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Elly and the reason she never says "It could always be worse."
When exactly did we stop pursuing happiness and start avoiding unhappiness?.
Probably the minute we entered our early 20s.
The Word Weary (sometimes called 'The Word Weary Comic') is a Stick Figure Comic webcomic about disappointment, loneliness and love centered around John Kossler, an Author Avatar, and his friends.The author, John Kossler, makes light of his depression and his position as the omega male in his group of friends. When the comic begins, the audience is introduced to Yorick Kingsley, a performance artist who is somewhat mean to John, Jason Kirkwood, a hard drinking misogynist philosopher and the only member of the group who was in a relationship when the comic started, and Sam Kirkwood, Jason's younger brother and the voice of reason in the group. Soon the characters meet Harry the Hipster and his girlfriend, Elly, an independent Fiery Redhead, to whom John finds himself instantly attracted. Later introduced are Lillith, a girl who plays Dungeons and Dragons and thinks Nerds Are Sexy, her friend, Grace, who prefers being alone to having to deal with immaturity (while still deeply wanting to love and be loved), and Lillith's socially awkward stalker, Nick Trotmann (who's ALSO implied to be an Author Avatar).The comic is heavily Slice of Life (almost to the point of being a Journal Comic) and much of the humor comes from the friction between the character's personalities. Kossler makes use of puns, Black Comedy, sarcasm and the occasional Bottom of the Barrel Joke. Strewn throughout are Wham Episodes in which all pretense of humor is dropped and the emotions of the characters are explored... but these are pretty rare.The Word Weary is notable for its tight narrative (issues #4-#79 comprise one day in Webcomic Time) and attention to continuity while maintaining the humor. Kossler has also mentioned numerous times that he tries to make the female characters in the comic as realistic and relatable as possible- while still featuring misogynistic male characters. The comic updates on the 10th, 20th and 30th of each month at 6:00pm Eastern US time.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted with Elly (who's dating a man who cries after being made fun of) and Lillith (who "has a boner" for nerds.) Played straight with Grace, who admits she's really attracted to self-involved men.
Anti-Climax: The last two issues of the Day 1 arc (comics #4-#79) bring most of the comic's plots together until John takes a shot of a Four Horsemen, an extremely alcoholic drink, and blacks out before they can be resolved.
Arc Words: Comics 40, 41 and 42 all end with the same words: "There's no way this can end badly."
During the parts of the series that take place in the Dungeons and Dragons game the characters are playing, the normally bright color palette is replaced with black and white. The monsters featured in the game are also drawn more realistically, with the notable exception of the White Satyr.
It's subtle, but the color palette becomes much more drab after the start of the second day. (See Darker and Edgier).
During the "Guest Comic Week" that John Kossler admitted he had authored himself, there is a furry comic, a Photo Comic and a parody of Peanuts.
Ascended Extra: Once a minor character, Mona Byrnewald has become a focal part of the main story.
Author Appeal: John fits his interest in history (the Dungeons and Dragons game), the occult (Claude and some of the tapestries in The Abbey restaurant) and indie music (many of the titles) into the comic.
And Russian culture. Lots and lots of Russian culture.
Crapsack World: As John said in the comments section of this issue, the main philosophy of The Word Weary is "when it rains, it pours and also you get struck by lightning and one of the paramedics who revives you steals your shoes."
Crazy Homeless Person: Though a little off-kilter in his conversations with Carolyne, Mona and Harry, Robert seems like a good man who's down on his luck.
Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Played straight in the comic's narrative as John, Yorick, Elly, Sam and Lillith all get some nookie within hours of meeting their respective partners, but it's stated that actually getting laid is a relatively rare occurrence for John, Sam, Lillith and Mona.
Everybody is Single: Out of the nine main characters, only three are in relationships when the narrative starts.
Everybody Smokes: Most of the main characters- John, Harry the Hipster, Grace and Poor Trotmann- smoke. Some of the smoking is justified by the fact that John works at a hookah lounge.
Evil Debt Collector: Played with: In this comic Stan Becks calls Elly and tells her she has to pay back her recently deceased mother's credit card debt, which Morris later reveals is illegal. Though the debt collection ruins Elly financially, the comic implies Stan is just doing what he has to do to save his job.
Face Palm: Many, many times in reaction to Yorick and Jason's douchebaggery.
Flipping the Bird: John does this when he angrily announces he refuses to do the comic anymore.
Fortune Teller: Played with by Claude- he reads Tarot on the street even though he doesn't actually put any stock into prognostication.
Four Eyes, Zero Soul: All of the characters have Monochromatic Eyes, but Harry is the only character with glasses whose lenses are opaque. Considering he's a manipulative sociopath, he fits this trope nicely.
I Wrote Our Story: John Kossler is writing a webcomic about John Kossler writing a webcomic.
While trying to think of ideas to write his next issue (to be released the next day), it's mentioned John has already completed three. Later at the bar he talks about stealing Yorick's shirt as the punchline for his joke- which was indeed the punchline of issue four of the series.
Thus Day One of the comic takes place on March 14, 2011.
Lampshade Hanging: Grace gets chewed out by her boss for her recent tardiness and points out that she called in the previous Thursday. Sort of like how the comic had been going up late often the week previous to it and John did indeed miss the previous Thursday's update.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Nine characters on the cast page and the banner, then you have the characters who've contributed to the plot: Mona, Chris, Sun-Hi, Claude, Todd, Delilah, Arson Poe, The Mayor, Ida, Branden, Sam 2, Carolyne, Robert and Gary. Kossler's mentioned in a few news posts that he feels bad about having such a robust cast.
Lonely Together: Averted when Poor Trotmann declines to go on a date with Grace.
Long Pants: One of the defining features of the art style.
Love Martyr: Elly sticks by Harry even though she's unhappy with being tied down to anyone.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The author flat out stated in his About section that he is willing to make major changes to the characters.
"Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: John has said in many newsposts that much of the content in the comic is based on real life... even when he ordered pizza in the guise of a Dungeons and Dragons character.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Mayor ruins a man after claiming a building the man had renovated was historical AFTER the man had spent $150,000 to renovate it.
Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: A very rare Type 5 as the male and female characters are portrayed with the same amount of agency- that being said, there are many more male characters than female.
Slut Shaming: Openly subverted. Mona and Lillith hook up with men shortly after meeting them, but none of the characters who know about their trysts think anything of it. When Elly sleeps with John after knowing him for only a day, she's more concerned about cheating on her boyfriend than the fact that she slept with him.
Played straight: Grace is the only character introduced so far who smokes cigarettes regularly. She seems more relaxed and at peace with the world than the other characters. She also has a nerdy white friend who looks up to her.
Inverted: Poor Trotmann is the opposite of cool and he smokes hookah at the lounge in which John works.
Take That: Even though he claims to appreciate the novel, the author says in the Alt Text of this comic that half of John Updike's Rabbit, Run is just the author talking about how much he "likes blowjobs and dry humping."
A very meta example: During the infamous first guest comic week that John authored himself, each comic was prefaced with the correspondence between him and the person making the guest comics. Since he wrote them himself, he was literally talking to himself.
Issue five indicates it's 3:30 in the afternoon and issue 29 states it's almost 9 at night. That means that, in the six weeks that passed between their release, it's only been a few hours.
The trend continues in Day Two. As of this writing, it's about lunchtime the day after the story proper starts... which means that, in 140 comics and over a year of updates, it's only been about 24 hours.
White Male Lead: Out of the nine main characters, six are male, eight are white, all nine are heterosexual.
World War One: The Dungeons and Dragons game is inspired by Germany's efforts to get Russia out of the war by demoralizing her populace by financing anti-war groups- including the Bolsheviks.
You Are Not Alone: Judging by one of the comments the author left in response to a fan who took the comic's themes of loneliness and alienation to heart, John Kossler views his entire comic as one reminder to people that he too feels alone and alienated but finds humor in his situation. YMMV on how effective he is at this.