It's one thing to know it, but another to admit... clockwise from top, Troubles(Lorraine), Robyn, Jeff, and Bud
(10CC: The Worst Band In The World)
This comic deals with the adventures of four buddies who decide to start a rock group. It reflects a slightly embellished account of real events in the younger life of creator W.Byron Wilkins (assisted by his active imagination and a well-tuned sense of the absurd). It is set in 1977, hence the title, with flash-forwards to the later mature life of Author Avatar
C. "Bud" Chambers, who in the present day is a widowed father of a teen daughter, wondering where his life went.
The full story of Plan9, as so far revealed, is here
tropes inexpertly played, by the creators of the critically declaimed sixth worst album of the 1970's, include:
- All Drummers Are Animals: Robyn, when she gets either mad or horny.
- Author Avatar: "Bud" Chambers is a bass player, as was Byron.
- Bar Brawl: Tends to happen a lot around Plan9. Especially Robyn.
- Berserk Button: the trigger for Bud's transformation into his female alter ego is anger and rage. This also changes him back.
- But Not Too Bi: Robyn has a fling with a female police agent. Earlier in the storyline, she once kisses Troubles. And wonders. But most of the time she is hetero.
- Deal with the Devil: Guess who their producer/manager is in one story arc.
- Does Not Like Shoes: The principal characters, especially the two girls, are almost always depicted barefoot. Word of God is that this is no accident.
- Dumb Blonde: Jeff, a slacker stoner and not the brightest candle on the chandelier.
- The Familiar: the Mystic Frog appears to be linked to Bud, if only by mutual loathing.
- Gender Bender: Bud's seemingly random transformations into a female version of himself.
- Groin Attack: Bud is ground zero for a lot of these. Jeff isn't immune; Troubles once tips a cup of very hot coffee down his underpants.
- Hulking Out: When the normally easy-going Bud has had just about enough and transforms either into or out of Budette.
- I Call Him "Mister Happy": Bud. although he becomes Mr Unhappy when subjected to Groin Attack.
- Male Gaze: Directed at Robyn and Troubles. Frequently. The girls tend to speculate whether starting to wear bras would be a good idea.
- Mascot Fighter: Poco, defending his masters. A fire-breathing lizard is a useful asset in a bar fight.
- Ms. Fanservice: Take your pick. "Troubles", Robyn, Rhoda/Brenda, Lily, her mother Rose, Jeff's mother, even Bud as Budette... the strip has frequent semi or full nudity and sexual scenes, which while not explicit, make it decidedly NSFW.
- Nipple and Dimed: Take a look at the page image. Robyn and Troubles invariably have erect nipples.
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: Bud plays bass. And rarely gets the girl, or even attention. This is also Byron's wry complaint about playing bass. Nobody notices.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Poco, the Team Mascot and fire-breathing, banana-loving, Bearded Lizard.
- Shout-Out: Every episode is titled after a line from a sometimes obscure seventies' rock or pop song. Some are very subtle and clever allusions.
- Sleeps with Everyone but You: Bud's feelings about Lorraine. Resolved when they meet again in their fifties. But it takes a long time...
- Somewhere, a Herpetologist Is Crying: the Bearded Lizard is a common North American creature. But no recorded example has ever been known to breathe fire. Until Poco came along.
- Team Mom: Robyn is often forced into this role, being oldest of the four.
- The Tomboy: Robyn, an Irish-American girl who learnt to fight through having six brothers and through being pugnacious by nature.
- Titled After the Song: each strip takes its title from a seventies' rock or pop song: for instance, Poco goes on a fire-breathing rampage to the tune of the Blue Öyster Cult's Godzilla.
- Toad Licking: Bud makes the mistake of licking an exotic amphibian thinking he will get high. The creature is the fabulous Mystic Frog, a sentient, magical and touchy creature. Which curses Bud with an attack of transsexual confusion.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Lorraine.
- Wrench Wench: Robyn, a gifted and innnovative auto mechanic.