Webcomic: Nebula

No one cares, Earth.

Nebula is an ongoing Sci-fi/Slice of Life webcomic about the Dysfunction Junction that is the Solar System.

Basically, it's a drama/comedy comic about The Solar System, who are sentient and humanoid (apart from the fact that they have representations of what they actually are for heads). It takes various characteristics of the solar system and turns them into character traits and social situations.

It focuses on Earth and Mars, but pretty much all of the other characters get the limelight at some point— especially now that there's an on-going Story Arc about a being who has contacted Earth and Pluto.

You can find the entire collection (comics 1-15 and the short story Nix) for sale (pay what you want) at Gumroad here. Otherwise, the Ghostfruits tumblr has the first fifteen comics and Nix online here.

Tropes found in Nebula include:

  • A House Divided
  • Achilles in His Tent: Sun after Earth says that she can hear Black Hole's voice inside her.
    "... That's it. I'm not entertaining this any longer."
    • Of course, he still steps in when things get desperate and the planets really need his help.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Even comets!
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Poor Pluto... and Earth.
  • Arc Words: Several, possibly.
    • "We move on."
    • "Something bigger than us."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Uranus is trying to get Saturn to give them their moons.
    Uranus: What if I just reached right out and took a bunch of your stupid moons. Would you even do anything?
  • Bait the Dog: Despite the fear the planets have towards her, Black Hole spends most of her time at first befriending Pluto and telling him to stop pretending that the planets care about him. Hard as she is on them, it's hard to argue with the fact that she's right— the planets don't see Pluto as a friend, and he isn't one of them. The reader can start to feel that she might be a case of Dark Is Not Evil— harsh, strange, and creepy, but maybe not evil. And then she lies to Pluto, sends Ceres to their death, and nearly kills the planets.
  • Balloon Belly: After Jupiter's attempt to invoke Large and In Charge fails to work.
    Sun: ...OK, because it doesn't... so much as look like you ate all that. As much as it looks like you're just kind of holding it inside your body.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: Venus and Neptune give Jupiter two different versions of it, since what he's talking about probably isn't going to get a great reaction from Sun if he hears him.
  • Being Watched: The sense that there's something out in the dark watching them helps make an already tense situation (Sun's recent Hair-Trigger Temper and Thousand-Yard Stare, Jupiter's increasing lack of subtlety in his plans to take over the Solar System, Earth Hearing Voices that no one else does) worse. The fact that something is watching them doesn't make it any better.
  • The Blank: All of the main characters.
    • Eyeless Face: Comets, though they veer onto Ugly Cute.
    • But weirdly enough, the cast (kinda) gain expressions when we see Jupiter daydreaming.
  • Body Motifs: Panels focused on one of a character's hands reoccur, and usually indicate either that an important decision has been made or realization has been had.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Pointed out by Mars:
    "Jupiter is... dumb. Jupiter's really dumb. But that doesn't mean he might not accidentally be right about something for once."
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Earth is the foolish sibling to Venus's responsible one.
  • Forbidden Zone: Sun says that there's nothing outside the Solar System but the void, and refuses to let them go out there because it's too dangerous. How truthful this is, and how he knows this are up for debate.
    • Given that Black Hole definitely exists and resides outside the Solar System, it's an even split— there is more out there than an empty void, but he's probably right in how dangerous it is. That leaves the question of whether Sun himself knew this when he said it (making it Metaphorically True) or didn't (Right for the Wrong Reasons).
  • Four Philosophy Ensemble: For the inner Solar System, Mars is the Cynic, Earth the Optimist, Venus the Realist, and Sun the Apathetic.
    • And arguably the outer planets: Jupiter is the Optimist, Neptune the Realist, Saturn the Cynic, and Uranus the Apathetic.
  • Flat "What.": Uranus after Jupiter just grabs one of their moons and eats it.
  • Friendship Denial: Jupiter flatly denies Uranus's claims of friendship, though this doesn't really do much to deter them.
    • Earlier, Mars to Earth's.
  • Hearing Voices: Both Earth and Pluto can hear Black Hole, though only Pluto seems to be listening to her.
  • Horror Hunger: Sun has it, but thankfully hasn't succumbed to it. Yet.
  • It's Probably Nothing: Earth's response to Mars getting worried about how Sun has been acting. Unusual in that Mars does actually get her to take his concerns at least a little bit more seriously.
    • Pretty much everyone's reaction to Earth freaking out over the meteorite.
    • Also Sun's reaction to the planets' concern over Black Hole.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Jupiter claiming he was just hungry when he saved Earth from the meteorite, and brushing off her thanks.
  • Klingon Promotion: Jupiter wants to get one very, very badly.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The planets literally and painfully start falling to pieces when Ceres arrives.
  • Metaphorgotten: It doesn't exactly endear Uranus to Jupiter.
    Uranus: C'mon! For real, fuck that Sun guy, right?
    Jupiter: Stop.
    Uranus: Like, what's his deal? Thinking he's all hot shit? Well, in a literal sense I guess but—
  • Mood Whiplash: #8 is a lighthearted comic about Uranus's attempts to befriend Jupiter... followed by #9: Sun's confrontation with Mars and the introduction of Black Hole.
    • And #13 is Jupiter and Sun completely failing at having a non-awkward conversation with each other about dinner... and is followed by #14 and #15, which are Black Hole trying to convince Pluto to join her.
  • Never Split the Party: Mars and Earth agree they should try this in case something happens with Sun. Earth seems to take it somewhat less seriously.
  • New Era Speech: Jupiter delivers a fairly hammy one to Venus and Neptune about how Sun can't stop him and how his day will come— until Venus points out that while he was monologuing, the comet ran away.
  • No Ontological Inertia: The effect that Ceres has on the planets stops as soon as they're killednote .
  • Non-Indicative First Episode: In the first comic, everyone is far more openly dismissive of Earth and her panic, and are just generally reluctant to interact with each other. Only Mars really remained that way, and he's turned into more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Not Himself: Sun hasn't been himself since the third comic, and the planets have noticed.
    Mars: Do you ever think something is... strange? About Sun?
    Earth: Yeah! Yeah, most things actually. He's weird.
    Mars: No, I mean... Something wrong about him, lately. Really wrong.
    Mars: It's undeniable, Earth. He's different than he used to be. He's never around, and when he is he seems... distracted.
  • Not So Different: Uranus attempts to invoke it with Jupiter, but he really doesn't care and just wants them to leave him alone.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Even before things started going bad, the Solar System could barely agree when they met to discus anything.
  • Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation: Just what is their job anyway?
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: The distortion that appears whenever Black Hole speaks. Taken even further when Ceres appears and the entire background changes to glitchy pink and blue spirals.
  • Opening Narration: Most comics begin with "Really far away. Really long ago"note  over a shot of the main character(s) of that comic. Occasionally, this is changed: #9 has no opening at all and goes straight to action, #12 is "Someday soon, one would hope", and #15 is "Right here. Right now."
  • Poor Communication Kills: Though for once, it isn't really the characters' fault. Dwarf planets and planets are physically unable to communicate with each other, but Pluto and the rest of the Solar System doesn't know that. This leads the planets to assume that Pluto is lurking silently and ignoring their greetings deliberately, and for Pluto to think that the planets have never tried to talk to or befriend him at all.
  • Power Fantasy: Jupiter's daydream about how things will be different once he's in charge. Also, he's inexplicably on fire.
    • Crosses over with Dream Sue, with how the rest of the characters act.
  • The Promise: Mars asks Venus to break his moon if he dies. She agrees.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Sun: We. Move. On.
  • Put on a Bus: Pluto, who has presumably been hanging out there alone in the dark since the second comic.
    • The Bus Came Back: While that apparently was what he was doing the whole time, he's been brought back into the main plot after Black Hole started talking to him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mars delivers one to Earth when she tries to find out more about him, with him accusing her of not really caring about what he's like, and that she's just trying to befriend people to satisfy her own curiosity. Earth doesn't really have a reply to it.
  • Red Filter of Doom: The last few panels after Sun tries, and fails, to spit out to Mercury what's bothering him, and just ends up asking Mercury to give him a bit of space.
    Sun: ...Hungry. I'm hungry.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Venus and Neptune— both their personalities and color schemes match it, even if Venus is more orange than red.
  • Right Behind Me: In the middle of Jupiter's rant about how he needs to do more to try to surpass Sun. Since Sun's not exactly inconspicuous, it might double as Failed a Spot Check.
  • Second Episode Introduction: The first comic introduces Earth, Mars, Uranus and Jupiter, while the second one introduces Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Neptune (plus Sun and Pluto).
  • Society-on-Edge Episode: #11, which is Venus and Mars reflecting on how tense things have become in the Solar System, what with everything going on with Sun, Earth, and Jupiter.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Averted completely with Earth, and mostly averted with Sun- weirdly enough, only Jupiter calls him "the Sun". AKA, the one person who completely despises him.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: To all the planets (and Pluto) on one side and Sun on the other after Earth says she thinks that Black Hole is talking to her.
  • Stealth Pun: Sun tells Mercury that he needs some space.
  • Stylistic Suck: The daydream sequence that Jupiter has, complete with scribble art and really clumsy out-of-character dialog.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Mercury is less than impressed by the rest of the planets.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: For Jupiter, it is unfortunately not when his new pet comet runs away in the middle of his hammy speech.
    • Averted for drama later. The time Sun spends trying to make Ceres back off through talking is time the planets spend in agonizing pain. So Sun decides to just kill Ceres.
  • They Were Holding You Back: One of Black Hole's justifications for Pluto to join her.
  • Thought Caption: Dwarf planets, including Pluto, use them instead of speech balloons.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Sun, who's just been staring out into the dark, looking at nothing. Mars finds it incredibly unnerving, especially since Sun doesn't seem to hear when he tries to talk to him.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Earth and Mars, though the vitriol is only on Mars's side.
  • Volleying Insults: Uranus and Neptune's debate during the meeting about Pluto starts to quickly devolve into this, but Sun cuts it off.
    Uranus: I think Jupiter is right.
    Neptune: No, Jupiter is loud.
    Uranus: Neptune is fat
  • Wham Episode:
    • #9: Black Hole makes her first appearance.
    • #15: Sun kills Ceres, and Pluto leaves the Solar System to join Black Hole.
  • Wham Line:
    • "I'm hungry."
    • "It's like it's coming from... inside of me?"
    • "But the others—" "WILL NOT MATTER SOON."
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Black Hole convinces Pluto that the others in the Solar System are violent monsters for killing Ceres, whom she sent to die in the first place.
  • You Have to Believe Me: Mars trying to convince Sun about Black Hole. Per the trope, Sun refuses to take this seriously.

...Next time.