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Webcomic: Trying Human

Trying Human is a science-fiction webcomic by Emy Bitner.

Rose Marie Williams is a secretary and filing clerk for a New York City police station and by night suffers from nosebleeds and boughts of sleepwalking. She has been being abducted by a group of aliens, including Hue, an alien who is smitten for her.

The comic also follows Roger, Rose's on-again off-again boyfriend who winds up inadvertently working as a Man in Black and Phillis, an Air Force translator in the 1940s who has a mysterious connection with EBE1, the lead alien Hue's genetic father, that somehow resulted in her death.

This Comics Contains Examples Of:

  • The Ageless: Glasner is implied to have acquired this form of immortality through contact with alien technology, since he's been around since the 1940s and seemingly hasn't aged a day.
  • Alien Abduction: The main premise of the plot.
  • Alien Blood: Greys have blue blood.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: 6 has a thing for 8, who has a thing for Roger, who may or may not still have a thing for Rose. Also, Glasner and Phillis.
  • Anime Hair: Human Tone.
    • Justified as his chip has a glitch in it, causing his hair to appear like a "torch."
  • Arc Words: "Red" is important for as-of-yet undisclosed reasons. It's implied that it has to do with Shade, who has red eyes, or Rose, who has red hair.
    • The catatonic Phillis has red eyes.
  • Art Evolution: The difference between the early pages and the new pages is actually quite astounding, the artist has even begun to go back and redo the older chapters in her new style. A very impressive example can be seen here.
  • Artificial Human: 6 is explicitly called an engineered lifeform, but don't call him "half" anything.
    • All the current Grays are this, not just Hue. See Last of Their Kind.
  • Artificial Limbs: EBE1 has an artificial arm, made for him by Phillis. Notably, when Rose encounters Phillis or something resembling her on the spaceship, she says that she "makes arms" as an introduction.
  • Asshole Victim: Some pretty nasty stuff happens to Walter in the flashbacks such as getting pimp-slapped by EBE1 and injected stuff by Dr Glasner - but honestly, what with the way he behaves sometimes, you can't deny he has it coming.
  • Beta, Gamma, Delta Couple: Phillis and EBE1 and possibly more depending on how things play out.
    • 8 and Roger might have something going on, Longus and Don almost definitely.
      • And maybe Quazky and Gracelis too.
  • Between My Legs: This page when 8 and Glasner hook up
  • Blinding Bangs: 8, and all of the Majestic 12 (save Roger and 6) have Hidden Eyes.
    • Notably, when we do see 8's eyes (which is fairly often), it's nearly always during a vulnerable moment.
  • Chick Magnet: Non-canon examples but EBE1, 7, and Hue. With dashes of Even the Guys Want Him. In canon, Longus, ironically enough.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Rose gets one here.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The fact that Roger just happens to be hired by an organization dealing with aliens while Rose is abducted by those same aliens. Later revealed to not in fact be a coincidence, since both Roger and Rose were abducted and that automatically put Roger on the watch list of potential agents.
  • Creator Cameo: More than once. Here is the latest.
  • Creepy Cute: Hue, and most noticeably, the Reptoids as a whole. They are human-eating lizard aliens, but have Cute Little Fangs and amusing dialogue that makes it hard to think they're creepy at all. Even Magnus manages a few humorous lines, usually targeted at Quazky.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: 3 (although in Chapter 18, it's revealed that the blonde hair is a wig).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rose, Quazky and EBE1.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The 1940s flashbacks eventually settled on appearing this way.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Reptoids, especially in the earlier comics
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In Chapter 1 guess who's sitting behind Roger on the plane?
  • Emotionless Aliens: The Greys have emotions, but they're very different from human ones, and Hue is considered defective because he acts like a human. However, if anything the other aliens are sometimes more emotional and expressive than the actual human characters.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Phillis.
  • Forceful Kiss: EBE1 has a message for Phillis. Unfortunately, only Rose is around to deliver it so...
  • Foregone Conclusion: Phillis is shot trying to escape from the base with a baby. The question is how she got there.
  • Fun with Acronyms: In the case of the Deep Underground Military Bases.
  • Generation Xerox: Between EBE1 and Phillis and Hue and Rose.
  • Goth: 7, with a hint of Ax-Crazy.
  • The Greys: The aliens are explicitly identified as the Greys in-universe.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: It's heavily implied that 6 is in fact half-alien, though he vehemently denies being called "half".
  • Hands Off My Fluffy: Rose standing up to EBE1 in Hue's defense.
  • Hugh Mann: None of the real humans running around seem to notice that Trying Human circuits don't actually work all that well. 7-foot-tall albinos? Normal! Guys with greenish skin, yellow-and-red slit pupil eyes, fangs, claws, forked tongues, and strangely spiky hairstyles, who demonstrate the ability to jump outrageous distances? Nothing to see here!
  • Humanity Ensues: EBE1 causes Rose's mind to screen image him as a human. He then kisses her.
  • Informed Judaism: Don.
  • In-Series Nickname: EBE1 always refers to Phillis as "Philena," a contraction of her first name and her last name, "Lennox."
  • Interspecies Romance: Also the main premise of the plot.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Greys use a type of memory altering that lets the abductee fill in the blanks as to what happened to them.
  • Last of Their Kind:The Grays' home planet burned up in one of its two suns. EBE1 was born/created shortly before it happened as a prototype form for deep space travel. The original Grays were much more expressive and colorful.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Dr. Glasner, though it's debatable how sane he was to begin with.
  • Mars Needs Women: Hue's attraction to Rose parallels EBE1's attraction to Phillis.
    • A lot of aliens in this series seem to be partial to humans, as well.
  • The Men in Black: Majestic 12, not that Roger knew when he signed up.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Longus. Seriously, lizard men were NEVER meant to be that sexy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: 8.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Averted, although not very clear. It is more evident in this image
  • No Sense of Personal Space: 8, repeatedly and not just to Roger.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Despite being shot in the opening scene, Phillis is still somehow alive and conscious in the modern day, albeit imprisoned in a jar by Dr. Glasner (see below).
  • People Jars: Glasner keeps Phillis' body in one.
  • Pet the Dog: Longus' relationship with Don, a young gay boy.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Human Shade.
    • Justified, as with human Tone her chip has a glitch in it causing her long locks.
  • Redheaded Heroine: Rose.
  • The Reptilians: Longus.
  • Rescue Romance: 8 seems to be trying to induce this with Roger, since he helped her out years ago, and says that she was the one who recommended him for the job.
    • Though it's not their first meeting, Longus rescues Don from a couple of thugs, which kickstarts their relationship.
  • Sex Dressed: 8 here, and Dr. Glasner a few pages later (note the unbuttoned shirt and lipstick stain).
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: Gracelis, a high-class Draconian, wears a fur coat and uses a cigarette holder in both human and Reptoid form.
  • Spicy Latina: 8, judging by her last name and use of Spanish in a flashback, and she's more than willing to use her sexuality to get her way. In fact, she used to be a streetwalker.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Longus had apparently taken to "keeping an eye" on Don whenever he was off work.
    • Hue also fits the description. Abducting Rose in her sleep when it's not her turn to be taken, showing up at her apartment uninvited...
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Walter's attitude towards Phillis, though it fits with the 1940s setting.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Rose to Phillis, despite the former being redheaded and the latter being blonde. EBE1 has noticed.
  • Theme Naming: The Greys are Hue, Shade, and Tone. Only EBE1 doesn't fit this pattern, but it's because his "name" is actually a designation given to him by the U.S. Government (his real name hasn't been revealed).
    • According to Glasner, the practice of using names is a foreign concept to the Greys, so presumably their common names were also given to them by humans. (Shade is also referred to as EBE3 in one scene.)
    • Barring Quazky, all the Reptoids are named after (human) muscles or muscle groups.
  • Tin Man: The Greys. Even more apparent when they use the Trying Human units.
    • Exemplified with EBE1. He gets PISSED.
  • Triang Relations: Phillis, Walter and Glasner appear to be in a Type 3, while Phillis seems to at least partially reciprocate Walter's feelings. 8, Roger and Rose are in a Type 4, though 8 clearly wants to change Roger's mind about that. Meanwhile, 6, 8, and Roger are in a Type 5, with 6 at the A point.
    • Rose, Roger and Hue are in what appears to be a complicated Type 7; Roger and Rose each think of the other as their giflfriend/boyfriend even though they haven't been in touch lately, while Hue is smitten with Rose and she's beginning to feel the same way about him even if she doesn't realize it.
  • Title Drop: The Trying Human circuit that allows aliens to mimic humans.
  • The Twink: Don.
  • Verbal Tic Name: Mum.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 17:
    • Phillis has a telepathically-induced freakout when Glasner stabs EBE1's prosthetic hand with a scalpel to demonstrate that it can feel pain.
    • Longus shows Don what he really is.
    • Roger discovers that Hue has been spending time with Rose, and shoots him (non-fatally) in a jealous rage.
    • Shade wipes Rose's memories of her alien encounters, and reveals to Hue that his own memories of earlier encounters with Rose had been erased.
  • Yandere: 8 seems to be shaping up to be this, and even recommended Roger for the job to get close to him.
  • You Are Number Six: ... And Roger's not at all happy about it.
  • You Have to Believe Me: Even when Rose joins an "alien abductee" support group, her story is seen as far-fetched.
    • When Rose tells EBE1 she's been seeing Phillis all over the place. Not surprisingly, he thinks the experiments have made her loony.

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alternative title(s): Trying Human
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