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Not quite of thousands, but pretty damn close...
||Caroline Ulture - the heroine, after whom the
strip is sort-of named. Naive and nervy, Caroline surprised everyone,
including herself, when she decided to come to America, and has been
semi-regretting the decision ever since. True, she was told the place
was wild, but she never expected this, although she does seem
to be settling down and getting used to it. Like most nervous people
she can swing to extremes of temperament - from worriedly accepting to
all out close-mindedness - and it's clear she
can be easily influenced. Still, she has hidden depths, and who knows
- maybe America will be just the tonic she needs. Or maybe she'll be
dead in a ditch by Thursday. You can never tell with life...
|The Fridge Monster - Basically a large, green,
tentacled mountain of ick that lives in Caroline's fridge, the Fridge
Monster would technically be considered evil if it wasn't for two
peculiar quirks - its obsession with all thing British, and the fact
that it is deeply, deeply stupid. The combination of these two
factors helped Caroline not only escape being eaten by the beast, but
also befriend it, when she
convinced it that she was the Duchess of Gwent.
It's assumed that the Fridge Monster was responsible for eating
Caroline's cousin Tara.
||Martin Knuttson - The first friend Caroline ever made in
America - the Fridge Monster doesn't count on the grounds that it's
slow-witted, doesn't understand irony, and you can't go clothes shopping
with it. Tall and sardonic, Martin manages to avoid most stereotypes of
gay maleness, except for the ones about being well-dressed, organised,
neat, and tending towards moments of bitchy queeniness. He was
the person who suggested Caroline go for the job of programmer at Soulless
Megacorp, despite the fact that Caroline knows about as much about
computers as Martin does gynecology. Martin is the office manager in one
of the big departments of Soulless Megacorp where he is an island of
calm in a sea of characters. He's certainly proven
himself able to handle Caroline at her weirdest, although whether
calling her a freaking
loon is the best way of doing so is another matter. He lives a
few floors down from Caroline.
|The Grinning Skull - Unsurprisingly, given his
name, mask, and big knife, a serial killer, because everyone knows that
there are masked killers everywhere in America.. The Grinning Skull
first appeared at Frank's
costume party, hiding in plain sight, where he probably claimed
his first nameless victim. So far little is known of this unbalanced
individual, except that he is clearly a killer (either that or he's
very messy with the ketchup) and he's clearly got some interest in
Caroline. And the
key to her apartment. The only other fact of note so far is that he is referred to
as 'he' because it's easier - in today's equal times he could be a she,
he-going-to-she, she-going-to-he, it, or Dom DeLuise. He's not Dom
||Carla Black - There's a bizarre rule of
media, film, and drama that states that all disabled people have to be
happy little Yodas spouting forth homilies from their own little Chicken
Soups for the Soul. When Carla finds out who wrote this rule, she's
going to do things to them that would make Jack the Ripper say 'Steady
on! That's a bit uncalled for!'. Yes, Carla is mean. And
sadistic. And bitchy, and occasionally petty, and willing
to betray her friends, and dealing with some
serious rage issues - basically she's living proof that just because
you're in a wheelchair, doesn't mean you're nice. Unsurprisingly, Carla
is the network manager in Caroline's department at Soulless Megacorp,
although nearly everyone believes this is just a front for her plans
to take over the world. Scary thing is, they may be right...
|Kia Mankievich - Happy, outward going, non-agenda'ed,
non-manhating, totally PC lesbian, Kia is one of the few human beings
who can skip without being on hard drugs, and even poing on odd
occasions. She gets on with everyone - yes, even Carla - and
believes the world would be a brighter, happier place if everyone was
just a little more open minded and a little bit kinder and more helpful;
three philosophies that she subscribes to with a vengeance, often to
much annoyance from others. It is this approach that kept her safely in
denial when she became a supermodel, although they are also what
made her quit once she found out exactly what was going on. The more cynical of her friends
suspect that no one can be this nice without having some serious
issues buried deep down, and they might be right, but on the who Kia is
a little ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy world. Ahhh.
||Derek and Jerek Buttz - Not all guys are a(*)**hole. Not
all guys are stupid, beer-swilling, sexist, homophobic, disability
mocking jerks. Unfortunately, that's not the case for Derek and Jerek.
Twin brothers, they work for Soulless
Megacorporation as...well, nobody's really sure, since all they seem
to do is drink beer, make lewd comments and use the company
facilities to download porn. Despite their being identical in almost
every way, there are noticeable differences - Derek always wears
his baseball cap the normal way round, whereas Jerek wears his
back to front - and they have been known to have different views &
approaches since just because you have a twin doesn't mean you act exactly
like them. Still, they seem to work in tandem most of the time, much to
the annoyance/disgust/rage-fuelled hatred of their colleagues, although
this didn't stop Caroline into talking
herself into a date with Jerek.
|Cassiopeia Sawyer (Cass) - Although she
works at Soulless Megacorporation in conjuction with the others,
Cass isn't really a major part of the team. She's the secretary to Mr
Beard, the infamously impatient and ungrateful boss who rules the
other characters' lives (well..OK, not Carla's, since she does
what she likes, or the Fridge Monster, since he doesn't work
there). Cass was clearly born on the day that the Creator was using
nothing but curves, and boy does she make use of that, often
to great effect. Perky, efficient, sweet and befreckled, and
probably hailing from a state beginning with a vowel, Cass can also be
ruthless, as shown when a
certain person failed to get the message.
|Jane Donaldson - Caroline's next door neighbor,
Jane was a New Ager of the first order, and a total flake by order of
Caroline. She believed in UFOs, Astral Projection, the face on Mars, the
Celestine Prophecies, ESP, telekinesis, the Loch Ness monster, the
theory of Atlantis, and everything she reads in the National Enquirer.
Jane also claimed to have psychic powers; a fact that Caroline refuses to
believe but which has been borne out by the strips she appeared
in. Good-hearted, if a total stoner, it's a shame that she was the
Grinning Skull's first named victim. That didn't seem to stop
her, however, as she was soon brought
back as a zombie,
albeit one with the same mind she had when she died. This isn't necessarily
a *good* thing.
||Frank Kavanagh - Lives down the hall from Caroline in an
apartment he shares with Martin's ex-boyfriend Jason. Straight but very
queer friendly - he bonded with Jason over their mutual love of slasher
films. Despite this little quirk, Frank seems from what little we've
seen to be a charming, well-balanced young man who really didn't deserve
screaming at him when they first met.
|Jason Weems - Frank's gay roomie, and boy doesn't that
sound like the title of a sitcom? Jason has naturally boyish good looks
which would make him a babe magnet for whichever sex he perferred. Consequently he's remained very much
himself after coming out since he had no need to fit into a role.
Charming and mischievous as hell, he and Frank love to play with
people's heads, although he often takes it one step too far, sometimes
to Frank's detriment, but he also always makes
up for it. Jason is also deeply into slasher films, which is
why he and Frank get on so well.
Site design, writing & characters
(c) Selena Ulrich 2000-2001 Art (c) Selena Ulrich 2000, Jo Wilson 2001. C.Ulture Shocked
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||Rachel "Amarilis" Mankievich - Sixteen
year-old daughter of Kia's brother, and consequently Kia's niece.
Amarilis (as she insists on being called) is terrifyingly worldly,
deeply cynical, and sometimes manipulative, with a weakness for softer
material such as Snoopy
Christmas Specials that belies her cynical routine. In other
words, she's a fairly normal teenage girl. Amarilis openly admits
her anti-social behavior is more or less research
for the great novel on alienation, although she does claim to be
genuinely depressed as well. Last time she visited, she and Caroline
became good friends and Caroline went
over to the Goth side for a while. Since this was at Christmas
and Amarilis claimed to have had a wonderful time, she is bound to
return, sooner or later.