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Webcomic / The Adventures of Sue and Kathryn!

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The Adventures of Sue and Kathryn! is a webcomic by Dave Warren. It's also a Show Within a Show in his other webcomic, Selkie.

Sue, a young outgoing zombie, and Kathryn, a scientifically minded wraith, live in suburbia, and spend their time alternating between annoying, terrifying, or just trying to be friendly to their neighbors. Frequently all three at once. Oh, and they also could both be insane. Just a little. But then again, their neighbors might not be the most normal or sane individuals themselves.

Yep, it's that kind of comic.

This comic provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Sue's father apparently tried to beat her when she was a living child.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Henri, a rabbit-scorpion, wags his tail when excited.
  • And I Must Scream: Played for Laughs with the Haunted Tree, who keeps telling Kathryn (to her frustration each time): "Release me from this existence".
  • Appropriated Appelation: Mr. Fluffy finds he likes the name, and embraces it, albeit with "God of Fire" added to the end.
  • Ass Kicks You: Sue's method of butting in to introduce herself to the Ellivanders is quite literally butting in. Bonus points for it being referred to as "Plan Bravo Uniform Tango Tango".
  • Auto Cannibalism: Sue once ate her own brain (she lost a bet).
  • Beyond the Impossible: Henri's venom is so strong that it can not only affect the zombie Sue, but a wizard possessing a teddy bear, which has nothing to really be affected by the poison. This is later revealed to be because it's made almost entirely out of life magic.
  • Boomerang Bigot: A certain Pixie huntress hunts "necrotic abominations" and other entities... but is a vampire herself.
  • Brains and Brawn: Kathryn and Sue, respectively.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Kathryn's idea of cookout dishes includes fruit salad, candied yams, and...mutagenic neurotoxin.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Some of the neighbors react this way when Sue invites them for a cookout.
    Neighbor Kid: My pants are full of fear!
  • Brought Down to Badass: Sue is still pretty badass, but she used to have actual superpowers. Apparently she had to stop using them because of side effects.
    • Hensuka is composed of two skilled adventurers and their trainee Henry, but the nature of the fusion between Henry, Sue and Kathryn has left them without their primary abilities, like Henry's stinger. They still do pretty well when trapped in hell.
  • The Brute: Sue depends primarily on her strength in a fight.
  • Cain and Abel: Lucifer is Diane's sister.
  • California Collapse: The heroes live on the island that is the remains of California, separated from the mainland by an Arizona Bay. (The author admits that the tool song "Ænema" was an inspiration for putting such in the comic.)
  • Celebrity Paradox: Sue and Kathryn are a Show Within a Show in Selkie, but a couple of the orphanage kids appear in one of Sue's flashbacks.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Besides the titular duo, there are other undead individuals that are good people.
  • Daywalking Vampire: They are a rarity, since most vampires have the standard sunlight weakness, but there are a few out there. Including Sue. Vampires have this weakness because their creator Lucifer wanted to remind them of his nature.
  • Ditzy Genius: Kathryn is apparently a skilled chemist, but like Sue she can be oblivious of details about what is going on around her.
  • Dreadful Musician: Kathryn can't play a tune on the recorder to save her un-life. She claims to be self-taught, and it shows.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: The Ellivanders immediately freak out upon Kathryn revealing that they have a mouse in their home.
  • Emotion Bomb: Spirits siphoning emotions can cause this due to not siphoning positive and negative emotions at the same time. When Kathryn siphons of Phil's negative emotions first, she says that she's heard that the feeling of excess positivity is comparable to being on fire.
  • Emotion Eater: Spirits like Kathryn feed off of emotions, but since feeding off people is outlawed due to risk of harming the drainee, they get their sustenance from the emotions in objects, like the emotions a chef imbues into his food, etc. Positive emotions "taste" better, but negative ones tend to linger longer.
  • Exploited Immunity: Morton is used as a shield since he can't be hurt.
  • Famed in Story: Sue and Kathryn are renowned for heroic deeds such as stopping an army of elves and were-elephants. At least, to those who haven't gotten to know them yet.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: It won't from the power of Lucifer, who can shatter it effortlessly to edit all character tags to not give away his name, and yell at Dave himself for continuously trying to apply said tags. A comment in Selkie confirms that the outbursts are actually included in the show.
    • His sister Diane has similar fourth wall-breaking powers, even reacting to a comment by a fan.
  • Gendercide: Centuries ago, the elves wiped out every single male pixie with a magical plague. The species only survived due to using magical rituals to reproduce, becoming a One-Gender Race.
  • Hellgate: The raw power of the fused Hensuka can conjure one of these...when it/they sneeze.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Both Sue and Kathryn. They both just want to get along with people, although their views on how to do it are...warped, to put it politely.
  • Hipster: Viciously mocked.
    Timothy: Look at Ms. Asa! She can't feel joy anymore!
    King Crownenhaugen XIV: Don't be absurd! She's merely in an emotive place where apathy and ennui rule her existence.
    Ms. Asa: ...meh. m'kay.
    Kind Crowenhaugen XIV: She's no worse off than a hipster!
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Henri's father is at least twice the size of his mother.
  • I Have Many Names: The Devil, though he hates most of them. He'll even break the fourth wall to keep them from being applied in character tags.
  • Leader Forms the Head: The King of Sub-Francisco (who is a giant talking crown) gets to do this in combination with several other spirits, complete with reciting the classic Voltron line.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Laser Priests hunt rogue undead, but are are jerks to the ones that aren't evil. In one instance they deliberately (despite it technically being their responsibility) don't tell a newly raised undead that if she didn't register herself within 48 hours, they could hunt her down. After said spirit had helped them against Mr. Fluffy, who was mind-controlling them. The comments also note that legally, they should have told her this. They then try and lure Sue into a trap to eliminate her in an effort to save a few bucks from the deal they have with her and Kathryn for the power sources for their weaponry.
    • Lucifer, of course. The Laser Priests apparently worship him.
  • Mad Scientist: Kathryn with her talent with chemistry, although she will object to the "mad" part of this.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Deathbunny family. The mom is a scorpion with a bunny tail, her kids, and the father, are the inverse.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Morton can only be hurt by someone he loves, nothing else really even phases him.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Kathryn points out that if Henri fires at Solei with the cannons at max, it'll destroy the ship she's using and rain the pieces down on the neighborhood.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The block party massacre from last year. Sue claims she was "totes provoked".
    • Sue ate her own brain because she lost a bet.
  • Noodle Implements:
    • Used to deliver an Orphaned Punchline. "I can't believe you did all that with a paperclip!"
    • When facing a giant mass of spirits, Kathryn comes up with an unused plan involving snake venom, holy water, and an unabridged copy of Wurthering Heights.
  • Older Than They Look: Sue is in her 20s despite having the body of an 8 year old. Likewise, Kathyrn is older than electricity, though looks are less a factor in her case.
  • Our Elves Are Different: In the backstory, the two heroines stopped their army of were-elephants. The Ellivanders at least, speak oddly (shown by no punctuation at the end of their sentences), but seem to be a bit nicer. Emphasis on seem, as it's hinted there's more to them than meets the eye. They also apparently are "sires to trolls", but they don't like talking about that.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Mostly standard: the original vampires were created by Lucifer himself, who gave them their supernatural strength and speed, hunger for blood, and their weakness to sunlight as a reminder that Lucifer aka the "Bringer of Dawn" is their maker, although not every vampire has that weakness.
    • It's later revealed that there are thirteen "Master" vampires, controlling mindless thralls and acting as Lucifer's agents in the night, ensuring that his influence is ever-present. They are immortal, with eyes that look like they're filled with stars, and if their body is destroyed they emerge from it in the form of a flock of bats, seeking a new host. Magnolia was turned into a vampire when she tried and failed to capture this flock after the body's "death", and it tried to possess her but lost to Magnolia's own willpower, using this power to hunt down the rest of them, though Solei suggests that she really just died and is being manipulated by the spirit, though Sue seeming to also be this kind of vampire hints that she might be wrong.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Were-elephants in this case. The elves used them as part of their armed forces. It's later revealed that some elves, like the Ellivander children, were also attacked by them. Kathryn later creates a "were-human". That is a frog that gains a human form under the moonlight. She also discovers a way to partially transform the Ellivander children with synthetic moonlight, allowing them to transform but retain their self-control.
  • Police Code for Everything: "Calling all units, we got a psychic elephant on the loose. This is a Five-Four-Zero IN PROGRESS!"
  • Red Baron: A partially self-applied case. Lucifer is "the Father of Lies", but prefers "the Bringer of Dawn". And in this case, "self-applied" means "will threaten anyone who calls him otherwise. Including the comic's writer.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Mrs. Ellivander's threat to Phil the Jerk Tree over what language to use around her children is a mix of flowery words and the kind of language she doesn't want used.
    Ellen Ellivander: Lead me not into temptation or I will ████ you up please tell me my meaning is clear
  • Spoof Aesop: Kathryn delivers one at the end of the second chapter. "When a King asks you to help free his people, first check and make sure he isn't planning to turn into a giant monster and terrorize a city."
  • Stable Time Loop: Diana sent the pixie Marie into the past, where she'd eventually become Soleil Corbeau, who was part of what prompted Sue to step up her game by getting a Fae Silver sword.
  • Super Strength: Being a zombie, Sue is easily capable of lifting a moving van over her head with one hand. As it turns out, Sue's strength is considered unnatural, even for a zombie (who are stronger than mortal humans). Which ties into the reveal that she's really a vampire.
  • Taking the Bullet: Carrotcake did this for Sue in the past. Only it was a BFS.
  • Too Spicy For Yog Shoggoth: Magnolia killed the host of one of the Thirteen, the vampire lieutenants of the "Bringer of the Dawn", and tried and failed to capture its spirit, leading to said spirit trying to possess her as a new host, but her will was able to beat its and crush it into subservience and dormancy. Or at least, that's what she believes, Solei suggests that she really just died and the Thirteen's spirit let her use its power for some reason.
  • Two Beings, One Body: Well, three beings. An experiment gone wrong leads to Sue, Kathryn, and Henri becoming a strange amalgamate being known as Hensuka, with all three being potentially in control.
    • Kathryn returns to normal after she ends up calming herself while Henry and Sue are freaking out, leaving just two in the fusion.
  • Unfinished Business: Solei drops the trope name when talking to Magnolia.
  • Villain Team-Up: When the Spirit King and Mr. Fluffy meet in jail, they form a plan to team up for revenge on the duo.
  • Voice of the Legion: Hensuka speaks like this, with the voices of the other two echoing whenever one of the trio inside it speaks.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Ellivanders call Kathryn out after she openly accuses them of being were-elephants. They adopted their children after their parents were murdered by were-elephants. Part of it being that said children were bitten and became were-elephants themselves.
    Elliot Ellivander: Thank you for teaching them never to meet their heroes
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Knight of the Dawn, or at least, their infantry division, tend to talk like this.