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Luther: I thought they'd at least give me a chance to explain myself.
Nolte: What, so you could make a convincing case for atheism in a theology program? Ach du liebe Gute! I can guarantee you that half of the men on that committee have struggled with bouts of rationalism, but NONE of them were silly enough to write a dissertation about it.
Luther: You think I'm silly?
Nolte: You were impatient. You could have muscled your way through an accepted topic, worn your sheep's clothing for ten years or so, and then scared the HELL out of them as a senior faculty member.
Family Man is the story of Luther Levy, a Pietist by upbringing, half-Jew by heritage, and possible atheist by belief, living in what is now Germany in 1768. After alienating his wealthy patroness and being expelled from university for daring to turn in a paper essentially asserting that everything most people believe about God is false, Luther has little choice but to accept an acquaintance's offer of a job as a theology lecturer in an obscure university
halfway to the Urals in Moravia. But all is not as it seems at Familienwald University, not least between the troubled rector and his enigmatic librarian daughter.
Read it here. Comes complete with its very own notes section, in which the author recounts all the cool research she did in order to make everything historically accurate. The entire comic, in terms of art and writing, is not only beautifully done, but extremely accurate to the place and period. Lovers of history and fantasy should be pleased. See also the earlier, Alternate Continuity comic Bite Me by the same author, which also features Luther and Lucien. And spoilers!!!
This comic provides examples of:
- Adorkable: Luther
- Christmas Cake: Ariana can't be more than 30, but she's considered a spinster by the standards of the time; Luther initially calls her by "frau" instead of "fräulein", assuming she must be married at her age.
- Cool Old Guy: Nolte.
- Dean Bitterman: Averted in that while the cast page describes him as "bitter," Rector Nolte seems have taken a liking for Luther; though it has been implied that you don't want to get on his bad side.
- Gag Nose: Luther, his father, and his twin brother all have very noticeable noses that are just big enough to seem unrealistic while not big enough to cause real distraction. Looks like the other Jews got 'em, too.
- Gratuitous German: Averted, apart from a few very minor mistakes. (It should be "Guten Morgen...")
- Hot Librarian: Ariana
- Large Ham: "I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AND I KNOW MY OWN."
- Late Arrival Spoiler: Luther featured as a supporting character in the author's earlier webcomic Bite Me (set 24 years after this one and in a somewhat alternate universe), in which he was a werewolf.
- And starring in Bite Me, of course, was Lucien de St. Yves, who -- as anyone who's read the former knows, but as has only been hinted at in Family Man -- is a vampire.
- One Head Taller: Inverted. Ariana is one head taller than Luther.
- Our Werewolves Are Different, also they are kind of mysterious.
- Real Is Brown
- Rule of Cute: Word of God has it that the Levy family's dog is a mix of breeds that probably didn't exist in 18th century Germany, but she doesn't care due to this trope.
- Shown Their Work: Each strip is accompanied by 1-3 paragraphs explaining all of the research the author put into it.
- Skunk Stripe: Dark-haired Lucien has a thin streak of gray at his left temple (which according to Bite Me, is the result of being Locked Into Strangeness).
- Tantrum Throwing: Luther upends a table after his thesis is unfairly rejected.
- Town with a Dark Secret: Familienwald doesn't seem malevolent, but it's certainly got a secret...
- Uberwald: Familienwald has some shades of this. Just look at the name.