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Live, die, repeat as necessary.
Aquapunk is a webcomic first conceived in 2008 by Lauren "Lo" Baker. It has existed in its current incarnation since 2009. It's a fantasy/sci-fi webcomic, with some action and suspense, about a race of sea dwellers called Esani, and the conflicts that arise between them and the sentient, stone-bodied Faithful, who appear to be little more than waste byproduct from their culture's long history of dabbling in magic. The comic itself is hand-drawn and in full color. It updates on Thursdays, though sometimes more often than that.
Aquapunk contains examples of:
- Action Prologue
- Animated Armor: The Nosda can be seen as animated stone suits.
- Not quite an example of Living Statue, however, because they only become inanimate upon death have an internal structure.
- Cleavage Window: Siai has one, even though Esani, being non-mammalian, don't have breast tissue.
- Crapsack World: Noarunosd
- Con Lang: Sennan. The dominant language spoken through the territories under Noarunod's rule.
- Yes, it's very fleshed out, and while it bears some similarity to English, it is almost completely original. A "Sennan 101" PDF is currently in the works.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Faithful come pre-packaged without any roots, relatives or responsibilities-- they just appear.
- Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: Military, paramilitary and government personnel all have similar uniforms. Non-civilian magic workers usually incorporate the uniform into their ritualistic dress.
- Esoteric Motifs: Lots of them, though most have been made up and worked out into its own system of mysticism.
- Sometimes imagery is borrowed from some Mesoamerican cultures (almost guaranteed to be Mayan, as most of the comic aesthetic borrows from that anyways, though occasionally Aztec).
- Western symbolic systems are often avoided, though sometimes without success. The problem with using them is that they take away from the believability of the setting and culture (and sometimes just plain old make no sense), but creating an entire system of visual imagery from scratch can result in the alienation of the reader. So little compromises must be made.
- Facial Markings: Esani have symmetrical blotches and patterns on their face and bodies. Bluer Esani have white markings, and green Esani have darker green ones.
- Fantastic Racism: Siai politically advocates for the genocide of all Faithful, everywhere.
- Fish People
- Five-Man Band
- Flashback Echo
- Gray and Gray Morality: The entire comic-verse. Everybody has an agenda, everybody's done something horrible, and everybody's absolutely convinced that they're in the right.
- Grew a Spine: Coron
- Gut Feeling: Coron. Weird things happen, and he's almost sure something is up.
- Harmful to Minors: Siai's childhood flashback in "The Plan"
- Henchmen Race: The Faithful to... everyone else.
- Granted, they were not created originally for that purpose. It was just sort of a happy accident, like stumbling upon a nugget of gold at Sutter's Mill.
- The Hero's Journey: Coron
- Humanoid Aliens: The Esani
- Informed Obscenity: "Cet!"
- Perpetual Motion Monster: The Faithful
- Skilled but Naive: Coron, Aogaur, and Eieron, from their lives as a typical Faithful. (See below.) Thankfully, they have Avimo to provide street smarts.
- Super Soldier: The Faithful have regenerative capabilities and are a bit harder to kill than the average Nosda. Their special situation lends itself perfectly to lives of relative isolation in the care of the state, and education based solely on its relevance to military necessity.
- There Are No Coincidences
- Underwater City
- Water Is Air: Responsible for a Nosda's or Faithful's ability to move quickly underwater, and unrealistic depictions of melee combat and light, mostly.
- Though the trope is averted whenever possible: depth issues, language, movement, clothing, dissolution of things like blood and silt, food, and murkiness can be handled at least semi-realistically without negatively impacting the storytelling.
- Words Can Break My Bones: Aquapunk is based in a society run by magic and Magitech