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Webcomic / Pepsiaphobia

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Q: Isn't your comic, in fact, historically inaccurate?
A: Look, 1400 BC was a really long time ago. Our historical and archaeological records of that time are dodgy at best and laughable at worst. You'll just have to take my word that this comic is the 100% true portrayal of what really happened.
Anyway, this comic is no less historically accurate than other serious illustrated documentaries like Asterix or Groo.

PepsiaPhobia is a webcomic by Daisy McGuire, about the Amazonian exile and single mom Phobia; her precocious scamp of a daughter, Pepsia; and her recently-acquired, listless slave Klepto. They have adventures in Ancient Greece.

The comic is a series of short stories; while there is continuity, there's little in the way of overarching plot.

PepsiaPhobia provides examples of:

  • The Aristocrats: Not the best joke to tell in front of your mother.
    Klepto: Gastro, look what you've done to your poor mother's spanking hand!
  • Art Shift: The chapter "KleptoMania", which is from Krphxyzwlps' point of view, has all characters drawn as silhouettes with occasional facial features.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Played with and subverted in the decanonized timeline. As a teenager, Pepsia is dating Princess Starbutt the talking horse. Since she's sapient people consider it an acceptable case of Interspecies Romance, but Sophia assumes she's a normal horse at first- apparently this practice is called "communing with Zeus" in Crete.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Hydro the Healer's hut. Looks like a minuscule shack on the outside, but contains not only a large room but also a huge aquarium.
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  • Book Dumb: What the example under Foreshadowing below was implied to be at the time; Philia gives off a vibe of not being all that bright, at the best of times.
  • Brainy Baby: Pepsia rarely cried when she was a baby. Phobia claims that one of the few times she did, she expressed a philosophical problem, namely the dream argument, in which you can never be sure all you experience is real, which terrified her. However, Phobia is an Unreliable Expositor and Pepsia doesn't buy it.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: "That sexy barbarian lady escaped! Not only is she clever, she's a powerhouse!"
  • Butterfly of Doom: Filby chastises Nightsorrow for this after he confesses to sleeping with Phobia not long after they ended up in ancient Greece.
    Filby: What is wrong with you?! We travel back in time and you step on like a billion butterflies!
    Nightsorrow: I did a lot more than step on that butterfly, if you know what I mean.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the tone remains light, the comic has progressively become a lot more plot-focused, especially since the start of Season 3.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Krphxyzwlps herself started out as a Monster of the Week. She got a return appearance in "For Heifer in My Heart", more as a joke than anything else. Come Season 3, she's become an important character.
  • Classical Cyclops: A villainous sorcerer has a miniature cyclops as his familiar (which looks like the classical cyclops, but is about the size of a human child). The sorcerer does make it grow into the traditional giant size so it can fight Pepsia—but he transforms it into a "biclops" in the process, which has twice as many eyes and is therefore twice as dangerous. The biclops is still distinct from a regular giant because its eyes are arranged vertically, rather than horizontally.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Lampshaded in the Alt Text of the 2011-01-10 comic. (In this case, it was obviously done on purpose to invoke the animated trope.)
  • Deliberately Monochrome: One color per chapter.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: On the topic of slavery. Phobia and Pepsia own a slave named Klepto, but later try setting him free. This is also Played for Laughs when Helen knows that there's a problem with Klepto getting repossessed by the government, but doesn't know what, thinking the worst part of it is having to do your own laundry for a month.
  • Dire Beast: The flashback of Phobia and Lord Nightsorrow's first meeting involves a dire-frog (looking rather like a frog-man).
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After Helen offends Phobia and Klepto, he threatens to spit in any pizza she orders from them. She responds by siccing her health inspector of a husband on Klepto and Phobia's restaurant, causing them significant problems.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: Pepsia receives a few spankings from her mother when she's too much of a brat.
  • Dreadful Musician: Pepsia and her horn causes a hungry lion to fall asleep.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Apparently Pepsia is feminine enough that Sophia always assumed she was a girl, and Phobia implies that Sophia isn't the only one to assume that.
    • This turns out to be correct.
  • Eternal Recurrence: The universe resets back to the beginning once every so often. Each iteration mostly repeats the previous iteration's events, but the iterations have gradually changed over time. Time Travel mostly involves travelling to a different point in time of a future iteration. The Time Police try to keep the iterations stable, but there have been slips. Two of them have made Phobia Immune to Fate.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Lord Nightsorrow's name and general behaviour seem to aim at this trope. However, he's not very villainous and mostly wants to get back to his own era or hook up with Phobia.
  • Eye Scream: Phobia vanquishes Cosmo's "Biclops" form by slashing both his eyes with her sword.
  • The Exile: Phobia was banished from the all-female Amazon village due to wanting to raise her 'son' herself.
  • Ghostly Goals: Subverted: when Phobia accomplishes Pneuma's "goals", she disappears to go haunt Phobia's brother.
  • Green Rocks: What Chronologium amounts to. Beyond allowing time travel, eating a block of the stuff 10 years ago gave Krphxyzwlps her shapeshifting power.
  • Hartman Hips: Phobia. Don't mock the size of her legs, though...
  • Hash House Lingo:
    Phobia: Klepto, 3 harpy necks, release the Kraken and wreck'em!
    Klepto: I don't know what that means!
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Invoked — "To kill a monster, you must become a monster."
  • Honest Axe: Referenced when Mim retrieves Phobia's sword from the lake.
  • Human Sacrifice: Pepsia narrowly escape from this at the paws of the cultist bears.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Hydro, the Healer, has the ability to charm those who look into his eyes, though it doesn't work on everyone.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Philia is good for this:
    • In the "Ready, Willing, and a Bull" story, Phobia and Pepsia try to get to Klepto to steal from the Minotaur in an attempt to distract it after learning he's a pretty good thief and this conversation occurs:
      Pepsia: Um, Klepto can steal that pendant on his neck?
      Klepto: Nuh-Uh. That's against my code. I come from a long line of noble thieves who only steal for personal gain.
      Pepsia: That doesn't sound very noble to me.
      Klepto: Nobility has many faces.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Inverted; it ends up saving Phobia's life.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Phobia angrily states "I'm a warrior, not a scholar!" when called on the fact that she's illiterate.
  • Immune to Fate: In an older timeline, Phobia was eaten by a frog monster. Time travellers proceeded to grab and raise her daughter, and her daughter couldn't resist making edits to the timeline, such as killing said frog when it was still a tadpole. Additionally, Nightsorrow, another time traveller, sired another child with her. As a result, Phobia's fate was thrown off course, and a pair of gods make plans to use her against Zeus's plans for Herakles, which would otherwise be guaranteed to succeed (at least, in the no-longer-canonical timeline).
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Phobia. Lampshaded here, but ultimately averted. Although while her hips are rather big, her chest is more realistically portioned.
  • Infinite Canvas: Commented on and averted in a strip where Phobia falls down a hole.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Klepto is in a relationship with Krphxyzwlps/Mania. She is capable of Voluntary Shapeshifting, and usually uses a human female form, but in her natural form, she is a male centipoidal netherbeast, an exotic subspecies of dragon.
    • In the old canon, Pepsia forms a relationship with Princess Starbutt, a magical talking horse.
    • Phobia and Mania end up getting together after both of them break up with klepto sequentially.
  • Jerkass Gods: This is loosely based on Greek Mythology after all, so the decanonised volume which heavily featured them played into it.
    • Zeus drives Herakles mad and makes him slaughter his family, seemingly for fun.
    • Ares, being the War God, naturally enjoys creating wars.
  • Kick the Dog: That's how you know that Hydro the Healer is a "bad dude".
  • Kid from the Future: Philia claims to be the child of Phobia and Klepto from the future.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Check it out, those guys are fortuitously discussing subject matter pertinent to our current task."
  • Lethal Chef: Phobia. She's apparently managed to keep herself and Pepsia from dying for the last seven years, but Pepsia has no idea that the squirrel her mother is using is out of place, and the best the judges can say for Phobia's dish is that she was "generous with the salt".
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The appropriately-named chapter "Not Everything's About Phobia".
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Phobia, Philia is your daughter.
  • Mama Bear: Seen toward the end of the Nightsorrow arc.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Phobia is an aggressive Action Girl hunter who loves meat so much she considers any food without it to be utter crap. Klepto is a Non-Action Guy and an experienced cook whose meals usually don't contain much meat. When they're out drinking, she and Philia make fun of him for choosing a drink as girly as Beijing Peach.
  • Masculine Lines, Feminine Curves: Accentuated in the "How to draw GastroPhobia" filler strips.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The thieving slave is named Klepto.
    • The ghost Pneuma's name means "spirit" in Greek.
    • The healer Hydro keeps a huge aquarium in his shack and wanted to turn Phobia into a mermaid for some reason.
  • Meaningful Rename: The former Gastro changes her name to Pepsia after determining that she wants to be a girl.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: She forms a romantic relationship with Klepto, but breaks up with him because he laughed at her over a probably exaggerated story involving Phobia's apparent mother.
  • Never My Fault: Played for laughs. Nightsorrow always blames Phobia for anything that goes wrong and involves her even if it was entirely his fault, saying that she betrayed him.
  • No Indoor Voice: Philia. "I AM WHISPERING!"
  • Non-Action Guy: Klepto, made even worse due to his being around Phobia.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Parodied; Pneuma tries to do this, but can't think of any ways that she and Phobia are alike.
  • Oh, My Gods!: The names of Greek gods are often said in vain. Hell, even the trope name is said in one strip.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The Mockingbird princess' Southern US accent comes and goes.
  • Orwellian Retcon: Parts of Chapter 9 were redone because the author was unsatisfied with them. This included renaming the substance that allows time travel from "Samsonite" to "Chronologium".
  • Other Me Annoys Me: When Philia and Philia from an alternate timeline (started by Lord Nightsorrow's manipulation) meet each other, they immediately hit off pretty well.
    Philia-from-the-Future: (thoughts) Gods I hate myself.
  • Our Gods Are Different:
    • There are normal gods, which include the Greek and Mayan pantheons, as well as at least one netherbeast god.
    • There is an older class of deities called the Titans.
    • The Old Ones are the most powerful beings known, to which even the gods pale in comparison. Their motives are beyond the understanding of lesser beings and they are believed to originate from a previous iteration of the universe.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: She got better.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Krphxyzwlps, a giant sapient centipede with the ability to shapeshift into anything with the same body mass, including several separate creatures.
  • Paradox Person: Philia is worried about being this.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Phobia to Mania, while covering her with a tablecloth, after the later shapeshifted from a deer to a naked human.
  • Precision F-Strike: Implied by a "censored" bubble.
  • Proud Warrior Race Girl: Phobia, naturally. "A warrior does not wash dishes."
  • Public Domain Character: Phobia is an Amazon (the Greek myth version), with storylines being based off Greek Mythology stories. Her brother Alcides is implied to be Hercules, as Alcides was Hercules' birth name. The first 12 chapters are very loosely based on the 12 Labors of Hercules.
The about page now adresses this. It says it's pronounced as Ker-fixy-whelps. The z is silent.

Alternative Title(s): Gastro Phobia


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