Seated on a cliff, a lion and a lion cub peer over the wild African savanna. The setting sun creates a comforting, yet eerie tone for the picture. From their lofty view, a river can be seen weaving across the plain, nourishing the large, scattered umbrella trees below. In a kind, fatherly way, the grown lion turns to his son.
He says, “Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is Corban.”
“Wow,” Simba says. “But what about that shadowy place?”
“That’s George Fox. You must never go there, Simba,” his father, Mufasa replies.
This meme, based on a scene from “The Lion King” was the first of many official Corban Memes. Founder Jeffery Morse said he started the page “kind of by accident. I just made it (the Lion King meme) for fun, and it got like, 65 shares. “
Following the meme’s success, Morse and his roommate, Caleb Stulz, made a Corban Memes Facebook page. “That first night, we got over 150 fans, which was so crazy,” Morse said.
Avid Corban Meme fan Andrea (Andee) King said she discovered the page because “my friends had been liking it on Facebook, and I like memes, so I thought ‘let’s take a gander at this.’”
Since it started in February 2011, the page has generated 956 fans; more than any other Corban-related page, aside from Corban’s official Wikipedia page. “55 percent of our fans are girls at the college age, which is totally a reflection of the Corban community,” Morse said.
Surprisingly, only half of Corban Memes fans are located in Salem. This is largely due to a meme posted on September fifth by Mark McLean, a new administrator of the page, poking fun at Oregon rain. Within a week, the meme had 500 likes and 194 shares, reaching approximately 16,000 people.
“I didn’t expect it to be that popular,” McLean said. “One person shared it with another and suddenly over 15,000 people had seen this thing.”
Though its audience has widened beyond Corban students, Morse said the page will continue to “find those little niches in the Corban culture and lightly poke fun at them.”
“It builds community with all the students,” King said. “We can all relate and bond over the humor.”
The page also builds community by encouraging submissions from its fans, allowing multiple perspectives of Corban to be shown.
“Corban Memes is just Corban culture collapsed into jokes,” McLean said. “They’ve always been floating around; now we’re just writing them down.”