Webcomic / Namesake

Going down the rabbit hole and beyond.

Oz? Like Australia? Wait...the road is yellow. Oh HELL no.
Emma Crewe, Chapter 2

Namesake is the story of Emma Crewe, a woman who discovers she can visit other worlds. She finds out that these are places she already knows – fantasy and fairy lands made famous through the spoken word, literature and cinema. Her power as a Namesake forces her to act as a protagonist in these familiar stories as she figures out how to get home.

But as she travels, she discovers that those controlling her story have their own selfish goals in mind – and her fate is the key to everyone’s happy ending.

The comic is chock full of fairy tale references ranging from the obvious to the obscure. Now has a Character Sheet.

Namesake provides examples of:

  • Abuse Mistake: On the part of both Emma and the concierge she talked to, who was very concerned for her, after Emma woke up in a hotel she didn't recognize with ripped clothing, a note thanking her for a fun night, and no clue what happened.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Oh so much. Namesake was based on an unfinished series of comics (called the "Oziad") posted on the artist's live journal. The Oziad was parody of The Wizard of Oz, featuring as main characters dopplegangers of the author and and her friends, as well as the main characters of Slayers. In Namesake, the Oz story is now one part of a journey through a much larger fairytale multiverse; the cast and scope of the story are greatly expanded; original characters have replaced those based on real people and copyrighted characters; and the tone of the story is more serious, instead of parodic.
  • Adorkable: The Five of Hearts, when he tries to speak English.
    • Fred at pretty much any moment really.
    • Some of Warrick’s more awkward moments may qualify him for this
  • The Ageless: It's explained that this is the case for Ozites, but since Dorothies are not born in Oz they will remain externally young but still only have a natural human lifespan, so by the time the original Dorothy died she was still physically young but inside was a very old woman.
  • Alice Allusion
  • Ambiguously Brown: Emma and Elaine are drawn in a darker shade then the Caucasian characters, and Word of God is that Emma's appearance is in part inspired by Michelle Rodriguez. Eventually it's stated that they are Latina and French (Puerto Rican mother and French Canadian father).
  • Ambiguously Evil: It’s up in the air what the “ghost” is up to, but so far it’s been painted in a more sinister light
  • And I Must Scream: Selva, The Wicked Witch of the East, turned the Munchkin King into a hat box and Selva herself is turned into a purse. Later subverted when Warrick says she's only still a purse because she wants to be and is just sulking, and she changes back once he apologizes.
    • Subverted with Hercilia, former Wicked Witch of the East. Selva turned her into a pair of magic shoes, and yet she's quite mouthy.
  • Anyone Can Die: Boy, that character didn't even last the first chapter.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Almost word for word.
    "You..you murderer! Arsonist! Book Defiler!"
  • Art Evolution : Pointed out frequently by the artist herself. As it is the case with most webcomics, the art is always evolving for the better.
  • Author Appeal: The artist's blog and past works reveal strong interests for literature, fairy tale adaptations, creepy monsters, adorable magical children and strong female leads with large noses.
  • Badass Adorable: Fred. One moment he's excited about how stretchy grilled cheese is, the next he's yelling at Ben and Elaine to leave while he fights the ghost.
  • Bi the Way: The majority of the main cast, as it turns out. For most of them it hasn't come up in-comic yet.
  • Body Horror: All the pretty red flowers you see on peoples heads...yeah, they'r actually growing out of their heads.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: If Anlise wasn't before, she certainly is now
    • Warrick has an actual hole in his chest from removing his heart; it doesn't look too pretty. And that's the healed version. We don't see what it looked like directly afterward, but it was pouring blood onto the floor.
  • Curse Cut Short: After being restrained by a card soldier, Ben is none-too-happy with an apologetic Jack.
  • Death Glare: Ben and Elaine pull this off.
  • Distant Prologue: Namesake starts off with the Reverend Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell when she returns from Wonderland on June 27, 1863.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: The main caption of the comic and the fact that the portal to other worlds looks a lot like a rabbit hole.
  • Dramatic Irony: Any scene where Warrick talks about his sister while holding Emma's purse is this since Selva is the purse, and later subverted since he already knew.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Jack and Warrick, anyone?
    • And Ben. If you like geeks.
  • Eldritch Abomination : The “ghost” that’s been haunting Emma so far has flavors of this when she finally sees it up close.
  • The Everyman : The main character Emma is a milder version of this, being a quiet introvert who gets thrust into a situation far over her head.
  • Exposition Dump: Chapter 24 finally explains what's going on and why, both on cosmic scale and on Earth. Chapter 20's relationship chart is also quite handy.
  • Eye Scream: This page features a character with empty eye sockets.
  • Fairy Tale: This comic is full of fairytale references
  • Feminist Fantasy: Appears to be heading this way, which makes sense since Oz itself was an early example of such, especially since Baum was married to a Suffragette (and in fact based the character of Jinjur partially on the Sufragettes).
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: The tales don't always conform to the storybook versions.
  • Genre Savvy: Emma knows she's in Oz from just seeing the yellow brick road. Though the creators have stated that the movie is the only source of knowledge she has. justified later when Emma is shown to be an Artificial Person created by stuffing a changeling with literature so she's practically made of bottled Genre Savvy.
  • Gilligan Cut
    Emma: You can't force us to obey you.
    [Cut to Emma and company tied to at tree]
    Emma: ...
    Hercilia: Great plan, Dorothy.
  • Grimmification: The stories seem to go from fractured, to re-told, to canon, to darker... It's very cut-and-paste. And awesome that way.
  • Healing Hands: In a rare male example, Warrick is capable of healing Emma and restores most of Anlise's brain. It seems he can also heal scars.
  • Hope Is Scary: Vanessa/Bird starts sobbing on this page when Banshee starts trying to get her to hope again.
    Bird Stop that healing... bullshit! I'm just... I'm done with all this. You can't give me hope again. *sobs* You're as cruel as Nose.
  • Humanity Ensues: Fred undergoes a very gradual form under Elaines influence, which proves she has writer powers.
  • I Know Your True Name: Considering the name of this webcomic is "Namesake" and a character seems to have sold her name, this is only bound to be more fitting as the story progresses.
    • This also proves to be important with Renge, formerly Jellia Jamb, who gave her name to Ozma for an as-of-yet unspecified reason, and the name change essentially had the effect of Retgone-ing people's memories of Jellia, as well as resulting in an apparent personality change for Renge.
    • Also turns out to be very important to Nose, as One reveals he has given Nose the name Rumpelstiltskin, granting One power over him.
    • Emma finding herself in Oz as a "Dorothy" despite not being actually named Dorothy turns out to significant.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Selva lampshades the trope after explaining that her plan to save everyone from the poppies was to turn everybody into objects. In her own words, "It made sense at the time."
  • In the Blood: It's been heavily implied that both Namesake and Writer powers are at least partially hereditary, best exemplified by the Crewes, since Emma and Elaine and their mother and father are respectively Namesakes and Writers.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Word of God is that this affects Ozites, and while not sterile per se there's not the same need to have them since people don't age unless they want to. The Tin Man and his wife were considered strange for wanting children.
  • Killed Off for Real: Scarecrow, something Emma is particularly upset about since as she points out, he's technically not even alive.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Nose does this to Emma, making her forget about Oz completely.
  • Lawful Neutral / True Neutral: Adora became the first and only Neutral Witch of the West, after her heart got broken. Literally as well as figuratively. invoked
  • Legacy Character: "The Dorothy" and presumably every other Namesake fits the bill as well, seeing as the Alice we see in the present is different from the Alice we see in the prologue.
  • Light Is Not Good: Hinted at first with Anlise, the Witch of the North. Recently, it's been revealed that there's a good reason for her initial suspicious behavior, and that she genuinely does care about the welfare of Oz.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: Lewis Carroll, aka Charles Dodgson, is this for Alice.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Over thirty. Most can be seen in this image.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Jack.
    • And the Djinn and Thunderdell. YMMV with Nose.
  • Loose Canon: The creators have stated that their Oz only follows that of Baum's first six books. Anything seventh book and onwards is basically cut-and-paste/mix-and-match. For example, the Tin Man and Nimmee Ammee got married in Namesake.
  • Magical Land: The main character is expected to go to many famous magical lands, starting with OZ.
  • MacGuffin Girl: Emma learns to her horror that she's an Artificial Human created to serve as a "skeleton key" capable of opening all of the Namesake's doors between worlds.
  • Meaningful Name: Not surprising, given the comic's title. Several main characters share the same name as well-known fairy tale protagonists and fill the same roles.
    • Subverted with Hercilia: her name means "Tender; delicate." She is anything but, so it's probably meant to be ironic.
    • Warrick is derived from Warwick, which means "dam" or "weir". Considering the type of powers he has, it works.
    • Also interesting to note that the last names seem to have meanings. In the case of the Chopper twins : they got their family name from their grandfather (who was the Tin Man, and as such, a lumberjack). The last name still applies to the Twin's respective functions, since Warrick is a healer (a form of magical doctor and/or surgeon) and Selva is a seamstress.
    • Emma means "whole" or "universal" which, given her apparent status as a "Skeleton Key" who can move between all linked worlds, certainly fits.
  • Mind Control: The poppies do this.
  • Missing Mom: There's no sign of Emma and Elaine's mother in the present day, and there's a photo of Emma holding a baby Elaine along with Ben's comment that Emma has always been very serious. In this page we get a memory of young Emma yelling for her mother. In the next we see a family portrait including her mother in the background, and when her father brings up her mother Emma starts to refer to her as a "bitch", but gets cut off before she can finish. And it's been confirmed that her mother was a Namesake too.
  • Monochrome Past: Played with. Although the Distant Prologue was introduced in color, the intermissions continuing the story are rendered in gray and gray-browns, with pops of red. Even when pictured with other characters in colored art, Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell remain in black and white.
  • Move Along, Nothing to See Here: "Time for my best shocked bystander face"
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: surely a group called "The Rippers" can't be up to any good, but they still insist they're the real good guys, probably because they are all either psychopathic enough to expect you to believe it or sociopathic enough not to care.
  • Only Six Faces: Somewhat averted. The cast is very diverse in both body types, hair styles and faces. Especially when it comes to noses. But there are complaints that some characters still look the same regardless and this can be especially problematic during action moments And when the Emmas split in half.
  • The Ophelia: As of the book 2 intermission, Alice's family believes that she's this, and she doesn't even realize that she's jumped into the pond.
  • Original Generation: Besides canon Oz characters there are also Adora, Selva and Warrick, who are new additions to the cast.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The weird female figure that seems to be following Emma thru Oz is referred to in story as a ghost, but so far it's unclear exactly what it is, though it's briefly implied to be Dorothy, as in the original.
  • Reality Warper: Elaine can do this, as a "Writer". It's hinted that Alice could do a different sort of something similar to reality-altering, though not under her control.
  • Red Right Hand: Jack has a literal red right hand.
    • Recently revealed to have been caused by giant's blood being splashed on it during his journey. It gives him minor telekinesis.
  • Regent for Life: It's implied Renge is trying to pull off something like this, especially she's the one who's been keeping Ozma asleep. There's also one point where another character refers to "Ozma's city" while Renge calls it "my city."
  • Schedule Slip: Averted. This webcomic updates on time. EVERY TIME. And the art quality is always great.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Both Renge and the Scarecrow have apparently held the "Hole in the World" in their own bodies.
  • She Is the King: Even though she's a woman, Renge's official title is still The Wizard of Oz, but another character does refer to her as "Witch", suggesting a Type II, but it's also implied that the "Wizard" title refers to her being the successor of the original, who was a man, rather than her gender, making it a Type III.
  • Ship Tease: There's been some slight moments between Emma/Warrick, and Elain/Fred, but the 2015 Valentine's day cards plays it up more, and teases a pairing that has hardly interacted with each other yet, Alice/Selva. Later strips confirm that Selva has a big crush on Alice.
  • Shout-Out: In the Christmas strip.
  • Splash of Color: Because the artist does not have time to make the comic fully in color, she limits colors to significant scenes/element, like red for the poppies in Oz. Word of God has stated that it started off as a time-saving technique, but the creator team liked the effect so much, it became more of a style past chapter 4.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Penta.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "It's not my fault! Well, most of it isn't my fault. Besides, you don't even know what happened yet."
  • Twin Telepathy: Warrick and Selva seem to have a degree of this, since Warrick losing his heart affected Selva enough to lead to the Insane Troll Logic above.
  • The Unintelligible: Fred, before Elaine fixes this.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The creators have stated that just because a character is telling their backstory doesn't necessarily mean everything about it is true.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Renge turns out to be this, having done everything apparently under Ozma's orders to control "The hole in the world" including taking it into her own body.
  • Wham Line:
    • "You can change things. You are a writer, Elaine." spoken by Fred, formerly the Unintelligible
    • "Do you seriously think One would take any risks with his creation? You'd do well to remember who your daughter is. It's not that thing in the other room."
    • “Without those stories, you're nothing but a ghost. My ghost. The ghost of Emma Crewe. The one they call ‘Sleeping Beauty’.”
    • "We must discuss one last thing. Your mother, Emma Ramos."
    • "Banshee... you... you're not a Ripper anymore?" " Never was."
  • Wham Shot: The last page of book 2, which shows that something is VERY wrong with the Scarecrow.
  • Wicked Witch: Considering this is a fairy tale theme comic, this is only natural. Although the Wicked Witch of the East can be argued to be a Hot Witch. The Warlock of the West could count as a male example of both as well.
  • You're Insane!: Selva to Warrick after he removes his heart and talks about how great it is.
    Selva: "Sweet Oz...You're mad!"
  • Yuri Genre: Anlise and Renge, which was heavily implied before but confirmed by Word of God, which also states that the relationship already existed pre poppy infection and the ramifications will be brought up in story. Alice is also Straight Gay and Selva quite strongly voices a crush on her to Elaine and Emma, though Selva herself is Bi. Alice was also in a relationship with Bird in the past (Who is also bi)