Webcomic / GATEKEEPER

GATEKEEPER is a Tapastic (previously Smack Jeeves) webcomic about a young woman named Olivia Kane who becomes the intern of the respected criminal psychologist Jack Porter. Her mentor-to-be appears to be patient, kind, and intelligent, and she believes that she has found the perfect internship. However, when she makes a frightening discovery, she is soon introduced to the professional life of Gatekeepers — cleaners tasked with concealing heinous crimes from the police.

It is written by Smack Jeeves user "boxno," who also happens to be "hiruda" — author of a popular, but discontinued, webcomic Rock-Paper-Scissors. The work is a mix of action, mystery, and psychological thriller genres, though it may also have some shades of Slice of Life if the beginning of the first chapter was any indication.

The author updates three times a week on a fixed schedule. It is meant to be a Spiritual Successor of sorts to Rock Paper Scissors, and thus both works have much in common.


This comic provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pun: The series name is GATEKEEPER. Jack's last name is Porter, one in charge of a gate or door. This was not intended by the author.
  • Adorkable: Olivia, what with her clumsiness and cute facial expressions. Even the author has stated that she finds her adorable!
  • Adult Fear: Olivia is afraid that she will never find a job as her anxiety and personality hinder her. Later on, Olivia fears Jack and the repercussions of becoming a Gatekeeper.
  • Animesque: As a result of some anime inspiring the work in question, though it's relatively downplayed.
  • Anti-Villain: The Chief.
  • Anyone Can Die: Well, Jack Porter, one of the characters right there on the comic cover, died in the fifth chapter. So, yes, all bets are off now.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Olivia leaves Jack's house, in the first chapter, when a storm seems to be coming. The storm picks up speed as Jack digs up the body in his garden. The storm is the reason that Olivia returns to ask if she can borrow an umbrella, only to see that body on the kitchen floor. Ominous foreshadowing indeed.
  • The Atoner: Clair is this. She used to be a back-alley nurse who worked on criminals, but is now working at a legitimate clinic to make up for it.
    • Subverted. She's always just been in it for the euphoria that comes from feeling like someone's savior, and keeps pictures of suffering patients behind a picture frame in her office...patients which she herself "creates" once she's working at a legal clinic and gets fewer that are in critical condition than she likes.
  • Author Appeal: The author has noted that she is studying psychology. Jack Porter works as a criminal psychologist and Olivia plans to become one too.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Maya's outfit, when she isn't wearing her cleaner gear.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Regardless of Mr. Porter's generosity and kindness, one can't overlook the dead body in his kitchen.
  • Bishōnen: Jack is more than a little pretty, especially on certain pages.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Clair. See The Atoner above.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Jack again! Apparently believes that the "lifetime societal value" of his clients outweighs their crimes, which is why he cleans up after murders. He genuinely believes that doing so is right.
  • Breather Episode: First half of chapter one is slice-of-life.
  • Character Development: Olivia is shaping up to go through this. Specifically, after being sent to prison after being found with Jack's blood all over herself, she decides that she's sick of being used and doesn't want to be a perpetual victim anymore. We'll see how that goes.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jack's biometric house security system is mentioned briefly when Olivia first arrives. It reappears later to shock Olivia as she tries to escape.
  • Cleanup Crew: Gatekeepers in general.
  • Deal with the Devil: Well, essentially. After Olivia finds out about Jack's profession, he makes an offer like this, asking her to join him "as a Gatekeeper" for just a month. If she doesn't like it, he promises to give her a glowing recommendation letter so she can get hired wherever she wants. She accepts, with apparently little consideration. There are at least three or so things suspicious about the deal.
    • For one thing, he never gives her the option to just, you know, not be a Gatekeeper at all, for any duration of time. He is therefore only giving her the illusion of choice.
    • Related to the above, should Olivia decide to go along with it for a month but then leave afterwards, what guarantee is there that she won't give away Jack's secret? None. If Jack is smart, he won't just let her get away like that.
    • Say Olivia goes along with it and, later, decides that she wants to continue working as a Gatekeeper; if she does, chances are she'll become increasingly desensitized to the work to the point that she'll become just like him. Worse (or not?) is that there's a very real possibility she'll one day slip up and either go to prison or be put in extreme danger. To summarize, unless some sort of miracle happens, this is not going to go well for her no matter what she decides to do.
    • Well, she did end up in prison, but for killing Jack. So, they both got a raw deal out of the whole mess. Even though he actually faked his death, he ended up in the hospital for it.
  • Downer Beginning: Page 2. Enter bloody corpse.
  • Dramatic Stutter: Olivia's stutters whenever she's nervous, unsure, apologetic, sad, etc.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Used to foreshadow the dead body in Jack's yard.
  • Faking the Dead: Jack Porter did this, with help from his Cleanup Crew among others. Not too many people were surprised since, if anyone could fake their death convincingly, it would be Jack.
  • Killed Off for Real: Jack apparently is, some time after Olivia leaves him alone in the house, from a stab wound and complications from his own congenital heart disease. The dead body turns up later.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Jack can be one at times. In his first appearance in the comic, he's shown having picked flowers and sporting gardening garb.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Olivia gets on the bus, she's pushed around by the other people and does nothing about it. This hints at her shyness and passivity.
  • Expy: Jack Porter is an Expy of Mr. Friday.
  • Foil: Jack and Olivia are foils of each other.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Jack Porter who is a published criminal psychologist and a generally charismatic person.
  • The Intern: Olivia is the new intern for Mr. Porter, and displays interest in his field of criminal psychology.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Jack is quickly shaping up to be one of these. He's a psychologist and has been playing everyone around him for a long time at this point, what with his profession. Olivia seems to be his current plaything.
  • In Medias Res: GATEKEEPER opens with the audience seeing a dead body on Mr. Porter's kitchen floor with no explanation and then flashes back.
  • Missing Mom: Jack hints at this when he mentions Olivia's relationship with her mother is nonexistent.
  • Na´ve Newcomer: Olivia Kane.
  • Nice Guy: Jack Porter. Incredibly so.
    • Affably Evil: Possibly, considering what his second job is. He is a genuinely nice and warm person, despite cleaning up after murders routinely. He truly seems to believe that what he does is, in the grand scheme of things, right.
  • Sharp Dressed Man: Jack very often is. The police chief may be even sharper.
  • Sherlock Scan: Mr. Porter does one on Olivia when she enters his house. Subverted however. Turns out Olivia's father gave him info beforehand.
  • Shrinking Violet: Poor Olivia has a hard time asserting herself or engaging with others.
  • Traitor Shot: Jack has an unusual example. After he talks to Olivia's father about what happened with her mother and says he's going to go talk to Olivia, Mr. Kane thanks him. When Jack tells him that he'll "put in a good word" for him, the panel shows nothing of his face but a big, devious, grin. Unusual in that Mr. Kane can still see his face, but only the audience knows what this grin truly means.
  • The Watson: Olivia Kane to Mr. Porter. It's shaping up to be that way, in any case.
  • Wham Shot: When we see Jack Porter standing right there in Olivia's house.
    Jack: My, my. You took a while getting back.
    • And another one later, when we see Jack dead on a stretcher.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Webcomic/GATEKEEPER