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Webcomic / Spare Keys for Strange Doors

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Andrew: Obviously the first thing I did was panic. What was it? Burglars? Murderers? — Then I remembered I was already dead.

Spare Keys for Strange Doors is an episodic webcomic by Lucy Lyall (the artist behind Kaspall) relating various incidents in the lives of two local specialists in the magical, supernatural, and simply strange, Toby Hathaway and Marion Sark.

This work provides examples of:

  • Artificial Human: Phillippe. He's created by Trisha from mud, a wishlist and a magical stone.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Kill the Romance", Trisha's "perfect boyfriend" list.
  • Cats Are Magic: At the very least, Fat Cat (Toby and Marion's pet) can see Andrew-the-ghost (and be annoyed that he can't sit in the ghost's lap) and summon portals to go to a fairy dimension.
  • Children Are Special: Discussed: Not why some characters are allowed near the unicorn.
  • Flat "What": Marion, here, reacting to the unicorn.
  • Gaslighting: The Enchanter's Familiar, a parasitic entity that torments its victim into giving up on life before taking over their body. It appears as a phoenix-like creature, Riya (who'd had a relationship with another narcissistic jerk) beats the everloving hell out of the thing while clearly talking to her ex.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Marion Sark is not much for interacting with fellow human beings. Particularly before she's finished her breakfast.
  • Intro-Only Point of View: The first two stories are told from other points of view.
  • I See Dead People: Toby is able to see and communicate with the ghost of Andrew in the "After Death Hang-Ups" storyline; Marion can hear but not see ghosts.
  • Masquerade: A relatively low-key one, it seems. Toby and Marion have a good relationship with the local police.
  • Mind over Matter: Marion Sark has telekinesis. She can do it without using the Pstandard Psychic Pstance, but gesturing makes it easier.
  • Nature Spirit: One is encountered in "In at the Deep End", known in folklore a "Jenny Greenteeth".
  • Occult Detective: These are known as "specialists", in-universe, and it seems every town has one. Toby and Marion are one such pair.
  • Phoning the Phantom: In "After Death Hang-Ups", Toby does this with Andrew's ghost and lampshades how handy it is.
    Toby: I tell you, these things are great. Suddenly, I'm not talking to myself like a lunatic - I'm on the phone!
  • Quieting the Unquiet Dead: In "After Death Hang-Ups", Andrew stayed as a ghost so he could have an interesting experience. He gets that, but more importantly, it's a bit of companionship and reassurance from Toby and Marion that give him the courage to move on.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Toby Hathaway.
  • Tempting Fate: In "After Death Hang-Ups", Andrew's remark about the rot lizards being "a bit small."
  • Unfinished Business: Toby describes Andrew Cole as a "wanting something ghost".
  • Virgin Power: Discussed. Not why some characters are allowed near the unicorn.
  • Unicorn: Toby takes Marion to see one as a birthday gift. They can't come too near, though, because at least one of them has killed.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In "Kill the Romance", after the protagonists discover Trish killed Phillippe, two different measures are applied.
  • Wizarding School: When Loz from "In at the Deep End" asks if something like this is involved in learning magic, Marion's reply is, "No, absolutely not. You'd go to evening classes at the college."
  • You Can See Me?: Andrew Cole to Toby, in "After Death Hang-Ups".