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Comic Book / Katmandu

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Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.
John Wesley, used in the Katmandu Handbook, which basically defines Liska's ethos.

Katmandu is a long-running Furry comic created by Carole Curtis, with art drawn by many other artists, from 1993 to 2018.note 

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away... a war is fought between two feline races, the Velites (based on domestic cats) and Hoplites (based on wild felines, like lions, tigers, etc.) on the planet Katmandu for many years. During a very bloody battle in the middle of the desert, a Velite woman, Leahtrah Middlesmith, and her people were ambushed by a Hoplite squad, led by Thorin Leonius, a Hoplite lion.

The battle is bloody enough to finish with all the Velites and Hoplites dead, with the exception with Leatrah and Thorin. The surviving Velite tries to cut the Hoplite soldier with a knife, but this is not enough to kill Thorin. In a desperate attempt to capture Leahtrah, Thorin chains himself with her, forcing both of them, against their will, to try to go to a neutral zone looking for help.

In the middle of the road, while trying to spend the night in an oasis in the middle of the desert, Leahtrah and Thorin are attacked by a scavenger, who tries to kill them both, but thanks to the combined efforts of both, the scavenger is strangled with the same chain that linked both felines. Next, Thorin cures Leahtrah in a more... intimate way.

After several adventures, in which Thorin is captured by his own people, and where Leahtrah is forced to save him, despite being pregnant, both manage to be together and get married, despite their cultural and racial differences.

From this point on, the story is divided into two: The main story is about Leahtrah and her family in the present time, and the second one talks about her ancestor, Liska, who lived in a society based on the Native American culture two centuries ago, and her corresponding adventures with her family, friends and enemies.

Not to be confused with either the capital of Nepal, or with the villain from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Compare (and contrast) with both Extinctioners and The Depths, their spiritual successors, as well as the Avatar franchise in some degree. Also compare with its sister title, Shanda The Panda, as well with The Carpenter And The Nightingale, which, while not related with the franchise, it was written by Kitt Mouri, one of the artists who worked in the comic, and features a Canon Foreigner from a side-story written on it.


  • Aerith and Bob:
    • A rather absurd example, considering the setting of Liska's era: Despite her era was based on most tropes about Native Americans, almost all the characters had names that doesn't sound remotely Native enough, and there's characters with European or even Asian names.
    • The Mitsel-eman clan is maybe the most notable example: We have Liska (made-up. through probably came from the Czech form from "Elizabeth", see her page for details.), whose mate is named Rial (English), and their children are Thea (Greek), Mela (English, short of "Melanie"), Linna (Latin), Mother Sanna (Latin), whose late mate was named Athos (Greek) and many others. The rest of the members from the Highland tribe are not much better on this: Gareth (Welsh), Taku, Tori (the last two being Japanese names), Giles (French) and Hesta (Greek, mixing her original spelling with her Roman counterpart, Vesta)
  • Alien Sky: The planet Katmandu has two moons at night. It should be noted, however, in the first issues, there's was just one moon, but this was retconned later in further issues, mostly to avoid readers to think the planet Katmandu is an apocalyptic Earth instead.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Many of the answers about the workings of the Katmandu universe, including explanations about the workings of their culture, the nature of the relationships of many of the characters, and explanations about some mysteries surrounding some plot points, such the whole deal with Pyndan's curse, are fully explained in "The Scratching Post", a Q & A section that appears in almost every issue of the comic. Reading this section is very important, because there's no other way to get any explanations about the setting, not even in the internet, as the author is now unable to answer questions anymore.
    • A more complete version of this is The Katmandu Handbook, which not only gives the background and backstory of almost all the characters that appear until the second arc, but also explains the backstory of the planet itself, up to the most ridiculous details. It's also the only place when you can find info about the more or less exact ages of almost all the characters, the timeline of events, and events with exact dates, which the comic itself refuses to give, and even the full names of Liska, Pyndan and Rial's parents and ancestors, complete with the causes of their deaths.
  • Alternative Continuity: A very odd case happens here: There were plans for a much larger additional continuity besides the normal one, named Alternate Worlds of Katmandu, created by Jose Victor Guerrero, aka Civasco, which, unlike the canon one, played the sci-fi part of the narrative heavily, as also featured humans and a Myth Arc explaining the origins of the people from the planet Katmandu and their ties with humanity. It also was planned to tie this continuity into another planned crossover with Albedo: Erma Felna EDF, but the plans fell through when the author of the latter comic didn't authorized that crossover, though many pages of the Katmandu part of the story were published in both Civasco's FurAffinity page, and also in his personal page as well.note 
  • Alternate History: Somewhat. While the setting takes place in an alien planet far away from Earth, all the people of the titular planet are members of cultures with similar customs and iconography from those from the ancient cultures of Earth, like Native Americans, Middle Easteners, Greeks and even Egyptians. The main difference here is the fact that, in some point during Liska's era, the history of her culture changed from what looked like pre-Columbine North America to Middle Eastern culture, instead to European like happened between humans in Real Life. This could be explained that, in starting with issue 35, Liska and her tribe are forced to move to the deep forests due to unforeseen circunstances.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Oh boy, where to begin first:
    • According with Word of God, Leah's era takes place from what it looks like their equivalent of the 1940s to 1950s, while Liska's time took place 200 years in the past, making her life took place into the equivalent of 1740-1750 approximately.
    • While the side-stories are non-canon to begin with, there's a side-story involving a human astronaut, heavily implying that the whole setting takes places many decades or centuries in the future, since the humans are more technologically advanced than their feline hosts.
    • The Katmandu Handbook seems to heavily imply that the whole setting takes place in our Earth's distant past, but only in the official continuity. In the "Alternate Worlds of Katmandu" continuity created by Civasco, the story takes place centuries in the future instead.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • Most of the tales told by Leah about Liska are not always told in chronological order. This is especially egregious with any event involving Rial past issue No. 8 because he still appearing in many of the tales even after his death. It helps a lot that, according with Liska, there was a time period of 12 years between Rial kidnapped her and his demise, which also helps to explain any events that happened before he kicked the bucket.
    • This also has as a result than many of the time skips between both Leah and Liska's eras became too harder to track on, especially everything that happens after Rial's death, since Leah drops the chronological order of her stories after that event.
  • Anachronism Stew: A few ones happens here:
    • In her debut issue, Liska wears a bathrobe that looks more like a Japanese yukata. This was noded in an pin-up illustration in Katmandu Annual #2, when Liska wears a kimono instead, despite being a Native with no connections with Asian-like cultures.
    • Likewise, Leah's cemeronial dress, which was owned Liska, and was made by Kress, looks more like a Chinese Qipao, despite Kress, the one who made that dress was also a Native, with no Chinese-like heritage either. In fact, during the epilogue episode, Leah wears it just like a qipao.
  • Anyone Can Die: Also overlapping with Death Is Dramatic: While the death toll is quite small here compared with comics set in similar settings, the few characters that die on and off-screen had very violent ends, including in this particular order Kayce, the war party that killed the latter, Rial, the man who also killed the latter as well, Mother Sanna (off-screen due to old age), Rakon (also off-screen), and finally, Liska, which ironically had the most bloodiest death of all of them, and for a good reason, and that without going with minor, nameless characters.
  • Art Evolution: More notable in Shawntae Howard's art during his first issues, compared with his last ones he did during "The Peacekeeper" sub-arc, which happens in latter issues. In earlier issues, Howard's style was mostly a copy of Terrie Smith's art, up to imitating her Animesque approach, except using darker tones and more feral expressions.note  In the Tournament Arc, Howard drops almost entirely the manga-style art and now his characters are more physically detailed than before, and their angry facial expressions are much creepier and nightmare-inducing.
  • Art Shift: The comic was pretty infamous for this, since the quality of the art has varied across the years, as many artists from around the world had collaborated on some point. This has resulted in the comic having several very diverse art styles, ranging from very Westernized, Animesque and outright Manga style, the latter done by a professional Japanese mangaka (Hitoshi "Dr. COMET" Natsume).
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Zig-zagged on regards with all the feline characters wagging their tails: In Real Life, felines, unlike canines like dogs, wag their tails when they are either angry or nervous, but some characters, like Liska and Thea, for very egregious examples, wags their tails as both like cats and dogs when they are happy. On the other hand, there are characters like Shaygin, who only wag her tail when she is angry.
    • All the feline characters, especially Velites, had human-like eyes, instead of their slithed ones from their non-sentient cousins. The only partial exception would be the felines drawn by Lisa Jennings, through this is barely notable with some characters, and this is avoided with Hoplite characters, since bigger felines had human-like eyes just like their non-sentient versions in Real Life.
    • In Real Life, bigger felines like lions, tigers, panthers (aka Hoplites) and the like cannot breed with domestic felines (Velites), throught considering that the people from the planet Katmandu are considered aliens, it's very possible their racial differences are handled in the same way humans do themselves regarding skin color. On the other hand, none of the feline races cannot breed with their rodent cousins, by Word of God.
  • Artistic License – Military: During "The Quest for Magic" sub-arc, especially in the second issue, Liska, Pyndan and Rial barge into the second village they had to stay in order to reassure Liska's status as a warrior holding their weapons ready, since they saw no one outside their homes. You don't need to be an Native American warrior, a soldier or anyone for that matter to know that entering into someone else's place with weapons blazing without a good reason to defend yourself is really a bad idea, especially if that tribe could had attacked and killed them in sight if they entered their village without previous warning, since they could had considered the three of them as raiders or thieves.
  • Artistic License – Religion:
    • The whole Vision Quest concept that Liska endures during "The Quest for Magic", or at least the way depicted in the comic has almost nothing to do with the real thing practiced by any almost any Native American tribe. In fact, the one Liska does in the comic is a helluvah bizarre mix between Native American, African, Muslim and even Japanese traditions, mixed with the concept of the Musha shugyō practiced by the Samurai in feudal Japan, including the whole concept of being be willing to die in combat on behalf of a superior person, in Liska's case, the Goddess, just like a samurai was willing to die for their lord.
    • Liar's Moon, the religious ceremony practiced in the Katmandu universe as a mishmash of both April's Fools Day and Halloween, if we take into account the origins of both celebrations, had no basis in any Native American culture, as Halloween is based on pagan Celtic celebrations from Ireland, while April's Fools had Western European origins, probably from England or France.
  • Artistic License – Space: In the Katmandu Handbook, the description about both the planet Katmandu and its similarly named solar system, while more or less correct, has a glaring mistake: Despite the titular planet being a Earth-like world, except being somewhat more hotter, its localization on its solar system is placed on the second place of its system, basically in the same place similar worlds, like Venus, would be located. Since the Katmandu system has a G-type star, the same one as our sun, it would most likely impossible in real life for such a planet to harbor any kind of life, let alone intelligent one, especially if we consider that Venus, which is located in the same place as Katmandu in our Sol solar system, is basically a death world. What makes this even more bizarre is, according with the book, its neighboring third planet is a Venus-like world.note 
  • Author Appeal:
    • In the stories drawn by Terrie Smith, she was notable for making all the main male characters, especially Rial and Pyndan, really, really pretty. This is not surprising, as she is normally known for drawing erotic gay art.
    • The Shawntae Howard's ones, while similar on making the males as good-looking as the Smith's ones, he also tended to drawn them more buffer as well, and he is pretty well known to drawn his anthros with more feral, nightmare-inducing faces when they're angry.
  • Backstory of the Day: Basically, the whole plot of the comic is about the backstory of Liska, told from the POV of her descendant, Leah, starting from the third issue onwards.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The comic was notorious for having sub-arcs when the things doesn't always goes well for everyone else:
    • When Warriors Die: The Highland tribe managed to rescue the Mousekin slaves at the hands of the slave traders, but Rial is killed in a surprise attack.
    • The Peacekeeper: Liska managed to defeat Rakon in the tribal games, but the latter tried to rape her, earning her hatred. It took many decades later in-universe to him to get his revenge on her.
    • The Hunt: Liska and the Highland tribe killed the two rampaging Gomorrin monsters, saving the Plains region from utter destruction, but it turns out the whole situation was orchestrated by a Hoplite inventor in order to test his new weapon at expense from the lives of the local natives, and to make the things even sourer for Liska, Kress, an old flame from her post-slavery times, betrayed her, causing Liska to retaliate on her by basically giving her to the Hoplite inventor as a bride, with Kress' permission, of course, something she ended up regreting up later.
    • The final sub-arc and the very final ending of the comic, A Simple Life, ends in a borderline Downer Ending: Rakon and his people lanched a midnight ambush attack at the Highland tribe when their warriors were out hunting, killing many characters; Liska is forced to face them all of them by herself in order to buy some time, and dying in the process.
  • Book Ends: The comic begins with Leah being the main protagonist in her own era, instead of Liska; at the end of the comic, the story also ends with Leah being again the sole protagonist, in this case to tell the story of her ancestor to the world.
  • Bury Your Gays: In a way: at the end of the story, Liska, who was bisexual, sacrificed her life to protect her tribe from the tribe led by the highly homophobic Rakon.
  • Cat Folk: There's two feline races in the setting. One based on domestic cats (Velites) and another based on wild cats (Hoplites). There's also another two different rodent races based in both mice and rats and another, non-sentient lizard race, which is used as beasts of burden in the same way as horses.
  • Cats Are Superior: The felines (Velites and Hoplites) from Katmandu are the predominant race in the setting, while the rodents are the other, less predominant race. Oddly enough, most of the Fantastic Racism goes between the felines rather than against the rodents, except in some isolated cases, and most of those cases involves the rats.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Almost every female character with a name attached during Liska's era, including the aforementioned heroine, is either bi or lesbian, due of the Highland tribe's tradition of taking anyone, male or female alike, as their brides, especially their warchiefs. Interestingly enough, it also avoids many of the most negative connotations of this trope.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: and girls as well. Basically speaking, almost every character, male and female alike, are very good-looking and looking awesome in some way or another. Even older people, like Mother Sanna, still look good despite their age. Note that this is mostly applied to the felines (both Velites and Hoplites) and mice. Rats, on the other hand...
  • Central Theme:
    • One of the central themes of the comic is The Power of Love, and how this powerful feeling can force a person to make decisions that may be painful in the short term in order to meet other people's needs, and how love can transform a person, for better or for worse. In this case, it is the love Liska received from the people around her, and the affection she gave to her own loved ones, and that same love was what helped transform the adopted tribe she grew up with from warriors who stole and kidnapped to being more intelligent in dealing with the conflicts around them.
    • The same goes for Leahtrah, as her love for Thorin transformed him from being a warmongering monster into a loving husband.
    • Another theme implied in the story, through only made explicit at the very end of the comic is: Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. That doesn't meant that at least you don't get to choose how do you plan to die, as Liska did it at the very end.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The plot of Liska's era went into a more darker tone starting issue 19, since she has to deal with much dangerous foes and situations she couldn't resolve with either diplomacy and sometimes, even brute force, starting with dealing with people like Rakon, then she ends up facing two Godzilla-sized monsters, culminating later with facing an entire Amazon tribe full of saber-tooth tiger Hoplites, then the entire Highland tribe forced to move elsewhere, having to face a witch, being the only time Liska has to face a supernatural enemy and finally, Liska having to face Rakon for a last time and dying. To conclude this, the comic stops going into anachronic stories starting with issue 32.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: It would easier to list which characters has both living parents: Liska, Markree, Pyndan, Rial, Hesta, and countless other had lost one or both parents at any moment of their lives.
  • Cosmic Deadline: As a result of Shanda Fantasy Arts having to close store due to Diamond Distributors refusing to continue distributing their comics as a result of changes in their policies regarding indie publishers and other personal reasons, the last final sub-arc tries its best to finish the story in the most conclusive, through bittersweet way, possible.
  • Crapsack World: The planet Katmandu is not exactly a nice place to live, and it was even worse during Liska's era, as the characters faced tribal warfare, famine, slavery and many other kinds of unpleasantries, and they had the face them at daily basis.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Leahtrah and Thorin's setting is based on the Middle East, but for some reason Leah's ancestors were her world's equivalent of Native Americans; and there's another some side-stories featuring people living in what looks like Ancient Grome and Ancient Egypt.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The battle against the slave raiders in the White River mines turned out like this for the Highland tribe, and for a good reason: From all their warriors, only Hesta seems to be the only person to have previous martial experience, while the rest of the named cast (Liska, Rial, Pyndan and the rest) only had previous experience on either hunting wild animals or dealing with the ocassional wandering raiders, but not against a semi-organized paramilitary force, which many of them were armed with either crossbows or swords, compared with them, which were armed with spears, bows and arrows. As a result of this, Pyndan is seriously injured by a stray arrow, Rial is killed by a swordman and Liska and Hesta were forced to hide in a cave with Pyndan in order to him to receive medical help, leaving most of the fighting to either the rest of the tribe and the Burned Tree's Mousekin warriors. It's truly a miracle they didn't get curb-stomped first, partly because they managed to capture one of their leaders, causing the rest of their warriors to surrender.
  • Crossover: For some reason, some characters from other franchises appeared as cameos, or in full-fledged crossovers:
    • There's a pin-up image of a crossover between Katmandu vs Predator. The Predators lose.
    • Norbert and Dagget appears in another pin-up in Katmandu Annual #2.
    • Danny appears in yet another pin-up with Pyndan in earlier issues.
    • A double one happens in the first Katmandu Annual and in the same single story: There is a crossover with Here Comes a Candle another furry comic published by Shanda Fantasy Arts at the time, and the villains are feline versions of Laurel and Hardy respectively.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue episode published in Shanda The Panda's last issue takes place in a distant future, when Leah now works as a curator for a museum, now telling the stories of Liska to the entire world. It also explained Liska's final fate and a brief resume of her life.
  • Dysfunction Junction: To say the members of the Highland tribe were very dysfunctional, to put it in better words, would be an understatement, since, excluding Chief Pownetkee, the Seneschal, Wind Flower and nameless extras, basically everyone had some kind of personal or past problem that haunts them, including former slaves (Liska, Shaygin, Elishaa and Wasil), rape victims (Shaygin and Elishaa), orphans (basically every named adult character over 18 has lost one or both parents, and that without including those who had lost a close relative of theirs like Wissa, Mother Sanna, Kebec and Liska) or having rage management problems (Rial and Liska, in some degree). It was truly a miracle how that tribe managed to survive to the modern era in such conditions.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Earlier issues felt very different to the rest of the story, mainly:
    • The first three issues dealt mainly with both Leah and Thorin exclusively.
    • The depictions or sex were more explicit and hardcore than latter issues, when the best you could see afterwards were bare breasts, at most .
    • There were much stronger profanity used; oddly enough, the comic stopped using profanity at all later on.
    • There were more violence and blood, which were toned down a bit in later issues.
  • End of an Era: This goes for both timelines, as Liska's era marked the end of her culture, while Leah's era is also the end of her desert-based culture, just to later move to a completely cosmopolitan, western-based one.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Averted, since the whole plot, at least what is told so far in the comic, takes place during a period of 20-24 years, as the last published issues shows Leah's children as young adults, and the same goes with Liska's, as her story begins when she was a teen and the last published issues depicts her as a middle-aged woman, implying a time lapse between 17 to 20 years.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: By Word of God, the Highland tribe, from which Liska belongs to, is based in the Sioux people, with some elements from other tribes mixed, as well with some Japanese elements, like their warrior code, with is very Samurai-like.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The crux of the story is the centuries-long conflict between the Velites, a race of felines based on domestic cats, an depicted on having a technological base based on the ancient Middle East, and the Hoplites, another feline race based on wild cats, like lions, tigers, etc., which are depicted being more war-like than their smaller cousins. That conflict didn't ended until Leah's era, and most of the point about her telling Liska's story to her kids is mostly to avoid them to commit the same mistakes her ancestors did in the past.
    • This was even worse during Liska's time, as besides specism, we have also classic racism against felines with either black fur (Rial) and white fur (Pyndan), and that without going with some cases of homophobia against Liska, as she is bisexual.
  • Fanservice: Metric tons of it. In fact, the comic was very controversial in the 90s precisely for this.
  • Fan Disservice: On the other hand, the comic didn't had any problems with the opposite, especially in disgusting or unfitting situations:
    • The most notorious example was during Liska's Vision Quest during "The Quest for Magic" sub-arc, since the first tribe she, Rial and Pyndan visited was basically a Wretched Hive ruled with iron fist, and when the local seneschal offered a slave to the protagonist trio, they politely refused to, partly out for respect for Liska, and most likely because that slave had lots of ugly whip scars all over her body.
    • The "Witch of the Woods" sub-arc is an even more extreme example, partly due to the artist's style and partly because the titular witch is a very ugly, naked Ratkin woman that looks like a unholy union between Gollum with Master Splinter.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Like many furry comics, all the characters are four-fingered. The oddity here is they still use base-10 measures despite this.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: A really bizarre meta-example happens in a side-story "The Girls Who Loved The Moon" presented in the Katmandu Annual #5: In this story, Hesta tells a tale to both Thea and Mela about an event that happened centuries ago. The meta-part comes with the fact the whole story is basically a Western, alien Native American-looking bizarre retelling of both The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and the Tanabata from Japan, and it's definitively not Played for Laughs at all. This is justified in this case, because the artist of that story, Hitoshi Natsume aka "Dr. Comet", is a honest-to-god Japanese mangaka.
  • Furry Reminder: Despite the anthro characters are civilized, sentient beings, they still behave like their non-sentient cousins, including purring, meowing, using their tongues for bathing and above all, using their claws and jaws for fighting when using using other weapons isn't possible.
  • Generational Saga: The whole story is about the life and times of the Mitsel-eman/Middlesmith-Leonius family, beginning with Liska in what it looks like a pre-Columbine setting with Native American-looking people and ending with Leahtrah in what it looks like the same place, but with a very brutal cultural change, since it changes from what looks like Native American culture to a 1950s Middle Eastern culture instead.
  • Genre Shift: A very well-done, through no fully explained, deceiving one, considering the time period the comic was written: Originally, the comic was originally planned as a run-on-the-mill fantasy story set in a Middle-Eastern-like world featuring action and straight romance. Starting with both issues 4 and 6, however, the setting is changed, through internal storytelling, to a Native American-like setting, which completely clashed with the pseudo Arabian setting from Leah and Thorin's era, and the entire "straight romance" part went down starting issue 6, whent the main protagonist, Liska, which was originally stated to be straight at first, turned out to be bisexual after she married with Shaygin, another girl, and after Rial, Liska's male lover, died at issue 8 and having to break out with Pyndan at issue 18 she end up becoming a full-blown lesbian, turning the whole plot into a Girls' Love story.
  • Happy Ending Override: What ends up happening at issue 37: After finally killing Rakon, Liska and the rest of the Highland tribe thought that will be fine onwards and they don't have to worry anymore about him, his tribe or any other hostile tribe, for that matter. Suddenly, when the rest of the tribe, except her, went to hunting, Rakon's remaining loyalist forces attacked the tribe in a surprise attack, killing many people along the way.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Liska sacrificed her life when Rakon and his tribe attacked the Highland tribe when their warriors went hunting after she stayed behind in order to buy time for them, but not before she went doing in a blaze of glory.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Since the story takes place in an alien planet and the main characters are anthro cats, this is very common:
    • All the mentions about months or years are replaced with moons and changes of seasons respectively, through this is not used consistently.
    • The word "hush" is used as a catchword for "silence!" or "shut up!".
  • Hope Springs Eternal: The very ending of the story and foreshadowed since the "The Quest for Magic" sub-arc: Even after Liska's death when she sacrificed herself against her enemies, she knew that her children and the rest of her tribe will live on, a Foregone Conclusion, since Leah, her descendant, exists in order to tell herstory to her family and the world.
  • Informed Species: With the sole exception of the Hoplite characters and the rodents, most of the Velite characters, including hybrids, barely look like domestic cats and sometimes they resemble like any other critter: The worse offenders are Liska,note  Pyndan,note  Rakon,note  and Patches.note 
  • Injun Country: In this case, it's more like Injun Planet here, since, at least during Liska's era.
  • Ironic Name: The name of the last sub-arc of the comic, "A Simple Life": Not only the things went From Bad to Worse for the whole Highland tribe after they were forced to move to the forests, but they also had to face a final battle for their survival against Rakon and his people.
  • Jungle Opera: Technically, the plot is basically this, except the setting is very Native American-inspired, and in space.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness:
    • The story began to shift between artists, without sticking with a particular one, starting with issue 25 after Shawntae Howard, the former recurrent artist of the comic, left for health reasons.
    • Since Liska is forced to break up with Pyndan as a result of drinking the black drink at the end of the "Ceremonies" sub-arc, she went from being bisexual to full-time lesbian, as her next couple was another woman, Patches.
    • The whole narrative suffer a 180 degree turn beginning with the "Runt" sub-arc: With the inclusion of Quiet Bird, all the remaining Liska's children, excluding Linna, were Put on a Bus. Also, all the remaining characters outside of Liska's life, like Wasil, Panka, Wissa, Gareth and Giles were also excluded as well. Likewise, other older characters, like Mother Sanna, The Seneschal and Chief Pownetkee died off-screen at the end due to old age at the end of the story.
    • The story also became Darker and Edgier, and while there's still some humor and fanservice, these elements are less frequent. Also, the stakes are much bigger, since both Liska and the Highland tribe faces against stuff they cannot directly control, like a drought that force the tribe to move to somewhere else and later, a full-on genocidal tribal war, being the Highland tribe at the receiving end of it.
  • Left Hanging: Since the comic ended in a rather abrupt way, many questions remain unanswered to this day:
    • The whole plot regarding Tyjer, Hesta's First Love in her younger days, wasn't solved, as according with Shawntae Howard, he had to drop it as a result of Carole Curtis, the creator of the story, didn't wanted to include any more characters to the plot and his whole planned arc was cut.
    • While the ending gave some clues, it was never fully explained why the Plains region experienced a severe culture switch from Native American-like to Middle Eastern-like culture in less to 200 years. Even the epilogue episode doesn't bother to explain this at all.
    • We never knew who was Rial's master when he was Made a Slave by the raiders that attacked the Highland tribe and repelled back by Liska. The same goes for both Shaygin and Elishaa, but considering their backstories, maybe it was a good thing it wasn't explored at all.
  • Low Fantasy: A rare version involving Native Americans: The comic deconstructs many of the tropes of the Magical Native American stereotype, and leave them into a more ambiguous field instead, and most of the supernatural things happening in Liska's era had a very more scientific explanation, something that it's even discussed by other character who didn't share superstitious beliefs, like Hesta.
  • Made a Slave: Slavery was very common during Liska's era, and this is the way how story begins, as she was captured by Pyndan and Rial, two warriors from the highlands, and became the slave of Rial, at least for a few issues, until she became a free warrior in her own right, much of Rial's disgust.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future…: The whole story is told this way: After the third issue onwards, the plot switches between stories told by Leahtrah to either Thorin or their children about her ancestor Liska, and how the latter became a warrior.
  • Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: Curiously averted in Liska's era with given names, but played somewhat straight in a really bizarre way, with surnames instead. All the characters from her time had names that only sound barely like a Native American names, at least without their intended meaning, and many of the sound like names from other languages, including Sanskrit, English, and even Greek.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Used in-universe by Leah when explaining everything in the narrative about Liska which is unfitting for her children, like very violent or erotic scenes, when in such cases, she only use euphemisms for describing the acts, but she avoid being too explicit, but these scenes are uncensored for the readers to see.
    • This is more obvious during issue 15, during the last issue of "The Quest for Magic" sub-arc, when Liska and Rial had sex in the mountains before she went to meet the Goddess as her final step to finish her Vision Quest, and Pyndan went to find them, thinking they could have fought each other after Rial trolled Liska, and the latter already had enough from him. During Leah's era, Kemal asked his mom about what Pyndan saw there:
    Kemal: What did Pyndan see, mother?
    Leahtrah: Well, Liska and Rial were busy becoming... friendlier.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Discussed by Word of God in many of the Q & A sections of the comic: Although the historical backdrop of the planet Katmandu bears resemblance to our own Earth in many ways, Leah's timeline in the comic reveals that the inhabitants of Katmandu never developed anything akin to nuclear weapons. This is despite the setting being equivalent to our world's World War II. One key reason for this is the absence of anthropomorphic equivalents to Adolf Hitler or any Axis leaders during that era. Additionally, the Katmandis are not as inclined toward genocide, and they lack the concept of employing weapons of mass destruction, unlike humans. Instead, they prefer engaging in more traditional forms of warfare, rendering chemical and biological weapons non-existent in their arsenal as well.
  • Obligatory Swearing: A very odd example: Until issue 13, the strongest profanity used in-universe was "bitch"... in a setting when the only people living in the planet are felines and rodents, and there's no canines to justify its use. This is the main reason why the comic stopped using profanity from that issue so far.
  • Only One Name: Subverted: Most of the main characters from Liska's era had last names, but technically speaking these were clan names, not family names, and they are only used just when someone want to identify themselves and their clan.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: A rather bizarre twist on this trope: At the end of the story, only Leahtrah and her family got a happy ending, in a very stark contrast with her ancestor Liska, which sacrificed her life in order to both protect her tribe and her family, and by default, the sole existence of Leah in perspective, so the latter could tell the story of her life, and by default, the comic itself.
  • Plot Hole: Oh boy, where to begin first, as the comic is infamous for this:note 
    • To starters, the whole cultural change between Liska's era to Leah's one is completely unexplained, and it doesn't have any sense whatsoever, since it's never explained how the whole Native American-like culture of the former changed in just 200 years to a Middle Eastern-like one, even considering the Velite-Hoplite war, since the narrative implies the whole change was internal, without any foreign invasions that could had forced it, unlike with what happened in Real Life.
    • Related with the latter, at least in the official canon, there's the fact the all the civilizations of the planet Katmandu are based in human ones, despite Word of God explained that the people of that planet has no ties with Earth whatsoever, which doesn't explain why their historic events and chronology are similar to the ones from the Earth, with some exceptions. On the other hand, this is averted in "Alternate Worlds of Katmandu" continuity, when the planet Katmandu does indeed had historical ties with Earth, which are later explained in that continuity.
    • Many of the dates used in the Katmandu Handbook (such like births, events, etc) doesn't have any sense either and they even contradict already stated events from the comic, such as how much time Liska was a slave (in the comic, it was just a year, while the handbook she lasted five years instead), along other events.
    • The epilogue episode "The End of a Tail" had many glaring narrative holes when explaining previous events, or when depicting some characters, like Quiet Bird, for a very notorious one: In the diorama depicting him as a kid, Liska holds him as a baby, when he was given to her by the Amazons when he was 6 years old, and he was at the same size as Liska to boot at that time.
    • The narrative sometimes goes off the rails at times, especially during long conversations or complex events, at its not uncommon to see characters speaking about a particular topic in either one page, or in egregious cases, one or two single frames, just to switch to another unrelated topic in the next page or frame.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The entire "Velites and Hoplites" sub-arc, with the first two issues of the "Woman of Honor" one, are a giant prologue of the story, since both arcs mostly explain the setting and the main characters of both Leah and Liska's eras and the story proper doesn't begin until issue 6.
  • Punny Name: The name of the comic is a portmanteau of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, with "cat", the Cat Folk race which mainly dwells in the aforementioned planet. Oddly enough, despite the Asian-sounding name, there's no known Wutai setting in this comic, beyond the Middle Eastern-like era from Leah's time.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: During the "The Hunt" sub-arc, Liska, along with the leaders of other tribes, had to face a giant, Godzilla-like lizard who was threatening to destroy all their villages. The things went From Bad to Worse, when after they killed the first monster, they had to face its very angry mate.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: By Word of God, the whole conflict between the Velites and Hoplites is inspired by the Arab–Israeli Conflict.
  • Running Gag: A very common gag used during Liska's era is Moirah, Liska and Rial's pet bird, which always repeated the name of either the former, or any other character in an annoying fashion, sometimes in the most unwelcome circumstances.
    Rial: Is that bird ever going to die?
  • Sexual Euphemism: A given, considering the initial premise of the comic and its fantastic setting:
    • Sharing furs: Having sex.
    • Kitten in the basket: Being pregnant, derivated from the American idiom "bun in the oven".
    • Many euphemisms for erection, most of them related with swords, spears or knives. Considering the males felines of this setting have anatomically correct male organs like their non-sentient versions, this is quite justified.
  • Shout-Out: A few ones:
    • During the battle against the slave raiders, Chief Cor-mac-den, before starting the battle, says that the day was a good one to die.
    • During the final battle against Rakon at issue 36, Quiet Bird's get-up is suspiciously similar to the one used by Rock Addams from the Soul Series.
    • The name of Hesta's riding lizard is Kuato.
    • The whole scene when Rakon refused to give his name to Liska because she isn't worth to knew it could be probably one from Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos, when the main character, Rom Stoll, traditionally refused to give his name to his enemies.
    • In issue 4, after his sister Liska was kidnapped by Rial and Pyndan, we see a frame with Markree crying in the same way as the famous Crying Indian ads.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Played straight during Liska's era at least until the final arc, but averted in Leah's one, when all the characters aged respectively. This is especially bizarre in Liska's case, as neither she nor everyone else, save Chief Pownetkee, Mother Sanna and all the children characters under 18, ages during the whole plot, and it's only explained, via the narrator, that Pownetkee passed away due to old age in the last arc.
  • Space Western: A rather weird example: By Word of God, the story take place in an alien planet far away from Earth, whose society are based in the Middle East (Leah's era) and in a Precolumbine, western-like setting (Liska's era). The weird part come with the fact the setting of Katmandu during the latter era avoids many of the cliches used in similar settings, as the technology used is rather primitive in both cases. Just to beginners, there's no cowboys, and during the whole story in that time period, only two characters could be considered, in universe, as the equivalents of European, white people: Hesta and Indigo Weechai, the latter plays with all the stereotypes regarding such people dealing with Native Americans very straight.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Almost all the characters speak with a odd Purple Prose, especially during Liska's era, very likely to simulate both broken English and the fact they're supposed to speak an alien language in-universe.
  • Tipis and Totem Poles: Averted. All the Native homes are either tipis, cabins or pueblo-like houses. We don't see a single totem in the whole comic, even in pin-up art, through the topic is discussed in the comic in the Q & A section.
  • Universe Compendium: The Katmandu Handbook tries to explain many of the unmentioned aspects in the comic, especially the backstories of many of the characters, ages, and even their ancestors. The keyword here is tries, because either many of the information mentioned in the handbook contradicts many aspects already stated in the comic or became outdated, or even retconned, like the one related with Hesta's backstory, since the one that appears in the canon story is completely different from the one mentioned in the handbook.
  • Vague Age: Subverted: While the comic itself refuse to give exact dates and ages, with the sole exceptions of Chief Pownetkee, Thea and other few characters, the exact dates of almost all character are given in the Katmandu Handbook, complete with dates of birth and deaths.
  • Whole-Plot Reference:
    • The whole premise of the comic, at least in his basic elements, is eerily similar to A Man Called Horse, when an outsider is captured and Made a Slave by an Native American tribe, and after suffering lots of indignities, they became free persons after killing invading warriors and the leads of the two stories, John Morgan and Liska Mitsel-eman, got respectively married, both suffer the loss of their spouse, both became the tribe chief of their respective communities, and both died in their elderly years by violent means, while their children saved the day at the end of the tale. Oh, and both are blond-haired and had blue eyes.
    • The plot of the final sub-arc is very similar, except without the religious tones and the whole end of the world thing with The End of Evangelion, when the main leads (Asuka and Liska respectively, through the former is technically a Deuteragonist) pull a Last Stand against an overwhelming enemy force (SEELE-JSSDF in Eva and Rakon and his tribe in Katmandu) killing anything dear for them (NERV and the Highland tribe respectively) and both girls tried to buy time in order to the reinforcement(s) (Shinji Ikari/EVA-01 and the rest of the Highland's warriors respectively) to come, just to came too late to save both girls, who died after receiving hundred of arrow-like attacks on their bodies, through Asuka's death was more a case of Heroic Suicide of sorts, compared with Liska's.
  • You Can't Go Home Again:
    • Starting with issue 34, the entire Highland tribe suffers of this, as a massive drought hit the Plains region, causing them to moving straight to the deep woods, when more food was available for them. To make things even worse for them, Chief Pownetkee, the then-tribe chief, was too old and sick to lead anymore, so Liska became the acting tribe chief for a while until she finally succeded him after his death.
    • Ironically enough, this was subverted with Liska herself, since she could return to her original home in the Lowlands to visit her uncles, through she prefered to stay with her new home with the Highland tribe for obvious reasons.