that hard considering his many skills and the fact that he excelled at them.  It was really the only reason that his being a mutant was tolerated.

One of the first jobs he found himself in was the so-called Oyama job.  This involved intercepting shipments of adamantium sent in from Oyama Heavy Industries in Japan, either to sell on at inflated prices on the black market, or for use in the construction of arms.  It was a daring heist, and Remy was in exactly the right position to make himself indispensable to the higher echelons.

It just so happened that another low-level criminal named Devereux was put on the same job.  Neither he nor Remy were considered anything or anyone important; just cogs in a larger machine, working together to make sure the operation went smoothly.  Both were nothing more than runners on the job, and while they shared absolutely nothing in common, they managed to get along well enough not to screw things up.  And that was actually about the extent of their acquaintance.

Remy would've stayed with this gang and climbed the proverbial ladder, but it wasn't to be.  Since the unfortunate mishap with Julien Bordreaux, Remy's powers were burgeoning out of control, and the only way he stop himself from blowing random things up was by numbing his senses (e.g. drink, drugs, whatever), until even that didn't do much good and he was setting fire to most things (mostly himself, in an attempt at damage limitation - hence the scars on his body - the ones Rogue finds so fascinating).

And that of course was where Sinister came along and offered to make it all better.

And then when Remy resurfaced, it was with the X-Men, of course.

But that's another story...

Ludi Price [userpic]

On Rita

November 23rd, 2013 (11:21 pm)

Current location: United Kingdom, Ewell
Current mood: happy

Illustration of Rita from House of Cards, Chapter 7, "Gambit".
Rita was another one of those characters I don't own.  She's actually based on Spiral, one of the X-Men's recurring villains.  In this universe, however, Rita Wayword (a.k.a. Ricochet Rita) never got whisked away to the Mojoverse and transformed into some six-armed, sabre-wielding psychopath.  Instead she married Murray (Reese - originally one of the Reavers), and opened up an ammunitions store in the seedy side of NY.  Neither of them got into the superheroics (or super-villainism - whatever you want to call it).  Rita never broke into the stunt industry, and Murray got fat and wheezy.  Never a romantic, he paid more attention to his business than he did to his wife; and Rita rightly objected to the idea of playing second fiddle to a gun shop.

At the time of the massacre at the mansion, Murray's regular customers began to figure out that he and his wife held certain mutant sympathies, and his sales plummeted as a consequence.  This strained the marriage even more; and to make matters worse, at the very same time their relationship was hitting the rocks, a new customer started turning up at their store - Remy LeBeau.

One frustrated, neglected wife plus one Cajun casanova doesn't make for a good mix (or it does, depending on which way you look at it).  Before long - without very much effort on the part of either - they'd got on the good foot and done the bad thing.

Of course, within a month, Murray had returned begging forgiveness and promising to pay more attention to her (which ended up not happening; Rita took him back anyway, because, as HoC often states, she really does love him).  When nothing much changed in their relationship, the logical thing was for her to continue her affair with Remy, and so she did.  Even if leaving Murray wasn't an idea she was willing to entertain.

Which all worked out perfectly fine for Remy, because he wasn't there for much more than the sex (although he learned to appreciate Rita in other ways later on), and the fact that she didn't want to leave Murray meant that she wasn't in it for much more either.  And Murray being Murray... he was completely clueless.

Rita_Wayword_(Earth-616)_001You might well ask how on earth Rita came into the story.

The answer is, "I don't know", except that I had a picture of this girl in my head that Remy was sleeping with, and that girl happened to look like the picture on the left, <------ and the character of Ricochet Rita seemed to fit the personality of the girl in my head.

Now I know there are some 'Romy' shippers that don't like Remy to be with anyone else but Rogue.  I have no problem with that, but that's not exactly how I see Remy's character.  He's a player - always has been and always will be - and what interests me about his relationship with Rogue in general is that he is drawn to her despite his attractions to and relationships with other women.  Celibate Remy... God, I don't even know who that is.  That person doesn't really exist to me.

So I wanted a counterpoint to Rogue.  Someone who is smart and pretty and really quite nice.  Someone who you couldn't really hate even if you wanted to (and I really, really hope the readers out there liked Rita, because I really, really wanted her to be likeable).  Someone who Remy has every reason to fall in love with, but he doesn't.  Even if it would be really easy for him to hook her into a 'real' relationship (easier than it would be with Rogue), for once in his life he takes the hard route, trying to build something with someone who makes him feel things that scare him, because he really does care for her.

So I guess that was the point of Rita.  It was really just to speak volumes about Remy's character.  There's plenty of stuff he can't articulate about himself.  Rita manages to do that for him.

And really, that's part of the reason why he likes her so much.

And why I do too, for that matter. ;)
Sketch of Rita, by me.  Those eyes set too far apart, that wide mouth, and those freckles.

Ludi Price [userpic]

On Clarity

November 17th, 2013 (10:47 am)

Current location: United Kingdom, Surbiton
Current mood: sleepy
Current song: 植松伸夫 - Water | Powered by Last.fm

As you may or may not know, I'm a librarian, as well as a PhD student in Information Science, and if somebody asked me, "So what would your superpower be?", I say, "information absorption."  And that's exactly what Clarity's superpower is; although, looking at the way he's turned out, maybe I ought to reconsider my own superpower inclinations.

Clarity isn't actually an OC - he's a Marvel character, or is based upon a Marvel character (William Knoblach a.k.a. Clarity) from the Cable series.  In actual fact, Marvel Clarity and HoC Clarity don't share much more in common than the name or the powers.  HoC Clarity is African-American; he is able to cope well with his powers; and he doesn't have superhuman longevity either.  Yeah, I admit it - I basically stole a power set and a name and grafted it onto this character ("Will") who'd been floating around in my head, telling me he'd make a most excellent plot device to bring Rogue and Gambit together.

So was born Clarity.

Of course, Clarity blossomed into something more than just a plot device.  He is probably the closest thing Remy has to a friend (a fact which comes into play in a major-ish way about halfway through Twist of Fate).  I was hoping to get that flavour across in House of Cards, even if Clarity was at that point nameless, faceless and serving pretty much only as Remy's contact.  In fact, they've gone out drinking a few times together (when Clarity could bear to leave his room), and Remy set him up with some hot girl they met at a bar (which is hinted at in HoC when said girl dumps Clarity, because she "never sees him").  Most times though, Remy just sits around Clarity's base and surfs the net when he needs a little (non-female) company.  Not much is ever said at such times.  They have this pretty comfy relationship - the kind of friendship that isn't awkward in silence.  Bromance?  Not even near it.  It's just the kind of friendship either can walk away from and know that it's cool to return to whenever either feels the need.

Clarity is an information broker par excellence, and while he works for the underground, he spends most of his time (literally) underground.  He sees a lot and he knows how shitty things can be on the outside, but he doesn't really experience being in 'the business' first-hand.  This means he's kind of naive and idealistic, but that also makes him a great counterpoint to Remy's character (in fact, I think it's what Remy likes about him so much - in case you hadn't noticed, Remy is drawn to people who have a certain purity and innocence to them).  Clarity still believes in good winning out over evil, and that good people shouldn't be left to the dogs.  That's why he helps Remy - he sees other mutants in need and wants them to be saved - will do anything he can to save them (like Rogue).  Remy is more ambivalent - if saving a mutant means putting his life on the line, if the odds are stacked up against him, he'll walk away.  His ethos is, I'm not no use to no one dead.

He's said it to Clarity more than once.  One time Clarity actually hit him over the head with the nearest thing to hand (a coffee-stained newspaper from 2006) when he'd heard it one time too many.  Gambit just laughed.  And then Clarity couldn't help but laugh too.  And then everything was okay again.

So that's Clarity.


Crappy sketches of HoC Clarity.

Ludi Price [userpic]

Book review of The Adoring Audience

November 8th, 2013 (11:53 am)

Current location: City University London
Current mood: productive

For all those interested...

My book review got published on The Comics Grid.  It's an evaluation of The Adoring Audience, one of the seminal texts on fan studies.

If you're interested in scholarly work on fandom, it might be worth your while to take a look. :)

Ludi Price [userpic]

Love Is... A Smile.

November 8th, 2013 (12:01 am)

Current location: United Kingdom, Surbiton
Current mood: creative
Current song: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Joan of Arc | Powered by Last.fm

So I have decided to try this challenge for November called 30 Days of Comics (see it on Twitter and Tumblr), and I thought I'd share my doodle for Day 7 with you:

Love Is... A Smile

Actually, Gambit spends a lot of time doing this sort of thing in Twist of Fate. Doing stuff on his laptop, I mean.  Do they still use laptops in DoFP?  Yes, but they're rather on the uncool side of retro.  Remy has his reasons though.  His contacts (or one particular contact, to be exact) is still stuck in the noughties.

I am tethered to my Sony Vaio! And Sinister!

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