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Web Comic: Poppy O'Possum
is a webcomic focusing on an opossum. A very strong
Taking place on Flora, a World of Funny Animals
, Poppy Odeletta Possum is a single mother who'd like nothing more than to find somewhere to comfortably settle down and raise her daughter, Lily - something she's been trying to do for quite a while, with little success, requiring her to move out very frequently. Her recent attempt is in a little town in the Fenneclands called Eggton. Here, surely, will be the place she can find the low-profile she's been seeking.
This fails immediately.
See, opossums are considered by most all to be the lowest of filth in Flora, and this has resulted in more than her fair share of rough knocks over the years (including having her daughter's eye injured by a BB gun); Eggton is no different. However, she manages to find favor with the mayor's assistant/daughter, the cat Petunia, after effortlessly knocking back the local mafia's bagman, a burly bird out to collect an impossible sum of protection money from Eggton. The comic focuses on Poppy's life in town from there, and all the troubles of the world out to get at her.It can be read here.
- Accidental Misnaming: The iguana/lizard assistant to Petunia is called Brandon by Poppy, but he insists that isn't his name.
- Alt Text: Of the second-punchline variety, similar to how The Adventures of Dr. McNinja handles it.
- Ancient Tradition: Kissing under the Gristletoe.
: Nothing says holiday cheer like a gross turkey bone just casually strung up in the foyer, right?
- And I Must Scream: The Dragon that the Egon Monastary was built on is still technically alive...but a fungal infection ate most of its nervous system and took over most of its brain, meaning that even if it was conscious, it'd be likely incapable of doing anything and would be better off dead anyway.
- Anti-Climax: It seems pretty clear that as Ewe-lala keeps getting more and more belligerent with Poppy and Lily, she's planning on using a hammer to bash them in. Turns out, it's a prop, and she's actually not really a fighter at all.
- Anti-Magic: Common long-tailed opossums can't use magic, spells don't work on them, and at the very least a shopkeeper thinks that they can mess up magic items just by touching them. In contrast, short tailed opposums such as Friedrich (who call themselves "Gamba") are perfectly capable of using it. This creates another layer of Fantastic Racism: Friedrich refers to Didelphi as the 'traitor goddess' and suggests she stole the magic out of malice. Poppy suggests his version of things is fradulent.
- Art Evolution: Between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, lines become thicker, details are more distinct, and colours become bolder while the character designs for Petunia and Poppy are changed somewhat. (The change is rather sudden—compare Chapter 1 Page 24 to the very next page.)
- Chapter 3 switches to black and white style with detail hatching.
- And then Chapter 4 goes back to full colour, much like Chapter 2. (This may be a matter of convenience: Morbi was working on an exhibition during Chapter 3.)
- Art Shift: While Petunia is explaining what Lucky Stars are to Mary, they both briefly turn into hand puppets.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Most of the cast. Everyone wears human clothing, but while shoes do exist in the world, and some characters are seen wearing them, the vast majority do not. Poppy's character bio explicitly points this out, contrasting it with her interest in collecting socks (which she also doesn't wear).
- Becoming the Mask: As a non-conventionally birthed wolf, Ewe-lala had to convince the people around her that she was a sheep using her lucky star powers. While it's never truly stuck, it's implied she's used her lucky star powers on herself so she could not only be accepted by outside influences, but the ones inside as well.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Poppy thinks this of the Queen, since she's the only one she's met in quite some time who doesn't automatically hate her guts, and believes she "owes" her.
- Behind the Black: The Alt Text describes a certain giraffe contestant in the tournament as the most beautiful character in the comic. Due to her height, her face is hidden by the panel cutoff.
- Beneath the Mask: Queen Darling is cheery and giggling in public appearances, but in private she's morose and frustrated over her virtual blindness.
- Big Eater: Lily shoves about six lollipops in her mouth at one point. Most of which are just half as tall as her.
- Bilingual Bonus: Not a huge one, but Ewe-lala's emoticon logo uses the greek letter Theta to give the impression of a sheep's eyes. In ancient greek, theta was considered a symbol of death.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Looks like it for Ewe-lala, but it turns out to be more of a case of Spoiled Sweet.
- Blessed with Suck: Valente's Lucky Star power turns all magic that touches him into fire to channel. Which, as noted, is awesome when you want to impress the ladies, but not so fun when healing spells don't work on you and you have to recover the old-fashioned way.
- Queen Darling can see everything at its most basic, atomic level as well as all potential reactions. This makes her fantastic as an alchemist and a chemist. ...but she can't turn it ''off'', meaning she sees nothing but abstract bundles of particles (except for common opossums, who cancel the power). It requires substantial effort and special glasses to simply read. She can't see her own reflection.
- Calling Your Attacks: Subverted. One of the announcers during the tournament calls out attack themed nicknames for different combatants, hoping to see Poppy try out these attacks, which she obliges.
- Chekhov's Gun: The candles Poppy buys early in Chapter 2. Almost exactly four months later, Poppy reveals that they're to count down the time until she dies.
- Combat Tentacles: Poda's weapon of choice are her extremely flexible tentacle limbs and their razor-blade ends.
- Creation Myth: Opens up with Poppy telling Lily one about the opossum goddess Didelphi. When her fellow gods and goddesses reneged on their plans to free their creations from their magical mind control and give them free will, she stripped her own creation (opossums) of their connections to magic, rendering them immune to it entirely. She then absorbed the magic, used it to fight off all the other gods and goddesses, and took all of creation into her pouch. The end result was free will for everyone, at the cost of opossums using magic, and making opossums the scapegoat for all other species, who were confused at what to do with their newfound freedom.
- Curbstomp Battle: With the sole exception of Boris, Everyone Poppy fights in the tournament.
- The Cutie: Queen Kit Darling's appearances herald claims of diabetes among the comments. Though it was hinted to be at least partially an act.
- Cut Herself Shaving: Petunia and Poppy tell Lily that her mother's injuries are from 'falling down the stairs'. Lily doesn't seem to even notice, and is more confused by Petunia's panic trying to maintain the blatant lie than anything.
Lily: I learned about Tardigrades!
Poppy: ...into this large sack of money.
Mary: And I helped!
- David Versus Goliath: Poppy's entrance into the tournament is expected to be a complete beatdown on the poor old girl. She proves them very wrong.
- Death World: Various background comments suggest that outside of the cities, Flora is absolutely swarming with monsters. Poppy is most likely okay because of her titanic strength.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: It zig-zags. Poppy is well aware of her own strength, and treats it like no big deal (to the incredulity of everyone around her). That said, she sometimes misjudges the amount of strength needed for a given situation (like when opening the heavy iron door to Eggton, accidentally unhinging it and sending it flying off into the nearby countryside, or when Lily is threatened by Valente).
- The Dreaded: Steel Heel Ofelia. She's only mentioned once, but she's apparently scary, crazy, and brutal enough to make sure that a Mob Boss steers well clear of her.
- The Specter of Fate is also implied to be unbelievably untrustworthy and VERY dangerous.
- Emoticon: Ewe-lala's logo. It can be seen on Marche's sweater and can easily be mistaken for a face.
- Eye Am Watching You: Lily to Bert after the latter's informed he needs to stop grouching and enjoy the tea party.
- Fantastic Racism: Opossums are considered the lowest of low classes on Flora. Poppy claims it's because of the Creation Myth at the beginning of the story, but regardless of whether it is or isn't, there's definitely racism toward opossums going about. On the flipside, racism against other species isn't particularly evident.
- On the other hand Poppy seems to display as much racism towards Friedrich the short-tailed (and magic-using) opossum as he does to her.
- Feather Fingers: Averted. The wings on birds work exactly as that - wings, not hands. To get around this, they use their magic to create hands around their alulae.
- Fictional Currency: This comic's flavor is called "Nibs", and even goes a step further by having a dollar sign; a lower case N with a line through it horizontally.
- Food as Bribe: Poppy manages to bribe the actual Mrs. Shiba with food once she begins raging against Poppy getting a dress she worked on. She even manages to get 50 nibs out of the deal.
- Full-Body Disguise: Two at the same time: the Rough Rodent Rogues use a terrible one to distract Friedrich while Poda is skulking about with a far better, magical one.
- Funny Background Event: Nearly any page with Lily has her doing something adorable, like doing dives into the pillows while Petunia and Poppy discuss finances.
- French Maid Outfit: Poppy is VERY excited about the prospect of owning/wearing one and jumps at the chance the second it's brought up as an option.
- Funny Animals
- The Gadfly: Mary. For example, she goes to a concert, heckles the performer, and then shoves Poppy into the limelight and runs away.
- Hand Phone: Mobile phones are magic gloves, where the user talks into their pinkie and listens to their thumb, like the silly hand gesture.
- Handicapped Badass: Friedrich. He lost his dominant sword arm (how, we don't know yet); he is still more than capable of destroying people, with his tail and his feet if necessary.
- Hand Puppet: Ms. Nora Chort, the elementary school teacher, seems to own one of everyone in town, including the two mentioned above, and she insists on making them physically accurate.
- Happily Married: Friedrich has a wife and children. Lily and Poppy find this adorable.
- Hidden Depths:
- As much of an alcohoic gambler without anything resembling a moral that she is, Mary is apparently quite astute in her criticism of Ewe-Lala's music. Unfortunately...she says it right to a microphone and blames Poppy for it.
- Lily, as silly and undoubtedly childish as she can be, when she starts school she's getting excellent grades.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Poppy ends book three with a truly awful one.
- Interspecies Adoption: Poppy's photo album shows her growing up with a family of cats, conveniently named "Possum".
- Instant Birth, Just Add Water: Ewe-Lala was conceived through a "fruit of life" that basically works as a uterus and womb, and the parents give blood samples to keep their bloodlines going.
- Invulnerable Knuckles: Subverted. Poppy is insanely strong and durable, so she can punch any way she likes - and yet, when she punches Boris, she breaks one of the bones in her hand. To quote the author, "when you have bones like reinforced steel, something being durable enough to break your hand should probably be considered “very concerning.”
- Karma Houdini: Boris. Poppy manages to win the tournament through a touch of subterfuge, but Boris doesn't seem to have lost anything for it, despite being a thundering egomaniac.
Sheep Cheerleader: Aw, you're so tiny now!
*one panel later*
Sheep Cheerleader: Icalldibs.
Armadillo Cheerleader: Excuse me?!
Sheep: I came to his aid first!
Armadillo: But I'm his biggest fan!
Dog Cheerleader: No way!
Boris: (smug) Still got it.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Chicadino abandons his extortion racket in Eggton after finding out how Mr. Valente's last trip went, deciding to focus on a much bigger plan.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Chapter 2, Page 5 has an example:
- A Lizard Named Liz: There are a few examples. Notably, the Eggton gatekeepers, both dogs, are named Bow and Wow.
- In a manner of speaking, the goddess Didelphi qualifies (opposums are order Didelphimorphia, family Didelphidae).
- Made of Iron: Most Possums in general (Their bones set themselves efficiently), but Poppy in particular. The Doctor who tended to her wounds had to rebreak one of her arms in order to re-set it.
- The Mafia: Run by Avian-Italians.
- Magic Knight: Friedrich, though his magic may be limited.
- In the commentary, Morbi mentioned off-hand that he takes magical booster tabs. Presumedly for anything stronger than one or two monsters at a time.
- Magic Music: Superstar singer Ewe-Lala appears to have this as part of her Lucky Star power. Perhaps even Mind-Control Music.
- Mama O'Possum: Suffice to know that harming Lily O'Possum is not a good idea.
- Mistaken for Special Guest: After Mary heckles Ewe-Lala's concert and pins it on her, Poppy gets mistaken for the opossum hired to fake-heckle, and unwillingly pulled into the show.
- Motor Mouth: Marche talks for HOURS about Ewe-lala's musical output.
- Naughty Nuns: Mary enjoys dressing as and pretending to be one (because she lives in an old converted church), but she actually can't even remember the names of the Mothers of Magic.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Poda has quite the, ah, blessing.
- Subverted; they are actually tentacles positioned to look like that.
- Not Afraid to Die: Poppy and by the same token all opossums—because they don't have magic, they live but 30 years. She choses to Face Death with Dignity, as it's just part of life.
- The Nondescript: Somehow after being blamed for publically thrashing Ewe-lala, the entire entertainment media of Canopy can't identify Poppy, in spite of the fact that only thirty possums live in Canopy. Thirty.
- Octopus Blood: Poda bleeds blue. The Alt Text suggests it's because as long as it isn't red, blood is family friendly!
- Older Than They Look: Queen Kit appears to be about 16 at the oldest, which is partially due to her short stature as a fennec and partially due to her outfit (see below). She's actually 33.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Whoo boy, where to begin. The Egon Monastary is built right on top of a still living dragon, which in this universe can power whole cities with it's blood, grows eyes once it starts getting too big, grows A WHOLE OTHER DRAGON if its heart starts beating too fast....it's almost a confirmed elder god with a power plant on it's back.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Ewe-Lala is a wolf. Poppy notices it immediately and Lily, while not completely aware, notices there's something wrong with her appearance.
- Physical God: Silvana is implied to have a physical form, and Poda claims to be a god (which is supported by her interactions with Silvana).
- Precocious Crush: Lily has one on Friedrich...Which Poppy immediately tells.
- Prehensile Tail: both kinds of opossums. Friedrich even uses his and a magic glove to wield a sword as well as his feet.
- Princess Classic: Queen Darling seems to play up the trope.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Poppy assaulting the suddenly revealed evil Poda, who's just nearly killed her and threatened Lily.
Poppy: I have no tolerance! For monsters! Who lie! To! Children!!
- Punny Name: Ewe-Lala. Say it out loud.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Of a sort. While Poppy defeats Boris and wins the tournament, the prize money won't cover all her medical care, her dress, Lily's treatment, and repairs to Eggton, leaving her essentially where she started.
- Reality Warper: Silvana teleports an small segment of the room to take the key back from Poda's severed tentacle (as well as the floor underneath it), then the bends the space around her to create a convenient cannon to launch Poda through. All while not affecting Friedrich in the least. Poppy, on the other hand, seems quite effected. (All with the implication that this is nowhere near the extent of Silvana's power.)
- Rags to Riches: Ewe-Lala.
- Say It with Hearts: Both Miss Shiba and Queen Darling have done that effect, for one panel apiece.
- Shout-Out: Among others, the spectators at the tournament include Isabelle and Digby, Pogo, and Toriel.
- On the incoming side, a Three Panel Soul strip established (Non canonically, anyway) that Jo and Tank were there too.
- Sinister Silhouettes: there are three figures in the background of Chapter 3's title page, referred to by the Alt Text as 'those odd but vaguely familiar silhouetted figures glaring from that tree'.
- Species Surname: A not-remotely-subtle case with the title character: "Poppy O'Possum", an opossum.
- Non Indicative Name: Subverted. Her birth name was just "Odeletta", and she was adopted by a family of cats named "Possum".
- Spoof Aesop: Naturally following up on a good one.
Poppy: But, you know, a good thing done for selfish reasons isn't any less of a good thing. Even if you're just helping someone out to feel better about yourself, maybe that's good enough sometimes.
Alt text: So remember kids, ALWAYS be selfish.
- Stupid Good: Alvus. The whole reason Chicadino was/is in town running a protection racket is because he wanted insurance for fire protection and heard Chicadino had a firm. He then proceeds to skim-read the contract, and finally, signs it the same friggin' day. It's a wonder the city hasn't collapsed under this kind of inspiring leadership.
- Super Strength: Poppy states that she can lift up to 200,000 kg (441,000 pounds or 200 metric tonnes).
- Taught by Experience: Chicadino's assistant, Mr. Vol. At the end of Chapter 1, Poppy punts him off into the night after demolishing Valente. Come Chapter 2, he's seen betting a huge amount of money on her in the tournament, knowing full well how strong she really is. He nets 15,000,000 nibs for it—more than Poppy made for winning.
- Temporary Bulk Change: Poppy's lucky star power apparently means she can grow and shrink her muscle mass on command, though it takes some effort to do so.
- Tournament Arc: In the second chapter, in an attempt to pay off the debts Poppy has rapidly accrued.
- Troll: Mary. Full stop. Most of what she does is for pure amusement or out of drunken beligerance.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Well, CHUCK."
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Mary and Petunia go at it constantly whenever they meet, but they're somehow friends or at least acquaintances.
- Walking the Earth: Poppy and Lily are implied to have been doing this, in search of a new place to call home, although only one such journey is actually depicted in the comic proper (Poppy's trek to Eggton). They aren't shelter-less, at least, as Poppy's super strength allows her to carry her entire house as if it were a mere knapsack.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Boris Glorius is nearly invulnerable. He can take a blow that would shatter metal and just shrug it off. He can swell to immense size and bulk—his strength might potentially be infinite. But if you expose him as a Closet Geek, he'll fold like a deck of cards.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Chicadino, Valente, and the entire bird 'mafia' have been completely unheard of since the end of Chapter 1.note
- Wholesome Crossdresser: "Miss" Howard Shiba and the "boys" working in his studio. According to one of the author's comments on their blog it's just a gimmick for his store that started when he couldn't afford to hire a model.
- Who's on First?: Petunia and Poppy attempt to explain what Je ne sais quoi means to Mary, but she keeps misinterpreting the definition as them not actually knowing what it means.
- Wingdinglish: Flora uses its own internally consistent alphabet, similar to the Latin but with numerous letters altered or swapped.
- Work Off the Debt: The catalyst for the entire story: Poppy needs to pay for the damage she caused by working as Petunia's house servant.
- Would Hurt a Child: Poda is more than happy to murder Lily and everyone one else for that key.
- Younger Than They Look: Ewe-Lala. She looks fully grown but Because Wolves are usually huge in comparison to most of the other animals, she's actually just 17.