LNH/META: A Brief History of Reception at LNHHQ

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 19 21:21:33 PST 2006


   The earliest appearance I could find of a
receptionist working for the Legion of the Net. Heroes
was in Martin Phipps's GIRLS NIGHT OUT, which I came
(Phipps, January 17, 1993).    The receptionist was
very clearly female, and apparently quite attractive;
in DEJA DUDE AND MASTER BLASTER # 1 (Phipps, January
30, 1993) she is described as possessing some
"BOO-TAY!" by that lovable scamp, Master Blaster.
   In THE GOOD GUYS # 2 (Phipps, April 15, 1993), the
receptionist is referred to by both male and female
pronouns.  This is not because the character is both
genders, or even gender-neutral, but because, as
Martin informs us in a footnote, there are, in fact,
two receptionists: one man and one woman.  As to which
one is running the desk in this issue of THE GOOD
GUYS, we are never informed; in this particular
instance, it's a Schroedinger's Receptionist.
   A nameless receptionist, referred to without any
gender-specific pronouns, racks up a number of
appearances in the summer of '93, mostly in Ken
Schmidt's work.  It's not until LNH COMICS PRESENTS #
4 (Schmidt, July 22, 1993) that a receptionist bears a
name: Fred.
   It is explained in this story that the female
receptionist is Fred's sometimes girlfriend and
Captain CleanUp's sister, Crystal.



   Crystal, as near as I can ascertain, never makes an
appearance in which she is named.  Discounting
appearances in which the receptionist's gender is
indiscriminate, she appears in the following stories:

The Dumbest Legion Stories Ever Told (Phipps)
LNH # 3 (Phipps)
Deja Dude and Master Blaster # 1 (Phipps)
The Coming of Elvis Man # 2 (Gary St. Lawrence)
Dramatic Introduction (Andre Condon)
The Good Guys # 2 (Phipps)

   She does not appear, but is mentioned by name, in:

Teens in Trenchcoats # 2 (Rawluk)
LNH Comics Presents # 4 (Schmidt)
LNH Comics Presents # 5 (Schmidt, Phipps)


   But wait, there's more: LNH COMICS PRESENTS # 4, in
addition to naming Fred and Crystal, also introduces
_three_ more receptionists: Kyoko Ishikawa, Bart
Sears, and Lester O'Brien.  It turns out, as Kyoko
explains, that they each cover the desk in six hour
shifts, per the instructions of the Ultimate Ninja.
   According to an LNH FAQ first posted by Jeff Barnes
on November 15, 1993, the identity of the receptionist
on duty is a "running joke".  Over time, however,
Lester and Bart have been phased out, leaving Kyoko
and Fred-- between whom there exists little confusion.
 How did Bart and Lester disappear?  One dramatically,
the other without fanfare.  How did Kyoko and Fred
become so damn popular?  One by having personality,
the other just plain dumb luck.
   Read on, Mac Duff!


   Lester is mentioned by name only in

LNH Comics Presents # 4 (Schmidt)
LNH Comics Presents # 5 (Schmidt, Phipps),

   making his first actual appearance in

LNH Comics Presents # 7 (Schmidt).

   In this story, he has a brief but tense exchange
with Bad Timing Boy, and is referred to as "Les".  His
other appearances are

LNH Comics Presents # 8 & 28 (Schmidt)
Alt.er.net.tives # 1 (Marie Antoon)
Misfits # 17 (Jennifer Whiston)
LNH Triple Play # 8 (Schmidt)
Easily-Discovered Man # 25 (Rob Rogers)

   Like the vastly more popular Fred, his appearances
are, for the most part, purely utilitarian, playing
straight man to the various loonies.  After that, he
simply ceases to appear.


   Bart is mentioned by name only in

LNH Comics Presents # 4 (Schmidt)
C.H.E.E.E.Z. Corps # 1113 (Kyle Lucke)

   He racked up only two appearances--

LNH Comics Presents # 5 (Schmidt, Phipps)
Fan. Boy # 2 (Jamas Enright)

  -- before his transformation to the Dark
Receptionist in

Kid Kiwi's Kommandos # 1, 2 & 7 (Descrii).

   And this is the last we hear from Bart; since no
replacement has ever been mentioned, I find it likely
that Fred has simply assimilated his shift.


   Kyoko Ishikawa is certainly more popular and, one
could argue, significant, than Bart, Lester, and
Crystal.  She is unique among the four "regular"
receptionists in that she possesses a strong, palpable
presence and personality; thanks, in no small part, to
Jennifer Whiston's acclaimed and excellent MISFITS, in
which she makes ten appearances.  She is mentioned by
name only in

LNH Comics Presents # 5 (Schmidt, Phipps)

   and appears in

LNH Comics Presents # 4, 12, 28 (Schmidt)
LNH # 86 (Phipps)
C.H.E.E.E.Z. Corps # 13 (Lucke)
Misfits # 1, 10, 16, 17, 23, 25, 29, 31, 34, 35
Writer's Block Woman (and Mouse) # 22-25 (Jaelle)
Limp-Asparagus Lad # 34 (Saxon Brenton)
The Net.ropolis Project # 2 (Aaron Veenstra)
Barefoot in Hell # 3 (Descrii)
Kid Kiwi's Kommandos # 2 (Descrii)
Plotline Lad # 1 (Veenstra)
Fish Force # 6 (Kieran O'Callaghan)
Tales of the LNH # 337 (Hubert Bartles)
Terror in Got.ham City (Enright)
Cauliflower the Christmas Miracle Pooch # 1 & 4
(Arthur Spitzer)

   In the final LNH ACCIES award ceremony, held early
last year as part of the RACCies, Kyoko was voted
favourite supporting character-- specifically, I
think, for her appearances with the aforementioned
pooch of miracles.  She is easily the most developed
of all the LNH receptionists, and with twenty-nine
actual appearances, is second in popularity only to


   Fred is the only receptionist who, as far as my
research shows, has yet to be given a last name.  And
though there have been some strong Fred-centric
stories (TALES OF THE LNH # 350, for example, or last
year's LEGION OF NET.HEROES Vol. 2 # 6), he still has
yet to show much personality.  Most of the time, he's
just there to fulfill some plot purpose or to react to
some strange going-on; most of the time, he's just
*there*.  One wonders while Lester O'Brien, who has
the same basic lack of personality, fell by the
way-side while Fred has remained a favourite; it might
be because a bland, generic name like Fred suits a
bland personality.  Perhaps "Les" is too flamboyant a
name for a non-entity.
   Not that I dislike Fred, mind you: I've yet to use
any of the other regular receptionists in one of my
stories.  He just seems like a character who should
get the spotlight more often; and, perhaps, one that
deserves a second look and some development.  One can
probably extrapolate some personality from the stories
he has appeared in:

LNH Comics Presents # 4, 6, 20, 24 (Schmidt)
LNH # 70, 86 (Phipps)
Alt.er.net.tives # 0 (Antoon)
Tales of the LNH # 292, 293, 301, 309, 318-321, 350,
361 (Bartles)
Pliable Lad # 20, 30 (Mike Escutia)
Writer's Block Woman (and Mouse) # 4, 6, 9-11 (Jaelle)
Particle Man # 21 (Jameel Al-Khafiz)
Guitar Man # 1 (Campbell Marsh)
ELFFORCE # 2, 4/ ELF # 22, 24 (Wayne Parillo)
Crisis of the Infinite Sidekicks (Escutia)
C.H.E.E.E.Z. Corps # 17 (Lucke)
Generation Y # 17 (Phipps)
Plotline Lad: The New Kid # 4-6 (Veenstra)
Limp-Asparagus Lad # 20 (Brenton)
Fish Force # 5 (O'Callaghan)
Flame Wars 4 # 1-3 (Jamie Rosen, Brenton, Phipps)
Curious Lass and Psionic Lad # 1 (Carolyn Vaughan)
a.outSiders # 1, 6, 8 (Ted Brock)
Dvandom Force # 90 (Dave Von Domelon)
Teens in Trenchcoats # 1-2 (Rawluk)
Journey Into Irrelevancy # 22 (Tom Russell)
The Continuing Adventures of Miss Translation # 7
Master Blaster and Future Lass # 1/ Master Blaster and
Future Girl # 1/ Master Blaster and Twaelia # 1
Net.heroes on Parade # 18 (Russell)
The Team # 48 (Jesse Willey)
Legion of Net. Heroes Vol. 2 # 1, 6 (Rosen)
Vel # 11 (Willey)
Master Blaster: Super Bowl Special (Russell)

   Fred also makes numerous appearances in four recent
cascade/chaotic add-on stories:

Saviours of the Net (1998, 1999, 2000)
Jesse Willey's Grocery List (2002, 2003)
Mutton Mania (2000)
Just Imagine! Saxon Brenton's RACCies (2005)

   ... and really, I'm too lazy and tired at the
moment to hunt down the individual messages.  But,
counting the add-ons, for the moment, as one story
each, Fred has made a whopping fifty-nine appearances.


   Suzy, a temporary receptionist, was trained by Fred
in TALES OF THE LNH # 350 (Bartles).  Fred's cousin,
Kelly, was introduced in NET.HEROES ON PARADE # 14
(Russell), and was murdered in that same issue.

--Tom Russell, 2006

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