Sparklecare is a very bright webcomic created by a cartoonist named Trip that started in August 2016. It follows the adventures of a cat named Barry Ill as he traverses the magical, vividly colored (and apparently illegal) Sparklecare Hospital, run by the utterly bonkers Dr. Doom and his second-in command apparent surgeon Dr. Cuddles. Don't let the Diabetes-esque color scheme fool you, though. This series is dark. Really dark. Like, vomiting fetuses and implied necrophilia dark. Just saying!
Please note that since the comic started so recently, and there is much about the plot, setting, and characters that we don't know yet, some information is subject to change.
The comic began its second chapter in May 2017, and it's still ongoing. It updates every Monday with four new pages a month.
On her YouTube channel, Lps666, Trip started a series of spinoff videos called "barrys notes", in which Barry writes down descriptions of each doctor.
It's worth noting that Trip is aware of this page, and she was very happy to see it!
This webcomic includes examples of:
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Everyone is a weird color.
- Ambiguously Gay: Word of God states Dr. Doom is most likely gay. It was later clarified that "being gay" doesn't mean much in the context of Dr. Doom, since he's genderless.
- Arc Number: 666. It is found in the background of some scenes, as the number for many doors in the hospital, and as the price tag on President Meat's meat packet head.
- Bat Out of Hell: Invoked with Kid Dies, a cute little bat girl. It's just her luck that she has a disease that causes her to vomit blood and dead fetuses. This scares the crap out of Barry the first time he's unlucky enough to witness it.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: On Dr. Cuddles's wall is a degree in Sparkle Cardiology, Eyestrainology, Sparkology, and... A used bandaid collection.
- Big Friendly Dog: Nurse Kills, who resembles a dog, is the most genuinely benevolent character so far.
- Cartoon Creature: Most characters are anthro animals, but with a few weird characteristics. Dr. Doom, on the other hand, is all over the place. He's a furry white creature with enormous round ears, four arms and four legs, and more.
- Circus of Fear: The Big Frightening Loud Circus Carnival of Death is an aptly named circus that's apparently part of the hospital. There, Barry almost burns to death in an accident involving a fire ring.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Nurse Kills is this for Dr. Doom.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: President Meat, the owner of Sparklecare Hospital, makes everything bright and colorful as a lame attempt to hide how horrible the place really is, and gleefully admits that his attempts to make things better are half-assed. He also proves to be very Faux Affably Evil, spending most of the time we see him gloating and tormenting Barry over his misery.
- Crapsaccharine World: Despite all the bright colors and friendly characters in Sparklecare Hospital, it's a really messed-up place with some sick minds on the staff, as well as disturbing diseases and treatments.
- Deadly Prank: Dr. Sunshine has this "really funny" prank where they stuff a heavily oxidized razor blade into a cookie and give it to a newcomer.
- Deathbringer the Adorable:
- Despite his name, Dr. Doom is one of the friendliest characters Barry meets. Even if he does kill a patient every now and again...
- Same can be said for Nurse Kills, who's overall just a good person.
- Deliberately Monochrome: For the first few pages, Barry (as well as all other Gray-Heart victims) is this.
- Driven to Suicide: Lunesta offers Barry cyanide pills to help him counteract the nightmare-inducing pills she force-fed him earlier. After everything he's been through, he's willing to accept them.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Beeps tenfold. Almost every line of dialogue is rife with w's and da's.
- Exotic Eye Designs:
- Dr. Cuddles not only has heart-shaped pupils, but the light reflected in his eyes has a spiral shape.
- Dr. Doom's pupils are shaped normally (if abnormally big), but the light reflected in his eyes forms heart shapes. When Barry wants to commit suicide, making Doom heartbroken, the light in his eyes forms the shape of broken hearts.
- Flatline: Barry's heart stops out of fear the first time he meets Dr. Doom. Fortunately, Dr. Cuddles revives him with a Magical Defibrillator.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Dr. Cuddles is probably the most aggressive and violent doctor Barry's met up to this point. He's also pink.
- Funny Background Event: All over the hospital, there are posters with bright colors and smiley faces that display hilariously disturbing messages. Among these are:"Smile. It only hurts for a second."
"Welcome to the Emergency Room! Enjoy your stay!"
"Smile! Ur DEAD."
"You aren't pretty on the inside. Appearances are FAKE and meaningless."
- Genial Giraffe: Nurse Shortnick is an anthropomorphic giraffe, and one of the few friendly staff members at Sparklecare Hospital. In the one scene of the comic she has appeared in thus far, she is shown taking good care of Kid Dies, a young patient. In the spinoff "Barry's Notes" videos, she states that she is friends with everyone.
- Grotesque Cute: Considering how cute most of the doctors at Sparklecare are, it's easy to forget that almost all of them are Mad Doctors who torment or kill their patients with no remorse.
- HeelFace Turn: At the end of Chapter 1, we see that Dr. Doom has finally given up his psychopathic ways and genuinely wants to be friends with Barry. After all the horrors Barry has been through, he seems very grateful to finally have a real friend.
- I Love the Dead: It's heavily implied that the mortician, Dr. Livings, regularly has sex with the corpse of his late husband, Wunce Livings.
- Let's Meet the Meat: President Meat has a meat packet for a head.
- Limited Wardrobe: We take a look inside Dr. Doom's closet and see that all of his dresses have the same design.
- Magical Defibrillator: When Barry's heart stops after Doom accidentally scares him, Dr. Cuddles revives Barry with a defibrillator.
- Mature Animal Story: Despite being a comic about colorful Funny Animals and Cartoon Creatures, Sparklecare takes pride in being as gory and disturbing as possible.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Kitter Catter is a cross between a cat and a caterpillar.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Dr. Doom has 4 arms and 4 legs. Although it's kind of ambiguous how innocent he is, his limbs are definitely the creepiest parts of his design.
- Nervous Wreck: Dr. Suffuzz is constantly trembling and stuttering, and always has a distressed look on his face. The reason for this is currently unknown.
- Number of the Beast: The number 666 pops up in many places around the hospital, just to hammer in that this is a Crapsaccharine World.
- Only Sane Man: While Barry is certainly not the only one who dislikes the crazy doctors at Sparklecare, he's the only one who reacts with as much horror as one would expect.
- Pet the Dog:
- Dr. Doom, despite being one of the characters who torments Barry, seems genuinely sad when Barry asks Lunesta for her cyanide pills, and refuses to let him take them. However, this may just be because he wants to continue torturing Barry.
- He later outright saves Barry's life from Dr. Memey's assistant. Although he does say that Barry has "still got a lot of excitement ahead", so the theory about him simply wanting to continue tormenting Barry seems likely.
- Punny Name: Barry Ill, as in "very ill", because he is a patient at the titular hospital. This also applies to You Knee, which is "Uni" when said out loud.
- Putting the "Medic" in Comedic: The comic takes place at a Crapsaccharine World hospital where demented doctors treat patients for horrifying diseases (and inflict some). As you can guess, it's filled with Black Comedy.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Most of the nurses seem to be genuinely caring, especially Nurse Kills, who defends and tries to comfort Barry.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Zig-zagged with Dr. Doom and his big red eyes. Sure, he's a Mad Doctor, but he's also a cheerful Cloudcuckoolander.
- Repulsive Ringmaster: Downplayed with Lizerd, the ringmaster of the Big Frightening Loud Circus Carnival of Death, who seems more careless and apathetic than downright malicious.
- Shipper on Deck: Pretty much Miley Smiley to a tea. Apparently, she ships Barry and Doom... That is until she's thrown into a garbage disposal.
- Stylistic Suck: The Tumblr page the comic was originally hosted on can be described as this. Complete with obnoxious colors, weird emblems (one of which involving Internet Explorer), and a sign reading "welcom!"
- Suddenly Voiced: The "Barry's Notes" video series gives cast members (computerized) voices. Of note: Dr. Livings has a Russian accent.
- Token Good Teammate: Not all of the staff members are part of the madness at Sparklecare Hospital. All of the nurses, especially Nurse Kills, seem genuinely caring. There's also Dino Soprus, Lunesta's assistant, who is clearly not on board with Lunesta poisoning Barry.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The doctors at the titular hospital give their patients all sorts of horrifying, and often deadly, "treatments". However, the "Staff Rules" poster in Lunesta's office states that "harming children is FORBIDDEN". This seems to be supported by the fact that Kid Dies, the only child patient we've seen thus far, is treated nicely by Nurse Shortnick, although that's probably just because Shortnick is one of the Token Good Teammates.