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Webcomic / Footloose

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Footloose asks "What happens to the children of former adventurers?". If you're Keti Jones, you try to cope with the excesses of your mental half-fey mother and excitable half-werewolf father in the real world, then get sent off to train in the world of Fey, where you discover that a lot of things that occurred before you were born, a secret identity or two, and the nature of Fey are going to make your life complicated.

The first few chapters deal with Keti settling in at the dojo, making friends (and enemies) among her classmates. Then the plot threads begin to weave, intrigue and theft creep in, some of the Backstory is acknowledged and her Primary Protagonist Syndrome starts to make itself felt...

There is an update-for-donations side comic called Cherry that follows the origin of Steve, the crossdressing magical 'girl'.

Not to be confused with the movie Footloose.


  • Action Mom: Keti's mother, Beansprout, who later on starts teaching the Indiscriminate Whacking classes.
  • Action Survivor: Keti seemed doomed to be a Cool Loser due to her heritage and primary protagonist syndrome. Fprtunately she has caring and effective friends.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Even Cherry has his moments.
    • Apparently this even applies to women who are using magic to look like men, as Daniel recalls An sticking around in the men's changeroom, despite not changing at the same time as the rest of the guys.
  • All There in the Manual: invoked in-story and the manual in question is remarkably specific
    Keti: "Where did they get a photo of me from?" (and it's literally a photo of Keti holding that book at that moment)
  • Alpha Bitch: Sparkle.
  • Always Save the Girl: Played with: the kids completely forget about rescuing Sparkle during their quest to retrieve the sword and don't even realize they'd forgotten about her until she shows up weeks later to complain about it. Sorta-kinda played straight with Keti, though the other kids were as much interested in saving the whole world from her insanity as the were in saving Keti herself at that point.
  • Always Someone Better: Dan used to be first in his class in Indiscriminate Whacking until An came along. Now he's second, and hates it. However, he just can't seem to ever beat An... A one-sided rivalry, as An doesn't really seem to feel the same way Daniel does about it.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Although color strips are rare some faeries actually have green or blue skin.
  • Ascended Fanboy: The entire class of The School of Overrated Destructive Metal Robots qualifies.
  • Aside Glance: A given, due to the variable opacity of the fourth wall to Fey.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Jin, and possibly Liame.
  • Beta Couple: Jin and Cherry.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't get Jin angry at you. I repeat, do not get Jin angry at you.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Dan to his Sister Jin.
  • Bifauxnen
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sparkle, upon first meeting Keti. Daniel did try and warn her though...
  • Blatant Lies
  • Body Horror: "Prunusalvium."
  • Bond One-Liner: "Attacks are best kept concise."
  • Blessed with Suck: Keti suffers from "Primary Protagonist Syndrome", meaning she'll always be drawn into the story even if she's not ready for it.
    • Jin's werewolf hearing allows her to hear all the mean things the magical girls say about her behind her back.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jimmy, Daniel to a lesser extent.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: The story finds Keti, despite her mother's efforts to hide her in the mortal realm.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Multiple Generic-induced Sanity Dysfunction is mentioned in several pieces of literature that Keti reads, while The Sword of Slayskull is mentioned when Keti's family first arrives at the Dojo and in the tavern before the fight between An and Daniel. It's this latter conversation that clues the faerie pirates into where the Sword is kept and some of the defenses.
  • Chekhov's Exhibit: The Sword of Slayskull goes one step further in being a gun by the elaborate protection set up around it at the dojo (and the James Bond-esque heist enacted by Kitty and the Pirates to steal it).
  • Closet Key An, for Keti, with the added bonus of awakening her nymph heritage, as well.
  • Combat Stilettos: The basis of the martial art in which Keti and Jin are training. It's called... Kung Shoe. 1st kata: Groin Attacks with pointy heels.
  • Cool Loser: Everyone seems quite dismissive of Kung Shoe except Flibbage and the Queen (who uses them as bodyguards) but their instructor Prada-sensei was the only teacher hired based on actual competence. The others were hired primarily because it was safer than letting them run around loose.
  • Crossdresser: Steve (AKA Cherry) the crossdressing magical 'girl' who absolutely hates it when people equate his transvestism with homosexuality — thought he's perfectly willing to exploit that misperception to get into female changing rooms.
    • Or bath houses, for that matter [1]
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jin, especially at the beginning of the comic.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Keti and the other hybrid weres.
  • Damsel in Distress
  • Dark Action Mom: Dee West, Jin and Daniel's werewolf mother.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Daniel.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Jack Daniels: The half-were twins Jin and Daniel flip-flop their personalities when they get drunk. Cue Daniel launching glomps on Keti and Jin being sarcastic.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Daniel seems to get attacked by women a lot, mostly his own sister.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Lars is unceremoniously and permanently turned into a terrier, then killed setting off a trap for the pirates.
  • Dumb Blonde: Jin and Keti at times
  • Extranormal Institute: The Dojo clearly qualifies.
  • Face Palm
  • Floating Advice Reminder: Dan and Jin become these for Keti, popping up at odd times to make a running commentary on what's going on, even when she's inside her own head! The people around her tend to take note of her odd behavior when this happens...
  • Forced Transformation: One of Flibbage's favorite methods of dealing with people, and one of the many spells protecting The Sword of Slayskull.
  • Frame Break: There's a spell that lets one fire cannonballs through the sides of panels.
  • Groin Attack: Referenced when Keti passes her first test and Jin excitedly says to Keti, "Prada-sensei said that kick would have castrated any normal man!" Daniel shudders.
  • Grows on Trees: There are croissant trees in Faerie.
  • Half Human Hybrids: Loads and loads. Keti is half human, a quarter nymph and a quarter werewolf, while Liame is half human and half imp. Other Fey hybrids exist, but the risk of mental instability rises the more species are involved.
  • Healing Factor: Werewolves and half-weres have this. Jin is at one point injured by a Humongous Mecha, and is up the next day, though still covered with bruises.
  • Henpecked Husband: Both Yakky (Keti's father) and J (Jin and Daniel's father) fit this description rather well:
    Daniel:That's simple, my mother is a violent, touchy, manipulative bitch who would rather eat ground glass than show any sign of affection.
    Keti: Mine too! And I bet your dad is passive, hen-pecked, and spends most of his time apologizing for her?
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Iordan allows Keti to run him through in the hope that it will bring her back to her senses. He succeeds but the grief nearly breaks her.
  • Honorary Uncle: Honorary Aunt, in Princess Flibbage's case.
  • Humiliation Conga: Sparkle after the "Falium" incident, beginning with Jin tying her up in the dragon pen and going downhill from there.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Keti's mom Beansprout has a rather odd way of expressing maternal love.
    • Dan interrupts Keti's attempt at an apology by hugging her while telling her to "Shut the hell uyp."
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Daniel and Jin, for Keti. Explained in that Daniel and Jin have been going to the Dojo for four years, while Keti is new and was a sheltered child.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter of Cherry - not counting the prologue - is a reference to a song David Bowie has performed.
  • I Have Nothing to Say to That: Keti to Beansprout.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Keti, after her ordeal: "I used to think my life was boring. Now I wish it was."
  • Instant Runes
  • In Vino Veritas: Dan and Jin
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Keti regarding An, after she is revealed to be female. Although it could be argued that Keti's sexuality hasn't been established either way - and indeed, at the end of the Emerald City arc, Iordan seems to have the idea that she's the rule and he's the exception - her anguish over liking a now FEMALE An at least indicates that she is not comfortable with the idea of being attracted to another female. She seems to at one point reach a sense of acceptance, just in time to witness the growing attraction between An and Daniel. Possibly related to Even the Girls Want Her.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Keti's occasional conversations between her human, fae, and wolf aspects.
  • Jumping the Gender Barrier: An and Daniel.
  • Kick Chick: "Kung Shoe" seems to be comprised mostly of thrown shoes and kicks to the head (or groin).
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: An AI (a literal Plot Device) is shorted out by Fey!Keti just before it's about to reveal the solution to their latest predicament.
  • The Klutz: Keti, though she's slowly getting better.
  • Lady Land: A very mild case, but it's repeatedly stressed that men do not and should not have equal social standing in Faerie. Even the weakness of men's magic is artificially induced as social policy, not inherent.
  • Lecture as Exposition: Fails nearly every time Flibbage tries it - non-fae tend to have Laser-Guided Amnesia when it comes to Genrerics, the physical laws of the Faerie Realm, comparable to how physics rule the human world.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Keti and Dan. Keti is blatantly lying when she actually says so, but they really do interact like bickersome siblings, and quite sexlessly.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Keti, after her experience with the Sword of Slayskull, now possesses dark stripes in her blond hair.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Keti likes An, even after finding out "he" is a girl, and Sparkle wants to seduce An due to taking it as an affront Keti should have a boy she can't control, having also had a relationship with Daniel in the past, who's developing a crush on An but concerned following through on it will hurt Keti, while Iordan definitely has strong feelings for Keti.
  • Magical Girl: The School of Marketable Magic. A subversion of normal magical girl tropes in that all of the students except the male crossdresser are despicable.
    • Cherry/Steve, in particular, loves to subvert normal magical girl tropes.
    Cherry: You know how the magical girls never use their best attack first when you fight them, they just flutter around doing nothing much to build up dramatic tension?
    Keti: Yeah?
    Cherry: (Glowing with power)'' I think that's stupid.
  • Medium Awareness: The Fey, allowing them create "intertextual cannons" capable of firing directly from one comic panel into another and a teleportation spell that beseeches the comic's creators to transfer them directly from one panel to another to speed the plot (incidentally revealing the fourth wall to Keti, who isn't quite ready for such things). Mortal characters are often perplexed when fey characters reference specific incidents by chapter or page number.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Cherry, by everyone except Flibbage and Jin at first; confirming it to Sparkle to get a glimpse of the girl's locker room didn't help. Most of their travelling companions catch on when he starts blatantly flirting with Jin.
  • Mood Whiplash: It's all played for laughs right up until Keti stabs Iordan.
  • No Fourth Wall: Well, okay, there is technically a fourth wall, but it's really not that concealing, especially to Fae.
  • Noodle Incident: "You are not flashing a pirate. It was bad enough with the sailors."
  • Not Herself: Keti, in Chapter 8.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: used primarily for action sequences
  • Old Shame: Emily Brady posted her old InubuYAKasha artwork, mercilessly critiquing her past self's drawing skills.
  • Our Dragons Are Different
  • Our Fairies Are Different: This link sums it up nicely.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Half-weres cannot shapeshift, and often lack several other traits of full-blooded werewolves. Weres are described as creatures of logic and technology, contrasting the fae.
  • Painting the Medium: Keti freaks out when Sylphia's teleportation spell allows her to discover the Fourth Wall.
    Iordan: Yeah, that's the fourth wall. Come away before you break it.
  • Passing the Torch: Subverted: Keti's mother raised her in the mortal realm as a (somewhat) normal child hoping that Keti would avoid all the trauma adventures she had to endure. Once in Faerie Keti's aunt packed her off to the dojo to learn some skills sharpish in order to avoid the classic fate of non-combatant children in stories.
  • Pirates: Really more terrestrial fences and bootleggers (at least until banished to a more piratical alternate universe), but they certainly act like pirates. Arr, Cap'n!
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Jin and Daniel rather nicely illustrate this twin trope (which is flipped when drunk)
    Daniel: I seek refuge in ennui and sarcasm. Jin just goes to the happy place in her head.
    • An and Kitty are a much darker take on this trope.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: a genuine occupational hazard for people who suffer from both Primary Protagonist Syndrome and MGSD. Flibbage appears to have invested a lot in turning Beansprout's protagonist centered morality; into a relatively mild case of It's All About Me, if only for the good of the realm. Keti appears to have avoided this so far, having spent days crying over the price her friends (and Iordan in particular) paid to rescue her from her own insanity.
  • Red Shirt: Jimmy is determined not to be the team red shirt even though Princess Flibbage practically states that's the major reason he's being sent on the quest, and Jimmy's own AI actually agrees with the assessment.
  • Relax-o-Vision
  • Robot Buddy: Played with - all the Powered Armor AIs are a bit flaky, but M3H-13 takes every opportunity to rip his owner's self-esteem to shreds.
    M3H-13: ha ha, you're a red shirt.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Keti, as the newcomer to the Dojo (as compared to the others like Jin and Daniel, who have already been at the dojo for four years.)
  • Sequel: Strictly speaking, this comic is the Spin-Offspring of the authors' InubuYAKasha myth-mash crossover fanfiction. It's not necessary to read it, though; there are two or three infodumps to explain the setting and backstory.
  • She-Fu: If Jin's anything to go by, Kung Shoe has a couple of units on Exceedingly Balletic Dodging.
  • Something That Begins with "Boring"
  • Speechbubbles Interruption
  • Split Personality: Increasingly, Keti.
  • Straw Misogynist: Lars, earning him a Humiliation Conga followed by a swift and painful death.
  • Subtext: lampshaded by Iordan:
    Iordan: Oh great. Well while we're all talking in subtext, I hope Keti's OK because "she's my friend"
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Keti under the influence of the Sword, though her "superpowers" are really her protagonist, nymph, and werewolf powers unfettered by any inhibitions.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Sword of Slayskull that Faerie Pirates steal and the heroes have to retrieve.
  • Sword and Gun: Kitty fits this Pirate associated trope nicely, especially after stealing the Sword of Slayskull.
    Fey Keti: This is the pirate woman... First of all, she's a pirate! She has a sword AND a gun!
  • Take That!: The authors get their little digs in at Gratuitous Japanese and Humongous Mecha.
  • Talk to the Fist: Subverted when Fey!Keti begins talking, then attacks in the middle of her own speech.
  • Tempting Fate: invoked on at least two occasions:
    Iordan: But now you guys are here too, what could possibly go wr- (is promptly knocked down, bound, and gagged)
    An: ARE YOU INSANE!? Don't say that kind of thing!
    • Later...
      Kitty: Oh, please. I've got the sword! No power in the multiverse could stop me.
      An: I was hoping you'd say something like that...
  • That Came Out Wrong: After their attack on Kitty and the pirates fails, Iordan, Sylphie, Daniel and An are thrown in the brig. An is attending to Daniel's wound from Kitty slashing him across the face with the Sword of Slayskull and responds to distracting questions from Iordan by saying:
    An: Right now all I care about is Daniel! ...Umm... ... because he's my rival. (No one is convinced, not even Daniel, who points out that actually, she's *HIS* rival, and Iordan mocks this attempt.)
    • Another example, from Keti's early crush on An:
    Keti: ...I'm always open to offers — suggestions! I meant suggestions!
  • The Nose Knows: Weres and half-weres like Jin and Daniel have an exceptional sense of smell (as well as good hearing); Jin used hers to find a missing party member.
  • The Reveal: Dun Dun DUN An is female!
  • The Rival: An, at least to Daniel. An's arrival at the Dojo upset Daniel's place as first in his class, not to mention the fact that all the girls (including Keti) swoon over An's good looks.
  • Theory of Narrative Causality: A physical law in the world of Faerie; the world is a story, and anyone living there is caught up in the Plot, especially children of former adventurers. Anyone who knows the laws of "generics" can manipulate the Plot, if they dare - because the Plot eats people.
    • Princess Flibbage deliberately tries to steer the narrative towards comedy for Keti's sake, and is very apologetic to Beansprout when her first attempt fails.
    • For extra added meta, Fairy Godmother Flibbage tried to invoke a romantic comedy setup... by setting up a play.
  • Thicker Than Water: Jin and Dan, Keti and her mother (surprisingly) averted with An and Kitty: An loves Kitty, but Kitty is too much of a sociopath to have true loyalty to her sister in return.
  • Transformation Sequence: Lampshaded when Cherry doesn't quite complete the incantation in time to stop himself falling.
    Keti: I'm surprised that doesn't happen more often.
  • Transparent Closet: Keti would not admit she was in love with a girl, until her nymph personality forced her hand.
  • Twin Telepathy: Jin thinks she has a psyshic link with Dan, she doesn't. They can however talk without speaking
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: An and Daniel, immediately after her true gender was revealed and neither party was really sure how to handle it.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: An, on Keti... who is shocked to discover she's still attracted to her.
  • Unusual Euphemism: 'Folk' takes the place of another F word.
  • Wall of Blather
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Cherry is by far the most sympathetic member of the School of Marketable Magic, and probably the most competent male character in the series.
    • Not to mention An before her big reveal!
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Near the start of Chapter 1, the MIB arrive to arrest Keti and her parents for their non-human blood. They're given sanctuary in Faerie.