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Dear Children

There are of course numerous unmarked spoilers (especially for character development) in here, so you should probably only read this after getting caught up on the comic.

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The Journalism Club


    In General 

  • Chromatic Arrangement: Each member of the Journalism Club has their own color motif, expressed in attire or eye color, and also speech balloons.
  • Clothing Reflects Personality: As HHS students don't wear school uniforms, this is true in every case. Cailin has her varsity jacket indiciating her interest in sports; Josh in T-shirts and jeans, being an unassuming farm boy; Emma, who has self-image problems, dresses very casually in browns and other neutral colors; Gabe is always seen in anime/manga/gamer gear; Chelle wears subtly classy clothing; and Devin wears T-shirts bearing sarcastic mottos.
  • Kid Hero: Aged between 15-17. Competent for teens, and there have already been hints of latent abilities.
  • The Power of Friendship: Most have been fast friends for years, and the newcomers (Gabe, and possibly Whitney) are rapidly bonding with the others. They are also quite good at complementing each other's skills and talents.

    Cailin ("Cail") Lee Carver

A tall, athletic, 16 year-old girl with bleached-blonde hair (naturally brunette) and big blue eyes. Having been forced to give up her earlier ambition of becoming a track star, because Hearthbrook High won't let her play on the girls' team, she has instead become obsessed with uncovering supernatural mysteries. She seems to have some strange connection with whatever force is behind the monstrous creatures who have begun appearing in town.

  • Bedsheet Ghost: Cailin likes cute ghost images, including the classic bedsheet variety.
  • Book Dumb: Cail has a relatively-limited vocabulary, as Chelle lampshades in the very first chapter, when Chelle's Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness in texting flies right over Cail's head.
  • Casual Sports Jersey: Cailin frequently wears a Hearthbrook High School varsity jacket, which both helps establish her Yellow/Purple Contrast color theme, and signifies her love of sports and deep desire to be allowed to participate on the girls' team.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: She is convinced that ghosts are real and that all the mysterious events in Hearthbrook are being caused by ghostly hauntings. She is also notably innocent for her age, and in particular seems to miss a lot of the romantic tensions between her friends.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: There are strange and arguably supernatural events in Hearthbrook, though it is far from obvious if traditional ghosts are involved or if it is all more a matter of Cosmic Horror.
  • Genki Girl: Full of energy, and apparent optimism.
  • The Glomp: Cail does this a lot toward Gabe, possibly because she finds him attractive. There is an implication that she has done this before toward people she wanted for the Journalism Club, such as the Perkovitch twins last year.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Blonde, good-hearted and idealistic teenage girl. Perhaps subverted in that the blonde hair came out of a dye bottle and at least part of the femininity out of an estrogen pill bottle. However, while Cail's not quite as innocent as she looks (it would be difficult to be that innocent without having grown up in a tower), she is genuinely good-hearted and idealistic.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Cail has wide blue eyes, and is rather innocent and childlike for her age.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When Eleanor and her daughter are abducted by a monster, Cail is simply happy that it is now obvious that monsters and evil cults are real; she doesn't really consider that two human beings are endangered, injured or worse.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Both brave, and extremely idealistic about the positive possibilities of the press, Cail is the main reason why the Journalism Club is so aggressively seeking out supernatural stories.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Cail often likes to charge right into any situation that seems mysterious, spooky or simply dangerous, without consulting with her fellow club members or even taking basic precautions like eyeing the length of a drop or making sure that anyone else knows where she and her partner have gone.
  • Lovable Jock: Athletically-inclined, and a nice person.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Cail is obsessed with mysteries, the supernatural, and especially ghosts. She is also fascinated by death in general, and may be personally a Death Seeker. It's obvious that even her fellow Journalism Club members think her odd, and not too hard to see why most of the students at Hearthbrook High think she's rather creepy.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: One of the reasons Cail tends to come off as a weirdo is that, if she likes you, she will get physically very close to you, almost to the point of being a Cuddle Bug. She probably also frightens some people when she does this, because she is also tall and strong.
  • Not So Above It All: Claims to be interested in ghosts, not boys, but she's rather obviously attracted to Gabe.
  • Squish the Cheeks: Cailin does this to Gabe at least once, as befits her liking him and having No Sense of Personal Space.
  • The Power of Friendship: Explicitly sees the Journalism Club in these terms. She seems to be rejected by practically everyone else in Hearthbrook High (due to the combination of her strange beliefs, weird behavior and gender status, and she values her true friends all the more for it.:
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: She does this from time to time, usually when other members of the Journalism Club aren't willing to go hunt ghosts with her.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Almost inevitable because she wants to present as female; Cail wears blue barettes and does something to her eyelashes, to look a bit feminine.
  • Transgender: Male to female, straight (attracted to males), given her age almost certainly pre-operative, possibly on hormones. Presents as something of a Tomboy with a Girly Streak.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Cailin is idealistic about both friendship and journalism, and sometimes confuses the two.
  • Yellow/Purple Contrast: Yellow hair, and generally wears her purple varsity jacket or sometimes another purple top, so that her long blonde hair is frequently in direct contrast to her purple jacket. This can be seen as an example of gold symbolizing spiritual strength, versus purple indicating the darker supernatural.

     Josh De Witt

  • The Big Guy: Only second tallest (after Cail), but with his broad shoulders and muscular build, almost certainly the strongest.
  • Book Dumb: Josh is obviously intelligent, but claims he doesn't enjoy reading books.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Three characters, so far, possibly have crushes on him: Emma and Devin definitely do, with Chelle being more subtle. Josh doesn't seem to notice this.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: One of the characters attracted to him is male.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Josh loves animals, including livestock, and they tend to be friendly to him in return. This helps him in caring for those on his farm — but he hates it if any of them are slaughtered.
  • Gentle Giant: Sweet, chivalrous, and extremely kind to animals.
  • Hidden Depths: Seems at first glance to be just a big lug of a farmboy, but he's extremely nice, kind to both people and animals, has a wicked sense of humor, and is smart enough to hold up his end of a conversation with Chelle.
  • Humble Hero: Shows no arrogance regarding either his considerable strength or his unusual ability to communicate with animals.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: One of Josh's major motivations for quitting the Journalism Club.
    Josh: Is it too much to want to feel normal every once and a while ...
  • Nice Guy: He has not done a single mean or nasty thing so far in the story, and he has actively encouraged or been otherwise kind to several characters.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Understands and is understood by animals, especially his pets, abnormally well. It's unclear so far just how well that is, but this is the sort of world where genuine psychic powers can't be ruled out.
  • Youthful Freckles: Heavily freckled teenager; though his even more heavily-freckled mother makes it obvious that this is a trait inherited from her.

     Emma Flores Garcia

  • Bad Liar: Emma always reveals she is lying through facial expressions, blushing, sweating, stammering and revealing word choices.
    • Here she tries to distract Eleanor Wan by staging a fall and pretending to be hurt.
    Emma: Oof! Ow! Injury! Painful, debilitating injury!
    Eleanor: Hey, quit it. You're distracting me.
    • (It sort of works in the end, but mostly because Emma successfully implies she might sue if Eleanor doesn't come over and help her).
  • Bi the Way: Confirmed to be attracted to both boys and girls. At least theoretically.
  • Nice Girl: Sometimes argues with Devin, but otherwise very nice to everyone.
  • Oh, Crap!: Emma's reactions here and here as she becomes increasingly aware that (1) stealing the e-mails may have resulted in deadly actions by their shadowy enemy, and (2) she is the only one of the Journalism Club to grasp that (a) it's bad that innocent people are suffering, and (b) the Journalism Club could be their NEXT VICTIMS.
  • Sibling Triangle: Emma and Devin are both attracted to Josh.
  • Team Mom: Even though she's the youngest member of the group, Emma tends to take care of the Journalism Club, and tries to keep them out of serious trouble as much as possible.

    Gabriel ("Gabe") Hernandez

Short and slight, with untidy black hair and brown eyes. Wears square-rimmed glasses. A bit clumsy, Gabe is intelligent but socially-awkward, and inclined to shallow crushes. He is obsessed by anime and manga, to the point that his parents are worried he won't ever find a real girlfriend.

  • Adorkable: Especially in Cailin's eyes, as shown here.
    >Cailin: He's new in town and he's super cute and awkward!
  • Genre Savvy: Finds Wesley's dream journal and secret computer when Devin asks him how they'd hide something in the most "over-the-top" way in an anime. That's exactly how Wesley hid them.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: To the point that his main original reason for joining the Journalism Club was to get close to Chelle — whom he had just encountered that same day, and with whom he had not yet even spoken.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Gabe says this almost directly when he overhears Luke and Sabrina's conversation the morning after Wesley's apparent death:
    Gabe (thinks): I wish ... *sniffle* ... I had a girlfriend ...
  • Naïve Newcomer: Comes from the California Central Valley and just moved to Hearthbrook within the last couple of weeks. Fills the usual role of character to whom many facts well-known to the natives (such as the story of the Crooked Saint) may be explained in detail; also notices odd things about the town which the others take for granted.
  • Occidental Otaku: To an extreme degree; he watches anime almost constantly when not interacting with other people, and he has a collection of cute female action figures who smile disturbingly at him from all over his room.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Gabe, who quickly joins the Journalism Club, does not show up until the start of Chapter 2.
  • Shrinking Violet: The rare male variety. Gabe hates being yelled at or forced to speak in front of a class.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Acts as if he is in a high school manga, including treating Chelle as if she's a Tsundere (when the evidence is that she simply isn't attracted to him), and completely failing to grasp the seriousness of the situation into which the Journalism Club is getting him.


     Michelle ("Chelle") Segal

Short, slight but surprisingly strong, Chelle is a brown-eyed brunette who wears round black-rimmed glasses on her pretty and rather delicate face. She tends to dress in rather classy blouses, skirts and tights. She almost always wears a blue flower-shaped ribbon in her hair, toward the right side. She is highly intelligent, logical-minded, sarcastic and a bit arrogant. She is verbally skilled, and her ambition is to become a novelist.

  • Badass Bookworm: Chelle loves literature and wants to become a novelist. She is also courageous, decisive and strong-willed — and physically much stronger and a better fighter than she looks.
  • Child Prodigy: A flashback reveals that Chelle was, not surprisingly, one of these (and recognized as such by her father) when she was small.
  • Corner of Woe: Chelle assumes this position here and in the next three panels, during the bus ride home right after Josh has left the Journalism Club. Has overtones of Cradle of Loneliness (but she's hugging her own bag rather than anything of Josh's) and almost puts her into a Troubled Fetal Position.
  • Cute Bookworm: Small, pretty, smart and spunky, though she'd probably hate to be perceived as "cute."
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Specifically, she wants to achieve something significant and be seen by others as doing so, rather than being famous for her birth or making a contribution as just one of a larger group.
    Chelle: How does something matter if no one else notices or cares?
  • Insufferable Genius: Believes that she is even smarter than the rest of the Journalism Club than is actually the case, and that this makes her the most important person in the club and the leader.
    • She does, however, admit that she's not the smartest at everything — for instance, she lacks Emma's mathematical aptitude, and Josh's animal empathy.
  • Intelligence = Isolation: We see as early as her Chapter 1 text chat with Cailin that Chelle feels this way. She cares a lot for her friends, but most of them don't really get her, especially her more complex statements and love of literature.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: confirmed to be Jewish as of chapter 5, highly intellectual, and uninterested in most trivialities.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Due to a combination of Parental Abandonment and Intelligence = Isolation. Chelle isn't exactly friendless — she has the rest of the Journalism Club — but she doesn't have a lot of friends, especially when one considers that Devin is consistently obnoxious to her and she doesn't know Gabe that well (and perceives him as at least a slightly Abhorrent Admirer). That leaves Cailin, Emma and Josh — and when Josh quits the Journalism Club, she becomes clearly depressed.
  • Kids Raiding The Wine Cabinet: Or, in her case, wine cellar. She probably won't get caught doing this, but the hangover she suffered was punishment enough for drinking most of a whole bottle. Really, given for how long her father leaves her alone, and how much wine he stores on his premises, it's testament to Chelle's fundamentally good character that she doesn't get blitzed on a regular basis.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Chelle is small, pretty and very stereotypically-female in appearance; the most so of the three girls who are core members of the Journalism Club. She is also probably the most decisive and ruthless of any member of the JC, male or female.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: She's the daughter of a Hollywood action star named "Samuel Seagal" — a composite of the names of [1] and Steven Seagal, real Hollywood action stars]].
  • Parental Abandonment: She has a Missing Mom, and her father is usually away pursuing his Hollywood acting career.
  • Rich Bitch: Her father is quite wealthy, and Chelle is sometimes a bit nasty even to her friends. Even to the ones who don't happen to be named "Devin Xue."
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Has a huge vocabulary, and delights in showing it off. Saddened by the failure of most other people, including some of her friends, to understand what she's talking about.
  • The Smart Girl: Probably the most intelligent member of the Journalism Club, though Emma surpasses her in mathematical ability, and other members of the club are better at other specific aptitudes.
  • The Snark Knight: Chelle is extremely sarcastic, possibly the most sarcastic member of the Journalism Club, of whom none (not even Cail) are entirely innocent of the trait.
  • Writer's Block: Chelle is writing a novel, but doesn't seem to be able to actually start the main text.

     Devin Xue

  • An Axe to Grind: After the graveyard incident, Devin decided that he needed to arm himself, and began carrying an axe. So far, he hasn't needed to use it. Or accidentally embedded it in himself or a friend.
  • Badass Gay: Devin is brave, willing both to punch out a bully picking on one of his friends, and to answer a mysterious knock at the door when there's reason to suspect a madman or monster is on the other side. He's also not a bad fighter, given his likely lack of formal training. And, of course, he's gay.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Protective toward his step-sister, Emma.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Especially in closeups, it's clear Devin has a magnificent pair.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Not above sneaking peaks at the rears of boys he likes, and (oddly enough)inanimate objects. Also genuinely-caring toward the (animate) objects of his attraction.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Believes (or claims to believe) and argues for a number of utterly bizarre conspiracy theories, some of which are strange combinations of standard ones.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Devin's explicit justification for many of his stranger arguments and actions.
  • Determined Expression: Gets one when he studies Wesley's snuff porn files, emphasizing that he knows he is facing something truly depraved and evil, rather than merely amusing.
  • Hidden Eyes: Gets this effect when very angry — close to exploding into violence, or otherwise seriously acting against the triggering individual.
  • Insane Troll Logic: How he argues for his various conspiracy theories. It is far from certain that he actually believes all of his own arguments.
    • Also, his concept of how "double jeopardy" works.
  • Jerkass: Often obnoxious and insulting, even to his friends. Anyone who manages to stay friends with him for long learns to discount most of this behavior.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Devin genuinely loves and cares for his friends, especially his half-sister Emma.
  • Not So Different: From his former friend and main rival, Aaron [McAries], in their mutually rebellious and sarcastic attitudes. The main difference appears to be that Devin is a bit nicer: probably Emma's influence.
  • Single Devin Seeks Good Man: For all his obnoxious façade, to whom is Devin most attracted? Why, Josh — and a large part of the attraction is his genuinely-caring nature toward all life.
  • The Snark Knight: Runs a close second to Chelle when it comes to sarcasm.
  • Straight Gay: Male homosexual, but not at all campy.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Seems to have been way nicer before his betrayal by Aaron. Not exactly evil now, but a bit of a Jerkass.

Family of the Journalism Club

     Benjamin Carver 

Cail's father. A math teacher at the high school his daughter attends.

     Mrs. Carver 

Cail's mother.

  • Berserk Button: Don't mention anything uncanny or weird around her. This predictably causes trouble for her daughter Cailin, who can't avoid such topics.
  • Hidden Eyes: She is frequently shown this way, emphasizing her mysteries and possible madness.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: She married math nerd Ben Carver, and did so after a Wacky Marriage Proposal involving the quadratic formula, so she almost certainly is of this opinion.


     Mary De Witt 

Josh's mother.

  • Abusive Mother: She has killed Josh's rooster The Big Lebawski and tried to make him eat it; she's threatened to kill his other pets, which is why Josh carries Lil' Bessie to school with him. She belittles Josh to his face in front of his grandmother (her own mother), attacking his (fairly innocent and harmless) choice of friends and hobbies. Matters have become so bad that Josh is seriously considering running away from home.
  • Action Girl: We first meet her kicking open a door, shotgun in hand, ready to defend her farm.
  • Ambiguously Evil: She has killed at least one of Josh's pets, and on one occasion tried to feed it to him. On the other hand, she's a farm woman, these are some of her livestock, and she may just be trying to make Josh face up to some of the harder facts of life.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When she writes in a note to Josh that he's a "soft boy. Too soft. Someone's gonna take advantage of you if you're not careful," she is not wrong. What's more, her statement echoes a point that Michelle made back in chapter 2. Josh does tend to let others push him around way too much.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: She actually loves Josh and the sometimes harsh things she says and does to him are motivated by a desire to make him stronger.

     Mrs. Maria Flores 

Emma's mother, Devin and Kacey's step-mother, and wife of Mr. Xue. It is unclear how long after her late first husband passed, that she re-married. She is currently being treated at St. Howard Hospital for a possibly-terminal illness. She is currently shaven-headed and physically wasted from her disease.

  • Double Meaning: Her most important advice to Emma. Is she talking about Emma's problems with the JC's investigations, or her own medical condition?
    Mrs. Flores: I know that sometimes it feels like the world is out to get you. That's natural. You just need to give it some time to pass, as it always will. Never forget things always pass.
  • Face Death with Dignity: She knows she's probably going to die, but she not only doesn't complain of her condition to Emma, but gives her sound maternal and friendly advice.
  • The Topic of Cancer: The fact that her head is shaved and she looks physically-wasted, coupled with the very long time she's spending in hospital, strongly-implies that this is her illness.

     Officer Hernandez 

Gabe's father. Recently transferred to Hearthbrook and works as Officer Fitzgerald's partner. The Journalism Club is unaware of Gabe's association with law enforcement, but it does not seem to get in the way of Gabe's involvement despite the often questionable legality of the club's work.

     Mrs. Hernandez 

Gabe's mother.

  • My Beloved Smother: Her behavior toward Gabe. She constantly messages him, gives him The Glomp, and sometimes won't even let him sit alone in his room. Gabe's dad calls her out on this behavior.

     Samuel Segal 

Chelle's father. A famous Hollywood action star.

     Kacey Xue 

Devin's older sister. She was a friend of the Jo Jo Jo's and also played on the girl's soccer team. She graduated high school the year before the comic started.

     Mr. Xue 

Devin and Kacey's father, Emma's step-father, and husband of Mrs. Flores. Captain of a commercial air-line, and because of this he is rarely home. Devin and Kacey's biological mother has not been mentioned much, however based on a family photo she was still present in their lives when Devin was a young child.

The AV Club

     Aaron Mc Aries

White, male, red hair and blue eyes.

  • Evil Redhead: And in scenes where he does something bad, his red hair often gets emphasized. Though his "evil" only extends to Jerkass levels, so far.
  • Fiery Redhead: Hot-Blooded and outspoken, as per the stereotype. Also appears to be quite charismatic, given that he's the leader of his club.
  • Jerkass Woobie: He turned his best friend Devin into his enemy on the combined urgings of his other best friend Candace and his own early-adolescent sexual insecurities; then when he revealed his growing love for her to Candace, she insisted that they'd be better being Just Friends. This contributes to his getting battered in a fistfight. One feels sorry for the boy — but he's just so obnoxious to everyone, except maybe Candace!
  • Meaningful Name: Aaron McAries, and he's every bit as intolerant, violent and stubborn as the name suggests!
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Both in the past, and now.
    • Some years ago, when he learned that his then best friend Devin was probably gay, and might be attracted to him, Aaron yelled at Devin, pushed him into a lake, and ran away, even though he knew Devin couldn't swim (the water turned out to be only a few inches deep).
    • Now, Aaron is still hostile to Devin, and the Journalism Club in general, and also particularly hostile to those of Devin's friends to whom Devin might plausibly be attracted: namely, Cail (a longtime friend of Devin, and a trans girl who used to present as male) and Josh (a longtime friend of Devin, who is cismale, and to whom Devin actually is attracted: not Emma (Devin's sister), Chelle (female and a friendly rival to Devin), or Gabe (who just met Devin).
    • The fact that he is referred to as an "edgelord" and uses the word "Kek" codes him as a right-winger, possibly alt-right. ("Kek" has much wider usage than among the alt-right, but it's no/t obvious that either the Journalism or AV Clubs know this).
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Candace. Yes, she turned him down — but far from decisively.


Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Aaron. Yes, she turned him down — but far from decisively.

Band Geeks

    Taylor Armstrong 

Captain of the marching band; plays the trumpet. A tall slim black girl with brown eyes and moderate-length brown kinky hair.


A short, slight girl (smaller than Chelle!) with pale skin, light-brown eyes, and long, blonde hair.


A thin boy with pale and freckled skin, a mop of red hair and green eyes behind round rimless glasses. He's a drummer.


A tall (possibly albino) girl with very pale skin and nearly white hair. Vice President of the Band Club. She plays the flute (possibly a fife, it's hard to tell).

  • Jerkass: Aggressively rude to both Josh and Chelle, and some of her own band members.
  • The Starscream: To Taylor. She obviously wants to be in charge of the band, but lacks Taylor's charisma.


A big brownish guy with untidy black hair and brown eyes over which he wears square rimless glasses; he is very hairy, and a bit sloppy in appearance. He plays the trumpet.

  • Big Fun: Large and outgoing.
  • Carpet of Virility: Has hair on his face, chest and forearms, and probably over a lot of his body we can't see at the time.


A tall, sharp-featured black kid who wears his grayish-brown kinky hair in short dreadlocks, and is encountered dressed in a rather concealing gray hoodie with a black multi-pocketed vest over that.


A tall pale-skinned guy with light brown eyes and long straight black hair, who dresses entirely in dark tones (black to dark gray).

Chess Club

    Clara Langworthy 

The younger sister of Paige Langworthy, who is cute rather than stunningly beautiful. She has pale skin, red hair and blue eyes.

  • Nice Girl: Clara seems to be a really nice person, though as she is also The Social Expert, some of this may be studied behavior on her part.
  • The Social Expert: Remarkably good at conversation for a young teen. She clearly charms Josh with just a few friendly words. Chelle's exasperation on seeing Clara there makes it likely that Chelle was already aware of Clara's nature in this regard.

    Wesley Perkovitch 

The fraternal twin brother of Whitney Perkovitch. They look very similar, and were best friends, before Wesley's Monstrous Transformation and resultant disappearance.

  • Ambiguously Jewish: "Perkovitch" is a Slavic name often indicating a Jewish family.
  • Body Horror: What happens to Wesley when he begins his Monstrous Transformation.
  • Covert Pervert: The likeliest explanation for the snuff/torture porn videos on his secret computer.
  • The Insomniac: Wesley becomes this because of his frightening Recurring Dreams.
  • Not Himself: Whitney noticed that Wesley was "acting strange" before his apparent death and subsequent disappearance.
  • Recurring Dreams: Before his Monstrous Transformation, Whitney has a series of terrifying dreams.
  • Sanity Slippage: Wesley begins to feel "paranoid" from his Recurring Dreams.
  • Secret Diary: Two of them:
    • Wesley's dream journal, originally intended for therapeutic purposes, contains evidence of his increasingly-bizarre dreams, growing paranoia, and psychic contact with the Shadow Under Hearthbrook.
    • Wesley's hidden laptop, which has mysterious records and snuff/torture porn videos on its drive.
  • Shrinking Violet: Wesley was shy and socially awkward, especially around girls.


Brown-skinned boy with curly dark brown hair, brown eyes, around average height and build.


Pale-skinned girl with straight brown hair and brown eyes. She wears square glasses.

Drama Club


Average-looking boy who has dark-brown hair with a blond streak in the front. He is in love with Sabrina, and helps ground her, though this love may be unrequited.


Tall, attractive brown-eyed girl with a long brown-red ombre braid. She is friendly with Luke, and though she seems to dominate their relationship, clearly values his sane advice.

  • It's All About Me: Sabrina sees both the Drama Club and The King in Yellow as being all about her (ironically, given that in all versions, the play is how a horrific destiny overwhelms the individual intrigues of the leaders of a Deadly Decadent Court of Humanoid Aliens).
  • Lack of Empathy: She never liked Wesley because she considered him a dirty-minded creep, but never told his sister Whitney because "she'd cry, or something. And crying people are difficult to work with." Note that Whitney may well be her second-closest friend.
  • Large Ham: Even by the generally hammy standards of the Drama Club.
  • Manipulative Bitch: According to Whitney, Sabrina has no romantic interest in Luke but encourages his crush on her so that he will do her bidding.
  • The Prima Donna: According to Whitney:
    Whitney: Sabrina loves the spotlight. She always gets the lead role. In everything.

    Whitney Perkovitch

  • Ambiguously Jewish: "Perkovitch" is a Slavic name often of Jewish derivation.
  • Bit Character: In-story, Whitney is playing only a minor character in the play the Drama Club is currently preparing.
  • Thrill Seeker: Surprisingly, given her rather conventional façade, Whitney envies the Journalism Club their adventures and asks if she can tag along on a future investigation. She's also obviously either excited or embarrassed when she does so.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Whitney's eyeshadow is badly smudged on pages 762-769; presumably, because she's been crying over the apparent death of her brother Wesley.


Computer-competent students. They are watching the Journalism Club, especially Gabe, for unknown reasons.

  • Hacker Collective: Seem to function as one, though we've only seen two or three of them so far.
  • Hackettes: So far, all three of them we've seen are girls.

    Isabelle, aka "Honeybee" 

A big brown-skinned girl with untidy straight-ish dark brown hair.

  • Ambiguously Brown: Could be mestiza/mulata Latina, with her name, build, skin tone and vaguely-Amerindian face.

     Mel, aka "Ladybug" 

She's a slim freckled redhead, and seems to be the leader of the Hackers.

  • Disproportionate Retribution: Happy at the prospect of getting a man fired for "posting some Nazi shit on Twitter."
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Seems to have them, if this isn't just a strange application of eyeshadow. If the former, then there are some scary implications in story context, as those touched by the Shadow often suffer from terrifying dreams leading to Sanity Slippage and possibly an eventual Monstrous Transformation.
  • Hates Being Touched: Judging by her reaction to Kali pushing her hat down over her eyes.
  • Tomboy: Not very feminine in appearance, interests or speech patterns.
  • Vigilante Girl: She obviously sees herself as this, as when she makes her first clear appearance, she is trying to get some guy from Utah who "was posting some Nazi shit on Twitter" fired by a boss in an interracial marriage, for no other reason than that she thought it a good thing to do.


     Leo Fitzgerald 
Tall, tan, muscular male with dark shaggy hair. He is Paige Langworthy's boyfriend and quarterback of the football team.

  • Big Man on Campus: Admired by almost everyone in school, to the point that they act like his fan club.
  • Hidden Depths: He tries to start a conversation with Paige's younger sister Clara by mentioning that he really liked To Kill A Mockingbird (which he was assigned in English class). While this doesn't mean he's an intellectual, it does go against the more limited "jock" stereotype.
  • Lovable Jock: From what we've seen of him so far, he's a really nice guy, who actively tries to avoid bullying others. He seems to have a genuinely kind and caring nature.


Tan, male, black hair. A minor jock.

  • Ambiguously Brown: Not much is known about this character, and it is unclear if this character's race will ever be revealed or relevant.


White, female, light-brown hair. A minor jock. Despises Eric Saddler.


White, male, light-brown hair. A minor jock.


A minor jock and reluctant acquaintance of Eric Sadler's. He has brown skin with wavy dark-brown hair and brown eyes.


A minor jock and friendly acquaintance with Eric Sadler. Pale-skinned, with spiky slightly-reddish brown hair.

The JoJoJos

A roving band of drug dealers. While they primarily deal in marijuana, they also sell other medications.

  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Inverted. Gabe reacts to them as if they were trying to intimidate him into buying their drugs, but if anything, the JoJoJos are annoyingly friendly.
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: True of all three subordinate members of the JoJoJos, and one reason they're so goofy. There are hints they'd be smarter without this, too.
  • Rule of Three: There are three subordinate JoJoJos, and they pitch Gabe three times before giving up on selling him drugs.


Black, male, dreadlocks. A Super Smash Bros. (Melee) player.

  • Hidden Depths: While he seems a typical stoner at first glance, he's also demonstrated he has a very sophisticated vocabulary capable of confounding Gabe without much thought.
    • He also instantly recognizes the pills in the phone photo Josh and Chelle show the trio. While pharmacology is a logical skill specialization for a drug dealer, it's not that easy to recognize the exact type of pills in a photo at a glance.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: One of his sales pitches to Gabe.
    Jo: Hey, new kid, you wanna buy some of this viridescent substance which would allow one to experience an altered state of consciousness for a personal, pleasurable transcendence? Not unlike the fabled, true enlightenment of Nirvana?
    Gabe: Wh ... wha?
    Jo: You wanna buy some weed?


White, male, blonde. A juggalo.

White, male, brown hair with red spikes. A furry.


White, male, with dark brown hair. Also refereed to as "The Boss" by the Jo Jo Jo's. He is the only one of the JoJoJos who does not get high at school.

  • Affably Evil: Depending on your definition of "evil." He's a criminal (and is well aware of it), but he seems to bear no one any particular ill-will, and is even willing to help if asked and at little cost as well.
  • Ambiguously Evil: It's far from obvious that he actually does anything worse than buy and sell drugs, though he's presumably at least prepared for violence, given his trade.
  • Genius Bonus: The full name of the brilliant astronomer after whom this character was named? Johannes Kepler. That's right. He isn't as much of an Odd Name Out as he seems.
  • Meaningful Name: Shares a name with a brilliant Renaissance astronomer, and is the smartest one of the Jo Jo Jos.
  • Odd Name Out: The only one of the Jo Jo Jos not named some variant of "Joe." (However, see "Genius Bonus.")
  • Only Sane Man: He's the only one of the Jo Jo Jos who seems to appreciate that they are in a potentially-dangerous line of business, and seems far more focused and intelligent than his followers (possibly because he's not high all the time).

Other Students

    Isaac Hamilton

  • Black and Nerdy: A black teenager who has formulated the theory that peculiar wormholes are opening up around Hearthbrook, and invented a device to detect them. Wears glasses and fits the "nerd" stereotype fairly well, though a bit more assertive than most.

Rich Kids

     Eric Saddler 

White, male, tall, light brown hair.

Often dresses business casual and always wears his signature watch. Aside from Aaron, Eric is one of Hearthbrook's only traditional bullies. Falsely believes that the alliance between the Rich Kids and the Jocks, bolstered by Paige and Leo's relationship, means that the jocks are obligated to hang out with him. Paige's ex-boyfriend. Currently dating Vallory.

  • Bastard Boyfriend: To Vallory. He demands that she pay close attention to his father on TV, snatches her cellphone to enforce this, and accuses Vallory of being a slut because she has a social media channel where she wears a bikini and flirts with her fans.
    • He may well have attempted this with Paige Langworthy, which is probably why she's no longer his girlfriend.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He is very obviously jealous of Vallory's flirting with her online fans.
  • Hate Sink: Both externally and In-Universe, he's seen as a despicable person who did nothing to deserve his wealth, status and other advantages, and yet exploits them to abuse others. His only sympathetic trait is being a "Well Done, Son!" Guy, and the father for whose respect he yearns is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who may well be betraying not only his workers, his shareholders, and the town of Hearthbrook — but all humanity. What's more, no one in-story seems to genuinely like or respect him for himself: they only exploit or fear him to varying degrees. Even his girlfriend Vallory doesn't seem to really like him.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: The point hasn't yet explicitly been raised in the comic, but given Eric's apparent lack of intellect, it's unlikely that he'll be half as clever a businessman as his father.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Eric doesn't seem to have any real friends: the other Jocks seem more to tolerate him out of a combination of fear (his father's animosity could hurt their families) and greed (hanging out with a richer kid has its perks). He lost Paige to Leo (who appears to be a Lovable Jock to Eric's Jerk Jock), and Vallory clearly doesn't really love him. It's not obvious if Eric yet fully grasps his pathetic situation.
  • Jerk Jock: A deliberate bully, fond of insulting others and getting away with it because he is bigger, richer and better-connected than most of the students.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: When we see him with his father, it becomes pathetically-obvious that the one thing he most desires is Mr. Saddler's approval. Unlike most characters to whom this trope applies, Eric isn't nice at all.

     Paige Langworthy 

White, female, fit, red hair.

Paige is currently the queen bee of Hearthbrook High and her relationship with Leo Fitzgerald has brought the Jocks and Rich kids together. She was childhood friends with her neighbor Chelle, but they drifted apart sometime before high school. She is often times hard to read, as she never says anything mean but because of her status she often leaves people starstruck or intimidated.

  • Amazonian Beauty: tall, fit, muscular and beautiful.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: among the female characters mesmerised by Paige's beauty so far have been Cailin, Chelle and Emma. Out of these three, the only one confirmed to be lesbian or bisexual is Emma. Chelle may even be asexual. And of these three, Chelle is the one who knows her best!
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The likely reason why Paige loves Leo.
  • The Tease: She seems to do this on purpose in order to throw both males and females off balance; mainly for her own amusement.

     Vallory King 

Short, blonde girl. Currently dating Eric Saddler.

  • Gold Digger: The likeliest explanation for why she's dating Eric. Specifically, to fund her planned modeling career.

Robotics Club

  • Explosive Results: Anya and Lucy's work on their "Death Robot" is accompanied by electrical zapping and an explosion. As par for the trope, no one is hurt.


A short dark-sknned girl with slightly-curly hair, brown eyes and big ears. Lucy's partner on the "Death Robot" project.

  • Ambiguously Brown: Probably South Indian, based on her nose.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Sports one of these during part of her conversation — probably in mischievous delight over how destructive their "Death Robot" will be in the tournament.


A short slightly-swarthy girl with straight brown hair and brown eyes. Anya's partner on the "Death Robot" project.

  • Ambiguously Brown: Too dark to be Northern European; way too light to be "black." Looks vaguely Southeast Asian or Filipina.

Roleplaying Club


A big black girl who wears square glasses.


A swarthy girl with brown eyes and long dark-brown hair.

Student Council


President of the Student Council. Short, swarthy, slightly-plump Southeast-Asian looking girl with black hair done up in a wide bun at the back. She is intelligent and strong-willed, maybe ruthless. She also runs the Chess Club.


Vice-President of the Student Council. A tall, broad-shouldered, girl with red hair, freckles and purple-tinted glasses.


Treasurer of the Student Council. A tall, dark Indian girl who dresses rather professionally, though in intense rather than subdued colors.

Hearthbrook High School Staff

     Mr. Abney 

The US History teacher. An old man, and a bit absent-minded.

     Ms. Cunningham 

The school counselor. A short, pudgy woman with blonde hair and brown eyes. Extremely nice and caring. It is mentioned that her family includes at least a mother, a sister and some female cousins.

  • Big Beautiful Woman: Apparently the students at Hearthbrook High School think so, as some of them send her love letters.
  • Nice Girl: Seems a good person who genuinely cares for the students.
  • Sensei-chan: Young (probably in her mid to late twenties), caring and friendly; it's obvious that at least some of the students she counsels are Hot for Teacher.

     Mr. Gary Gordon 

The coach.

  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Terrifies the students into obedience through whistle-blowing and abusive language.
    • It's been revealed that he does this as a deliberate strategy.

     Mr. Harold Pullman 

The teacher in charge of mentoring both the AV and Journalism Clubs.

     Mr. Tennyson 

The principal.

  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: Both mundane and sinister versions:
    • Blatantly willing to turn a blind eye to Eric Saddler's misdeeds, because the Saddler family is one of the big sources of funding for Hearthbrook High School.
    • More ominously, he outright threatens school counselor Becky Cunningham to prevent her from holding a special assembly regarding the apparent suicide of Wesley Perkovich, implying that he knows something more about the event than he's telling — and may be willing to take extreme measures to keep it secret.

Other Humans


Aaron's mom. A pale-skinned woman with short untidy brown hair and blue eyes, she works at the port. Friendly with Hal Armstrong, Taylor's dad.

     Hal Armstrong 

Taylor's dad. A short black man with salt-and-pepper graying dark brown hair, moustache and beard. He works at the port. Friendly with Peggy Mc Aries, Aaron's mom.

     Eugene Fitzgerald 

Hearthbrook's Police Commissioner in 1956. Probably dead by now: if he's still alive he would be in his eighties to hundreds as of 2015. He may come from the same family as Leo Fitzgerald.

     Talia Fitzgerald 

Leo's mother. A police officer who works alongside Officer Hernandez. Her relationship to Eugene Fitzgerald is unclear (but he is most likely her father or father-in-law).

     Arthur Langworthy 

Owner of the port.

  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: So far based on circumstantial evidence, but he has ordered mandatory overtime to bring in strange containers, which sounds very much as if he is supplying a potential cult and/or the creatures that live below the port.

     Mr. Dale Perkovitch 

Father of Wesley and Whitney Perkovitch, works at the port. Brown hair, moustache, blue eyes. Appears cheerful and very much in love with his wife in his photo.

     Mrs. Perkovitch 

Mother of Wesley and Whitney Perkovitch, works at the port. Lighter brown hair with bleached ends and blue eyes. Appears cheerful and very much in love with her husband in the photo.

     Mr. Wan 

Husband of Eleanor Wan.

     Eleanor Wan 

Receptionist at the Langworthy Port.

  • Distressed Damsel: After being abducted, along with her daughter, by what is probably the Wesley-Thing.

     Leroy Whittaker 

The man believed to be The Crooked Saint, the serial killer who, in the mid-1950's, murdered 44 women. He was a worker at the Langworthy Port. In 1986, DNA tests of old samples pointed to him as the culprit. Leroy was convicted of the crime, and apparently killed himself a week later.


    The Big Lebawkski 

Josh's favorite chicken. Recently slaughtered by Josh's mother, probably to punish him for hanging out late with the Journalism Club.

    Captain 2% 

Allegedly the De Witts' prize milk cow, though she may be the product of Josh's imagination.

    Lil' Bessie 

A nanny goat kid, and Josh's new favorite pet.

  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Lil' Bessie seems unusually-intelligent and responsive for a young goat, which may be some inherent property of the goat, or her response to Josh's superior animal communications skills, or maybe both. Then there's the glowing-eyes thing, but I think that's just a visual joke.

    Vincent Van Goat 

A billy goat belonging to the De Witts, whom Josh claims is Lil' Bessie's goat BFF.

Historical Characters

     Mildred Sanderson (1931-1954) 

The first victim of The Crooked Saint. Buried in Chickadee Grove. The JC comment on her tombstone in Chapter One.

     Leroy Whittaker 

The man convicted of being The Crooked Saint.

Mysterious People, Creatures and Other Phenomena

     The Crooked Saint 

A serial killer who terrorized Hearthbrook in the 1950's.

  • Miscarriage of Justice: It is almost impossible that Leroy Whittaker, the man they convicted as the Crooked Saint committed all the crimes ascribed to him, and dubious that he even committed any of them.
  • Serial Killer: On the surface a standard serial killer, though there are many strange aspects of the case.

     The Cult 

A cult who may be leaving mysterious animal-skull and candle altars at various suspicious locations. They seem to be connected with the Creatures, but the exact nature of this connection is not yet known.

     The Wesley-Thing 

  • Body Horror: Especially because we witness the start of the transformation, and we know it's horribly painful.
  • Underside Ride: How the Wesley-Thing gets out of Langworthy Port; he hitches a ride under the AV Club Van
  • Walking Spoiler: That Wesley doesn't die and that he turns into a monster.
  • Was Once a Man: And someone we got to know (and like) as a minor character.


Inanimate Objects

     Disturbingly Seductive Garden Gnomes 

The Perkovitch family's garden gnomes, toward which Devin develops a strange sexual obsession.

     Sinister Altars 

Animal-skull and candle altars. The Cult (?) leaves these at various locations.

     The Toaster Trap 

A toaster with which Devin enjoyed (?) an encounter from whose aftermath he required rescue.

  • Cargo Ship: Admittedly, it was but a short and ill-starred romance.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: A certain part of Devin's body wound up stuck in the toaster; Emma helped extricate him from this predicament.


A roll of toilet paper Devin brought to TP houses but Chelle claimed as her own adoptive son.


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