Follow TV Tropes


Webcomic / Dregs

Go To

Dregs (also known as Drainers), is a webcomic by Alex Steacy (of LoadingReadyRun) that follows the lives of sewer workers.

One day, after being given an extra-large workload, two sewer workers, Chub and Coney, run into a young, nude woman apparently living in the sewers that they work in, who likes to make their work difficult either by interrupting them constantly or just stealing their supplies. Eventually, the two decide to track her down and attempt to capture her and turn her over to the authorities. Hilarity Ensues.

Along the way, the workers have to deal with their eccentric co-workers, vicious Rodents of Unusual Size, and one deranged aristocrat.

The comic was originally published in its entirety on Tumblr from February 2016 to October 2017, and was also published in print and eBook formats by Cloudscape Comics in 2020 (where it was retitled "Drainers"), after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

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 antagonist.
  • Beehive Hairdo: Meatball wears her hair in a large bun, outside of her protective suit.
  • 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.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • The crew's blasting agent is called "Blastol".
    • The dog food cans in the nudist's home are labeled "Doge Nosh".
    • The birdseed that Chub and Coney use is called "Birb Seed".
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: Bandy often conveys orders with an intercom system set up throughout the entire sewer.
  • 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.
    • Ironfang also returns, after earlier chasing Chub and Coney, to prompt the Baron to Exit, Pursued by a Bear.
  • 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.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: 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.
  • 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 gloats about how brilliant his plan is so much, he 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. 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.
  • Friendless Background: The nudist has no friends or family, or at least none that she can remember.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Chub and company are employees of Allied Regional Sewerage Engineers. Bandy wears a cap with the acronym printed on it.
  • The Gadfly: The nudist deliberately makes trouble for the sewer workers because she is bored.
  • Gun Nut: Mags has an impressive collection of "pneumatic weapons" in her office.
  • 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: The nudist. She's lived alone in the sewer for so long she no longer has any nudity taboo, if she ever did.
  • Insistent Terminology: Those aren't guns Mags has, they're "Pneumatic Weapons".
  • 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.
  • Running Gag: "We'll lose our streak!" in reference to how many days it's been since the last corpse sighting.
  • 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..
  • Technical Euphemism: Mags prefers to call guns "pneumatic weapons".
  • Toilet Humor: Surprisingly little, despite taking place in a sewer. Most of the comic's humor comes from its eccentric cast of characters.
  • 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 crew keeps track of how many days it's been since the last corpse sighting.

Alternative Title(s): Drainers