Webcomic / Drugs And Wires

Mostly drugs, some wires.
“Low tech. Lower lives.”

Drugs and Wires is a weekly Cyber Punk webcomic launched in 2015. It follows Dan, a bitter, burned-out VR operator and serial addict trying to put his life back together after a near-death experience with the mysterious Skullfuck worm.

D&W takes place in Unylsk, the dysfunctional capital of Stradania, some time after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thanks to the magic of Alternate History, Unylsk is a mixture of cyberpunk cliches and actual '90s technology, with an added dose of Russian misery.

Drugs and Wires contains examples of:

  • Alternate History: Explicitly set in an alternate 1995 where "everything went wrong." Exactly where things went wrong hasn't been revealed yet.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Some guys in the VR scene hold a wake for several victims of Skullfuck.exe, including Dan. Apparently he never answers his e-mail, and the "epitaph" on the worm's website can't tell the difference between genuine kills and near-death experiences.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Let's just say that Lin's "Kutting Edge Klinik" wouldn't pass any sort of health inspections.
  • Brain–Computer Interface: The Dreamspace implants used by the operators, including Dan.
  • B-Side Comics: Started off as a series of loosely connected DeviantArt and Tumblr strips, which were recently republished as "D&W One-Shots". Most of these are no longer canon, but offer extra insight into the characters and their relationships.
  • The Cameo: Domino and Marcus from Hell(p) can be seen in the Icebox club on page 19 of the second chapter. Likewise, Dan has made an appearance in Hell(p) as a lemonade salesman.
  • Crapsack World: The city of Unylsk is a dictionary-perfect example of this... so much so that the name literally translates to "Depressing City" in Russian.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Marilyn Hope-Fokker.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dan through and through.
  • Electronic Eyes: Lin's left eye is a blank camera prosthetic. Vulture capitalist Marilyn Hope-Fokker has cyber-eyes that even change colors in accordance with her mood.
  • Expy: Dan is a washed up former hacker who sank deeply into drugs after losing his ability to access cyberspace. Lin is a crazy cyborg with scalpels in her fingers. Sound familiar? And its been noted in comic.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Vlad may be a Grade-A asshole, but when Dan calls him out on the terrible eulogy he delivered in Dan's "honor", Vlad points out that all anyone really knows about Dan is that he's a misanthropic drug-addict and he did the best he could with what he had to work with.
  • Meaningful Name: Marilyn Hope-Fokker does exactly that.
  • Moon-Landing Hoax: Apparently, belief that the moon landings were faked has become so universal that "the US actually landed the moon in the 60's" is considered the crackpot conspiracy theory.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Both the main comic and the one-shots imply that Dan is a classic coffee achiever.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: All of Dan's VR buddies presumed him dead after the Skullfuck incident. This was partially on Dan himself since he went so far off the grid that he never even answered any emails.
  • Ruritania: Stradania. While Unylsk is grey and depressing, but still reasonably modern for a post-Soviet city, the country is full of superstitious, babushka-clad peasants jaded by years of Soviet "progress" who will shoot cyborgs on sight.
  • Schizo Tech: There's cyborgs on the street corner and the government's worried about VR addiction, but everybody still uses floppy disks and tools around in Soviet-era automobiles.
  • Sigil Spam: The circular "Dreamspace" logo is seen in loading screens, graffiti, clothing, and decorations. Dan even has it tattooed on his head.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Dan has no qualms pointing out that one of the Skullfuck worm's victims wasn't such a big loss for the community as Nate was suggesting.
  • To Absent Friends: Vlad organized an informal wake in a local cyber bar in memory of the worm's victims, but the mournful nature of the event doesn't stop him from hitting on ladies.