She sees dead people
Psychiatrist: So then there are other people like yourself? People who can see the "un-seeable"? Geist Panik
Riley: Yeah, it's like they're all part of Little Orphan Annie's Secret Society and I finally have the super secret decoder ring... In my brain meats.
is a webcomic by Brian Wilson (not the one in The Beach Boys
) about a young woman named Riley Hood, who wakes up with amnesia, glowing runes in her oddly-coloured eyes, and a tattoo of a unicorn on her butt. She quickly discovers that she can see ghosts and other supernatural creatures and decides to do the only sensible thing: Hunt ghosts down for cash.
When the official method of selling spirits proves to be not-so-lucrative, Riley takes to selling the spirits on craigslist... Which prompts her to receive unwanted attention from a mysterious murderer named Lee John and a life sentence of otherworldly service partnered with a Wendigo and a Goblin.
You can start reading the archives online
Has not updated for quite a while.
The site's domain also expired recently... which doesn't give much hope of the comic ever being updated again. (As of 9/20/12, the domain is back, but the comic still hasn't been updated. The last news post is dated 10/6/2009.)
Geist Panic provides examples of the following tropes:
- And I Must Scream: Riley's jars. "You wanna see my jar of what I'm sure is infinite horrors?"
- Action Girl: Riley shows signs of slowly growing into one, while Fiona is an English-accented variant of the most hardcore.
- Affably Evil: Lee John is perfectly willing to be sociable with people, as long as they're not being difficult. It's only when things might potentially foil his plans that he has to take steps.
- As Long as There Is Evil: The whole point of The Key of Solomon agency. They are the balance against evil. Which is, um, mostly employed by evil.
- Ax-Crazy: Sevink and Lee John.
- Badass Normal: Riley. She doesn't really have any special abilities beyond seeing dead people and she has literally no knowledge of how the supernatural works. Yet in her first engagement with a supernatural entity, she proves to be the deciding factor between her team's annihilation and the capture of the creature.
- Berserk Button: Do not hurt Steve. Aislin will get upset.
- Bit Part Bad Guys: Ghosts. Most can be defeated by a manufactured jar available for twenty bucks, plus shipping.
- Black Comedy: You know you're reading something dark when a dead psychiatrist tells the protagonist "No one will ever love you because you're a crazy bitch!" Doubly so when it's because said protagonist is currently sucking him into a containment jar because he's a ghost...
- Blood Knight: Sevink is a Wendigo who gets off on pain... and fights for the privilege of eating any dead bodies he comes across.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Riley. All she wants to do is survive. Her life sentence is bad. Getting paired with Sevink qualifies for breakage by itself, let alone the fact she's now fully in on The Masquerade.
- Cameos Galore: During a scene involving zombies being raised from the grave, characters from several notable webcomics are used to fill the roles of the zombies. These include Greg Dean from Real Life Comics, Tycho from Penny Arcade, Lemmy from Fanboys, Jin Wicked from Crap I Drew On My Lunch Break... Also Ananth from Johnny Wander (a.k.a. the writer for Applegeeks) as well as a small ginger zombie who resembles Shelley Winters from Scary Go Round.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Aislin
- Cool Guns: Riley has a SPAS12 on her apartment wall.
- Cool Loser: Riley has a decent pair of tits, blond hair, blue, er, demonic green eyes, and a very engaging (if sociopathic) sense of humor. Yet she's portrayed as being very down and out at the outset of the story.
- Crazy-Prepared: Riley's apartment wall. In case of Cliché Emergencies. For Witches (wicked), a super-soaker. For vampires or tents, a wooden stake. For Jesus, a nailgun, for the Devil, a violin. For Daleks (or shelves), a Sonic Screwdriver. For Headcrabs, a Crowbar. And for Raptors, zombies or misc, the aforementioned SPAS-12.
- Cursed with Awesome
- Subverted heavily by a one-shot vampire. He's immortal, yes, but he looks ugly, is obviously no longer human, smells like crap, and his blood acts like an acid unless he wears a heavy, awkward machine at all times. And if he takes a life, big brother will be right there to end him.
- Played straight with Connall. He's a "black shuck", a supernatural dog who's been cursed with Humanthropy. He is excessively happy with this turn of events.
- Dark Action Girl: Fiona, perhaps. Being happy about investigating a sex cult, even if it turns out poorly, does not speak well about her relative morality.
- Deadpan Snarker: Riley, upon Sevink and Jason Voorhees seeing one another and screaming while brandishing their weapons: "Oh look, they speak the same language."
- Demonic Dummy: We're not sure if the puppet Pasuzu was possessing was meant to be realistically portrayed or not, but damned if it didn't match the first half of this trope.
- Determinator: Go ahead. Tell Sevink he can't kill something.
- The Drag-Along: Riley. She's only where she is because she's got a multiple-life sentence enforced by The Key of Solomon agency.
- Enemy Within: Computers occasionally get infected by evil spirits because the ethernet cords are next to the soul tubes. An Ipod infinitely looping the Jonas Brothers is the only method of solving the problem.
- Expy: Sevink and Riley were featured prominently in the last arc of Hookie Dookie Panic. Knob appears briefly. Additionally, Riley's neighbor bears a suspiciously familiar haircut to fans of Naruto.
- Extra-Strength Masquerade: Aislin grew a tree through the roof of a packed, multi-level mall. Somehow, this was covered up.
- Girlish Pigtails: Riley often features childish hairstyles.
- Good Thing You Can Heal
- Sevink must eat a lot of human torsos, since his gets blasted apart or impaled every time he goes out. It's also a good thing he has a lot of those shirts.
- Didn't Knob say he's got a life meter equal to the state of California?
- Gratuitous German: Some ghosts speak it, and the title of the webcomic itself.
- The Hunter: Everyone in the Key of Solomon agency. Supernatural bad? Meet Supernatural Badass.
- Idiot Hero: Riley Hood. Her cliché emergency cupboard does display some Genre Savvy traits, though.
- Implacable Man: Sevink
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Knob calls Sevink's depleted uranium knives Occam's Razors, "because the simplest solution is always stabbing." Knob is also a Goblin, a pun which Riley notes and makes fun of.
- Informed Flaw: Much is made of Riley's supposed unattractiveness, both by herself and others. Yet she's a reasonably thin blond, blue-eyed (well, green-plus-freaky-runes-eyed) white girl with no noticeable facial deformities. And she still can't find work stripping.
- Invisible to Normals: The only reason Riley can see spirits is that she was a demon vessel.
- I See Dead People: Unfortunately, most of them are dicks.
- Jerkass: Usually Riley and Knob, what with them being crazy.
- Knife Nut: Sevink has a pair called Occam's Razors, because the simplest answer is usually stabbing.
- Knight Templar: One interpretation of the Key of Solomon agency.
- Latex Space Suit: Riley's later outfit.
- The Legions of Hell
- Ludicrous Gibs: Courtesy of Lee John and Pazuzu.
- Monster Clown: Pasuzu
- Non-Action Guy: Knob, so far. He lets Sevink do all the heavy lifting.
- Our Demons Are Different: Natch.
- Our Vampires Are Different: And very sad. Vampires in this comic take Blessed with Suck to unbelievable levels, to the point that there's practically no bless in the equation. It's a horrible disease that, without constant runic dialysis filtering your blood, will cause your body to rot and decay, and drive you mad. The victim is pitiably weak, has a horrendous stench, and their skin is turned pitch black (from it constantly necrotising), your hair turns a limp, lifeless grey, and your eyes turn pure red (probably caused by capillaries in the eyes bleeding out). But it's implied that you can live forever with this disease. Which is exactly as much fun as it sounds.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Aislin, apparently.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Knob's truck is fueled by the blood of orphans. Mind you, the orphans give their blood in exchange for hugs...
- Running Gag: There are a few. Noticeably, Riley's appearance is mocked by various people and Lee John's wish for awesome music while he murders people.
- Schedule Slip
- Sealed Evil in a Can: In a jar, actually, which are available for the reasonable price of twenty bucks.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Sevink
- Shout-Out: The third page has what suspiciously looks like a Hollow.
- Take That: "If you wanted to be a sparkly vampire, you could have just rolled around in the glitter aisle at CVS." Actually, the entire strip is an extended Take That to Twilight.
- Unfazed Everyman: Riley. Poor girl wakes up to find that she can now see beyond The Masquerade and there's not anything she can do about it but adapt.
- Unsound Effect: Practically one in every comic. See the trope page for more info. Notable is Riley's SPAS12, which makes the sound effect... SPAS12.
- Wall of Weapons: This page shows that Riley is prepared for Zombies, Raptors, Wicked Witches, Vampires/Tents, Daleks/Shelves, The Devil, Headcrabs, and Jesus. Notably, the weapon for dealing with Jesus is a nailgun, which may be a Shout-Out to the Jay story arc of FLEM Comics. Or it's just noting the fact it's probably quicker and easier to get Jesus back on his cross with a nailgun than with a hammer.
- Write Who You Know: Riley. If one ignores all the supernatural stuff.
- Written Sound Effect: All over the place. Most notably (and hilariously) with the Wild Math Device.