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General Protection Fault (or GPF) is a webcomic created by Jeffrey T. Darlington. It centers around the employees of a small software company called GPF Software and their misadventures. Originally launched on the World Wide Web on November 2 1998, the comic started in black and white and updated Monday through Saturday; it eventually expanded to full-colour with daily updates, however recently, colour strips on Monday to Saturday have been reverted back to black and white fomat due to the length of time the comic takes to produce in colour. GPF was hosted on Keenspot and now runs on its own server.
General Protection Fault's story has evolved over the years that it has been published. It has featured parallel worlds and alternate features in its storylines, as well as more common issues such as marriage planning and relationship difficulties.
Nicolas "Nick" WellingtonEdit
Nick is the protagonist of the comic strip, a programmer at GPF Software. He's fairly short, quiet, and a bit nerdy. He was introduced in the first GPF strip, which was about his job interview. He has an insatiable imagination and is usually innately optimistic and trusting. He is currently engaged to Kyoko "Ki" Oshiro, one of his coworkers.
He has developed the "Inventor's Gene," which allows him to create crackpot inventions and compels him to finish them. His first invention is a remote control laser. Other inventions include "Project Velociraptor," a 'free energy device' that really taps into other dimensions; the MuTEx, a virtual reality machine; an automatic gun cleaner for his father; and a gift for his uncle, the famous Doctor Otto Wisebottom, though neither of them knows what this does.
During Trudy's plot to take over the world, she used Nick to meet her goals. He apparently developed some feelings for Trudy, but when he was clued in to her evil intentions, he renounced her.
His parents are Charles and Linda Wellington. His father is a police officer (who used to teach secondary school Language Arts), and his mother is a teacher. He has a sister, Lori, who is currently away at college. Nick's parents both like Kyoko, and believe she fits right in with the family.
Kyoko "Ki" OshiroEdit
Ki is another programmer at GPF Software, as well as their primary DBA. Ki can often appear gruff, sarcastic, and irreverent, but she has a sweet and loving heart and at times can be a bit of a romantic. She is typically pessimistic and suspicious in nature, and often rails on the fact that she is so short. She is currently engaged to Nicolas "Nick" Wellington, one of her coworkers.
She is Asian; her father was born in Tokyo, Japan and her mother in Hong Kong, China. Her parents met while both were in school in the United States, and they married and stayed here. Her father is retired, and has become a major traditionalist with an unfavorable view of Americans (he calls them all gaijin, or foreigner). It took a great deal of work for him to accept Nick as Ki's boyfriend/fiancee. He walks with a cane after getting hit by a car a few years ago. He is the only one that calls Ki "Kyoko." Her mother is a homemaker and known for her hospitality. Her attitude toward Nick has been warm from the time she first met him.
She has a little brother, Yoshi, who is a genius and an avid hacker. He is a junior in college at age 14. Recently, he has communicated with "s1r3n," really Trudy Trueheart, who sent him plans to build a mysterious device. Their association got the Oshiro house raided by federal agents in March 2004. They have physically met twice, the second time in his room on the night Nick proposed to Ki while they were visiting. s1r3n that night told Yoshi to destroy the device he was building and admonished him to clean up his life before it was too late.
Jason "Fooker" BarkerEdit
Fooker was GPF Software's system administrator in the beginning. He is a bit crazy and very unhygienic; his apartment has been condemned by the EPA. (See the Slime Molds below.) He was well established as a Linux zealot but has since tempered his OS elitism with the aid of his friends. The origins of his nickname are a bit uncertain, but most likely have to do with switching the metasyntactic variable "bar" with "foo" in his last name.
Fooker eventually was revealed to be a secret agent for the Undisclosed Government Agency (U.G.A.). His agent number was 6, and his codename was "James Baud." Fooker was forced to go on full-time active duty when his cover was blown and he was framed for murder. Subsequently cleared of charges, he has since retired from the service, leaving his brother, Justin Barker, to take his place. Although Fooker has returned to his friends, he has not returned to his old job. Dwayne didn't think it right to fire Sharon just because Fooker has returned, so he instead put in a good word for Fooker at Regional Telecom. That company has now hired Fooker as sysadmin.
His mother is deceased. His father is a military officer, but abandoned his sons shortly after his wife's death.
Fooker was recently rehired by GPF Sofware. He is now Sharon's boss and is in charge of operations on GPF's newly rented floor.
Dwayne is the founder, president, and lead software engineer for GPF Software. He is a tall, athletic African-American man with a strong work ethic and boundless enthusiasm. He is one of the more sane GPF Software employees, and is rarely involved in the other characters' stranger adventures. During Trudy's grab at world domination, he was framed for torching GPF Software headquarters, and sent to prison convicted of arson. He was exonerated shortly after the plot was foiled, and has rebuilt the company.
He is married to Mrs Nicole Duncan, who is an attorney. Together, they have a daughter, Sydney Nicole Duncan, who was born during a major flood on August 17, 2001.
Gertrude "Trudy" Trueheart-GlowerhausenEdit
Trudy started as GPF Software's director of marketing. It was quickly revealed that she was an evil mastermind, silently scheming and plotting ill will for her coworkers at the company. Eventually, it was learned that her schemes were far more ambitious when she launched an attempt to conquer the world through a criminal secret society known as C.R.U.D.E. (the Commune of Really Unscrupulous and Diabolical Evildoers). She used Nick to this end, and developed a fondness for him while working toward her goals. After her Surreptitious Machinations were foiled and Nick renounced her, Trudy went into hiding and her current whereabouts are unknown. She has exhibited signs of mental instability and her future is perilously uncertain.
Fredrick "Fred" and Persephone Physarum, the Slime MoldsEdit
Fredrick the slime mold supposedly gained sentience from living in the squalor of Fooker's cesspool of an apartment. Fred learned to speak by watching PBS and tends to have an intellectual slant. Fredrick briefly served as a literature professor for an undisclosed major online university until it was revealed that he had no teaching credentials. He was eventually hired by Dwayne as GPF Software's customer support operative.
Persephone is another slime mold that sprang into existence when Fred reproduced by mitosis. Although she should be genetically identical to Fred, she is a different color (yellow as opposed to Fred's green) and has a very different personality. Persephone often seems quite naive, but has shown the occasional hint that she is far more intelligent than she lets on.
Sharon Murphy Edit
Sharon is Fooker's girlfriend and currently GPF Software's system administrator. She became GPF's sys admin when Fooker was called to active duty as a secret agent. Before that, she was their account administrator at their ISP, Quantum-Net. Sharon is a fiery red-head with a violent temper, but more often than not is very pleasant and cheerful. She is diabetic and reportedly lost a great deal of weight to improve her health. She is also a Mac-ophile, which is rare among GPF Software's PC-centric Windows and Linux environment. She usually wears custom contact lenses, and is allergic to dust, pollen, chocolate and COBOL programs.
Dexter J. SmithEdit
Dexter was briefly an external contractor during a major Y2K-compliance project. He was brought back as a contractor when GPF Software was rebuilt after Trudy's plot for world domination, and was later hired by Dwayne to become a full-time employee. He is a large, grossly overweight man with an unhealthy obsession for science fiction in general and Star Trek in specific. Although he has a tendency to be selfish and occasionally lost in some fantasy world, he has opened up and become friends with most of his coworkers.
Dexter is single, but has dated both Ki and Sharon in the past. He tended to be smothering and possessive in both relationships. Since then he has mellowed out, but he has very little social luck. He originally hated Nick because Nick has been condescending of him in the past. Still, Dexter helped Nick save some stranded children during a major flood then pulled Nick from the flood when he nearly drowned, allowing Ki to give him CPR and save his life. Since Dexter permanently joined GPF Software, he and Nick appear to have made up.
Trenton "Trent" TerrellEdit
Trent is a marketing guru and until recently acted as GPF Software's director of marketing. In fact, he attended college with Trudy Trueheart and the two were briefly engaged to be married... until Trent stole Trudy's submission for a job and passed it off as his own. Conceited and arrogant, Trent works for GPF only to help build up the company Trudy once worked to destroy as an act of revenge against his former lover.
Yoshi is a fourteen-year old programmer, who is hyper-intelligent and will happily boast about his abilities. While he doesn't seem to care too much for his sister (Ki)'s boyfriend, Nick, he did seem to like Fooker fairly well. Despite his age, he goes to college as a junior.
Several cartoon compilations have been published:
- Mating Call of the North American Computer Geek (ISBN 1929462042): This book contains most of year one, one storyline that wasn't included was Trudy's Tips for the Truly Evil. The early strips in the book were reworked for the book. Printed in greyscale, it also contains an exclusive color storyline that hasn't been published online.
- Gone with the Windows (ISBN 1929462190)
- And the Geek shall Inherit the Earth (ISBN 1929462387): This book contains a selection of storylines from the third year, as well as most of the storylines from Year One that didn't appear in the first book.
- Surreptitious Machinations (ISBN 1929462670)
Customised sculptures by N'Toonz are currently offered from the website. A request for any scene for the character(s) to be in can be made, which are then sent to the customer along with a letter of authenticity signed by the sculptor and Jeff T. Darlington .
- ↑ http://www.gpf-comics.com/d/19981102.html
- ↑ GPF Comics."The GPF Book". "...We have a spectacular seven-page, comic book style story written exclusively for this book and it will not appear anywhere else... ever. [...] (PS: It's in color, too!)"
- ↑ http://www.gpf-comics.com/sculptures/
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