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Webcomic / Dregs

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Dregs is a webcomic by Alex Steacy (of LoadingReadyRun) that follows the lives of sewer workers as they are harassed by a nudist.

The main cast consists of:

  • Chub: The protagonist, a short rotund man wearing a helmet.
  • Coney: His bumbling sidekick, a tall, thin man wearing rabbit ears.
  • Bandy: The boss of the operation, who lost her arm in an accident.
  • A naked young woman, who makes life difficult for the workers.
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Dregs contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Lampshaded when Chub suggests a systematic search for the nudist.
    Chub: This place isn't that big, right?
    Coney: Beats me!
  • An Arm and a Leg: Bandy lost her right arm some time ago.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Baron von Willendorfer III is the only aristocrat in the cast, and also the only real villain.
  • Beehive Hairdo: Meatball's main distinguishing feature.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted for laughs with Mags arriving in the nick of time to help foil the Baron - and then almost immediately legging it when she realises the bomb is armed. Bandy awards her a "you tried" medal for this.
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: Courtesy of Bandy's office.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The missing Blastol from the store becomes relevant later.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: After her brief appearance helping Chub and Coney catch the nudist, Mags later returns to help defeat Baron von Willendorfer. A little later, Ironfang also returns to prompt the Baron to Exit, Pursued by a Bear.
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  • Chekhov's Skill: Mags's expertise with pneumatic weapons allows her to recognise the Baron's gun as a fairly harmless air gun and not a real threat.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Coney. He wears fake bunny ears at all times, believes in zombies and magic, freely admits that an obvious trap baited with peanut butter would work on him, and somehow failed to notice that Bandy has an entire stuffed human arm mounted on her wall.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Mags the rat hunter gives off a definite vibe of this, with her gun collection, obsessive vigilance, casual disregard for pain and discomfort, and Insane Troll Logic.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Bandy keeps her severed arm mounted on her office wall.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Mags and Coney agree that Mags's comically conspicuous Schmuck Bait trap ought to work, despite Chub's protestations. It does.
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  • Delusions of Eloquence: Baron von Willendorfer never uses a two-syllable word where a five-syllable word could be used instead. He also thinks "misunderestimate" is a real word.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Mags's collection isn't of guns, it's of pneumatic weapons. That fire bullets. Hard enough to kill.
  • Expressive Ears: Coney's fake rabbit ears droop when he's unhappy.
  • Expressive Mask: The shape of the gas masks' noses and size of the eye-lenses occasionally subtly change to convey mood. In moments of extreme fear, the pupils become visible through the lenses.
  • Evil Gloating: Von Willendorfer even does it when there's no-one around to hear him.
  • Evil Is Petty: Von Willendorfer has an evil plan to make all of his peers' plumbing overflow simultaneously, in revenge for having been disrespected. That's it. That's his entire motivation. Unfortunately, he's also dangerously stupid, and thinks the best way to go about this plan is to set off the entire blastol store at once.
  • Explosive Stupidity: When Chub and Coney try to clear out a pipe with Blastol.
  • Friendless Background: The nudist has no friends or family, or at least none that she can remember.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The nudist.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Chub and company are employees of Allied Regional Sewerage Engineers.
    • Bandy wears a cap with the same acronym printed on it.
  • The Gadfly: The nudist deliberately makes trouble for the sewer workers because she is bored.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The whole cast, except for the nudist who wears nothing and Baron von Willendorfer, who prefers a Hazmat Suit.
  • Gun Nut: Mags the rat hunter.
  • Here We Go Again!: The strip (or at least the first book) ends with Chub and Coney returning to work the following week, and the nudist secretly following them with, presumably, the intention of causing more havoc.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted three times in a row when saving the sewer and the town above from the Baron's bomb. Chub almost goes down with the bomb, failing to jump off in time while sailing it into a cistern, and then Coney leaps off the ledge to save Chub without any real survival plan for himself, but the nudist is able to catch them at the last moment. Then the nudist herself briefly appears to have died from being caught in the explosion's shockwave, but it turns out she was just unconscious.
  • Humiliation Conga: Von Willendorfer is humiliatingly called out for his stupidity by Chub and Mags, then gets his Hazmat Suit broken and is almost suffocated by the stench of the sewers, then suffers an apparent Disney Villain Death, only to survive his fall into the depths of the sewer, get tossed around by water currents and machinery, and end up stuck in a comically flooded hazmat suit. Then Ironfang finds him. After all that, it's eventually revealed he was found by the police, linked to the bomb plot, and had his stupidity publicised in the newspapers.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl / Shameless Fanservice Girl: The nudist. She's lived alone in the sewer for so long she no longer has any nudity taboo, if she ever did.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Bandy, after her accident.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Chub is chubby, and Coney wears bunny ears. Although it seems likely that those are nicknames deriving from those traits.
    • Mags is a possible Stealth Pun case. We're never told what it's short for, but given her Gun Nut status it might as well be short for Magazines.
  • Oh, Crap!: Chub and Coney's reaction when the girl walks up to them with a lit stick of Blastol.
  • Only Sane Man: Chub is definitely the least eccentric person in the entire sewer.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Ironfang is a rat larger than most humans.
  • Scenery Censor: There are always pipes and wires at just the right height to keep the nudist's depiction PG.
  • Schmuck Bait: The nudist falls for Mags's trap, which consisted of a jar of peanut butter sitting under an enormous, incredibly conspicuous cage.
  • Security Blanket: Coney's bunny ears. Losing them throws him into a Shakespearian soliloquy of sorrow.
  • Shout-Out: Mags the rat hunter's combat gear looks right at home in S.T.A.L.K.E.R..
  • Trademark Favourite Food: The nudist likes dog food (or "doge chow"). Chub points out that if she was going to be stealing from them anyway, she could have stolen some real food instead. She doesn't care.
  • The Unintelligible: The nudist understands English, but cannot speak it. Instead she communicates almost exclusively in variations on the sounds "heh" and "bup".
  • Visual Pun: At one point, the nudist has a "private property" sign covering her privates.
  • Wild Child: The nudist has been living alone in the sewers since she was tiny.
  • X Days Since the last corpse sighting. 'We'll lose our streak!' is a Running Gag.
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