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Literature / Weetzie Bat

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Love is a dangerous angel.

The Weetzie Bat series by Francesca Lia Block, also known as Dangerous Angels, is a Mythpunk series of six novels set in the Los Angeles of The '90s. It's about a blended family of eccentric, colorful, oddly named artists falling in love, coming of age, dealing with grief and prejudice, and making really cool independent films - with just a dash of magic to make things interesting.

The series' frank treatment of teen sex, drugs and homosexuality has made it controversial; certain schools have even banned it from their libraries. However, it has also garnered both critical acclaim and popularity among readers, and will probably be remembered as a classic, if only for Block's inimitable writing style.

  1. Weetzie Bat
  2. Witch Baby
  3. Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys
  4. Missing Angel Juan
  5. Baby Be-Bop (a prequel, set before the first book)
  6. Necklace of Kisses
  7. Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie Bat (another prequel)

This book series provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Weetzie Bat, My Secret Agent Lover Man, Witch Baby, Cherokee, Duck Drake, Valentine Jah-Love, Vixanne Wigg ... and Dirk McDonald. Then there's Ping Chong, which is presumably an ordinary Chinese Name, and Raphael Chong Jah-Love, which is a multicultural combination.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The blue receptionist at the Pink Hotel, also a Visual Pun in that the reason she turned blue was because she was unhappy.
  • Buffy Speak: When the Bat family talks about "Ducks", they don't mean the birds. Witch Baby defines the term as "a pounceable guy who likes guys". Other exambles are "clutch" used in unusual variations ("I've been so clutch to her"; "Clutch pig" as an insult) and "Lanky lizards!", which is Weetzie's version of Goshdang It To Heck.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Missing Angel Juan revolves around Witch Baby's posessiveness of Angel Juan, and how she learns to give him space and appreciate that not everything revolves around him.
  • Coming-Out Story: Baby Be-Bop for Dirk. Witch Baby has a scene where Dirk and Duck visit Duck's family, pretending to be Just Friends until a disgruntled Witch Baby outs them both to Duck's mother. She is horrified at first, but soon comes to accept her son anyway.
  • Costume Porn
  • Dead Sparks: Between Weetzie and Max in Necklace of Kisses, as a result of Max's post-9/11 trauma. They get over it.
  • Disappeared Dad: Weetzie's parents got divorced when she was twelve. Her father moved to New York and commits suicide at the end of the first book. It continues to haunt her for the rest of her life.
  • The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: Dirk and Duck, while HIV-free themselves, are considerably shaken by the outbreak of the pandemic among the gay community.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Brandy-Lynn.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Everyone except Dirk, although no one seems to be bothered by them. Weetzie shrugs hers off with "crazy parents, I guess"; Cherokee never even mentions the subject (even though she's white and blonde, which makes her name all kinds of ridiculous) and everyone adjusts extremely quickly to My Secret Agent Lover Man, although Necklace of Kisses does Retcon his real name to Max.
    • Well, Vixanne does refer to My Secret Agent Lover Man as Max in Weetzie Bat.
    • In Pink Smog it's revealed that Weetzie's given first name is actually Louise.
  • Food Porn- And it's all vegetarian food after the first book.
  • Gayngst: Dirk in Baby Be-Bop. His grandmother believes it's "just a phase", his first love rejects him out of fear and he is seriously beaten by skinheads. The whole book is about him learning not to be ashamed of who he is.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: In Baby Be-Bop, it is revealed that Fifi McDonald's bottled genie, the one who granted Weetzie's wishes and brought Dirk together wih Duck, is actually Fifi's father watching over his descendants.
  • Latin Lover: Angel Juan.
  • Literal Genie: In the first book, after Weetzie wishes for "a Duck for Dirk and My Secret Lover Man for me", the genie provides men with those exact names.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Witch Baby, who at first assumed that she wasn't related to any of the Bats, finds out that she is the product of an affair between Max and Vixanne. She doesn't take it well.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Weetzie in the first book, "dating all the wrong Ducks".
  • Love at First Sight: Weetzie and Max, Dirk and Duck, Valentine and Ping.
  • Love Hurts/Love Redeems: Both at once: "Love is a dangerous angel", the Aesop of the series.
  • Magical Native American: Coyote Dream Song - a Closer to Earth spiritual guide in Braids, Beads and Buckskins, who is regarded by the entire family as a source of mystic wisdom. Cherokee, who is white but was named in tribute to the First Nations, looks up to him as a role model.
    • Deconstructed in Necklace of Kisses when a fellow Indian calls him "full of s%&%t". It turns out that Coyote adopted this persona to distance himself from the messed-up state of the native community in general, and his abusive father in particular.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Weetzie, and later Cherokee.
  • Midlife Crisis: Necklace of Kisses. Weetzie leaves Max and takes a vacation at the Pink Hotel, where she had her prom, to try to figure out her life.
  • Parental Issues: Practically everyone. Dirk's parents died when he was four; Weetzie's parents are divorced, with her mother being an alcoholic and her father depressive; Duck's father was drowned and his mother is seeing a Jerkass "greaseburger"; Witch Baby has Vixanne for a mother and they barely communicate and she has a tense relationship with biological father Max and adoptive mother Weetzie; Max and Coyote were abused as children.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Weetzie and Dirk.
  • Power Incontinence: Cherokee. When she starts making animal-themed accessories for her friends and fellow Garage Band members (a set of wings for Witch Baby, goat-hair pants for Raphael, a horned headband for Angel Juan) to help them become more confident onstage, the magic turns them into selfish, greedy, hormonal rock stars and almost ruins her relationship with Raphael.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Cherokee calls out Coyote for trying to stop her using her powers. Later she admits that he was right.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Dirk is raised by his grandmother Fifi.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Witch Baby, an antisocial punk who loves drums and photography, and Cherokee, a popular, outgoing dancer with a knack for fashion design. They have a The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry as children, but during their teenage years they get along very well.
  • Starbucks Skin Scale: Raphael is the color of "Hershey's powdered chocolate".
  • Straight Gay: Dirk and Duck.
  • True Companions: The extended Bat family, biological and otherwise.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Witch Baby has a crush on Raphael as a child.
  • The Vamp: Vixanne Wigg, although in the later books she is revealed to be a very unhappy, insecure woman trying to escape some trauma in her past.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Cherokee and Raphael, Witch Baby and Angel Juan. Both double as Toy Ship while they're little, with their parents serving as Shipper on Deck.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Weetzie to Charlie. He never does.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Weeetzie's mother, Brandy-Lynn.