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Webcomic / Gone with the Blastwave

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"Because war can be boring too."

Gone With The Blastwave is a webcomic created by Kimmo Lemetti. It follows a group of soldiers fighting (for reasons they're more than a little hazy about) in a ruined city of a post-apocalyptic world. It "is not a very serious comic", having a lot of Black Comedy - the author advises you to "think of it as some kind of a parody" of more serious post-apocalyptic settings.

Compare Romantically Apocalyptic.

It doesn't update very often at all, but not so much because of Schedule Slip as because the author has decided not to try for a schedule - it's a side-project, and the update arrangements are unashamedly on a "whenever-I-feel-like-it" basis.

Was on a hiatus for almost a year, returned with the author promising an update once a month, twice a month if the readers bribe him, then slipped back into hiatus with few sporadic strips since.

This webcomic contains examples of:

  • After the End: The whole setting. Subverted in the 2015 April Fool's Day comic, in which it's restricted to only the city which was nuked in 1985.
  • Ambiguous Situation: There's a war going on. There are sides fighting each other. Why? We dunno; they just are.
  • Amusing Injuries: "Friendly fire you goddamn son of a b-"
  • Apocalyptic Log: The dry radio announcements at the start.
  • April Fools' Day: One with cats as soldiers. The 2015 April's Fool had the City be revealed as a "historical preserve" showing the dangers of nuclear warfare, with the world outside being an idyllic Utopia.
  • Armed Farces: A good number of the characters we run across clearly don't have any idea how to do their jobs properly. Played to the extremes with The Green Army as their ranks seem to have consisted entirely of these people.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Our nameless protagonists, being incompetent, psychotic, depressed, apathetic, or all four, really couldn't care less about handling their guns properly. See Amusing Injuries above.
  • Badass Longcoat: What everyone; Red, Blue, or Yellow, would be if they weren't all crippled by varying degrees of stupidity, disinterest, or incompetence.
  • Badass Normal: The two main protagonists, who, despite being lowly grunts, manage to keep up with and even outperform a Red army Special Forces guy they encounter in their journey.
  • The Bet: Many, but in here, it's mundane, since everyone is probably quite bored from the lack of direction and hope in general being stuck in a ruined city.
  • Big Dumb Object: Lampshaded in this comic
  • Black Comedy: The whole thing, really.
  • Body-Count Competition: The Reds appear to be constantly using this as a way to amuse themselves. According to this comic, it also determines rank.
    • To Crosshairs' misfortune, the Spec Ops fellow named North is no different in this regard to Pyro. Actually, considering he went Scrub about it, he might be even worse.
  • Car Fu: Fun things to do: Drop tanks on enemies.
  • Cast Full of Crazy: the exact form ranges from Conditioned to Accept Horror to Talkative Loon, but they're all a bit mad.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Pyro deserves a special mention for qualifying even by the standards of this setting. Which is impressive.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Crosshairs to Pyro, most of the time. Downplayed in that as previously mentioned, Crosshairs is closer to less insane man than Only Sane Man.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The three known factions in the war are simply called the Reds, the Blues, and the Yellows. The story follows a group of Reds. The Reds and Blues aren't really characterized much more than that, though - they seem fairly interchangeable. The Yellows are said to have superior firepower, and speak a different language, but still seem to be just as lost as the other two sides.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: In fact, if it wasn't for the prominent comedy aspect of the comic, you'd probably say that all characters were sociopathic soldiers.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: The Reds, Blues and Yellows all wear identical uniforms distinguished only by bright spot-colors.
    • As the series goes on, though, small differences emerge - The Yellows don't speak English and are shown to be far more numerous and supplied with tanks, while a brief conversation with a Blue soldier reveals that Blue rifles are sturdier and better-designed than Red rifles.
  • Cute Kitten: This joke page. Somehow manages to be both cute (Face paw!) and fully immersed in its black comedy in spite of not knowing what Crosshairs-cat and Pyro-cat are saying.
  • Death Seeker: "Will to live" is considered something of an optional extra. At one point Pyro's only objection to being used as an Action Bomb is that his fuel tank's explosion wouldn't be large enough to take out all the enemies.
  • Deus ex Machina: Lampshaded here.
    • Somewhat averted because as Crosshairs (and the other reds in the next strip note) "There is a war on"
  • Dope Slap (And Dope Gunbutt): Strips 40 and 46, respectively.
  • Driven to Suicide: Arguably the one point where it momentarily stops being black comedy and starts becoming a bit depressing. Or even more hilarious.
  • Due to the Dead: Subverted Trope. Think of it like a last service to the army!
  • Enemy Mine: Crosshairs ends up helping a blue sniper take down a yellow tank. They only realise afterwards they're on different sides.
    • Subverted: They have a moment talking about rifles and maintenance before another Red guns him down. Crosshairs looks upset but he's actually just contemplating stealing the rifle
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Lampshaded; the zombies are just civilians in makeup and tattered clothing. They dress like that in order to frighten soldiers away from their campsites. They even place bets on whether or not it will work.
  • Expressive Mask: Page 50, "25 Essential Expressions Challenge". They're mostly head tilts.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • The two soldiers who don't notice the tank about to land on top of them.
    • Similarly, Crosshairs and Pyro are ambushed by 3 Yellows. Twice.
  • Fantastic Drug: A.T.A.C. syringes, which Gunless is hopelessly addicted to. Sniperguy bumming one off him signals his Despair Event Horizon at the very end.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: Crosshair at one point suggests destroying a group of Yellows by having Pyro run into the middle of them and then shooting his fuel tank. Pyro replies that the blast radius wouldn't be big enough.
    Crosshairs: Wait, so that's the ONLY reason not to do it?
    Pyro: Well it's a good plan...
  • Flat "What": General reaction to Crosshair guy being a wolf. Luckily, it's an April fools joke.
    • Big "WHAT?!": Crosshair's reaction to getting out of the city, only to find out that it was just a nature reserve site all along. Another April's Fool joke, though.
  • Forever War: We don't know how long the war has been going on, but it has obviously been long enough that the participants don't know why or how it started, or why it has to continue. Heck, if the one-shot spin-off comic's title is to be taken literal it will continue on a on-and-off basis for at least 250,000 years. And in another spinoff comic the war is occurring during fantasy medieval times.
  • Gas Mask, Longcoat: All of the soldiers, regardless of their side, wear identical getups like this.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Every character is one of these. The marks on their helmets seem to indicate their job specification, and are the only way to tell them apart. Page 50 filler shows "25 essential expressions" of these guys... such as they are.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Used in a joke page. Last panel:
  • Glorious Mother Russia: The actors have Russian, or some kind of east European, accents.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: None of the factions are presented as obviously right, although since we're never even told what the war is about, this might just be lack of information. The individual soldiers often seem to be more driven by a desire to avoid boredom than anything else, and sometimes just to escape the bombed out crumbling city they've been hopelessly lost in for months.
  • Head Pet: One of the characters has a giant moth perched on his helmet in strip 24. He tried getting it to leave, but it just wouldn't. Now he just takes it in stride. Bit of a BLAM, as it never shows up again.
  • Highly Conspicuous Markings: Due to everyone wearing identical Gasmask Longcoat combinations, the three sides are differentiated by bright primary-color markings.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: See this strip.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Crosshairs is really, really good at his job. Of course, he's had time to practice.
  • Insert Grenade Here: #52 provides the page picture. Crosshairs and another soldier attack a Yellow tank in the classical manner, shooting the machine-gunner before throwing in a grenade and running. Then it turns out the other guy is a sniper from the Blues.
  • Kill Steal: "Would you tell anyone if I shot him?"
  • Mad Artist: Downplayed in that he's only mad due to boredom. Steve wears a mask made out of a human skull mainly because he can.
  • Minimalism: Both the setting and design. This comic has the barest essentials of a war scenario, and most of it isn't even explained. Design-wise, using a very limited color palette.
  • The Movie: A half-hour short film, which can be accessed on page 49. Adaptation Distillation, as there's not much of the black comedy and is simply depressing post-apocalyptia.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": One scene has the two stumble into a minefield; Gunless just runs across, trusting to blind luck.
  • No Name Given: While secondary characters such as West and Steve are given first names, at least, the two recurring protagonists (to use the term loosely) are known only by their helmet symbols. We've elected to call them Crosshairs and Pyro for the purposes of this page. (We don't call them Sniper and Pyro because that would just cause confusion.)
  • No Sense of Direction: Just about everyone is completely lost, and everything they do just seems to make them even more hopelessly lost. Something of a Running Gag: "How the hell did we get lost in a city?!"
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Just how DID they take that tank down?
  • One-Man Army: North has apparently killed 2172 people himself.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted and lampshaded:
  • One-Way Visor: In "GWTBW 250K" only.
  • Only Sane Man: West, the machine gunner in command of the lost company seems to be more or less the most competent character. Crosshairs has his moments of madness but mainly acts as the straight man for Pyro.
  • Post Apocalyptic Gasmask: The setting is pretty apocalyptic (radiation and buildings appear to be in a state of disrepair). It's not apocalyptic enough that it prevents three factions fighting using tanks and planes. Each of the three armies has its own design. All the characters wear gas masks, due to the city's high levels of pollution, poison gas and fallout.
  • Psycho for Hire: Almost all characters appear to, more or less, fall into this category. And when we find out that soldiers get promoted based on their "body count", it pretty much seems like this is whomever's-in-charge's idea of his/her troops as well. Of course, it could also be because they're all bored out of their minds.
  • Pyromaniac: Pyro, naturally. He wears fuel tanks, has a flame for a helmet insignia, and is mesmerized by the notion of the world burning.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: In this strip, Pyro finds a car that somehow still runs, even after presumably sitting for many years in the midst of a war-torn city. Not to mention the fact that gasoline only lasts for a few months anyways.
  • Rocket Jump: Invoked, attempted, and averted. The outcome is as messy as expected, both for the idiot that tried it and the other two idiots who stood there watching him.
  • Samus Is a Girl: A joke page reveals that the Red unit are all lesbians.
  • Schmuck Bait Might be worth it (he's demolition after all)
  • Shout-Out: Has a few to Blame!, most notably the second 250k comic. One of the yellows also wears a helmet with The Authority's insignia on it.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: Crosshairs does this to a moving plane, causing the plane to crash into a crowd of enemy soldiers. However, it was done only as a stupid bet out of boredom.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Pretty much everyone who appears in panel long enough to achieve Mauve Shirt status is suffering from this one way or another.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story: Turns out the the soldiers were the lost and forgotten survivors of a devastating nuclear war and they were all fighting in a sealed-off memorial site, while a lush and beautiful new city was built around it. Or not.
  • Spin-Off: A few rarely updated comics, some freely available, some available only to donors.
  • Tempting Fate: In Depths 2, Crosshair mentions that "at least the yellows won't follow us here." (As they are trapped underground). Cue a yellow tank crashing down.
    Pyro: Do you think that was intended, or-
    Crosshairs: The turret's still turning! RUN!
  • Threat Backfire: A Yellow threatens to kill Pyro if Crosshairs doesn't tell him how to leave the city.
    Crosshairs: Your interrogation technique is flawed.
  • Tomato Surprise: The 2015 April Fools comic — Crosshairs and Pyro are chased down the sewers by a yellow tank, they run through a nightmarish hellhole full of mutated animals and giant plants and finally find their way out of the city. Which turns out to have been a fenced-in historical preserve site of a nuked city in memorial and as a warning about the dangers of WMD's all along.
  • Too Dumb to Live: According to some doodles by Kimmo, a Green fraction was at one point involved in the war, but thanks to their own stupidity and incompetence (using cardboard boxes as bomb shelters and mistaking their own barely-disguised spies for enemies) they managed to eliminate themselves from the war very early on.
  • Twist Ending: Played with. One soldier thinks it all a nightmare, another thinks it purgatory, and another thinks is a Virtual Reality game. Turns out they ate a rat.. That was glowing purple.
  • Unsound Effect:
    • Can you name any other comic where the SFX "-bullet sound-" appears?
    • One of the aforementioned doodles involving the Greens also gives us the self-explanatory "SHOTGUN!" sound effect, exclamation point included.
      • Same thing happens when the friendly Blue is eliminated by a Red unaware of the new relationship.
  • War Is Hell: For a few characters, certainly. For example, when West asks whether he's "the only one without a death wish," the answer he gets is a flat "Yes." A lot of them seem to have seen so much that they've become completely desensitized to it all, and are bored to death even when they're killing or at risk of being killed.
  • We Have Reserves: On a local scale. The soldiers seem to take this sort of attitude towards each other. And themselves.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Pyro orders a random to run a gauntlet of enemy fire. Subverted in the end.
  • With Friends Like These...: The Yellows threaten to shoot the Pyro if Crosshairs doesn't talk Here you are.
  • Worth It: Crosshairs' response to telling Pyro that they'd found a way out of the city (and technically being was a way out of the city, just not any useful or practical one).
    • Another one when the squad discovers a the corpse of a Red which is set up as an Obvious Trap. The dead soldier is from demolitions, though, which means he might still have some explosives. Cue trope name.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Justified: someone went underground to mine for gold. Crosshairs appropriately asks why would he do that in a warzone. He...just wants to have gold.
  • Yellow Peril: Implied, though you never actually see what the Yellows really look like.
  • You Can See That, Right?: this strip
    Crosshairs: Did you see that wall full of nightmarish creatures?
    Pyro: Nope!
    Crosshairs: Me neither! Let's go!
  • You No Take Candle: Yellows are shown speaking English like this. Their own language is depicted as illegible scribbles.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Some Reds think there was one, though they might be Technically Living Zombies instead.