Webcomic: Gone with the Blastwave
Because war can be boring too.Gone With The Blastwave
is a webcomic created by Kimmo Lemetti. It follows a group of soldiers fighting (for reasons they're more than a little hazy about) in a ruined city of a post-apocalyptic
world. It "is not a very serious comic", having a lot of Black Comedy
- the author advises you to "think of it as a some kind of a parody" of more serious post-apocalyptic settings.
It doesn't update very often at all, but not so much because of Schedule Slip
as because the author has decided not to try for a schedule - it's a side-project, and the update arrangements are unashamedly on a "whenever-I-feel-like-it" basis.
Was on a hiatus for almost a year, returned with the author promising an update once a month, twice a month if the readers bribe him, then slipped back into hiatus.
Then it came back.
This webcomic contains examples of:
- After the End: The whole setting. Presumably, it may only be the city, though the monologue on the first page makes it sound more worldwide.
- Ambiguous Situation: There's a war going on. There are sides fighting each other. Why? We dunno; they just are.
- Amusing Injuries: "Friendly fire you goddamn son of a b-"
- April Fools' Day: At least one with cats as soldiers.
- Armed Farces: A good number of the characters we run across clearly don't have any idea how to do their jobs properly. Played to the extremes with The Green Army as their ranks seem to have consisted entirely of these people.
- Artistic License – Gun Safety: Our nameless protagonists, being incompetent, psychotic, depressed, apathetic, or all four, really could care less about handling their guns properly. See Amusing Injuries above.
- Badass Longcoat: What everyone; Red, Blue, or Yellow, would be if they weren't all crippled by varying degrees of stupidity, disinterest, or incompetence.
- The Bet: Many, but in here, it's mundane, since everyone is probably quite bored from the lack of direction and hope in general being stuck in a ruined city.
- Big Dumb Object: Lampshaded in this comic
- Black Comedy: The whole thing, really.
- Body-Count Competition: The Reds appear to be constantly using this as a way to amuse themselves. According to this comic, it also determines rank.
- Car Fu: Fun things to do: Drop tanks on enemies.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The three known factions in the war are simply called the Reds, the Blues, and the Yellows. The story follows a group of Reds. The Reds and Blues aren't really characterized much more than that, though - they seem fairly interchangeable. The Yellows are said to have superior firepower, and speak a different language, but still seem to be just as lost as the other two sides.
- Comedic Sociopathy: In fact, if it wasn't for the prominent comedy aspect of the comic, you'd probably say that all characters were sociopathic soldiers.
- Cute Kitten: This joke page. Somehow manages to be both cute (Face paw!) and fully immersed in its black comedy in spite of not knowing what Crosshairs-cat and Pyro-cat are saying.
- Deus ex Machina: Lampshaded here.
- somewhat averted because as crosshairs (and the other reds in the next strip note) "There is a war on"
- Dope Slap (And Dope Gunbutt): strips 40 and 46, respectively.
- Driven to Suicide: Arguably the one point where it momentarily stops being black comedy and starts becoming a bit depressing.
- Due to the Dead: Subverted Trope. Think of it like a last service to the army!
- Enemy Mine: Crosshairs ends up helping a blue sniper take down a yellow tank (they only realise afterwards they're on different sides).
- Subverted: They have a moment talking about rifles and maintenance before another Red guns him down. Crosshairs looks upset but he's actually just contemplating stealing the rifle
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: Lampshaded; the zombies are just civilians in makeup and tattered clothing. They dress like that in order to frighten soldiers away from their campsites. They even place bets on whether or not it will work.
- Expressive Mask: Page 50, "25 Essential Expressions Challenge". They're mostly head tilts.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- The two soldiers who don't notice the tank about to land on top of them.
- Similarly, Crosshairs and Pyro are ambushed by about 6 Yellows
- Flamethrower Backfire: Crosshair at one point suggests destroying a group of Yellows by having Pyro run into the middle of them and then shooting his fuel tank. Pyro replies that the blast radius wouldn't be big enough.
- Flat "What.": General reaction to Crosshair guy being a wolf. Luckily, it's an April fools joke.
- Forever War: We don't know how long the war has been going on, but it has obviously been long enough that the participants don't know why or how it started, or why it has to continue. Heck, if the one-shot spin-off comic's title is to be taken literal it will continue on a on-and-off basis for at least 250,000 years. And in another comic the war has been going on since medieval times.
- Gas Mask, Longcoat
- Gas Mask Mooks: Every character is one of these. The marks on their helmets seem to indicate their job specification, and are the only way to tell them apart. Page 50 filler shows "25 essential expressions" of these guys... such as they are.
- Glorious Mother Russia: Or some kind of eastern European, for actors in the movie.In the comic, the soldiers act and have and have names like Americans.
- Grey and Gray Morality: None of the factions are presented as obviously right, although since we're never even told what the war is about, this might just be lack of information. The individual soldiers often seem to be more driven by a desire to avoid boredom than anything else.
- Head Pet: One of the characters has a giant moth perched on his helmet in strip 24. He tried getting it to leave, but it just wouldn't. Now he just takes it in stride. Bit of a BLAM, as it never shows up again.
- Highly Conspicuous Helmets
- If You Die, I Call Your Stuff See this strip.
- Improbable Aiming Skills. Crosshairs is really, really good at his job. Of course, he's had time to practice.
- Mad Artist: Downplayed in that he's only mad due to boredom. Steve wears a mask made out of a human skull mainly because he can.
- Minimalism: Both the setting and design. This comic has the barest essentials of a war scenario, and most of it isn't even explained. Design-wise, using a very limited color palette.
- No Name Given: While secondary characters such as West and Steve are given first names, at least, the two recurring protagonists (to use the term loosely) are known only by their helmet symbols. We've elected to call them Crosshairs and Pyro for the purposes of this page. (We don't call them Sniper and Pyro because that would just cause confusion.)
- No Sense of Direction: Just about everyone is completely lost, and everything they do just seems to make them even more hopelessly lost. Something of a Running Gag: "How the hell did we get lost in a city?!"
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Just how DID they take that tank down?
- One Steve Limit: Averted and lampshaded:
- One-Way Visor: In "GWTBW 250K" only.
- Only Sane Man: West, the machine gunner in command of the lost company seems to be more or less the most competent character. Crosshairs has his moments of madness but mainly acts as the straight man for Pyro.
- Pyro Maniac: Pyro, naturally. He wears fuel tanks, has a flame for a helmet insignia, and is mesmerized by the notion of the world burning.
- Psycho for Hire: Almost all characters appear to, more or less, fall into this category. And when we find out that soldiers get promoted based on their "body count", it pretty much seems like this is whomever's-in-charge's idea of his/her troops as well. Of course, it could also be because they're all bored out of their minds.
- Rocket Jump: Invoked, attempted, and averted.◊ Reality Ensues, both for the idiot that tried it and the other two idiots who stood there watching him.
- Samus is a Girl: A joke page reveals that the Red unit are all lesbians.
- Schmuck Bait Might be worth it (he's demolition after all)
- Shout-Out: Has a few to Blame!, most notably the second 250k comic. One of the yellows also wears a helmet with The Authority's insignia on it.
- Sniping the Cockpit: Crosshairs does this to a moving plane, causing the plane to crash into a crowd of enemy soldiers. However, it was done only as a stupid bet out of boredom.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Pretty much everyone who appears in panel long enough to achieve Mauve Shirt status is suffering from this one way or another.
- Tempting Fate: In Depths 2, Crosshair mentions that "at least the yellows won't follow us here." (As they are trapped underground). Cue a yellow tank crashing down.
- The Movie: A half-hour short film, which can be accessed on page 49. Adaptation Distillation, as there's not much of the black comedy and is simply depressing post-apocalyptia.
- Too Dumb to Live: According to some doodles by Kimmo, a Green fraction was at one point involved in the war, but thanks to their own stupidity and incompetence (using cardboard boxes as bomb shelters and mistaking their own spies (who was wearing Paper Thin Disguises nonetheless) for enemies) they managed to eliminate themselves from the war very early on.
- Twist Ending: Played with. One soldier thinks it all a nightmare, another thinks it purgatory, and another thinks is a Virutal Reality game. Turns out they ate a rat.. That was glowing purple.
- Unsound Effect:
- Can you name any other comic where the SFX "-bullet sound-" appears?
- One of the aforementioned doodles involving the Greens also gives us the self-explanatory "SHOTGUN!" sound effect, exclamation point included.
- Same thing happens when the friendly Blue is eliminated by a Red unaware of the new relationship.
- War Is Hell: For a few characters, certainly. For example, when West asks whether he's "the only one without a death wish," the answer he gets is a flat "Yes." A lot of them seem to have seen so much that they've become completely desensitized to it all, and are bored to death even when they're killing or at risk of being killed.
- We Have Reserves: On a local scale. The soldiers seem to take this sort of attitude towards each other. And themselves.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Pyro orders a random to run a gauntlet of enemy fire Subverted in the end.
- With Friends Like These...: The Yellows threaten to shoot the Pyro if Crosshairs doesn't talk Here you are.
- Worth It: Crosshairs' response to telling Pyro that they'd found a way out of the city (and technically being honest...it was a way out of the city, just not any useful or practical one).
- Another one when the squad discovers a the corpse of a Red which is set up as an Obvious Trap. The dead soldier is from demolitions, though, which means he might still have some explosives. Cue trope name.
- Yellow Peril: Implied, though you never actually see what the Yellows really look like, obviously.
- You No Take Candle: Yellows are shown speaking English like this. Their own language is depicted as illegible scribbles.