MeatShield is a Sword and Sorcery, Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy comic strip that updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. MeatShield centers on the adventures (or lack thereof) of Dhur, a mighty half-orc barbarian warrior, Ch'p, halfling monk and pastry chef extraordinaire, and Jaine, half-elven mistress of magic, music and sarcasm as they wander the world of Ardris.
The first strip was posted in September 2009 and the 699th and last proper strip was posted in March 2020. Strip 700, a Distant Finale was posted in July 2021 along with a message from the author that due to their diminishing enthusiasm for the strip they had decided to bring the strip to a close. The author did say that one-shots were a possible future project.
MeatShield provides examples of:
- Air Quotes: Noral uses them to mention that sentient weapon blessed by the gods tend to find evil "icky".
- Are We There Yet?: Dhur, of course.
- Ass Shove: "Papillon, I need some money..."
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Clan Punchintheface
- An Axe to Grind: Dhur
- Back from the Dead: Dhur, thanks to a feud between the celestial tasked to guide him to the afterlife and Borloth the Necromancer.
- "Be Quiet!" Nudge: Dhur to Becky.
- Big Bad: Disparoxus. At least according to the author.
- Berserk Button: Don't ever mention "RULES" around Dhur.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: From Borloth the Necromancer:Borloth: You will have to be more specific. I have killed many friends.
- Calling Your Attacks: Lampshaded in this strip.Ch'p: It's called "respect for the art", Day'l! Something I don't expect you to understand!
- Childhood Marriage Promise: Except Dhur didn't technically promise anything.
- Compensating for Something: Ch'p wonders if the two huge snake statues at the entrance of the port of Vedris means the city is compensating for some shortcoming.
- Deadpan Snarker: Jaine
- Dope Slap: Jaine to Dhur, of course.
- The Exit Is That Way: Showing that Jaine is upset.Jaine: So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to the archives and use my bardic training to find my mom.
Noral: The archives are the other way.
Jaine: I knew that!
- Expressive Accessory: Dhur's belt buckle.
- Face Palm
- Fastball Special: Dhur is big and strong, Ch'p is small... It was bound to happen.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Any non-humans or non-elves (or non-hybrids) like dwarves, goblins, halflings, etc. Snake-people have three-fingered hands.
- Half-Human Hybrids: Dhur is orc/human and Jaine is elf/human.
- Hidden Depths: Dhur is apparently General Dhur, Hero of Dharan pass.
- Hurt Foot Hop:
- I Call Her "Vera": Dhur names his brand-new axe "Grinsplitter".
- Idiot Hero: Dhur, in a standard joke, is exceedingly dim.
- In the Back: Becky has no qualm against backstabbing bad guys.
- I Think You Broke Him: "I think you broke her brain."
- I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Dhur is surprised to learn others can't tell who is a shapeshifter by scent
- Killed Mid-Sentence: This bad guy.Becky: Mister, you talk too much.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Dhur tries one here, but he's not very good at it.
- Let Me Get This Straight...: A textbook example.
- Literal Metaphor: Leonid doing a bit of soul-searching...
- Luke Nounverber: Becky Sourbottom
- Modesty Towel: Well, modesty blankets.
- Naked on Revival: Dhur, after coming Back from the Dead. And he's bald, too.
- Nerd Glasses: Stan the orc
- Non Sequitur, *Thud*: After Dhur is sent flying by a gravel giant.Jayne: Dhur, are you okay?
Dhur: ...no mom, me no wanna eat the onion flapjacks...
Jayne: ...OK, you're fine.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Done deliberately and lampshaded. Also, provides the page image.
- Our Liches Are Different: Leonid the pseudo-lich
- Pass the Popcorn: The two drow watching the protagonist duo.
- Punctuation Shaker: Ch'p Ir'kell; Day'l Ir'ket; the Nitsu'a monks in general.
- Punny Name: Ch'p and Day'l. Think about it.
- Role-Playing Game 'Verse
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Dhur, very good at tracking, terrible at map reading.
- Sdrawkcab Name: All of the duchys in Westhame are all rough anagrams of Texas towns:
- Nitsua = Austin
- Kobul = Lubbock
- Osapal = El Paso
- Suropic = Corpus (Christi)
- Sadal = Dallas
- ACaw = Waco
- Alliram = Amarillo
- Brown = Brownsville
- Kilanio is a (very) rough anagram, almost a cognate, of Killeen
- Secret Test of Character: Jayne's reaction to the unfair and dismissive judgement of her Bardic thesis recital turned out to be the real test.
- Ship Sinking: Word of God:No. I don't feel like drawing "D&D meets Moonlighting". Besides, think of what their kid would look like: part half-orc, part half-elf... my friends, that sounds like a one-way ticket to UglyTown.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Dhur and his brother Ghar.
- Smoke Out: Day'l pulls out one.
- Smug Snake: Day'l Ir'ket
- Snake People: The inhabitants of Vedris, the City of Serpents. Extract from the Encyclopedia Ardrisia:The Church of Vasra, God of Serpents and Secrets, is headquartered here. Long ago, a fundamentalist movement in Vedris prompted the faithful to undergo magical transformations into snake-human hybrids to prove their devotion. This magical alteration has bred true and now nearly 50% of the population are snakepeople.
- Spit Take
- The Team
- Super Fly Reflexes: Sora offhandedly catches a fly while discussing a typical mage failing.Sora: Mages will spend hours researching a spall to kill a fly when it is so much easier— [catches fly between two fingers] —to swat it.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Prince Jonus of Westhame
- Wall of Blather: Leonid isn't exactly listening to Disparoxus.
- X on a Stick: Lich-on-a-stick. No, really.
- You Didn't Ask: Turning into a bit of a bad habit for Dhur. Examples include
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Disparoxus to Leonid.