Bruno the Bandit is a long-running fantasy Web Comic started in July 1998 by Canadian cartoonist Ian McDonald. Most of its humor comes from being set in a standard medieval fantasy world, but with computers, TV home shopping and vacuum cleaners. The rest comes from the protagonist Bruno Bunkleyutz (a strong but somewhat dim bandit), his smart sidekick (Fiona the micro-dragon) and his wacky family: Eunyce, his former warrior hottie Action Mom; Ambrose, his one-armed bandit father, and Elysia / Ella, his girlfriend, a fame vampire.The comic enjoyed noticeable success for over a decade until October 2009, when the author burned out and abruptly dropped it in the middle of a storyline. Since then, Ian has been noncommittal on when or even if the comic will ever come back.The site is here. Before, it was hosted on Keen Spot.
Affably Evil: Recurring antagonist Numth'Kul, an ancient demonic spirit imprisoned a thousand years ago in a magical jewelry box by Bruno's ancestor Milo the Mailman. He has designs on world domination, but despite this, acts surprisingly genial and is more like Laughably Evil than actually evil. Also, he's a great bartender.
The Antichrist: Has an equivalent, the son of Xubuxx, who's noone else but Carlin! And he's still good!
Anti-Antichrist: Carlin is actually this, being a devout follower of Ailix despite being the son of the local version of Satan. He saved his mothers soul on her deathbed, and has stated that he wishes to do the same for his father. Cant say the guy doesnt have ambitions.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Bruno is stupid, lazy and arrogant, but has been pointed out several times as one of the best thieves in Rothland.
Brought Down to Normal: When a Fame Vampire is completely drained of their fame, they undergo a painful, traumatizing death and rebirth, literally rising from their own ashes as a normal human. They tend to lose their looks and grace, but most of them seem to handle the change pretty well, since the alternative for burnt out celebrities is becoming a Häzben, wretched creatures surviving on whatever scraps of fame they are able to scrounge up.
Corrupt Church: The Church of Ailix is shown to have become this, with the office of the Pope being nothing but a figurehead for the rich and influential church officials, and most of the church members being more interested in amassing wealth and power than following Ailix teachings. Subtle!
Cool and Unusual Punishment: When the courts dont send Bruno to the stocks or the dungeons, theyre fond of giving him these, among other things he has been forced to clean Suna Main Street with his tongue twice and being forced to star in a series of Archio Burgers tv commercials as a Hamburglar-esque character.
Courtroom Antic: By Fiona, when she has to defend Bruno. Judge Cicero isn't impressed.
Cross Over: Bruno and Fiona once appeared in a guest strip story for Sluggy Freelance, and McDonald did the Sunday strips for a while.
Crystal Dragon Jesus: Ailix, a philosopher said to have been the worldy incarnation of the Creator Of the Universe. The Church Of the Blessed Ailix is based on his teachings, though with debatable accuracy.
Dumb Muscle: Bruno himself, though he did have a clever moment or two at times.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: The local crime syndicate is obviously inpsired by newspaper comic syndicates (take most of the profits, won't let it's members try anything new and original, has the dead criminals be replaced by their childre, etc).
Even Evil Has Standards: During his introduction arc, Numth'Kul was on the verge of succeeding in his bid for world domination, until the humans he was killing and his own demonic forces turned on him when they found out he was planning to sacrifice an adorable baby unicorn for a spell to blot out the sun.
Fat Bastard: The fame vampires Cumbakh and Nosferatinx, atleast until a union strike forced Nosferatinx to limit the amount of fame he could draw from his subjects, causing him to become increasingly skeletal.
Flat Earth Atheist: Minor character Dibunquor is this, belonging to a group of skeptics who, despite living in a fantasy world full of magic, gods and monsters, have developed the ability to "rationally" explain everything around them according to science, to the point where their power of disbelief can erase supernatural creatures and items from existance.
Fluffy the Terrible: The 1001 children of Shub Megawrath and Numth'Kull, adorable anthromorphic goat babies with incredibly potent eldritch powers.
Ghost Amnesia: Numth'Kul is actually the spirit of the ancient evil sorceror Ahriperson, who ruled a dark kingdom thousands of years ago, until said kingdom was destroyed in a magical accident intended to eradicate a population of barbarians who were contaminating the evil of the kingdom with bluegrass music. He lost all his memories in the ensuing cataclysm aside from his skull, his spirit and the name Numth'Kull, which was actually a wizard with a lisp calling him a "numbskull" moments before the spell backfired
I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Eunyce is the daughter of the head of the Fame Vampires, Nosferatinx. Ever since she became an ordinary human, she's opposed him and his exploitation of his subjects. There just hasnt been much she could do until recently.
The All Just a Dream revealer in turn was itself all just a dream. Not long after Bruno is awakened from his daydreams of debauched rule and carnal excess, Ambrose makes a number of pointed comments about Bruno's pregnancy-escapade.
Money, Dear Boy: While certainly not as bad as the usual example of this trope, Ian made it clear from early on that his ultimate goal was to make a living off of the comic, first from syndication and then The Merch. A lack of success on both counts was a contributing factor to the strip's sudden cancellation.
Our Giants Are Bigger: Averted, they're not even twice as tall as humans, just much bulkier. They do however only have four fingers, unlike humans who have five.
Our Vampires Are Different: While Brunos world has regular vampires, there is a much more prevalent breed called Fame Vampires, who feed off the publics adoration and attention. Losing their status as celebrities is a death sentence, as this will lead to them either painfully dying and being reborn as normal humans, or being forced to subsist on any kind of fame or attention they can get as the miserable Häzbens.
The Plan: The blue bird of happiness likes to play various gambits with Bruno, but since the strip broke off, we may never learn what he really had planned.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Any normal human who becomes a fame vampire, either by being a stage mom or a reality star, will become an enormous, egotistical jackass, at the expense of everyone else, including family and their own children.
Valley Girl: The medusa intern and Cindy Megawrath have elements of this.
Vitrolic Best Buds: Bruno, Gort and Tyler One-Eye. Theyre friends and occasional allies, but will backstab eachother in a heartbeat if it means making it out with extra profit. Or a round of ale at the Belching Hydra. Or just for shits and giggles.
Your Mind Makes It Real: The magical laws of the comics setting relies heavily on the people's perception of it. Sufficient disbelief will actually erase magical beings and items, and its stated in the Seven Sins arc that the local version of Satan was actually a minor demon "bumped up" by the early Church to serve as an antithesis to Ailix, which led to his power growing to become the Ultimate Evil by the time the comic takes place thanks to the new belief in him.