2011 graphic novel by Steph Cherrywell
. Pepper Penwell and the Land Creature of Monster Lake
follows the titular Pepper, an overtly British, mystery-solving wunderkid, as she travels to the small town of Monster Lake to follow up on a missing persons case first opened by her famous investigator father. Once there, she discovers far more afoot than a single simple kidnapping—instead she finds herself at the center of a vast, quickly-unraveling conspiracy involving the monster the lake was named for.
Pepper Penwell contains the following tropes:
- Affectionate Parody: Of young-adult detective novels like Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew.
- Author Appeal: Lucy's a bit pudgy. Par for the course with Cherrywell's work, but she's notably smaller than her other characters that tend to fit this niche. Minor character Iceflower also applies.
- Badass Preacher: Hugo Unger. Priest, crucifix enthusiast, and professional demon slayer.
- Baleful Polymorph: Pepper's brother Alex, who is a small bird due to an unexplained accident.
- Bat Deduction: Some of Pepper's cases are solved this way. Just as many of them are solved using actual logic.
- Big Eater: Lucy, whose response to imminent danger is to stuff her face.
- Boarding School: St. Balbeziar's, which Pepper attends. But only for the first nine pages of the book.
- Body Paint: Worn by Moonwater and all the members of the Oakwind Community.
- Deep-Fried Whatever: Even soup.
- Determinator: Pepper isn't leaving Monster Lake until she's found her missing person, in spite of all the weird goings-on. And even after she's found her, she won't leave until she's discovered the truth about the monster, even in the face of quite possible death and in spite of watching said monster kill people right in front of her.
- Don't Go in the Woods: Because it's where the monster lives.
- Everybody Did It
- Evil Genius: Dr. Oort...sort of.
- The Fool: Lucy again.
- Geek Physiques: Dr. Oort, fat variety.
- Granola Girl: Lucy, given her continually-stated love of soy products and the fact that she attends what appears to be an art school.
- Improbable Weapon User: Pepper. Silver crucifix x dirty laundry = ultimate monster-slaying weapon, apparently.
- Long Title: Most of the chapter titles. Played for Laughs, of course.
- Made of Iron: Lucy again. Some instances of Amusing Injuries, but not all of them.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The titular monster. The truth actually lies somewhere in-between.
- Mundane Made Awesome: REBELLIOUS CLOTHES
- New-Age Retro Hippie: Moonwater Ravenwolf has definite shades of this, but also proves to be a legit shaman.
- Plucky Girl: Definitely Pepper.
- Religion Is Magic: Speculated by Father Unger; literally, in the case of the Oakwind Community.
- Spinning Paper: Parodied.
- Spot of Tea: A Running Gag with Pepper.
- Stout Strength: Implied at points for Lucy, in a rare female example.
- Teen Genius: Pepper, natch.
- Too Dumb to Live: Dr. Oort explicitly states the fences built to keep the monster out were inspired by Jurassic Park. Pepper is quick to lampshade how well that worked.
- Unexplained Recovery: Lucy suffers severe anaphylactic shock at one point. It lasts all of two panels.