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Webcomic / Camp Weedonwantcha

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It's a fun, family friendly place.

Camp Weedonwantcha was a story by artist Katie Rice about children left to fend for themselves at a nature camp that has no adults, with their only contact with the outside world being supplies occasionally dropped in by parachute, which are just as likely to contain feral cats as anything useful. The comic is centered on twelve-year-old Malachi, the newest resident of the camp, and the people he meets and gets to know there.

The comic was the winner of the first (and only) season of Reality TV Game Show Strip Search.

As of January 2018, the comic has entered hiatus due to Katie taking a directing job on Animaniacs (2020). Some time in 2023, the webcomic has gone offline, leaving it as an Orphaned Series.

Camp Weedonwantcha contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Early in the comic, Purdy started on this path in regards to Malachi, but it seemed like she turned her attention towards Brian at the end of her introductory arc. However, nothing was made of this after her introductory arc.
    • Neiman has taken up the mantle as Malachi's creepy stalker, following Malachi around, poking through his cabin, and even making dolls of himself and Malachi and making a rope out of Malachi's hair.
  • Abusive Parents: Most, if not all, of the cast's parents were abusive in some form or another, as you'd expect of parents who dumped their kids in an isolated, unsupervised camp and abandoned them there.
  • Adults Are Useless: The camp is completely devoid of adults, leaving the kids to fend for themselves. It's also implied heavily that most of their parents just left them at the camp to fend for themselves.
  • Always Someone Better: Pretty much the point of the talent show arc. Also the driving force behind Malachi's need to prove himself.
  • Breakfast Club: All of the campers, who are all kids, come from different backgrounds and have varying personalities, but what all of the campers have in common is that: they were all sent to that camp because they were unwanted, disowned, and abandoned by their parents or guardians, they are all left to fend for themselves, all seem to have emotional and personality problems, and seem to be miserable together. However, over the course of the comic series, they grow closer to each other.
  • Black Comedy: A significant percentage of the comics are disturbing but funny. Examples include the kids playing with the parachute of a skeleton hanging from a tree, Seventeen mistaking a dead possum for one pretending to be dead and sitting over it for an entire day waiting for it to get up, and Malachi blowing on some improvised birthday candles to wish he wasn't at the camp, accidentally knocking them over and causing a huge fire. Not to mention this.
  • Child Popstar: Dani, formerly. His parents used this to get rich, and abandoned him in the camp when his popularity began to wane and he wasn't a reliable source of income anymore.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Seventeen becomes upset over losing her Love Bug inside her supposedly bear-infested cabin, Malachi reassures her with the fact that it's probably already been eaten anyway.
  • Crapsack World: Any world where the camp is a thing would count, but consider this: Seventeen was happier not remembering how terrible her life was before the camp.
  • Creepy Child: Several of the campers are either somewhat creepy as a result of the psychological trauma involved in their abandonment, or were deeply disturbing beforehand.
  • Creepy Twins: Gwen and Liesel. They object to being called weird despite speaking in unison, claiming to have psychic powers, and possibly wanting all the other campers to die.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It'd be easier to name who doesn't have one, given the nature of the plot. The talent show auditions are a great example of this, as is the more in-depth exploration of Seventeen's past experienced after she eats the "elephant candy" dropped by the stream.
  • Dirty Kid: "NSFC" has Tanner, Fred and Poostar buy a drawing of a naked woman from Lewis. However, since Lewis is a kid, the drawing of the naked woman is very poor. Doesn't stop the other kids from being awed by it.
    Fred: That is so hot.
  • Dysfunction Junction: You know, we were gonna do some thing where we asked you to name one genuinely sane and well-adjusted kid, but, ah... they, don't exist. Like, at all. Happy fun summer camp.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The original pilot comics from Strip Search have Malachi as a Jerkass who abuses Seventeen's naivety for cheap laughs while Brian actually talks regularly.
  • Easter Egg: Every single comic after "Special Delivery #2" has one of the feral cats in it. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it's hidden.
  • False Reassurance: In this strip Malachi freaks out at a sight of earwig at night and feels another one crawling inside his ear. He asks Sventeen to check his ear only for her to tell him there are no earwigs inside. In the last panel it is revealed it really isn't an earwig ... but a big furry spider.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The twins.
  • Free-Range Children: Deconstructed. The kids act like they're just at summer camp, but they still have to deal with starvation, diseases, wild animals, and even murderous campers. The only support they get is the occasional air-dropped package filled with unwanted merchandise. It's implied that the casualty count is high. Campers that survive long enough eventually choose to brave the walk back to civilization.
  • Gilligan Cut: Seventeen is busy walking silly and barefoot, trips on a rock and peels her toenail. Both her and Malachi stare at the injury with blank faces for a moment. Cut to the next panel where Seventeen is dragging freaked-out and drooling Malachi into the cafeteria and calling for help.
  • Heroic BSoD: Malachi in this comic, just after Linus kicked him out of the library after Malachi turned it into a "light club" without Linus' consent.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: The camp itself is okay, it's the lack of adult supervision, inconsistent supply drops, and general lack of basic necessities that makes it horrible. So it ends up not being okay at all.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Malachi after being treated for a tummy ache with Seventeen's "medical herbs".
  • Kids Are Cruel: Not quite at Lord of the Flies levels yet, but the kids already act like dicks to each other. One strip even implies that murders have occurred. However, just as often, the kids manage to not be cruel, and to pull together and empathize with one another in tough circumstances.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Well not that major but Seventeen is completely unfazed when she trips on a stone while barefoot and peels her toenail. Malachi on the other hand faints at the mere sight of it even though the injury isn't even his in the first place.
  • Meaningful Name: The title. The "camp" is a place where all manner of "unwanted" things get dumped, from recalled products to feral cats to the children there.
  • Mood Whiplash: The story about Colin's whistle goes from Malachi comedically stealing the whistle to Colin's rather upsetting backstory with only one comic separating them.
  • Mushroom Samba: Seventeen's "natural remedy" for nausea causes Malachi to hallucinate vividly. Interestingly, some hallucinogenic chemical components of deadly nightshade and Jimson weed actually are used to treat stomach upset in very low doses, but it may be giving her too much credit to assume that Seventeen knew this given that her cure for the overdose is a poultice made of crushed up bugs and bear feces.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted so very very hard.
  • Parental Abandonment: It's a camp for parents to leave unwanted children at.
  • Passing the Torch: At the end of Volume 2, Linus leaves the camp and leaves the Library in Malachi's care.
  • Produce Pelting: The kids from the rope course bring tomatoes to the talent show. But since there are no tomatoes in the camp, they painted some rocks red instead.
  • Significant Scar: Tanner, the kid who antagonizes Malachi in the beginning of the mountain lion arc. He got his scar from being bullied by kids in his school.
  • Small, Secluded World: The camp has had no interaction with the outside world aside from supply airdrops for food and other random things.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: The comic's premise hinges on this trope. The only indication that anyone apart from the kids and their parents even know of the camp's existence, let alone cares about the kids' well-being, is the occasional supply drop. And even most of those "supplies" are so useless they might not be intended for the kids at all.
  • Summer Campy: The camp has no adult supervision and is run purely by the child campers - leading to exactly the results you would expect from children being in charge of a camp.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The mountain lion was willing to wait days to get a chance to pounce on the kids in the mess hall (in real life, most mountain lions don't pursue and wait for their prey for very long).
  • Unreliable Narrator:
    • Colin, the oldest kid in the camp and self-proclaimed camp counselor, keeps order with the whistle his dad, the school gym coach, gave him when he dropped him off at camp, to keep order like he would have done. His father actually abandoned him there for not living up to his demands that Colin be an athlete like him, instead being interested in magic and illusions. Colin only got the whistle because he was clinging to it when his father physically pushed him out of the car and left him.
    • Turns out this might apply to many, if not all, the campers. Self-delusion and memory repression seem to be very common coping mechanisms.
  • The Unreveal: One of the great mysteries of the comic is the origins of the camp and who is maintaining it. Answers that might be held in the camp's Administrations Office, which the main trio barely miss at the beginning of Volume 2. Malachi finally enters the building towards the end of the Volume, only to find that Neiman has made his home there - with no answers or anything of importance.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: This comic has the campers find the corpse of a parachuter who got tangled in the trees. They look on in what appears to be shock... only to reveal that they were looking at the parachute and weren't reacting to the dead body.
  • Vague Age: Everyone except Malachi (who is stated to be 12) has no given age.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Pretty much all of the camper's backstories count as this, as they've turned the comic from black comedy to heart-wrenching tragedy.
    • The last strip of Volume 2 shows that Malachi has moved into the library following Linus's departure and is continuing to teach Seventeen how to read. The climate has also changed to winter weather.
  • Wham Line: When Linus and Malachi enter into the Deep Deep Woods.
    Linus: I think I found what I was looking for.
    Linus: The way out of camp.
  • Wham Shot: The final panel of the map arc. Malachi and his friends decide to call it quits, not realizing that they were standing on top of the camp's admin building, a place that could hold so many answers to the camp's existence.
  • Wild Child:
    • The Proto Kid, the first camper to come to the camp, went insane and is now living as a feral child out in the woods.
    • Most of the incidental kids show signs of starting to become this, most likely having been there much longer than Malachi and a few others.
  • William Telling: Subverted in this strip.
    Malachi: Get my apple off your head or I will shoot you.
  • World Limited to the Plot: The world is limited to the camp proper, the Rope Bridge area where the other kids live, the lake, the woods, and the Deep Woods. The mountain road in and out of camp is only used to drop kids in and leave. The most we see of the world outside is when we see the kid's backstories.