Sinful is a comic (currently on hiatus) about a laughably lazy and incompetent demon and how he still manages to fit in a medieval village, thanks to a hitherto unknown talent for coming across as a merely wish-washy, but well-intentioned, human.
Herbert - his alias while in the human world - had, along with most other demons, the mission of corrupting as many humans as possible. His chosen method was to deflower virgins. Although normally a fine pursuit for a demon, Herbert's error lay in the fact that he used his powers to compel them into having sex with with him, rather than seducing them — making them rape victims rather than sinners. As a result (much to his consternation), he hasn't sent any soul to hell in several thousand years.
His superiors have decided the only suitable punishment for him was oblivion, and thus Herbert found himself using gray cells he didn't even know he had in order to escape his coworkers - until he accidentally crossed the boundaries of a village protected by a holy tree. He managed to survive the entry, somehow, and was taken in by Nancy, the local innkeeper's daughter. And since no other demon seems willing to walk in after him, he decided to hang around for as long as possible, even though he's rendered completely powerless while in the Holy Birch Village.
As of September 2011, the comic is in hiatus.
This Web-comic provides examples of:
- Accidental Hero: Herbert's attempt at coercing Salome to have sex with him is interrupted by a demon, who Herbert accidentally defeats by throwing mushrooms picked near the Holy Birch at him. Salome, in her addled state of mind, mistakes this (and throwing his body upon hers) for a genuine attempt at protecting her, which also leads to Herbert being mistaken for a hero by the village.
- Ambition Is Evil: Beatrice wants to take over the inn and turn it into the cornerstone of a vast business empire. That's good! She also hates her cousin and wants to make her a menial servant. That's bad. And she wanted to brainwash and enslave Theo, and probably wants to do the same to Herbert. That's...also bad?
- Ascended Demon: Shown in a dream-flashback. However, so far Herbert has shown no regrets or a desire to Atone at all.
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Herbert. He pretends to be a human witch-hunter.
- Blind Without 'Em: Jerry.
- Blood Magic: Beatrice has collected some of Herbert's blood, and seems to be planning on doing...something...with it.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Herbert likes to address the audience.
- Charm Person: One of Herbert's powers.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Nancy.
- Color Failure: A favorite tactic of Herbert's whenever facing an Oh, Crap! situation.
- Creative Sterility: No matter how closely he follows the recipe, Herbert's cooking efforts always fall short because they're lacking the human touch.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Herbert is a self-serving idiot, but when properly motivated does show genuine strength and cunning.
- Evil Redhead: Beatrice.
- Femme Fatale: Beatrice.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: When Herbert is using his powers... or when he's pissed (though in these cases it might be more of a visual shorthand).
- Good Hurts Evil: The presence of holy items exerts an inimical force upon evil beings, which seems to based both on the power of the item and the power of the being. Even normal people have difficulty approaching the Holy Birch, for example. Herbert can only survive being in the same village with it because he's an extremely weak demon (and even this was evidently a fluke).
- Healing Factor: Herbert's got one, but being in the Birch's presence has put it in the negatives — he actually heals more slowly than a human...and trying to force it doesn't go too well.
- Horny Devils: Herbert.
- Hot Witch: Beatrice.
- The Ingenue: Nancy, right down to the Single Woman Seeks Good Man part of the trope. (She doesn't know any better, after all.)
- In Vino (And Magic Shawl) Veritas
- Jerkass: Theo.
- Kissing Cousins: Theo and Nancy. Well, for a while.
- Miss Conception: Nancy did not make the connection between the things Theo forced her to do and the condition which Beatrice treated her for, chalking it up to strange berries. That's...probably for the best.
- Ms. Fanservice: Beatrice.
- Mushroom Samba: The holy birches have a peculiar effect on normal people if they linger around them too long, leading to hallucinations and visions. The effect on Herbert verges onto Disney Acid Sequence territory.
- The Nondescript: Herbert actually went to a lot of trouble to perfect his human guise while on the run.
- Papa Wolf: You don't want to let Odessa see you hurt Nancy.
- Pinball Protagonist: At the moment Herbert doesn't have any plans or goals beyond hiding and tricking one of the womenfolk into getting into his pants.
- Poke the Poodle: Herbert's brand of evil. He's genuinely callous, spiteful and two-faced, but his incompetence and the need to maintain a friendly façade mean he actually does more good than harm sometimes.
- Rape as Drama
- Secret Identity: The village is unaware that Herbert's a demon, and that Beatrice is a witch. Beatrice's mother kept her own nature as a witch a secret from her own sister, with evident success.
- Secret Keeper: Herbert and Beatrice for each other.
- Shapeshifting: Among Herbert's
fewgreatest abilities. Running Gag aside, may actually be his greatest ability, given how much practice he's gotten with it...and how weak he's implied to be otherwise.
- Something Completely Different: Interlude 2 — after Chapter 7 — is in the style of a Text Parser Interactive Fiction game, with the artist letting the viewers suggest branches of the plot development. There's two different games on the two sites the author is posting.
- Sympathetic Magic: Beatrice's plans seem to involve using Nancy's hair for this.
- Beatrice enlists Herbert to pull some shenanigans on some masonry being used on the inn.
- Shout-Out: To Saint Seiya and Final Fantasy VII.
- The Ditz: Nancy.
- Too Dumb to Live: Herbert keeps thinking with the wrong head.
- Villain Protagonist: Herbert's been raping virgins for several thousand years, and doesn't plan to stop.
- Yaoi Guys: Terry and Jerry, two village dwellers that are way past their primes.