Here you will find all the background info on the comic, from the people and events that have influenced it, to the in-jokes and even some true stories that have made it in there...
'A LONG TIME AGO IN A VOLUME FAR FAR AWAY' - Vol 3-1 - The Volume 3 recap is an obvious rip of the Star Wars opening crawl. Duh!
AMANDA SMITH - Vol 3-8 - Amanda Smith was a candidate at Phil McNeill's job interview. She didn't turn up, so Phil and Nicola Nunweiler decided what she looked like and a whole backstory for her.
'AN ARSE MAP?' - Vol 3-37 - A concept devised by Phil McNeill, Jon Carr and Pauline Heuston to rate the arses of school staff. The design is obviously based on the London Underground map.
'BAGS OF SHIT ON THE PORCH' - Vol 4-25 - A popular game where you set fire to a bag of dog shit and leave it outside somebody's door before ringing the bell and running off. They see the fire and stomp on it to put it out, covering their feet in shit!
BETSY WELLS - First seen Vol 1-33 - Loosely based on Elizabeth Wells, the epic English lecturer at BCUC. After seeing Vol 1-33, she was gracious enough to correct my grammar. Once an English specialist, always an English specialist...
BRITNEY'S DANCE BEAT - Vol 3-32 - A PS2 game from 2002 where you dance to the songs of Britney Spears.
BRUSHING TEETH - Vol 1-22 - In the original, Clamp is shaving when Paul comes in, however this contradicts a later joke about Clamp being unable to grow facial hair, so it was changed.
CATCH POSNER - First seen Vol 1-33 - Catch is loosely based on Phill Hogan. He and Phil did meet in their first English lecture, and stuck together over their shared name. Constant debate rages over which form of the name is the best however, the single or double L version.
CLUB TROPICANA - Vol 2-5 - Wednesday nights at the Union were named after the song by Wham! It was a night of cheesy pop music and inflatable beach balls and the like. The drinks however, were NOT free...
COLLEGE YEARS - Although set in England, 'college' is the American term. Somehow, 'Clamp Oswell's University Years' didn't sound as good.
'COOL NAMES LIKE TITAN AND STINGRAY' - Vol 3-47 - Titan is the name of the main antagonist in the Gerry Anderson show 'Stingray'. It's all about submarines and aquatic folk.
CONCH - First seen Vol 1-32 - A type of seashell used in 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding, however the word has become synonymous with 'cunt' after pupils misheard English teacher Debbie Michael when she was reading. Following this event, Phil and Nichala O'Connell invented a Conch drinking game, which is a cross between 'Shithead' and 'Ring of Fire'
DILSHAD - First seen Vol 2-7 - Named after a curry house in Newport (which has now closed down - I'm gutted). Whenever you passed it, you had to shout 'Dilshad' as loud as possible. Dilshad is also a suburb of New Delhi, so there you go. Geography fact!
'DIRTY CHAVS INNIT' - Vol 3-55 - This is the title of a questionable 'film' by Euroboy...
DRESSING UP - First seen Vol 3-45 - Dressing up is a key part of the Uni experience. There's always a themed night going on somewhere! As well as pirates, superheroes, pimps and hos (which are all inspired by true events) here's a selection of hilarious outfits from our Uni years...
'DRINK RESPONSIBLY, CLAMP' - Vol 1-13 - Mrs Oswell appears in the clouds like Mufasa in 'The Lion King'
'EBEB' - Vol 2-19 - A mispronunciation of 'bebe', the French word for 'baby'
'ELLO MATE' - Vol 3-25 - This is the standard accepted greeting between Uni mates...
EMMA - First seen Vol 1-2 - Loosely based on Emma Wright. She wasn't really boring, she just lived at the other end of the corridor. Phil's previous comic 'The Adventures of B5' also featured an Emma that didn't do much. The cardboard metaphor has also been used in another previous comic, 'School Wars', in which the hardly ever seen Principal of Burleigh, John Smith was a cardboard cut out.
FLANGERIFIC - Vol 3-28 - The name of a song by Loughborough Music student, Xanni
'FOOD PLEASE' - Vol 2-7 - A drunk Nichala O'Connell once phoned Domino's Pizza and asked for 'food'. In the end, she got a pizza that only had peppers on it.
FRESHER'S WEEK - Vol 1-28 - The first week of Uni has no lectures. It is so the first years (American - Freshmen) can get to know each other and their surroundings, all whilst getting horribly drunk. The Fresher's Finale is the huge party at the end. I don't really remember mine...
'FROGGIE' - First seen Vol 1-3 - This used to be the nickname of Mark Rawlins. Possibly he had amphibian eyes when he was little, who knows?
'GEOFF FROM BYKER GROVE' - Vol 4-4 - Byker Grove was a teen drama in the 90s about a youth club. Geoff was in charge, but he died in a gas explosion. Whoops. He has also been referred to in a previous comic 'The Flunderbunnies'
GIRLS WHO DO PRACTICAL SUBJECTS - Vol 1-39 - It is a common assumption that girls who do practical subjects such as metalwork, building, mechanics and rugby, are lesbians. For further proof, check out No.14 in The Adventures of B5 over in the Extras section.
'GO GO GADGET CHANG' - Vol 1-41 - This echoes the phrase children's cartoon character Inspector Gadget says before deploying one of his high tech devices.
'GREETINGS GENTLE READER' - Vol 5-1 - The Volume 5 intro mirrors such programmes as 'Masterpiece Theatre', 'Tales From The Crypt' and the Buffy season 7 episode 'Storyteller'
GUNTHORPE - Vol 5-16 - A village in Nottinghamshire. On the way home from Nottingham, Phil and Sam Hutchinson got lost and found themselves in Gunthorpe. It had about 5 houses and a banjo...
HARLEY OSWELL - First seen Vol 4-10 - Harley is loosely based on the author's brother Hamish. He has sung in many bands, like this one, The Nervous Reaction, playing at Download!
'HE INTRODUCED HIMSELF AS 'THE DADDY' - Vol 3-34 - This scenario actually happened in real life. Including the rescue kiss...
HENRY - Vol 4-29 - The lovable vacuum with a face! Every flat at BCUC came with a Henry just in case the students felt like hoovering. They didn't. The Henry of Flat F5 actually was thrown out the window...
'HE WON'T HEAR YOU OVER ALL THE COUNTRY MUSIC' - Vol 2-33 - Clamp's choice of music is influenced by Xander in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, who only listens to country music after his break up with Cordelia.
'HOVEMBER' - Vol 4-31 - Based on a conversation with Kathryn Rodway. Like Gemalia, she did not think it was a valid charity suggestion.
'HOW DO YOU USE A SEMI COLON?' - Vol 3-20 - This was an actual question asked in a degree level English seminar. Semi colons separate list items and can sometimes replace the word 'and'.
'IAGO IN OTHELLO' - Vol 2-20 - In the famous Shakespeare play, Iago was a complete bastard. He drove his Captain to kill his own wife. What a douche...
'I FEEL A MONTAGE COMING ON' - Vol 2-28 - Clamp's attempt to impress Gemalia mirror the guide set out in '10 Things I Hate About You' in order to win a girl's heart.
'I HAVE NEVER' - Vol 3-42 - A drinking game where people take it in turns to say statements beginning with 'I have never...'. Anybody who has done that particular thing must drink and explain themselves.
'I'M SORRY TOPPS' - Vol 3-2 - Clamp's nightmare mirror's the final scene in 'Carrie', where Carrie bursts out of her grave and grabs Sue Snell.
INSTEAD OF NOTES - The unofficial company name comes from the fact that Phil is always drawing during meetings and lessons, when he should be making important notes.
'INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE THEY GO' - Vol 5-14 - This is based on an actual walk that Phil went on with Dave Clarke. It also involved a catapult...
'I'M SORRY TOPPS' - Vol 3-2 - Clamp's nightmare mirror's the final scene in 'Carrie', where Carrie bursts out of her grave and grabs Sue Snell.
'I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD' - Vol 1-40 - This is a line from the famous poem 'Daffodils' by William Wordsworth. Incidentally in the original comic, 'wondered' was written instead of 'wandered' - oops!
KARATE KID - Vol 2-39 - A trio of 80s movies (not counting the dodgy remake) where a kid learns karate. The Karate Kid was played by Ralph Macchio, and Clamp claims that was the look he was aiming for with his black outfit, even though the Karate Kid wears white. Tch!
'KILL THE PIG' - Vol 1-37 - Clamp's summer mirrors William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies' in which a bunch of youngsters are stranded on a desert island and revert to savagery. In Clamp's vision, there is an actual Conch lying in the sand...
'KING'S CRARSE ST PANCRASS' - Vol 3-38 - An arse related adaptation of the London Underground/National Rail Mainline/Eurostar Terminal, King's Cross St Pancras International.
KIRSTY ALLSOP - Vol 3-6 - Kirsty presents Channel 4's 'Location Location Location' with Phil Spencer. Her opinions on interior design are often 'interesting'.
NARNIA - Vol 2-21 - A fictional world created by CS Lewis. It can be accessed through a wardrobe...
'NEVER GIVE UP PIP, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS' - Vol 3-32 - Britney's advice mirrors the guidance Peppy gives to Fox in the final level of Lylat Wars for the N64...
'NO RELIGIOUS LINKS' - Vol 5-4 - The B5 Christmas meal ends up being a parody of Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'
PEGASAURUS - Vol 4-26 - An actual Pegasaurus was made after a night of Strongbow, however the real one was a quadruped rather than a biped. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it :(
PIP CAYMAN - First seen Vol 1-2 - The name Pip is a contracted version of Philip, however Pip's actions and character are loosely based on Dave Clarke
PLEB - First seen Vol 1-14 - Pleb is short for Plebeian, a commoner in ancient Roman times
PREVIOUSLY ON 'CLAMP OSWELL'S COLLEGE YEARS' - A technique used on TV to recap what has happened. From the recap, you can usually work out which storylines are going to be continued in the new episode
PRINCESS GEMALIA - First seen Vol 1-4 - Loosely based on Gemma Harris
'PROPER HANGING' - First seen Vol 1-16 - A term used to denote the severity of a hangover. It is more severe than simply 'hanging', but less severe than 'The Full Harold Shipman', named after the murderer that hung himself in prison.
PURPLE - Vol 3-6 - Rebecca Hough once bought a duvet cover that was supposed to be 'Blackcurrant,' but instead, it was bright purple. It ruined her life. UPDATE! In a recent visit to Rebecca's, she still has the aforementioned duvet cover. I even slept under it!
SENIOR RESIDENT - First seen Vol 1-8 - Senior Residents live in Halls throughout their time at Uni in order to look after the first years. Perks include bigger rooms and reduced rent.
'SERENADE HER' - Vol 2-28 - Clamp sings 'Smack My Bitch Up' by The Prodigy
'SHE SAID THE TOGGLES MADE ME LOOK LIKE A PAEDOPHILE' - Vol 3-19 - Based on a conversation between Phil and Phill. This is actually false: toggles make a coat harder to rip open and flash children
'SLIDERS' - Vol 2-3 and Vol 5-2 - A 90s TV show where a group of characters find a way of 'sliding' into parallel worlds. A main character died in a majorly emotional way, and then was never mentioned again. In fact he even came back to life for an episode (nobody mentioned this either), only to be dead again next week (also without acknowledgement) - it was a bit shit.
SLOW MOTION CUP DROPPAGE - Vol 3-56 - Not only is this an incredibly cliched reaction to surprising news, but in the original, Clamp turned around but was still holding the cup to the right... so he'd somehow changed hands for no reason...
'SOB!' - Vol 2-33 - Clamp's reaction is influenced by Willow crying in the bathroom at the end of the Buffy episode 'Tabula Rasa'
'SO IN THE END, WE HAD TO BURY HER' - Vol 3-25 - This is a popular game where you walk into a public place, loudly finishing a conversation of a sinister nature. Then watch people's faces as they try and make sense of it...
SPARKY LAMONT - First seen Vol 1-2 - Based loosely on Liam Mounter
SPEEDY STEPHENS - First seen Vol 3-19 - Based on BCUC English Lecturer Stephen Speed. You can probably work out how I worked out the name...
STOMPBOX - First mentioned Vol 3-55 - Apparently it's a type of guitar pedal...
'STOP SINGING MISSION IMPOSSIBLE' - Vol 1-41 - Gadget's rescue attempt mirrors the famous laser beam scene from 'Mission Impossible'
'SUSAN KENNEDY STYLE' - Vol 5-11 - In 'Neighbours', Susan Kennedy slipped on some milk and regressed back to her 16 year old self.
THE BLYTH'S PUPPY - Vol 5-9 - The creature attacking The Blyth is actually Martin from the Flunderbunnies...
THE CHEAPSIDE - Vol 2-8 - A fictional newspaper originally featured on 'The Pool of Knowledge'. It only ran for 3 issues, but featured such gems as Matt Turner's war on Malta, and Tom Goodacre's mum getting pushed over by the police. Classic reporting at its best.
'THE GAME IS ON' - Vol 3-26 - For about a month in second year, the house on Gordon Road became a death trap of pranks and mischief, the most common of which being the classic tray of water over the door. Many an unsuspecting G got soaked that month...
THE GAY APES - First seen Vol 2-29 - This is the name of my band on Rockband.
THE PRICE OF DRINK - Vol 1-29 - In the original, Sparky makes a joke about how much Clamp's drink cost him, however when reading, it detracted from the visual impact of Clamp's drunken collapse so it was removed. Also you can see where I messed up by drawing Sparky's foot outside the frame!
THE RAGE - Vol 3-6 - A general term for getting angry, largely used to deal with Hamish McNeill's temper tantrums at Download Festival and other such events.
THE RYE - Vol 2-39 - A large park in High Wycombe, including playing fields, rowing boats and happy slapping.
THE SIMPLE LIFE - Vol 5-16 - A TV show where Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie whore their way around the sticks.
THE SLAG LIST - Vol 3-34 - Based on 'Slags of The Forest', a list that was sent out across phones, emails and social media, noting the most promiscuous people in the Forest of Dean.
THE TOAD - Vol 2-5 - An awesome pub in High Wycombe that used to host events such as 'Hooker Night' and 'The Drink Olympics' (as seen in The Adventures of B5)
THE UNION - First seen Vol 1-12 - The place to go on a Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for loud music, questionable dancing and copious amounts of booze. Also the place to go between lectures, at lunchtime or breakfast for quieter music, less dancing but still copious amounts of booze.
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR - Vol 2-20 - A popular children's story by Eric Carle. The caterpillar basically eats a load of food. Because he's very hungry
THE WHITE ROOM - Vol 2-5 - The chilled section of the Union that had the café and the armchairs.
'THIS COULD GET OUT OF CONTROL' - Vol 4-39 - Clamp's vision of Betsy destroying the city mirrors classic 'big bad' movies like Godzilla.
TIPPI TYLER - First seen Vol 4-38 - Topps' sister is named after 'The Birds' star, Tippi Hedren.
'TITWISPS' - Vol 2-5 - A slang term for breast hair
'TODAY'S CLAMP OSWELL WAS WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY...' - Vol 4-39 - Every episode of the kids' show Sesame Street was brought to you by certain letters or numbers. That's why Clamp appears as a puppet at the end.
TOPPS TYLER - First seen Vol 1-8 - Named after the Loughborough bathroom shop, Topps Tiles
'TO THE STARS' - Vol 2-7 - Obviously this is the line Rose says to Jack before they sleep together in Titanic. The original frame had something about badgers, but they are sooo last year, whereas Titanic will last forever!
UCE - Clamp and friends go to The University of Central England. Phil's debut novel 'Shadows' is also set there. Buy it HERE!
'UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THIS IS THE BEST I CAN DO' - Vol 1-32 - In the original, Pip does not talk to Clamp after kicking him out. The line was added to emphasise the fact that the Conch T-Shirt is not 'something snappy to wear' as Clamp requested.
'UNGRATEFUL BITCHES' - Vol 5-8 - For some reason, the B5 cleaning ladies did not accept the lovely Christmas gift we left them (some M&S chocolates). I'd go as far as saying that Christmas 2004 was ruined because of this.
VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED - Vol 4-33 - A 1960 movie directed by Wolf Rilla in which the creepy children all look the same and tend to talk in unison.
'WE CAME AS EACH OTHER' - Vol 4-8 - Gemma and Guy actually did this. Can't remember why...
'WEIRDEST SHOES EVER' - Vol 2-25 - These shoes were an idea for something that Nichala O'Connell could wear to a wedding.
'WHAT'S THAT? CAN YOU FEEL THAT?' - Vol 4-29 - This scene mirrors the one in Jurassic Park where Lex, Tim and Genarro first hear the T-Rex approaching.
'YOU JUST WEAR THE SHAMPOO' - Vol 4-32 - Topps is referring to the method of ridding yourself of crabs.
'YOUR BEING GAY, IT'S OK WITH ME' - Vol 1-27 - Funnily enough, a lot of people say this in order to let everybody know how gracious they are being. Yeah thanks. If it's really ok, then you don't need to mention it do you? Also, if it were not ok, what exactly would you expect to happen? Rant over.
'YOU'RE LIARS AND CRIMINALS' - Vol 5-17 - The exchange with the ticket guard actually happened at High Wycombe station. Phil and Dave Clarke failed to get tickets from one station away, the guard threatened to call the police, so they jumped the barriers and ran. It was thrilling.
'YOUR TURN, HANDSOME' - Vol 1-12 - A drunken dare at he Union was to hug the doorman when he searched you. Nobody actually managed it whilst at Uni, but Phil and Caitlin Dunne did successfully hug the search steward at Download Festival.