9th Elsewhere is a webcomic created by Caroline Curtis and Courtney Caryl. It is the story of a melancholy 17-year-old, Carmen Cinea, who is an aspiring writer and has gone through entirely too many foster homes. One day her plight comes to the attention of O.R.M.Y. (Organized Response Musing Yes!) District 13, a section of the global muse organization. Carmen requires a first rank muse, but Cirdan, the head of the district, assigns her case to Eiji, who is only a fifth rank muse, in the hopes that he will screw up so that Cirdan can finally fire him. Eiji goes to Carmen and, with the help of a magical pixy straw, sends her down deep into her own subconscious (her "elsewhere"). Soon however, they lose the key (or bakabako) which will unlock Carmen's mind. The two of them must then go on a journey deep into Carmen's subconscious in order to retrieve the key so Carmen can get home.
Launched in 2003, 9th Elsewhere updated regularly until 2006, when it became an orphaned webcomic. It is unknown what happened to the author, although one of them had stopped contributing some time before that. In 2007, the author started taking orders for a book with the collected strips of the series, which did finally arrive in 2010. The author then expressed intentions to relaunch the comic in 2011, but this did not materialize and the comic's site eventually became defunct.
Fortunately, however, a kindly redditor who goes by the name of JohnCarterofAres has provided us with what may possibly be the only remaining archive of the comic. The archive is hosted on imgur and we would greatly appreciate if someone were to download it and post it on the Internet Archive for long-term preservation purposes.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Bad Dreams: Carmen and Eiji both have them at various points.
- Blank Book: Carmen unintentially creates one.
- "How ridicoulous, my own subconscious is mocking my goals."
- Broken Bird: Carmen
- Disappeared Dad: Eiji's father.
- Dream People: Carmen's elsewhere is inhabited by figments, which represent different aspects of her personality, such as Optimism, Vanity, and Creativity.
- Dream Weaver: Carmen, who slowly learns to gain control of her lucidity and shape her dreamscape. Also Singha, Eiji's guardian, can tune into her dreamscape and gain a measure of control over it.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Eiji seems to think so, but it takes place in a non-storyline joke strip.
- Happily Adopted: Averted: Carmen has been through at least 8 different foster families.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Carmen encounters this when she accidentally destroys the bakabako because of her lack of lucidity.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: Essentially the entire premise of the story and setting.
- Mental World: This is essentially the entire setting of the comic, since Carmen cannot leave her mind until she finds the bakabako. Eiji and the other muses can come and go as they please, but this means that unlike Carmen they need to eat, sleep, and breathe, and can be hurt and possibly killed.
- Narnia Time: Carmen experiences her elsewhere at an incredibly accelerated rate, so much that the first 120 pages take place over about 15 minutes in the real world, although Carmen has been inside her elsewhere for days at least.
- Pretty in Mink: In the first strip Carmen's latest foster mother is wearing a fur jacket as she tries to convince Carmen to come to her own welcome party.
- Recurring Dreams: When Carmen and Eiji arrive at a farm in her elsewhere, she mentions that is reminds her of a recurring dream she has had.
- Shout-Out: To Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Carmen names a chicken after Raphael.
- Shrinking Violet: Carmen
- Unusual Ears: All of the muses have feathered-winged ears.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Inverted: Carmen is perfectly safe in her own mind, but the muses (who can fully manifest themselves there), can be hurt or killed.