Webcomic: Other People's Business
Other People's Business
is the latest webcomic by Sandra Stanley. It is set in the same universe as Friendly Hostility
and Boy Meets Boy
and about three years after the end of Friendly Hostility.
While some of the main characters do make an appearance in Other People's Business
, they are not the primary focus. Instead, the plot revolves round the lives of three new characters: Danny, Mercedes, and Hilary. What the main plot will actually be is hard to tell as of yet, but Sandra has given us a summary:
"After a tragic event, down-on-her-luck Daniela 'Danny' Alvarez is being coaxed back into a life of normality by her best friend, sensible Mercedes, when a smart-mouthed sleazy little thief bursts through Danny's window and drags her into a world full of conspiracies, cults, and evil corporations, and accidentally gets Danny on the road to feeling human again."
As of 11/2/11 the author has ended the comic in mid-story. But while the author cannot continue in comic form she will be posting a summary of the rest of the story to provide closure for her readers.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: Leon has a major case of this, torturing and murdering for a living, while still keeping a likable personality (or at least, the superficial appearance of one) that makes him a well liked character in spite of everything.
- Anti-Hero: Hilary.
- Black and Grey Morality: Side with the the corporation that employs a family man who kills people for a living, or the career thief. Your choice.
- Cerebus Retcon: Remember that one off joke that Satan made to Tabitha in Boy Meets Boy about how she has the chance to corrupt Collin and Fox? Check out what happened to Collin.
- Characterization Marches On: Not in a big way, but still there. Sandra originally intended Mercedes to always look like a gorgeous cover model at all times, in every pose she makes. But it wound up making her look pretty goofy, so she decided Mercedes' new shtick was now making the most embarrassing and goofy facial expressions ever without realizing it. That and her giant hands.
- The Charmer: Fox has a fair amount of this...providing he doesn't let his mouth run away with him.
- Continuity Nod: Especially regarding Fox - F.H. readers will know just why sleeping in Padma's shed would be such a hardship.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Creed's Board of Directors.
- Crapsack World: Has a lot of the hallmarks of one, given that the more likeable you are, the more your life is going to suck.
- Creator Breakdown: Because of this, issue 8 onwards will only be posted as chapter summaries, as opposed to actual comics.
- Creepy Child: Word of God says Berlinetta is one of these to anyone but her dad and grandparents.
- Build-a-Bear employees can now join this privileged circle, too.
- Darker and Edgier: There's really no comparison to most of Friendly Hostility, far less Boy Meets Boy, even if it is set in the same universe.
- Discontinuity Nod: Fox claims that there is no Devil, or at least "demons" aren't really descended from him/her. Her immediate daughter from the main cast of Boy Meets Boy might take this as news.
- Domestic Abuse: The author insists that Collin does not seem himself as a victim, but the occasional hair pulling and bed-time stranglings from Leon seem to be a relatively usual thing. Alternately, it's a vaguely consensual BDSM.
- Dramatic Irony: Most variants, from the readers' knowledge that Leon is probably lying to his husband, to Mercedes' dilemma regarding her choice of workplace, to realising just why Fox gives such good advice on airing grievances in a relationship before the issue gets out of hand.
- Dysfunction Junction: No kidding. So far, we have a character whose life has gone almost completely down the drain, a thief with a heavily-implied-to-be-murdered father, and a guy with a shady past and the scars to show for it. Word of God says that kicking around in the background is a certain character who has gone from a happy-go-lucky romantic to a heartbroken Woobie.
- Erotic Asphyxiation: although the erotic part may have different significance for the people involved.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Betrayal and double-crossing are par for the course. A more sympathetic example is Mercedes, an underpaid culinary superstar, who feels like she's a dirty rat for considering a lucrative new job offer with her hero. Love Interest Morris disagrees and points out that she would be sensible to consider it.
- Eye Scream: Part of Leon's gruesome, just-off-panel torture of some hapless intellectual who knew too much.
- Family Values Villain: Leon. Murdering somone who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Fine. Feeding your kid pizza twice in one week? "What the hell is wrong with you?" Balanced diet is clearly a Serious Business...
- Fan Disillusionment: The shift in mood saw some FH fans leave the continuity altogether.
- Femme Fatale: Francine.
- Flanderization: One of the darkest variants possible. Friendly Hostility Collin had a bit of a violence kink and occasionally fudged the truth, despite loudly advocating a "brutal honesty" policy. In Other People's Business, violence and deceit are apparently the things he looks for in a relationship, and he lies as easily as he breathes.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Leon is angry, violent, and distant. And now also seems to be under the impression that his "girl" is cheating on him.
- Happily Married: Collin and Leon - although the commentary indicates that all is not smooth sailing, even occasionally hinting at darker undercurrents.
- Has Two Mommies: Berlinetta...kinda. She's not all that enamoured of her second daddy (although she likes his parents), and the feeling's mutual. She recently admitted, "Collin's okay sometimes," which is a much bigger victory than it sounds.
- Hollywood Atheist: Danny
- Hypocrite: Curiously, Leon is the more standard domestic version rather than the "epic villain" version that would seem to suit him best. He bitches about how Collin has been "cheating" on him (doing things behind his back)...in the aftermath of a murder that has been set up while lying through his back teeth to his husband.
- Les Yay: The creator herself admits to see chemistry between Hilary and Danny. While Hilary would probably be open to the idea, Danny (as of yet) seems quite contentedly heterosexual.
- Maternally Challenged: Danny is this with her son. Possibly one of the reasons she drank so much, or maybe because she drank so much.
- Later in the comic, this turns out to be a major part of her angst: She despised even the word "Mommy", linking it with a total loss of a woman's own identity. She is (or at least, claims to be) glad that she is no longer her son's primary caregiver, and - ironically, given the Broken Base incident above - is quite happy to hand over the "Mommy" title to Reina.
- Manipulative Bastard: Mad Bart. Leon. Most of Creed. Probably many others.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Supernatural and spiritual things have been implied in the story, and just what Mad Bart is isn't exactly clear. Considering this is in the same universe as fridge demons and anthropomorphic chaos entities, it's hard to be certain.
- Morality Pet: Averted with Berlinetta and Leon. He obviously loves her but he lies to her just as much as he does everyone else and it emphasises how much of a creep he is.
- No Accounting for Taste: Leon and Collin. Which variation of N.A.F.T. it's seen as depends on the reader.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Employed all over the place.
- Older and Wiser: Fox dispenses some sage advice, but boy did he have to gain that knowledge the painful way. While avoiding Not as You Know Them, he's an ever-so-slightly sadder, uneasier character, while still chiming in with some Plucky Comic Relief.
- Parents as People: Danny's fear of losing her identity as a person to motherhood is a big part of her character. Leon and Collin are twisted variants. Dixie splits her time between being a mother and the world's most terrifying restaurant owner.
- Power Trio: May be formed by the three main characters, since they do fill the roles.
- Private Detective: It looks like Danny is trying to be a rare female example of this trope. She gets better at it as the comic goes on.
- Punchclock Villain: Likely Hilary as well as the Ratterlys.
- Schedule Slip: Ms. Fuhr has a full time job, so it happens every once in a while.
- Ship Sinking: The remaining Fox/Collin shippers appear to have either abandoned the series or retreated into an Alternate Universe.
- Spell My Name with an "S"; All There in the Manual
- Unholy Matrimony: Leon and Collin — given that it's a relationship between a doting dad hitman and a Corrupt Corporate Executive. It's a Pet the Dog aspect of the characters for some, and a Moral Event Horizon waiting to happen for others.
- Unreliable Narrator: The FAQ warns you that "The characters are lying to you." Be warned. Especially when the chapter title is "25 Lies".
- Villains Out Shopping: Leon behaves very differently around his family.
- The current storyline is a literal example, as we follow Collin taking his stepdaughter to the mall to buy a pilgrim costume and a stuffed giraffe.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Averted; while Boy Meets Boy and Friendly Hostility both had a pretty vague location, this comic is firmly placed in the Houston, Texas area, and has a few shots of specific places now and then.