Vatsy and Bruno, written by Adam "Rutskarn" DeCamp and hosted on the website Chocolate Hammer, is a dark humor web series whose first episode, First Ink, has reached completion. Each episode is to be written in serial format, with each weekly post being about three pages of text.
The eponymous characters, Vatsy and Bruno, are a pair of vaguely human animal-like creatures. Vatsy, a gaunt and emaciated feline, is a high-strung unscrupulous journalist to whom sanity, sense, and soap are things that happen to other people. Bruno, his loyal bodyguard/henchman/errand guy, is a chimp with an easygoing personality, a bone-deep stoicism, and a large-bore sawn-off shotgun. Together, they fight crime—er, search for the perfect news story.
Vatsy and Bruno is somewhat twisted, fairly dark, and ever-so-slightly absurd. Much of the humor comes from the off-kilter nature of the heroes, the strange happenings in their environment, and the constant deconstructions of tropes and stock characters in media.
Vatsy and Bruno, as well as a full-size version of the current cover, can be found here.
This work of fiction provides examples of:
- Badass Longcoat: Parodied by Trenchcoat, a monologuing one-man army who refuses to do anything in a non-hardboiled fashion.
- Butt-Monkey: Both of the title characters get repeatedly chewed up, spit out, and trampled on by the world at large.
- Forgetful Jones: past a certain point, Vatsy really doesn't remember much. Definitely is not played for comedy. It's not really clear why Vatsy is like this, either.
- For Science!: One of CESA's motivations.
- Heroic BSoD: Vatsy goes catatonic after being rejected from The Writer's Guild again.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Bruno to Vatsy, to a huge extent. If Bruno isn't around, Vatsy becomes even more scatterbrained, to the point where he can barely function. Even when he's being held prisoner, clearly to be killed soon, Vatsy just barely grasps that something is wrong.
- Mad Scientist: Everyone who works for CESA. Of note are the first scientist Vatsy and Bruno encounter, who looks eerily like Dr. Kleiner and the one they later rescue.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: CESA's underground headquarters.
- Mysterious Past: Bruno and Vatsy both—Vatsy because he doesn't seem to remember much about it, and Bruno because he refuses to talk about it.
- Photographic Memory: Bruno, making the lists Vatsy occasionally writes for him utterly unnecessary, which is helpful because he can't read anyway.
- Purple Prose: Committed by Vatsy, whose letters "stink of hideous purple prose [and] will forever saturate [The Writer's Guild's] desk space."
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: Wielded by Bruno. Justified in that Bruno is pretty damn strong.
- Shout-Out: To Girl Genius, The Adventures of Dr. McNinja and Anti-Heroes
- Talking Animal: Both Vatsy and Bruno.