[LNH/META] The LNH Frequently Asked Questions

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Russ Allbery

May 15, 2022, 3:01:05 AMMay 15
Version 4.0

Administered by: Andrew Perron (pwe...@gmail.com)

The FAQ was last updated: 2014-06-07

1.0 Introduction
.1 The LNH? What's the LNH?
.2 Why should I care about the LNH?
.3 All right, how do I get started?
.4 So... what exactly is a "newsgroup"?
.5 Sounds cool! How do I get on?
.6 Where can I find out more about the LNH?

2.0 Writing, Etiquette, and Netiquette
.1 Should I make up my own characters? Can I use other people's
characters? What about Spider-Man or Superman? (Usability)
.2 Where do I set my story? (Storytelling Universes and Settings)
.3 What do I call my story? (Titles and Series)
.4 Can I join in on a story that's already happening? (Crossovers
and Cascades)
.5 I'm set to start writing. What are the rules of the LNH?
.6 Okay, but what if I *really* want to make friends?
.7 Why do y'all put "LNH:" in front of your titles? (Making Sure
You Get Posted)
.8 Hey, somebody else's story messed up the continuity in my
.9 What do I do if my story might... y'know, be too much for some
people? (Acraphobe)
.10 Do I lose the copyright on my stories for posting them to

3.0 Common Terms and In-Jokes
.1 What do these words mean? (Looniverse Terms and Abbreviations
(or, everything you need to know in order to understand your
garden-variety LNHer))
.2 Okay, but what do these other words mean? (Internet Terms and
Abbreviations (or, sig.nificant meanings))
.3 What's with all the Lads and Lasses?
.4 Why is it called "Ame.rec.a"? (Net.Names)
.5 What's this "alt.comics.lnh"?
.6 Aaarrrgh! All these worlds and characters and STUFF - how can
I find out more info about them?
.7 What twisted mind came up with this "LNH" thing, anyway? (An
Entirely-Too-Long Short History of the LNH)
.8 Who's the most powerful LNHer?



Q1.1 The LNH? What's the LNH?

A1.1 A short definition of the LNH? That would be equivalent to
pouring the sands of the Sahara into a half-filled thimble. It would be
comparable to funneling the waters of the Pacific into a broken
wineglass. It would be like placing the collected works of Dave Van
Domelen into the onboard memory of an Atari 2600... however, this is the
task you have set for us, and therefore we shall endeavor to elucidate.

The LNH, or Legion of Net.Heroes, is a society of those beings
who emulate the spirit of adventure and undying quest for justice while
clothed in spandex and a never-ending stream of bad jokes. In short, we
are super-heroes, or at the very least authors who spend what spare time
we have writing about super-heroes. Our stories are dramatic (Beige
Midnight), comedic (Kung-Fu Holmes), dramatically comedic (Ultimate
Mercenary v20), comedically dramatic (Possum-Man: Relinquished),
adventurous (Digital JUMP!), impressionist (Cover Gallery), satirical
(Looniverse Y), freeform (All-New Legion of Net.Heroes), absurd-coming-
of-age-mystery-parodic (The Adventures of Easily-Discovered Man), or
simply strange (Those Darn Vectors!). They all take place in the same
multiverse, and authors and characters often interact with each other.

Anyone can join! Guidelines for writing can be found later on in
this FAQ and then conveniently ignored. Your best policy is to read some
of the stories before writing your own. If you have any questions, just
ask! You can post in the group for quickest response, or just to start a
discussion. Most authors are willing to respond to e-mail questions
about their stories, and many will even let you use their characters in
stories of your own. But you'll have to bring your own dish to the
company potluck.

So welcome to the LNH. I hope this isn't the last we hear from
you! Good luck, and get reading.

Q1.2 Why should I care about the LNH?

A1.2 Well, if you don't, there's a good chance that a flock of kiwis
will sit on your house. But seriously...

For readers, the LNH is a superhero universe that *isn't* run by
corporate interests or marketing conglomerates, but by people who just
really like Fun Comics. Also, some of the nicest net.people can be found
in the LNH. Try us, you might just make a friend. (Besides, it's cheaper
than therapy.)

For writers, the LNH is a place where you can create great
adventures, without the pressures of being serious, formal, or good.
This is not to say that LNH writers aren't good. They're wonderful, but
that is not a prerequisite. Plus, it's a place where you can do the
kinds of stories that you always wanted to see, and create the kinds of
characters that really should exist.

Q1.3 All right, how do I get started?

A1.3 Goody, another victim... mwahaha. Anyway, the best way to get
started is to read. Poke around rec.arts.comics.creative, our home
newsgroup, and get a feel for what's going on. Those unfamiliar with
newsgroups will have all their questions answered in Q1.4.

If you like what you see, you can check out some older stories! The
Eyrie Archive at https://archives.eyrie.org/racc/lnh/ has all the
classics through 2006. More recent stories are available in the general
RACC archives at https://lists.eyrie.org/pipermail/racc/ organized by
month, and can be searched via Google by starting your search with
"site:lists.eyrie.org" (minus the quotes). To learn more about the LNH,
its ridiculous number of characters, and its world, visit the LNH Wiki
at http://lnhq.info/wiki .

Whenever you like, you can join the LNH. All you need to do is
write! Create a single character, a whole team, or just write the
characters in the shared toybox. Put pen to paper (or fingers to
keyboard) and show the world how creative you can be. For advice on who,
what, and how to write, see section 3.0, Netiquette and Writing.

Q1.4 So... what exactly is a "newsgroup"?

A1.4 A newsgroup is a discussion group on Usenet, a giant decentralized
retro-cool network of bulletin boards all over the world. It's
independent of governments, corporations, and The Man.

rec.arts.comics.creative (or "RACC"), the LNH's primary home, is
dedicated to comics-related original creative writing. (See the RACC FAQ
for details!) It's a place without spam or ads, where an assortment of
different fictional universes rub shoulders.

Q1.5 Sounds cool! How do I get on?

A1.5 Probably the easiest way is Google Groups, at
https://groups.google.com . RACC can be read and posted to at
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/rec.arts.comics.creative .

You can also post to RACC by email. Russ Allbery has set up a mail-
to-news gateway for RACC that can be posted through by sending your post
to rec.arts.com...@eyrie.org or ra...@eyrie.org. And you can get
posts from the group by mail by signing up at
https://lists.eyrie.org/mailman/listinfo/racc .

But if you want the most flexibility, you're going to want to get a
newsreader program and connect it to a newsserver. There are newsreaders
out there for every OS and platform, and newsreading functionality is
built into Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook Express. Many ISPs
have their own newsservers, though Comcast doesn't. There are lots of
good free ones for text newsgroups, and feel free to ask on the group if
you're not sure how to find one.

Oh, and if you just want to read, there's a very handsome interface
known as RACCowrimo, at http://wil.alambre.ca/racc/ . Stop by and check
out the cover gallery!

Q1.6 Where can I find out more about the LNH?

A1.6 Well, fine, be that way. =) A good place to start (after you've
read this FAQ, of course) is the LNH Wiki, located at
http://lnhq.info/wiki/Welcome . This has all the information you could
ever need about the LNH, from character rosters to a history of the LNH
to lists of award-winning stories.

If you're looking for more beyond that, or aren't sure where to find
something, ask in the newsgroup! We're friendly and ready to help.



Q2.1 Should I make up my own characters? Can I use other people's
characters? What about Spider-Man or Superman? (Usability)

A2.1 Making up your own characters is one hundred percent encouraged -
that's how the LNH started, after all!

Using other people's characters is completely okay - as long as
their creator has said that it's okay. Some characters have been given
up completely for public use, while others are usable with permission,
and yet others are completely reserved by a single writer. See the LNH
Wiki's Character Usability article at
http://lnhq.info/wiki/Character%20Usability for details.

As for Spider-Man, Superman, and other characters trademarked by
giant corporations, the LNH doesn't use 'em. Much as above, we prefer to
get people's permission before using their characters, and that's pretty
hard when you have to navigate a labyrinth of lawyers and license fees.
Plus, there's a lot of really good sites out there for writing and
reading fanfic, like Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction.net, which is why
RACC focuses on original fiction.

Q2.2 Where do I set my story? (Storytelling Universes and Settings)

A2.2 The stories of the LNH have spread across many worlds. For
convenience, these worlds are often categorized as separate "imprints",
along the lines of the different publishing imprints that comic book
companies use. There are three imprints in particular that the new
writer will want to focus on:

LNH20: Created in 2012 to combine the best of the original LNH
with everything that we want to see in modern comics - diversity, new
ideas, positivity, and fun! With a wide cast of characters and a wide-
open world, anyone can jump in!

Classic LNH: The original and still champion! An enormous
universe! Years of history! And a character with a silly name for every

LNHY: Simple, yet powerful, and it's easy for anyone to
contribute - since every writer only gets one member of the LNH! Plus:
Social and political satire!

In all three of these worlds, the LNH is headquartered in the city
of Net.ropolis (though in LNH20 it's more often spelled Netropolis; see
Q3.4 below). However, stories can happen all over the world - and

Other LNH imprints that you might see from time to time include:

NTB: The Net.Trenchcoat Brigade, a Vertigo-inspired take on the
Classic LNH focusing on a loose organization of mystical, cynical,
drunken bastards.

LUNA: Lunaverse, a similarly urban fantasy take on LNH20.

LNH2: An alternate-future imprint focusing primarily on the
grown-up children of present-day LNHers.

No-longer-active LNH-associated imprints include OSD (The Order
of St. Doomas), PULP (Prewar Ultrahuman Literary Pantheon), LNHX (Martin
Phipps's rebooted LNH), LF (Ben Rawluk's Net.League of Heroes), and
probably some others, I dunno.

Q2.3 What do I call my story? (Titles and Series)

A2.3 There are two equally good options for the new writer. What you
pick depends on what kind of story you want to write!

First, you can write an issue (or seven) of one of the LNH's anyone-
can-write anthology series. Just choose a universe and pick the one
that's right for your story:

Classic LNH:
* Legion of Net.Heroes vol. 3: The flagship title of the Classic LNH
* LNH Comics Presents: Stories focusing on individual LNHers.
* Looniverse Chronicles: Stories in the worlds of the Classic LNH that
don't actually involve the LNH itself.
* Another LNH Title? Really?: Self-contained one-shots, featuring
anyone and anything.

* LNH20 Comics Presents: The flagship title of the LNH20 imprint.
* Bite-Size Tales of the LNH v20: Short-short stories!
* Tales of the LNH v20: Stories taking place in the backstory of

* Looniverse Y: The flagship title of the LNHY imprint.

Second, you can create a series of your own! Don't be afraid to make
a new title in any of the imprints and fill it with adventures.

Q2.4 Can I join in on a story that's already happening? (Crossovers
and Cascades)

A2.4 While some stories are single-author works planned out in
advance, others are looking for people to join in!

Crossovers are stories with a larger effect on the shared universe
that other stories can "cross over" into. Often they have some kind of
plot hook that can be used as a springboard into your take on the
central concept.

Chaotic Add-On Cascades are stories where one writer posts the first
part, then another picks it up from there and post a second part, and
yet another posts a third part, and so on. They can usually be jumped
into at any time.

If you're not sure whether a certain story is a crossover or a
cascade, just ask!

Q2.5 I'm set to start writing. What are the rules of the LNH?

A2.5 THERE ARE NO RULES. But! Here are some helpful guidelines for how
to have fun and make friends:

a.) Respect others' characters. One of the neat things about a
shared universe is that certain characters can pop up and guest star
with almost any other character. But if you want to use other people's
characters, you gotta make sure you're using 'em right. Some simple ways
to do that include:
* Reading their wiki entry.
* Reading other stories they've appeared in, especially recent ones and
ones by their creator and/or primary writer.
* Talk to the character's creator and/or primary writer.
* Treat them with as much respect as you treat your own characters.

b.) Be careful with huge changes. Another neat thing about a shared
universe is that events from one series can affect events in another.
However, when you're playing in a common sandbox, you're going to want
to be careful that you don't knock over somebody else's castle. If
you're going to do something that has a big effect on the LNH, the
Looniverse, other people's characters, or even your own (if they're
involved in other people's plots), talk about it. Give your fellow
writers advance warning of what's going to happen, and be flexible; if
your plans are going to disrupt someone else's plans, be willing to work
with them - it's entirely possible that your plans can work together,
creating an even more interesting situation.

If you want to talk to your fellow writers about these things
without spoiling it to the group in general, the LNH Authors' List is a
good place for it. Just ask for your email to be added.

c.) Have fun with it! If you're here, it should be because you
*want* to write with us. If something's causing a problem, say so. The
LNH is for good times, and if it's better for you, it'll be better for
us too!

Q2.6 Okay, but what if I *really* want to make friends?

A2.6 Two words: Write reviews. Or at least respond to stories with
comments. Nothing makes a writer happier than feedback!

Q2.7 Why do y'all put "LNH:" in front of your titles? (Making Sure You
Get Posted)

A2.7 Why not? You think we'd be *ashamed* of proclaiming our title is
part of the LNH family? Huh? Do you? Do you?

Ahem. Anyway, the convention on rec.arts.comics.creative is to
identify stories by which imprint (see Q2.3) they belong to. That way,
you can pick and choose from your favorites, or seek out new worlds that
you haven't experienced yet.

In addition, RACC is moderated by fantastic human being Russ
Allbery. Moderating manually takes time, but if your story is properly
tagged, it'll zip through automatically and appear on the group

Thus, Eightfold stories have an 8FOLD: in front of them, Superhuman
World stories have an SW10: in front of them, ASH stories have an ASH:
in front of them, and LNH stories have a tag based on which imprint
they're in. Classic LNH uses the LNH: tag, and the LNH20:, LNHY:, NTB:,
LNH2:, and LUNA: tags go with their respective imprints.

As well, there are several tags for specific types of posts that
are used by everyone on RACC. These include:

ACRA: See Q2.10.
ADMIN: Administrative matters, usually affecting everyone on RACC.
ELSE: Elsewhirls, an out-of-continuity or alternate-universe story.
META: Discussion about the stories themselves, or about the newsgroup.
PRECOG: Promotion for upcoming stories.
REVIEW: Naturally enough, reviews of stories on the newsgroup.
WWW: A web site related to a story/series/imprint, or a webcomic.

Stories that involve more than one imprint use both tags. For
example, a crossover between LNH20 and LNHY would be tagged as
"LNH20/LNHY:", and if someone did a Classic LNH/ASH crossover over Dave
Van Domelen's dead body, it would be tagged "LNH/ASH:".

Tags can also be put in brackets, like [LNH], but Google Groups has
trouble with those, so use of them has dropped off. The RACC FAQ lists
every imprint that's used on RACC along with its tag, including MISC:,
which is used for stories that don't belong in any established imprint.

Q2.8 Hey, somebody else's story messed up the continuity in my story!

A2.8 This is the opposite side of the "be careful with huge changes"
advice. If someone wasn't careful with what they did and it contradicted
what you've already done, you have a lot of options. You can play off
the error, making it into its own plot point; you can introduce a retcon
that explains what *really* happened; and this is the LNH, after all -
you can just make a joke and keep going!

Again, point it out in the group - the writer who made the mistake
will probably want to help fix it.

Q2.9 What do I do if my story might... y'know, be too much for some
people? (Acraphobe)

A2.9 RACC has its own mature audiences label, Acraphobe, for stories
involving strong language, sexual and/or violent situations, disturbing
themes, and adult content. Tag your stories "ACRA:" to put them in this

NTB stories are automatically Acraphobe, even if not tagged.

Q2.10 Do I lose the copyright on my stories for posting them to

A2.10 Not at all. You retain copyright on anything you write,
regardless of how it may be published. To quote the Copyright Myths
FAQ, found at http://www.clari.net/brad/copymyths.html:

Nothing is in the public domain anymore unless the owner
explicitly puts it in the public domain... Explicitly, as in you
have a note from the author/owner saying, "I grant this to the
public domain." Those exact words or words very much like them.

Some argue that posting to Usenet implicitly grants permission to
everybody to copy the posting within fairly wide bounds, and
others feel that Usenet is an automatic store and forward network
where all the thousands of copies made are done at the command
(rather than the consent) of the poster. This is a matter of
some debate, but even if the former is true... it simply would
suggest posters are implicitly granting permissions "for the sort
of copying one might expect when one posts to Usenet" and in no
case is this a placement of material into the public domain.
Furthermore it is very difficult for an implicit licence to
supersede an explicitly stated licence that the copier was aware

And for you weisenheimers playing along at home, no, we didn't
violate the copyright of the Copyright Myths FAQ. =P File it under
"fair use."



Q3.1 What do these words mean? (Looniverse Terms and Abbreviations
(or, everything you need to know in order to understand your garden-
variety LNHer))

* Dvandom -- Dave Van Domelen, a prolific mostly-former LNH writer.
Many of his creations have "Dvandom" in their names, such as the
Dvandom Stranger, Dvandom Force, etc.
* Gamer Boy -- A character who was planned but never actually written
into a story; he exists perpetually offscreen. A running gag is to
ask "What would Gamer Boy think?"
* Mr. Paprika -- The LNH's favorite soft drink. Its slogan is "That's a
MAN's pop!"
* RACCies -- The annual rec.arts.comics.creative awards, given to the
best stories, writers, and posts of the year.
* Retcon -- In the Real World, a storytelling tool in which previously-
unrevealed past events are revealed. In the Looniverse, the ability
to make retroactive changes to reality itself.
* Retcoetheric energy -- The energy of retcons. Also known as magic!
* LNHQ -- Legion of Net.Heroes Headquarters. Also called LNHHQ.
* Net.hero -- LNH's equivalent of "superhero".
* Net.villain -- LNH's equivalent of "supervillain".
* Subgroup -- A part of the LNH that acts as its own mini-team. Often,
stars in its own series and/or belongs to a single writer.
* TEB -- Trade EtherBack. An LNH story in collected format.
* Tsk Force -- A group of LNHers brought together temporarily to
accomplish a specific goal.
* wReam -- A very prolific former LNH writer. Many of his creations
have "wReam" in the name, such as wReamhack, wReamicus Maximus,

Q3.2 Okay, but what do these other words mean? (Internet Terms and
Abbreviations (or, sig.nificant meanings))

LNH stories play a lot with Internet terminology, including some
stuff that's kind of technical or obsolete. Here's a list of some that
new readers may be unfamiliar with:

* Crosspost -- In the Real World, a message that is posted to more than
one newsgroup. In the Looniverse, a method of traveling between
separate newsgroup-worlds.
* Flame -- A heated insult.
* IRC -- Internet Relay Chat. A form of text-based chatroom run on
independent IRC servers.
* Killfile -- A newsreader's ignore function. To "killfile" someone is
to block their posts.
* Lurking -- In the Real World, to read a newsgroup without posting to
it. In the Looniverse, the ability to fade into the background,
often including invisibility and intangibility.
* Netiquette -- Internet etiquette. How not to be a jerk online.
* .sig -- Signature file. A file containing a Usenet poster's
"signature", which gets added to the end of each post they make.

Q3.3 What's with all the Lads and Lasses?

A3.3 Many of the LNH's names were inspired by DC's Legion of
Super-Heroes, and specifically, the Silver Age incarnation of that
franchise. The Silver Age LSH had a lot of names that were <adjective>
<noun>, where the noun was something like Boy, Girl, Lad, Lass, or Kid -
a word for a young person, as the LSH was the equivalent of a futuristic
afterschool club.

The LNH, naturally, took this to an absurd level. Even adult
members may be referred to as Lass or Lad. LNHers use other nouns,
including Man and Woman, but also including Dude, Chick, Guy, Miss,
Lady, Granny, and Person. The LSH had a Matter-Eater Lad, so the LNH has
characters with ridiculously long, often hypenated names, including
Cheesecake-Eater Lad, Sister State-the-Obvious, Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats
Lad, You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad, All-Knowing Last-Chance
Whiner Destiny Woman, and Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon Hour Story
(which throws in a reference to Monty Python for good measure).

Of course, not all LNHers are named like this. In the LNH, you'll
find everything that's found in comic books and more, from pithy one-
word names like Pantra to Internet references like Captain Coredump to
pithy one-word Internet references like Kindle and Twitter. You'll find
people who just go by their own name, like January Frost and Pister Y.
Maprika III; you'll find gratuitous punctuation, like
Exclamation!Master! and the Crimson @venger; you'll find straightforward
stuff like Fearless Leader and obscure formations like Shining Tungsten
Magister. It's fun!

Q3.4 Why is it called "Ame.rec.a"? (Net.Names)

A3.4 The first LNH story parodied Superman's home city of Metropolis
by setting the action in the city of Net.ropolis. This inspired writers
to base all kinds of place names off of Internet terminology; Net.York
City, Ca.net.da, Scot.LAN.d, Af.rec.a, the Loonited States of Ame.rec.a,
etc. In particular, rec. and alt. are often used, because they appear in
newsgroup names.

In LNH20, there's an in-character explanation. The Village was a
lost city discovered and linked to the world by '60s hero team the
Network, and in gratitude, renamed themselves Net.ropolis; it became a
fad, and cities around the world followed suit. After net.heroes became
less popular, many of them changed their names back, and Net.ropolis
became Netropolis. Whether this makes the idea more or less silly is up
to the reader.

NTB stories, despite taking place in the Classic Looniverse,
generally don't use net.names. Because they're hardcore like that, man.

Q3.5 What's this "alt.comics.lnh"?

A3.5 The LNH didn't originally have its own newsgroup - the early
stories were posted to rec.arts.comics, then rec.arts.comics.misc
(RACM). This annoyed some people on those groups, though. Plans began to
give the LNH its own newsgroup, but some unknown person took it upon
themselves to create alt.comics.lnh without going through the formal
newsgroup creation process, thus ensuring that the group wouldn't be
available in all places, and that LNH stories would continue to be
posted to RACM.

Still, alt.comics.lnh was the LNH's home until a couple years
later, when rec.arts.comics.creative was formally created. While there
were some diehards who prefered a.c.lnh, and most LNH stories were
posted to both groups, over time more and more of the traffic went to

Nowadays, the only posts on alt.comics.lnh are crossposts from
RACC and automated posts by the Looniversal Answering Machine, whose
sole function is to direct people to RACC. (The spammers seem to have
mostly given up on it.) In-story, it's referred to a desolate, empty
landscape, containing only ruins of its former glory.

Q3.6 Aaarrrgh! All these worlds and characters and STUFF - how can I
find out more info about them?

A3.6 Luckily for you, there is the LNH Wiki, at
http://www.lnhq.info/wiki/Welcome. It's the most thorough and up-to-date
reference on all things LNH, including characters, storylines, setting
information, and who's dating who.

The wiki is pretty much never complete. If you want to join in
the effort, email Lalo Martins (lalo.m...@gmail.com) or Andrew Perron
(pwe...@gmail.com) and they'll get you set up with an account.

Q3.7 What twisted mind came up with this "LNH" thing, anyway? (An
Entirely-Too-Long Short History of the LNH)

A3.7 It was a dark and stormy night... no, wait, sorry, wrong intro.

The LNH got started as, basically, a running joke. On April 27,
1992, in the now-defunct rec.arts.comics newsgroup, at the end of a post
correcting the spelling of Winsor McCay's name, Bill Sherman identified
himself as Spelling Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Dan'l Danehy-
Oakes proposed that everyone give themselves Legion of Super-Heroes-
style names, declaring himself California Kid of the Legion of
Net.Heroes. This opened the floodgates, with dozens of posters creating
heroic-yet-ridiculous identities.

Eventually, some people got annoyed with this. Rather than write
a humorless complaint, Steven Librande jumped in as "Dr. Killfile",
threatening to "release the awesome force of my patented Kill-O-Ray,
destroying all posts about you blithering Net.Heroes!!" Ben Pierce, in-
character as Marvel Zombie Lad, posted a call to arms, and this resulted
in a flood of story posts about the net.heroes fighting Dr. Killfile and
half a dozen other net.villains, which eventually became what is now
known as the Cosmic Plot Device Caper.

The CPDC was notable for, um... never really coming to an end.
It was instead interrupted by summer vacation - at the time, the vast
majority of people on the Internet got their access through colleges or
universities. That might well have been the end of the LNH, except for
one person.

The following fall, Todd "Scavenger" Kogutt was responsible for
stirring up interest in a revived LNH. Threads from the original story
were picked up, new writers came in to contribute, old writers returned.
The LNH blossomed from one story into an entire universe.

By this time, rec.arts.comics had been split into multiple
groups, and LNH stories were being posted on rec.arts.comics.misc (or
RACM). And again, some people got annoyed. alt.comics.lnh was created,
but quickly and improperly, setting the stage for something bigger...

The LNH spread out. At first, everyone's characters overlapped
with everyone else's. Gradually, writers started their own series,
creating characters beyond the one that served as their avatar.
Sometimes there was friction - for instance, the infamously ridiculous
"Woody Incident" - but the LNH kept picking up steam.

Some LNH writers decided to create new shared universes, still
comics-inspired, but different from the LNH. There were those on RACM
who liked this even less, but this time, people were more patient. In
1994, a new home for all these worlds was formally created -
rec.arts.comics.creative. And around this occasion, the biggest LNH
event ever - Retcon Hour, a sprawling mass of a crossover involving over
a dozen writers. While many complained about how messy and complicated
it was, others were inspired.

RACC and the LNH kept growing, especially after RACC was
converted to a moderated group in 1996. New writers jumped in, new
universes were created, new series were launched. Older writers
sharpened their skills, some becoming more dramatic, some launching into
epic storylines, some figuring out how the Looniverse they'd created
worked. '96 and '97 were the LNH's busiest years.

But some people wanted to move on. Others got tired of the number
of newbies, as their posts outweighed those of experienced writers. And
as the Internet changed, Usenet was getting less popular. By the end of
1999, several well-known and well-regarded series ended. Some of their
writers moved on to other universes, while others left RACC entirely.

Between 2000 and 2003, the LNH contracted. There was still a
trickle of new writers, but not enough to counteract the ones who were
slowly disappearing. There were still events going on, like Birth of a
Villain and the formation of the alternate-future LNH2 universe, but
less and less stories were being posted.

But in 2004, this turned around. Saxon Brenton started a monthly
review series of RACC titles. Arthur Spitzer launched LNHY, a new LNH
universe created to solve some of the classic LNH's persistent problems.
Jamie Rosen created a new "LNH Volume 2" series that anyone could
contribute to. People started to get inspired again.

2006 was the beginning of a minor renaissance. 450 stories were
posted that year, and while many of these were Haiku Gorilla-style
short-short stories, it was still a significant amount of storytelling.
The posting level would drop again after this, but never to the level of

April of 2007 saw one of the most ambitious projects in the LNH's
history, the Infinite Leadership Crisis. Eight writers collectively
produced one story for each day of that month. This spun off big events
and new series, but also lead to a mild drop in posting as people burned
out from the effort.

Over the next few years, the LNH built itself up, posting level
slowly increasing, old writers returning once more. Another great burst
of energy began at the end of 2011. 2012 would be the LNH's 20th
anniversary, and a new universe was built from the ground up - LNH20,
inspired and informed by all 20 years of the classic LNH. This lead to
new series, new characters, and new ideas.

And that's where we are now. The LNH has a big, open toybox of
ideas to play with, ready and waiting for new writers. Come and be a
part of it!

Q3.8 Who's the most powerful LNHer?

A3.8 *holds up mirror*

Get it?

As with any work which is the result of collective efforts, the list
below does not even begin to include everyone who has contributed to the
FAQ. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to help this document
grow and change over the years.


Russ Allbery (ea...@eyrie.org)
Jeff Barnes (dri...@precisionet.net)
Ray "wReam" Bingham (ra...@fc.hp.com)
Jeff Coleburn
Mike Escutia (er...@eyrie.org)
Jamas Enright (th...@eyrie.org)
Tori Fike (to...@panix.com)
Mark Friedman (cri...@ihz.compuserve.com)
Todd "Scavenger" Kogutt (sc...@eyrie.org)
Brian Perler
Andrew Perron (pwe...@gmail.com)
Martin Phipps (martin...@yahoo.com)
Rob Rogers (ed...@delphi.com)
Steph Savoie (ana...@eyrie.org)
Ken Schmidt (ts...@eyrie.org)
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