Webcomic / ISAC And Dem

The major players of "ISAC and Dem"

ISAC & Dem is a twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Thursdays) webcomic by Alexander vanRossum that tends to eschew all concepts of normalcy... or at least, that's what it tries to do. The comic has somehow managed to run for almost a full year now, which is quite impressive, considering the author's usual inability to finish anything.

In a world that generally expects webcomics to be created digitally, the author of ISAC and Dem tends to use rough pencil drawings, sometimes accented with colored pencils, and they are generally hastily scanned the night before they are scheduled to go online, even though each individual comic is generally produced weeks in advance. For some reason, common sense escapes the author — or perhaps he's just lazy. Empirical evidence, however, suggests that he hates his scanner. It's probably a malicious, vile beast that feeds on the souls of unwitting users.

Like this article, the comic rarely makes sense. One time, there was a story arc that went on for like, six months or some other, more accurate time period, where the lead robot was trapped in a Dungeons & Dragons-type role-playing game while trying to pick up a supplies and parts order from Widgets Incorporated, the company that is responsible for the madness that ISAC now faces. Or the parts for his company — one or the other.

The comic surprisingly revolves around the stories of ISAC (the lead protagonist) and Dem (a robot who can often generate any sort of anything that he needs to create for any sort of situation) as they run the aptly named ISAC and Dem Incorporated (Formerly "ISAC's Sub-Intelligent Bots") after Dem, a major investor in ISAC's company, decided that ISAC was running the company like a drunken monkey with a mental disability (much as the author would), and gave the ultimatum that if ISAC wanted to keep his investors, Dem would be running the company from now on.

ISAC is an acronym. No one, including the author, knows what this acronym stands for, even though it's been in use for a long time.

The author insists that ISAC and Dem is not a gaming comic, yet somehow, the comic tends to revolve around games.

This article seems to have a lot of content that isn't actually explored in the comic yet. It stands to reason that the author wrote this tropes page at the very insistent prodding of friends, even though he doesn't really think that the comic is actually worth anything.

This webcomic contains examples of:

  • Atlanta: referenced at least once. It's where the author lives.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: fluctuates strip to strip. Sometimes ISAC appears to be addressing the reader, other times unaware of them.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: ISAC doesn't want to explain the joke to Dem. We don't even get a chance to figure it out, because it's an Orphaned Punchline.
  • Deus ex Machina: Dem (whose name is "not" actually short for this trope) tends to have the ability to create anything and everything he wants
  • Heroic BSOD: Literally, given that ISAC is a robot. Not caused by anything traumatic that we know.
  • Invisible Anatomy: Dem can somehow manipulate objects without any identifiable appendages.
  • Jet Pack: so cool, Dem wants one even though he can already fly.
  • Meta Mecha: in one strip, ISAC is sitting on the shoulder of a much larger, similar-looking robot.
  • No Mouth: ISAC and Dem both display this characteristic - with one exception where Dem was seen drinking a superfood smoothie in a typical (for the strip) example of Irony.
  • Retro Rocket: ISAC wants to fly one "one day"...except it doesn't represent going to space?
  • Screwed by the Network: Referenced in-universe. ISAC's theory is that his liking a show is the cause of it getting cancelled, so he doesn't watch TV so good shows can continue to run.
  • Shout-Out: Where to begin? Angry Birds, Firefly, Jericho, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Pixar, Over the Hedge, CSI: Miami...
  • Wiki Walk: happens to the author in one strip when he goes to Wikipedia.