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Webcomic / At Arm's Length

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Outwitting Mooks is all in a days' work for our heroes...

A Furry Comic focusing on a trio of women who try to balance their domestic issues and their goals in life. Oh yeah, and they’re also secretly four-armed magic users from another world. Don’t tell their husbands!

A comedy-fantasy about three furries who combat magical threats to their adopted homeworld Earth, when they’re not passing off as mortals. Investigating a pending magical invasion of Earth, the main characters deal with pressure from their families to keep their status quiet, making alliances with other do-gooders and trying to keep from going crazy due to bad pop culture.

See it here.


This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: The three main characters, though they are not adventure-seekers in the traditional sense. More like a case of Mama Bear with the whole Earth (and especially their spouses) as their charges.
  • Adventure Guild: Geoffrey, Ginger and Xodiac belong to one.
  • Affably Evil: Temujin. Very pleasant and friendly for a megalomaniac.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The main setting of the story and seemingly main magical entrance portal to Earth is… Houston.
    • Ally's sister Angela lives in Des Moines. Ally specifically says no one would look for an Enchanter there.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A literal example, as there is a wanted poster for Temujin for committing multiple acts of jaywalking. Given some of her other activities, jaywalking seems the least of her sins.
    • And the first monster they're seen fighting in the entire comic announces that he's here to "enslave the weak, desecrate the righteous, and park in the no parking zone."
  • Author Guest Spot: Cubist showed up in one non-canon tribute story.
  • Author Appeal: Well, something has to explain all the four-armed characters…
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Ally and Calpurnia spend most of "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" at each other's throats. But after a mother-daughter heart-to-heart, they hug it out.
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  • Bat Out of Hell: Averted with Echo, an anthro bat from an alien world who is an extremely friendly Perky Goth. Other species may see her as one due to her being a necromancer, however.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In Ian's case, a mortal deer transformed into a four-armed, half deer, half-snake monster. In Selinda's Haven, he's very well liked.
    • Mortals were often transformed into 'taurs to be used as slave labor and magical beings transformed as a Mark of Shame. Still, several 'taurs such as Daphne and Hayley are perky enough that this doesn't cripple their spirit, and Rob has instead accepted his form as badge of honor for standing up to corrupt power.
    • Technically applies to Kevin, when he was "Accidentally" transformed into a wolfess, and not a wolf.
  • Berserk Button: Sheila when Ceryn threatens Will. It takes the intervention of both Ally and Reece to keep the enraged 'roo from beating the deertaur witch to death.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Sheila makes good use of her tail as a weapon. Temujin does as well, with her flail getting some damage on Sheila.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Reece can be very polite. But you don’t want to arouse her angry side.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "Revenge of the Cerv". Sheila has successfully protected her husband's life from Ceryn's threats, but because he is unaware of why she's been avoiding him, he's left hurt and wondering what his wife is keeping from him.
  • Breath Weapon: Kaige, Kiley and most dragons have stereotypical firebreathing capabilities.
  • The Cameo:
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Pretty much the position most of the snobby magical beings take with both mundanes and also insubordinate members of their own race, which tends to lead to a Screw You, Elves! attitude amongst those they offend.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Reece. Her train of thought frequently gets derailed at the station.
  • Continuity Nod: Lots of stories call back to previous adventures.
  • Crossover: Evan Li of The End of Things guest starred in "An Enchanter Walks Into A Bar..."
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Sheila vs. Ceryn during “Revenge of the Cerv.”
  • Cursed With Awesome: Rob, a skunk Enchanter transformed into a 'taur as punishment, tends to see himself this way. Not from any benefits the form may bring him, but because the banishment that accompanied the transformation allowed him to become a better person amongst the "rabble."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sheila within her group of friends. Also Kaige at times.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Sheila is very girly in the first story.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Selinda comes off as wise and motherly to the girls, looking forward to department store shopping and cooking.
  • Eldritch Abomination: A redneck elder demon named Chuck'thulhu torments the ladies and Kevin during "Exit: Stage Left."
    Reece: In his man cave at Raleigh, bored Chuck'thulhu sits lounging!
  • Entertainingly Wrong: While surveying Reece's home, the alien bugs comically misinterpret many of the items in her house, including a Clue gameboard they mistake for a map of the local terrain.
  • Evil Overlord: Krassus is a more traditional kind. Temujin fits the bill too, though she tends to be more hands on than others.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Dragon Security Corps, a private security agency staffed by…dragons.
  • Expy: Ixod Istanbul is one of Hunter S. Thompson and/or Spider Jerusalem.
  • Fantastic Foxes: Reece is dippy, but can be cagy when she wants to be. Plus, the fact that she's a supernatural sorceress probably helps.
    • Tazel, as a half-demon, half-fox, qualifies as well.
  • Fantastic Racism: Several magical races feel superior to mortals. Also, many of the more powerful races feel superior to other magic races. These races are in turn disliked by the “lesser” magic races. Enchanters in particular, the council once referred to dragons as "lesser beings".
  • Fantasy Gun Control: True for the most part, as most of the magical beings prefer bladed or wooden weapons, or use magical-based spells and projectiles for attacks.
    • Still averted in a few cases, such as Ginger, who packs a WWI-era Colt M1911, as well as an unseen minotaur who was mentioned by Sheila to have been carrying a .44 Magnum when they encountered him.
  • Fighting with Chucks: Sheila prefers to use four sets of nunchucks when facing close quarter threats.
    • However that doesn't always work, especially when fighting an elder deity, like in this page here.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Ally, Sheila, Reece, Kaige and Kiley start out at odds with Ginger, Geoffrey and Xodiac in "Games Monsters Play" for various professional and social reasons. By the end of the arc, while not becoming friends, they part on better terms with each other.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animals
  • Galactic Conqueror: The alien bug conquistadors see themselves as a race of these. They are severely outmatched when they meet Reece.
  • Gender Bender: With the reveal of the winner of the character contest, the new character Kevin didn't get to stay his species for long, so to hide in the world, and ended up losing his gender in the process. No word on how or why that happened, just wasn't intentional. Seen Here!
  • Genki Girl: Reece and Sprinkles are just balls of energy.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Averted. Reece and Ally watch "Cannibal Beach Party Massacre" with their husbands and snark along with them at the film's quality.
  • Gonzo Journalism: Being a Hunter S. Thompson clone, Ixod naturally practices this.
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death: Ally, Peter, Reece and Nick go to see "Cannibal Beach Party Massacre", which is a serious Cliché Storm.
  • Grumpy Bear: Ginger. Her boyfriend Geoffrey even introduces her as "the surly one."
  • Hair-Raising Hare: While Ally can be cute, many villains regret dealing with this fluffy bunny.
  • Half-Mortal Hybrid: Tazel's parents were a six-armed demon and a two-armed mortal. There were also the three half-dragon adventurers in the Gygax arc (why dragons used to abduct maidens apparently).
  • Hot Witch: Technically the main characters, though “witches” in this setting are mortals who can manipulate magic with practice as opposed to Enchanters, who are natural magic conductors.
  • Houston: The setting for most of the stories. Apparently monsters like to target Hermann Park.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Parodied, Kevin's arrival is preceded by Reece getting vibes of an "unnatural creature from an exotic plane of existence" who is horrifying enough to make your skin crawl, then he shows up and she recognizes his species from the internet. Then his presence awakens Chuck'thulhu.
  • I Am a Monster: Ian has some issues with his monstrous appearance. He’s getting better.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Sheila in “The Wall.” More specifically, she requests a valium.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Story arc titles are often based on movie and song titles.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Most of the long-lived characters appear to be young adults.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: The Enchanters are fully capable of having children at any time, but social norms tend to prevent this. Also, the biological clock normally doesn’t start ticking until a few millennia, eliminating the desire to have children for quite a while. Enchanters who have children while they’re still relatively young, or have more then one, are typically frowned upon.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: This is how the villain's defeat in the crossover with Addictive Science is treated.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Ixod Istanbul is determined to find out the truth about the magic going on behind the scenes in Houston.
  • Ironic Birthday: Tazel is the recipient of one of these in "Light The Candles."
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Reece blindly sets off a trap using a bag of gold as Schmuck Bait that everyone else took care to avoid. Her reason for doing so: she was trying to do a good deed and return the gold.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: Sheila, a punk kangaroo at that.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The Fox Brothers (and sister) are a very obvious parody of Yakko, Wakko and Dot from Animaniacs.
  • Literal Split Personality: Ally spent most of "Splitting Hares" divided into two versions of herself, one loyally staying by Peter's side while they other half commits to Sheila and Reece. Both claimed to be the "true" Ally and fought it out, each accusing the other of being inferior and making irresponsible choices. It took the threat of being erased from existence due to the instability of the split to get them to put aside their differences and come together again.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Happens to the Death Raptor.
  • A Load of Bull: Dagg the Fierce, a would-be pillager minotaur, runs afoul of Kaige and Kiley.
    • Also, his cousin supposedly once attacked Ally, Reece and Sheila, with a .44 Magnum at that.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: The three main characters have magic powers and WILL use them in battle. They're basically magic-powered superheroes.
  • Magic Meteor: The source of the original Enchanters' powers. Their descendants don't need the meteor at all, but the villains intend to find the planet that it came from.
  • Magic Mirror: Temujin's preferred way of communicating with her minions.
  • The Masquerade: Magic and magical beings are kept hidden from several mortal races including Earthlings, unless a mortal race was already grandfathered in prior to the edict to do so. As part of the deal that allows Ally, Reece and Sheila to stay on Earth, they have to keep their background as Enchanters hidden from everyone, including their husbands.
    • The main characters have issues with this policy, and are increasingly questioning the rationality of keeping the big secret in the face of increasing magical threats to Earth. Not to mention the pressure it's putting on their marriages.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: See above.
  • Missing Mom: Sheila's mother has so far been a no-show, and unlike most examples this hasn't been portrayed positively, more along the lines of a female Disappeared Dad. Sheila's father on the other hand, while immature and a womanizer, has been there for his daughter when she needed him.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Ian is part deer, part snake.
    • Ginger, Geoffrey and Xodiac are half furry, half dragon hybrids.
  • Mood Whiplash: Stories bounce back and forth between magical adventures and slice of life moments in a mundane setting.
  • Moral Myopia: Enchanters care deeply about their loved ones, but mortals are looked upon as disposable bugs.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Thy name is Temujin.
  • Mugging the Monster: A troupe of conquistador-like alien bugs choose Reece's house as the starting point of their invasion of Earth. They quickly regret this.
  • Multiarmed And Dangerous: Very much so for the girls. Tazel and Ian have moments where four arms come in handy in a battle too.
  • Multiarmed Multitasking: When not fighting evil, Ally, Reece and Sheila are not above using their limbs to cut corners in mundane activities.
    • The entire Enchanter race, which is naturally four-armed, is built around this trope.
    • Several multiarmed beings such as Ian, Tazel and Charlotte are shown handling several tasks at once.
  • Mundane Utility: When not using them for combat, extra hands come in handy when the main characters are doing mundane activities like house chores.
    • Tazel also uses her ability to replicate herself to do general upkeep at the Haven.
  • Nice Hat: Ally’s top hat. Also, Echo’s witch’s hat and Geoffrey’s Tyrolean cap.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Reece has her surprises.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Calpurnia is rather monstrous towards Peter, at one point giving him an ass's tail.
  • Off with His Head!: How Krassus exits the story
  • Older Than They Look: Ties in with the immortality. Reece, Ally and Sheila’s husbands all think their wives are in their late 20s. It might surprise them to find out that all of them predate the United States.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Enchanter council of elders. Likes to throw its weight around and hand out unusual or harsh punishments.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: ‘Taurs in this setting are not a natural species, but rather the result of magical engineering. Most are former slaves or victims of magical curses.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Kaige and Kiley work for a private security firm run by dragons.
    • Dragons run a full gamut of various species and moralities, with Kaige and Kiley being good members, Krassus being an Evil Overlord-type and various large, seemingly non-sentient ones showing up in "Splitting Hares."
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Ally, Sheila and Reece stumble on an illegal mining operation during "Powder Keg." Three guesses which race is running it.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Elves exist and seem to hold bureaucratic positions in the magic hierarchy. Pixies live in forests and tend to help victims of magic.
    • Greg, a college frat member, was turned into a full-sized fairy, though he's reluctantly accepting it.
  • Pegasus: Meet Alexander, a fast-talking winged horse desperate to close a deal. His sad sack, pathetic salesmen persona is a Shout-Out to Jack Lemmon's character in Glengarry Glen Ross.
  • Perky Goth: Echo, cheerful bat necromancer who treats her undead minions like friends.
    • Also Charlotte, the naga auction house owner. Very easy to get along with and eager to make friends.
  • Pet the Dog: Temujin—evil dictator and warlord, really thinks peasants are cute.
  • Precognition: Reece has limited psychic abilities to see the future or sense danger.
  • Please Get Off Me: Kaige ends up being at the bottom of a pile twice during "Games Monsters Play."
  • Power Trio: The three main characters, with Beauty (Reece) Brains (Ally) and Brawn (Sheila).
  • Really 700 Years Old: Ally, Reece and Sheila are in their 270s but easily pass as young adults on Earth (which they are by their race’s standards). Kaige and Kiley also are young, but have been working together for more than 400 years.
    • 2Q and Britt both resemble children due to being pixies. When asked how old she is, 2Q responds that she "stopped counting after the first million years."
  • Rollercoaster Mine: Ally, Reece and Sheila getting into one of these during "Powder Keg."
  • Schedule Slip: Been known to happen on occasion due to real life issues. Mostly averted.
  • Seeking Sanctuary: Selinda's Haven is a shelter on Earth for all (reasonably decent) beings, including magical or alien beings seeking asylum from evil regimes or BloodKnights that are seeking them, and mortal victims of magic, usually of the Baleful Polymorph variety.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The main characters wear reasonable shirt and pants combos into battle, but their arch nemesis Temujin looks like she bought her outfit from the barbarian section of Victoria's Secret.
    • Averted with Kiley, who wears a tube top.
  • Shout-Out: Transmetropolitan, Animaniacs, The Star Wars Holiday Special, Blue Velvet, Monty Python's Life of Brian... the list goes on.
    • Ally’s stage magician garb is a nod to DC Comics’ Zatanna.
  • Snake People: The naga race, of which Charlotte is a member.
  • Snakes Are Sexy: Charlotte again.
  • Starfish Aliens: The death raptor resembles a demonic flying manta ray.
  • Stealth Pun: Sheila. She's a kangaroo, and her name is Australian slang for a lady.
    • All three main characters' last names are magic-related puns. (Necro-, pyro- etc.)Mancer, (Witch)Kraft and Spellman (ie, magic spells).
  • Storming the Castle: "Games Monsters Play" features a raid on a local warlord's castle.
  • Stripperiffic: Temujin’s outfit leaves little to the imagination.
  • Take That!: “The Song Remains The Same” is a big one at pop singers, and also the entire pop music establishment.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Enchanters as a species can teleport as part of their magical powers.
    • The villain in "Channel Surfing" has a device that allows him to jump dimensions.
  • Teleport Spam: Averted. Ally explains that using teleportation for attack purposes during a fight doesn't work because they can't instantly teleport. It takes the main characters a few seconds to cast the spell and most enemies won't wait patiently for the hero to use it.
    • It's still useful for ambushes because the sudden appearence of the heroes can surprise their enemies and throw them off balance. But once the fight has begun, this tactic can't be sustained.
  • Trappedin Another World: That's Kevin. He's from another world, and suddenly appears on the roof of a bar, with no knowledge of how he got there, and soon learned that his appearance has awoken an ancient being that is looking for him. Technically, he's also the Alien Among Us, as he's the one from another world, and the heroes are the natives.
  • Trickster Mentor: Sprinkles is one for Greg.
  • Two Beings, One Body: Kiley and Sheila end up temporarily merged into a four-armed dragon form in "Tunnel Rumble." Sheila comments that the body is a "time share," suggesting the dominant personality switches from moment to moment.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: A mysterious organization named Cestus Dei is rumored to hunt magical beings on Earth and doesn't distinguis between good and bad.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Enchanters have four arms and two legs, taurs have two arms and four legs, dragons have two legs two arms and two wings, same with half-dragons. Tazel has an extra pair of arms too because her father was a six-armed demon while her mother was a normal mortal. Ian has four arms but no legs but not really an example. Echo the bat has a pair of wings as well. And on Gygax the girls met an Enchanter who was turned into a taur, giving him a total of eight limbs.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ally and Sheila have the closest friendship between the trio. Doesn't stop them from butting heads on occasion.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The main characters can hide their lower arms when needed to fit in on Earth. Also, they were tricked into transforming themselves into deer. Ally’s Batman Gambit saved the day.
  • Walls of Text: Once almost crushed Ally.
  • We Help the Helpless: Kaige and Kiley operate on this level as part of their jobs (though they get personal satisfaction from helping others as well).
    • Ally, Reece and Sheila view themselves as abiding by this concerning the entire planet Earth, but mostly restrict themselves to large supernatural threats as opposed to common mundane crimes, such as muggings. The rationale being mortals should be protected from threats they're not capable of dealing with, but should be expected to handle the problems they can solve on their own.
  • Wham Episode: "Called On The Carpet." The main trio learn their own race's council is in cahoots with the evil conspiracy.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Despite her plan being a success, Sheila called Ally out on keeping her plan in “The Deer Witch Project” to overcome Ceryn’s transformation spell a secret, even from Sheila and Reece. Ally’s good mood is noticeably dashed once she realizes her friends didn’t like being left out of the loop.
    • The adventurer hybrids, particularly Ginger, get called out for their prejudiced views of other beings. Somewhat justified in that they fit the ancient definition of hero, that being people who set out to accomplish larger than life goals, without being necessarily decent people.
  • Witch Species: Enchanters are a separate race from normal mortals with natural magic powers. Mortal witches can manipulate magic, but still require magic artifacts to channel their spells. it turned out that Enchanters are descended from a mortal tribe that were exposed to energy from a meteor though.
  • The Worf Effect: Sheila may be the team's big bruiser, but it's not unusual for her to be sent flying when trying to attack a villain head-on. Still, she usually gets the last laugh.
  • Wrench Wench: Ally's sister Angela works as an auto mechanic.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Currently true for the one from another reality. Right now the heroines don't know how to send him back.

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