is a Furry Comic
centering on a group of movie theatre concession workers.
The series originally started out as smart remarks the author Immelmann could never make when he worked at a concession stand, but it gradually evolved into a complex story, with a fair amount of Mind Screw
. The plot centers on a rather small cast, the main characters eventually being: Joel, the Villain Protagonist
; Artie and Matt.
On October 8, 2010, it was announced that the comic was coming to an end. Immelmann cited the often nonsensical and convoluted plot
as the main reason. He does have a new stand-alone gag comic called Ballerina Mafia
that began about a month before the end was announced, and a storyline oriented comic The Black Dogs
that started April 2012. The final comic
was posted February 11, 2011.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- All Gays Are Pedophiles: Completely inverted. Of the characters who are confirmed pedophiles, none are gay or bisexual. And the one who appears most often is a woman.
- All Just a Dream. Immelmann's Author Avatar puts in an appearance at one point. Turns out it's just a hallucination that Clarissa is having thanks to Joel screwing with her head.
- All There in the Manual: A lot of the relationships and character development and characters in general were shown in the "concession chronicles" blog. And then brought into the comic later without any warning for people unaware of the blog, which is rather easy since it for the longest time it had no links to it on the official site. Leaving many to wonder "Wait, who is that? Wait, when did they start dating?"
- Alt Text: Present since #239 (though absent in a few of them even since, probably intentionally)
- Ambiguous Gender: Frogs, apparently.
- Anything That Moves: Joel, probably Angie.
- Art Evolution: There's a stark difference between how the comic started and its later style.
- Art Shift: When Matt became spiritually aware, the rough outline sketches are left in the picture.
- As the Good Book Says: Concession contained a few religious debates back when Matt was still in the Transparent Closet and Joel was trying to get him to come out. Other than that it doesn't really get into religion all that much, and the only priest shown so far in the comic seems to be a genuinely good person. He does his best to assuage Matt's gay guilt, and warns him about Joel, though the latter has little effect. He also proves to be a Badass Preacher and fights Joel.
- The Atoner: Valae evidently, which eventually becomes Redemption Equals Death.
- Author Appeal: Immelmann's fetishes tend to pop up alot throughout the series.
- Author Avatar: One that affects the plot very little, and indeed appears to be a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, but very obviously Immy.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Joel attacks Father Tim in the confessional, and Artie in the hospital inside their minds using his Combat Tentacles.
- Bedmate Reveal: Artie has a couple of unpleasant ones.
- First, with Chelsie.
- Later, he was pleased to wake up next to Melusine and Palatyne (both women), but not so pleased to also find Ronin (another guy) in the bed.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Even anthro animals consider sex with non-anthro animals taboo—for instance, Artie strongly remembers an incident involving Joel and a feral dog. The Church of Gaia is frowned upon as it not only condones zoophilia but performs marriages between anthros and ferals.
- Best Served Cold: Recent revelations show that Joel's plan all boils down to getting revenge against his brother for killing their sister.
- And framing him for the murder. And getting him sent to a mental institution. Where he was raped by a doctor and/or orderly. Repeatedly. For years.
- And apparently it seems that the entire plan was pointless, as Julian was apparently innocent and unaware of any wrongdoing the entire time, and that Joel's just a deluded insane person.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Joel's, Chelsie's, and Kate and Rick's, plus the Jansen clan in particular.
- Black Comedy Rape: One of the randomly generated background characters is described as a "very frequent rape victim".
- Breakout Character: Joel, Nicole, as well as Clarissa and Zoe who were introduced near the end of the comic's run all still make appearances in Immelmann's new comic. Despite the fact that it's his autobiographical Journal Comic.
- Callback: Isn't this where we came in? Note the alt text - this is the same customer.
- Camp Gay: Nicole is a fluttery cross dresser. Matt as well, though to a lesser extent, and he doesn't crossdress regularly like Nicole does.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The comic slips in and out of this, in that it started as a gag-per-day comic and then shifted into something with a (admittedly very weird) story, but it often switches back to its original premise every now and then. Joel and Artie even seem to forget that they're enemies every couple of months.
- Child by Rape: Thonnen's daughter Naomi. However, her mother appears to genuinely love her and the circumstances of her conception don't seem to have affected her negatively, and she even becomes President in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
- Confessional: Multiple characters talk to Father Tim in the confessional.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Joel does this to Matt.
- Crawl: "Emperor of China to Become Empress", "Obama clone runs rampant, kills twenty".
- Creepy Child: Chelsie.
- Deadpan Snarker: Joel, though a lot of the characters get a turn at it.
- Deus Angst Machina: Most of the characters' backstories are like this.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Joel. Yep, he's a baddie.
- Don't Explain the Joke: "See, it's funny because you're a pedophile. Kate's 25, so I'm implying you'd be happier dating a 10-year-old."
- Joel's sense of humor is not subtle at all: "I'd rather do your mom! See it's implied necrophilia."
- Downer Ending: All the main characters fail in everything they intended to accomplish, the only main character with a chance to redeem the others (Matt) turns into a psychic addict, and this is apparently the upbeat ending to how things could have gone.
- Dysfunction Junction: Not helped by the fact that Joel routinely screws with everyone close to him as part of a convoluted revenge plot against his brother for events that never happened.
- Erotic Eating: Nicole.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Joel is a depraved psychopath who will pretty much go for Anything That Moves. But he's apalled when he's accused of trying anything sexual with Chelsie. Not that it stops him from killing Chelsie's parents and manipulating Artie to such acts as parts of his plans.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Most of the male characters, many people on the forum claim that Concession has made them gayer (they call it the Concession effect)
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Joel above all.
- Everyone Is Bi: A lot of characters are, even characters that are supposed to be straight, like Artie, tend to have sex with the same gender, though the first time he was being mind controlled and the second time he was really drunk not to mention the time Artie literally Mind Raped Joel. And of course there's Thomas, who is described as heterosexual but is shown flirting with men and having sex with his own son. And another time Rick admitted to having gay sex with another fat model, which for some reason made Angie jealous. This may be related to the fact that the author is also bi. Or just an extreme case of coincidence.
- Evil Gloating: Joel probably shouldn't have told Artie that he had powers while he was killing him.
- Expressive Ears: Clive's ears hang down, while his alternate personality Ernest's ears stick up.
- Faceless Masses: Averted. Every background character is generated randomly with a complex formula and given a rather humorous backstory.
- Fourth Wall Observer: Originally just Joel, though it was recently revealed to be a trait of all the spiritually aware characters
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: If you follow the secret game (see Nightmare Fuel on the YMMV page), you will receive notes from Father Tim about Miranda's monstrous nature. Throughout, he warns you that you will feel her presence, such as hearing her breath in the dark. But by the end, she is now inside you and Father Tim begs you to never look into her eyes. DON'T LOOK INTO HER EYES!
- Freudian Excuse: Joel was treated harshly as a child by his father and his brother. Then his brother killed his sister, and his parents thought Joel did it, so he was put in a mental hospital and appears to have been sexually abused by a doctor and then released before he was ready to face the outside world again.
- Unless he imagined it all.
- Fun with Subtitles: Artie's cousin worked in closed captioning at CNN, on her last day she decided to have some fun.
- Furry Confusion: Discussed in this comic:
Artie: (about to eat fish and crab with Melusine) This feels weird. It's like I'm about to watch cannibalism.
Melusine: Dolphins are mammals, Artie.
Artie: I know! I know. But it's still weird, you know?
Melusine: You know what's weird? Furries that have dogs for pets. I think that's weirder than anything we do.
- Gambit Roulette: Deconstructed, maybe? Definitely subverted. Joel's plan was complicated and relied on a series of things happening just so but there were so many variables that it fell apart pretty easily when someone acted in a way other than what he expected.
- Gender Reveal: Artie's incident with Chelsie, after which he reveals Chelsie's real sex.
- Ghostly Goals: Miranda has devoted her afterlife to using her twin to get revenge on Julian for killing her. Or perhaps not, as it's revealed that Miranda died in her sleep, suggesting other motives.
- Good Shepherd: Father Tim.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Artie, committed genocide to avenge his girlfriend's Honor Killing after learning to use his powers. Defied by him later after his What the Hell, Hero? by Matt.
- Hypocrite: Minor example. While Artie may or may not have intentionally committed mass murder with his powers, Matt's really in no position to preach the higher road when he's aiding his boyfriend and turning into a monster of the like himself.
- Incest Is Relative:
- Brother-Sister Incest: Rick and Kate. It was just implied for awhile, but it was recently outright confirmed. Also Joel and his sister Miranda appear to have been very close, her spirit form is usually shown wrapped around Joel's like a cloak. And there is a scene in which she anally rapes him.
- Melusine and her sister Palatyne are seen making out, right before they have a foursome with Artie and their brother-in-law Ronin
- Incest Subtext: In a Halloween special in Immy's other webcomic, Joel has a sudden fantasy of his brother's "shapely ass"
- Parental Incest: Nicole and his father, Tom. Also Joel's mom won't stop sneaking a peak and taking photos of her son's naked ass, so... Let's just say, if there isn't some kind of incest going on in a character's family, they just haven't been revealed yet.
- Instant Expert: Lampshaded when Artie becomes aware of his powers.
- Interspecies Romance: Lots. Thonnen specifically chooses to date outside her species to annoy her bloodline-obsessed family.
- Important Haircut: Artie, after the cancer arc. It eventually grew back.
- Infinite Canvas: In At The Heart Of It All, the side-comic.
- Jerk Ass: Joel
- Just Between You and Me: Played entirely straight.
- Karma Houdini: All Joel gets for his machinations, rapes, and murders is the knowledge that it was all pointless and a few days in a coma. And Artie destroyed a small city and essentially gets off scot-free.
- Kudzu Plot: The reason Immelmann decided to end the series.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Thonnen getting pregnant from the rape.
- Melusine getting pregnant with a land-dweller's baby, which is a taboo punishable by death in her culture, even though Artie used protection.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Humans exist in the Concession world, but don't interact with furries much: "Yeah, for most humans it's a bit of a culture shock. Not to mention the allergies ..."
- Mean Boss: Dave, to an extent.
- Dave? Look at Millicent.
- Millicent is just there to watch over the strip's pet murderous sociopath. Her mean boss thing was just a cover.
- Medium Awareness: "...Why are your memories all sketchy?" "I don't know, to show mental unrest? Be quiet and pay attention."
- Modesty Bedsheet: Used with Artie and Chelsie.
- Morality Pet: Matt for Joel (to a certain extent)
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Angie apparently has a "Yaoi sense".
- Naked People Trapped Outside: Thonnen's little cousins somehow get Roland outside and steal his boxer shorts to get him out of the way so that Valae can rape Thonnen.
- Nice Hat: Roland's ever-present beret.
- No Fourth Wall: Joel and Artie make sure of this fact.
- The recent comics and story arc make sure of that, using the knowledge that they are in a webcomic as a plot device.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Averted; Dave protests Angie walking around topless, and she complains "What's there to reveal? I don't have breasts! I don't even have nipples!"
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: When Kate takes Artie to a NAMBLA meeting, Immy assures the audience in The Rant that it's a real association (emphasis his) though he tweaked the version in the comic slightly.
- Noodle People: Everyone is drawn very tall and lanky, unless they are drawn as chibis.
- Official Couple: Matt and Joel
- One-Shot Character: Immelmann made a "random character generator" in Excel for making these (name, gender, species, sexuality, religion, and a humorous bio he came up with). Oddly a couple randomly generated characters ended up recurring or even major characters, most notable Nicole.
- Immy's ex-boyfriend Quetzadrake uses the same generator for his own webcomic, Furthia High.
- Only Six Faces: At first, pretty much all the characters looked the same regardless of species. Once the big character redesign rolled around, faces and head shapes were much more diversified.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: They're mockeries of the natural order who feed on despair.
- Out-of-Clothes Experience: Happens when using spiritual energy (except to Joel, who wears a black cloak, which is actually the ghost of his sister Miranda).
- Plot Tumor: The comic was originally about stupid customers who appeared at a concession stand, then alternating between concession-stand gags and Joel's life in college, a subplot about a dinosaur family, and nowadays is almost the original comic In Name Only with how little the Concession stand has to do with the actual plot. (The author is of course aware of this and states this in the "About" section.)
- Powers via Possession: The reason Joel is so powerful is because of his sister's vengeful spirit.
- Put on a Bus: Pretty much half the cast of the concession stand. (Again, Immelmann is aware of this, and has even made fun of how some characters will never get any arcs.)
- Raging Stiffie: There are multiple comics with visibly tented pants, though the only erection-based humor is here.
- Rape as Drama: Thonnen Turunen was raped by order of her grandmother, Rajah Jensen, an Evil Matriarch, in order to preserve the Turunen bloodline. The rapist, Valae Jensen, only did it because he needed the money to save his daughter, who was dying of an unknown disease. When his daughter dies, he reveals himself to the family elders, Rajah is disgraced and the family falls apart.
- Also an arc of the author's other comic "At The Heart Of It All" in which Joel is institutionalized for apparent schizophrenia and abused by a doctor. Recent revelations in the main comic show that this is in fact his canonical backstory.
- Then there's Artie's incident with Chelsie - since Chelsie is a small child with bipolar-related hypersexuality and Artie was in a trance, technically * both* of them were raped by Joel, who arranged for the incident to happen. Borderline example, since Artie is clearly traumatised by the incident and it turns out to be related to The Plan, but the deeper implications on his psyche aren't brought up in much detail and it's often brought up again for a gag strip.
- Redemption Equals Death: Valae
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Nicole's father invented a mind control ray but would rather use it to be a supervillain (Yes, really). Lampshaded.
- That said, the debate on whether "converting" criminals with this is unambiguously good is still open, so he still has a point.
- Remember the New Guy: Characters just seem to sort of appear out of no where with the comic acting like we should know them, with no proper introduction at all except for them being suddenly added to the cast page. Like Joel's ex girlfriend from France that suddenly exists. Or the purple haired crossdresser. Or the guy with multiple personality disorder. Or Nicole's dad. Or the girl who wants to be a human. Some of them are cases of All There in the Manual; Joel's ex Chloe was introduced in a Concession Chronicles blog entry, Zoe, Clarissa, and Clive had this trope lampshaded in their introduction. The fact that Concession Chronicles is no longer linked to on the site sort of makes this difficult, especially for new readers, who don't exactly expect to go searching off the site to read blog posts to catch up with stuff that isn't properly mentioned.
- Right Through the Wall: This strip - not work safe.
- Seldom Seen Species: Roland the pangolin.
- Sociopathic Hero: Joel, for a given value of 'hero'.
- Split Personality: Clive/Ernest. Naturally Clive is straight while Ernest is gay, makes for some rather awkward morning afters.
- Straight Gay: Cecil.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Trading blackmail.
- Title Drop: Comic #200 is titled "Concession" though it's not the definition you might expect.
- Transparent Closet: Matt. "You've been in denial. Everyone else has figured this out, and has grown to accept it. Everybody but you."
- He has since accepted it, what with Joel and him being boyfriends and all.
- Transsexual: Chelsie is one, rather than just a crossdresser.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Chelsie
- The Un-Smile: Joel. Really should have seen it coming.
- Vagina Dentata: Last panel.
- Vapor Wear: There are a few cases of miniskirts without underwear (not necessarily worn by females), as well as some evidence that Artie goes commando (#90 and #150, links mildly NSFW).
- Villain Protagonist: Joel. Artie is just some secondary character that just happens to be in the way of Joel's Gambit Roulettes.
- After recent events, Artie may very well be one as well. Though there's no evidence he caused that oil tanker to crash into the dolphin city, just motive.
- According to Matt, he did.
- While Joel seems to be developing into a bit of an Anti-Villain with Matt's influence.
- Virginity Makes You Stupid: Matt, who is also the target of Break the Cutie.
- Wham Line:
- What the Hell, Hero?: Finally delivered to Artie by Matt.
- Where Are They Now: According to the epilogue, Kelly will become the first furry mayor of the city, and Thonnen's daughter Naomi the first reptilian President. Also, Nicole takes over his father's supervillain career. Closer to home, Chelsie is officially adopted by Father Tim and fully transitions by the age of eighteen, and they dedicate their lives to stopping the evil spread by Joel and Matt.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Nicole and Zoe. On occasion, Joel and Matt.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Angie.
Angie: "Do I hear MANSEX?!"