Bodie, Kane and Ally.Yellow Peril
—not to be confused with Yellow Peril
, though the reference is intentional—is a Web Comic
by Jamie Noguchi (former co-author of Erfworld
with Rob Balder).
It is about three disgruntled employees of a soulless graphic design firm, and their dates, friends and relatives. The strip is called that because much of the cast is Asian.
Contains examples of:
- Almost Kiss: In this strip.
- Alt Text: Sometimes the alt text is just the title of the comic, but there's a witty comment buried there once in a while.
- Amazonian Beauty: Tara.
- Ambiguously Brown: Bodie, as illustrated by this strip. His family is from an area that is near India and China.
- An Odd Place to Sleep: Kane can sleep standing up.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Of cooks and chefs, no less.
- And Now For Something Completely Different: The side comic titled "The 47 Bronin."
- Art Shift: Tara's backstory is depicted in a graphic style imitating that of Osamu Tezuka.
- Asian and Nerdy: Played straight with Kane, while the rest of the cast subverts or deconstructs Asian cultural stereotypes.
- The Atoner: Steve, sort of. After Regenem agrees to help Steve repair his reputation, he tries to repay them by getting them a gig with a porto-potty company. It winds up being a cattle call, but they appreciate his help anyway.
- Bald of Awesome: Greg Riddick, Ally's boyfriend. He's so awesome even Kane, who'd like to date Ally, can't bring himself to hate him.
- Berserk Button: Kane does not like homophobic sentiment, in part because he feels guilty about allowing Lance to be bullied when he was younger.
- Kane has a lot of Berserk Buttons, actually, most not as serious as the above. This includes: dress codes, meetings, performance assessments, and pretty much anything having to do with the corporate atmosphere at PedantiCorp.
- Bi the Way: Although she's in a steady heterosexual relationship, Ally finds herself attracted to Annie Gunn, a dancer at a strip club/burlesque.
- And now that Greg and Ally have broken up, Ally has decided to take up a relationship with Annie.
- Big Eater: Tara used to be a "pro eater," living on prizes from eating competitions.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: For whatever reason, Ally thinks that eating raw oysters and natto (fermented soy beans), along with several glasses of beer and sake, is a good idea. She winds up regretting her dietary choices the next morning.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Purana Prints, the independent print shop that Bodie and Kane peruse. The prices were good and the quality was great, but their requirements for acceptable media or file formats tended to be obscure and changed constantly, and they imposed random insane limitations on what they would or would not print. For example, only taking the obscure PCX format, or refusing to print anything their pet turtle didn't like.
- And when Bodie comes in for their most recent prints, the cashier refuses to accept the work unless he asks in a Hot-Blooded fashion.
- Butch Lesbian: Kane is attracted to a female martial artist named Zafira, and, mistaking her kindness and help for attraction, kisses her in front of her girlfriend. This woman eventually starts working at PedantiCorp under the name Killer Queen, and she has a grudge.
- Chef of Iron: Julie, who practiced cooking while watching badly dubbed martial arts films, and was thus inspired to create a cooking-based fighting style. Then one of her friends decides to let her test a series of cookware specifically designed to be used as both weapons and cooking utensils...
- Chekhov's Gunman: Lance.
- When Lance and Kane first go to a night club, you can clearly see Ally waiting in line in the last panel.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Both Kane and Ally in this strip.
- Kane, in particular, is fond of these.
- Comical Overreacting: It seems genuine on Ally's part, but she has a hilarious freak out when she finds out that Ally is a Republican.
- Compensating for Something: Kane's theory as to why his boss, Steve, holds so many meetings, is to justify the size of his paycheck and make up for the size of... something else.
- Cooking Duel: Kane is challenged to an "art duel" by one of his idols, Anna Weiss, to see if he can get himself in a show at the same time that she'll be in town.
- And a more literal cooking duel with Julie, courtesy of the Demon Spoons.
- Cowboy: Annie, a stripper/burlesque dancer, was inspired by her admiration for Annie Oakley, and so styled her stripper outfit after the archetypal image of the cowgirl.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Lance, as an openly gay teenager, was bullied mercilessly throughout middle and high school. He eventually ended up in JV. He also had a bad breakup with a long-term boyfriend that put him off of serious relationships.
- Death Glare: While Kane tends to be more Hot-Blooded in his anger, he realizes he needs to suppress his anger in front of his bosses, so he can only clench his fist and glare at their idiocy.
- Doing It for the Art: In-Universe. When Kane meets one of his idols, Anna Weiss, she suggests to him that he's spent so much time doing corporate design that he's lost what originally sparked his love of art. She doesn't accept his excuses, either.
- Dress Code: Kane has to conform to PedantiCorp's suit-and-tie dress code, much to his chagrin. And he misses the one meeting when employees are told casual wear is allowed on Fridays.
- No Dress Code: One of the reasons Kane seriously considers leaving PedantiCorp is that he would be able to go to work in a t-shirt.
- Drowning My Sorrows: It looks like Lance is about to head down this path after Miss Jessie dies, but it's averted when he looks over at a picture of her and is reminded of his love for her.
- Ethical Slut: Lance tries to help his cousin to get a girlfriend, helps pay the rent, and is generally there to provide support and guidance where necessary. He's also a gay porn actor, and loves his job.
- Annie, a lesbian stripper, is also quite nice, although it's unclear if she actually has had many sexual relationships or just the one with Ally.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Any member of the cast that's in a relationship (or not, in the case of Lance) is implied to be having a good sex life. Averted in the case of Ally, whose boyfriend travels a lot, and Kane, who is perpetually unlucky in love.
- And now that Kane is dating Tara, it's implied that his sex life is quite good, if the pictures on his cell phone are any indication.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The staff of PedantiCorp's tech support are only referred to by their call signs—respectively iRate, Killer Queen and Doctor No. They're collectively known as the Pit Lords.
- Expy: Lance's "breakout role" was as a Bruce Lee look-alike in a gay porno.
- Eyes Always Shut: Steve. There are only two times his eyes aren't shut all the way. The first time we see here. And an Imagine Spot.
- Failsafe Failure: Averted. Kane's computer crashes, and the backup on the server winds up being useless... because he forgot to save another backup after the design requirements were changed. If he'd kept to protocol, he would've been fine.
- Fainting: Happens to Bodie just as Julie shows up for their date. Poor bastard locked his knees.
- Garage Band: Kane belonged to a ska band in college called "The Horrific Goldfish."
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Ally can appreciate Julie's cooking just as well as Bodie can.
Bodie: I'm gonna need pictures of that honeymoon.
- Hacker Cave: The Pit.
- Hero of Another Story: Apparently iRate and Killer Queen stopped a national crisis when they fixed Kane's computer. The storyline that was connected to it was deemed too out of left field to actually be included so it was dropped.
- Hidden Depths: Steve, though it's only rarely hinted at. He temporarily affiliated himself with a white supremacist group in college, came from a small town, and may have a background in design. There is a possibility that, despite their resentment of him, Steve is Not So Different from the other folks at Regenem.
- Hot-Blooded: The cashier at the Purana Prints shop, who refuses to print anything unless Bodie asks in a sufficiently heroic fashion.
- I Hate Past Me: Kane regrets not standing up for Lance when he was being bullied.
- Steve seems genuinely remorseful about the time he joined a white supremacist group.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: "I have to pee the glasses--huh--clean my toilet--huh--bathplace?!"
- I Read It for the Articles: Regenem are asked to design a site for Kane's porn star cousin, and also to design new pasties for a burlesque club. This is why it was perfectly acceptable for them to be watching porn in a public cafe.
- I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: Both Kane and Bodie have erotic dreams that get cut short by the alarm clock.
- I Was Just Joking: When Kane realizes how much Pedanti Corp has screwed him over, Ally off-handedly suggests for Kane to start his own business. While she's not initially serious, Kane is, and this moment starts the rest of the plot.
- I Was Quite The Looker: Miss Jessy, back when she played in an all-black, all-female metal band.
- Incompetence, Inc.: PedantiCorp is often portrayed as this, at least from the perspective of the main characters. It's part of what inspires them to start up their own business.
- The name itself comes from the word "pedantic," which means "to be overly concerned with minute details or formalisms." Incidentally, the main characters like to complain about how many meetings the company holds, and how many arbitrary policies they put into place to look like they're a much more successful company than they are.
- Informed Flaw: We rarely get to see the actual products the Regenem team makes, and have to be told how horrible they are by the cast. Apparently, Lance's website was the victim of Lens Flare and Geocities-style web design, among other major issues.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Greg. It's part of the reason his skills are in such high demand.
- Jerk Jock: Subverted with the regular boyfriend of a girl Bodie once had a tryst with. Turned out the musclebound football player was a sensitive guy. Played straight in Lance's backstory.
- Karma Houdini: Kane, Bodie and Ally accuse Steve of being this. Right until his past association with a white supremacist group comes back to haunt him.
- Zig-zagged. Eventually, Steve does get fired for his white supremacist past, but after Regenim are hired to help him clean up his reputation, it doesn't take long for Steve to get hired at another company.
- Knowledge Broker: Killer Queen, as one of the three folks in charge of IT at PedantiCorp, has access to all the internet activity that goes on at the company. She uses this unfettered access to devastating effect.
- She's also not above a little hacking to find out things she doesn't have immediate access to.
- Lethal Chef: Bodie tries to impress Julie, an actual professional chef, by trying to cook dinner for the two of them. He knows it's going to end badly when he manages to make a bowl of macaroni and cheese literally explode.
Bodie: Julie's coming over tomorrow, so I thought I'd cook something nice.
Kane: Ah! I see! Nothing says "nice" like ballistic pasta for two!
- Like a Son to Me: Lance, to Miss Jessy.
- Magical Asian: Like many Asian tropes in this comic, it's subverted. Gene, the head of Thunder Bubble, invokes this trope when talking to Greg about his breakup with Ally. He helps bring Greg to enlightenment... with the power of bubble tea.
- Manipulative Bitch: Killer Queen, and a self-admitted one at that.
I could tell you how I did it, but then you'd owe me. You do not want to owe me.
- Manly Gay: Lance.
- Married to the Job: Greg's 24/7 commitment to his job strains his relationship with Ally.
- Eventually, he realizes that the relationship just isn't going to work, and breaks it off with her.
- Meaningful Name: When they present themselves in front of a prospective client for the first time, Ally, Bodie and Kane realize they haven't chosen a name for their new company. They eventually decide on Regenem, since their work has mostly revolved around repairing people's reputations or giving them a new start.
- Meet Cute: Played with in the cases of Ally and Greg. They met when he fell at her feet from the wall he was trying to climb to impress her.
- Then happens again when Ally catches Annie as she slips and falls offstage.
- Mega Corp.: PedantiCorp, which primarily does design work for government contracts.
- Meganekko: Ally is seriously cute with her glasses.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: The first time we ever meet Miss Jessy, the social worker who took care of Lance during his teenage years, she's dying of cancer.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Julie takes cooking very seriously.
You bet your ass
- Naked Apron: Bodie has an erotic dream in which Julie wears one. Julie later tells him "Just to be clear, Chef Julie is not just Naked Julie wearing only an apron and heels."
- Necktie Headband: Kane wears one while doing overtime.
- Noodle Incident: What the hell happened to Kane's computer?
- Oblivious to Love: Tara points out to Kane that he didn't notice her attraction to him in high school, even after she threw him on her bed and told him to help her practice her "judo" moves.
- After it's made clear that she's still attracted to him, Kane decides to give dating Tara a shot.
- Bodie is also unaware of Julie's attraction to him, despite her rather obvious seduction attempts. Eventually, he gets the hint.
- Oh, Crap: Bodie and Kane realize that their deliberate sabotage of the Star Crossed ad will probably result in them getting fired, and they're fine with that because they both have half a decade of experience under their belt and can probably get new jobs elsewhere. But then they realize it'll be much worse for relative newbie Ally when it's too late to stop it from going live.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Steve.
- Or maybe not. When they work with Steve directly on a project, his notes indicate an extensive background in design. Which leads the group to conclude that Steve was an aspiring designer who sold out hard.
- Porn Names: In the business, Lance is known as Hung Low.
- Annie modeled her on-stage persona after Annie Oakley, who she admires as a feminist icon. It's unclear whether her name is actually Annie as well, or if this is just her stage name.
- Properly Paranoid: Kane distrusts Steve for his Stepford Smiler like demeanor.
David's Note: You know, just because he's paranoid doesn't mean he's not right.
- The Rant: Explains jokes/references, hangs lampshades, and talks about local areas. And food. A lot.
- Read the Fine Print: The main characters should have when they decided to give their two weeks' notice. Their employment contracts have non-compete clauses that prevent them from starting up their new business, which are invoked when Steve chooses to fire them rather than letting them quit.
- Fortunately, they manage to get the non-compete clauses revoked when Steve hires them to help whitewash his past.
- Refuge in Audacity: When they're hired to help rehabilitate Steve's white supremacist past, this is one of the options they consider.
"So racist, he only takes his coffee white!"
- Relationship Upgrade: Ally and Annie, once Greg breaks it off.
- Tara and Kane too, once he stops trying to chase after Ally.
- Salary Man: Kane has some elements of this, as The Rant points out.
- Samus is a Girl: Although we don't see her, it's revealed that Doctor No is a woman. A very shy woman, who never leaves the Pit and is never seen beyond a silhouette.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Despite the fact that it would mean giving up her dream of being a world-famous chef, Julie chooses to give a middle finger to the Demon Spoons rather than go along with their insane expectations of proper cuisine. Strangely enough, though, she may not have ended her chances completely...
- Secret Relationship: Though she tries to deny it to herself, Ally's relationship with Annie Gunn takes on these tones. Eventually, they get a Relationship Upgrade after Greg catches wind and breaks it off with Ally.
- Secret Test of Character: "Of course he wants you to come. Gah!"
- Short-Distance Phone Call: "Why do I hear such a strong echo?"
- Also required when Kane manages to get himself locked in a sound booth at a recording studio, so he can speak to Ally on the other side.
- Show Within a Show: Great Kahuna Bot V, Hang Ten!
- Smoking Hot Sex: Parodied with no actual sex.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: Averted. When Lance got into trouble with the law as a teenager, he was assigned a social worker to help with his case. He regards that social worker, Miss Jessy, as a mother figure, and he's the one she calls from the hospital when she's dying of cancer.
- Springtime for Hitler: Their attempts to sabotage the Star-Crossed dating commercial backfire, resulting in Steve getting a promotion and Star-Crossed getting a boost among the LGBT community. On a more positive note, however, the homophobic CEO that inspired their commercial was fired the Monday after their commercial premiered, and the commercial gives them a springboard for their future projects.
- Spy Catsuit: For some reason, the female member of PedantiCorp's tech support wears one to work.
- Stepford Smiler: Steve. It's one of the reasons the main characters instinctively hate him.
- Strawman Political: Averted- politics has only really come up once in the comic, when Ally found out Ally was a Republican, and when it did, it was in a fairly reasonable light for both sides. Although Ally did get quite hysterical at first.
- Teeny Weenie: One of the reasons Lance tried out for porn was to disprove the stereotype that all Asian men suffer from this particular inadequacy.
- Tender Tears: Lance is a big softie when it comes to romantic matters.
- Through His Stomach: Bodie decides to cook Julie a home-made dinner for their date, but since Julie is a professional chef, she's the one who ends up cooking.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Once Kane starts dating Tara.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Annie, a cowboy-themed stripper, and Ally, a business manager. Ironically, when they're accosted by a drunk man on the street, it's the Girly Girl who knocks the guy out, not the tomboy.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Kane and Ally are both attracted to each other, but neither is willing to make the first move. Kane because she's a coworker, and Ally because she already has a boyfriend.
- Eventually, it is resolved, sort of: they decide it's better to be Just Friends, and pursue their own separate relationships (Kane with Tara, Ally with Annie).
- Unsatisfiable Customer; Kane and Ally have the misfortune of working for one.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Dude, you know she wants to boulder all over you, right?"
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one seems to notice or comment on the fact that Anna Weiss is missing an arm.
- Urban Legend: Ally and Bodie think Kane is making it up when they're asked to do hourly reports, calling them an "office urban legend." He's not making it up.
- Wake Up Fighting: "FEAR DOES NOT EXIST IN THIS DOJO, DOES IT?"
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Kane, Bodie and Ally become enraged when they see that the company they've been hired to advertise for has an extreme anti-gay rights activist as its CEO. As a result, they choose to deliberately sabotage the ad campaign by hiring (surprisingly convincing) drag queens and gay porn actors as their "loving couples". It backfires spectacularly.
- Will They or Won't They?: Ally and Kane have a lot of chemistry, but they never seem to manage to "seal the deal," despite encouragement from their peers.
- They won't, at least for now. Kane is quite happy with Tara, and Ally and Annie seem to enjoy each other's company.
- Yaoi Fan Girl: Ally has erotic dreams about Kane and Bodie. She later confesses: "I may have a few boys love manga in a special place that my boyfriend won't find."
- You Need to Get Laid: Lance's advice to Kane.