The year is 2426
. Earth is a patchwork quilt of squabbling Domains, loosely joined under the mantle of the Empire, which fights to present a united front to the dozens of technologically advanced, land-hungry alien races. The Empire controls the Sol weftgate, humanity's connection to the galaxy at large: through it goes a steady stream of cheap labor, gone to build, clean, or kill for the wealthier races, and through it comes the money and alien technology that fuels much of Earth's economy.
None of which matters particularly to the patrons of the Sunset Grill, a bar on the shady side of town in the corrupt city of Kieselburg. They're too busy staying alive. Because no matter what the year, there will always be those who struggle to survive. And no matter how distant, how strange, or how advanced the place, there will always be someone to ask that all-important question: "Hey, is there anywhere in this dump I can get a decent beer?"
The comic follows the day-to-day life of the barís staff and patrons as they meet the challenges of their imperfect world with humor, determination, and the occasional moment of grace.
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This webcomic contains examples of
- All There in the Manual The author has a whole page dedicated to World Building filled with notes about the history, city and culture from the comics and the FAQ page fills in a lot of gaps.
- Archive Trawl Just about any reading of the comic will lead to this as the series has been updating by-weekly since 2008 with very few breaks. There also isn't any formal chapter divisions to help find where things are.
- Body Backup Drive The Emperor, Alexander was the first for whom this worked. In fact, it's part of the reason he became The Emperor in the first place.
- The City Narrows The part of Kieselburg called Lowtown. The city authorities practically admit that Lowtown is run by l'affaires and the legal business that are there pay them protection money. In fact, l'affaires often keeps the peace better then the police do.
- Feudal Future Because if you can genetically modify yourself and become the Lord Undying, why wouldnít you take over the world and make yourself the Lord of Everything?
- Future Food Is Artificial Why is the Sunset Grill so great? They have vegetables. Trevor gets pretty excited about the prospect of home-grown food. Because who really wants to sustain themselves on vat-grown algae forever. Yum.
- Gentle Giant Sal is a big ex-army guy, but at heart heís kind. Too kind, depending on who you ask.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe Anastasia, the cook, is somewhat tempermental in the same way that a knife is somewhat sharp.
- In the Future, Humans Will Be One Race: Completely and utterly averted. The cast is both huge and diverse.
- Layered Metropolis Most major cities are like this. The city of Kieselburg has the classic rich live on the top, poor live on the bottom Urban Segregation. It's got so many layers that neighborhoods are measured by how many teirs tall they are. Significant Neighborhoods include: The Greenwharves, Lowtown, Oldbarracks, L'Petit Empire, Porttown, Rue de la Monde and Uptown.
- Loads and Loads of Characters Thereís a solid 65 characters on the cast page. Of course, the cast is an ensemble cast and tends to follow shorter story arches in the future, so itís to be expected.
- Local Hangout: The entire comic is set in and around the Sunset Grill, or follows the staff and patrons. Itís not a comic about any one hero in particular, the hangout is the story.
- Servant Race The Sunlanders and Atlanteans were genetically engineered to be this.
- Urban Segregation Of the vertical varietly. The rich live in the skyscrapers, the poor live on the ground. See Layered Metropolis.
- World Building Pretty much everywhere. The author loves this and has written many pages on this subject. One of the better fleshed out future works.
- Wrong Side of the Tracks The further down Kieselburg goes, the more it becomes this. Most of the characters are from here. Lowtown is this at best.