Saundra: Do you ever worry that we're playing God?
The original Umlaut House
was a Furry Comic
that started out with grad student Saundra Bifrost's bickersome friend
Volair Lee moving in to replace her roommate, their mutual
ex-boyfriend Jake Miller, when he begins working for, and before long, seeing quasi-Flamboyant Gay Mad Scientist
Rick Hundecoph, whom Volair is tracking in his job as an international spy.
The comic could be said to mix a number of genres. Other characters are:
- Liz Parker, Volair's partner and general voice of reason. Also the straightest cast member. Really. She swears.
- Amanda Cartwright - "Queen of weird," Volair's Distaff Counterpart plus some grade points and dignity and minus some international espionage.
- Calvin Gauss - A nerdy classmate of Saundra's who develops a crush on her.
- Ascii - You don't want to know. He's an amnesiac android created by Rick, by UH2 he's gone rogue and is attempting to create a Hive Mind using Eye-Fi's
In 2004, the comic ended after four years, and after some randomness, gave birth to a sequel, UH2
, set some time later and moved from grad school to high school, primarily about Volair's son, Jake's daughter, and Rick's protégée. Yes, that's vague, but this is
a sequel comic, so for the more detailed character list (aside from, of course, the ones above), spoilers.
- Pierce Lee, son of Volair and Saundra. Recently realized his bisexuality.
- Rhonda Hundecoph, daughter of Jake and Rick.
- Eliza, Rick's apprentice.
- Alice and Lain Gauss, classmates of Pierce and Rhonda, twin daughters of Amanda and Calvin.
- Alex, a football jock, Pierce's boyfriend.
- Dr. "Sissy" Sisyphus, a Mad Scientist, target of Rick (well post-Heel-Face Turn) and Eliza...the latter in more ways than one.
This comic provides examples of:
- Animalistic Abomination: The "Dragon".
- The Dragon is later reveled to be the personification of the Id of all people who share Ascii's neural connection. Nice going, Ascii.
- A God Am I: Let's just say that by UH2, Saundra and Sissy are playing on another level.
- Alternate Universe: Where everyone's sexuality is reversed, except Volair's.
- Anything That Moves: Volair Lee, who cheerfully claims he's only bisexual to score 5% more nookie."
- Art Evolution (compare the first strip of UH to the corresponding first strip of UH2, a little under five years later.)
- Artificial Gravity: Invented by a transsexual horse named Peggy, uses gyroscopes with ridiculously precise control circuitry.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: On this strip, Saundra complains a gay marriage would be too boring for the furst run ending, and the story needs a twist to keep the story funny. Cue, a time travel subplot.
- Brain–Computer Interface: Casual cybernetic implants are commonplace in UH2, especially the "Eye-Fi".
- Cerebus Syndrome: UH2 is substantially plottier than UH1, though most of the time he still remembers a punchline.
- Closet Key: Volair, for Jake (but also see the Trivia section for a related matter).
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Even before reforming, Rick had made a fortune off of his patents.
- Cyborg: Almost everyone in UH2 has some internal electronics, except Alex. Before they became trendy in the first series Rick is pretty much a severed head hooked up to an android's neck (and has multiple such bodies), while Volair has wires directly from his brain to muscles to enhance his reflexes and a processor that can simulate several forms of martial arts (Word of God). While in the 2040s Eliza is apparently less than 50% biological (when her mom asks how much has been replaced she simply states that her brain is mostly organic), while Pierce is implied to have some similar cybernetics to his dad, though likely commercial versions.
- Dating Catwoman: Eliza and Sissy (just look at their Halloween costumes), Sappho and Liz.
- Designer Babies: Rhonda, according to the Word of God.
- From Beyond The Fourth Wall: The author will occasionally interact with the characters. In continuity during the first series but largely just in filler strips with the second.
- Gender Bender: Volair, briefly and accidentally; the same technology has been put to good use, particularly with minor character Dr. Pegasus.
- Heel-Face Turn: Rick, future Sissy.
- Hive Mind (Ascii has created a gestalt consciousness formed from the unconsciousnesses of over 800 people, unfortunately their combined Ids have created a monster)
- Homosexual Reproduction: Rhonda, apparently there are genetic engineering companies that can make kids for gay couples.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Lain.
- Kid from the Future
- Like Father, Like Son: Much to Volair's chagrin.
- Losing Your Head: Rick is cybernetic below the neck, and his head can detach and walk around on mechanical spider legs.
- Mad Scientist: A mad scientist convention.
- Meaningful Name: Hundecoph means "dog's head"
- Some have suggested that Dr. Pegasus' real last name (Seus, one letter removed from Zeus) is a hint to the outcome of Sissy's attempt to seize the Staff of Time from her.
- Nano Machines: A specialty of Dr. Lyse in the second series, he even replaced his cells with foglets.
- N.G.O. Superpower: The agency that Volair, and in the sequel Rick and Eliza, work for. Also Moire Dziva.
- Official Couples: confirmed by Spin-Offspring.
- Remote Body: Moire Dziva.
- Science-Related Memetic Disorder: While Rick is reformed from his criminal career, he remains a mad scientist. He's hardly the only one in the main cast, at that.
- Saundra started on her path to Mad Science after seeing one of Rick's giant robots, lending credence to the "memetic" aspect.
- Screw Yourself: Attempted by Saundra's lesbian Alternate Universe counterpart.
- Swiss Army Appendage: Rick kept several bodies on hand for various purposes before finally getting a new, permanent organic one.
- The Mad Hatter: Volair, Amanda.
- The Power of Love: The Power of Love + Applied Phlebotinum = Dating Catwoman.
- The Singularity: Though not clear what it will mean so far.
- Time Travel: Accidentally invented by Saundra, also Sissy's speciality.
- Too Spicyfor Yog Sothoth: Voilar thinks that his bisexuality means that he can withstand Jake and Rick having hard sex. He soon proved to be wrong.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: Sort of; not our future, which lacks the furry animals, but about two decades ahead nonetheless. The sequel is, of course, about two decades further ahead.
- Transsexual: Peggy Seuss, aka Dr. Pegasus; Rick's Gender Bender Transformation Ray was created on her behalf. Word of God states that Rick and Peggy agreed to release the plans for the device to the public for the benefit of other transsexuals.
- Wacky College: Quickly abandoned.
- Will They or Won't They?: Volair and Saundra.
- Wrong Time-Travel Savvy: Pierce was worried that the timeline could be altered and he might cease to exist when Rhonda first broke into his mom's lab. It can't