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The Lounge is a slice-of-life webcomic by artist John Joseco. The comic stars Italy Ishida, a Japanese-American young woman who takes over running the titular family business (a comic, anime, video game and coffee shop) after her father takes ill, and Max Espinosa, a teenage Filipino-American who is a close friend of Italy and the assistant manager of The Lounge.
The comic started as a gag-a-day strip, but very quickly became a story-driven slice-of-life comic. It can be found here at Keenspot, and occasionally has NSFW updates.
This comic provides examples of:
- Animesque: The artist also borrows a few of the anime artistic trademarks, beyond just the general style of the characters.
- Art Evolution
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Quite common in the earliest strips, though anymore, the most abuse the Fourth Wall gets is a bit of leaning on.
- Butch Lesbian: Altough Italy can be girly when she wants, but she is also a very masculine.
- But Liquor Is Quicker: Vilehelm daughters try to pull this on Italy.
- Cast Full Of Lesbians:
- Cerebus Syndrome: The inclusion of longer story arcs led to some more serious plots being incorporated, culminating in serious family conflict between Italy Ishida and her father, and the introduction of the children of her father's former business partner, hellbent on destroying the family business
- Cuteness Proximity: Jamie has it.
- Date Rape Averted: Good thing Italy's friends saw Elsa and Rain take drunken Italy away...
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Quite often, to point of Running Gag. It's generally better to shout before entering 18+ section of the shop...
- Depraved Bisexual: The antagonists, Elsa and Rain Vilehelm.
- Fan Service
- Feuding Families
- First Girl Wins: Aya to Italy.
- Gamer Chick: Italy
- Guest Strip:
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Italy and Elsa resort to settle matters.
- Homage: Several, usualy non-canon pages, sometimes longer.
- I Have No Daughter: Italy's father after Italy and Aya official hook up.
- Incest Subtext: Between Rain and Elsa.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Jamie MacKenzie, who is the quirky, irrepressibly happy foil to her coworkers Italy and Max.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Tobiasn Ingram
- No Bisexuals: First averted, then played straight thanks to Retcon, then traded out for the Depraved Bisexual trope.
- Otaku Surrogate: Italy. Not only does she like Video Games, Comic Books and Anime, but she fancies women, too.
- Punch Clock Villain: Tobias again, who really couldn't care less about feud between Vilehelm and Ishida.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The comic stays on calendar, and there are regular seasonal and holiday story arcs, particularly centered around Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. This can lead to stories getting rushed to keep up with the calendar.
- Suddenly Sexuality: Italy. While having a bunch of sexual encounters with her female friend Aya (which were usually played for laughs), Italy also showed interest in men including the main male character Max, which made it seem like she was bisexual, or that her sexuality didn't matter. Later, she declared that she was only a lesbian, and a bunch of other times Italy and Aya had sex were retconned in to justify their new relationship.
- Made more complicated but Italy's continued tendency to tease Max, often in a highly sexualized manner.
- Yakuza: Implied that Italy's Japan branch to be involved with.
- Write What You Know: It should be of little surprise to anyone that the author/artist is a huge anime and video game fan.