Follow TV Tropes


Webcomic / Todd Allison & the Petunia Violet

Go To

"I hate this city. And I hate all you stupid people and all the stupid things you do!"
Todd Allison, who does not like Melbourne, Australia.

Set in early 20th century Australia, Todd Allison is the next-door neighbor of Petunia Elkwood, a broke yet perky young lady. Petunia is oddly intrigued by Todd, and in fact refers to him as "the only interesting thing in [her] city". Todd asks Petunia to deliver a letter after the post office is bombed by the mysterious serial terrorist Violet; Petunia is followed by Todd to make sure the job gets done. And things just get progressively weirder and more awesome from there.

A webcomic by the hugely popular Smack Jeeves artist Nozmo, Todd Allison & the Petunia Violet combines "explosions, bombs, plant biology, chemical engineering, parties, pretty shoes and people swearing" into a beautiful comic worthy of all the fans it has. Nozmo is also the creator of the webcomic Alternate.

Historically, Todd and Petunia has a bit of a troublesome schedule. After it was picked up by Inkblazers (then Manga Magazine), Nozmo went on frequent hiatuses, some lasting a year long. When the company went down, it was picked up by Hiveworks. Nozmo maintained her schedule, until one day disappearing off the internet altogether. In 2015, after repeated attempts to contact Nozmo by Hiveworks staff, it went on unofficial hiatus during Chapter 17. The webcomic was archived by Hiveworks, but the site went offline at the beginning of 2017. Following the loss of the domain, it was also archived via the Wayback Machine here and here.

As of November 2018, after three years of silence, Nozmo started updating Todd and Petunia again on its original host site Smackjeeves, as well as revising some previous chapters and completing Side Story Two. The comic is back on Hiatus as of the end of Chapter 17, and the Smackjeeves version was deleted following the site's closure in December 2020. Luckily this version is also available on the Wayback Machine, seen here.

This comic contains examples of:

  • Alt Text: Used by Nozmo early on at the original Smack Jeeves site in some pages to insert jokes and snarky comments about whatever's going on in the scene. MangaMagazine/Inkblazers (where the comic was hosted after Smack Jeeves until it was shut down in February 2015) sadly didn't have this as a feature.note 
  • Animesque: Very slightly.
  • Art Evolution: When the webcomic first started, the characters were a bit rounder and the lines curved more. This is especially noticeable when you see the first couple of chapters remade for the Hiveworks version. Compare here and here.
  • Bishie Sparkles:
    • Tend to appear around Cyril and Landon. A lot.
    • Elijah and Meredith get an overdose of them, along with roses, in a panel of chapter 15.
  • Book Ends: The Daydreamings of Todd Allison begins with an image of a young Todd Allison blowing soap bubbles and ends with a doodle of an older Todd, doing the same.
  • Boom, Headshot!: In Chapter 5, Cyril shoots a bunch of people. All of them in the head.
  • Butt-Monkey: Bentham.
  • The Cameo: Several, mostly from Nozmo's other webcomics and other people's webcomics.
    • Landon is a prominent example of a cameo from This Is Not Fiction, where he's a protagonist. TAPV's Landon seems to be from an alternate continuity from the original though, as TINF is set in the modern day.
    • Barnaby also makes a brief and painful appearance in Chapter 9.
    • Haru, Rin, and Nagisa from Free! appear in the crowd in Chapter 15.
  • Camp Gay: Landon, though done with a lighter hand than other examples.
  • Character Blog: Todd on Twitter (though as of January 2012 it hasn't been updated).
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase/Name and Name
  • Cuteness Proximity:
    • Both Elijah and Meredith seem to have this with Petunia.
    • Everyone has that with Petunia. And Elijah has it with Dylan.
  • Death Glare:
  • Emotionless Girl: Violet, the mysterious blue-haired lady who burns down the post office.
  • Flat "What": Todd's response to Hana's summation of Cyril. The expression on his face is simply icing on the cake.
  • Full-Name Basis: Todd Allison is called, well, Todd Allison by most of the characters much of the time.
  • Genteel Interbellum Setting
  • How Did You Know? I Didn't: When Petunia asks if she can have some liquer, Cyril tells her that he knows she doesn't drink. Startled, Petunia asks how he knew. Unlike most examples, Cyril doesn't actually say out loud that he didn't, and merely thinks it.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: In a side story/flashback.
  • Jerkass: Todd Allison. Also Rousseau.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Well, sort of.
  • Love Triangle: Meredith, Elijah, and Dylan have some weird thing going on, regardless of whatever kind of love it is, in which Meredith and Dylan both get along famously with Elijah, and cannot tolerate each other. It's been going on ever since they were kids, and Elijah is clueless to the fact that they want to kill each other.
  • Mad Bomber/Pyromaniac: Violet.
  • Messy Hair: Every guy in the comic except for Meredith and Todd Allison.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Both subverted and not: Petunia is injured from her fall from the ledge, while Todd is perfectly fine after falling to save her. He apparently landed on top of her though, so she probably broke his fall.
  • Once More, with Clarity: Early in Chapter 13, Elijah and Meredith are talking with one another about a promise they made to one another, with the positioning making it seem like it's a Childhood Marriage Promise or something similar. Get to the end of the chapter, and it turns out to be something much different.
  • Only Six Faces: In earlier chapters, it could get kind of confusing and made a few fans out there grateful the comic was in color. Art Evolution kicked in during later chapters, and it's pretty easy to tell everyone apart now, though.
  • Opera Gloves: Worn by the woman in the first chapter, along with a fur scarf.
  • Parental Substitute: Will from the first sidestory is this for Todd.
  • Pretty Boy:
    • Meredith. Indeed. Having a Gender-Blender Name doesn't help (although at the time this is set, Meredith was still mostly a boy's name).
    • Also pretty much every other guy, to varying degrees. Except Hobbes.
    • Cyril is so pretty he gets to have Bishie Sparkles.
  • Pretty in Mink: Violet wears a huge fur boa around her neck.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Hana thinks Cyril is dangerous... because he'll BREAK ANY WOMAN'S HEART!
  • The Roaring '20s: The series itself is set in 1921 in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Todd and Petunia. Meredith and Elijah are a case of Savvy Guy, Energetic Other Guy.
  • Series Hiatus: Nozmo stopped updating the webcomic on September of 2015, completely disappearing from most social media sites around the same time. Additionally, the previous host site of Hiveworks was unable to reach them either, and so they archived the comic. The comic went back online in 2018, however.
  • Sharp Dressed Men: Freakin' ubiquitous.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Todd and Petunia. She seems to be the only person he can be genuinely nice to at times, and he has shown that he cares for her a great deal. He has shown concern over the thought that Cyril would break Petunia's heart, even if this was fueled by someone else's assertions. He even puts an arm around her at one point, to comfort her after she lost her job. Later, he agrees to meet with Cyril at an unknown location because Petunia is and he doesn't want her to go alone. He even specifically remembers Hana's Right for the Wrong Reasons moment before doing so. It's a big thing for Todd. Petunia, for her part, has gone into a violent rage at the thought of anything bad happening to Todd. It may very well be her only Berserk Button.
    • And then there's Cyril, who has shown quite a bit of interest in Petunia - even moreso than he has in his usual flirtations with everyone else. Landon stated with complete seriousness that Cyril likes and thinks highly of Petunia. In the extra page at the end of chapter 7, Cyril even refers to her as Lady Petunia while talking to someone else. In contrast, he calls Todd Petunia's "pumpkin-headed boyfriend." His interest in her may have to do with the Hidden Depths she showed in chapter 5. Petunia, on the other hand, just seems to fear him.
    • Chapter 14 has two of these: Petunia with both Will (yes, that Will) and Dylan (yes, that Dylan).
    • In chapter 15 we also have Petunia dreaming while she's in a ball gown with Todd dressed like a prince above her, and musing about 'the way he says [her] name...'
    • Holy crap, Elijah and Dylan. Forget the numerous instances of almost-incest between Elijah and Meredith, as soon as Dylan enters the picture in a flashback, Elijah acts like a completely different person—complete with crying, laughter, and more UST than all of the Todd and Petunia scenes put together. It's revealed that Dylan and Elijah were childhood best friends, and that Dylan picked on Meredith relentlessly. The dislike seems to have carried over, since Dylan seems disappointed to the point of disgust whenever he sees Elijah with Meredith.
      Dylan: (seeing Elijah and Meredith) ...You two are still together?
      Meredith: (says nothing)
      Elijah: (grabbing Meredith around the neck) YEAH!! (drunk and slurring words) Meredith is my h-honey, you know I can't resist h—
      Dylan: Stop talking right now.
  • Siblings in Crime: Elijah and Meredith, though not blood related.
  • Take My Hand!: Todd and Petunia. Although they both end up falling.
  • The Door Slams You: In chapter 9. This apparently also happens to Todd quite often, according to his Twitter.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Todd and Clancey's coworkers in the Violet case investigation are all named after famed philosophers: Locke, Rousseau, Hobbes, and Bentham.
    • Also, Petunia and Hana both have flower-related names ("Hana" is Japanese for "flower") and are acquainted with Todd, who is obsessed with plants.
  • Two First Names: Todd Allison. See Full-Name Basis.
  • Unsound Effect: Used liberally throughout the comic—which may contribute to its appeal.
  • Wham Line: This page from chapter 13 changes everything.
    Elijah: (to Meredith) I remember our promise. You remember too, don't you? When this is all over... you have to kill me.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: All of Chapter 10, which reveals why Petunia traveled to Melbourne and how she first met Todd. There's also the two side stories "The Daydreamings of Todd Allison" and "All Or Nothing Gamble", which show some events in the childhoods of Todd and the Elkwood brothers, respectively.
  • You Just Told Me: When Petunia asks if she can have some of Cyril's liquer, he refuses, saying that he knows that she doesn't drink when she asks why. A shocked Petunia demands to know how he knew. Cyril thinks to himself that he didn't.
  • Youthful Freckles: Bentham has these. However, it should be noted that while he looks and acts quite boyish, he is apparently older than Todd Allison.