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In the caves behind my house, I found a softer world. They understand what I had to do for love. They don't believe in restraining orders.
A Softer World is a Photo Comic, full of dark surrealist comedy and just plain weird stuff. Generally, Emily Horne takes the photographs and Joey Comeau writes the captions. The comics often focus on death, love, loneliness, or other similarly heavy themes. There are few if any actual characters, apart from Baby Doom (now deceased) and a small cat.
In almost every comic slightly cropped or zoomed versions of one photograph are arranged into 3 panels, with a short line of text over each one; the writing is usually divided into a straight line, a Subversion and an over-the-top punchline. A frequent variation will have a second punchline in the rollover text.
This comic features examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: This particular strip is a parody of the XKCD formula here.
- All Just a Dream: What the narrator would like to see in the newspapers, for once.
- Alt Text
- Bathos: The main source of the strip's humor.
- Beautiful Dreamer: But that's not good enough.
- Best Years of Your Life: Over a picture of two kids on a ship.
- Black Comedy: When the strips are humorous at all. It's also common for the actual strip to be poignant but have darkly humorous alt-text.
- Call Back: truth and beauty bombs.
- Came Back Wrong: Although the narrator doesn't mind.
- Cute Kitten: "Pride and Prejudice with kittens. No, Kittens and Kittens and even more kittens, oh my goodness, by Jane Austen."
- Deal with the Devil: "I sold my soul to the devil, but didn't get paid or anything. He said it'd be good experience."
- Death By Origin Story: "I never wanted anything to happen to my parents..."
- Disneyfication: Subverted
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: Baby Doom.
- Godwin's Law: Zig-zagged - "People who compare every petty evil to Hitler...are worse than Dracula!"
- Happily-Failed Suicide:
I took a bottle of pills when I found the photographs of them together / But instead of dying I pooped all over our bed / which is a funnier story, in the long run.
- Hitler Ate Sugar: In the alt text of number 716.
- I Just Want to Be Special: "I woke up in the woods covered in blood. Which means I'm either crazy or a werewolf. But I'm not a nobody."
- I Like My X Like I Like My Y
- Incompatible Orientation: "Love you. Miss you. Wish you weren't queer."
- Living Statue: But they've all seen enough to know not to show it.
- Love Makes You Crazy: "I get a crazy impulse when you smile at me. Like I want to step in front of a bus, in a good way."
- Then there's this, which may cross over with Love Makes You Evil...
"I want people to tell their children terrifying stories about the things we did."
- Mama Bear: Inverted.
- Media Watchdog: Parodied.
- Nerd: Some of the "characters". Possibly the author himself.
- Nice to the Waiter: Subverted and parodied.
If someone is nice to you but mean to the waiter,
A waiter killed my whole family.
- Not Big Enough for the Two of Us: "Let's run away together!"
- One True Threesome: "Okay, you don't think 'threepover' is funny. But I still want to sleep with you both."
- Parental Abandonment: Played for equal measures of laughs and drama.
- Please Wake Up
- Protocol Peril: "'It's a compliment in their culture.' ... I am never believing anything you say again. (Now come bail me out.)"
- Rage Against the Heavens:
"Operator, put God on. Yes, I'll hold."..."God? You're next."
- Remix Comic: There's an entire community devoted to resetting the comics to figure skaters.
- This seems to be catching. Glee is a popular target.
- Doctor Who now has one, too.
- Now comes in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic variety as well.
- And Homestuck too.
- So too Earthbound and the general Mother series.
- And Kingdom Hearts.
- Aaaand Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger gets some too.
- Dragon Age joins the party...these should have their own page.
- Dont forget about the Hetalia one too.
- Also Hunger Games
- Brilliantly, Parks and Recreation has one as well.
- Revenge: You dedicate your life to it...then, the day after you get it, you see it for much cheaper online.
- Screw Destiny: "When I was just a little girl, I asked my mummy what should I be? "Fuck 'should'," she said."
- Screw Yourself: "I would totally make out with my clone. If it was okay with her. No pressure."
- Secret Other Family: #802.
- Shaped Like Itself: The "random strip" button is labeled "fnord"
- Shout-Out: To Spider-Man, among others.
- Smart People Play Chess: Geniuses play chess in bed.
- Some of My Best Friends Are X: "I'm not racist. My best friend is black. SHE'S the racist one."
- Deconstructed in another comic - having a gay friend doesn't mean you're not a bigot, it just means your friend isn't paying enough attention.
- Sophisticated As Hell
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Say it with me now, "You and me, and baby makes..."
- There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: 648.
- Title Drop: Comic #3
- To Hell and Back: Subverted brutally.
"If you died, I would go through hell to bring you back. That would be easy. I'm not sure how to deal with us just drifting apart."
- Trans Equals Gay: "No, I don't want to be a woman. What a stupid, limiting idea of homosexuality. I want you to be the woman."
- Very Special Episode: Occasionally, the strips forgo jokes to deliver a poignant message.
- Virgin Sacrifice: "If I could get a hold of a beautiful virgin girl, would I be summoning you in the first place?"
- Write Who You Know: The authors have used photos of their friends.