Summer 1998
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TCU Magazine "Purpectives"

The Campus Underground

Todd Camp '88 is returning for his 10-year reunion. And he's bringing his irreverent comic strip, The Campus Underground, with him.

By Todd Camp '88

You don't spend four years with people without getting to know them pretty well. The fact that said people don't actually exist is beside the point.

When I first created the characters in my comic strip The Campus Underground in 1984 as a freshman at TCU, I felt that they were as real to me as any of my roommates at the time. At least I remember my character's names. (Just kidding Duane, Barry, Dave and, uh, the tall one.) Watching those little bug-eyed oddballs go about their daily adventures was one of the most entertaining aspects of my college years‹almost as amusing as observing the antics of my comic strip characters.

But, like with most of my college roommates, I lost track of the strip gang over the years. You know how it is. People move, get new jobs, get married, make new friends and realize that the only thing they had in common with college chums was a general sense of apathy and a rapidly expanding terror of winding up pushing a shopping cart full of trash down Berry Street after dropping 50 grand on a four-year drinking binge with some classes squeezed in between hangovers.

So as my 10-year college reunion approaches, I decided to pull out an old Frog Calls and track down some of the Undergrounders to find out what they're up to these days.

Here's what I learned:

Seymour Krelbum. Probably the most 'with it' of the gang, Seymour put his BFA to good use selling vacuums for the Kirby people while doing the odd stage play for Fort Worth Theater (I mean that, he was only in the odd ones). Seymour finally realized his dream of working on stage full time, he now wipes up the sweat after ballet concerts at the new Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall.

Maxwell Edison Lectroid. Max's frequent anxiety attacks seemed to calm when he came out of the closet after graduation. As editor of the college scandal rag, The Campus Underground, he put his talents to good use editing the gay & lesbian scandal rag, Life Underground. Fans of Max's scathing rants, from inaction in the student house of representatives to cafeteria Styrofoam cups, will be thrilled to learn he now writes about fashion don'ts in the U.S. House of Representatives and the perils of Internet dating.

Hyrum & Dwayne. The accompanying strips pretty much sum up these guys activities. I mean, come on, they're squirrels. Hyrum still likes to cuddle up with the latest Michener opus while Dwayne flirted briefly with becoming a Tibetan monk. Downside: not many trees in Tibet.

Ignatius & Eugene. Few people know that these crafty roaches are actually behind the recent retirement of Chancellor Tucker. After lurking in the TCU computer system for 10 years, the two managed to continually lower the chancellor's salary until he could no longer afford to work at TCU. But before you get any ideas, Iggy insists that they had nothing to do with those annual tuition hikes.

Dr. Benson Burner. After saving TCU from the rampages of Bowheadism, he also staved off an epidemic of soap opera addiction in the men's dorms. But his work on projects like Jeep-driver-attractiveness-enhancement-phenomenon (you know, how guys who drive Jeeps are cuter than guys who drive, say, Hyundais) was deemed unworthy of tenure. He now works as a java slinger at the TCU Bookstore Starbucks, but rumor has it he's up to something Š something sinister.

Todd Camp is assistant editor of Star Time, the weekly entertainment guide of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He can be reached at Any similarities between his comic strip characters and actual individuals is purely intentional.