Credenza: I wasn't trying to be a hero. I just saw they needed help. How could I turn away from that? I can't just look the other way and pretend there isn't evil at work here.
The Archipelago is a completed web comic by H. L. Devera.
One cold night, Credenza discovers a man named Blitz washed up on the shores of Ruin Island. Blitz is wounded and on the brink of death, but with Credenza's help is able to recover. The only problem? Blitz has lost his memories as well as his sanity. Archipelago follows Credenza and Blitz's story as they become involved in a colossal battle between good and evil, journey to new parts of the titular Archipelago, and make a few friends along the way.
This web comic can be found at the official site as well as the creator's deviantART page.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Holly.
- Accidental Kiss: Willium and Nim here.
- A Day in the Limelight: Captain Snow in Book 4.5.
- Aerith and Bob: Considering the fantasy setting, not terribly shocking.
- Affably Evil: Captain Snow is this most of the time, making jokes and snide comments; he's
probablyvery capable of dropping it, though.
- After the End: In the back story. There was a Magitek civilization that built the machines like Snow's arm, guns, the submarines, the dragon the archipelago is built upon, which the Great Raven, Dragonfly and 4 other Magitek A.I.s ran.. And duct tape! Also genetically engineered the were-animals like were-sharks and probably the others as well.
- Hints that this may be a far-future or alternate Earth, given that the common language is descended from English (retaining the name, but about as intelligible to modern English speakers as modern English would be to Old English) and characters have read aloud from real written works.
- All There in the Manual: The cast page explains a number of details about the characters' backgrounds and abilities that otherwise don't get a lot of detail in the story.
- The Listing of Names could also count as an in-world example.
- The Author also on occasion leaves notes with certain strips that pose as a sort as insight into the makings of individual characters or elaborations on elements of the Archipelago world i.e. information about the inner workings of magic in this setting.
- The Listing of Names could also count as an in-world example.
- And I Must Scream: Those who are posessed by a raven spirit but are captured or simply no longer useful may be Soul Sealed. Essentially the subjects soul is sealed deep within their body and while they remain alive and aware, they cannot move or act in 'any' way at all.
- Anti-Hero: Based on what people who knew him say, Anthony was an Anti-Hero.
- Also, Raven could qualify as a type II or III.
- Anti-Magic: Knull's gift. Possibly the only reason Snow didn't kill him along with the rest if his family. Either that, or because he makes good tea.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Credenza would like for us to know that Captain Snow is a filthy coward, inexcusably evil, and poorly dressed.
- Art Evolution: Seriously. Compare this with this.
- Artificial Limb: Snow has a cyborg arm (which is quickly growing in a cyborg body because he keeps getting injured). For a more bizarre example, Anansi uses scarfs for arms.
- A Taste of the Lash: Uru, in Credenza's place.
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Blitz likes shinies.
- Author Appeal: In the creator's own words, "In case you haven't realized, Archipelago is pretty much one big excuse for me to draw strange animals."
- Badass Preacher: Miss Tabitha is a nun. A rather elderly nun. Do not be fooled by appearances. Do not threaten her abbey's residents. Do NOT tear books in her library!
- Badass Abnormal: Due to the high individual nature of magic, everyone in the band has a different sort of magic, because of the nature of their mission they are also very powerful.
- Bad Dreams: Credenza sometimes has these about her childhood
- Ballroom Blitz: Book 6. Snow and an army of Ravens attempt a hostile takeover of the Quillotia Castle while King Mikel is hosting a party to welcome home his long-lost cousins, the Luck brothers.
- BFS: Riley's sword, The Jawbreaker, is so heavy only someone with a (half-)wereshark's strength can lift it.
- Big Bad: The Great Raven
- Big Beautiful Woman: Riley has always preferred something with a little meat on it.
- Big Brother Instinct: Uru, to Credenza.
- Big Eater: Riley to a T.
- Big Good:Dragonfly at least he was
- Big Yes: Snow, when he's being attacked by Dragon!Blitz
- Beast Man: Even referred to as such, or werebeasts. Known races include werecats (Miss Tabitha the nun), werehyenas and other canines (Kurr), weresharks (Tuff and Riley are half-wereshark), and wereorcas.
- Blind Seer: ...Kind of. Anansi Padma is blind in one eye, but it doesn't seem relevant at all to her seeing the future. In fact, it was her trying to stop the future from happening that caused her to become blind in one eye and lose her arms.
- Blowing a Raspberry: Blitz, to Captain Snow after tearing his mechanical arm off.
- Body Horror: Dude.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "What if my teeth scare him? What if I drop him? What if he explodes?!"
- Cassandra Truth-No, Blitz didn't kill her. He also didn't kill that guy whose body he was found standing over, literally caught red-handed. Seriously, he didn't kill them.
- Catgirl: Miss Tabitha, among others.
- Chekhov's Gun: On this page, and observant reader will notice that when Charlie licks Credenza's cheek, there's a tiny blue magic flash and her scratch is suddenly gone. In the next chapter, this happens.
- Circling Birdies: Happens quite often.
Credenza: Heh heh... Pweety lights...
- Another time, when Paollo's waking up from a vision
Tusura: Okay, Paollo, how many fingers am i holding up?
- Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity: On Hidden Island.
- Cloudcuckoolander: In a word, Blitz.
- Paollo qualifies as well. Also, Mikel. There's also Clair, but she's a child so it's really more of an active imagination.
- Clothing Damage: "Was it really necessary to get rid of his clothes, or was that just for effect?"
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Different types of magic, different colors.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: This or possibly a combo of it and Lethal Chef describe Riley's cooking. His signature dish is best described as fish still-kicking cooked into a pancake batter. Both of these tropes are actually averted, as his dish is delicious, loved but lost by the Pintur family.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: who knew blitz could do this
- Curse Cut Short: Raven, of the injured mid sentence variety.
Raven: Curse it, Snow! You soul thieving son of a B- *Mona wallops with baseball bat* -UHK!
- Deadly Doctor: Captain Snow. See Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of the characters have their moments, but Raven's the most notable.
Raven: Nice try, Riley, but it will take more than halitosis to scare me.
- Deal with the Devil: Snow, Snow's crew, and every other person possessed by a raven.
- Death by Childbirth: Poor Chesska.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Color is reserved for magical effects, lending them extra strength and making climactic fights bright and dramatic. The side story about Snow, Snowflakes, was also done in full color.
- Also, flashbacks are given the color treatment.
- Demonic Possession: The Shadomandyr Queen uses Simon this way. When the Raven sees Dragonfly he posses Snow so he could kill Dragonfly personally, Snow is angry about this because the terms of the his deal stated no possessions. Oh, and The Raven causes Snow to change into a massive raven with a shock of white feather on his head.
- That would be Morphic Resonance.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Credenza goes barefoot quite often.
- The Dragon: Snow to the Great Raven. Though Snow is showing signs of being a Dragon with an Agenda.
- Duct Tape for Everything: You're in the middle of nowhere, and the heart crystal, the only thing that can keep your sub going, is falling apart. So you put it back together with... DUCT TAPE!
- Dull Surprise: Lucinda, to pretty much everything. Justified since she's emotionless.
- Dynamic Entry: Credenza is on the beach, surrounded by shadowmandyrs, and then, suddenly.... Blitz emerges from the ocean. Smashing the shadowmandyrs. While riding a hammerhead shark.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Raven, somewhat. Riley's dish that combines fish and pancakes but is so raw that that the fish still move, more so.
- Also, Riley's attempt at transforming into a wereshark.
- Emotionless Girl: Lucinda. Justified: she had her heart broken (by a man hinted at having something to do with the Raven, no less), and her price for joining the Raven was to have her heart really broken, so she couldn't feel pain anymore.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In Snowflakes, we have Noemi, Captain Snow's wife, and Yula, his daughter.
- Snow also seems to be oddly protective of his nephew, Knull.
- Averted, also in Snowflakes when we see Snow kill his mother in a flashback.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Snow loves tea, and once berated his crew for trying to burn down a tea house. Though he still refrained from warning them when the shop owner proceeded to poison every cup (even his).
- Evil Genius: Snow claims to be trained as a doctor, has jury rigged medical implements using advanced tech, can use magic, and at one point animates bone skeletons.
- Explosive Breeder: Apparently, Moofs.
- Eye Scream: Ravens enter through your left eye to possess you. Not only that, but Blitz (back when he was Anthony Solair) stabs his own eye out in a effort to keep Raven from possessing him.
- Eye Take: Both Raven and Credenza on this page.
- Fainting Seer: According to Tusura, it often takes a bucket of cold water to snap Paollo out of his visions.
- Fantastic Racism: Usually directed against weresharks and related half-bloods. Weresharks are seen as predatory monsters (and culturally, that's not far off the mark) who are better off dead. Tuff and Riley Luck, as half-bloods (they had a human mother), face all the prejudices ascribed to sharkmen, and even their shark kin would kill them as abominations. It's especially bad in Quillotia, the Luck brothers' home city, which is home to a large population of wereorcas, who hate weresharks more than any other race.
- Food as Bribe: Riley likes fish pie.
- Later, Credenza to Raven.
Raven: I am an ancient spirit of the dark. You think you can bribe me with a mere pastry?
- Frame-Up: Just before the story actually begins, Anthony/Blitz was blamed for the death of his captain's fiance. Turns out it was actually the captain himself who killed her when she discovered he was shipping illegal goods.
- Friend to All Living Things: Credenza, though she makes a special exception for Captain Snow, whom she would gladly personally throttle.
- Five-Bad Band
- Five-Man Band
- Foreshadowing: This page shows some of the characters from Book 8 before they are introduced.
- Book 2, page 47, Blitz says "Even if they throw me in the ocean, I'll just swim and swim until i find you again." Fifteen pages later, guess what happens.
- Funny Background Event: Though the moment where Snow steals Credenza's soul is very intense, it's hard not to laugh at the picture of the pterodactyl with a laser beam coming out of it's mouth in the background. Here.
- God Save Us All: Paollo is the prince of the Solid Tower, the destined ruler of the Eastern Continent! In his hands lies the future of our country!
- Gosh Dang It to Heck: Alice is trying to untie a bag rather urgently. It's got lots of tight knots. So Alice, a girl raised around sailors, starts swearing at it like only she can:
Alice: Crumbs! Toast crumbs! Toast crumbs with butter and jam you stupid bag!
- Word of God says that it's hard to come up with G-rated swears.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Beastmen can mix with humans, though it's rare. Tuff and Riley are half-wereshark. A hybrid can get some beneficial traits like strength, danger-sense, or a powerful sense of smell, but shapeshifting into a more animalistic form is generally right out -- they can try, but it won't be pretty and is probably lethal. Tuff describes the result as looking something like tuna casserole.
- Heel Face Turn: Raven gets a soul.
- Hot Sub-On-Sub Action: Second book, Captain Snow versus the Royal Guard.
- Humanity Ensues: All the A.I.s but The Great Raven in the back-story, Raven starts at the end of book 6 from Credenza's magic overload, and finishes in book 7, triggered by strong emotions.
- Human Shield: The Shadomandyr Queen uses Simon as one.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Vaniji.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Alice's brother Lio,to Riley.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: With Paollo's guards, after they're brainwashed by Vaniji
- Played during the beginning, with Credenza/Blitz/Raven
- With Simon, when he's possessed by the Shadowmandyr Queen
- Imaginary Friend: Clair has one, named Benjamin.
- I'm Crying but I Don't Know Why: Blitz does it here and here. Turns out that the first time he's crying the first time because before his memory loss, he had a wife who died in childbirth. The second time, we know about this... But he doesn't. He had just woken up from a dream which was a memory of his wife. Word of God says Blitz doesn't understand his dreams, they just make him sad.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Riley sprouts lots of little hearts watching the "three time champion of the Ladies of Quillotia Wrestling Federation and Book Club" in action.
- Snow and Yula, though Yula was not particularly good, and willingly joined Snow.
- Riley, there are better times to propose...
- Instant Bandages: Happens a lot.
- Insult to Rocks: Comparing Vaniji (Unless Snow's referring to Han?) to chopped liver would be an insult to dog food.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Tuff, sadly.
- I Owe You My Life: Blitz, to Credenza.
- Ironic Echo: 'It's only okay when you do it.'
- Life Energy: One source of magic.
- Light Is Not Good: Played for laughs.
- Like Brother and Sister: Uru and Credenza.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Han.
- Loss of Identity: Blitz.
- The Merch: What better way to enjoy a cup of tea than to have it served in a mug with a picture of everyon'e favorite undead soul-stealing pirate king?
- Mind Control Eyes: Those controlled/hypnotized by Vaniji. They don't always look like it though.
- Morality Pet: Stretching the definition almost to the breaking point, but Captain Snow's nephew Knull and his widow Noemi and their daughter Yulalia, who was born shortly after Snow died.
- Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Someone was apparently crazy enough to give Snow a doctorate.though his backstory mentions that he was kicked out of med school because he proposed unethical experiment, he still is probably fully trained though.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Holly calls Clair by her mother's name by accident- she wasn't paying attention at the time.
- Nice Hat: Pretty much everyone on Quillotia.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Captain Snow is an undead cyborg pirate king.
- Noodle Incident: Nim, after rescuing Willium from the belly of the Shadomandyr Queen, states simply "That was definitely the third weirdest thing to ever happen to me."
- We're not sure what happened at Mikel's 21st birthday party, but when he brings it up in comparison with Snow's attack on Castle Quillotia, you know it has to have been crazy.
- Not Using the Z Word: The Darkeyes. Not all of them are actually dead bodies, as Snow can form them from whatever material is handy, but they look like human corpses.
- Ocean Madness: Blitz. Apparently he was already going mad as it was- Raven simply hurried the process along.
- Oh Crap: Han's expression in this page, for very good reason.
- Orphanage of Love: All of the nuns are orphans.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: Credenza's hair tie, seemingly.
- Painting the Medium: Each character has a specific font in their speech balloons to represent their "voices."
- Also, people with a raven spirit are drawn with red eyes.
- Parental Abandonment: Tuff and Riley's wereshark father disappeared while they were still quite young, and their mother took off to try to find him once they turned 16.
- People Jars: Dragonfly is in one of these when the gang finds him.
- Power Gives You Wings: Raven wings, specifically.
- Pet Baby Wild Animal: According to Paolin, Credenza has brought home countless dangerous, injured beasts home.
- Pregnant Hostage: The King's wife during Snow's attack on Quillotia; she goes into labor as soon as the battle is over.
- Punny Name: Tuff Luck
- Put on a Bus: Prince Paollo's guards
- The Bus Came Back: In book 7, when they go to Paper Island to find Kor, they also find Paollo's guards, all brainwashed by Vaniji.
- Crows and Ravens: No actual ravens, but the Big Bad is called The Raven and looks distinctly birdlike.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Han always sews before a battle, despite being one of the most threatening of Snow's crew.
- Rebus Bubble: used here and here.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Great Raven and those under his power.
- Red Right Hand: take note of anyone who is missing their left eye especially if it happened recently.
- Running Gag: "If you support *insert topic relevant to the current strip here*, vote for Archipelago!"
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Great Raven.
- Self-Made Orphan: Captain Snow.
- Sense Freak: Raven after becoming fully human. More specifically, he's interested in taste. Word of God says he has a very detailed diary of everything he's ever eaten and whether he likes it or not.
- Shark Man: A whole species of them with a culture that all about violence and blood. Tuff and Riley's dad was a nicer one.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Credenza, at the royal dinner in Quillotia
- Prince Paollo quotes a Beatles song and Macbeth.
- Snow reads Poe's "Conqueror Worm" to his daughter Yulalia.
- Credenza sings "That's Amore" and "Somewhere Out There."
- Also, on this page, what Blitz says to Dragonfly: Do you have anything in your bag for ME Mr. Wizard?
- Vaniji misquotes Hamlet here.
- In one of the promotion messages below the comic, it's asked if you support "sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing".
- Slap Slap Kiss: From Noemi, Snow's wife, to Snow, and followed by another slap.
- Slave Brand: Captain Snow has one he occasionally uses on slaves or underlings. Credenza has the brand on her arm.
- Smells Sexy: When they meet him, Dragonfly gives Riley the scent of his mate. Later, he finds the person with that scent, who also happens to be an heir.
- Something Person: It's Laundry Pants Man!
- Spell My Name with a "The": The Great Raven, partially to avoid confusion with Raven, partially because it sounds cooler.
- Spider Sense: Or rather, "Sharky Sense" as Riley calls it. Can be rather intense.
- Start of Darkness: Snow as a kid took animals apart to see how they worked and because he thought they did nothing useful. A lot of sociopaths in the real world also start by killing animals, so it isn't too much of a stretch.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Credenza looks a lot like her parents. She also looks like the younger Dragonfly, and both have the same magic. Even her soul has dragonfly wings.
- Between Knull and Snow and Yulalia.
- And also, Claire looks a lot like her mother Chesska and her father Blitz/Anthony.
- Submarine Pirates: Captain Snow and his crew.
- Suicide Attack: Captain Vander tries to pull one on the Luck brothers.
- Symbiotic Possession: Blitz and Raven, starting somewhere in book three.
- Symbol Swearing: Occasionally.
- Talkative Loon: Blitz again, particularly in the beginning.
- Tarot Motifs: Willium Drake uses magical cards resembling Tarot cards.
- Team Mom: Credenza.
Raven: What makes that woman think she can order us around like that?
- Teleporter Accident: How about that stretcher?
- The Lost Lenore: Depending on how you look at it, Chesska's death kickstarts the entire plot. If she hadn't died, Anthony/Blitz probably wouldn't have gone off to join the navy, get framed for the death of the captain's fiance, been possessed by a Raven and gone completely insane, meet Credenza, and cause them to leave the island by sneaking aboard Paollo's submarine.
- The Messiah: Credenza.
Blitz-And that is how you will defeat Raven. You'll faith him to death!
- The Soulless: every raven
- Subverted both in that they have no interest in reclaiming their soul, and in that most of them have part of their souls and emotions still intact.
- The Rival: Nim to Willium Drake and vice-versa.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Those whose souls have been removed from their bodies.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Avians average maybe a meter in height. Word of God says that a "running joke in the Archipelago is that the only reason the Avians haven't wiped out all competing humanoid races is that they like tall women."
- Transformation Trinket: Dragons use these to switch between their human forms and their dragon forms. Blitz's is his watch
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Blitz. Eventually explained as something far deeper than as normally presented: when Raven came to possess him, he slashed out his own eye, an act which cut off Raven's escape route and damaged the spirit, which in turn damaged Blitz's mind. He's got almost no hope of getting his original memory back (which may be for the best).
- Unsuspectingly Soused: Gregor Samsa is a giant potato!
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: All full-blooded werebeasts have a human and animal form. Half-bloods could, in theory, but it would probably kill them. Han pulls off a simpler version with his appearance through garments sewn from magical materials.
- What Could Have Been: On at least one occasion the author has stated that Raven was originally going to be an occasional mook who would pop up now and again to throw a wrench into the situation for our intrepid heroes but that the author than pictured him and Credenza conversing and that his present character personality and role there in, evolved from that.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Han, when he's portrayed in black and white. In color he's actually blonde.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Snow had already died when the Great Raven conscripted him into service, and part of their deal is now that he can't die again. He finds this takes a great deal of excitement out of his second life.
- Why Are You Looking At Me Like That?: Can't be surprised, huh?
- Winged Humanoid: A lot, actually. There's Avians, those possessed by the Ravens seem to able to sprout magic wings, and Raven.
- Witch Doctor: Jan.
- Wolverine Claws: Lucinda uses them here, though it only causes the book to get mad.
- Written Sound Effect: Quite often.