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Alice and the Nightmare (first page here) is a fantasy comic heavily based on Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland, updating Tuesdays and Fridays.

In the Wonderland and Looking Glass Territories, energy gathered from dreams of Earth's humans is used to power everything, from magic to magitek. Collecting this energy are oneironauts, people with magical abilities, sorted into four Suits - Hearts, Clubs, Spades and Diamonds. To learn how to harvest dreams - and face Nightmares, Always Chaotic Evil creatures inhabiting the dream lands - people attend Phantasmagoria University. Our hero, Alice Heart, a protege of the Red Queen, is one of those people, and she begins attending the Phanty U intending to become an oneironaut. There is more afoot, however - a secret concerning Alice herself, one she has no idea about.

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The comic had a first run that has now been taken down (essentially a different Chapter 1 with many different details changed, both story-wise and in design — starting with a much thinner Alice) before being rebooted into the form that is known today. The original Chapter 1 and 2 are available through archive.org for the curious and the nostalgic.


Alice and the Nightmare provides examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Nightmares are only weak to other Nightmares and Vorpal metal.
  • Alice Allusion: Whole plot is based on Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass and there are many, many elements lifted from both.
  • Alt Text: Rather than for humorous effect, it's used for worldbuilding and passing on additional information about the world.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Nightmares emerge from the Dream Spring seemingly only to attack people.
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  • Always Identical Twins: The Vena twins are identical save for their Identical Twin ID Tag.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Dee and Dum Vena identify as "they", and are both canonically nonbinary.
  • Ambiguously Human: There are hints that Alice is a human that started turning into a Jabberwocky after falling into Wonderland that Rougina stabilized somehow.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: On one hand, there are carriages and Victorian fashion. On the other, there are holographic projectors and space-suits. Then again, there's also a mini-fridge.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Rougina. She's definitely hiding something sinister, and her behavior towards Alice certainly raises red flags for anyone who has to deal with manipulative parents. Her ingredients for Alice's daily potions certainly raise eyebrows.
  • Animal Motif: Edith has a hair ribbon that looks like rabbit ears and is easily scared. The author stated clearly that she's the story's equivalent to White Rabbit.
  • Another Dimension: Wonderland is another dimension to Earth, with Wonderlanders being capable of entering Earthlings' dreams. Some parts of Earth's culture, like books, go through the barrier from time to time, although they apparently aren't very popular.
  • Artificial Limbs: Professor Trevols has been confirmed to have a prosthetic hand. He apparently lost the original after a Nightmare attack.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Azalea is leader of the Jokers and Rougina's assistant. She's also considered the most powerful Suit in Wonderland.
  • Background Magic Field: Wonderland has a stronger one that Earth, which can turn humans into Nightmares. Traumen Marks prevent the same from happening to Suits.
  • Badass Army: The Jokers, Rougina's honour guard, have this reputation. The Diamonds in the Jokers are the only ones no one will blatantly disrespect.
  • Badass Cape: Crowther Kinnabre wears quite a cape to go with his status as Rougina's military commander.
  • Bad Dreams: Alice has them, which she finds weird, as Wonderlandians don't have dreams.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Professor Raphus Trevols doesn't like Fantastic Racism against Diamonds. As his wife is a Diamond, that's to be expected.
    • Alice goes ballistic when people start to go full Fantastic Racism on Edith.
    • Dark Alice does not take well being accused of not being real.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Alice is nice and sweet, but she clearly has a much more aggressive side.
  • BFS: The Vorpal Blade is a claymore almost as big as Rougina.
  • Bling of War: Kinnabre's uniform. The armpads alone could poke out an eye, it has puffy sleeves and a cape large enough to cover all the contraband he's confiscating, but dear Queen, isn't is awesome.
  • Big Entrance: Rougina's entrance at new year's inauguration is so big, she gets an entire page for herself.
  • Bi the Way: Alice is confirmed by Word of God to be bi.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Inverted with Edith, as Alice points out her choice in desserts is the plainest one there is (yes, vanilla ice cream).
  • Blatant Lies: Azalea tells Alice two truths and one lie when she starts questioning her true nature.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: For Edith the Jokers, especially Azalea and her Alpha Joker team, are an unachievable goal that she'd never dare dream of being in the same room as, let alone a part of, as well as a crush at one point. For Alice, they're people that Rougina's had around occasionally.
  • Cannot Dream: Womderlandians reportedly cannot dream, yet Alice appears to dream multiple times, one of multiple things implying that she's not a normal Wonderlandian, if she is one at all.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Alice wakes up like this from her nightmare at the start of the story.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Both Suits and Queens are colour-coded and it's visible in both their outfits and details.
    • Hearts: magenta.
    • Diamonds: blue.
    • Spades: yellow.
    • Clubs: green.
    • Queen Rougina: red.
    • Queen Bianchia: yellow/white.
    • Azalea: purple.
    • Cinnabar Army: red.
    • Nightmares are always black.
      • They do have two separate varieties based off of eye color, the more common white eyed variant with fixed forms, and the variant form red eyed kind.
  • Continuity Reboot: After several months of the story, the author decided to scrap it and start all over again, as the previous version was "all over the place, and not in a good way".
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Elsie, according to the Alt Text, lurks conspiracy blogs. She believes that Rougina's Vorpal Sword, which the last pieces of are said to still be hidden in Rougina's possession, has been lost completely (especially since Alice has never seen it). Not only that, she believes Rougina isn't as powerful as most would believe, that there's no way she could still be alive without Bianchia, that the moon is fake, that Rougina is actually a collective hallucination everyone's been imagining, and so on.
  • Creation Story: Professor Murinda Dymond starts her history of Wonderland lesson with this, and even uses the trope name.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Edith has some secret in her backstory that makes her treat people hurting her like it's supposedly no big deal.
  • Dark Is Evil: Nightmares/Jabberwocky are black.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Queen Bianchia.
  • Deal with the Devil: It seems Rougina made a deal with a Nightmare to protect Alice, though the details are unknown.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Rabbits, despite being Funny Animals, are only ever referred to as Rabbits.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Into the dreams!
  • Dream Walker: Alice is training to become one, and they're apparently vital in Wonderland, as the realm needs the energy they harvest from human dreams. They're called oneironauts in-universe.
  • Dream Weaver: The different Suits all have abilities that allow them to manipulate the Dreamscape in different ways.
  • Emotion Control: Hearts can control the mood and emotions of a dream.
  • Emotion Eater: While the details are not yet known, and they apparently don't actually eat them, Wonderland depends on the dreams of human beings on Earth.
  • Expressive Ears: Queens (and their chessmen) communicate a lot through their ears. Some, like Rougina, have a good deal of control over them, but some emotions can get through.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: Alice's Traumen Mark is her heart-shaped pupils, a unique case.
  • Extranormal Institute: The Phantasmagoria University trains oneironauts, people who enter dreams and use magic there.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Nightmares have eyes all over their bodies.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Wonderlandians are divided into four suits, Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds, with their ranks in this order. Suit clearly determines social standing and profession - Spades are rulers and diplomats, Hearts are priests, teachers and scholars, Clubs are farmers and hunters, Diamonds are manufacturers and traders.
  • Fantastic Racism: When Alice arrives at school, three girls tell her that hanging out with a Diamond will ruin her reputation as a Heart. It's clearly visible many times that Diamonds are the lowest on the totem pole.
  • Fat and Skinny:
    • The chubby Alice and the slender Edith makes a pairing of this kind.
    • The Queens too, with the plump Bianchia and the slim Rougina.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Dee and Dum do this all the time to each other.
  • Flat World: Wonderland and the Looking Glass Territories sit in a ocean on a flat plain. The alt text for the page that reveals this hints that there's something on the other side.
  • Flintstone Theming: Sayings and naming system in Wonderland is based around cards. To give an example, "deck" is a team of four Suits.
  • Friend to All Children: Dee and Dum claim that they took up job at Phanty U because they love working with kids. Alt text suggests it was more about aggravating their ex-teachers.
  • Forever War: The Red Queen and the White Queen spent centuries fighting each other, for reason that's not really well-explained.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Chapter two ends with three pages of Q&A session with in-universe characters.
  • Fridge Horror: Humanity creates some of Wonderland's greatest horrors through manifestation of their subconscious nightmares, and their uncontrolled stress was strong enough to assassinate a goddess without realizing it. That's bad enough, but dreaming humans have the power to increase the overall combat effectiveness of their nightmares, which usually results in party wipes. Now consider the fact that since children's dreams produce the most resource and some are easily frightened by unknown entities, that means that some children in this universe have subconsciously murdered sentient beings by thinking bad thoughts. This Orieonaut business might be responsible for creating serial killers via suppressed memories of brutally murdering someone with your mind.
  • Funny Animals: The rabbits serving Rougina talk, dress and act like people, while being fluffy, adorable and reaching roughly Alice's knee.
  • Friendless Background:
    • Alice was left alone with the queen and rabbits for years and as a result knows no-one but them.
    • While most people apparently attend Phanty U with friends they've known for years, Edith is pretty much alone. She does have siblings working at the uni, though.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom:
    • When Alice's Superpowered Evil Side tries to emerge, her eyes start to glow red.
    • Jabberwocky have multitute of glowing white eyes.
  • Girl Posse: Elsie, Tillie, and Lacie are of the "mean girl" variety, being overbearing to Alice and practicing Fantastic Racism against Diamonds semi-openly.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: More implied than stated outright, but Rougina is manipulating Alice for some unknown purpose, looks down on commoners, and has an Obviously Evil demeanor. Also see Ambiguously Evil above.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Alice has blonde hair and is probably the sweetest person in Wonderland.
  • Hammy Herald: The President sure ramps it up when introducing Rougina at her inaugural speech.
  • Has Two Mommies: Alice's Heart classmate Lacie has two dads.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Done via written sound effects when Alice tries to calm down after a nightmare.
  • The Heartless: Jabberwocky/Nightmares are born from negative human emotions, and some are even humans who were overtaken completely after falling into Wonderland.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: The Cinnabar Army's uniforms are bright red, and eye-visors - which cover the one part of your body you really don't want to get shot in - are even brighter.
  • Horned Humanoid: Rougina, and her sister Bianchia as well. Rougina's are deer style, made of Cinnabar, and Bianchia's are moose style, made of Sepiolite.
  • Hollywood Genetics: A child of two different Suits will never be of mixed suit, only inheriting one or the other, and neither Suit seems to be dominant. As a result of this, it's impossible to guess at first sight that people like Edith and Dee & Dum are related. Subverted, as Dee & Dum are adopted.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The Cinnabar Army's mounts are oversized riding dogs.
  • House of Broken Mirrors: Rougina's suite has a broken mirror in it, and Rougina's more than implied to have deeper connection with Jabberwocky than she should.
  • Human Aliens: Aside from Traumen Marks (which stabilize the Suit's magic), humans and Suits are biologically identical.
  • Human Resources: The medicine Alice takes every morning has Rougina's blood as its primary ingredient.
  • Humans Are Special: A book Alice reads in the library describes Earth humans as such, while also explaining how that same power comes back to bite them if they fall into Wonderland...
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Vena twins have three:
    • Dee has a scar on their cheek and Dum has a scar cutting over their mouth.
    • Dee always has their right eye shut and Dum always has their left eye shut.
    • Dee has their Traumen mark on their right hand, Dum on their left hand.
  • If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You: When Edith has a taste of Alice's medicine, she actually vomits, but Alice seems to consider it a necessary part of her life.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: Both Diamonds and Spades can alter dream reality at will. Spades form the "architecture" of the dream world, while Diamonds can create objects and tools, although they have to focus on it heavily.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Rougina's weapon, Vorpal Blade, seems to be this.
  • Instant Costume Change: Underplayed, but Rougina manages to get to the Phanty U's back entrance, get out of her usual garb, remake her hair, put on make-up and get into this wonderful dress in the time it gets Alice to reach the main hall, find a sit and open the uni flyer.
  • In the Blood: A Heart couple will have children that are Hearts, et cetera. If the parents are two different suits, then the child will take after one of the parents.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Students commonly call Phantasmagoria University "Phanty U", presumably for convenience.
  • It Takes One To Kill One: Besides a Vorpal weapon, only another Nightmare can kill a Nightmare.
  • It Was a Gift: When Alice leaves to Phanty U, Rougina gives her a collar-like necklace with a mirror, telling her that with this, her strength with be Alice's strength.
  • Knife Nut: The Jokers wield Vorpal daggers, defending oneironauts from Nightmares in the Dreamscape.
  • Last of Their Kind: Alice wonders this about the cat that showed up at Phanty U, as apparently the cats in Wonderland started to vanish after Bianchia was lost in the invasion.
  • Lecture as Exposition: Chapter Two has two lectures and one training session to introduce us fully to magic system and Wonderland itself.
  • Letter Motif: The Girl Posse all has names ending in "-ie". They are collectively "The Harpies".
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Wordof God confirms Edith is a lesbian.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The Cinnabar Army has deer ears and lion tails.
  • Locked Away in a Monastery: According to the cast page, Alice has spent her entire life so far in a place called Heart Church.
  • Lost Technology: The art of forging Vorpal weaponry was lost some time ago.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Bianchia's Vorpal weapon is a shield.
  • Magic Is a Monster Magnet: Apparently Trinkets can attract Nightmares, hence why they're banned. At least, that's the story Rougina tells...
  • Magitek: Everything in Wonderland, from fridges to virtual reality machines, is powered by dream energy.
  • Meaningful Name: Everyone.
    • People's names come from their Suits - there are people called Hearts or Herz, Diamonts called Diamant or Dymond, or a Club called Trevols (Catalonyan for clover).
    • Rougina is a Portmanteau of Rouge and Regina, Red Queen.
    • Bianchia comes either from Blanche or Bianca, both of which come from "white".
    • Azalea has a purple Color Motif and is named after a purple flower.
    • Edith is a clever one - the name means "rich, wealthy", and in Italian deck, Diamond is called Coins.
    • Alice is, of course, the chief Alice Allusion in a story full of them.
    • Crowther Kinnabre commands Cinnabar Army.
    • Raphus' first name is the Latin genus name for the dodo bird. Guess which Alice in Wonderland character he represents.
    • Elsie, Tillie and Lacie are the names of three characters in a story the Dormouse told in Alice in Wonderland: three little girls who lived at the bottom of a treacle well.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Averted. Sometime in chapter 4, we see Alice when she was just a child. While there's a few shades of her attempting to be an Adorably Precocious Child, she acts very much like any normal kid would.
  • Mundane Utility: Rougina uses magic to do her hair.
  • My Beloved Smother: To the reader, it's very clear that Rougina is using all the classic manipulation tactics ("What would you do without me?" "I only do this because I love you!") to keep Alice dancing to her tune.
  • Name and Name: Alice and the Nightmare.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Nightmares are reportedly immune to damage from everything save Vorpal metal and other Nightmares.
  • Number Two: Azalea and President Spade are both aides to Rougina.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: While Dee and Dum do give their full names, they're pretty much never used afterwards. Justified, as Deetran and Dumquil are a mouthful.
  • Performance Anxiety: Underplayed, but for all the facade she puts, Rougina doesn't feel very comfortable with public speaking.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Alice and the rest of Hearts' color. They are described as the "hearts" and are associated with emotions. Somewhat subverted in that even male hearts wear pink.
  • Playing Card Motifs: Social castes, sayings and organizations are all named after card terms, mainly suits.
  • Power Source: The Dream Spring, from which the dream sand comes and through which one can enter dream space.
  • Power Tattoo: For people with magic, Traumen marks denote what kind of power they have.
    • They also regulate the Suit's magic so Wonderland's higher magic levels aren't a problem like they are for normal humans.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Jokers are the most powerful Suits, and ones no-one mocks their Diamonds. Their leader Azalea's Color Motif is purple.
  • Rugged Scar:
    • Vena twins' Identical Twin ID Tag - Dee has one on their cheek, while Dum's cuts across their mouth.
    • Crowther has a scar across his entire face, going from above left eye to his right cheek.
  • Scenery Porn: In Chapter 4, Page 40, we get a gorgeous view of the Royal Gardens.
  • Schizo Tech: Technology levels in Wonderland seem to fluctuate more than a bit.
  • Shapeshifting: Rougina used to be capable of doing this, but apparently isn't now.
    • Red-eyed Jabberwocky have the ability to change their forms freely.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Dee and Dum seem to be this - they finish each other's sentences, express the same emotions and sometimes speak together.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Dee and Dum give this vibe at first, what with pushing Alice right into a good ten metre's drop. Subverted quickly, though, as it turns out that the fall is perfectly safe.
  • Socially Awkward Hero:
    • Alice haven't had much contact with others before her arrival in Phanty U, and sometimes it shows - especially when the Girl Posse latches onto her.
    • Edith is downright terrified of people. Considering the Fantastic Racism she has to put up with on daily basis, it's not very surprising.
  • Spiritual Sequel: Alice is implied to be named and given the thematic upbringing of the original Alice Liddell, who stumbled into Wonderland during an exceptionally large demonic invasion.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Alice is the queen's protege and has been raised with no friends, but all provided, yet is extremely nice to everyone and completely ignores Fantastic Racism.
  • Subordinate Excuse: Azalea is described in her character page entry as Rougina's closest friend and her assistant, but their interactions near the end of chapter three imply that their relationship is more than platonic friendship.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Alice seems to have something like his - whenever she's angry, she gets wide-eyed and starts spilling red dust around. It's implied that medicine she takes daily keeps it at bay. Learning more about Nightmares hints at a further connection.
  • Super Soldier: The Chessmen are the armies the Queens created to fight against each other.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Traumen Marks, while not tattoos exactly, show what Suit a Wonderlander is, and thus what power they have in the Dreamscape. They appear naturally in childhood.
  • Teleportation Misfire: After falling into the teleporter, Alice has a moment when she appears to be in dreamlands and something that looks like her evil twin is almost giddy at her arrival. She freaks out, but after a moment she returns to the Dreaming Dome, and no-one else has seen a thing.
  • The Darkness Gazes Back: Jabberwocky's aesthetic - darkness with multitude of eyes.
  • The Ghost: Implied in an alt text:
    President Spade is usually cooped up in his office and only makes brief appearances as formalities, but otherwise he's a rarely-seen dude.
  • The Inspector Is Coming: The second day of school starts with a surprise inspection conducted by the military.
  • The Good Kingdom: Wonderland seems to be this. People are happy, the world in advanced and while the Queen's the ruler, there's also a president. The only problems are authorities-discouraged Fantastic Racism and possible evilness of Rougina.
  • Theme Twin Naming: The Vena twins are both named D[xxyyyy] "D[xx]" T. Vena.
  • Transformation Trinket: Rougina's horns were apparently this for her, as she lost her ability to shapeshift when they broke off.
  • Tron Lines: The oneironautic suits are white with glowy lights in Suits' colours.
  • True Blue Femininity: Edith Diamant wears blue and is introduced as gentle and kind. She has a very feminine appearance.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Edith has pale skin and black hair.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Nightmares come in two varieties, one with white eyes, one with red. Though all start out as red, few stay that way very long, which is good, since red-eyed Nightmares can freely change their form while white-eyed Nightmares have a fixed form.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Rougina, despite looking like early thirties, is almost as old as Wonderland itself, which translates to several thousand years. Ditto for Bianchia, although her status is unclear.
  • Rescue Romance: The case with Professor Raphus Trevols and Professor Murinda Dymond. Murinda Dymond saved Trevols' life when he was attacked by a nightmare back in the day, so naturally he married her.
  • Retired Badass: Trevols - and, by extension, Dymond - are said to be retired oneironauts, meaning they used to face nightmares on daily basis and made it through.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Edith and her older twin siblings. She's quiet and timid, while they're very much Genki.
  • Swirling Dust: Exploited, as Traumen ability entails manipulating dream dust.
  • Unsound Effect: When Alice discovers the fridge in her room, there's a sound effect "mini-fridge!" accompanying her joy.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: The Dreaming Domes are used to train future oneironauts in safe environment and have part of Dream Spring's output siphoned to them to emulate dreams.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Nightmares with red eyes can alter their form at will.
  • Was Once a Man: Some red eyed Nightmares were humans that fell into Wonderland and changed.
  • Wonder Twin Powers: Dee and Dum’s powers are only half as effective when they are separated. This is why Dum keeps turning down Joker membership.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Rougina's Vorpal Blade was damaged during the invasion, she kept the blade but lost the hilt.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Azalea has purple hair.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Wonderland has a lights festival, when they celebrate the ancient Suit Tribes getting together. It happens in winter and is accompanied by exchange of gifts.

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