Bambi's Bamboo Bar
Bambi's Bamboo Bar is a fictional bar located in Chicago, Illinois that is the center of an online roleplay based on the Bambi's Bamboo Bar Yahoo Group. The story circles around Bambi's life in Chicago running her Chinese-themed bar; it is strictly slice-of-life, but things seem to get surreal on occasion. Bambi herself was created by Joshua The Samurai and Aelius. The roleplay has been online since 2003 and continues with hundreds of posts, contributed by many fans.
Bambi's Bamboo Bar had its origins in a form of RPchat using Yahoo Messenger, started by Joshua and Slippy, later being taken up by Aelius and Teflon Cougar. Aelius considers it a "theater role play", since the entire session takes place on one "set" which was the bar itself. Anything that happened outside of the bar was only mentioned as something that happened in the past (such as earlier that day). Joshua toyed around with the idea of turning the sessions into an online comic (Aelius mentioned that they had enough sessions to fill a day-to-day comic for at least two years nonstop). However, given the amount of time it took to draw comics along with a normal schedule, Joshua later decided to turn it into a slice-of-life play-by-post role play at Yahoo Groups. It is one of the few RPGs where autoing is allowed, though the only members that can post are those who had stayed in the group long enough to understand the characters' personalities so as to prevent out-of-character occurrences. The Yahoo! Group RP posts occur in places outside of the Bar as well, to prevent monotony.
Joshua still continues to RP with Aelius and Teflon Cougar in the original YIM RP sessions.
Bambi herself is the most well known character in the story, a 26 year old fruit bat, who prefers the more "PC" term "Flying Fox". Almost every other character featured were original characters from other stories and comics that the writers had used prior to the Bamboo Bar's creation. At the bar, Terrara Linding is often found drinking Bambi's signature brand of sake. Bambi's boyfriend Lemon ReNero can often be found in the bar working on his Laptop, along with his sister Melon. Joshua the Samurai's fursona appears, as well as that of Aelius, and Slippy, as well as Bambi's little sister CeCe, created by Carlito. Alex Daragon added several recurring characters; Anita the mouse and Tyamet, as well as his own lizard persona. So many characters from other comics often pop up in the roleplay the creator joked that the bar must be a "nexus between worlds" (much like the Cross Time Cafe).
As far as the Bar's main employees, Bambi herself is head waitress, brew-mistress and owner of the establishment. Anita, Penny (a panda) and Angela (an albino ferret) are also waitresses and Ra, a huge jackal, is the bartender. Anita is also one of the back up cooks along with Sara (a dove), the lead cook. Una (a raccoon) is a Haitian cleaning lady and later on in the story, Visha (a skunkette) is added to the roster as a pastry chef. Bambi's sister CeCe also works in the restaurant's basement keeping track of inventory along with whatever other job Ra can find for her to do, though she's been trying to score a position for a music group in hopes of getting out of this dull line of work. The rest of the employee line consists of unnamed busboys and line cooks, not primary characters (especially since they get replaced so often in the story). For the other characters, Aelius and Joshua both teach Kung Fu at a local Shaolin temple headed by Old Sun, the temple's founder. Lemon works for a generic computer repair shop elsewhere in town while Terrik (a lizard who also happens to be Lemon's "arch enemy") and Roxanne Dawson work for an unnamed video store. Melon works as a photographer for a modeling studios named Xanadu and helps get discounts for the various models that drop by for a bite to eat. Mel also considers Bambi a close, trusted friend as the two frequently trade small talk and such while Bambi's on her breaks. Recently, T'shelle, Aelius's old rival from a martial arts tournament, moved into town and brought her own students Tika Korwyn and Magnus Mangreer with her. Mangreer quickly fell in love with Melon while Tika started eyeing Anita.
Location of the Bar
The creator of the series states that the address of the bar is 1123 Wells St. in Chicago, five minutes from Wrigley Field. Google Maps estimates it at seven, but it could possibly be done faster in a pinch. Considering Chicago traffic, making the trip in 5 minutes would be fairly difficult, however, and the claim is mostly an advertising ploy. The location of the bar is similarly (mis)stated by its owner as in a "surprisingly quiet" neighborhood; in reality, several nightclubs and bars are located on Wells.
Bambi and many of her friends been rumored to make cameos and many different publications, however the bat herself has only has one confirmed appearance - in Extinctioners Annual #2. Bambi can be seen in the background of the first story drawn by Carlito in the "Bamboo Hut".