|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
An Early Description
Welcome to Blondie's Ratcave! Tired of peroxide jokes? Sick of shippiness? Bored with lots and lots of files? Then quit the FBI and come over to our side. Alex and I will bring you aboard, and if you're real good at what you do, you might even live to tell the tale. Our loyalties change with the wind, but one thing stays the same: loving each other. And don't let any Shipper, Skipper or Slasher tell you any different. If you don't believe me, just check out the evidence, all neatly filed and categorised for your convenience. But be careful: not everything is as it seems. So come on in and look around! And remember - check your weapons at the door. We'll only warn you once.
Blondie's Ratcave began in October 2000. Contrary to popular belief, this was not the first Krycek/Marita site - that honour goes to either The True Love Of The X Files or The Hellhole, both of which pre-date the Ratcave, and both of which still exist. Both have had revamps in the last six months, actually, so it's worth taking a look. However, the Ratcave was, and remains, the most comprehensive English-language Krycek/Marita site on the web.
Internationally, the German home for K/Cov, as it's known there, is World Of X. Eilan, Fay, Kaja and their friends have done a great job of making sure Krycek/Marita is represented there, both in translated English fic and in fic of their own creation. For a long time, there was a Krycek/Marita page at Elena's Italian site, also featuring translated fic (that site is now gone). There was Brazil-made site called Resist Or Serve, which I lost track of - I'd love information on that if anyone has a current URL. And at The Dark Love Of The X Files, Shazy has done a fabulous job of translating an enormous body of Krycek/Marita fic into Russian, as well as archiving some native Russian fic for our duo. We at the Ratcave had a smaller French-language section for a while, early on, when we were based on a French server. My French pretty much sucks, though, so it was with some relief that I gave that away when we moved on.
By January 2001, we had nearly 80MB of content. With a nexus of Krycek/Marita fans finding one another, through this site and through the alexnmarita mailing list, it was time to move to pro hosting. Krycek/Marita, as a genre, was taking off. It became probably the most active non-M/S het romance of choice, certainly until the advent of Doggett/Reyes. It was time for a name. After submissions and polls at the Ratcave and alexnmarita, we decided as a group to be known as Skampers. This is a play on the word "shippers", with a k-a-m (for Krycek And Marita) in the middle. We also initiated the Sponsored Spooky program by offering to sponsor prizes and practical assistance for the Spooky fanfic awards, and were able in that way to get a Krycek/Marita and a Marita Characterisation Spooky on the agenda. (Krycek Characterisation was already covered).
The site continued to sprawl, and in July it was close to 200MB. It was time to split the site up. The purely Krycek and/or Marita content remained at the Ratcave, which moved to the Fredfarm server owned by Phile philanthropist Gertiebeth. The Laurie Holden content moved to Leading Lady, our sister site hosted at EFanguide. The Nick Lea content resides, I'm afraid, largely on my hard drive for the time being. I put a lower priority on his site as he is very well respresented around the web, but I remain committed to pulling it together eventually. He's a wonderful performer and his versatility seems to grow with every year.
In October 2001, we started the Krycek/Marita forum in association with Philedom2K. This hasn't been an enormously active forum, but we do have interesting discussions from time to time - certainly enough to make it worthwhile. The rest of Philedom2K's forums are great fun, too. We're proud to be part of such a diverse yet harmonious environment. In November, the Harem, for fans of Marita and other supporting X Files women, grew out of discussions about the women on the Philedom2K Other Relationships forum. There's a lot of Skamper crossover into the Harem.
In December 2001 came the Spooky announcements. I won the Krycek/Marita and co-won the Marita Characterisation Spookys for Waiting In Tangier, and the other winner for Marita was M Sebasky for House Of Hope Is Built On Ash. Place-getters were Sophia Jirafe, Kelly Keil, and Brandon Ray. The same month, we got a nod when I was listed on the fan names chosen by Ten Thirteen in the credit reel for the ninth season episode Daemonicus.
In January 2002 came another coup: Frank Spotnitz, executive producer for Ten Thirteen, spoke exclusively with me about the Krycek/Marita dynamic. The interview is not available here for the time being (I hope to have it up again soon) but I am making available a few quotes and sound bytes.The site sort of tapered off for a while after that. The biggest reason was time. When the end of the show was announced, I became involved in several thank you fundraising projects, especially Thank You Annabeth and Thank You Chris Carter. But my love of our duo continued unabated, and I was thrilled to learn that both Lea and Holden would return for the series finale. Now that the show is over, although I'll be swamped for a couple of months yet, I decided it was time to get back to the basics of what holds my fascination with this fandom and recommit to maintaining this site as a permanent archive of all things Skamper. So, a new design, and a new beginning. The Ratcave is here to stay.
- Blondie's Ratcave Messageboard: "Our official messageboard, in association with the fabulous Philedom2K Pandemonium. Join and chat anytime!"
- It's All About Nick "Our sister site devoted to all things Nicholas Lea. Images, profiles, art, and more! Remote link."
- Laurie Holden: "Leading Lady "Our sister site devoted to all things Laurie Holden. Images, profiles, art, and more!"
- Images: "More than 1000 images sorted by character and episode. Most are exclusive to the Ratcave!"
- Artwork: "More than fifty beautiful artworks - collages, wallpaper, and dustjackets. Plus, check out our Commissioned Artist program and our annual Multimedia Competition!"
- Fiction: "Whether you want novel-length romance or down-and-dirty smut, it's all here! Plus, find out about the brand-new Spooky category - made just for us!"
- Multimedia: "Great audio and video captures of Nicholas Lea and Laurie Holden, both in character and out. Plus, we have some fabulous music videos!"
- Profiles: "Find out how long Krycek and Marita have known each other onscreen. You might be surprised!"
- Awards & Links: "Check out our favourite links and webrings, or grab a banner to link to us. You can also join our banner exchange and see the sites we've awarded the Blondie's Choice."
- News & Administration: "Check out our favourite links and webrings, or grab a banner to link to us. You can also join our banner exchange and see the sites we've awarded the Blondie's Choice."
Many early updates and technical news: What's New at Blondie's Ratcave?.
A May 2002 update: What's New At Blondie's Ratcave?.
A March 2003 update: What's New At Blondie's Ratcave?.
In August 2001, "Blondie's Ratcave" was split into three sister sites: "Blondie's Ratcave," "Leading Lady," "It's All About Nick."—From Why Did We Carve Up The Ratcave? A Message From Deslea
Some 2001 Comments by Deslea
From In Their Own Words: Deslea R. Judd (2001):
I do think that webmasters and archivists are under a lot of pressure, and not only because it's a big job. The commercial pressures of finding reliable webspace are increasing, especially with the fall in internet stocks and NASDAQ's recognition that e-commerce isn't always good commerce. The gravy train has ground to a halt, and webmasters are faced with tough decisions if they want to provide good service delivery. I've moved several of my sites in the last year, especially the video ones. I finally gave up with Blondie's Ratcave and started paying for webspace, which is quite a lot for a 100MB website. I don't think there's enough recognition or support, and I don't think we're pulling together enough. And I don't think that our users really recognise what we go through, either. They think the Net is still pretty much a free lunch, and it just isn't. If you want more than 10MB of ftp-accessible webspace without handing over a license to your material, you really have to pay. That pressure comes from outside the fandom; but that then makes us less flexible in terms of what we do, and our users pick up on that. Then they get more demanding. Though fandom, itself, is still a communal endeavour, its statement and interaction is taking on very commercial overtones as a consequence of these pressures.