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Webcomic / Scurry

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Stop, hey, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down!

Scurry is a webcomic scripted and illustrated by Mac Smith that went online on Sunday 17 January 2016. The story involves a colony of mice who struggle to survive amid the ruins of a desolate suburb. Not helping are feral cats and other hazards. The main protagonist is Wix, a veteran scrounger, aided by the amiable rat Umf and beautiful white mouse Pict (daughter of the colony leader). Well above average as far as visuals are concerned.

In 2016, the author ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund print copies of the first volume.

Not related to the webcomic Scurry & Cover, which is a different story entirely.

Scurry contains the following tropes:

  • After the End: Humanity has disappeared for some reason, leaving empty homes, decaying cities, lots of hungry cats, and one bugfuck insane pack of wolves the leader of which hints at knowing why the world ended.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: There are wolves in the woodlands that border the decaying houses. Wix mentions on page 45 that he pointedly avoids the woods, since "[the cats] won't go there either."
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The predators start out this way. However, the Witches, a trio of vixens with a mysterious agenda, are very helpful, as is a Mr. Exposition opossum. The Witches save Wix, and go out of their way to help arm and direct Wix to Pict so he can defend her from Gorgon. Then they kill the boss raven before he can warn Erebus. The opossum reveals what happened to the world and the nature of the Guardian.
  • Animal Eyes: Most of the characters have eyes that look like their real-world counterpart save for Erebus' Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Pretty much everywhere; the animals all follow classic stereotypes: Savage Wolves, Cunning Like a Fox, Predators Are Mean, etc.
  • Animalistic Abomination: Most of the predators look like Nightmare Fueled horrors, but Erebus, the mad alpha wolf, embodies this completely. Take a good look at the YMMV page. It's revealed that he was once an ordinary wolf, but survived both a nuclear explosion AND the subsequent fallout. The combination twisted him into the abomination that he became.
    • What Titan becomes after he is killed - a hellcat Spirit Advisor to Wix.
  • Artistic License Biology: When Wix inflicts Eye Scream on Gorgon, he keeps his eye closed even though as a snake he has no eyelids. He also, somehow, has actual teeth.
  • Bad Boss: Erebus, and how. Any incidence of You Have Failed Me, or even perceived weakness, is rewarded by being mauled to death by your own packmates and Eaten Alive.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: In chapter nine, Wix and Pict face off against Resher and his goons as the colony's house burns down around them.
  • Berserk Button: Anytime Erebus sees what he perceives as weakness within his pack - injury, illness, it doesn't matter. The results are immediately and horribly fatal for whoever he's identified.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just as the raven cult attack Wix and Pict to kill, The beavers - and Snag - counterattack them en-masse, resulting in another Curb-Stomp Battle and the ravens fleeing for their lives.
  • Big Good: The mysterious Guardian of the forest a female grizzly bear, whose absence caused by the death of her son prompts Erebus and his pack to move in. The opossum and the Witches seem to know the Guardian personally.
    • As well, Atlas the moose. When Wix asks if the monstrous cervine intended to eat him, he laughs and says there are far better things to eat — then offers him a ride to find Pict. Even Erebus won't mess with him - and one overeager Red Shirt from his pack demonstrates why.
  • Black-and-White Morality: As straight up heroic Low Fantasy, there isn't a whole lot of grey.
  • Bones Do Not Belong There: Scurry has a mouse skull as its logo. It includes ear bones, which mice don't have. Its right ear (viewer's left) has two notches in it, very similar to the two Ear Notches that main character Wix has.
  • The Caligula: The king of the beaver is shown to be insane with ramblings and paranoia about the flood, which isn't helped by the raven who had been manipulating him into building a (weak) dam by playing on his fear.
    • Later it's heavily implied that he was driven mad and blind by witnessing the nuclear detonation.
  • Cats Are Mean: All the cats are shown as dangerous predators that take lurid delight in stalking and killing mice.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: The Witches. They see Wix as a noble knight and Atlas his steed and are instrumental in getting Wix to Pict after the flood, armed and ready to fight. They also show Cunning Like a Fox when they target and kill the raven leader before he can report the mice's survival to Erebus.
    • The wild mice also qualify. They attack Atlas thinking he's a wolf, putting him in the silly position of having to fight off a pack of mice while trying not to hurt any of them.
  • Creepy Crows: A flock of ravens serve as the eyes and ears to Erebus's pack and plan on bringing down the beaver dam for the wolves. And if that wasn't enough they are also a death cult who believe Erebus to be a Dark Messiah who will feed on the dying world one last time and leave them the scraps.
  • Creepy Twins: Creepy triplets in the case of the vulpine Witches. Ultimately subverted, as they are very helpful to both Wix and Pict, and seem opposed to Erebus and his pack.
  • Cruel Mercy: In-Universe, Erebus believes himself granting this to Wix. He makes no attempt to eat him. Instead, he gives Wix Evil Gloating about who and what he is and bids him leave before his pack returns. His final words, delivered with yet another Slasher Smile, are "See you soon."
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The few times there's a genuine battle, it tends to go in this direction. Titan gets lethally Curb Stomped by Erebus, but one of Erebus' Red Shirt wolves gets their turn when they attempt attacking Atlas solo.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The king of the beavers is finally killed off panel when the dam collapses on him.
  • Evil Laugh: Erebus has a truly nightmarish one and demonstrates it to Wix during a Villainous Monologue.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Wix, cornered by Titan and his Quirky Miniboss Squad, refuses to run and tells them to just get it over with. He's saved at the last second.
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response: Everyone knows that the woods are off limits, the domain of The Beast. Titan, utterly intent on revenge, ignores this and charges straight into the woods - and straight into Erebus' jaws.
  • Fragile Speedster: We don't yet know how strong Wix is compared to other mice, but against the cats? Definitely fragile.
  • Gentle Giant:
    • The rat Umf is almost double the size of Wix, but he's amiable and docile, so the mice accept him as a useful oddity. Like Atlas however, he can aggressive under the right circumstances.
    • The moose Atlas is a genial old fellow who allows Wix to ride on him though he's quite formidable when he needs to be.
  • Ghost Town: The unnamed suburb the colony lives in. It has long since been picked clean of anything the mice could eat and the people have been gone for a long, long time.
  • The Glomp: Umf the rat greets the mice Wix and Pict upon their return to the abandoned house on page 205. What's left of the mouse colony has presumed Wix and Pict had perished in the massed cat attack that had decimated so many others. Umf is understandably overjoyed to see these two alive and intact, so he welcomes them with a hearty glomp that takes them off their feet.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Most of the predators have this, but those giant blue eyes on the cover? They belong to Erebus, the alpha of the nearby wolfpack and the Big Bad of the series.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: All over the place, pretty much anytime something makes a kill. The worst is Erebus' pack mauling one of their own to death; there are Onomatopoeia of his screams as he's torn limb from limb and Eaten Alive.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Erebus has his pack kill any of their number who gets injured as he says it's weakness. When Erebus is wounded by Atlas, the pack turns on him and mauls him to death.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: The opossum interpreted humans rioting and nuclear war as a plague of madness and waging war on the stars themselves. She also believes the subsequent mushroom cloud and fallout to be great wolves of fire and the sky who's packs burned the cities and poisoned the woods.
  • Indentured Servitude: The mice offer this to the beavers in exchange for sanctuary from predators. The mad Beaver King agrees, manipulated by Nyll the raven to clear the way for Erebus and his pack.
  • Just Desserts: Nyll and Resher get eaten by the Witches and Nemesis, respectively.
  • Kidnapping Bird of Prey: In Chapter 3, Pict attempts to hide from the cats inside a fallen birdhouse. This by and large works fine, until Nemesis, a Harris' Hawk swoops down from the sky, grabs the birdhouse in its talons, and carries it and Pict away.
  • Large Ham: The opossum, especially when he launches into the story of the Guardian and the Witches.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: Erebus's pack eats one of their own after he breaks his leg trying to attack Atlas,saying he's no use to the pack anymore.
  • Mouse World: None of the comforts, but the mice have an organized system for scouting for food and scrounging necessities, and are based in an abandoned house.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Since the comic is done from a mouse's point of view, the already toothy predators look like things straight out of H. P. Lovecraft.
  • Mr. Exposition: The opossum that Wix and Pict find back in the suburb finally reveals the nature of the guardian and what happened to the world.
  • Nearly Normal Animal: None of the mice are clothed, and only Ork has a collar around her neck. Wix picks up a carry satchel from a dead mouse at one point.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: The Witches seem to have a Don Quixote complex when it comes to Wix and appear to help him as part of their madness. They prove far more cunning when they target and kill the raven flock leader before he can get back and warn Erebus of the mice's survival, aligning themselves firmly against Erebus and his pack.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Erebus the Mad Alpha definitely qualifies. He sees his purpose as devouring the living world, and not even his own pack are immune when they become injured or show the slightest weakness.
  • Orphaned Etymology: A few, due to the characters being animals. The witches, for instance, call Wix a knight, and tell him to "slay the dragon" and "rescue the damsel", concepts that are, of course, purely human in origin.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: The wolves in Erebus' pack stand in for orcs in the story, particularly when they start complaining that the Mad Alpha's not brought them to their promised feast.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: Wix manages to get Titan killed by leading him straight to the wolves. And then Erebus sees him...
  • Put on a Bus:Atlas. When the beaver dam breaks, the flood carries him off. Later pages report that he's alive but injured...and Erebus' pack is closing in on him.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The cats, as scary as they are, qualify as this. By the end of the first book, we meet the real Big Bad, Erebus the Mad Alpha wolf, and his cannibalistic wolfpack.
  • Red Shirt: Wix and Umf encounter the corpse of Seep, another scrounger mouse that got too curious about a trip-spring mousetrap. Another mouse named Ekt is mentioned as having died from ingesting poisoned bait.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Titan refuses to allow Wix to escape him a third time, and pursues the mouse past the back fence and into the woods, where no other cat dares go. Titan is almost immediately killed by Erebus.
  • Savage Wolves: A large wolf pack led by Erebus devours pretty much everything in their path. They've already eaten everything in their own forest and are now invading the current one for more.
  • Shout-Out: The trio of foxes, called the Witches, are an obvious Shout-Out to the Witches of Macbeth.
    • Nyll and the Beaver King are shout-outs to Grima Wormtongue and Denethor from The Lord of the Rings. Right down to the fact Nyll is working for the Big Bad to bring about the destruction of the world.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Wix is perceptive enough (probably via smell) to tell poisoned bait from that safe to eat, and this is how that's visualized for the comic.
  • Slasher Smile: Erebus, right after killing Titan, gives Wix an absolutely bloodcurdling one as he sees him. As if that isn't enough, when he sees Wix off, he's wearing one that Pennywise would have been proud of.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: A snake named Gorgon stalks the tiny white mouse Pict.
  • Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying: The wolf pack devours one of their own after they get injured. In reality wolves won't attack or abandon their sick and wounded packmates and will actually care for them till they recover.
  • Somewhere, an Ornithologist Is Crying: Nemesis is listed as a Harris' Hawk, but she looks like she's built like an eagle and is capable of carrying off a birdhouse, something no real-world Harris' Hawk could do. But it goes From Bad to Worse: Harris' Hawks hunt in flocks, just like wolves. Where is the rest of her flock?
  • Spirit Advisor: Wix gains an absolutely nightmarish one in the form of Titan wreathed in hellfire. As horrifying as he is, said Spirit Advisor helps Wix out more than once during his Darkest Hour.
  • The Reveal: The opossum finally reveals what happened to the world. A nuclear war, described as 'three great wolfpacks'. The nuclear fireballs were 'Fire Wolves' consuming human and animal alike. The second were the 'Sky Wolves' - fallout, which spread death wherever they went and killed the Guardian's son. The final wolfpack was Erebus the Mad Alpha's, Erebus somehow having survived both nuclear fire and radiation poisoning. The Guardian, a grizzly bear, took the death of her son very poorly and disappeared into her den, never to be seen again. The opossum finishes by saying that if the Guardian stays missing, Erebus will bring about the end of the world, just like the ravens said.
  • Time Abyss: Skoga, relatively speaking, that is. He's described as an ancient snapping turtle. Whilst that would mean he's only around 100 years old, it means he'd be more than 50-100 times as old as any mouse, who lives 2 years at most. Even wolves seldom live past a decade.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Subverted: Orim holds Pict back from the big expedition, not to protect her, but because he needed someone he could trust to stay behind and guard against any potential treachery from Resher.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Wix leads Titan right into the forest, where he promptly gets his throat torn out by Erebus.
  • Treacherous Advisor: The head raven Nyll is able to manipulate the beaver king due to his deteriorating mental state.
  • The Weird Sisters: The trio of foxes.
  • Wham Shot: Pict gets carried to the city by a Harris' Hawk, and finds it a flooded ruin.
  • The Worf Effect: Titan, the biggest and meanest of the cats, suffers a Neck Snap via Erebus at the end of chapter three.
  • You Are Too Late:
    • Pict manages to escape Resher's goons and goes to warn Wix's party that they're being sent into a feline ambush. She arrives to find only Wix and a badly-injured Kessel still alive.
    • In Chapter IX, Wix discovers that Master Orim has secretly been poisoned by Resher and stops Pict from accidentally giving him some more. But by this point, he's already ingested a fatal dose, and he succumbs to the poison regardless.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Said verbatim on page 212 by Resher to Kessel, after Kessel tries to redeem himself by arresting Resher. One of Resher's henchmice slays him seconds later.