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Webcomic / Weregeek

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Welcome to The Masquerade, Mark.

"You, sir, may be a natural-born munchkin."

Mark once was just an ordinary guy with an office job and a blonde girlfriend. Except that every once in a while he had a strange urge to hang in front of a tabletop RPG store and stare at its wares pointlessly... Then one day, after a run-in with the local vampire coven and Vampire Hunters, he discovered a mind-blowing truth: there is a secret society out there, The Masquerade... OF GEEKS! And he is one of them, "a human by day and a geek by night"...

Weregeek is a Webcomic written and drawn by Alina Pete and Layne Myhre, first published in November 2006. It has its own site (administrated by Layne's brother Todd). Alina also writes the Journal Comic Moosehead Stew.

Weregeek provides examples of:

  • Affair Letters: Mark's girlfriend found the emails his and Sarah's Vampire the Masquerade LARP characters exchanged and failed to understand that it was just part of a game to him, causing the end of their relationship.
  • Amicable Exes: There are some suggestive hints that Sarah and Joel may have once dated.
  • Armour-Piercing Question: Mark is able to get through to a monster Murdock by asking him how he plans to destroy all geeks when 'Geek' doesn't just refer to someone that loves games, animation and fantasy, it means to be enthusiastic about virtually anything..
    Mark: You name the show, it has a geek subculture. Not only that, there are sports geeks, Car geeks, Literature geeks, Music geeks! Are you gonna get rid of all of those things?!
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: A rare full-game example, where Abbie and Sarah loved the Scenery Porn of Assassin's Creed II, but completely wrote off the plotline.
  • Baku: One member of the cast played a baku in the Changeling run. The Talking Guy thought it was a Drowzee.
  • Berserk Button: A lot of the main characters have one.
  • Big "NO!": This is Joel's response to being forced into a camping trip.
  • Blatant Lies: When Dustin is caught watching True Blood, we are given this exchange:
    Roommate: Is... that True Blood?
    Dustin: NO! I mean it's, uh... Star Trek. Yeah. It's the episode where um... they go back in time.
    Roommate: To Louisiana?!
    Dustin: *Beat* Yes.
  • Brain Washed: Captured geeks are apparently killed, or brainwashed into regular people, removing any enjoyment from the unique and conforming to be another average joe.
    • Joel's answer is to deprogram them, making them remember who they are... and being no better than his enemy, tries brainwashing a hunter into a WWE geek. That goes over really well.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Parodied here.
  • Calvinball: You can see an embryonic version of it when the geeks attempt an ordinary card game. Go fish!
  • Camp Goth: Victor, who plays up the camp to mess with people, mixed with his generally more upbeat nature. He runs the local goth club so he's free of mockery and the local "more goth than thou" hierarchy.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Justified with Joel, who gives people only enough information to protect themselves. This is because he's the group's dungeon master; it's a habit.
  • Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: Mark has demonstrated problems switching in and out of the Deep-Immersion Gaming mindset — especially once he sinks in, and it takes him a moment to pull back out, which he might not do if he's too keyed-up at the time. A big reveal of the hunter/geek war involves the war turning out to be a LARP, followed by Mark faking this to harass Joel over previous instances of Joel dropping him into a game without warning and wrong-footing Mark.
  • Cargo Ship: In-Universe between Dustin's D&D game paladin and his armor.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the D&D game, the Bag of Holding. It's first used to get Sarah's character out of the way when she stops attending D&D for a while. It's then mentioned when the characters forget to use it against one of Joel's traps, and later Abbie's rogue remembers it to get the party across a tightrope bridge.
  • Closet Geek: Mark. He knows about his nerdiness, but hides it from his co-workers and girlfriend for fear of being laughed at. He eventually stopped hiding it from his girlfriend and it factored into their later break-up, another factor being that said girlfriend was also a grown-up Alpha Bitch and looked down on Mark and his friends.
  • Collector of the Strange: Joel collects unopened soda pop.
  • Comedic Sociopathy:
    • Joel's habit of messing with people's brains.
    • Abbie's antics.
    • Dustin vs. Abbie pillow-fighting.
  • Con Recap.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Not exactly a punishment, but the game-shop owner won't allow a customer to buy a book unless they can pronounce the name of the main character, Drizzt Do'urden.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Dustin's opinion of the Chow Mien Diner near the gaming shop. One of their specialties is a wasabi squid burger. Abbie loves it.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Abbie. She tends to go all out on the cosplay, whether it's for an elaborate fishnets-and-leather Vampire costume or her convention outfits.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Abbie states during the zombie game that she has been training her entire life for a Zombie Apocalypse.
    • It's been mentioned that geeks in general are this for a Zombie Apocalypse: What other demographic has been making joking-or-not plans for this eventuality and routinely sleeps with a sword next to their bed?
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Their weregeek forms look scary, but they're no more evil in them than in normal form, just more boisterous.
  • Decadent Court: The Vampire game.
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: That's what almost the entire comic is about.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Sarah can't contain an infatuated exclamation when she sees Damien (with his trendy goth pretty-boy style). Then she realises she said it in front of Hadeed, whom she'd recently started dating, and is immediately embarrassed.
  • Dope Slap: Not THAT kind of roleplaying, sicko!
  • Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend: Mark's girlfriend tries to join the geeks for a game night but finds she just isn't into it. She's not a geek, but doesn't mind that Mark is one.
    • However, a point of potential drama is that while she knows he's a geek, she doesn't know how bad he's got it. Specifically, he hasn't told her about the whole "weregeeks and hunters" bit and the LARPs.
    • Averted with Steph, who gets no preferential treatment from Joel in their D&D games, though she does tend to snark at him a lot more than the others would dare to.
  • Even Nerds Have Standards: The concept is referenced in this strip.
  • Expositing the Masquerade: The series begins with Mark drooling at a look on dice and being chased by the Hunters. He is saved by Joel and the others, who explain to him that he is a weregeek, just like themselves, which is why he was being hunted. It is much later explained that Joel, in fact, is the leader of La RĂ©sistance hunting the Hunters and he knows much more about them than he tells anyone.
  • Face Palm: Demonstrated here in combination with Unsound Effect.
    • It's pretty common to show it during some of the puns during the +2 Comedy Check Productions breaks.
  • Fangirl: Abbie, as well as the rest of the female characters to a lesser extent.
  • Fang Thpeak: The Vampire the Masquerade LARPers abandoned the fake fangs after getting fed up with this problem.
  • Fantastic Racism: The hunters apparently hate the geeks for not being mainstream. They hunt the geeks even when their only crime is increasing market revenue by buying as many collectibles as they could carry, simply because they occasionally turn into shadow creatures who would sooner play D&D than attack anyone.
    • This really gives more the impression that 'this' is what happens to the Jerk Jocks who waste high school picking on geeks.
    • It's so bad that one hunter leader chewed out his subordinate for even hinting that he saw a comic book movie.
  • Fastball Special: When Mark and Abbie fight a chimera in the D&D game.
  • Film Noir: The Shadowrun game is intentionally styled after this genre.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Played with. Dustin's brother Bruce certainly believes this is the case between the two of them since he is thinks it's childish for Dustin to still have geeky hobbies at his age. Dustin however is quick to point out to him he works hard and has a beautiful girlfriend because he is a geek.
  • Foreshadowing: Once the author decided that the superpowers were going to be a LARP factor, she started dropping plenty of hints. Look for such conspicuous background items as the window Joel crashes through suddenly being unbroken.
  • Funny Background Event: This strip.
  • Geek: Every main character.
  • Genki Girl: Abbie
  • GMPC: El Pantero is a deliberately infuriating example. Joel created him presumably to annoy Abbie.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: For bonus points, Sarah's angels look like her Player Characters: the White Magician Girl she plays in the D&D game for good angel and The Vamp from Vampire LARP for bad angel. And her Shadowrun character as a neutral one.
  • Gonna Need More X: The werewolf PCs are going to need a bigger mop.
  • Guyliner: Mark at the goth club, and later also in the Vampire LARP.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: The whole story is about Mark coming to terms with his geekiness with other geeks' help.
  • Healing Factor: Joel ostensibly has one.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the final showdown with the Yuan-ti high priestess, Mark falls fighting her summoned wraiths, while Abbie uses a last-ditch ambush to snatch the MacGuffin away at the cost of a fatal snake bite. After the battle, the elven nation's clerics offer to resurrect them. Mark accepts, Abbie doesn't.
  • Hunter of Monsters: There's a whole organization of them here. They hunt geeks and attempt to "cure" them of their geekiness. Their ultimate goal is to purge the world of geeks altogether. Except that's all part of a LARP.
    • The Hunter's scientists seem to understand that the Geeks are harmless, but their General Ripper just wants to shoot them and get it over with.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: The resistance accidentally created the "turned hunter" kind.
  • I Think You Broke Him: "I think I broke the new guy!!"
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Actually happened from dice rolls during a Star Wars gaming session. Abbie said it was just like the movies.
  • In Medias Res: The story just loves jumping into the middle of a gaming session.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Abbie: Dude!! That's... That's nefarious!
    Joel: Aww, thanks. You're making me blush!
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Alice and her kid.
  • Knight Templar: The Hunters
  • Lame Pun Reaction: When the group makes a series of D&D-based food puns, one of them responds with "kill me".
    • Also at the end of each of the Comedy break strips, which are generally built around some lame pun.
  • LARP: One of the games the geeks play is a monthly vampire LARP. There's also a story arc that takes place during a medieval LARP weekend.
    • For Halloween Season of 2012, the Halloween story forced on a Werewolf LARP.
    • The whole Hunters/geek war has been revealed as one massive LARP.
    • They've also started a Changeling LARP, taking a break from their normal vampire shenanigans.
  • Little Brother Is Watching: Brian and Alice and their kid will not spoil a good game:
    Wayne: Does this mean we'll have to watch our language and all that stuff?
    Dustin: Um. You've met Alice, right?
  • Living a Double Life: Mark doesn't want his "normal" friends to find out he's secretly a geek. It has consequences when his girlfriend stumbles over some messages between Mark and Sarah's Vampire characters.
  • Luke Noun Verber: Lampshaded during a werewolf LARP.
    "Cubs, this is my pack... Slays-The-Night, Crushes-The-Worm, and Verbs-The-Noun."
  • MacGyvering: Abbie's Shadowrun character Twitch is a Techno Wizard, and manages to combine this with blatant Pyromaniac streak into one piece of Comedic Sociopathy.
  • Machine Monotone:
    Twitch's drone: hello. let's. play. a. game.
  • The Masquerade: Geeks hide themselves within the society, acting as if they were ordinary students and office workers, to avoid the Hunters' attention... Mainly because they are ordinary students and office workers with interests outside of geekdom, and only Mark seems to try and hide that he's a geek.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-Universe, Dustin's brother (the epitome of the Boring Adult), justifies himself with a quote from 1 Corinthians 13:11: "When I became a man, I gave up childish things."
  • Mysterious Watcher: The ominously lurking hunter.
  • Nested Story Reveal: After the hunters attack the convention, it turns out that neither the geek powers nor the hunters were real, merely part of a LARP.
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction: Mark reassures Dustin that (accidentally) blowing off the woman flirting with him and trying to get into his Star Wars game was a good thing.
    Mark: What did she want to play?
    Dustin: Err... a Gungan Sith Lord.
    Mark: ... Are you sure you're interested in this girl?
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The geeks. Yeah, they turn into sinister shadowy figures if presented with a first edition Han Solo figure, but outside of an intense game of D&D they have yet to be seen attacking people or acting with any sort of malicious intent. The only time they get violent is when they are being attacked by hunters.
    • Or when Joel forgets to tell Mark that the LARPers weren't really vampires.
  • Not a Zombie: Mark's first encounter with the "zombies" IRL.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Vampire LARP, which uses rules from across multiple editions of the White Wolf game just to make everything even more confusing.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Talking Guy. It took Abbie and Mark completely by surprise when Katie uses his real name, Steven.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Apparently when the moon is full or they just "geek out" badly, geeks are prone to transforming into shadowy creatures with claws, super strength, and fast healing. Though not all of them are aware of the transformations; initially it's just Joel.
  • Persona Non Grata: Mark initially seems to be OK with being in a polyamorous relationship and gets the basic concept, but it soon becomes clear that he really doesn't understand how it works in detail or really accepts it in practice.* Likewise, his resulting blowup has consequences. He ends up banned from the Changeling LARP, breaks his hand punching a wall, and is persona non grata at Katie's gaming table.
  • Petite Pride: Right after Katie and Sarah are busy complaining about how expensive it is having to buy custom bras so they fit, they glare scathingly at Abbie who says she can just pick up from the rack at Walmart for a fraction of the cost.
  • Plot Parallel: Both Jess and Sarah get to be the odd one out in the social circle of the other (Gaming Night and Girls' Night, respectively). They are both mildly weirded out.
  • Polyamory: Ravenia makes it no secret that she is in happy, trusting relationships with multiple people. Dustin is cool with it. Mark initially seems okay with it, but his unresolved feelings for Sarah and lack of experience with the concept make him start to overthink it. Then when Ravenia brings her primary, Damien to the Changeling LARP, his insecurity and jealousy finally reach a zenith, and it's not pretty...
  • Precision F-Strike: For the most part, any profanity in the comic is censored, but when he returns home after being banned from the Changeling LARP, Mark's first words to his friends are: "I really fucked up."
  • Private Eye Monologue: Mark gets to pull it off in the Shadowrun game.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Hunters. Well, the Delta Team, at least. It starts showing here when they start developing actual personalities and stop being regular old Mooks.
  • Random Number God: In this strip, Dustin yells at Mark for touching someone else's dice.
  • Reference Overdosed: While in theory it's possible to find a strip that doesn't have a Shout-Out or reference of some kind...
  • Retcon: Originally, Mark's half-orc had STR 20 but has since been dwindled to more realistic (under Dungeons & Dragons rules) score of 18.
    • Under 3.5 and 4, a Half-Orc (+2 Strength mod) with 20 STR is perfectly realistic under the point-buy system, especially after a few level-based stat increases (and if Sarah's mage's abilities are anything to go by, the party has enough levels to burn a few of those). Munchkinny, sure, but legitimate.
    • In a more traditional example, the entire Hunter-Geek War. The author was originally going to make it real, but changed her mind partway through, resulting in the "all just a LARP" final version.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Shown during a game of Shadowrun.
    Guard: What, do you think a MegaCorp is made out of money?? Wait... don't answer that.
  • Running Gag: "TEN POUNDS OF POCKY!"
  • Satellite Love Interest: Subverted with Mark's girlfriend Jess, who turns out to be much more perceptive and open-minded than she first appears.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Abbie's Elven Rogue, having been raised by humans, thinks her own race a little haughty.
  • Serious Business: Gaming is very serious business for weregeeks, but it goes quadruple for Joel.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Squee:
    Mike: Hello? Anybody home! Um...I think he broke Abbie.
    Sarah: She's squeeing, but I think only dogs can hear it.
  • Squishy Wizard: Sarah's mage in the D&D game.
  • Stone Wall: Dustin's paladin in the D&D game.
  • Straight Gay: Lance has come out of the closet only recently. Mark, who has known... rather few gay men, was fairly surprised since Lance wasn't even slightly camp and was even apparently checking out the cosplaying elf girls at a LARP with him just a year or so (in comic time) beforehand.
  • Stock Scream: In the D&D game, when guards are falling down a magically-greased staircase, one of them uses the Wilhelm Scream.
  • Surfer Dude: One of Mark's non-geek friends appears to be this. Even though he's only shown for 1 page, he has shoulder length hair and talks about is an "awesome party" and uses "like" and "totally".
    • In fact any time Mark talks to a "normal" friend or co-worker, they seem to be talking about "awesome parties".
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Mark does it here, or at least into a passive slumber.
  • Take That!: When Abbie and Sarah provide Fifty Shades of Grey and Gabriel's Inferno as examples of fanfiction writers who went pro, Sarah responds: "I meant a good pro writer."
  • Tempting Fate: What could possibly go wrong?
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. After Mark blows his top (and breaks his hand), he gets into therapy to help with his many issues.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Abbie and Sarah.
  • Twice Shy: Mark and Sarah are clearly attracted to each other, but neither one can spit it out, even after Mark was dumped because Jess incorrectly thought he was cheating on her. Mark became involved with Ravenia to help him get over it, which initially upset Sarah, but she accepted it and later agreed to a date with Hadeed, becoming quite enamored by him. But when Mark found out about the date, he quickly slipped into a funk and has been mopey outside of gaming since. By the time they finally admit their feelings, they agree that they work better as friends; Sarah is happy with Hadeed, and Mark admits that he still has a lot of maturation to do before he can be truly happy with anyone else.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Abbie's PC Twitch (we mentioned Comedic Sociopathy already, right?):
    Twitch: (to Aeon)'re wearing body armor, right?
    Author: At least she remembered to say sorry... Remember chummers — when you "accidentally" blow up your teammates, always apologize afterwards. It's good Shadowrunning etiquette.
  • V-Formation Team Shot: At the end of chapter 17. "We'll teach those Hunters that you don't mess with GEEKS!" Not the straightest example, though, since the leader is not in the middle of the formation but on the side.
  • We Work Well Together: Happens to the player characters in the end of the Shadowrun arc.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Silver is to werewolves what tax forms, red tape, insurance ads and C-Span is to geeks. Granted, C-Span is apparently boring enough to knock out a squad of hunters as well.
  • Webcomic Time: Started in late 2006, with seasons changing and events like the Christmas holidays noted, and up-to-date references on various games and movies. However, Abbie and Sarah have been in college the whole time with only recently cropping up indication that they're graduating, many couples dating as long as Mark and Jess would have at least discussed marriage by now (and Mark's geeky double life is still treated as a recent occurrence), and even Dustin has been sort-of-kind-of dating Ravenia since early 2011. And that's saying nothing about the games they play, with a few months' worth of biweekly gameplay stretched out over half a decade or so.
  • Welcomed to the Masquerade: The story starts with Mark being chased by the Hunters, before stumbling into a vampire coven meeting where he receives his welcome to The Masquerade... by being turned into a vampire himself. Then it turns out that it's all just Deep-Immersion Gaming: the hunters are just regular bullies, and the vampires are a bunch of geeks LARPing Vampire: The Masquerade. Still, The Masquerade takes place IRL, as well, as the geeks have to hide their geekdom from Normal People, and Mark (a repressed geek himself) is welcomed to the geek subcultures for real this time.
  • Wham Episode: Strip 2011-05-10 sees Joel wounded while fleeing from a Hunter, then bursting through a window where the rest of the gang is dining. And it looks like it's a Real Life section this time.
    • More recently, Jess finds in-character messages written between Mark and Sarah's Vampire characters, which make it look like he's been cheating on Jess and that Sarah has only been feigning friendship with Jess to help allay suspicion. It's hard to blame Jess for dumping Mark, even knowing he wasn't "really" cheating... because the nature of Mark and Sarah's in-character relationship was getting a little too intimate as it was, given it was a LARP. The low blows she throws at his gaming hobby in general are rather uncalled-for, though.
      • Even more recently, the latest portion of the Vampire LARP had two deaths of PCs — Joel's Demetrius and Dustin's Mathers.
  • Wham Line: A massive battle with the Hunters ends and the day is saved. And then Joel shouts...
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The comic is apparently set in a small Canadian city. Anything more specific than that (such as province or even the city's name) is up in the air, though given the creators' personal histories (as noted on the site) it might be in either Saskatchewan or Alberta.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Here.
  • With Catlike Tread: Abbie in the D&D game.
  • Wrap It Up: The Hunters vs. Geeks plot was running in the background since the beginning, and the author's original intent was to have it run right up to the penultimate storyline. According to Word of God, this metaplot became less interesting to write than the personal lives of the characters, and was instead brought to an end with the first chronicle of the series.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Sarah and Abbie's discussion of Merlin is rather telling.
  • Ye Olde Butchered English: Abbie's attempt at this speech is absolutely horrible.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: This.
  • You Have Failed Me: Textbook example, complete with Shoot the Messenger.
  • Xanatos Gambit: This is how Joel captures the Hunter here: either the Hunter grabs his hand, putting himself into Joel's power, or he falls into the net below. The second part worked.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Mark runs into a horde of "zombies" after a vampire game session (who are discovered to be normal people doing a charity "zombie run" on Halloween) and the gang later reenacts it with a zombie movie game.