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Webcomic / Men in Hats

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Men in Hats is a now defunct webcomic by Aaron Farber. In his words, "Men in Hats is the gripping story of 6 guys who stand around in the desert... talking... sometimes they have breakfast."

Mysteriously stopped updating, which is partially the reason for the Hatedom who hung (and possibly still hang) around its forums. The man in a black hat of xkcd is based on (see alt text of this comic) one of Men in Hats' protagonists Aram, sadist and general Jerkass.

This webcomic contains examples of:

  • Author Filibuster: More often than you'd think.

  • Badass Decay: In-Universe: Parodied.

  • Black Comedy Pet Death: Aram compares shredding Beriah's report to "putting a dog to sleep instead of letting it run around with a tumor in its brain." Beriah asks Aram if that's what happened to Scruffy, and Aram replies, "No, that dog was just ugly."
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution:
    • Visited upon Sam. For the third time that week. He still doesnt get the message.
      Sam: Test of faith, thank you very much!!
    • He also spontaneously bursts into flames while claiming to be speaking for God.
  • Butt-Monkey: None of the characters are really treated well by any of the other characters, but Jeriah definitely wins in this category.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Mayor Jeb is an incompetent, corrupt hick, but he IS good at playing the politics game.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Beriah.
  • Consolation Backfire:
    • Jeriah tells Gamal a story about finding a quarter and losing his book of poems that only gets worse despite Gamal's attempts to reassure him:
      Jeriah: Actually, the quarter turned out to be a worthless iron shard.
      Gamal: Oh, well... At least you still have your health.
      Jeriah: The shard gave me tetanus.
    • In this strip, Gamal talks about fantasy novels. After Aram gets bored and leaves him, he tells the fantasy novel at least it still likes him. "Actually I don't," the novel says.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Parodied when Beriah enthusiastically tells Gamal he's thinking about sandwiches, when it was actually the last, hunger-inspired thought at the end of a complex philosophical pondering about the nature of evil.
  • The Ditz: Beriah, again. Subverted in one strip here
  • Driven to Suicide: Jeriah actually kills himself in one strip when he finds a rose growing in the desert... and Aram immediately shows up with a rose larger than his entire body wrapped around his hat. Of course, given the Negative Continuity of the strip, he's fine the next time he appears.
  • Easy Amnesia: Mayor Jeb got amnesia after Aram hit him in the head with a brick to make him forget his plans for an invasion of the Middle East to throw peoples attention off his incompetent leadership.
  • The Eeyore: Jeriah.
  • Film Noir: For a single page.
  • For the Evulz: The only reason why Aram can ever be bothered to leave his TV.
  • The Fundamentalist, Holier Than Thou: Sam's a particularly brutal example of this, possesses almost no redeeming qualities, and not only does every other character hate him, it is implied many times that God hates him as well.
  • The Hedonist: The last storyline of the comic involved Sam abandoning religion and instead turning towards more healthier pursuits. Which turned out to be BDSM.
    Sam: Hello heathen!
    Gamal: ... Didn't we just do this last week?note 
    Sam: Possibly. I'm on a lot of medications right now.
    Gamal: Well, I'll let you in on how it ends. You renounce religion and move on to something more healthy.
    Sam: Really? Good to know.
    Caption: Soon...
    Sam: [dressed in S&M gear] Hello square!
    Gamal: [walks off] Okay, I'm done here.
  • I Will Show You X!: Played with here, with the word being "converge".
  • It's All About Me: Aram has perfected this down to a science. In one strip, Gamal tries to tell him a story, and Aram loses all interest because it involves people who aren't him.
  • Jerkass: Aram.
  • Left Hanging: The final strip leaves off with Aram trying to get Sam to switch back to his original Fundamentalist persona, because his current Bondage Is Bad personality is even more grating.
  • Minimalist Cast: There are only six characters, and the strip very rarely has any other setting than the desert the characters wander around in.
  • Negative Continuity: Among other things, the house, which is rarely shown, is burned down or destroyed multiple times, and several characters die at least once. None of these things are mentioned in the next strip. Rarely, however the strip will have a minor storyline. But none of the details will be mentioned again once the story is over. Gamal did grow a moustache that stuck around for a while before disappearing, but that's about it.
  • Only Sane Man: Gamal.
  • One-Shot Character: Ramath, the owner of the sandwich store, only appears once, and is in fact the only other character EVER to appear in the strip other than the main six characters.
  • Permanent Elected Official: Mayor Jeb.
  • Pollyanna: Beriah.
  • Prematurely Marked Grave: In one strip, Aram leads Beriah on a 3-hour walk. Beriah wonders what this "adventure" will lead to, which turns out to be an empty grave with his name on it and the epitaph, "Frankly he was rather annoying."
    Aram: This is where the adventure ends.
  • Sadist Show
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: this strip. Yep, Jeriah has a pretty sucky life.
  • Straight Man: Gamal.
  • Strawman Political: Sam.
  • Suicide Dare: When Jeriah asks Aram for an opinion on a wangsty poem he wrote, Aram holds out a knife and tells him to put it in his stomach.