Fishbones began as a full-length novel for NaNoWriMo by artist Jisuk Cho, but recently it has been adapted into a webcomic. The comic, also written by Cho, keeps in line with the original story, but is drawn by Yuki S.
Set in 1999 in the fictional city of Southport (not to be confused with the actual, fairly small town of Southport, NY), the story centers on Ferris Levinstein, a lanky, nerdy, Jewish private school kid with only one friend: Demos Giorgetti, the local Mafia Prince. Whip-smart and snarky but lacking a well-developed sense of self-preservation, Ferris cautiously navigates a world in which his bullies get threatened by Demos's relatives, dead bodies lurk in the trunks of his family friends' cars, and cute girls steal his money only to treat him lunch a few days later.
Hey, life can be confusing when your friend is in the Mafia.
The comic updates on Fridays, but at Japan Standard Time, so Westerners are better off checking Saturday. You can read it here. The comic has not updated since November 2017 with no explanation, though the site is still online.
Not to be confused with Fishbone.
Tropes found in this work:
- All Jews Are Cheapskates/Greedy Jew: The bullies insult Ferris with this.
- But then, he does go on a pseudo-date with Julie to get back the measly ten dollars she stole... though in fairness it seems like he wants to avenge the insult to his pride more than anything.
- All the Other Reindeer: Ferris and Demos, for being nerdy and having an intimidating family, respectively.
- Asshole Victim: Mr. Gonyer, the insurance agent from the LJ sample chapter.
- Invoked by Victor when Ferris sees his first body.Victor: If it makes you feel any better, he was a very bad man.
- Invoked by Victor when Ferris sees his first body.
- Bad Dreams
- Beware the Nice Ones: Seriously, don't threaten Ferris's dog.
- Blunt "Yes"
- The Bully: Three of them persistently pick on Ferris until Demos puts them in the hospital.
- Bullying a Dragon: The bullies know that Ferris has mafia friends, but continue to harass him.
- Cats Are Mean: Rocco.Rocco: Age 5. Likes: Gino, sleeping, being a dick.
- Caught the Heart on His Sleeve
- Cold Open
- Dead Man's Chest: Traumatizes a young Ferris.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ferris, with some overlap with Jewish Complaining.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Stanley's description card.Stanley: Age 3. Likes: food, being fat, rolling around fatly.
- Dissonant Serenity: Kid-Demos talking about his missing parents.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Stanley.
- The Don: Gino Georgetti
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Julie, regarding her monetary situation.
- Everybody Knew Already: As Ferris puts it:
- Giallo: Apparently Sergio likes the genre.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Most of the mafiosi chain smoke. Julie, too. Ferris, meanwhile, does not smoke.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Demos attempts to walk out of Ferris's life the moment Ferris confronts him about his mafia connections. Ferris won't have any of it.
- Jewish and Nerdy: Ferris.
- Jewish Complaining: Ferris, with some overlap with Deadpan Snarker.
- Kick the Dog: More like "pick up the dog and make vaguely threatening commentary," but still.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Victor and the other mafiosi are definitely not shown as doing positive things, but they definitely have the Sympathetic P.O.V..
- Loony Friends Improve Your Personality
- Love Cannot Overcome: Why Demos wouldn't tell Ferris about his not-so-secret mob family (and why he almost walked out of Ferris's life the moment he was confronted about it) - he expected Ferris to be (justifiably) scared enough to stop being his friend. Luckily for him, Ferris doesn't care.
- Mafia Prince: Demos
- Nice Jewish Boy: Gee, I wonder who.
- Noble Demon: Victor, seemingly, especially in the LJ sample chapter.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Julie, of the "deliberately riling up" kind.
- Oh, Crap!: Victor pulling a shotgun on the guys chasing Ferris.
- Only Friend
- Parental Abandonment: Demos' mother is dead. No word on where his father is.
- Pet the Dog: Sergio's treatment of Ferris on pages 52 and 53. Instant "awww" factor.
- Pyromaniac: Victor has a reputation for using fire as intimidation/against his enemies a lot, earning him the nickname "Ashes".
- Rushed Inverted Reading: Of The Origin of Species!
- Skewed Priorities: Ferris, all the time. The obvious example is the page quote, but there's also the time he gets mauled by the three bullies, blacks out, and is injured enough to have to stay home from school. When Demos comes to bring Ferris his homework, this conversation ensues:Ferris: *hiding his face with a pillow*Demos: Ferris— look at me.Ferris: *muffled complaint*Demos: *snatches pillow* Who did this to you?Ferris: *long pause* Is that my homework?
- Socially Awkward Hero: Ferris.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Ferris toward the mafiosi.
- The Triple: Every character bio's "likes" section.
- Unfortunate Names: Brian O'Brien, aka "Bob" (not that he appreciates the nickname).
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: More or less Ferris's perpetual expression.
- You Didn't See That