"The fact that you're never going to figure it all out...is the most important thing college helps you figure out."
In this arc, featuring art by Jason Waltrip (drawn, in contrast to his later Penny and Aggie
work, in his Fans!
style), Nick and Aggie, "window shopping" for colleges, tour Philadelphia's fictional Topffer University, the setting of T Campbell's and Phil Kahn's webcomic Sketchies.
Nick advises his daughter to remember there's plenty of time to make a decision; Aggie responds first with impatience and then with teasingly pretending to have fallen in love with the campus. Leading the tour is the P&Averse version of Rikk Oberf, here a shy, somewhat awkward graduate student much like that appearing in the first Fans!
arc, but without any of the subsequent Character Development
Also joining the tour is Liz Adams of Campbell's and LagacÚ's other joint webcomic, Cool Cat Studio
. Aggie enthusiastically recognizes her as the singer of the band from the dance party months earlier (as featured in Vertigo
). However, after Liz says she'd thought Aggie may have been someone she'd "partied with," and then acts flustered when she notices Nick glaring at her, Aggie tells Nick that Liz in person isn't the cool person she'd seemed on stage. Nick uses this as a teaching moment, noting that Rikk, too, "isn't where he wants to be," and suggesting that Aggie, too, isn't as sure of herself as she was at the tour's beginning. He says that uncertainty and humility is a good thing, however (see page quote). Aggie smiles and affectionately calls her dad a "know-it-all."
- An Aesop: See page quote.
- Alternate Self: A parallel-universe version of Rikk from Fans.
- Canon Welding/Shared Universe: Making cameo appearances are: an alternate version of Rikk Oberf from Fans; Xan, Stephanie and Wasp of Sketchies; Liz Adams of Cool Cat Studio, and the title characters of Rip And Teri, all webcomics which Campbell has written or co-authored.
- Filler Strip: A gag strip at the end of the arc satirizes social networking sites and online media mergers by imagining them as Teen Drama characters.
- Shout-Out: Although the Rikk who appears in this arc is not the one from Fans, there are two closely linked allusions to the latter comic. In response to Nick's observation that he looks young for his age, Rikk admits it makes it difficult to control the classes he T.A.s. A background image shows him ignored by a class of unruly students, one of whom shouts, "Show the film!" This is an allusion to this strip from the very first Fans arc. Rikk says he's considering growing a "professor beard" in order to compensate; his Fans counterpart does so during the Time Skip between the original Series Finale and the Revival, in tandem with his appointment as head of Team Alpha.