minus is weird like that.
A webcomic by Ryan Armand that ran for 130 episodes from February 2006 to July 2008. It is archived here
, with extra strips for afterward here
, and here
. There is also a print version
with some extra strips. A larger version of the comic is here
minus is an elementary school girl. She is sometimes mistaken for a boy
. She has a very powerful imagination and can do anything she wants
. The things she does are fickle and whimsical
, as well as mischievous and vindictive
. She is, after all, a child
.She has very few friends
, apart from a green-haired girl, the beings that minus wills into existence, and the ghosts.
It should be noted that this webcomic is not recommended for grownups, who may find it disturbing.
Compare and contrast with "It's a Good Life
". Also, yes, both the character and the strip are spelled with a lower case "m".
minus contains examples of:
- 108: minus dies in the 108th strip.
- Accidental Murder: By the green haired girl, of all people. And it stuck. minus does this on occasion.
- Alternate History: Even without minus around making the laws of reality her servant, there are subtle hints that her world is not the same as our own. Of course, she may well be responsible for that...
- Alternate Universe: minus has made several. And then there are the extra strips, which appear to be all over the place.
- Ambiguous Innocence
- Ancient Astronauts: Doubly Subverted: After hearing about the hypothesis, minus goes back in time to try to meet the aliens. She doesn't find any... but at the end of the strip it is revealed that yes, aliens were responsible for the human race. She just didn't go far enough back in time.
- Annoying Arrows: #23. That has got to hurt...
- Apocalypse How: Quite a few, but most famously the one that actually stuck, wherein minus resurrected the entire population of Earth, past and present, human and otherwise. It was crowded, to put it mildly.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: minus tends to get easily distracted and then seems to... forget about her creations, or absent-mindedly wipes them out of existence.
- A Wizard Did It: Since minus's powers are, literally, whatever she wants, "minus did it" is a perfectly valid solution to any Fridge Logic.
- Back from the Dead: Everyone. This brings about the beginning of the end.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Rule of thumb: never ask minus anything when she's distracted, and always remember to be precise, and think of the side-effects before you do.
- Black Knight: #74
! Do you think you can withstand the power of the Black Knight ?"
- Body Horror: minus turns a balloon selling guy into a balloon himself when he yells at her for popping all his balloons. Then he pops.
- Bittersweet Ending: The entire human race is destroyed, but lives on in the after life. Also, minus and the green haired girl look distinctly melancholy in the final strip.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: #79, where a carnival has great food, great rides, and even great food...... that you can ride!
- Bullying a Dragon / Mugging the Monster: A few kids in the early comics.
- Call Back: Sergeant Davy and his trusty steed, Prendon, are mentioned as having existed in the comic's world several strips after minus altered history to make Davy a war hero.
- Carnivore Confusion : This strip
- Characterization Marches On: Despite, as can be told by most of the rest of this page, having a reputation for being dangerous, in truth, all things considered, minus stops doing more negative things very quickly - by halfway through the comic she's almost entirely neutral: only doing negative things out of naivete rather than intentionally doing them, and she often adds things to her some of the less positive things she caused to make them bittersweet or even good. She never stops callously making synthetic sentient beings, however.
- Cheerful Child: minus, of course.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The aliens. They first appear as the inhabitants of a random planet that minus visits on a lark. At the very end of the comic, it turns out that those same aliens were responsible for the evolution of humans.
- Children Are Innocent: Innocent, yes. She sets the bar for Ambiguous Innocence.
- Continuity Creep: Strip #50. Apparently minus's actions have consequences after all...
- Crystal Spires and Togas: The alien world.
- Deus ex Machina: an in-universe version in minus herself, who tends to solve any problems or requests with a somewhat tangential application of her powers. Anyone who doesn't know about minus is usually some form of terrified or curious at the seemingly illogical and irrational things that occur around her (that tend to really be... well... illogical).
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: This guy. And he's a Karma Houdini who's the only one shown to do something to minus and not suffer any consequences.
- Granted, his actions cause a chain of events which directly lead to The End of the World as We Know It, so one could say that his retribution was delayed, but there.
- The green-haired girl also pulls this off, accidentally.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: What adult humans who have been involved with one of minus's reality-warping events realise. For the children she plays with, it's more Pals with Jesus.
- Disproportionate Retribution
- Egomaniac Hunter: Ends up boxing the lion he shot.
- "End of the World" Special
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: #46.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: #73
- Excited Show Title!: Temporarily, when minus becomes...wackier? The rant for that comic is just a single exclamation point.
- Extraordinarily Empowered Girl
- Fiery Red Head: The red-haired ghost.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: To her credit, she isn't the originator of this.
- Great Gazoo
- Green Thumb
- God Save Us from the Queen!: #73
- God Is Flawed: minus
- Hair Colors: minus' changes from strip to strip.
- Humanoid Abomination
- Idiot Hair
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Subverted in #13.
- Imaginary Friend: Only in minus' case, they really aren't that imaginary for long.
- Inexplicably Awesome: It's never explained where exactly minus' powers come from.
- Intergenerational Friendship: One of the girls in minus's class is friends with Larry, an adult man.
- I See Dead People: minus can see and talk to ghosts. In one strip, she's talking to the ghost of a dead girl and her friend asks if she can see.
- Jackass Genie: The end of this strip and most of the next, although like everything else minus does it's Just for Fun.
- Jerk Ass: minus can be this a lot.
- Also the red haired ghost girl. At least minus' is out of childish naivete and immaturity.
- Jerk Jock: These show up occasionally.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: minus's hair changes from strip to strip. Justified, since she is omnipotent.
- When minus brings the red-haired ghost back to life, her hair inexplicably changes from red to green, presumably to distinguish her from her (living) identical twin who was just introduced.
- Karma Houdini: minus.
- Kids Are Cruel: minus doesn't generally doesn't recognize the consequences of their actions until they're presented to her, if they ever are at all. This leads to a lot of Disproportionate Retribution such as turning a man into a balloon and letting him pop, or moments like the creation of a miniature civilization in her tub only to destroy it when bathtime ends.
- Kraken and Leviathan: Alien invasion? Zombie apocalypse? Famine? Summon a kraken!
- Laser-Guided Karma: quite often happens when people get on the wrong side of minus. Sometimes subverted given her general lack of moral responsibility and the resultant Fridge Horror, like the balloon-seller's fate.
- Little Miss Almighty
- Living Toys: variations on a theme for minus.
- Love at First Sight: minus plays cupid in #23.
- Magic Realism: To an extent.
- Magical Camera: It captures souls.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds
- Mood Whiplash
- Morality Pet: the green-haired girl with the pigtails. Better things and happy endings happen to minus's newly-sentient lifeforms when she's around.
- No Name Given: Everyone except minus, Larry, and a couple ghost characters.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Starting in strip #119, courtesy of The End of the World as We Know It.
- Only Six Faces: If it weren't for hairstyle, the characters would be indistinguishable.
- Our Ghosts Are Different
- Perfect Health: minus had never gotten sick before, so she wills herself to. She finds it highly overrated.
- Perspective Magic #95. Also #14.
- Pet the Dog: minus has her moments.
- Physical God: minus doesn't just seem to be a god — she kind of seems to be the god. She runs the afterlife, at any rate.
- Portal Picture
- Reality Warper: minus.
- Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Well, for minus it is.
- Recurring Character: Larry.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: #91.
- La Résistance: #75
- Retraux: minus. is deliberately drawn in the style of a turn-of-the-century newspaper comic, only without the limitations on space or color.
- Reused Character Design: Most of the unnamed characters look like the characters from another one of the artist's series, Great.
- Rewriting Reality: here and anywhere else in the comic. Continuously.
- Scenery Porn
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny: In-Universe: After the End, the ghost population finds the fact they had legs kinda funny, despite the fact most of them had legs before.
- It's implied that these are future generations of dead people. They never had legs.
- Shout-Out: Various references to anime here. In order of lines, the immortal who wants to be human is from Soul Hunter, the second one sounds vaguely like a quote about immortality from Galaxy Express 999, the one about the witch giving up her powers is Ojamajo Doremi, and the quote about everything coming easy sounds similar to a lament made in Magic User's Club by Takeo's gay friend.
- The dishman who was out dojo-hunting obviously battled a practitioner of Panzerkunst.
- The Slow Path: #25 and #26. Slight subversion as she wouldn't make it back at all; minus brings her back in her old age to say good bye.
- Silence Is Golden: While there are a few strips that have talking in it, many strips are pantomime.
- Sociopathic Hero: minus, in as much as all children are kind of sociopathic. The strips are full of people whose lives she has ruined or casually tormented over a minor slight or just because she was playing around.
- Spirit World
- Starfish Aliens
- Took a Level in Badass: The ponytail girl.
- Unstoppable Mailman: The paper cutout man minus creates will deliver her the candy she asked him to get, no matter what.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: If the red-haired ghost hadn't demanded that minus bring her back to life, the end of the world might not have happened.
- Although to be fair, had the chalk salesman not entered the picture, things wouldn't have snowballed to that degree.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: Even the in-universe characters have trouble pegging minus.
- Walking the Earth: Larry. Not even The End of the World as We Know It can stop him.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: This strip, though it's meant to make fun of True Art Is Angsty.
- With Great Power Comes Great Perks: Indeed, that's all they're used for.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: This couple appears to believe that minus is a rules lawyering Literal Genie, quite forgetting that she's really just a naive little girl with a rather short attention span.
- You and What Army?: This army.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: And Green hair, and red hair, depending on minus' mood it seems. Some of the normal characters have green or (bright) red hair regardless of minus. Interestingly, no character ever has yellow hair, and the color yellow is rarely used in the comic, so perhaps the green-haired characters are meant to be blonde. minus is the only character who ever has blue or pink hair.
- You Never Asked: Referenced here.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Here and here. It's more of a childish prank than a full-blown apocalypse, though.