[[http://www.curiousv.com/usedbooks/ Used Books]] is an online graphic novel created by Vickie Boutwell.
Used Books is an ongoing crime drama with a mostly serious tone that centers around three women including a former assassin for an allegedly defunct criminal organization, a former police officer who brought down the organization, and a former college professor who lost her parents to the crime ring. The former assassin runs the bookstore, from which the comic derives its name.
Used Books began in February 2007 with daily updates on DrunkDuck, very rough handdrawn art, and short episodes and is currently over 800 pages long, updating twice a week with full-color pages. It contains themes of friendships and family bonds strained by deceit and murder. The cast of Used Books is large and varied, but the plotlines usually are centered around one or more of the main three women.
!!This comic contains examples of:
* AffablyEvil - Raidon doesnít just seem like a nice guy. He really is. He broods over people suffering. He gives to charity, and he is a kind host. But when he wants something, he gets it.
* AllJustADream - Seiko dreams she has died and meets her parents in the [[http://www.curiousv.com/usedbooks/?p=423 afterlife]].
* AllLovingHero - Seiko [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/index.php?p=373235 goes out of her way]] to help dangerous people because she sees the good in them, even when they repeatedly attack or try to kill her.
* AloneWithThePsycho - This circumstance usually happens with Seiko or Mike.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter - Yuki might be one of the strongest people around, an escape artist and karate master, but she was bested by a convenient one-upper, a giant named Tim.
* BlondGuysAreEvil - Fudo started out as a very central villain, and the only blonde guy in the story. Add the black overcoat, and you have a stereotype.
* BrainyBrunette - Multiple [=PhDs=], child prodigy, and brown hair. Thatís Seiko.
* CantHoldHisLiquor - On a few occasions, Seiko becomes either delirious or passes out after a drink. She is rarely seen joining her friends in their alcoholic indulgences.
* CityWithNoName - The vast majority of the story is set in ďthe city.Ē
* CoolLoser - Tristan falls into this trope too. He has even called himself a loser, but his occasional moments of total coolness seem to make up for it.
* CrypticallyUnhelpfulAnswer - Tristan employs this trope [[http://www.curiousv.com/usedbooks/?p=481 deliberately]] and gets away with it.
* DrivenToSuicide - Flashbacks have revealed Fudoís suicidal tendencies. He was prevented from following through by his friend Toyo.
* DrivenToVillainy - The main character Kaida and her ex-husband were forced to become killers.
* CuteKitten - Jiroís a little big to be a kitten, but he steals every scene heís in, and evoked anger and sympathy unparalleled when he was attacked by a villain(ess),
* FriendOnTheForce - Good thing Brad is the childhood friend of Yuki. He can come in and make the arrests!
* FriendshipMoment - Used Books is oozing with these scenes.
** Yuki does a [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/index.php?p=436279 favor]] for Seiko.
** Mike and Fudo share [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/index.php?p=456239 a moment]].
* GenreBusting - At times, it seems to be a serious crime drama or mystery story, but frequently, plotlines slip into those of sitcom fare.
* GentleGiant - It isn't certain if Tim is an example of this trope or not. Although, he has done some nasty things (such as snap a girl's arm), he shows undertones of a sensitive side.
* HeroicSelfDeprecation - Seiko falls into this trope regularly and blames herself for many evils in the world.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry - Kaida hates her twin sister Violet so much that it drove her to run away from home to a life of crime. Violet is a successful and bubbly lawyer while Kaida is a cynical former assassin.
* HeterosexualLifePartners - Kaida and Yuki fit this trope perfectly. They are inseparable friends despite their quarrels. They might as well be a couple, except they arenít romantic.
* ImpliedLoveInterest - This seems to start developing into actual love interests later in the story, but this trope is used a lot. Yuki and Brad, Seiko, and Tristan, and Toyo and Celes are the clearest examples.
* IHaveBrothers - Yuki attributes her impressive skills to [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/index.php?p=257174 growing up]] with five older brothers.
* InstantMysteryJustDeleteScene - The plot often skips between groups of people, sometimes generating the mystery.
* ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest - Tiny but significant trinkets (jewelry, stuffed toys, etc.) seem to be regularly added to the story and come in handy at a later date.
* KudzuPlot - For every question answered and plot resolved, it seems that at least two more come up. Sometimes the new mysteries remain unaddressed for many chapters.
* MentorArchetype - Conrad appeared and seems to have become a mentor character for Tristan.
** Conrad [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/index.php?p=385939 talks to]] Tristan about his relationship.
* OddCouple - You can group any two of the three main ladies into this category. By any logic, such friendships are odd.
* OrphansOrdeal - Seiko seeks to unravel the mystery of her motherís odd behavior and the reason her parents were killed.
* SocietyIsToBlame - A few of the law breakers (but protagonists) are that way because of poverty and circumstance.
** [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/index.php?p=349532 Kylie complains]] about the circumstances leading to a life of crime.
* PetTheDog - Raidonís relationship with [[http://www.curiousv.com/usedbooks/?p=371 his dog Hecate]] is one of the only signs of his underlying humanity.
* PleasePutSomeClothesOn - Yuki has no modesty. Brad [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/?p=318152 points it out]].
* ShorterMeansSmarter - Seiko, the token genius, is one of the smallest characters in the story.
* ShoutOut - Used Books frequently mentions or references literature.
** Fudo recommends [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/index.php?p=215752 Night of the Hunter]].
* StrongFamilyResemblance - Kaidaís whole family have a close resemblance. Seiko appears to be a brown-haired version of her mother. And Yukiís brothers share the same skin, eye, and hair color.
* SomedayThisWillComeInHandy - One character or another always seems to know some bit of random helpful info about any number of topics. For Seiko, itís often explained as her schooling, while Kaida claims life experience.
* SympatheticMurderer - In Used Books, the murderers are often sympathetic. For example, when Mike killed a man unprovoked, the sympathy lies with him and not with the widow.
* TellMeAboutMyFather - Seiko is often heard to say ďDid you know my mother?Ē to anyone that she believes might have had a connection.
* TheWatson - Alex shows up early in the story. It seems that his main purpose is to interact with the main characters by evoking exposition, asking questions the audience wants to ask but the other characters can't.
* WholeEpisodeFlashback - Several entire chapters of Used Books are flashbacks.
** [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/index.php?p=396080 Yukiís wedding]] is recalled in chapter 52.
** Toyo tells the story of his initiation into the crime syndicate in chapters [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/?p=299929 35]] and [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/?p=303584 36]].
* WideEyedIdealist - Seiko, one of the main characters, has a nasty habit of thinking all people are basically good and getting herself in trouble for it.
** [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Used_Books/index.php?p=437135 This page]] shows her getting into an argument over the nature of a known villain.
** Seiko stops mid-fight to [[http://www.curiousv.com/usedbooks/?p=463 bandage up]] a bad guy that one of her friends just wounded.
* WriteWhoYouKnow - The main characters are based strongly on the authorís friends.