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Literature / Patty and Mark

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Patty and Mark is a series by Lotz Of History about Patty Martins and Mark Bonhoff, a pair of journalism students attending Waurden-Ricks Institute of Journalism in the small town of Ipswich, Maryland.

A comedy, the series spoofs aspects of American pop culture like tacky pop music, fast food restaurants, old TV shows, and conspiracy theories.

The stories can be read here: [1], [2], [3], [4]

Their Christmas special: [5]

Patty and Mark contains the following tropes:

  • Author Appeal:
    • Lotz loves astronomy, and the story "Stargazing" shows Patty feels the same way about it.
    • The series is set in the state of Maryland. According to Word of God this is Lotz's love note to the state.
    • The characters are stated to read similar books and listen to similar music to what Lotz likes.
    • The characters are all training to be journalists. Guess what Lotz is by trade.
  • Ax-Crazy: Downplayed with the League of Men Engaged in Continuous Combat. They only attack people for "the spirit of combat" and it's implied they try to avoid actually hurting anyone. This would basically make them a weird cross between a milita and a fight club.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: As it goes on, the series gradually implies that every conspiracy theory is not only true, but connected in the least likely way possible.
  • Creator Breakdown: Inverted. Lotz wrote "Patty & Mark in the New Millennium" about a week after breaking up with his girlfriend. Said story has Patty and Mark not only struggling but ultimately staying together, but finding out that they've been together over numerous lifetimes.
    • Also played straight. In the early stories, Mark often called Patty "babes." Lotz called his girlfriend this and since they broke up, Word of God states that Mark now calls Patty "princess" instead.
  • Casual Kink: At the end of "Patty & Mark in the New Millennium", P&M engage in role-playing sex that involves wearing cardboard Burger King Crowns and pillow talk in Dutch discussing civil engineering (It Makes Sense in Context).
    • While delivering pizza one night, Brian accidentally walks in on Mel wearing Dominatrix garb and holding a whip while Joe is handcuffed to the bed.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: In "Eye Spy Through Patty's Eyes", Patty decides to replace her glasses by getting a pair of electronic 'spy eyes' surgically installed into her head. Over the course of the story they turn her into a murderous cyborg who decides to destroy the town simply because her eyes creep people out.
    • This is actually a recurring theme throughout Lotz's writing. Anyone who gets an Intelligence Hotwire installed in them becomes at best, a Cloud Cookoolander, and at worst, an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Genre-Busting: Patty and Mark is essentially a youth sitcom in episodic book-form with elements of surrealism, Science Fiction and horror mixed in.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Afrikaans pops up a lot.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: In "Oohray-Oohrah for Reading!" the League of Men Engaged in Continuous Combat do several dangerous and illegal things involving children (it's implied they hijack school buses) in order to get children for their titular Show Within a Show. They also have elementary school kids reading books like Flowers in the Attic to do reviews on. Somehow they never get arrested for this. Stephanie and Mel even discuss this.
  • Punk Punk: Lotz stated that P&M is an example of a new kind of -punk he calls, "Dial-up Punk".
  • Reincarnation Romance: "Patty & Mark in the New Millennium" has the two sent a thousand years into the future where they discover that their future incarnations are a couple as well (but they've swapped genders).
  • Retro Universe: Aesthetically and technologically, the series seems to take place in The '80s or The '90s, but culturally it resembles The New '10s.
    • Word of God says the next P&M story to be published mentions Mark taking Patty to see Inside Out (premiered summer 2015) while using typewriters to write their news articles.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Patty is bubbly and excitable, while Mark is more reserved and pragmatic.
    • Brian and Stephanie Summers are this even more so.
  • Vaporwave: The characters listen to this sometimes.
  • The 'Verse: Patty & Mark is one series sharing an entire universe with Lotz's other works. Christine is originally from an earlier series by Lotz set in a town called Wacovia.
  • Word Salad Title: In-Universe: Lunar 3D Pizza Extraordinaire is a pizza shop that rips off several fast food franchises and somehow hasn't been sued yet.
  • World of Weirdness: Which each passing story, the series' universe gets progressively more bizarre and unpredictable. Word of God states an upcoming Story Arc will focus on this.
  • World War III: In "Patty & Mark in the New Millennium", the residents of the future mention a World War III happening in sometime around the 2600s. Little is revealed about it, but apparently it destroyed a lot of technology and set the human race back a few centuries.