And don't blame me, for I didn't invent them. The factions that is, for I did create the icons. The factions, however, are strictly the private amusements of sundry of the Knighties.
So how did I come to this pretty (under)pass?
Well, it all started with Mr Happy's. As you know, it's one of the sites that was on FortuneCity; and, before it can go in the Website Archive, I have to trim out the code added by their servers and make sure the links all work. It's a big site, so I've been doing it piecemeal. A few days ago, I was working my way through a section called the Scrapbook. This is basically a guestbook, but organized by the month in which the person was born. A few of them had sent in pictures; and it turned out that I'd put the pix in the wrong folder. So, having snipped out the code FortuneCity had put in for their ads, I was going through each page checking to see if there were photos, and what their names were, and then shifting them. Inevitably, my eye lingered now and then on what people had said about themselves—particularly if I spotted a name I recognized.
Suddenly, I saw an entry from Nancy T. As I know her, naturally I read what she had to say about herself. I was not at all surprised to see that she described herself as a Knightie (for she has been their warleader). However, she then went on to mention some of the "flavours" of Knightie she tended towards. Among them, she mentioned the "See-Through Knighties".
I had never heard of the "See-Through Knighties". They don't appear on any faction list I've seen. Oh, I knew immediately what the name referred to, of course: the long nightgown that GWD wore in "Near Death" when Nick was having his strange vision: the same nightie that inspired S. Clark to write her infamous poem, "Ode to Nick's Naughty Nightie". You know the scene: it was filmed on location, on a bright sunny day; and, unbeknownst to the actor, he was so strongly backlit that the gown was almost transparent.
So I e-mailed Nancy, who confirmed that the See-Through Knighties had, indeed, been a real subfaction—a rather tongue-in-cheek one, of course, but that's not uncommon. They had not had their own list or website; but people had, indeed, claimed membership.
About an hour later, I sent her their icon. I then decided to continue in the same vein, for I knew that there were two more Knightie-related factions of a suggestive nature.
It is easy to see why this icon took little time to make: the design is dominated by the screen capture, backed by a radial gradient simulating the backlighting that had produced the infamous translucency.
To achieve the see-through logo, I used a 3-D font. The text was outlined in a darker shade of the gradient colour, and laid on a background that was a pale shade of the same colour.
I first encountered Nick's Harem on a faction list, and sort of boggled. I suspect, when it was created in 1997 by...um, if I say Amy R. that's going to confuse people, for it was not brightknightie but another Amy with a surname beginning with the same letter. Anyway, Nick's Harem was created in 1997, and was active for a few years, being eventually disbanded when the members lost interest.
I get the impression it was a sort of writers' group, though no doubt associated with a discussion list or Yahoo!Group. Each member wrote romantic self-insertion fic in which a very thinly disguised avatar of herself wound up marrying Nick. From their website, I gather they dearly wished the other factions to take them seriously. However, they suffered from two problems. One is that Mary Sues don't get taken seriously; nor do their writers. The other is the club's schtick: they called themselves Nick's "wives", organized elaborate schedules for their "dates" with Nick, and even numbered themselves. (The founder was Wife No. 1.) Even at this distance, I can see the eyes roll.
Nevertheless, the group lasted for several years. So, like all the other factions, they get an icon.
For the screen capture of Nick, I selected a rather revealing picture from "Dead Issue". In the flashback, Nick is a nude model for Hieronymus Bosch; and, although he is well concealed behind a screen, we do get a rare glimpse of bare shoulders.
For the background, I picked a graphic of multiple hearts; and then I multiplied the hearts by laying the pattern on itself a few times. I didn't attempt to include as many hearts as there were "wives", but there is definite polycardiacity here. (Not that that's a real word.)
For the wives, I picked up on the "harem" part of the faction name and googled images of women in harem pants. Nick's got an odd look in his eye, and I don't blame him!
Nick's Knightstick Brigade:
This is another faction I only learned about through one of the longer faction lists. I took it to be one of those running list-jokes. ("Yeah, I like smut. So what? I'm a proud member of Nick's Knightstick Brigade!" Or some such.) However, I later discovered that the faction did at one point have a website called "The Precinct" (a little bit of which got archived on the Wayback Machine). So, although it was obviously a joke, it was a "real" joke, in as much as there were people who actually claimed membership.
Clearly, these people deserved an icon that referenced the sort of story they presumably enjoyed. But with humour.
So I picked a screen capture from "Sons of Belial" in which Nick is well entwined, and extended the background to more-or-less square it off. The warm tones were picked up in the logo. And I hunted up nightsticks.
A lot of the pictures I found were of the two-handed variety usually carried by police officers in TV shows. However, I wanted one whose shape was a bit more...mmm...appropriately metaphorical. All I then had to do was decide on the most suitable location for it in the icon.