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Darker And Edgier / Webcomics

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  • The superhero parody webcomic Emokid and Chemokid was initially dark comedy, but eventually became a suspenseful story with deep backgrounds and character development while still maintaining the odd sense of humor that only the writer of Head Trip can provide.
  • Spoofed by the Stick-Figure Comic Stickman and Cube in this strip. The cartoonist announces that he is making the comic "Darker And Edgier", gives the characters new Wangst-ridden backstories and sums it up by saying that "basically everyone's just going to shoot each other and swear a lot." At which point Stickman says "Oh, HELL no." The characters later get back at the cartoonist for this. With extreme prejudice.
  • In a May 2008 Dominic Deegan strip, the title characters learns, to his horror, that his favorite comic is about to become Darker And Edgier... by retconning the hero into a demon. It's like making Superman Darker And Edgier by giving him a German heritage, a small mustache, and a great personal hatred of Jews.
    • It was foreshadowed at the end of the Storm of Souls arc. One of the cosmic consequences of breaking the storm was that many of the souls normally bound for Heaven or Hell ended up in the wrong place.
  • Butterfly, an Affectionate Parody of Batman, spoofs the phenomenon here. The specific point of reference is Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy.
  • Occurred in A Modest Destiny, around the third story arc. Up to that point it was a lighthearted and humorous fantasy spoof. Then came "The War of Fate" arc, which was much more darker and serious, such as the female lead considering getting an abortion.
  • The original material that Exterminatus Now is based on was 'The Grim Darkness', a project to make the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic universe GRIMDARK by blending it with Warhammer 40,000. According to Word of God: " reflection, one of the worst ideas I have ever had." The actual webcomic makes fun of it.
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  • Ctrl+Alt+Del. The shift from "two game nerds on a couch" to "personal responsibility and miscarriage tragedy".
  • Wapsi Square has certainly gotten much darker and edgier since it shifted from a slice-of-life comedy, to a supernatural drama; dragging in themes of suicide, human sacrifice, manifesting personal demons, and a looming quasi-apocalypse.
  • Breakfast Of The Gods is a Darker and Edgier and Bloodier and Gorier use of breakfast cereal mascots. Tightly-written and exquisitely drawn, it's D&E&B&G at its finest. Frankenberry is a sadistic thug, Sonny the Cuckoo is batshit insane, The Trix Rabbit is a private investigator, Toucan Sam runs a bar and acts a lot like Rick. It's now completed.
  • Sonichu started out with Chris-Chan's poor attempt at making a crossover between Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokémon. In the last three issues, we've seen his electric hedgehogs have sex in graphic detail, Chris murdering trolls by the hundreds, and Chris torturing people in the most inhumanly brutal ways possible for... making fun of him online.
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  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures started out as a very light-hearted comic that followed the everyday antics of Dan, Mab, and their friends and family. Later on, things like Dan discovering that he is an incubus, Mab being involved in...something that she claims will kill at least two of her friends, a flashback revealing that on Dan's first adventure one of his friends was brutally killed by Dark Pegasus, and all of Abel's Story made it clear that DMFA is definitely a more mature comic than when it started. Though this to be expected, as the comic was started when the author was in high school, and so it's probably matured along with her.
  • Magick Chicks has always had a more dramatic narrative than Eerie Cuties, in general, even though both comics are PG-13.
  • Formerly Lawful Stupid Cale, from Looking for Group has certainly come a long way since the comic started. Due to the influence of undead warlock Richard, cynical companions Pella, Benny, and Krunch Bloodrage, and the fact that his new Kingdom was Powered by a Forsaken Child, Cale has become far more flexible with regards to his morals, and smiles when he sees an old foe intimidated by Richard's undead townsfolk.
  • Homestuck has several points where it gets darker and grimmer: playing a The Sims Meets EarthBound game causes The End of the World as We Know It, when we learn that Anyone Can Die and winning the game won't save them, when Eldritch Abominations are revealed to be real, when we meet the Trolls and their Crapsack World ends, and when Rose has started to Screw Destiny with a passion, aided by the aforementioned abominations. Fortunately it never gets too dark:
    tentacleTherapist (Rose): I'm not actually trying to caricaturize a grim sorcerer.
    TT: There's still a perfectly intact piece of my mind which realizes how ridiculous it is to be flying across rainbow oceans with a couple of magic wands and a salamander in a little cowl.
    [a bit later]
    ectoBiologist (John): maybe later, i will drop by your planet again and rescue you, thus breaking the spooky spell put on you by your nefarious, shadowy masters.
    EB: that way you will stop being so grimdark and ominous, and basically completely off the deep end in every way, as is now painfully obvious to anyone with a brain.
    TT: Swoon!
    • As soon as Rose actually goes grimdark, things seem to take a turn for the worse. It even leads to the Author Avatar getting killed.
    • Act 6, being post-Scratch and as such more conducive for the kids to be battle-hardened and able to beat the game, is much darker than its mirror, Act 1. Dirk and Roxy are the only humans left 413 years in the future, Betty Crocker rules the world, the ICP were presidents and Guy Fieri the Antichrist. Post-Scratch Jade got stabbed to death by the Condesce's 2x3dent, PS Dave brutally beheaded the ICP, and PS Rose stabbed Fieri's eyes out with needles and rode his body down a waterfall of blood. Then they died brutally to the Condesce. Hell, at one point, Dirk Portal Cuts his own head off in a Thanatos Gambit to save his friends, two of whom had been impaled through the stomach by an inescapable, planet-obliterating weapon. To reiterate: HE CHOPS HIS OWN HEAD OFF. Kids and fun.
    • So for a long while, getting killed only meant you got to live out the rest of your existence in a dream bubble with all the other dead people. You could be happy there. Nepeta finally got a version of Karkat to be with, Equius got Aradiabots, a version of God-Tier Tavros was happy and flying free... but then, in [S] Caliborn: Enter, we see that Lord English, hinted to be the final Big Bad of the series, has the ability to destroy the dreambubbles. He is literally killing dead people. Also, his younger self, Caliborn, escapes his prison by gnawing his own goddamn leg off, complete with gratuitously-spurting candy red blood.
    • Then [S] GAME OVER. occurs, killing off damn well near a good chunk of those who managed to survive any of the above events. Good thing John has his Cosmic Retcon powers at that point.
  • Sam & Fuzzy parodies the trope here. And then again here. And then manage to further parody the second parody here. Sam Logan does not seem to like this trope.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the "Painted Black" arc is one of the darkest story arcs and as it came after the silly "Q&A #2" and the relatively light "Tam Eh Tedd" storylines its impact was felt all the more heavily.
  • Distortion Nuzlocke is this compared to Pokemon and some other Nuzlockes. The Pokemon aren't even real, and it contains a lot of violence and questioning sanity.
  • Mocked in Fanboys when Paul claims that to appeal to their readers they will have to resort to foul language, gun usage, drug abuse and sex appeal.
  • Weapon Brown is Peanuts (and other cartoon characters) made ludicrously grimdark and set in The Apunkalypse.
    • There was also the student film "Bring Me The Head Of Charlie Brown" by future Simpsons writer Jim Reardon, which involves the Great Pumpkin hiring the kids as hitmen to kill Charlie Brown in gruesome ways, eventually he snaps and goes on a killing spree.
  • In-universe in Sandra on the Rocks: The developer Tristan tries to do this to Carmen Chamelia (in-universe, an old-school video game heroine famous for her amusing changing powers), giving her a depressing backstory, changes the game to include extremely gory violence, and dresses her in an outfit so skimpy that, when modeled on a living human being, literally needs to be taped to her body. This ends quickly.
  • Night Terror 2 is far darker than than the one that came before or after it, largely due to the Boogeyman's greater involvement. Fitting, for the (canonically) last entry in the series.
  • Sleepless Domain, with a first chapter typical of Magical Girl stories, and things going downhill as of the second.
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella parodied the idea here, when Jokerella tried to invoke this trope.
    Hitlerella: Every villain goes through this. You want to be taken more seriously, so you get some edgy new outfit, maybe make a demonic pact to score some evil ambient lighting. It all seems like a great idea at the time. But in six months, all you'll have left is your shame and halloween contact lenses.
  • Voldemort's Children gives the appearance of being substantially darker than Harry Potter–the comic opens on a high-security prison deep below the Ministry of Magic–but later pages dial back the darkness due to Hermione Granger's deep considerations of morality and clear unwillingness to permanently harm villains whom she believes can be converted or captured non-lethally. In some ways, this works as a subversion of fan works being darker than source material.


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