Old characters, new sketch

I recently read Gail Carriger’s absolutely delightful Parasol Protectorate series.   The world is a sort of light steampunk setting, with airships and a few goggles here and there, but with most of the Victorian manner, and manner of dress, still in tact.  The characters are across the board witty and lively, from human to werewolf to vampire to crazed scientist.  And the story is easy to follow while also being thought provoking.

So, when I was looking for a birthday present for Elliot (read: a reason to buy myself a present for the long flight to England), I elected to buy the three volumes of the Protectorate series that had been rendered into graphic novels by an artist named Rem.

This was an excellent decision, because it reminded of how much freakin’ fun it is to draw in the anime style.  In fact, on a London evening when I had a bit of downtime, I put on a Netflix show and spent about two hours or so spinning out a new portrait of Elliot and Marion, using one of the poses in the graphic novel as a guide.

It’s posted above, but here ’tis again with slightly sharper lines:

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The story behind it:

This cozy little kiss really launches Marion and Elliot’s relationship, and not in the way they were hoping.   Theirs becomes an incredibly complex courtship, primarily because Marion’s mother does everything in her power to stop it.  She whisks Marion away to the country at one point, hoping that distance will cool their love.  It doesn’t.  She tells Elliot she couldn’t possibly let anyone other than a Catholic man marry her daughter.  He converts.  She belittles his profession, his scholarship, his hobbies, his orphan upbringing, his manners, his accent, and anything else she can think of.  He learns and climbs.

And in the end, when he looks right on paper and holds his own at tea, he proposes to Marion, and her father (he will later admit misguidedly) says “no.”  Marion essentially goes on a hunger strike until he relents, partially because she’s no longer convinced that reasonable arguments will work and partially because she’s legit devastated, and that will do things to an appetite.

In the end, her parents are forced to give up, and guess what…nothing terrible happens.

Sure, society thinks they’re a little weird–E is only nineteen when they marry, he sings at the opera in conjunction with holding down a respectable day job, and Marion’s dowry goes directly into investments instead of ostentation–but they’re also magnificently charming, with friends in very high places, so people want them around.  And within five years, they’re (mostly) no longer a novelty (…they are a bit eccentric still), and society moves the hell on.

So, yes.  Although they may have started with “the kiss seen around London,” as E’s mate’s called it, it results in the end with a well-earned, utterly happy home and marriage.

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Historian, novelist, musician, and imagination professional.

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