Hyperbole and a Half
Hi. I'm Allie.
If I had to explain myself in six words, those words would be "heroic, caring, alert and flammable." That's only four words. Oh well, I guess I should have thought of that before I started writing. Too late now.
Hyperbole and a Half is a hybrid blog/Journal Comic by Allie Brosh. The journal and its attendant comics detail the life--past and present--of its writer, in a surreal, sketchy style. The humor is random, the stories even more so, and the comics, sketchy as they are, somehow have a distinct appeal.
Read it here. Or click the link above. Either works. Also see the wiki here. Allie also created a forum where her readers could gather, though it has spun off into its own community only tangentially related, you can find it here.
Currently[when?] on something of a hiatus while Allie works on her first book.
- And Call Him George: "How a Fish Almost Ruined My Childhood".
- Art Evolution: The page image doesn't really resemble Allie's art style anymore.
- Art Shift: Normally, the illustrations are drawn with a calculated childishness, but in "Wolves", the background trees, snow and wolves are actually pretty beautifully drawn, even though they're still rough.
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Allie has a genuine (professionally diagnosed, that is) case of ADHD. On the occasions where she makes posts while off her medication, it tends to get rather eccentric.
- Badly-Battered Babysitter: Benny, in "Wolves".
- Big Friendly Dog: Her dog, with the attendant lack of common sense.
- Blatant Lies: Her excuse for peeing in the woods in "Skeleton Man".
Mrs. Davison: Allie! What are you doing?
Me: Looking for ants.
- "I have a fucking trophy in my living room. For all of my accomlishments. It says "Allie: BEST FUCKING PERSON EVER!!!!!!!!!!" and it totally has all of those exclamation points too."
- Calvin Ball: "Baby Uterus Wall Ball", conceived by Allie as the explanation behind one of the Google queries leading to her site being "baby uterus not sticking to".
- Cloudcuckoolander: Simple Dog.
- Allie herself seems to slip in and out of this.
- Corner of Woe: Allie, in the recent strip.
- Creator Breakdown: No joke. Rather unfortunately, it got worse.
- Creepy Child: Young Allie comes across as one remarkably often. "Wolves" features not just her but her entire group of friends acting like Creepy Children.
- Dada Comic: There's really no explanation behind most of what goes on in the Spaghatta Nadle universe, but it resonates with people anyway.
- Deadpan Snarker: Boyfriend
Me: "The rules of Baby-Uterus-Wall-Ball are extremely rigid."
Boyfriend: "You need a job."
- The Ditz: Simple Dog. Yes, even for dog standards.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Her dog, named "Simple Dog", as described in "Dog." She fails several basic canine intelligence tests, but nonetheless manages to be endearing.
- She does have another dog who seems to be of normal intelligence for a dog, but makes up for it by being incredibly neurotic.
- Drop-In Character: Dubbed the "Well-Intentioned Social Terrorist" in one post.
- Everything's Worse with Bears
- Genki Girl: Allie.
- Grammar Nazi: In order to repress her grammarian tendencies, she invents reasons why people on the Internet type the way they do--one of which has alot of popularity.
- Heroic BSOD: Allie? You okay, hon?
- Hero of Another Story: Boyfriend
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Self-inflicted. Her parents tried to raise her well, but Allie managed to get into all kinds of hilarious and mildly traumatic trouble as a child. See The Fish Story, The Easter Bunny Story, The Party, The God of Cake, Bicycle, and Wolves, to name a few.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: "The Scariest Story".
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Poor Benny...
- Identity Amnesia: Happens to Simple Dog after being terrified of a statue of a horse, running off and having an adventure that completely displaces her former memories.
- I Was Told There Would Be Cake: "The God of Cake." Never underestimate the motivational power of sugar.
- Ill Girl: Allie has a noted propensity for becoming "dramatically ill."
- Intoxication Ensues: In one childhood story, she had a birthday party on the same day as major dental work. During her state of heavy sedation following the surgery, she manages to mortify her mother in public with her drugged-up antics.
- Journal Comic
- Kids Are Cruel: Or at least have very twisted ideas of fun games. From Wolves:
Unfortunately for Benny, we had not yet developed the ability to empathize with the pain and suffering of other people, and his terrified fleeing was pretty much the most fun thing that had ever happened to us.
- The Wolves example is especially weird, since the kids absolutely love the guy for playing with them and even make sure he gets an extra-large slice of cake as thanks.
- And from Please Stop:
When I was a child, one of the things I enjoyed doing was hitting other children with a stick. Many of my classmates also enjoyed doing this. We would walk through the forest in back of our school, trying to find the biggest stick we could feasibly wield as a weapon. When we found the right stick, we would lure an unsuspecting child out of the teacher's sight during recess and attack them. We called this game Stick War and it was the best game ever as long as you weren't the one being beaten mercilessly.
- Memetic Badass: In-Universe, with Kenny Loggins.
- Mercy Kill: "How A Fish Almost Destroyed My Childhood". It goes wrong. Horribly, hilariously wrong.
- Mundane Wish: After she has the revelation that her depression means she no longer cares what anyone thinks of her and she can do anything she wants, she...rents six horror films and buys dozens of bags of Skittles.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Allie accidentally made her little sister into one while trying to terrify the latter into staying up at night.
- No Name Given: She refers to her dogs as Simple Dog and Helper Dog, and her boyfriend as Boyfriend (although his real name, Duncan, is occasionally mentioned).
- She mentioned the simple dog's name here. It's Kellie.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: "Tricera-topless."
- Older Than They Look: In Texas, Allie tried to buy beer to celebrate for her 21st birthday, but the gas station refused to sell to her even with an ID because she "looked like a goddamn 16-year old." Eventually, one of her friends had to buy booze for her - a younger one with a fake ID.
- Pyrrhic Victory: A story of her younger self who devoured an entire cake and was sick for the rest of the day. She obviously considered it Worth It.
- Reactive Continuous Scream: Or rather, reactive continuous dog freak out.
When we were loading the dogs into the car, the constant, high-pitched sound emanating from the simple dog finally broke the helper dog. The helper dog wailed in anguish, which alarmed the simple dog. In her surprise, the simple dog let out a yelp, which further upset the helper dog. And so it continued in a wretched positive-feedback loop of completely unnecessary noise.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Her coping mechanism for poor internet grammar involves inventing the "Alot," a strange creature that resembles "a cross between a bear, a yak, and a pug," with whom people declare their interactions. ("I like this alot.")
- Stick Figure Comic: Not exactly, but pretty close!
- The Straight Man: Boyfriend, almost to the point of The Comically Serious.
- Stylistic Suck: The artwork. She often draws the same illustration ten times just to get it to look the right kind of terrible. The effort shows - the poses, expressions and so on are often perfect in a way a genuinely sucky artist could never produce on a regular basis.
- The Wiki Rule: After Allie announced her plans to have "mandatory sex party" become an actual term, after seeing the only result on google for it being her own blog, no one was surprised when a wiki was eventually made.
- Testosterone Poisoning: In "How To Make Showering Awesome Again". The post is full of ridiculous shower products, one being a "Shower Hammer", which works by bleeding the germs off.
- "Hammerspice Deodorant: More extreme than skateboarding in front of a surfboard in front of a flaming mountain while shooting arrows out of your armpits at a shark!"
- Then there's "XTREME MUSCLE PRODUCT!!!!"
"Thanks to Xtreme Muscle Product, I can explode a seagull with a single punch!"
- Varbal Tac: Spaghatta Nadle.
- Word Salad: One of the Google search queries that led to her site was "i drew pictures of sharks instead im sorry for calling you small", which Allie claims to have kept her up all night searching for meaning.
- Writer's Block Montage: In one sequence. Unlike most writers' blocks, though, Allie's is obsessed with bears and outer space.