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Webcomic / Love Me Nice

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Love Me Nice is a webcomic by Amanda Lafrenais. The story takes place in a world where toons are real and are actors in cartoons. The story focuses on Mac T. Monkey Jr., who is following in his father's footsteps by starring in Mac Sr.'s old show, as well as his co-star, Carolina, and his manager, Claire.

Found here.

This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Art Evolution: Really fast, too. The comic takes ten to twelve pages to settle into a consistent style, and by that point the look is almost completely unrecognizable from the first page. Carolina specifically takes a little longer, but same deal otherwise.
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  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Claire and Mac Jr. tend to clash now and then due to their jobs, but they always find their way in bed, if not kiss and make up.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": In the original Mac the Monkey show, Mac Sr.'s future wife Cassidy replaced the late co-star Katy Monkey (No Relation), but was fired near the show's end due to her terrible acting. When Claire was a kid, she believed Cassidy's "acting" was So Bad, It's Good. She tells Carolina this backstory because that the young star has big shoes to fill as the famed "Girlfriend Character" of the show.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: In a flashback, Claire learns that Roger hired her as Mac Jr.'s manager mainly because he puts up with her at worst, and fancies her at best. She and Mac got together later as a way of getting back at Roger before it evolved into Office Romance.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Jackson to Carolina, despite being 6 months younger.
    • Big Brother Bully: But growing up with her was NOT easy.
  • Blatant Lies: Carolina claims she got the boob job because Mac said they'd make her look more mature so that she'd be taken seriously; while Mac did say words which could be rearranged to make this statement, saying they were "advice" is taking some pretty grievous liberties with them (she actually did it because she was crushing on Mac at the time and wanted to get his attention).
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Carolina is 19 years old, but, certainly acts like this. According to her brother Jackson, she was an actual Bratty Teen years before, and not much has changed since.
  • Buxom Is Better: Debbie, Claire and Cassidy. Carolina tries to invoke this to get Mac Jr.'s attention but has them repeatedly bound down for the sake of the show.
    • Inverted in Claire's case, though still big and beautiful, she couldn't get a job on-screen as promised because her figure was deemed "too risque " by Fable's standards.
  • Chaste Toons: Averted and shown in-universe with the Monkey family but invoked for the show. Also why Mac and Claire can't get together in public due to their specific roles, with Claire managing celebrity Mac.
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  • Celebrity Is Overrated: Mac Jr. and Kelly deal with the price of stardom. As the son of the famous Mac Sr, he was groomed into filling his dad's shoes as not just the cartoon character, but future owner of Fable, and is reasonably worried about living up to Mac Sr's legacy in the event that he dies. Kelly, however, has it even worse. While a talented musician, she worries that she has accomplished much into stardom because she is Mac Sr's daughter, and Mac Jr's sister, believing that she is just riding on their coattails. She has since started to find for herself so she can support her brother. The mishaps she suffered over the years, however, makes her fearful that she might take her family and friends reputation with her.
  • Contractual Purity: In-Universe. Several of the characters (especially everyone involved in the Show Within a Show and most of Mac's relatives) have to maintain a squeaky clean image to protect the kiddy-friendly Mac the Monkey brand.
  • The Cutie: Carolina's cute factor helped landed her the role of Mac Jr.'s co-star. Kelly as well.
  • The Ditz: Carolina isn't exactly dumb, but there was the time she didn't know she was a toon until she reached adulthood. Even during her first year as a TV star, there is a handful of Fable's history she doesn't know about that makes her feel this way.
  • Dogfaces: Carolina and Claire's father look like this, being basically toon-human apart from the ears and nose.
  • Dramedy: Toonkind is not immune to the human complications of everyday life. The comic dives into how Fable's Contractual Purity can put a damper on the stars and workers' personal lives, relationships and issues. That said, it does have a handful of laughs.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Fran is attempting to make Elegant Toon Lolita take off as a fashion trend. So far, no dice — it probably doesn't help that A) she's human, B) she's trying to spread this through her work as the frontwoman for Kelly's band, and C) said band is not exactly making the Top 100 lists.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Perhaps not everyone, but many Fable employees have some knowledge of Mac Jr. and Claire's relationship. A few of them learn from Roger himself. Even fewer know exactly how it sparked, but they have heard rumors. So long as it doesn't reach the general public, no one has a reason to nip it in the bud.
  • Executive Meddling: In-Universe. Roger and, by extension Mac Sr., goes through great lengths for Fable's image. It's up to everyone to follow suit, even if they don't always like it. Being Mac Jr.'s manager, this is a stressful job for Claire to keep him in line.
    • Kelly's show was forced into an insane overhaul after a scandal. It was turned into more of an Edutainment Show and she has limited control compared to her initial work.
  • Expy: The currently-mentioned Gregory Goat is a former co-star of Mac Sr. His Hair-Trigger Temper supposedly resembles that of Looney Tunes's Gabby Goat, and it's because of that same temper that led to an incident which involves him attacking Mac Sr. during a toons protest. He is currently in jail and slapped with a restraining order. The comic's own Gabby shares the same name as the Looney Tunes' goat.
  • Farm Boy: Jackson, Carolina's adopted human brother. Carolina would count too if she weren't too small to help growing up.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Mac Jr. and Claire come to terms with their relationship and latter's pregnancy, and look forward to the future. That said, given their positions in Fable, they are both well aware that this can (or will) blow up in their faces at anytime unless Claire successfully leaves for her own endeavors.
  • Furry Reminder: Some toons have animal traits and so tend to act like animals. For example, when Mac Jr. and Kelly meet Jackson, they secretly have a desire to hang on his arms like a jungle gym due to how tall he was compared to them.
  • Get Back in the Closet: Roger's advice to Kelly Monkey in the aftermath of the "Bongo scandal".
  • Gossipy Hens: Gabby Goat is always snooping in to find juicy tidbits of Fable's stars.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The monkeys in Mac's family all go pant-less when not on set.
  • Happily Married: Mac's parents seem to be quite happy together, even though Mac Sr. was something like twice Cassidy's age when they got married.
  • Hartman Hips: Claire, Debbie and Cassidy.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Used in a metatextual sense with Kelly Monkey. There was some kind of scandal with someone named "Bongo" (later revealed to be her ex-boyfriend) and Roger's advice afterwards was for her to "stay in the closet" in order to maintain the squeaky-clean image of the company. Claire is horrified when she finds out. It's later revealed that Roger gave this advice to Kelly because that's how he lived his life.
  • The Ingenue: Carolina is 19 years old but usually acts childish.
  • Interspecies Romance: The interactions between Toons and Humans count as this. The main couple of this is Claire, a half-human/half-toon, and Mac Jr., an anthropomorphic monkey toon. Second to that is monkey sister Kelly and both her rabbit ex-boyfriend Bongo and current human girlfriend Fran.
  • In Vino Veritas: While hanging out with Kelly, Fran, and Praline one day, Carolina delivers a "colorful" drunken rant about Roger, Mac Jr., Claire, and even her own family. She eventually descends to Broken Tears.
  • Iron Lady: Claire, and sometimes Cassidy, may not have a lot of action, but they are very strong-willed women who take charge when the plot demands it. They also occasionally remind their peers that they are not to be messed with.
  • I've Come Too Far: Roger gives this sentiment for explaining why Fable can't go back on it's hypocritical policies, since Mac Sr. wanted Fable to become too big to be brought low by a more progressive decision.
  • Jail Bake: Before Mac Sr.'s birthday party, Roger found a "very charming" letter by Gregory Goat, who smuggled it in a cake out of Toon Jail instead of into. Apparently, jail contraband for a toon-centered prison works differently from a normal human one, as Roger and Cassidy discussed.
  • Jerkass: Roger helps to keep Fable's image in check, but does so with plenty of awful advice and LOTS of nasty decision making. Almost everyone sees him as this now and then. That being said...
  • Jerkass Has a Point: could be argued that said decisions are reasons all of the main characters in a stable-ish job.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Fran and Mac Jr. Also, Jackson.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Bongo Bunny is a colossal one. His relationship with Kelly ended badly because he threatened to exploit her real life relationship with Fran. He has no issue pushing her buttons to the point of her getting sick and makes the excuse that the incident itself was not his fault.
  • Legacy Character: Mac The Monkey's "Girlfriend Character" is regarded as this ever since the first actor, Katy Monkey died at an early age. Cassidy Cat replaced her but was fired later because of her Bad "Bad Acting", and the show itself ended sometime after. Carolina took over shortly after the show's revival thirty years later.
    • The titular Mac the Monkey character was passed down from Mac Sr. to his son Mac Jr..
  • Ms. Fanservice: Cassidy, Claire, Debbie and Carolina.
  • Muppet: What Praline looks like.
  • Nice Guy: Mac Sr. is depicted as extremely optimistic, yet too sensitive to handle most insults. His wife Cassidy convinced Roger to scrap a celebrity roast for his birthday party because of this after Mac Jr. reminded her of one incident when he was younger.
  • Noodle Incident: The "Bongo Incident" led to a very messy breakup between Bongo Bunny and Kelly Monkey because the former threatened to expose the latter's lesbian relationship with Fran. The details remain sketchy but the point is that it ended really badly, and Roger somehow made it worst because of his Get Back in the Closet mentality. It left Kelly with some serious psychological damage, Fran holding a grudge at Mac Jr, and Claire still processing it all while doing damage control.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: A friend and co-worker of Claire's reveals that Jerkass Roger, of all people, had gone though a scandal of his own, which consisted of arriving at her birthday party drunk twenty years ago and hilarity ensued afterwards. She kept this a secret for all of the ice cream she could eat from the wolf toon, and she has been keeping a tab since that day, especially since her network now belongs to Fable. Claire herself is shocked by this news.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Carolina didn't know she was adopted until she turned 18. Heck, she didn't even realize she was a toon until that age, though the latter case may be due to her Meddling Parents.
  • Office Romance: What starts as a way to get back at Roger becomes this when Claire was first assigned to manage Mac Jr. Unfortunately, due to Mac's past scandals, this becomes a problem since Claire is basically babysitting him and keeping him out of trouble. According to Kelly, if Claire was just a secretary or even a writer, the implied but unknown consequences wouldn't be so bad in the off chance things go wrong. Roger inevitably finds out but lets it continue as long as it's kept under wraps. Once Claire finds out she's pregnant, she starts preparing for retirement so she and Mac's relationship can be more public.
  • One True Love: Mac Jr. and Claire didn't start out as lovers at first, but this was revealed to be the reason why Carolina never stood a chance outside of their roles on the Mac the Monkey show. Kelly summarizes that "if it's not Claire, [Mac Jr.] is not interested".
  • Pie-Eyed: Most of the male Toon characters have these eyes.
  • Post-Stress Overeating: Claire struggles with this and the Weight Woe that follows. It's stated that a lot of toons suffer depression, and that she's not the only toon who struggles with binge-eating - but that she has to watch how much she eats because she's not as "elastic" as other toons.
  • Rule of Funny: A hardwired part of toon behavior; if there's an obvious joke to be had in a situation, a toon will instinctively walk into it. Mac once protests to Claire that at one point he's only slipped on, "like, three" of his own banana peels. According to Claire, this is fine on set, but "three too many" when outside the studio.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Given a brief nod when Mac's mom threatens to ground both her kids, and her husband, for being weird in a maintenance closet. Mac Sr. declares that he is exercising the immunity afforded him by being her husband and the birthday boy, on top of being old.
  • Show Within a Show: A show within a comic, more like. Mac Jr. is the star of Mac the Monkey, a revival series of his father's original work. It works as he resembles his dad and his character. The comic itself revolves around the on and off-site lives of two of the show's cast, Mac Jr. and Carolina, as well as the studio's staff and stars, such as Kelly and Claire.
  • Shout-Out: At one point, a comment is made about how some toons have "explosively bad" reactions to consuming alcohol - a reference to Roger Rabbit's infamous "steam whistle" scenes in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
    • When Kelly is first introduced, she has a Hammerspace bag that she rummages through. The shape and patterns on the bag are a shoutout to Felix the Cat and his magic bag of tricks
  • Shrinking Violet: Kelly.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Fran and Mac were once good friends until something went down that turned them into this.
  • Toon Town: Mention was made of "Inkblot Grove", which was explicitly referred to as a de facto Toon Town. It was teased in Chapter 5, and we finally visit Inkblot Grove in Chapter 9.
    • Claire mentions that select toon products like Hammerspace bags are banned outside the "Toon Quarter".
  • Wingding Eyes: Carolina has literal stars in her eyes.
    • Downplayed for Claire and her grandmother's eyes. They can react very subtly depending on their mood without changing their shape. Claire's, in particular, resembles TV lines.