[[quoteright:295:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CaffeineWithdrawalHeadache.gif]]
[[caption-width-right:295:Marooned: Day 2 [[note]]Yup, that's Alexander Hamilton.[[/note]]]]

-->''An Illustrated Jocularity''

What happens when you mix Victorian-era illustrations with modern day insanity?

Welcome to the world of David Malki !'s ''[[http://wondermark.com/ Wondermark]]''. A world of top hats and Steampunk laptops played down to contrast the modern, neurotic characters that populate it. A gag-a-day webcomic with NegativeContinuity and no recurring characters (except maybe [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent the alien Gax]]), each strip is a brief window into the lives of absurd but not entirely unrealistic new people.

The humor is a little diverse on a strip-to-strip basis but the bulk of it comes from good ol' human neuroses and eccentricities. Common subjects are banter and 'duels', often between spouses, observations about society and culture, poop jokes and a healthy dose of hypocrisy and narcissism. There's also an occasional abstract strip that relies more on visual gags and general weirdness. One thing that always remains prevalent is a strong sense of irony.

The author has arranged some of his favorite strips on a single page as an introduction to new readers; this can be found [[http://wondermark.com/bestof.html here]]. Of particular interest to tropers is [[http://wondermark.com/554/ this strip]], featuring the [[SteamPunk Electro-Plasmic Hydrocephalic]] [[{{Troperiffic}} Genre-Fiction Generator]] [[{{Trope2000}} 2000]].

Also worth checking out are ''[[http://wondermark.com/comic-strip-doctor/ The Comic Strip Doctor]]'', a critical dissection of newspaper comics, and ''[[http://wondermark.com/dispatches/ Dispatches From Wondermark Manor]]'', a series of parody Victorian novels, both by the same author.
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!!''Wondermark'' provides examples of:
* AltText: Of the bonus joke kind.
* AnachronismStew: [[Film/BackToTheFuture The DeLorean as a]] [[http://wondermark.com/463/ train]].
* ArtStyleDissonance: The art is taken straight from sophisticated Victorian art. The jokes are absurd and often nonsensical.
* AuthorTract: Frequently subverted. Characters will start off making a typical 'angry webcomic author' rant at someone, only to go somewhere very, very strange. [[http://wondermark.com/606 Example.]]
* BeatPanel
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: The [[http://wondermark.com/808/ Starhorse arc]] invokes this in the most frustrating way possible--the fisherman ends up only catching one of five horse-heads, and every time he tries to make a wish the single head warns him that whatever he wishes for will be reduced to one-fifth in the most inconvenient way possible.
-->'''Linehorse:''' ...But alone, I can only ''one-fifth''grant wishes.\\
'''Fisherman:''' ''Ah!'' So if I were to ask for ''five million dollars'', might I still get ''one?''\\
'''Linehorse:''' Kind of like that. You would get five million ''fifth-dollars''. Like, ''bills,'' but only ''one-fifth'' of each bill. Or sacks and sacks of ''wedge-shaped coins.'' No vending machine will take them.
* CriticalResearchFailure: [[http://wondermark.com/558/ This one]]: [[invoked]]
-->'''Salesman:''' ''"Hello sir for order a camel?"''
-->'''Customer:''' ''"Capital! Thank you! Just one question before I set off. How high can this beast fly? Are we talking mountain-vaulting altitudes or is it more a graze-the-steeples type of affair?"''
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: "[[http://wondermark.com/482/ At the Walforth Barber Academy]], our credentialed graduates coif ''kings,'' ''popes,'' and ''emperor-pope-kings.''"
* CutAndPasteComic: ''Most'' of the time. Though image manipulation is fairly common.
* DeadAllAlong: WordOfGod [[http://wondermark.com/comic-666/ says this has been true]] for everyone since the very beginning.
* FateDrivesUsTogether
* FranchiseZombie: Not ''Wondermark'' itself, but in the ''Comic Strip Doctor'' column, Malki dissects this phenomenon as it relates to newspaper comics. Established strips run on brand recognition for decades after they cease to be funny, and newspapers are afraid to take risks on new artists. The result is, it's extremely difficult to get into the business, and the majority of newspaper comics are boring, predictable drivel. He considers webcomics to be the cure, because while SturgeonsLaw still applies, the truly talented now have an outlet to get their work recognized without having to compete for space on the funny page with the likes of ''ComicStrip/DennisTheMenaceUS'' and ''{{Ziggy}}''.
* GodIsEvil: Discussed in a series of strips beginning [[http://wondermark.com/804/ here]].
* IceCreamKoan:
-->''"God, with a sword, can make a man a king. But a king, with a sword, can only make a man a knight. A knight, with a sword, can make a man a corpse. So... I kind of forgot where I was going there."''
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: [[InWhichATropeIsDescribed In which most of the comics are named as such.]]
* InWhichATropeIsDescribed: See above.
* ItsBeenDone: [[http://wondermark.com/845/ A man claims to have invented]] "''food'' inside of ''bread''." He's less than happy to be told that dumplings already exist. In [[http://wondermark.com/846/ the followup strip]], he thinks he still deserves some recognition for inventing them independently -- a claim which, even if true, his friend finds unimpressive.
-->'''Ben's Friend''' [''wrapping up'']: But ''so what?'' What do you want, a medal?\\
'''Ben:''' What is ''that''\\
'''Ben's Friend:''' It's like... an award, that you wear around your neck.\\
'''Ben:''' ''Dangit'' I had ''that'' idea ''too!''\\
'''AltText:''' Well, in MY conception they'd mainly give them out for military heroism and athletic achievement...you're KIDDING ME. YOU ARE KIDDING ME. FOR CRYING. OUT. LOUD.
* IWishedYouWereDead: Parodied [[http://wondermark.com/126/ here]].
* JerkassGenie: Turns out that the [[spoiler: one-fifth of a starhorse]] could have granted [[spoiler: one whole wish whenever it wanted to]].
* MistakenForPedophile: [[http://wondermark.com/346/ This strip]].
* MoralGuardians: [[http://wondermark.com/567/ O selfless saviors!]].
* NecessaryFail: [[http://wondermark.com/659/ O Theoretical Saviors]]
* NegativeContinuity
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: [[http://wondermark.com/345/ Next years memes predicted]].
** [[http://wondermark.com/238/ Ninja on a unicycle]].
** [[http://wondermark.com/495/ PIRANHAMOOSE]].
*** ...''awesome.''
* NobodyHereButUsStatues: [[http://wondermark.com/wp-content/uploads/2005/08/drabbledoc.gif This]] ''Drabble'' RemixComic from ''The Comic Strip Doctor''.
* OhWaitThisIsMyGroceryList: Applied to an unfortunate Cyrano [[http://wondermark.com/106/]]
* OnceAnEpisode: The ''Comic Strip Doctor'' column always ends with, "See you in the funny pages."
* OverlyLongAirplaneBannerGag: Done in [[http://wondermark.com/508/ this]] strip, using a bird rather than an airplane.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: [[http://wondermark.com/576/]]
* PresentDayPast
* RemixComic: Some of the articles in ''The Comic Strip Doctor'' feature edited strips intended to feature better humor. One particular edit for ''ComicStrip/{{Cathy}}'' at first has the punchline, "You didn't put them back in the bags." David, deciding that nobody would get it outside of comic book nerds, changes it to, "I can't see the TV."
* {{Retraux}}: The whole visual theme
* RunningGag: ''[[http://wondermark.com/520/ Punching Stuff Until It Blows Up]]'' and its [[http://wondermark.com/521/ two]] [[http://wondermark.com/522/ sequels]].
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: "[[http://wondermark.com/440/ Isn't it just awful being pretty?]]"
* SpeciesSurname: Gax the Gaxian.
* SteamPunk: Most often used to stand-in for modern technology though more straight examples exist.
** [[http://wondermark.com/352/ SteamPunk robots]]
** Check out the SteamPunk ''computer'' [[http://wondermark.com/493/ here]].
** Observe - [[http://wondermark.com/368/ the 19th century Facebook]]
** You've... been... [[http://wondermark.com/538/ Steampunk'd!]]
* TheTalk: In the form of a tree trying to talk to his anguished son about "pollination."
* TalkingAnimal: Tagged as [[http://wondermark.com/tag/humanized-animals/ humanized animals]].
* TicketLineCampout: Subject of [[http://wondermark.com/321/ this strip]]
* VampireVannabe: Parodied [[http://wondermark.com/241/ here]].
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotDidactic: Parodied [[http://wondermark.com/720/ here]]. [[invoked]]
* WikiWalk: Played with in [[http://wondermark.com/420/ this strip]].
* YourNormalIsOurTaboo: [[http://wondermark.com/910/ Gaxians consider hair-brushing a very personal thing.]]
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