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.
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.
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.
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 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: 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.
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.
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 Anny, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Wholesome Crossdresser: Kane, Bodie and Anny 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.
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."