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Webcomic / Holiday Wars

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Cover for "Holiday Wars" Volume 1: The Spirit

Holiday Wars is an ongoing webcomic which involves each holiday being embodied by a physical entity, and the girl who is caught in the middle of their struggle.

Holidays reflect the current culture of a society and, like a shifting tide, they change. Realizing this, The Easter Bunny declared war on the other Holidays in the hope of gaining the one thing that can guarantee his immortality: The Holiday Spirit. Foreseeing The Bunny's betrayal, Santa Claus hid The Holiday Spirit and marked Tegan Cassidy, a human infant, granting her the ability to find it.

After 16 years of war, nearly all the Holidays have been killed or have joined The Bunny. Led by Earth Day, the rag tag group of observances still fighting, turn to a now-teenage Tegan in the hope that she can lead them to The Holiday Spirit.

Not to be confused with the Story Arc in Sluggy Freelance with the same name that is also about an evil Easter Bunny going to war with other holidays.

This webcomic contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Mother's Day, of all people. Father's Day is better but is also a Henpecked Husband.
  • Academy of Adventure: Madison High School ends up being one where teachers & staff are Holidays and it is attacked by evil Chicken-Soldiers.
  • All Myths Are True: In addition to the holidays being people, all the gods are shown to exist, although many of them have outright left for other realms after their worship was mostly abandoned, like the Norse, or secluded themselves in little pocket realities, like Anansi. Cryptids and demons are also real.
  • Alpha Bitch: Beth is the perfect example of this. However, in Vol. II and beyond she starts growing out of it. Also Deconstructed—she's mean to Tegan because she feels like the stuff Tegan did to her by accident (like tripping and dumping cheese fries all over her) were purposeful. Then she took Tegan sniping back by way of defense as confirmation.
  • April Fools' Day: First appears as a character in this strip.
  • Artifact of Doom: The "Holiday Spirit" serves as this
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Ask a Stupid Question is personified as a character who only speaks with stupid questions. Although sometimes her questions are actually quite intelligent, if obvious.
  • Back from the Dead: After using the power of the Holiday Spirit to overload April Fool's and defeat him, Tegan accidentally released the essences of the dead holidays from the World Tree. Some merely survive as power (for example, a random Sasquatch gets the power of Mardi Gras, rather than the old Mardi Gras coming back), while some, like Winter's new lackeys, return as themselves.
  • Bearer of Bad News: Taylor is this when he has to inform Tegan that the Easter Bunny is out to get her.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Loki, of all people. In a flashback, it's shown that Santa (then Sinterklass) freed him to stop him from waking the Jotunn with his spasms of pain, rather than killing him as Odin intended. Fast-forward several hundred years, and Santa receives a warning of the Easter Bunny's designs on his life from the very same trickster.
  • Big Bad: The Easter Bunny is the main villain of Vol I. Vol II introduces Winter, a nigh-unstoppable force of nature who freezes every human on the planet and starts hunting down the holidays.
  • Big Bad Friend: Winter is Wallace.
  • Blessed with Suck: Being a holiday means immortality and sometimes superpowers. Unfortunately, it sometimes also means restrictions like always having to the say the opposite of what you really mean or never being able to say anything too intelligent—which seem minor, but remember the immortality? Opposite and Stupid are stuck talking like that every day, forever.
  • Bond One-Liner: In this strip,April Fools' Day discusses one liners and then uses one as he defeats Labor Day in a fight.
  • Call-Back: In this strip, Labor Day makes a reference to something that happens before the timeline of the main storyline.
  • The Casino: There's the Jack O'Lantern casino in Vegas which is ran by Halloween.
  • Cat Fight: A true high school cat fight breaks out between Tegan and Beth in this strip.
  • The Champion: Taylor is this when he saves Tegan from a giant Chick Soldier.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Holidays lots of people observe, like Christmas, are stronger, and even minor holidays and observances grow in power on their actual day when people are observing them. Conversely, holidays no one celebrates fade away into the morass of the Forgotten, which is basically just a big glob of rage lacking any personality of the individuals who once made it up.
  • C-List Fodder: Superbowl Sunday is this and is killed off near the begining of "Holiday Wars".
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Tegan is one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Labor Day often delivers these types of lines.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Turns out that April Fool's really did kill Wallace/Arbor Day. In the chaos following their battle, he stole Wallace's form. This is probably also what happened to Talk Like A Pirate Day.
  • Death of the Old Gods: This has happened multiple times throughout history, where the knowledge of their believers that their gods actually existed combined with Clap Your Hands If You Believe caused them to stagnate and eventually leave the world or remain as a shadow of their former selves. The hiding of the Holidays was done to both prevent this and keep the humans from being harmed by them like the followers of the Pantheons were.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Tegan Cassidy gets sucked into a world where the Holidays are personified as characters and are at war with each other.
  • Easter Bunny: Initially the Big Bad.
  • Electric Torture: The Easter Bunny electrocutes April Fools' Day to keep him under control.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: A zombie t-rex shows up in this in this strip.
  • Exposition Fairy: Earth Day is basically there to only give exposition at the Act I turning point.
  • Exposition Party: Halloween takes the three main cast members into a room to give them the backstory of the war.
  • Fallen Princess: Between Vol. I&II, Beth's father dies in Iraq. Although her family was more "comfortably upper-middle-class" than rich, this still applies, as they take a big hit to their finances and she needs to take a job as a tutor to help pay the bills.
  • Gender Bender: Cultural changes in how humans celebrate change all aspects of the holidays, which is how the goddess Eastre ended up as the male Easter Bunny. It doesn't seem to be very important, though—Bunny is enraged that people no longer view him with the awe they did when he was a goddess, but doesn't even mention having changed gender.
  • Girl Scouts Are Evil: April Fools shapeshifts into the form of an evil girl scout. You can check it out here
  • Handy Remote Control: The Easter Bunny has a remote that zaps and controls April Fools' Day.
  • Homage: The coach getting the protagonists name wrong in this strip is an homage to Neil Gaiman's Coraline.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Black Friday is "just" an observance, usually overshadowed by Thanksgiving...but he has thousands if not millions of observers, and they are all very zealous.
    • Also true of Stupid; in volume II, she takes a level in badass and discovers she has the power to make anything with even half a brain temporarily stupid by touching it. This is useful when, for example, one is attacked by an extradimensional horror.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After being kidnapped by Winter and discovering his true identity, Opposite Day joins his side.
  • Hope Bringer: Tegan brings hope to those who have been fighting and losing the war against the Easter Bunny.
  • Hot Librarian: Miss Cooper, Administrative Assistants Day, fits perfectly into those role and even has the Tina Fey/Sarah Palin glasses to match.
  • Kick the Dog: The Easter Bunny does this right off the bat when he tortures and kills Santa Claus.
  • Kid Hero: Tegan
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Tegan has this reaction when Labor Day says The Easter Bunny is trying to capture her.
  • The Lost Lenore: Memorial Day for Taylor. Bunny kidnapped her to force Taylor to plant a grenade in Santa's bag of presents, and promised he'd return her once the deed was done—but Bunny never said what condition she'd be in.
    • Equinox, Wallace's father, is this for Gaia. Which is why she's so mad about the Enemy Mine deal with April Fool's after the World Tree returns her to life as Day of the Dead.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Hoo boy, let's see. Tegan and Wallace flirt and even kiss but it's really April Fool's, although he apparently liked it. Tegan also has a crush on Taylor. Enter Beth, who also has a crush on Taylor; April Fool's likes her because by this point she could kick his ass. Taylor has feelings for Tegan, but also feelings for Beth, complicated by the fact that she's the new Memorial Day. Then Tegan and Wallace end up in another dimension together and Beth and Taylor apparently start a relationship, and that's just where things stand at the end of Vol. II
  • Faceless Goons: The Chick Soldiers are the Easter Bunny's faceless henchmen.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Tegan is human despite being the child of Mother's Day and Father's Day, which is why Santa could hide the Holiday Spirit in her in the first place.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Tegan is a coffee junkie
  • Mr. Exposition: Earth Day is basically there to only give exposition at the Act I turning point.
  • Nice Guy: Although he can be grumpy, at his core Taylor is one of these.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: a zombie t-rex shows up in this in this strip. It then is regularly referred to as "an undead dino."
  • Not Worth Killing: Friday survives his first encounter with the Easter Bunny because of this—he sees the Bunny poison St. Patrick's Day, but the Bunny doesn't go after him because he's not nearly important enough. This motivates Friday to actually join Gaia's resistance.
  • Oireland: St. Patrick's Day is the epitome of this, for the few pages he gets.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Tegan is the perfect example of this
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Tegan's snow-flake shaped birthmark is a perfect example of this, as seen in this strip.
  • Parental Abandonment: Tegan is an orphan.
  • Plot Coupon: The Holiday Spirit
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The resistance against the Easter Bunny only has one major holiday (Earth Day/Gaia). The rest are observances like Talk Like A Pirate Day and Opposite Day, with Black Friday being the only one who can really bring it in a fight.
  • Rule of Cool: but the thirty foot Thanksgiving turkey soldiers all have futuristic shades and a big gold medallion that says "Butterball"
  • Santa Claus: Is killed by the Easter Bunny.
  • Seeker Archetype: Tegan is seeking The Holiday Spirit to end a war between all of the Holidays.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Although April Fools' Day is a shapeshifter he does have the limitation that his mass always stays the same. Labor Day explains this in this strip.
  • Shape Shifter Default Form: April Fools' Day is a shapeshifter and his default form is that of a ratty looking teenager as seen in this strip.
  • Shoutout: April Fools' Day makes a shoutout to Gilmore Girls in this strip.
  • Slave Collar: April Fools' Day has a watch attached to his wrist that lets The Easter Bunny control him. Not as good a restraining bolt as April would have you believe, though.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: The Bunny teams up with The Forgotten which allows him to keep track of the story's protagonist. You can check it out here
  • Talking Animal: Ground Hog's Day is personified as a talking animal. Later arcs introduce animals who have been vested with the power of holidays, although they could talk before that.
  • Toilet Humor: April Fools' Day lines a shopping plaza with dog poop, which can be seen in this strip.
  • Took A Level In Jerk Ass: The Bunny actually admits to being a jerk in one of the more recent strips, but he really did take a few more levels over the course of the story. He also used to be much more nice and reasonable back when he was still the goddess Eastre, and even before he embarked on his evil plan.
  • Took a Level in Badass Tegan goes from an insecure teenage girl to someone perfectly willing to take on the Easter Bunny and the guy who ate him by herself.
  • Transformation Sequence: April Fools' Day is a shapeshifter and in between forms he turns into a giant glob resembling an ink blot, as seen in this strip.
  • Trickster Archetype: April Fools' Day for obvious reasons fits into the this archetype.
  • Urban Fantasy: Holiday Wars falls into this genre because although it has fantasy-like characters it is set in the real world
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: April Fools' Day is a shape shifter who can take any form he wants. However, as Labor Day explains no, matter what his form he always retains the same mass. This is followed up by an amusing game of chicken. He might be a giant T-Rex, but since he has the mass of a teenage boy, he has none of the oomph.
  • We Can Rule Together: April Fools makes this offer to Tegan, who refuses him.
  • Weirdness Censor: The World Tree prevents normal humans from seeing any supernatural beings or effects for what they are.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Winter wants to take over the world so that nothing like what Bunny did can ever happen again.
    • April Fools was working to stop his father Puck.