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Webcomic / Space Boy

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Amy and Oliver

Amy is from a mining colony in deep space. Born with Synesthesia, Amy has always found that people come in 'Flavors.' Her mom is minty, her dad is hot chocolate, and her best friend is pineapple. After her father loses his job, her family is cryogenically frozen for the 30 year trip to Earth. Upon arrival, she is tired, unhappy and has much to complain about the strange new world she lives in and the friends she had to leave behind. After finally attending school and coming to grips with her new situation, she starts to open up and make new friends. It seems like Amy could enjoy a relatively normal life on Earth after all. And then she meets Oliver, a person with no Flavor.

Space Boy is a webcomic created by Stephen Mccranie, which can be read on Webtoons, and paperback volumes are available to purchase. It started in March 2015 and is currently on its fifth (and possibly final) story arc. The wiki can also be found here.

Space Boy shows examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence: Why does Amy become interested by Oliver in the first place? His lack of a flavor.
  • Action Survivor: Amy is able to survive on her own after Saito tries to hunt her down to kill her, and is even capable of fighting off a robot drone sent to do the job before hand.
  • Advanced Tech 2000: The FCP's signature blaster is called the "Ion Blaster 1100".
  • Affably Evil: Langely and the FCP, for the most part. They don't see themselves as bad guys and are perfectly willing to talk things out with Amy - Langely is even pretty polite about it - but they're also okay with imprisoning juveniles and sending drones to kill people. It's hinted that they'd be more Affable and less Evil if it wasn't for He who Wander's influencing the FCP by tainting everyone's essence and bringing out the worst in them.
    • He who Wanders begins to develop a very hip and friendly attitude towards Amy to make her feel more amicable towards him in the third arc and drops most of his cryptic prophet act. This doesn't stop him from playing with her emotions and letting her succumb to a panic attack when she refuses his help during a mental episode. This is still the same guy who tried to possess Oliver, after all.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Oliver's secret transmission to HQ during the dance. Amy gets kidnapped, Oliver says that if she gets hurt in any way, that Langley and the others will never see the inside of the Artifact. He even says he'll go right past it into a black hole, before saying that he loves Amy.
  • Alpha Bitch: Downplayed and deconstructed with Cassie, a pushy but otherwise reasonable highschool girl at the center of her circle of friends who doesn't realize how hurtful she can be to others. Her attitude ends up costing Cassie her relationship with her boyfriend, which forces her into some self-reflection.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Saito needs authorization to kill people, therefore she can't threaten people with the lives of others. Pets on the other hand... like Tammie’s puppy, not so much.
  • Anime Hair: How in the world do Amy's pigtails stand up like that?
  • Arc Symbol: The teardrop shape of the Artifact, which is reflected on Amy's yellow shirt and the stylized orange drops that appear when Oliver shows a bit of his real personality. Amy's impossible pigtails take a loose teardrop shape, too.
    • The bird that flies past the train window when Amy first arrives on Earth, which tends to show up at moments of transition.
    • Jemmah and Amy's smiley face with the tongue sticking out. Amy draws it on Oliver's hand when they first meet.
  • Arc Words: "In space, the stars don't twinkle."
    • "I'm glad you exist,'' as well.
  • Art Evolution: McCranie's artstyle is very simplistic at first. Amy's colors are muted and she has dot-eyes. It transitions into something much more Animesque partway through the first arc.
  • Art Shift: Some of the lil’ Amy strips play around with the art style. One Christmas special was made from pictures of actual clay and paper crafts the author created to make everything look like something from a stop motion Christmas movie.
  • Augmented Reality: The Netgear glasses that everyone wears are essentially AR smartphones that basically everyone on Earth wears.
  • Babies Ever After: Jemmah and Dylan grew up, got married and had kids in the thirty years Amy was asleep.
  • Bad Liar: Amy is this.
  • Bland-Name Product: “Puffy Pets: Love is Magic” is a saccharine tv show about a bunch of plushy animals who live together and learn life lessons. Oliver’s an avid watcher of it, apparently.
  • Blood from the Mouth: After drinking some tea offered by Langley, Saito begins coughing. The coughs severe, she coughs up blood, she realizes exactly what she drank, but it's too late...
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: After Saito threatens to have Amy killed when she and Oliver begin to get close, he ends their friendship immediately, with absolutely no warning and without giving a reason.
  • Break the Cutie: Tamara's interrogation from Saito. She ends up selling Amy out under the threat of having her dog killed. She feels pretty awful about it. Later still when she's given a memory wipe of the entire incident from the FCP, she wallows about depressed and confused - she knows something's wrong, but nobody else believes what she tells them and think she's still in shock.
  • Breather Episode: On occasion, there are Lil'Amy episodes, which feature Amy as a child on the space colony.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Oliver is the Brooding Boy to Amy's Gentle Girl.
  • Cast Of Snow Flakes: Everyone has a distinct face, hairstyle, and body type, and yes, sometimes we’re told what their flavor is.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: In the second episode, Amy's teacher instructs the class about The Artifact, which ends up being the driving factor in the overarching plot.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Amy has yellow, and Oliver blue.
  • Death by Irony: Saito, the commander with poison in her flavor, gets poisoned by her boss. Whoops.
  • Death Faked for You: After Amy is taken and recruited to the FCP, they cover it up by claiming she died in a kidnapping attempt. When Amy finds out, she is understandably not happy about it.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The entire second arc of the story is devoted to Oliver's family and the fellow passengers of the Arno, who all ended up dead.
  • Emotional Whiplash: Episode 264 goes from Qiana admitting that she sees Amy as a friend to Oliver accidentally making Amy cry.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone can tell that Amy has a crush on Oliver.
  • Evil Smells Bad: An interesting twist: Amy's synesthesia means that for particularly evil people like Saito and Langley, she tastes poison. This is actually a sign of the Wanderer's influence over people; copper and iodine tainting someone's 'flavor' means he has some sort of hold over them. Saito had it particularly bad given how her entire flavor was overpowered.
    • Subverted for Mr Silber from the FCP. He does the FCP's dirty work and covers up incidents, and might even play a part in 'erasing' certain people... but he has no poison in his flavor. Everything he does is completely his own choice, with no outside influence.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire first story arc - Amy's family coming to Earth up till the incident at the School Dance- takes place within a few months. Likewise, The second story arc takes place over a couple weeks. The comic has over 200 episodes, with just around eighty for each story arc.
  • Fiery Redhead: Cassie. According to the little flavor cards the author wrote up for everyone, she's "ready to fight her her friends. Or maybe just ready to fight."
  • Foregone Conclusion: We already know Oliver is The Sole Survivor of his ship. So when we finally get his backstory, it's pretty clear everyone is going to die.
  • Freudian Excuse: Cassie realizes her horrible relationship in middle school has contributed more to her combative personality than she thought. It's what eventually breaks David and Cassie up.
  • The Future: A bit over a thousand years into the future, which may or not be an Alternate Universe given how strange the geography is: Vietnamerica, Britaly, Nihongolia, Babylogypt.
    • Dr. Lesnik's work with ancient "Babylogyptian" implies the story takes place in an alternate universe, or an alternate history.
  • Generation Ship: The Arno. Designed for a multi-hundred year journey into deep space in pursuit of an alien artifact. It didn't make it.
  • Geniuses Have Multiple PhDs: The prosthetist Dr. Jonathan Kim reminds Oliver that he has three PhDs when he doubts his advice.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Due to her sweet, naive nature, Amy is underestimated often. But she's much more intuitive than she appears and gets herself out of more than a few scrapes when her life is at risk.
    • Downplayed for that last part: He Who Wanders ‘grafted’ a survival instinct into Amy to ensure she would not die until he was done with her.
  • Good Parents: Amy's mom and dad; stern when they need to be but abundantly loving of their daughter. They’re absolutely devastated when Amy goes missing.
    • Jemmah and Dylan to their girls.
    • Subverted with Dr. Kim. He split up with his wife after their own son died. He still wants to be a good mentor for Oliver, but he's not always up to the challenge.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • The First Contact Projec regularly deposes of anyone who learns even a little bit about Oliver or what actually happened on the Arno. Commander Saito threatens to have Amy killed if Oliver tells her any more information about him. As soon as Amy sees the RFP plugged in, the FCP begins actively trying to murder her. Ironically, they assume she knows what she does because she's a highly trained counteragent of some kind - not just, you know, a friendly person who cares about Oliver.
    • Qiana was forced to stay at the FCP headquarters under Saito's care after she witnesses the accident that vaporized the Arno's crew.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Poor Zeph... Amy's pretty oblivious to his attempts at getting her to notice him, and she doesn't quite realize that him inviting her to the school dance is a romantic gesture.
  • Human Popsicle: Cryogenic freezing is necessary for long space voyages. The FCP also holds long-term prisoners in cryosleep, including Qiana's father.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Saito has a painful coughing fit after her tea is poisoned, followed by Blood from the Mouth - and she literally drops dead.
  • I Have Your Wife: Amy's fate at the end of the first arc; she's captured by the FCP.
  • Informed Attribute: Apparently Amy has a faint "off-world accent". Cassie thinks it's cute.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Sixteen-year-old Amy, and Jemmah, who is around forty-six by the time they get in contact again. Jemmah is still thrilled to hear from Amy and they fall right back into their old friendship.
    • Also, Amy and Pammy, an elderly woman from the reintegration facility.
  • Lost Common Knowledge: Among the things Amy has no knowledge of: baseball, snails, windmills.
    • When he was ten, Oliver had no idea what wood was. His father gave him a wooden case with a compass in it as a gift. He had to tell him that the case itself wasn't the present.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Amy, of all people.
    Riggs: For this to happen tonight of all nights, when we're moving your lab and so vulnerable to espionage... It's too much of a coincidence. If you ask me this is the work of a covert ops specialist with years of field experience.
    Amy: (thinking) ...or a scared high schooler with a bunch of dumb luck...
  • Mystical White Hair: Oliver. His father had it too.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: When she was just a middle schooler, Cassie was exploited and abused by a boy three years older than her. In fear of someone hurting her and the people she cared about again, she became extremely controlling in her relationships, going so far as to having problems with what her boyfriend David chose to eat in the cafeteria. This results in their breakup, which made Cassie realize that she was dealing with her trauma the wrong way.
  • Nice Girl: For all her flaws and confusions, Amy is above all an incredibly empathetic and sweet girl.
  • No New Fashions in the Future: Averted. Some styles look similar to modern fashion, but other outfits look completely different.
  • Parents as People: Amy's parents, her mom in particular, aren't afraid to scold her and show some of the typical parental tropes, but their love and care for their daughter is genuine and it's easy to tell they love their daughter very much.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dr. Kim. He stops Oliver from telling Amy the truth about himself, but it's in the interest of her own safety and he's completely right.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: After a fashion. Oliver's not a robot, but he's remotely controlling a full-body prosthetic that is so convincing that Amy has taken his hand and not been able to tell it's artificial. All of Dr. Kim's creations are this.
  • Scenery Porn: Wide shots almost always tend to be this. The first panel of Episode 7 is a good example.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Rather successfully averted - humans had to develop a new kind of elemental fuel to send rockets across the galaxy, and even then the trip takes decades, for which passengers must be in cryogenic stasis.
  • Shipper on Deck: Amy ships Tamara and Schafer. It sails.
  • Sole Survivor: Oliver, after everyone else on the Arno, meaning everyone he had ever known his whole life, are vaporized when the ship's shield generator failed.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: In Episode 18, Amy describes Oliver's stare by saying "I'm struck with the sense that he's not looking at me. He's looking through me, at something far away."
  • Title Drop: During Oliver's flashback, we learn that Space Boy is the name of a hero he would pretend to be as a kid.
  • Too Unhappy to Be Hungry: Happens numerous times to Amy after she joins the FCP, particularly after sleepless nights due to panic attacks.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: On the Arno, Biggy cuts a wire in a dead fuse box which sets off a dangerous electric shockwave, which not only very likely kills him, but speeds up the blackout that ends up destroying the Arno's shield generator, which results in the death of every passenger on board.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Saito seems to have no issue with killing Amy. In fact, the FCP in general is willing to kill anyone, child or adult, who learns too much.