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Platinum Grit is a webcomic by Danny Murphy and Trudi Cooper in a surreal, often nonsensical version of the real world, following the adventures of a mismatched trio of incompetent Australian misfits as they struggle to make sense of (or at least put up with) various encounters with the bizarre and inexplicable.
Jeremy MacConnor is a brilliant young science student whose work occasionally stretches the bounds of belief and who doesn't know much about girls, whose misadventures begin when he finds out that he has to fight a duel to the death with his Axe Crazy (and immortal) Cousin Dougal to find out who will inherit the ancestral Castle MacConnor. His best friend Nilson Kerr, a young lady of dubious morals who thinks that owning a castle sounds fun, doesn't care about Jeremy's rather understandable fear of death, and sets herself to the task of helping him inherit a castle. And so begins an increasingly bizarre series of adventures including an attempt by extra-terrestrials to get Jeremy laid, an investigation by a private detective who mistakenly thinks he's in a private eye dime novel, ghostly manifestations from the nearby lake, the MacConnor family's private mental asylum, a crazed zookeeper, a talking cupboard from Jamaica, and an insidious family conspiracy spanning generations. Eventually they're joined by Kate Provocski, a hack writer for trashy womens' magazines, whose cynicism and relatively sane personality make her the stable anchor of the group.
Each story arc lasts for 1-3 issues and is more or less self-contained, although character development for the three protagonists is a constant and gradual process, and later stories focus increasingly on the strange goings on of the MacConnor family which were only hinted at early in the piece.
This comic provides example of
- Planet Eris Exploding zoo animals, a road trip from Greenland to Australia (via Arkansas, Holland, and Mexico), extra-terrestrial matchmakers, immortals, and a manifestation of lust assuming the form of old Dungeons & Dragons art.
- Bad Dreams. Jeremy keeps having nightmares about his childhood tormentor Cousin Dougal suddenly returning. Despite Dougal looking suspiciously dead at the end of an early storyline, Jeremy's dreams might be more than just the result of childhood trauma.
- Flash Back Frequent flashbacks to Jeremy's childhood, especially memories of Uncle Angus.
- Jigsaw Puzzle Plot The first time around you won't even realise there's an overarching plotline at all until halfway through. The second time, you'll start noticing important supporting characters getting cameos several issues before their official debut, and all sorts of other foreshadowing.
- The Ace. Personification of Jeremy's heroic side. Springs into action inside Jeremy's subconscious to save him from having sex.
- All of the Other Reindeer. Almost all the MacConnors and their associates openly treat Jeremy as a mistake and an idiot. He doesn't know any better though, and doesn't seem to realise how profoundly abusive his childhood was.
- Anything That Moves. Nils. Anything except Jeremy that is.
- Axe Crazy Cousin Dougal lives and breathes this trope. It's his entire personality.
- Bottle Fairy. Nils. Kate as well, but especially Nils.
- Celibate Hero Jeremy initially seems like just a harmless Chaste Hero, but as the comic progresses we find out that his fear and embarassment are at downright neurotic levels, to the point where he'll choose serious bodily harm over even mildly inappropriate behavior.
- Captain Ersatz. Cousin Dougal just happens to be a centuries-old immortal Scottish swordsman. And his last name is Mc Wickening.
- The Chew Toy. Jeremy, especially when Nils is around (she even refers to him as a "bendy toy"). He honestly doesn't seem to mind though, since it's a step up from being The Woobie.
- Mad Doctor and Battleaxe Nurse. Mr Moorley (owner of the family sanitarium) and "Nurse Henkey" (a nurse he recently hired). It turns out neither of them are actually qualified.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Gradually subverted as Nils is so manic, so irresponsible, and so unconcerned about morality that she comes off as a deranged narcissistic sociopath. And Jeremy's so neurotically uptight that all the unwanted attention just drives him to self-harm.
- Ms. Fanservice. Nils is a Stripperific White-Haired Pretty Girl who spends near an entire issue in her underwear. Aiaiai...
- Parental Abandonment. Jeremy's parents vanished mysteriously (allegedly disinheriting him) while he was a child.
- The Snark Knight. Kate's cynical and jaded and she likes it that way just fine, thankyou for asking.
- White Sheep. Jeremy and Uncle Angus as far as the rest of the MacConnor clan is concerned. Especially Jeremy, who's shunned as an embarrassing aberration who'll never amount to anything.
- Wrong Genre Savvy. Played for laughs with Jack Leaderboard, a stereotypical hardboiled private eye who thought he'd stumbled upon a murder mystery. Done more disturbingly with a deranged zookeeper who played out an elaborate revenge fantasy as if it were an exercise in documentary filmmaking.
- Funetik Aksent. German accents, Jamaican accents, Jersey accents, real Scots accents, and badly impersonated Scots accents all get this.
- Schedule Slip. Dropping by the news agent once a week to see if it was in yet... Gave up after a couple of years.
- Now (mid-2011) pretty officially on-hiatus (according to forum bulletins), pending serious website re-tooling and reformatting to make it more like a typical webcomic. Of course the fact that the artist is already doing that pretty successfully with a new comic doesn't help.