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Webcomic / Candi

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Candi is a slice-of-life webcomic created by Starline Hodge about a young woman in her freshman year of university. The plot focuses primarily on the personal lives of Candi and her fellow residents of an off-campus housing unit run by a foundation; every so often, though, her telepathic pet ferret, Menjou, is the focus of the story as he does battle with the Squirrel Mafia.

You can find it here (may be NSFW - there's no nudity, and not even all that much skin, but a few scenes are fairly explicit). As of July 25, 2016, the artist put the comic on indefinite hiatus, pleading burnout.

Hodge is also the graphic designer for Discovery Digital Networks Los Angeles, best known as the home of The Philip DeFranco Show and SourceFed, and also occasional illustrator for

This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Info Page: The comic had a cast page at first, but it was never updated, and was eventually removed entirely.
  • Adults Are Useless: It is beginning to head this way, what with Candi's father apparently running off while she was young, Linda's father appears to be massively overprotective, Trevor's father is a money-whoring bigot who is probably homophobic, and then of course there's Fitzgibbons...the only strong adult influence that is mentioned is Candi's mother raising her by herself successfully.
  • Animesque: The artwork was initially influenced by the shoujo manga style. Over time it's fallen into a more western newspaper strip appearance
  • Art Evolution: At the start of the strip the characters were all drawn with supermodel body shapes. As time has gone on they have become more rounded and hefty.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Played straight with Bianca. She's a model who also genuinely cares and does volunteer work around the world. And she's a great cook, too. Even Alex, picky as he is, thinks she's practically perfect.
  • Berserk Button: Don't remind Candi where one typically finds a woman calling herself "Candi", mispronounce St. Martins, or call her by any name that is technically a 'candy' but isn't the name 'Candi'.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Averted, but referenced in one comic. Candi goes to a hispanic hair salon and mentions that while she doesn't speak much Spanish, she understands it. Her hairstylist relays this to the others, then tells Candi, "Now we cannot talk about you behind your back!"
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Candi, quite bluntly (partially due to being drunk), states one of the reasons she dates Alex is because he has a big penis.
  • Big "NO!": Candi's reaction to finding out that she's lactose intolerant.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Rebecca comes across as this though from time to time one feels sympathy for her 'because' Jon is so overt about his crush on Candi with only Jon and Candi being oblivious to this simple fact, but the sheer hostility she can bare in response to sexual rivals, especially in life or death situations, is a bit much.
    • Also, Linda to a T what with the whole manipulation and vindictive nature towards Candi as a love rival.
  • Black and Nerdy: Jessica, who appears to be the most studious of the cast.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Welcome to Moonbucks!
    • And Pearbee's.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Candi's life would probably be far less complicated if she could tell Alex and Linda to go die in a fire.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Two of the cast members were suspended from school for the prank war they conducted against Linda. Early indications are that this is to be regarded as a bad thing.
  • Cat Fight: Jon jokingly tries to instigate one between Candi and Rebecca, complete with Mud Wrestling. Mostly jokingly.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Candi's other arch-rival Rebecca. The mere mention of Candi's name is guaranteed to bring out the violent loon in her.
  • Conflict Ball: Hardly a week goes by without something going down, and there have been perhaps three instances over the course of the comic's run where characters have actually, permanently learned anything from the resulting drama. Trevor, Linda, and Rebecca are particularly fond of The Ball.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Really, with all the zillions of porn sites out there, what are the odds of Rebecca coming across the exact site where Jon is jerking off for his webcam, while he's doing it, and recognizing him by only his dick?
  • Cute Little Fangs: Katia. No other character is drawn with her canines so pronounced. Though, given her status as Genki Girl, it's likely intentional.
  • Death Glare: Man if looks could kill, not for a lack of trying on Candi's part.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Jessica.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Rebecca's boyfriend Jon; the reason she hates Candi is that since she and Jon are friends, she fears that he'll cheat on her. This makes her look even more jealous because Word of God is that Candi and Jon will never pair off.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Chris is fully aware that Candi's name is Candi, which is why he always calls her by the names of brand name candies.
  • Ethical Slut: Several of the characters fit this mold. Most notably, Laura. Katia also seems to be heading this way, though to date she's only slept with Alex. She had zero angst about losing her virginity (but was annoyed that Linda lied about her and Alex being in an open relationship), and is fine with sleeping around and casual sex. At the same time, she realizes that certain relationship permutations cause drama, and is quickly learning to avoid that.
  • Everyone Can See It: Jon's crush on Candi. Everyone except Candi, that is.
    • Or she can see it just fine but ignores it.
  • Evil Old Folks: Alex's grandmother is a short-tempered, vindictive, mean little woman who hates Linda because she's "an American whore". She invites herself over to Alex's apartment and promptly insults Linda to her face (albeit in Spanish). When Linda storms out and Alex follows, Abuela goes through his roommates' private property looking for a way to bust things up and get Alex back with that nice pink-haired girl who'll smile like an idiot while Alex alley-cats around like a wife should.note 
  • Evil Red Head: Rebecca, though she isn't so much evil, more like just a bitch. Though her brother Matt seems to be a nice guy.
  • Evil Teacher: Candi's art teacher, Professor Fitzgibbons, who routinely gives her a lower-than-expected mark for turning out sub-par (by which he means easily understandable) artwork. He does get a nice bit of Character Development as a teacher in an early 2010 strip, in which he finally gives Candi a good grade for her painting (which, as before, has a very obvious meaning), and then explains to her that her work is good, but she must become willing to try other approaches to art if she ever wants to grow as an artist.
  • Eye Beams: looks like the ferret isn't the only one with powers....
  • Female Misogynist: Alex's Abuela. She thinks a woman's job is to stay at home while her husband works to provide for her, and she thinks Alex should keep a nice girl at home while he sleeps around. She also repeatedly calls Linda a whore while she's in the room.
  • Friends with Benefits: Tried by several characters, but it eventually gets too complicated.
  • Genki Girl: Katia.
  • The Ingenue: Katia - though she's aware of this and is looking forward to shaking the label.
  • Interspecies Romance: How in the hell do a ferret and a squirrel produce offspring?
  • It's All About Me:
    • Trevor, who's pretty much of a spoiled rich kid. He's getting better though.
    • Alex very rarely thinks about anyone other than himself. Unlike Trevor, however, he is clearly not getting any better and refuses to admit he even has a problem with this.
    • Linda has issues with this as well. She can't seem to comprehend that her repeated infidelities have consequences beyond herself. Bianca finally hits her with a clue-by-four when she points out that when Alex finds out about her latest affair, she and Nathan will be out on the street.
  • Jerkass: One of the many interpretations of Alex's character, a view held by his peers and viewers of the comic alike.
  • Jerk Jock: Subverted with Chris, who is the star quarterback and has an ongoing quarrel with Candi. Turns out that quarrel is really more a lot of teasing and banter and Chris, while shallow, is actually a pretty okay guy.
  • LEGO Genetics: Rebecca is horrified that Menjou (a ferret) and Coco (her pet squirrel) are having a brood of super-mutant offspring.
  • Life Embellished: College life, plus superpowered small mammals.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Linda, who deliberately sets out to break up Alex and Candi, initially because she thinks Candi would be better off without him. However, she falls for him in the process and eventually dates him behind Candi's back. And she is utterly unrepentant. She doesn't even understand why her (former) roommates are pissed at her (they all knew what she was up to before Candi did). Later she convinces Katia that she's in an "open relationship" with Alex, after Katia walks in on her making out with his roommate Nathan. A move which later backfires on her in a big way...
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: Candi suffers from this BIG TIME when it comes to anime guys.
  • Racist Grandma: An unusual example because Alex's Cuban grandmother is bigoted against Americans... and she lives in America.
  • Raging Stiffie: Something pops up while Candi is straddling Jon, much to her chagrin. Doesn't help that she was already pissed at him for shoving her in the bushes to avoid conflict with Rebecca.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Alex's Cuban grandmother (known only as Abuela), to the extreme. See the Evil Old Folks entry. The day after that, Alex takes her out to eat and she spends the meal insulting the food, the service, the waitress's weight, and generally doing her best to make everyone around her miserable.
  • Selective Obliviousness:
    • Candi's ex, Alex, had to have it explained to him that his wanting to be friends with her while maintaining a relationship with her rival Linda was a bad idea. Even after having this spelled out, he thinks it'll work if Candi and Linda would just be reasonable.
    • And then we have Candi, regarding Jon's feelings towards her.
  • Sex Equals Love: Katia wasn't looking for anything serious when she slept with Alex. Alex, knowing he was Katia's first, seemed to be anticipating this trope and his ego took a massive hit as a result.
  • Ship Tease:
    • The artist in the past hasn't been above teasing the Candi/Jon shippers despite apparently saying this will never happen.
    • There's a little bit with Candi and Chris as well, despite the fuck-buddy thing Chris has going with Jess.
  • Shout-Out: Usagi, Minako, Rei and Makoto appear in the first panel of this strip.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Bianca is a professional model. She is also nearly a head taller than her fiancé Michael.
  • Straight Gay: Matt
  • Tactful Translation: Alex has to do this when his grandmother calls Linda a fat, homewrecking whore in Spanish. Subverted because Nate is also fluent in Spanish, and translates for Linda accurately. Linda is not pleased, to say the least.
  • Too Much Information: Candi's reaction to finding out that Jon and Rebecca haven't spent "quality time" together recently.
  • Weasel Mascot: Menjou, the telepathic ferret; the strip's B plot involves his ongoing battle with the campus squirrels, and his eventual romance with one of them.
  • Webcomic Time: It's been six years and Candi only just finished her freshman year. The artist at least was merciful enough to skip over summer vacation.
  • Write Who You Know: Candi is a multi-racial art student, just like Starline Hodge.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Candi starts getting this while stuck on an art project, and it doesn't help that Linda's already stolen her boyfriend. Case in point. (And it just gets worse.)