Templar Arizona is a long form full page sepia toned webcomic by the artist C. Spike Trotman. The comic takes place in a fictional version of Arizona, in a city that, if it existed in our world, would be in or near the Navajo reservation and has a that-world-only river, the Phocas, cutting through it that has been dammed upstream to the point of being non-existent in the town itself.
All of this and everything else shown so far has been heavily implied to be relevant. Someday.
Although the comic takes place in arguably a fantasy world it is better described as Alternate History, one in which perhaps a few wars didn't go the same way as they did here, but the base culture and the basic foundations of reality are the same as in reality.
Self described as an exercise in decompressed storytelling, it has an in-comic timeline of less than a month not including the flashbacks and the intermissions that take place at unspecified times in the Canon. The comic is available for free online and print editions that can be bought direct from Spike and, for now, through Diamond publishing. Templar Arizona has won Web Cartoonist Choice Awards for Character Design and Character Writing.
In 2015, the comic got knocked offline by technical problems and is yet to be restored.
The chapters so far released are:
- 01 The Great Outdoors
- Intermission: The Sincerists
- 02 The Mob Goes Wild
- Intermission: Meet the Elliotts
- 03 And a Stick to Beat the Devil With
- Intermission: Little Cairo.
- 04 Trouble Every Day
- Intermission: Employee Apreciation
- 05 Lit
- 06: Creative Fiction
Templar Arizona contains examples of:
- Alternate History: At some point, possibly ongoing, there is or was a guerilla war in Australia between the descendants of the colonists and the natives. Word of God is that the Nile Revivalists were founded in 1911 as a reaction to British colonialism.
- Berserk Button:
- Don't try to dilute Barney John's movement with publicity stunts.
- Likewise, you do not mess with Gene's video games.
- Ben of all people who gauges out E.J.'s eye after E.J. pistol whips him.
- Blood Sport: Diesel, some kind of no-foul illegal street lacrosse/hockey/rugby hybrid
- Culture Clash: Tuesday and Moze when she finds out he has a child fiancee due to an Arranged Marriage back in Egypt that he's never actually met. Doesn't help that she's 11 although they won't actually get married until she's 18.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Andrew Pierce, Ben's editor, reveals himself as the king of this from page one:"If you ever hand me some fucking travesty about peyote and quaaludes and Mexican transvestites, I will strangle you like a goddamn parakeet. I will twist your head off. Clean. Off. And I will do it over the phone. Everyone will be amazed.
"Gonna get so many pants pissed ain't nobody gonna bug you an' yer ol' man 'til yer in grad school."
- Reagan's fury when Zora turns up at Scipio's door step when she should be in school fits here, too:
- I Ate What? Xenophage: Morally Indefensible Fine Dining."...Petrified deer penis, with sesame and lemon. Fruit bat consomme. Minerva's Shield... that's mostly pike livers, lark tongues, and some peacock brain... Stir-fried porpoise head. Honey-grilled panther with earwigs... and, of course, puppies. Whole and quarters. Braised, broiled, or grilled. In a delicate human milk sauce. Excellent. And especially divine, if I may say so. I find that canids are most ambrosial before they open their eyes."
- Insistent Terminology: Tuesday Pryor does not dance naked, she does freeform naturalist eurythmy.
- Kissing Cousins: Moze's grandfather tries to get him to court some of the temple dancers. Moze objects on the basis of their being both his cousins and underage.
- Meaningful Name: Curio. She asks a lot of questions.
- Mundane Fantastic: Some of the weirder elements of Templar go largely unnoticed by the residents.
- Naked on Arrival: Ben sleeps in the nude and the first time we see him, he's getting out of bed. Draw your own conclusions. He gets dressed as soon as he's up, though.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The "Old School Moscowbilly Klezcore" of Templar's own Phineas Rage.
- Positive Discrimination: The Jakes are all horrible racist bastards—who strangely focus on the positive stereotypes associated with various ethnicities. "Africans = strong," "Asians = smart," etc. Their plan is to have as many children they can with a cross-section of all these groups to have a perfect hybrid race.
- Scary Black Man:Regan:"An' I'm sure bein' a Gigantic Black Man don't got nothin' t' do with it, gi-GAN-tic"
- He has a dadgum chicken as a pet. That he carries around. He has the soul of a a scrawny white guy. He just happens to be large and black.
- Show Within a Show: Nikki Collision's Damage Report, Mondays with Tuesday, In The Coliseum with Claudius R. Graves.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Reagan keeps her flask hidden in this way.
- There Are No Coincidences: In Templar, AZ, everything happens for a reason. Everything that you read, anything alluded to, anything that gets a passing mention, is completely relevant, and you should really consider taking notes.
- Webcomic Time: The whole of the comic is set to be one year in Templar.