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CompleatBellairs

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The Compleat Bellairs was a John Bellairs fan site that featured information on various aspects of the books making up the Bellairs Corpus, including synopses and character biographies, lists of the talismans, communities, and jargon from within the novels, and other fan-driven features such a member reviews and accolades, illustrations, polls and a forum.

The site, the first major presence on the Internet to celebrate Bellairs's work, was created and maintained by Jonathan Abucejo from its inception in 1996 to 2004.

Background

In its embryonic form the website served as the final semester project ("in lieu of a final paper") for one of Abucejo's elementary education classes at the University of Pittsburgh[1]. Over the next few years it blossomed into a much-respected and beloved portal for fans.  The name of the site was taken from 1982 documentary The Compleat Beatles, itself a reference to the 1653 Izaak Walton book, The Compleat Angler.

Abucejo instilled a mock scholarly slant on content - using archaic and uncommon words such as codex, lyceum, and pigwidgeon as site sections - and evoked numerous artistic styles, citing Edward Gorey, M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, Chris Van Allsburg, Wayne Douglas Barlowe, and Kit Williams, among others, as inspiration[1].  In addition, spoofs of tarot cards, Japanese manga and anime, and video games were featured.

In 1999 the site added an outside discussion board through Yahoo! Clubs (later Groups). In August 2001 the site debuted its forum (dubbed the inter@active boards) on the Ikonboard platform.

Brad Strickland dedicated The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost to the community of fans he had met online at the site.

The site went through a major rebranding process in 2003. In its final year there were connectivity issues brought upon by the site's host server, which had housed the site for no charge. The outages continued until the site went offline for good during the late-summer/early-autumn of 2004. 

Following its demise, some sections of the site, notably the fan testimonies, were duplicated on Bellairsia for preservation.  The site's name is occasionally referenced at Bellairsia when referencing the books "compleated by Brad Strickland".  The name of this John Bellairs wiki also takes its name from the site.

Sections

  • Testimony: a section devoted to essays and tributes from fans about their encounters with John and Brad's books.
  • Lycaeum: an area detailing information about the authors John Bellairs and Brad Strickland, brief synopses of major illustrators (including Gorey and Fitschen), character biographies, a running list of the adventures, and commentary from Brad Strickland about his involvement in the corpus.  In 2000, a tribute to Edward Gorey was added.
  • Codex: a hodge-podge of features including a guestbook, journal of book reviews, and encyclopedic entries about the amulets ("talisman manifest"), villains ("rogues' gallery"), and cities and towns ("sightseer's guide") mentioned in the books, as well a list of funny words and phrases ("insult lexicon").  Pigwidgeon was a version of the site available for mobile/personal digital assistant (PDA) devices that included exclusive content such as book trivia and passages and the faux interview column, All About Evil.
  • Inter@ctive: a section that included conversation threading forums for story ideas and general comments about the books ("the fuss closet"), polls about favorite books and characters, a book-related trivia quiz, fan-submitted artwork and photographs ("bellairs cam"), and an online version of Ann LaPietra's John Bellairs Walk.
  • Academia: an in-progress section that was to document the novels' various historic and literary allusions and identify various people and places.  The content was contributed by Jon Shanks, who later adapted the content for his site, The Dullard's Bane.
  • Et Cetera: miscellaneous pages with author bibliographies, other links, and the site archives and credits.

Logotypes

Screenshots

Images

Reference

  1. 1.0 1.1 Correspondence with Jonathan Abucejo (2001).

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