In more detail, Components on Campus is a Starlight Express fan comic in which Electra's components go to college for intentionally unexplained reasons. Once there, they meet characters from several other musicals, including Erik, Bombalurina, Joseph, Aldonza, and even Jesus, among others. Hilarity Ensues!
The comic combines a linear story with the gag-a-day format, adding an extra layer of surreality to a bizarre premise.
Components on Campus was once quite popular with the insular Starlight Express fandom, but has been unfinished since 2002.
This comic contains examples of:
- Anthropomorphic Shift: The characters are anthropomorphic in canon, but here they wear street clothes rather than their stage costumes.
- Art Evolution: The art quality increases sharply over a short period of time. Contrast the first three or four pages with pages six or seven.
- Butch Lesbian: Wrench, who wears leather and punk outfits, once had a career as a street fighter, and is aggressive enough to intimidate the extremely muscular Krupp. She's steel covering steel.
- Camp Gay: Purse is never without makeup, usually wears daisy dukes, and is fond of the word "fabulous." Joseph is less overt about his orientation, but the hints are difficult to overlook. Unlike Wrench and Volta, who share the Psycho Lesbian trope between them, Purse and Joseph are not together, though they probably would have been if the comic had ever come to a genuine conclusion.
- Cat Girl: Bombalurina.
- Crack Fic
- Cut Short: One can read the entire comic in a single sitting.
- Deadpan Snarker: Volta's sarcasm is her most profound characteristic.
- Depraved Bisexual / Memetic Molester: Electra, who already had the potential for it in canon.
- Everyone Is Gay: With the exceptions of Erik and Electra (who are straight and bisexual, respectively), all the characters who have stated sexual orientations are gay or lesbian.
- Furry Confusion: Mechanoid Confusion is a more accurate term. The first page shows Electra driving his components to college; Volta later uses a laptop computer to surf the Internet.
- Genki Girl: Joule is by far the most energetic of all the characters.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Jesus never appears physically, but his speech bubbles are filled in with blackletter text.
- Incompatible Orientation: After a spat with Wrench, the rage-blinded Volta storms off to a cinema with Erik. He assumes that this gesture is a sign of affection toward him, only to learn that "...the girl in question is already happily involved with a big leather-clad Scottish woman!"
- Interspecies Romance: Joule the dynamite truck-person enters a relationship with Bombalurina the Cat Girl. Erik is interested in Volta ("But you can't help but wonder...are all the good trains gay?"). Purse falls in love with Joseph.
- Kick the Dog: Electra forces his previously loyal components to earn money to pay for their tuition, even though he could easily cover the costs himself.
- Lampshade Hanging: "Master Electra? If we're trains, why are we driving?"
- Manly Gay: Krupp, assuming that he's like all the other components.
- Mega Crossover: Over half a dozen musicals are represented in this comic.
- Orphaned Series
- Psycho Lesbian: Wrench and Volta are both psychotic train-women in a relationship with each other.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Manly-man Krupp is a cooking aficionado.
- Shout-Out: Occasionally the comic includes puns on actors who have performed in or lyricists who have written for Starlight Express, such as the components eating at a cafe called Kappa's Kitchen.
- Take Our Word for It: This is the logic on which the comic runs.
- The Internet Is for Porn: The comic ends with Volta looking at porn sites while Wrench broods about her new job.
- Tsundere: As befits a freezer truck, Volta is normally cold...but she has a soft side that only Wrench can bring out.
- Violent Glaswegian: Wrench.