"Anything you're looking for, we'll help you find it. Any problem taxing you, we'll help you solve. Any question haunting you, we'll help you answer."Daily Grind
is a long-running
, talking animal
webcomic by Michael H. Payne that's not necessarily for children
and follows the adventures of the employees of Daily Grind, a "general assistance service" that operates out of a former pawn shop downtown in the port city of Gadsden.
As an action/adventure series that's posted ten (10 panel Long) pages a week since the last day of February 2005, it's probably hit - or is going to eventually hit - all the Action Adventure Tropes
; the artwork falls solidly into the 90% dictated by Sturgeon's Law
(who says Furries Are Easier to Draw
?); and the Five-Man Band
of the main characters shakes out as follows:
- The Hero is the snake, Howlett Creager, the founder of Daily Grind. He's also a Celibate Hero, not only because his love interest is a mammal and Howlett seems uncertain how that would work physically, but also because, even though he's only five years older than the aforementioned love interest, he was her legal guardian for the five years before she turned 18. So thinking about sex with her gives him a bit of the Squick. A variation on the theme: Howlett's love interest is The Big Guy - or Big Gal in this case - rather than The Chick.
- The Lancer is the rabbit, D.F. Tharka. He spent 111 years working for Satan, called Scratch and in a lot of ways the Big Bad of the series, did his Heel-Face Turn after his Love Redeems moment, and has since become Daily Grind's unofficial number two. He and Gana, the object of that Love Redeems moment, also work as private detectives and are something of a Battle Couple.
- The Smart Guy is the cat, Dr. Everard Chalko. Technically an endocrinologist, he's become in practice a bit of an Omnidisciplinary Scientist, handling everything from general medicine to electronics. His love interest is newspaper reporter Alice Bryson, and since she's a canine, their relationship adds a touch of Fantastic Racism to all the Interspecies Romance going on. He is also The Speechless in the series because a gangster's bullet tore up his jaw and tongue, but he has a voice synthesizer that he types his lines into.
- The Big Guy here is The Big Gal, the squirrel Jolene. Short but stronger, faster, and more neurotic than all the other characters combined, she's an Action Girl and a not-that-cute Cute Bruiser who tries her hardest not to be a Broken Bird. She's madly in love with Howlett but is violently asexual, something Howlett is absolutely fine with. She also recently discovered on her 18th birthday that she's inherited a legacy as a Magical Girl, and she's dealing with that.
- The Chick, then, would be the moth Constance Teasdale, but she pretty much averts all the listed characteristics of The Chick. She's not The Heart, she's a Lady of War; not an example of Women Are Wiser, she's a Determined Widow, leaving the others and going off on her own like The Lancer if she thinks that's the best approach. She's almost literally a Black Widow, too, due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding her husband's death, becoming an Ice Queen as a result — though she's begun defrosting lately due to the attentions of Alban Sathmont, a prince of the Fae who's been courting her.
Other tropes include:
- Bigger Bad: During one of their jobs, Daily Grind unearths a creature known as the Nulla Lucis, and old Scratch himself comes to them for help disposing of her.
- Lawful Stupid: Steven Aramis was adopted as a child by the Sons of the Black Swan and has devoted his life to following their by-laws — even when it turned out that, to follow the by-laws, he had to kill all the other members of the group.... Later subverted the "stupid" part when he dropped the necessary hints to the group's new leader such that the by-laws would be changed before Steven got around to killing the members/ex-members who Steven felt were actually innocent of actual wrong-doing.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Since all the characters are talking animals, the Fae are, of course, giant glowing spiders.
- Webcomic Time: The first 4 pages of the comic were posted 28 Feb 2005, and that's the day in the comic as well. Five years later, in the 2 pages posted on 01 Mar 2010, only 7 1/2 months have passed for the characters.