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Webcomic / Soil That Binds Us

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"100 years ago, something SHITTY happened."
Soil That Binds Us is a paranormal fiction/fantasy webcomic written and illustrated by Tess Thompson. The first pages were released on May 30, 2017. The webcomic is currently ongoing, and has a steady update schedule of around four pages every Wednesday.

The story takes place in a world where children, known as Mediums, can see and interact with ghosts. Unfortunately, these children are walking ghost magnets that bring danger and harm wherever they go. Paranormal facilities, often shortened to just parafacilities, were made to prevent Mediums from causing destruction by teaching them to control their powers. These parafacilities also are searching for a cure, which means they have to use Mediums as test subjects. Enter the protagonist Petunia Null, who is planning their 99th escape attempt with their best friend Dandelion Tuft. The two are caught and ordered to be seperated. The next morning, Dandelion wakes up the find a hole in the wall and Petunia missing. Dandelion manages to escape and the kidnapped Petunia wakes up in an abandoned parafacility, where they recognizes their childhood friend, a ghost named Faye. Faye promises to help Petunia escape, but only if they “bind”, a process that links two individuals by giving the ghost access to a physical body and the human access to elemental powers. Dandelion manages to get to the abandoned parafacility and meets up with the now-bound Petunia and Faye. The three escape together, now on the run from the parafacilities.


The webcomic can be read here, and the official Tumblr here. Tess Thompson’s Tumblr can be found here and her Twitter here.

Due to the consistent updating schedule, be aware of possible unmarked spoilers.

Soil That Binds Us contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Pretty much every woman shown seems to be capable of self-defense, at the least.
  • Adults Are Useless: Played straight with Lenny, although not as much with the other parafacility workers.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Dandelion uses one to get into the abandoned parafacility where Petunia was.
  • all lowercase letters: Petunia, Faye, and Sunshine have consistently been depicted as speaking in all-lowercase — a contrast with most of the "Adult" characters.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Ghosts seem to have unusual colors of skin. Faye is a yellowish-orange, and Dees is a bright pink.
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  • Arc Number: Petunia & Dandelion are originally housed in Parafacility 303. Notably, Petunia first uses their powers on page 303.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Faye may be goofy, but she also has incredible power over fire.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Petunia has rather noticeable eyebrows.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Petunia, Dandelion, and Faye, respectively.
  • Caps Lock: Garbage Drinker's purple friend seems to enjoy LOUDLY OPINING about their DASTARDLY SCHEMES.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Purplish Petunia, green Dandelion (with a head of pale yellow/blond hair), and bright red Faye.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: How dangerous Mediums are is determined by color. Code green Mediums are harmless and code red Mediums are extremely dangerous. Code yellow is in the middle.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Implied to be common among Mediums, especially code reds.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Petunia, but they really have white hair. Buttons comes close, though her hair is more of a light pink.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dandelion. Other characters too, occasionally.
    Cornelia's notes on Dandelion: Worst of all, he is sassy.
  • Death Glare: A major one from Petunia on this page.
  • Disguised in Drag: Petunia's 99th escape plan has them wearing a suit pretending to be a male health inspector.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Faye dislikes being called her real first name Daisy, insisting it's "Just Faye."
  • Dream Land: "The Inbetween", the realm of the dead where Mediums go when they sleep. Formed of people's memory.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: See Disguised in Drag above.
  • Elemental Punch: Faye, being made of fire, can do this. Petunia seems to have access to this ability once bound with Faye.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Faye, being made of fire, claims she is strong against earth angels due to them being flammable. However, this means she is vulnerable to water.
  • Emotional Powers: Dandelion summons unhinged spirits when experiencing intense emotions.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Faye called Petunia "Tunie Fish" when they were younger. Dandelion also disdains the nickname "weed boy".
  • Escaped from the Lab: After spending most of their lives in parafacilities against their will, Dandelion and Petunia finally make it out after their 99th escape plan failed.
  • Extra Digits: A young Dandelion mentions having a sixth toe to Petunia during their first meeting.
  • Extreme Doormat: Pit.
  • Fat and Skinny: Petunia with both Dandelion and Faye.
  • Fiery Redhead: Faye. Bonus points for literally being made of fire.
  • Floral Theme Naming:
    • Petunia, Dandelion, Daisy, Posie... Faye even lampshades it at one point.
      Faye: 'Dandelion, Petunia, Daisy?' Is this a flower shop???
      Bold move, coming from a girl originally named Daisy Faye.
    • Posie protests that her name isn't a flower name, but her full name, Pomona, is the Roman goddess of fruitfulness, derived from the Latin for fruit, and thus still a plant name.
  • Freudian Excuse: Faye died pretty much immediately after she was born, so that's why she's so lively and desperate to get a physical body.
  • Friendship Trinket: Petunia and Dandelion have friendship bracelets.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It's not hard to make Dandelion upset.
  • Happy Rain: Petunia and Dandelion are very excited to see rain for the first time. They even start dancing.
  • Humanoid Abomination: A possible consequence of binding, especially for a long time.
  • I See Dead People: The one thing shared across all Mediums.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most of Dandelion's dialogue is sass and he's not afraid to let those working at the parafacility know how much he hates them. He still genuinely cares about Petunia, and shows his kinder side around them.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Lenny isn't smart, but truly cares about all the Medium children and tries his best to make sure they're comfortable living in the parafacility.
  • Meaningful Name: Petunias can represent resentment (which Petunia feels towards their parents) and "being with you is soothing" (their relationship with Dandelion and possibly Faye). Daisies can symbolize new beginnings (Faye binding with Petunia) and innocence (Faye's childish personality). Faye also sounds like fae, and fae were often portrayed as tricksters. See Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance above for Dandelion's example.
    • Luci, whose name is derived from the Latin for "light", is bound to a ghost named Sunshine.
  • Missing Mom: Unless it was her own mother who left her to die, this applies to Faye.
  • Mugged for Disguise: The health inspector. See Disguised in Drag above.
  • Mystical White Hair: Petunia and Pit. Apparently happens to those who wake up in the Inbetween, however Hanul still has black hair (though it is possible he dyes it). Buttons comes close, but hers has more of a pink tint to it. Posie shaves her white hair to avoid being recognised as a medium.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Angels are a Humanoid Abomination that are the result of a party being bound too long.
  • Parental Abandonment: Seems to be common among Mediums.
  • Pinky Swear: Petunia makes one with Faye, promising they'll try to bring Faye back to life.
  • Plague Doctor: The outfits of those working in parafacilities resemble this, mixed somewhat with a Hazmat Suit.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Petunia and Dandelion.
  • Power Parasite: The Raven Queen is said to steal the powers of other mediums.
  • Power Tattoo: After being bound, both parties receive a small marking somewhere on their body.
  • Powers via Possession: How binding works.
  • Punny Name: Dandelion is said to "grow like a weed".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Calm, collected Petunia is shown to be the only one capable of calming easily-agitated Dandelion.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Buttons shows genuine concern over the safety of Petunia and Dandelion. Absolutely averted with Dees.
  • The Smart Guy: Petunia has come up with 99 escape plans, and came very close to succeeding. Almost immediately after their 99th plan failed, they started working on a new one.
  • Stern Chase: Petunia, Dandelion, and Faye are running away from the parafacilities.
  • The Stoic: Petunia
  • 24-Hour Armor: Alice (Sunshine's old handler) wore a beekeeping suit for months — even slept in it — but she still died of her bee allergy, just like Sunshine had predicted.
  • Storybook Opening: The story starts with Petunia reading a book about the parafacilities, which gives a brief history on Mediums.
  • Symbiotic Possession: Petunia and Faye are on the road to becoming this.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: Part of the jailbirds' signature outfit. Several of their anti-ghost apparatuses have been shown to interface with the gloves. Inluding the tracker bands mediums are forced to wear — they can only be removed by someone wearing the gloves.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: Petunia and Dandelion during their years spent in parafacilities.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Longtime friends Petunia and Dandelion are joined by the spirit Faye. Subverted when it's revealed that Petunia had met Faye in the Inbetween when they woke there.
  • Wreathed in Flames: Faye.

Some ASSHOLE ripped open the veil that stood behind life and death.