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Comicbook: Associated Student Bodies

Associated Student Bodies is an erotic Furry Comic book written by Lance Rund and drawn by Chris McKinley along with a number of guest artists, published in eight issues from 1998 to 2000, followed up by a number of pornographic portfolios between 1998 and 2005. It centered on Daniel King, a young lion who arrives at Leland College but discovers he's been placed in a nearly all-gay dorm. There, he is introduced to a colorful cast of characters and discovers his own same-sex feelings for a wolf by the name of Marcus Paxten (and, as it turns out, most other males in the dorm). The rest of the comic follows his journey through his first year in college, dealing with prejudices, stormy relationships with his friends, getting his conservative father to accept his sexuality and reconciling it with his religious faith... all while mixing in a healthy dose of porn, of course. Compare Circles, which is often cited as a Spiritual Successor but has none of the porn.

Since its publication, ASB has become one of the iconic comics of the Furry Fandom, and has received a lot of praise for its themes, writing, artwork and... other qualities. There are quite a few furries who strongly dislike it, however. It's up for sale at the Rabbit Valley Web site, though many people have read it through the use of file-sharing sites and image boards.

Chris McKinley has since become one of the most famous furry artists in the fandom, having drawn the follow-up erotic folios for the comic and written the humorous spin-off Queerman and unrelated but still gay-themed Coyote River for the anthology series Spooo Presents. He's also recently opened up an account at FurAffinity, to the delight of many ASB fans. (Warning: The page is NSFW if you have mature artwork allowed.) Lance Rund, by contrast, seems to have disappeared off the furry radar completely, even requesting that his page be taken down at WikiFur.

Note: Throughout the eight issues, the main storyline is clearly separated from the stories that focus on Fanservice and (often) porn. So it is possible to read an intelligent coming-of-age story with very little gratuitous porn if you read only the first story within each issue and ignore the other two to four stories within the issue.

Tropes:

  • All Gays Are Promiscuous: The gay characters are almost uniformly presented as having feverishly overactive libidos, constantly talking about sex and having polyamorous relationships with each other, complete with exaggerated sexual characteristics and abilities.
  • All There in the Manual: It remains to be seen which parts can be considered canon if at all (it probably isn't), but McKinley has since drawn the characters in situations happening after the end of the comic.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Some of the gay characters also seem to be Ambiguously Bisexual. Marcus has an old girlfriend, a lion called Allison, and is shown having sex with her in some of folios. In the "Secret Fantasies" folio, he fantasizes about a three-way with her and Daniel. Ricky has a wild sexual encounter with Tina in the seventh issue, which he is presented as enjoying and being more than willing to do again, and in a folio picture he has a foursome with her and two other girls. Vince, the deer who's the sub to Manly Gay David, is ok with Tina undressing, stroking and caressing him and is apparently shown preparing for a sexual encounter with her in the "Things You Never Thought You'd See" folio.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Steven, a Collie and the only straight male in the dorm is often hinted at being a closeted homosexual by other characters in the comic (and Ricky desperately wishes that he was). It turns out that he isn't, but he's still willing to sleep with Ricky for one night.
  • Art Evolution: In the first two issues, the artwork is rather simple and contorted, with the characters often barely looking like their respective species. In the third issues it has gotten notably better, and toward the end of the series it looks really good.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animals: All the male characters; averted with the females. Unusual in that early on, the characters had very human-like feet.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Do not call Timothy "Timmy." OK, you probably won't do anything other than piss him off, but still.
    • Don't get between Marcus and Daniel. Or attack any of Tiny's friends.
  • Brick Joke: In Issue 5, when Daniel goes home for the holidays and his father starts getting a little too judgmental of how well he is or isn't doing in his classes, Mrs. King chides him saying "Don't be anal, Alan." When he mildly protests, she quips back "When have you not been anal?" This has an...interesting re-interpretation in one of the portfolios where it is learned that apparently Alan doesn't have a problem with how his son has sex, just with whom. Unless he's a Straw Hypocrite.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Daniel gets an awesome one on his father, even if it does lead to a declaration of I Have No Son.
  • The Cast Showoff: Meta example of a sort—while obviously being the writer of the comic showed he had writing credentials already, the side story with Gerald at the poetry reading club allowed Lance Rund to show off his poetry skills—and apparently he received a great deal of praise for it, to judge by the reader response page for the next issue. In-story, Tiny's medical journal paper and Ricky's Valedictorian speech allowed them to show off their lesser seen skills and talents.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Outside the New Year's Orgy, this occurs when Daniel's mother calls him right in the middle of an intimate moment with Marcus. The latter even lampshades this by thinking "He answered?!" yet he is the one to keep things going—in this case, not to drive the interrupter away, but to make Daniel hang up on her. And because he's naughty. Daniel's response? "You're weird."
  • Double Entendre: As might be imagined, happens repeatedly, though notable moments would be two in Issue 8, the scene with Allison and the hamburger and the scene with Marcus and Daniel in the gym (the latter being a Bait and Switch as well thanks to Shadow Discretion Shot).
  • Everything's Better with Plushies:
    • Issue 5's cover features most of the main cast as stuffed animals.
    • Thomas, the chubby fox, is shown to have a love of plushies in several of the pornfolios.
  • Fag Hag: Tina, the skunk who's the Resident Dormitory Den-Mother. Taken to levels where she's apparently completely okay with males walking around naked or even having sex right in front of her. She even manages to seduce Ricky in Issue 7 (and apparently Vince as well, if a folio picture is anything to go by).
  • Filler: There are several bonus one-off stories unrelated to the main storyline.
  • Freudian Excuse: A priest speculates that Daniel's father's homophobia is related to the fact that he works in an industry where one is expected to be a control freak.
  • The Fundamentalist: Alan King is one, though he ends up being able to ignore his son's sexuality, if not accept it, once he realizes how he has neglected him and focuses only on making him happy. Being lectured by a priest on his beliefs also helps.
  • Fun T-Shirt: The slogan on Timmy's shirt changes every time, and every time it's a gay-related joke. For example, "Parking in rear", "Yes I suck" or "I'm not gay but my boyfriend is".
  • Genius Bruiser: Tiny's a giant football player and generally perceived as not being the sharpest tool in the shed. However, this is apparently a misconception created by his being blue-collar and somewhat inarticulate (not to mention, implied to be dyslexic), as his thesis was good enough to be published in a medical journal.
  • Genius Ditz: Ricky is a fruity little thing who spends his time having sex, thinking about having sex, and trying to have sex with Steven. He also graduated valedictorian with straight As in his double majors of Astronomy and Physics.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    Marcus: Anything besides bills?
    Daniel: Letter from home... they're going to be in the area this weekend.
    Marcus: You don't look all that thrilled.
    Daniel: I just hope they don't come here. I don't think they'd get along with the guys.
    (Next panel. Caption: "Saturday morning...")
    Steven: Hey, what's the hurry?
    Daniel: I'm late! I'm supposed to meet Mom and Dad out front!
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: The cover of issue 4, in which Daniel is tempted by Allison, features her and Marcus as these on Daniel's shoulders. She is depicted as the Good Angel, while gay, er, bi Marcus is the Bad Angel. However this could be a cross between Female Angel, Male Demon and some Deliberate Values Dissonance, since his father raised him to initially see straight as "good" and "right" and gay as "perverted" and "evil".
  • Goth: Gerald plays the trope straight by dressing all in black, hanging out at avant-garde coffee houses, reciting a lot of poetry, and seeming generally angsty.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Although a story about homosexuality, lesbianism isn't featured at all.
  • Hypocrite: Daniel's father is supposed to be a homophobe because he doesn't want his son living with a bunch of horny gay guys who do nothing but screw. Marcus boldly denounces this as biased nonsense... never mind that random and unprotected sex is all the main characters seem to ever do. On the other hand, it seems pretty clear that Mr. King was objecting to more than just the promiscuity, since he thought any gay sex at all was sick and perverted and that gays were going to Hell.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Played with. Ricky has sex with Tina by way of experimentation and likes it enough to want to do it again. Later Steven does it with Ricky by way of experimentation; while he enjoys it, he's mainly left all the more certain of his heterosexuality.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Ricky's crush on Steven, the only straight guy in the whole series.
  • Ironic Nickname: Tiny is easily the largest of the main cast.
  • Manly Gay / Gym Bunny / Leatherman: David and his friends at the leather bar. As Daniel puts it when he's forced into the same type of outfit, "I look like a Village People." Also, Roy (and his pride) from the Pride Parade.
  • Meaningful Name: Daniel King is two obvious lion puns in one.
  • N-Word Privileges: Nigel calls Ricky "you little faggot" at one point without a hint of irony. And it has nothing to do with the fact that he's the designated Camp Gay. Subverted as he's immediately called on it by Marcus who tells him he never wants to hear him talk like that again.
  • Really Gets Around: As mentioned above, monogamous relationships are very rare in ASB, but special mention has to be given to Ricky, the Camp Gay racoon, who manages to sleep with most of the main cast, including Tina and Steven, during the course of the comic.
  • Running Gag: Calling Timothy Timmy. Also, the writing on Timmy's shirt is never the same from one panel to the next.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Tina is the only major recurring female character (unless you count Allison, who appears briefly in two issues).
  • STD Immunity: The comic ignores STD's completely, and condoms are never used by any of the characters, even tough they live a lifestyle that would make it insane not to do so in real life. The usage of this trope is actually admitted in the foreword of the first issue, by stating that since ASB is a work of fantasy the spectre of AIDS and hepatitis can be "wished away". Unfortunately, it kinda goes against the comic's stated intention of being an "only-somewhat-distorted mirror of the kinds of issues that gay people in the real world contend with".
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Ricky is presented as the wild, flaming Camp Gay in the story. Then, in Issue 7, he takes Tina up on her suggestion to sleep with her in order to experience what girls feel like. After some panels where he's shown as timid and scared, he quickly turns into a powerful sex machine with her, and while he claims that he's only interested in Tina, a subsequent folio picture shows him together with her and two other women.

Ohana HoloholoQueer MediaChelsea Boys
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alternative title(s): Associated Student Bodies
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