Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fans (the webcomic)
Fans (also known as Faans or Fans!) is a webcomic by T Campbell, concerning the exploits of the Science Fiction Club of the fictional Billberg University (loosely based on William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia). Though starting out as ordinary fans of science fiction, fantasy, comics, and role-playing, the members of the club soon find themselves having to confront mad scientists, aliens, governmental conspiracies, time travel, and other adventures.
Fans started its life as a printed comic in 1999, but it was cancelled after only its first major storyline and a crossover with the Knights of the Dinner Table. On January 1, 2000, it was reinvented as a webcomic, first hosted in Keenspace, later in Keenspot, and finally in Graphic Smash.
One of the characteristics of Fans is the great number of artists and artistic styles it has employed over its duration. The main artist is Jason Waltrip, but many other artists have been used for various different storylines.
Fans is scheduled to end Spring 2005.
Present and past members of the club include:
- Rikk Oberf: The current president of the club, Rikk (full name Richard Abraham Oberf) started out naive and innocent but he soon proved himself a tactical genius and extraordinary inspirational speaker -- exactly what the club needed in the several crises that faced it. His idealism is the beacon of the club's values. Rikk is married to Alisin.
- Will Erixon: His military father's constant physical and verbal abuse (and eventual murder of Will's mother) during Will's childhood, had left Will with both a complete distrust of all things military and the terror that he might one day transform into his father. Another point of note is Will's short temper during mainly the early run of the comic. Will is an actor (a thing which perhaps relates to his love for RPGs) and currently in a relationship with Shanna Cochran.
- Katherine Smit: The former president of the club, Katherine decided to hand over leadership to Rikk, after she proved too prone to abusing her authority. After spending some time as secretary of the club, and being forced to kill a former friend and member of the club turned traitor, Katherine decided that it would be better for her if left the club in its entirety -- she's currently devoting herself to studying Law.
- Rumiko Tanaka: A martial artist and manga artist, Rumy is shy, quiet, and usually slow to anger-- but quite dangerous in combat. She learned martial arts from Master Kana, a parody of Ranma ½. She has a serious crush on Rikk, but channels that feeling into a desire to see him happy with Alisin.
- Tim Mitts: Tim is a fat, hairy, annoying, irreverent, but good-hearted slob.
- Shanna Cochran: Shanna spent much of her life scared of anything that sent her emotions out of control, which put her in denial of her fannish tendencies and even her heterosexuality. Continued exposure to the Science Fiction Club has broken down her barriers, and she is now comfortable enough with herself to maintain a healthy relationship with Will and watch Lord of the Rings-- while using sarcasm to keep her distance.
- Alisin Oberf (née Alison Worthington): Given a terminal disease at a young age, Alisin adopted a devil-may-care Goth persona that masked deep insecurities and lack of self-worth. Though she's found love with Rikk and a cure for her condition, those deeper problems remain.
- Jacquelyn "Jackie" Thomas (aka Union Jackie): At first meeting, Jackie appears boisterous and friendly. But this aspiring actress has a deep-seated need to take center stage, which has led her to mismanage both her career and her friendships, playing up her sexuality but seemingly taking little pleasure in doing so. Jackie has an interest in all things British and adopts a faux-British accent in casual conversation.
- Guthrie Carroll: An emotionally cool math geek with few real passions, except his friendship with Tim and his love-hate relationship with his cousin Stu.
- Meighan McDowell: A proud economics major and attractive lesbian, Meighan's often insensitive and motivated chiefly by sex and money. But she is capable of gratitude, and a couple of favors Tim has done her has solidified their friendship.
- Harry Scott: The Club's oldest member, Harry joined to complete his book collection for the sake of grandchildren's inheritance. His life had spanned the entire development of American science fiction, but by the time he joined he was cranky and cynical, the idealism of his youth seemingly lost forever. But he rediscovered it-- and went out like a hero-- when the Club became embroiled in a time-spanning war.
- Timin Alamin (aka Tim the Fanboy): Timin's life went in cycles: absolute devotion to a system of belief, discovery that this belief system is not perfect, and bitter, angry rejection of the system and everyone who still believed in it. After abandoning Islam, he became the Science Fiction Club's most devoted zealot, then betrayed them to worship a time-travelling warlord. Before he could grow disenchanted with this third "God," however, he lost his life in a laser battle with Katherine that nearly killed her, too.
- Stuart Jackson: At one time he was the worst member of the Club, sexist, redneck and brutish, coming close to being expelled and then selling the Club out to the Confederacy. But he was beginning to show signs of decency when he lost his life to General Maximillianna's army. An alternate-future version of Stu became a lawyer with Katherine, defending his timeline's dwindling human rights.
Important adversaries of the club have included:
- Thackerabilitus Sieughiewiecz
- Desmond Jones
- The General: Full Name: Jullianna Espin Maximiliana
- Mr. Mist
- Billy Scott
Through its duration, the comic has crossed over with several other comics. A list and description of these crossovers is as follows:
- Knights of the Dinner Table: Just as they return home after the end of their first major adventure, the cast of the Fans! meets with the cast of the Knights of the Dinner Table in the airport. They play a role playing game, observed unawares by Agent Miller of the FIB.
- 1st crossover: Agent Pinkerton of the FIB, manipulates the cast of CRFH!!! into attacking the fans -- then captures both parties in an virtual reality where their recollections of their past lives is altered.
- 2nd crossover: Rikk and Will visit the campus of CRFH!!! Rikk in order to get advice from Dave on how to deal with capital-E Evil (and Mr. Mist in particular) and Will so as to resolve his feelings about April, still present from the alternate-reality relationship they'd shared.
- Elf Life: (one-sided crossover, only in Fans!) While time-travelling, the fans encounter Baughb the Elf who in the late 19th century had met with H. G. Wells and inspired him with his life's story.
- It's Walky!: Ill side-effects of the combination of time-travel with magic take the fans into the universe of It's Walky! where they are soon threatened by the Aliens and "The Cheese".
- The Saga of the Ram : (one-sided crossover, only in "The Saga of the Ram") Shanna Cochran investigates the identity of the superhero called "The Ram", before being abducted by the villain Bradley Shaw (aka Omnipotence) who has successfully brought General Maximiliana into the present for his own purposes.
There is no Guild of Evil Cartoonists , and T Campbell is not a member of such an organization.
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