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Name: rec.arts.comics.creative
Date(s): 1994-ongoing
Moderator: Russ Albery
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Comics
URL: rec.arts.comics.creative googlegroup
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Rec.arts.comic.creative was a newsgroup on Usenet for the posting of comics fiction.

Rec.Arts.Comics.Creative was a bus of collective dreams that Martin Phipps drove into reality. It was conceived of as a fanfiction newsgroup catering to prospective and hobbyist comic book authors. With just a little extension it could be a forum for _all_ aspects of fan-related comic creativity.

The first such experiment on Internet was the Superguy mailing list. Then came alt.comics.lnh (which itself sprung from a thread on RACM). Then the Net.Trenchcoat.Brigade. All of these organizations, in parallel, gathered together authors in shared-superhero-worlds. At least initially, RACC will be heavily influenced by these groups' experiences.

First and foremost, RACC is a site for people to post comic-related fiction. Stories about long-underwear vigilantes, anthropomorphic animals, sci-fi, westerns, even Kleen Teens if anyone is so moved. As long as it relates to comics it's OK.

ADMIN: FAQ is back; racc googlegroup, Sep 12/94

However, in order to protect themselves from claims of copyright violation by the comics companies, the group's charter forbade the use of existing trademarked characters. RACC, therefore, posted original fiction using the comics superhero format, in the form of shared 'imprints'. From the FAQ, last updated in 2018:

Subject: 1.3. What is the RACC official charter?

...Stories using copyrighted or trademarked characters are explicitly not within the charter of this group and may be rejected unless the author owns the copyrights and trademarks or has written permission from the owner...

Subject: 1.4. Where are the stories about Wolverine(tm)?

This is very important, so I'm going to yell it. RACC IS NOT THE PLACE FOR FICTION ABOUT ESTABLISHED, TRADEMARKED CHARACTERS. This includes all Marvel, Image, DC, what-have-you characters. RACC's charter expressly FORBIDS such fiction.

The reason for this is the ongoing legislative battles about intellectual property and the Net. rec.* groups are picked up worldwide, and sysadmins do not want to draw lawsuits because someone wrote a story that violated trademark laws. Note that fanfic stories may or may not be lawful and/or prosecutable, WE JUST DON'T KNOW. They're still writing the laws.

To forestall any confusion or debates, and to protect sysadmins from inadvertently becoming the test case, this provision was adopted as a key requirement for RACC's creation. If you really must write about existing, trademarked characters, there is waiting to receive you. alt.* groups get picked up by sysadmins voluntarily, so they presumedly know what risks they're taking.

Nothing will draw this group's ire faster than violating this requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), racc googlegroups, Mar 1/23

RACC covers a wide range of styles, from the absurdist comedy of the Legion of Net.Heroes and Superguy, to serious original fiction, to meta-fic such as the Order of Saint Dumas and the RACCafe, a Subreality Cafe-style shared universe where characters can complain about their writers.


From the group's creation in 1994 to current date, various imprints have been created and retired. As of 2023, the current line up is:

  • Legion of Net.Heroes: "The Friendliest Shared Universe Going!(TM)" A mostly parody universe, though it does have its serious side.
  • LNH20: On the LNH's 20th anniversary, a group of writers took it upon themselves to create a new world, based in everything they loved about the LNH, in the best spirit of comic book reboots. LNHY: An Imprint involving an alternate LNH universe called Looniverse Y. The big difference between this and the Classic LNH is that writers are allowed to have only one character of theirs in this Looniverse's LNH.
  • 8FOLD: A closed universe that encompasses serious superheroes, comedy, memoir, and just about anything else.
  • SuperGuy: From Space Moose to the Bomb. Comedy superhero writing with a far different background than LNH. Note that only a small slice of Superguy stuff appears on the group; to see the rest, go to <>.
  • Elsewhirls: LNH stories that do not fit into LNH continuity. Think DC's or EW Elseworlds.
  • Acraphobe: Mature stories that may or may not fit into other universes' continuity. Using this flag in conjunction with another is not unheard of. Think a meta-Vertigo.
  • The High Concept Challenge: A continuous series of writing contests. Each round, the winner, chosen by reader vote, gets to pick the next round's concept.
  • RACCCafe: A continuity-free outpost where RACC characters can unwind after a hard day of being mangled by their writers. Anything can happen, as long as it's funny, and there are no consequences!
  • Starfall: Lightly serious and seriously light superheroics.
  • Net.Trenchcoat.Brigade: A bunch of Vertigo-like characters that own stock in London Fog. Not tremendously active, but they do have a considerable history. Implied Acraphobe.
  • The Order of Saint Doomas: Items relating to RACC's anti-spam cult. No posts have been seen from this imprint in quite some time, but that doesn't mean they're gone....
  • Academy of Super-Heroes: Academy of Super-Heroes. Dave Van Domelen's RPG-based future-history stories. See <>.
  • Omega: A serious psi-based shared super-world and once upon a time RACC's third largest universe, now inactive. Created by the legendary Matt Rossi.
  • Superhuman World. 10 is an annual tag. The comic has proceeded to 2011, but the tag has frozen at 2010 because that's when the series really interacted with RACC. Scott Eiler has written the story of this universe since before 1991, but 1991 is when the modern heroes of this series start. His sources include adolescent male power fantasy, superhero role-playing, comic-book satire, and dreams. See <>.
  • MISC: Stories not in the above categories or in their own universes (authors are encouraged to make up their own headers as well). To limit the number of imprints, and to keep this FAQ to reasonable lengths, let's adopt this convention: One-shot stories or series should use the MISC flag. Series that set up shared universes should create their own, new imprint.