"Join Coach Brew and Trip as they wage an epic battle against societal stupidity!"
— Shredded Moose's slogan and mission statement.
"You suck, dad"
— Main protagonist and resident fratboy
, ending a significant, paradigm shifting storyline about kidnapping, blackmail, assassination attempts and FBI conspiracies with a bad pun.
Shredded Moose is a discontinued gaming webcomic written by Chris Hall and illustrated by famed children's book illustrator Brian C. Krümm (who later masterminded Eartha the Sea Turtle with Dan Bodenstein) that circulated on the internet from 2007 to 2009. It went through a large number of revisions and changes in ideology during its lifespan but its premise started out simple and easy to follow. It mostly concerned the often raunchy, often NSFW wacky misadventures
of Two Gamers on a Couch
, hot-tempered womanizing fratboy, Brew and his foil, a meek, kind-hearted, Straight Man
in a green hoodie, Trip with jabs and mockery at the then-current 2007 video game/pop culture.
The central theme of Shredded Moose centered around providing examples of reoccuring trends in society that caused people to behave stupidly or impeded on the 1st amendment, which were demonstrated in the comic and in the often unrelated, accompanying blogs
by Chris Hall who wrote them as if they were written by his Author Avatar
Joining our heroes were second Straight Man
uhh... squirrel, an anthropomorphic talking animal,
Muff, and his curious dating partner, a slim human woman named Lisa with a Gung Ho
attitude. Last but not least was Monique, a young, redheaded mother clad in a trademark purple sweater who’s greatly concerned about Brew’s treatment of woman. Originally intended as a Straw Feminist
, shortly after her debut, Monique blossoms into the female lead.
In mid 2008, Hall and Krümm began to shift Shredded Moose into a series of story arcs that tackled more serious forms of societal stupidity. Backstories for Brew and Monique were developed; providing knowledge on their upbringings and how it shaped their personalities. Trip gained an unrequited crush on Nicole, a young brunette woman who attends the same classes as him.
From mid 2008 to January 2009, Shredded Moose, eschewed its crude gag formula and tackled a storyline in the Psychological Thriller
genre, focusing solely on Brew and Monique and rife with left turns
And once that storyline came to a close in January 2009, Shredded Moose went through another Face-Heel Turn
and became a Slice of Life
comic about Trip's positive and negative experiences in high school with a very dramatic Tone Shift
, becoming very mild and light-hearted with no senseless killing, crude humor or psychological trauma.
A final storyline was introduced in July 2009 focusing on Brew's reflection on his treatment of women and Monique's influence on his life. After remembering her life-risking act of saving him and her love for her daughter, he finally sees the human side to women and resolves to treat them better
This comic provides examples of:
- All Psychology Is Freudian: The reason behind Brew’s jerkassery? It turns he was a spoiled socialite enabled by his father, a wealthy Ace Attorney who treated his wife, Brew’s mother like a servant resulting in Brew’s own complex towards women.
- Anti-Hero: Brew and Monique, both have personality defects and flaws but end up heroically working together to save Monique's daughter who was kidnapped by her mother's rapists.
- Art Shift: Because Krümm had broken his arm and his drawing tablet stolen, Hall was forced to partially draw the comic; resulting in a significantly different art style for the characters.
- Author Avatar: Brew and Trip for Chris Hall and Brian C Krümm respectively.
- Bloodier and Gorier: At least its very cartoonish blood and gore.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Monique as a child who's mother was raped and murdered before her eyes.
- Dead Baby Comedy: Comics in 2007 were heavily dependent on this, mid 2008 use of this trope was greatly reduced.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Played for laughs at the start of the comic with Brew in his treatment of various strawmen. When Shredded Moose adopted storylines and deeper themes the spontaneous killings of random people deemed 'idiots' ceased
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Subverted, being the renowned Jerk Ass he is, Brew doesn't even offer Monique pity for losing her mother and possibly her daughter so she doesn't get to say this line. He still helps her however.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Brew and Trip both have an inner revolution and a change in thinking which leads them to a happy ending. Brew quits his womanizing and his poor treatment of them and Trip learns to be brave and stand up for himself
- Evil Redhead: Monique is introduced as this before subverting it.
- Hates Everyone Equally: According to Word of God, Shredded Moose wasn't about singling out individuals but mocking reoccurring social trends that were considered harmful or stupid to society as a whole
- Lost Forever: About half the comics are irretrievable unless Hall and Krumm decide to re-release them, which is unlikely.
- Moral Dissonance: Very high at the start of the comic but slowly readjusted.
- Never Bareheaded: Possibly Brew, who wears his trademark baseball cap at all times even in the shower and over other hats and wigs.
- Orphaned Series: It has been disowned by its creators
- Refuge in Audacity: Shredded Moose circa 2007 exemplifies this trope. Murder, violence and other abuse directed at strawmen are played for laughs with very little retribution for the offender. Brew humorously lampshades this when a strawman gets disposed by an external force that isn't him: "What the hell? Pfft, whatever, saves me the trouble."
- Rule 34: Lots and lots of fanservice in 2007 but this element was later regulated to occasional pin-ups due to complaints.
- Self-Deprecation: This trope is not uncommon in Shredded Moose.
- In "Rim Shot" Brew uses his "mad" basketball skills and streetwise smack talk to "school" a bunch of third graders
- Trip and Muff are rightfully horrified when they see Brew has baked two cakes shaped like sex organs for the purpose of cramming one into the other and tell him to get help.
- "House Keeping", Brew relaxes with a self satisfied smirk after getting it on with a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner is humorously holding a cigarette
- "We Love You Too", Brew acts like a monkey and pretends to hump a blowup doll of Monique while said character accuses Shredded Moose of using neanderthal humor and viewing women as merely playthings.
- "On The Couch" has Brew in therapy for unknown but highly suggestible reasons complaining about how he's never had a long term relationship. When asked about the relationship with his mother by the therapist, he gives the rather Freudian response "She's not really my type."
- Straw Feminist: Portrayed as an angry orc. Monique begins as one of these as well but quickly subverts this trope to become a central character in Shredded Moose.
- Shout-Out: Various franchises that were popular in 2007 and most are still going strong today. When Shredded Moose shifted into story arcs this was cut significantly.
- "Super Complications": The Flash, Mr Fantastic, Invisible Women, and the Hulk are involved in "suggestive situations"
- "Chem Lab" - Trip transforms into Spongebob as the result of a failed chemistry experiment
- Penny Arcade in "Get the Edge"
- Jeopardy in "Form of a Question"
- The Shrek franchise in "Advertising Campaign"
- Elmer Fudd exact his revenge on Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and oddly, Road Runner in "It's Looney"
- Stuffed In The Fridge: Heavily subverted by Monique in response to her mother's death. Rather than seeking vengeance for her mother's death, Monique embraces the ideals of Feminism and grows up to be a strong, proactive person with the desire to protect other women, including her young, impressionable daughter from extreme misogyny like she witnessed. It turns out she doesn’t view Brew as a completely irredeemable monster but wants to prevent his inconsiderate attitudes from leading him to become completely misogynistic like her mother’s rapists.
- Take That: Penny Arcade, feminists, gun control, and other societal issues that were prevalent during the comic's run
- Two Gamers on a Couch: The premise, ostensibly for the first 100 comics or so.
- Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: Brew's calling card.
- Word Salad Humor: No one, not even the authors have ever explained what "Shredded Moose" means.