A webcomic, written by Dave Warren, about adoption... with a twist.Selkie follows the adventures of an amphibious young girl, and the man who adopts her. No one knows exactly what she is, but somehow she ended up in the municipal orphanage, where she was recently adopted by Todd Smith. The comic follows her trying to adapt to her new life... and Todd and his family trying to adapt to her.
This webcomic provides examples of:
Adults Are Useless: Sometimes played straight, but mostly averted - the faculty at the school do try their best, but sometimes the situation can get out of hand for them. To their credit, they tend to recover admirably afterward.
And in regards to Selkie, it's justified since they're being intentionally kept in the dark on the matter.
Adult Fear: In-universe. The grown-ups of the story seem much more disturbed when Selkie's shirt gets stolen than the children do. Justified for some of the children, who lived with her in the orphanage and may have known about Selkie's gill routine, which requires her removing her shirt.
All There in the Manual: There are several physiology sketches, and Dave was nice enough to actually type up a couple pages of Selkie's case file, print them out and scan them for us. Also, reading through the comments reveals a wealth of information from replies to reader questions.
Alt Text: Called Secret Director Commentary, it's basically little facts about either the making of the strip or the continuity. Later altered to be viewable below the comic, because some browsers were having trouble viewing it.
Art Evolution: The comic started out with hand-drawn black and white lines. Over the course of its run, it has gained smooth vector lines, followed by color, and then, finally, shading. The skill at which the art is drawn has also increased noticeably.
At one point Dave even did an experiment with no outlines, but it was dismissed by both him and most of the fans.
Big Eater: Selkie herself, especially when it comes to fish and other seafood.
Bi the Way: Although not referring to bisexuals in particular, the author has made references to a polygamous quintet, a gay couple wanting to adopt, and a "where are they now" short sees Jessie at home with her girlfriend.
Bizarre Alien Biology: Selkie herself. Blue blood, gills, no external ears, a flattened nose with slit-like nostrils, an obligate carnivore with a healthy appetite for seafood and who "pukes purple" if she consumes plant matter ... and poisonous saliva to boot.
Bland-Name Product: Apparently Selkie enjoys watching movies on Flixnet. Dave also enjoys a nice cold "Dew of the mountains".
Body Horror: In the Show Within a Show superhero cartoon, the character Web-Spitter has a spider for a head (complete with legs) after eating radioactive spider eggs, and also pukes webbing. Selkie finds this more disgusting than disturbing.
Fish Person: The title character. So is Dr. De'Medeia. They are sarnothi, a species that follows this trope.
Flipping the Bird: Selkie herself, doing it to taunt some other kids in a snowball fight.
Freaky Is Cool: Selkie was always passed over for more "normal" kids by prospective adopters, until Todd showed up and was drawn to her.
Freudian Excuse: Amanda's treatment of Selkie first seems like either Fantastic Racism or her being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, until it's shown that she hates Selkie because her arrival at the orphanage meant Amanda had no help in figuring out why her adoptive parents would dump her.
Meaningful Name: A selkie is a creature from Irish mythology that can change from a seal into a person and back again-in other words, it can live both on land and in the water. This may also explain why she likes seals.
The Trunchbull's last name indeed comes from thatTrunchbull, as reflected by their venomous personalities.
The Men in Black: Todd's father expresses worry about the possibility of them showing up because of Selkie. Todd points out that Selkie has public records, including a medical one, meaning that such an event would be unlikely. Of course, that was before the reveal of one Agent Brown...
Non-Mammal Mammaries: Selkie's species has them. She was also depicted as such in aged-up fanart before Dave posted the physiology sketch that proved it. Justified in that the reason they develop breasts is because they nurse their young for a few weeks until teeth develop.
We actually get a good idea of what it was, given that the original outline for one strip had Selkie reciting it to Todd as they left the orphanage. Although she got cut off by Todd, it was fairly obvious where it was leading too...
Papa Wolf: Todd slowly grows into one over the course of the story.
Pluralses: A feature of Selkie's speech. Fans initially speculated whether it was a side effect of trying to speak English through fangs. It's actually because her native tongue has different rules for pluralization, and she learned English through 'crash-course immersion'. Selkie does not take kindly to having it implied to be a speech impediment.
Georgie: Dude! If I kick a kid in the nuts, I get to skip school for a whole WEEK?!
Principal: It's not a reward!
Verbal Tic: Selkie frequently adds unnecessary esses to her words. It's apparently a common issue with Sarnothi, and demonstrative of the differences between their language and English, as Pohl and his wife learned to overcome it.
Webcomic Time: Ignoring the Time Skip, the entire comic so far has covered just a few days in-universe, with strips released over nearly a year in real time.
And the trip to the hospital, featuring several Wham Scenes in short order: The formal reveal of Dr. Gillman, Pohl De'Madeia, followed shortly by his wife and family; the name of Selkie's species, sarnothi; and, both in one page, the reveal that there was a civil war and that Selkie is from "Clan Jin'Sorai", a line that's followed by a major Reaction Shot of despair from the listener.