Avalon (webcomic)

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Avalon is a webcomic hosted on Keenspot, written and drawn by Josh Phillips. It was launched in November 1999 and officially ended in February 2007.

Sixteen-year-old Ceilidh ("Kay-Lee") MacFarlene moves with her family to the fictional town of Avalon, Ontario, Canada from Ottawa. There, she starts Grade 11 at Avalon High School and becomes friends with six of the students there.

She first meets Joseph Page and his best friend Alan Gunderson, then Ryan Aberdeen "The Geek To End All Geeks," the bubbly Helène Richer who constantly chases Alan, Alison Montgomery, and Phoebe Bradley - who prefers to be called "Feeb" - with a constant dislike of men.

This Slice of Life webcomic features their time together in and out of Avalon High School.

Not to be confused with Meg Cabot's young adult novel and manga series Avalon High or the Mamoru Oshii film of the same name.

Tropes used in Avalon (webcomic) include:

Sports Announcer: ... And a group of fans seem to have brought a banner which reads the value of "pi," accurate to 40 decimals ...


Ceilidh: ... But why are you eating the pork sausages?
Alison: Oh, trust me Ceilidh, whatever the heck these are made of, it ain't pork ...

  • In-Series Nickname: "Feeb/Feebs" for Phoebe.
  • It Got Worse: Some time after Patrick found out about Deirdre's pregnancy and cowardly ran away, she had a miscarriage.
  • Jerkass:
    • Todd, Phoebe's OAC ex-boyfriend who abused and dumped Phoebe shortly after and started spreading rumours about her in school that she is gay. Joe soon reciprocated against Todd by pushing him down the stairs.
    • Deirdre's ex Patrick from her high school days. She hooked up with him because she thought he was tough and a rebel like herself. However, after he got her pregnant and finding out about it, he turned out to be a coward and ran away, leaving Deirdre to deal with the pregnancy on her own. Unfortunately, it didn't end there: she had a miscarriage.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Joe pushing Todd down the stairs to "vent his frustrations" regarding his loss of Phoebe. The question is if Joe really knew what a Jerkass Todd was ...
  • Lady in Red: Ceilidh wore a sleeveless red dress on her movie date with Joe. See She Cleans Up Nicely below.
  • Land Down Under: Iain is Australian.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Joe & Helène and Ceilidh and Phoebe at the comic's end.
  • Let's Just Be Friends: When Joe breaks up with Ceilidh, telling her he thinks they would be Better as Friends, like they were before. He apologizes for lying to her about his true feelings; he only wanted her to be happy, which is why he went out with her in the first place.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Ceilidh, Phoebe, Alison.
  • Longing Look: In the school cafeteria Joe stares at Helène from across the room. His look is somewhat intense due to his contemplating how he turned out not asking her to the spring dance.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Helène.
  • Love At First Sight: Alan becomes infatuated with Ceilidh upon their first meeting.
  • Love Confession: Ceilidh invites Joe to meet her at Tim Hortons, where she asks him to "go steady" with her. Also Phoebe towards Ceilidh during grad night, who beforehand gives Ceilidh her First Kiss.
  • Love Dodecahedron
  • Love Letter Lunacy: At the beginning of the comic Ryan leaves a love letter in Ceilidh's locker. It is uncertain whether Ceilidh was relieved or insulted when Ryan informs her he put the letter in her locker by mistake. In Grade 12 Ceilidh finds another letter in her locker from her secret admirer, asking for them to meet and for her to wear the necklace.
  • Meaningful Name: There are a few:
    • Ceilidh in Gaelic means "an informal social gathering with folk music, singing, dancing, and storytelling."
    • Deirdre is Irish, Gaelic, and possibly Celtic for "broken-hearted, sorrowful" and could also be translated as "fear" or "raging woman." Deirdre is also the name of one of the most famous women in Irish folklore, as a woman of great beauty with a tragic story; The Other Wiki describes it in detail.
    • Ciaran is Gaelic for "little dark-haired one."
  • Meaningful Rename: Phoebe and Ryan nickname themselves. Phoebe introduces herself to Ceilidh as "Feeb."

Phoebe: I hate "Fee-Bee!" Please call me "Feeb!"[1]
Ceilidh: Okay, but I'm sure I've heard that as an insult before."


Joe: "Ryan Aberdeen: The Geek To End All Geeks."
Ceilidh: Oh, come on, that's mean.
Joe: Um, Ceilidh, that's what he called himself. We had more colourful nicknames for him.

  • Rapunzel Hair: Deirdre and Helène (when the latter's grows back from the "chewing gum incident").
    • Deirdre is even able to braid hers in eight seconds or less due to not having it cut for twenty years. Observe comic 2:47.
  • The Reveal
    • Remember the bearded guy trying to light up at Hildegarde's and driving Alison insane? He's Joe's father Jimmy Page! Officially his name on the cast page is James Page. This took Alison - and the readers - by total surprise.
      • When viewing the previous comics again, in retrospect there is a Strong Family Resemblance between them. The beard throws you off.
    • "Thanks" to Phoebe, she reveals Deirdre's secret to Ryan about Deirdre's pregnancy with her Jerkass ex-boyfriend Patrick back from her high school days.
    • After Phoebe's Jerkass ex-boyfriend Todd abused her, cruelly broke up with her and spread rumours about her, he soon showed up at school wearing a neckbrace and casts. How this happened? Joe confesses to Ceilidh that he pushed him down the stairs.
    • In the text ending Ceilidh tells Joe that she was the one who talked Helène into tutoring Joe for final exams, admitting that "Helène would probably be better for him than she ever was."
  • Running Gag: On the first day of school for Grades 11 and 12, someone points out to Ceilidh that a dryer sheet is stuck to the back of her vest. For OAC year, Ceilidh just outright brings it herself. She gives it to Phoebe as a symbolic gesture for a fresh start. Also see Overly Long Gag above.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Corner, the chemistry teacher.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Ceilidh and Phoebe at the comic's end.
  • Second Love: Deirdre for Ryan, and vice versa.
  • Secret Relationship: Ryan and Deirdre for a good portion of the comic.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When Joe picks up Ceilidh for their movie date, he sees her in her sleeveless red dress. Joe is floored at the change.
    • Previously in the comic Joe commented to Ceilidh (wearing a black turtleneck and plaid skirt at the time) how rare it is for her to wear skirts aside from her uniform.
    • Ceilidh mistakenly wears a more formal sleeveless red dress to Alison's New Year's party during Grade 11. When Ceilidh voices her misjudgement about this, Joe insinuates that this is not such a bad thing "in retrospect."
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: When Ceilidh's efforts to win over Iain remained fruitless, she turns her attentions to Joe. This trope also applies to Deirdre towards Ryan.
  • Sleep Learning: Joe dreams of Geddy Lee quizzing him on the following day's history exam, despite Joe's protestations that he wanted to sleep.
  • Slice of Life
  • Supporting Protagonist: Ceilidh got accusations of this in the second and "third" years, when the other characters' family strife and the consequences of their shared Backstory began to drive the strip.
  • Student Council President: Joe ran for election in Grade 11. At the podium on the school stage he started reciting the "I Am Canadian" speech until he was interrupted by Alan.
  • Take Back Your Gift: While they weren't going out - although it almost happened! - Ceilidh takes off the necklace to return it to Alan. He was actually okay with it since he is now under the assumption that she is a lesbian. Ceilidh drops the necklace in shock.
  • Teen Drama: Boy, is there ever!
  • Temporary Love Interest: Ceilidh gets an unrequited crush on Iain upon their first meeting. Eventually Iain moves back to Australia when the school year ends, and nothing happens between them.
  • Tim Hortons: Much takes place here, especially after Deirdre gets a job there. There's even a Story Arc called "How Coffee and Doughnuts Destroyed My Life."
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Deirdre is very noticeably taller than Ryan, by about half a head.
  • Tomboy: Ceilidh tends to dress more casually and be overly aggressive when challenged, especially by Joe. Noelle can also qualify.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ceilidh and Alison in the first few months, when the latter was more innocent and Phoebe hadn't yet supplanted her as the former's primary Foil.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Alison got noticeably more arrogant and full of herself as the strip progressed.
  • Was It All a Lie?: See Let's Just Be Friends above.
  • Webcomic Accent Absence: For someone of clearly Scottish decent, Ceilidh almost never speaks with an accent. This may be her own choice or a choice by the author to avoid stereotyping her.
    • Ceilidh and Ciaran were likely born in Canada so an accent would not be as prevelant in their speech. It comes up occasionally with Ceilidh when she's at home.
  • We Are Not an Item: Comic 1:64 was the first instance where the possibility of Ceilidh liking Joe was brought up:

Alison: I think you like him!
Ceilidh: Oh, God no! It's not like that!

    • Comic 1:78 has Ceilidh denying this again to Alison; in 1:79 Alison makes another insinuation which is Played for Laughs:

Alison: I heard you and Phoebe had something going on ...
Ceilidh: There's nothing between Phoebe and I! We just talked!!
Alison: (raises eyebrow) Are you sure you're having guy troubles, Ceilidh?

  • We Used to Be Friends: in Grade 9 Joe had feelings for Phoebe but did not act on them due to uncertainty if his feelings would be reciprocated. Phoebe started going out with Todd at the same time Alan started seeing Helène. As a result, Joe felt abandoned and his friendship with Phoebe was changed.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Joe and Ceilidh throughout most of the comic's run.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Nancy ambushes Joe in the halls after school hours.
  • You Didn't Ask: Ceilidh finally learns the identity of her secret admirer at Hildegarde's Café -- from Alison, who admitted witnessing Alan leaving the necklace in her tent.

Ceilidh: And you didn't tell me??
Alison: I thought you knew already! I mean, you never asked.

  1. This never comes up again; only her sisters and Ceilidh call her "Feeb."