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Web Original / Deviant Dead

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We played Xbox through the apocalypse.
Izzy, Audition Round

One part contest, one part webcomic, one part roleplay, and thirty-two parts awesome, DeviantDead is an Original Character Tournament ongoing comic contest on DeviantArt that asks its contestants to tell the story of a city infested with the undead and its handful of survivors. Each artist has crafted anywhere from one to three characters, each with unique skills, personalities and backgrounds.

Every round, artists are paired off and pitted against each other. They must each tell a story of their characters meeting and interacting in the form of a comic. Entries are judged based on both story and art. The winning comic becomes canon and the artist continues on to the next round, and those characters get to live to see another day.

DeviantDead is on its fourth round of five as of this writing. All of the contestants have so far woven a thrilling story that seems to be getting better with each passing round.


Has a character sheet.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Action Girl - It'd be harder to find a female character that doesn't have Action Girl moments.
    • Keziah jumps from building to building and kills zombies with a wrench.
    • Q uses a roundhouse kick to fight off a horde before falling to her death.
    • Izzy keeps score of how many she killed.
    • Jestin kills a zombie monkey with an axe underwater
    • The Black and Nerdy Hannah falls to what appears to be her death, but ends up fighting off hordes of zombies alone. With a pointy stick
    • Saby demonstrates to her new companions how to take care of a zombie as a last resort— with her keys.
      • "Don't waste any time though... go straight for the eyes!"
  • Action Survivor - most of the cast most of the time.
  • Ambulance Chaser - Sef. "Se habla espanol!"
  • Animesque - Certain artists are. The Aaron/Kaylee storyline is probably the most manga-like.
  • Anyone Can Die - And how! There's been at least one major character death per round, and usually more than one.
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  • Apocalypse How - Class 0 Regional Catastrophe, as far as we can tell, the zombie threat is isolated to Major City
  • Art Shift - Each artist only draws one story line, and since every one of them has a distinct style, Art Shift is inevitable.
    • Bean and Vaughn have passed along from artist to artist from round one to round three. And then they died.
  • Asshole Victim - Michael.
  • Back Story - More important to some characters than others.
    • Very important to Ned's storyline, as he begins the story not remembering much of his past, and it's slowly revealed to the reader as he remembers it
    • Used often to explain Simon and Jay's life-long friendship, as well as Simon (and Jay) and Saby's relationship
    • Charlie and Brian's relationship is sometimes explained through flashbacks
    • Averted by characters like Sydney, Mickey and Pierre, whose story seems to focus almost completely on the present
    • Sadly, many characters died before we could learn much about their past
  • Beard of Sorrow - Both played straight and subverted with Brian. By the start of round three he had grown a beard. It's played straight because this is symptomatic of his general depression, but subverted because he grows it BEFORE the tragedy that comes at the end of the round - namely, Josh's zombification.
  • Believing Their Own Lies - Many of the survivors are rather hypocritical or delusional
    • Never more evident than in Ned, who's whole personality is based off shutting out the past and starting life from scratch (read: amnesia). He even gave Brian a lecture on being a better father right before seeing his own daughter, thinking she was just his imagination, and letting her die.
    • Charlie Gilbert honestly thinks he's much cooler/smarter/better than everyone else. He isn't.
    • Birdie fancies himself a scientist, and actually does some research. Really though, he's just insane.
    • Carl made a huge mistake in thinking that because he played The Hero in movies, he'd be just as heroic in real life. He wasn't.
    • Brian was oblivious to how much Charlie hated him. He was pretty sure he was just doing what a father was supposed to do, and that Charlie was just messed up.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family - Many.
    • The Gilberts are the first to come to mind - superdepressed dad Brian, daddy-issues son Charlie, and lovable zombie child Joshua.
    • Then the Woodwards - traumatized Kaylee and why-am-I-so-useless Aaron.
    • Bob is implied to come from one of these, though we haven't really seen his family so far.
      • His father showed up in Round 4. Their relationship is yet to be established
    • We also get the feeling that the same applies for Ned, who hasn't been allowed to see the daughter he loves because of his controlling ex-wife
    • Jestin and Taylor came from a family with messily divorced parents. Their mom won total custody of Taylor, and only Jestin was allowed to see him once a week.
  • Black Dude Dies First - The only two black dudes were eliminated in the first round... not to mention the only brown one.
    • Wrong, subverted: Hannah remains alive, and Izzy remained alive until round 2.
    • I believe the trope is called black 'DUDE' dies first.
  • Black and Nerdy - Hannah starts out as one of these. She finds out about the end of the world on 4chan.
  • Body Horror - Pierre is carrying an infected bite which has begun to affect his body chemistry in frightening ways.
    • Mickey has begun some kind of zombie mutation — there's a zombie face growing out of his head while he's still alive and conscious.
    • Round 3 of Deviant Dead's prompt involved 'mutant' zombies making an appearance. Many of the mutants were horribly deformed people/people with parts they oughtn't have
  • Boisterous Bruiser - Nikolai tries to act like one, but he comes across as a bit scary instead. Until he dies. Then he's just scary.
  • Bonus Material - In addition to the main story, the administrators also have run several side contests that is collected as bonus material.
    • In addition, the participating artists have make not one but TWO different omakes - a high school one and a Big-Brother style reality show.
    • And besides their rounds, competitors like Crispy-Gypsy and and-also-dinosaurs expand on their characters and stories with in-between rounds
  • Break the Cutie - Just pick one.
    • Mona's bawwing has become a running community joke.
    • Not to mentions Kaylee and her BSOD.
    • Poor Pierre is just a sweet, loveable butterball. But then the girl he was crushing on bit him! And that was just the audition!
    • Mickey is so oblivious optimistic and sweet that you don't want anything bad to happen to him... and then he mutated into a zombie. while still conscious.
  • Camera Fiend - Q. It's part of her Japanese Tourist persona.
  • Car Fu - It happens surprisingly often.
    • Aaron seems to be specially fond of this.
      • Not to mention Molly and Michael, though his didn't end up so well.
  • Carpet of Virility - Jay. Just look at the image on the character sheet.
  • Catchphrase - Jay again. "And that's a promise!" * wink*
  • City with No Name - The setting is only referred to as The City and (in some portions) Major City.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting - Why hey there Thom Yorke Brian.
  • Crazy Homeless Guy - Ned was one of these before the whole zombie thing. Then he took a turn in badass.
  • Darkest Hour - As DD enters its semi-finals and it's revealed that the military has decided to bomb the entire city, most of the comics are heading in this direction
    • Subverted by Buuya, whose rounds have been surprisingly optimistic in spite of everything the characters are going through
  • Depending on the Artist - How the characters are drawn can vary between artists a lot. Just look at Bean and Vaughn.
  • Canon Discontinuity - This is what happens to the storylines of some of the losing artists.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him -Q, at the request of her writer. Original plans included her rescue and survival.
    • And Hassan, when not so much of a bridge, but a car, fell on him.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys.
    • In Round Two, zombie animals escape a zoo, and not only do Renard, Julien and Micheal run into a vicious troupe, but Jestin also has a fearsome battle against the simian beasts.
    • Somehow Mickey manages to befriend an uninfected fluffy little monkey. It is a match made in heaven.
  • Facial Horror - Mickey and Julien.
  • Fanservice - Some of the artists draw pictures of their characters shirtless or otherwise sexy, including a meme involving pin-up magazine covers featuring characters
  • Fan Nickname - each of the four remaining bands of survivors has their own team name.
    • Team Amnesiac Hobo for Ned, JB, Pierre, and Birdie
    • Team Cripple for Mickey, Syd, Eoin, Mona, and Molly
    • Team Daddy Issues for Brian and Joshua (also Charlie and Aaron, who are following them)
    • Team Mid-Life Crisis for Simon, Jay, and Bob.
    • Team Supercute for old Mona and Eoin team.
    • Team Blondeteen for Aaron and Jestin's original team, in which all four characters were blonde and under 18 years old.
  • Faux Death - Simon appeared to have shot himself off-screen, only for the audience to figure out that it was just the gun's recoil after shooting a zombie.
    • Could also be said about Marina because she appeared to be dead and gone for good, only to show up again in round 4. How convincing her disappearance was of her death ended up being the reason for her actual death.
  • The Ferryman - DJ Voice.
  • Fire-Forged Friends - It's hard not to go through the end of the world and not make any friends. It seems that Eoin, Mona, and Molly are the most susceptible to this.
  • Genre Savvy - Most of the characters are aware that its the Zombie Apocalypse, and at least two of them joked about the possibility with their friends before the dead started walking.
    • In fact, the zombies first attacked Molly during a campus-wide game of Humans vs. Zombies.
  • Ghost City - Well, it is the end of the world, after all.
  • Gratuitous English - Again, Q. Though in her defence, it's the only way she can communicate with others.
  • Improvised Weapon
  • Insane Proprietor - Crazy Jay wants to make sure you aren't burnt out. And that's a promise. * wink*
  • Intercontinuity Crossover - As is typical for Original Character Tournaments, many of the characters who appear in Deviant Dead originally came from other works by their respective artists. For example, Eoin, Bob and Mona are from their creators' respective webcomic projects - and that's only the beginning.
    • In this case, its more of a new continuity than a combined one; the characters are given adjusted backstories that fit the setting.
  • Japanese Tourist - Q. Complete with constant companion camera and broken Engrish.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters - Making the character sheet was an absolute nightmare.
  • Mayor of a Ghost Town - DJ Voice. He's been using some radio equipment to get people "north" for some reason. Revealed as of Round 4 that it was because there was going to be a bombing raid.
    • Arguably, all the survivors are some form of this.
  • The Medic - Bob. Technically an EMT.
    • Also Michael Creavley to an extent, as he's a med school graduate. although, he hasn't been much of a help so far
  • Mercy Kill - Natural for the Zombie Apocalypse trope. Notably, Julien. Oh God, Julien.
  • Missing Mom - Where is Mrs. Gilbert? Where is Mrs. Gilbert??
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Aaron to Charlie Gilbert at the end of round 4, even if he did feel horribly guilty about it immediately afterwards.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word - Averted.
  • Now or Never Kiss - After Saby finds Simon and figures out that he isn't dead, they have a big smooch, even though the last time they talked, they were fighting.
  • Nuke 'em - The military's answer to the zombie threat, regardless of how many people are still alive in the city when it happens
  • One Charlie Limit: Subverted.
    • Three. Different. Charlies.
      • Not to mention the dog, and Kaylee's classmate!
    • Don't forget two Michaels.
  • Our Zombies Are Different - Every artist had their own interpretation on the specifics of zombies. Some artists had fast, some had slow, some were more intelligent, and so far no one has mentioned how the zombie apocalypse even started. At least most all of them are flesh-eating.
  • Past Experience Nightmare:
    • Ned has nightmares about the small few things he remembers about his past
    • Brian has nightmares hallucinations about people he's killed/watched die telling him to commit suicide
    • Simon has often dreamed about traumatic moments in his past, including being attacked by a big dog, and a fight he had with Saby
    • Aaron has nightmares taking him back to his very unhappy childhood.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse:- Tom and Izzy (if the page quote didn't tip you off).
  • Red Shirts - Some artist tend to cast the opponent's characters into this role.
  • Scenery Gorn - The rivers literally runs red with blood.
  • Schedule Slip - it happens.
  • Ship Tease - on several occasions, but the teasing is not always the author's fault or intention, since it's sometimes just the result of their characters being passed on to other authors
    • In the very start, we are lead to believe Pierre and has a sweet crush on a co-worker, but then she turns into a zombie and bites him.
    • Mona and Eoin are good friends and even shared an adorable hug, but Eoin reveals that he's looking for his girlfriend. It doesn't stop them from being a Fan-Preferred Couple
    • Izzy began crushing on Keziah, and admitted to finding her attractive, but was sort've shot down and then she died.
    • There has been enough fodder for people to begin to ship Hannah and Jay.
    • There's hints that Ned and JB could like each other all over Crispy-Gypsy's comics, but no solid proof yet that they could become a couple
      • This seems to be proof that they are meant to be canon
    • Michael and Julien seemed to have some chemistry, but then Julien died.
    • Aaron and Jestin were getting quite flirty, including snuggles and blushes, but they got separated when Kaylee ran off, and later Jestin was killed.
    • It could be argued that there is enough evidence to ship Charlie and Aaron, but most of the flagrant teasing is just and-also-dinosaurs and Penril's own spectator comics and drawings. Although it should be noted that when it's the character's creators doing the shipping, that alone should be enough to go on.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal! - Aaron sort of gave one of these to Charlie at the end of round 4.
    Charlie: They're nobodies! Getting attached to them is pointless! You just love to cry about how sad shit is! Well, cry all the fuck you want, because you just don't wanna face the fact that I'm right and you're wrong!
    Aaron: don't give a shit about anyone else, do you? You don't even give a shit about me! Well, you'll just have to get the hell out of my car.
    Charlie: No, I don't give two shits about anybody because I'm not a dumb FUCK like you!! That's what made you a fucking RAG, because you gave a fuck about those stupid blondes and your DUMBASS SISTER! What the fuck will you do when you find they're all dead too?!
  • Sinister Subway - Watch out, Team Midlife Crisis (and Bob)! There's a horrible Nikolai zombie down there!
  • Story Arc - that's what rounds are for.
  • Sturgeon's Law - Partly applies, partly subverted, because as the contest progresses relatively weak contestants gradually leave.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else! - This could be said about many of the survivors, as the zombie apocalypse has brought about surprising changes in very average-looking people. One of the most surprising was Brian, harmless up until then, who shot two young children in an attempt to 'feed' his own
  • Thoroughly Mistaken Identity - After meeting him, Brian seems convinced that Michael is Charlie.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies - Some of the rounds of Deviant Dead were mandatory death rounds, so inevitably, every comic had to have at least one person die off before it was over.
  • Took a Level in Badass - Many of the characters do this over the course of the apocalypse.
  • The Voice - Hell, the character is even called DJ Voice.
  • What Could Have Been - Common in OCT's, when an artist loses or forfeits, whatever story resolution their comic was hinting at usually gets dropped
  • What Happened to the Mouse? - Happens a bit to characters who don't move on and also don't die. For example:
    • Hannah and Sef were this until showing up again in Buuya's Round 4.
    • Renard has more or less vanished since wandering off at the end of Round 3.
      • Renard reappeared in Buuya's round 4
    • Michael (of Michael and Julien) has yet to return.
      • Except for the fact that Michael is in and-also-dinosaur's round 4
    • Even Marina was accounted for in Crispy-Gypsy's round 4, so most all people that go missing show up again in time.

  • Zombie Apocalypse - Of course.
  • Zombie Infectee - Pierre, Mickey and Joshua.

How well does it match the trope?

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