Scipio: That is absolutely the most evil thing I've ever seen you do
—Templar Arizona, chapter one: The Great Outdoors
Templar Arizona [dead link] is a long form full page sepia toned webcomic by the artist C. Spike Trotman. The comic takes place in a fictional version of Arizona, in a city that, if it existed in our world, would be in or near the Navajo reservation and has a that-world-only river, the Phocas, cutting through it that has been dammed upstream to the point of being non-existent in the town itself.
All of this and everything else shown so far has been heavily implied to be relevant. Someday.
Although the comic takes place in arguably a fantasy world it is better described as Alternate History, one in which perhaps a few wars didn't go the same way as they did here, but the base culture and the basic foundations of reality are the same as in reality.
Self described as an exercise in decompressed storytelling, it has an in-comic timeline of less than a month not including the flashbacks and the intermissions that take place at unspecified times in the Canon. The comic is available for free online and print editions that can be bought direct from Spike and, for now, through Diamond publishing. Templar, Arizona has won Web Cartoonist Choice Awards for Character Design and Character Writing. thisis a recent review of the comic
The chapters so far released are:
- 01 The Great Outdoors
- Intermission: The Sincerists
- 02 The Mob Goes Wild
- Intermission: Meet the Elliotts
- 03 And a Stick to Beat the Devil With
- Intermission: Little Cairo.
- 04 Trouble Every Day
- Intermission: Employee Apreciation
- 05 Lit
- Accidental Pervert
- Actual Pacifist
- Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: Your Mileage May Vary as to which Feather is.
- Alternate History: At some point, possibly ongoing, there is or was a guerilla war in Australia between the descendants of the colonists and the natives. Word of God is that the Nile Revivalists were founded in 1911 as a reaction to British colonialism.
- Ambiguously Brown: "Templar Brownish"
- Animal Wrongs Group
- Attention Whore: Curio.
- Band of Brothels: The Doves.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Reagan and Scipio.
- Or at least that's how most of the other characters perceive it; there is some Word of God against it.
- Berserk Button: Don't try to dilute Barney John's movement with publicity stunts.
- Likewise, you do not mess with Gene's video games.
- Ben of all people who gauges out E.J.'s after E.J. pistol whips him.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Reagan.
- Big Fun: Also Reagan.
- Black and Nerdy: Scipio
- Blood Sport: Diesel, some kind of no-foul illegal street lacrosse/hockey/rugby hybrid
- Boisterous Bruiser: Reagan
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Epiphany, and Antoinette. And while neither of them are his daughter Scipio has to deal with them both, poor bastard.
- Brutal Honesty: The Sincerists hat.
- Casa Lane Parenting: How Gene is taking care of Zora
- City of Adventure
- Chekhov's Gun
- Chekhov's Armoury
- Child Soldiers: fought in Australia's guerilla war
- Classical Mythology: There are a lot of background references to it if you pay attention.
- Coming of Age Story
- Costumer: Wickerheads, Pasttimes who consider themselves Born in the Wrong Century,
- Country Mouse: Morgan
- Crazy Survivalist : The Jakes
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Gene. Big time.
- Cult: A guide to Templar's various subcultures can be found here. Your Mileage May Vary as to which are cults and which are not.
- Culture Clash: Tuesday and Moze when she finds out he has a child fiancee due to an Arranged Marriage back in Egypt that he's never actually met. Doesn't help that she's 11 although they won't actually get married until she's 18.
- Cute and Psycho: Curio displays some of this personality type.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Andrew Pierce, Ben's editor, reveals himself as the king of this from page one:
"If you ever hand me some fucking travesty about peyote and quaaludes and Mexican transvestites, I will strangle you like a goddamn parakeet. I will twist your head off. Clean. Off. And I will do it over the phone. Everyone will be amazed.
- Reagan's fury when Zora turns up at Scipio's door step when she should be in school fits here, too:
"Gonna get so many pants pissed ain't nobody gonna bug you an' yer ol' man 'til yer in grad school."
- Decompressed Comic
- Collector of the Strange: Dr. Bash.
- Deadpan Snarker: Zebulon
- Desert Punk
- Dirty Communists: Averted. Reclamation, Templar's resident communist movement, are portrayed in a cosistently even handed manner, at worst containing a few somewhat over-zealous (although consistently non-violent) members.
- Egyptian Mythology: Nile Revivalists
- Mr. Fanservice
- Evil Matriarch: Feather
- Eyes Always Shut: Moze
- Eye Scream: EJ gets one from Ben of all people.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture
- Fictional Media
- Fiery Redhead: Subverted with Morgan, who is sweet enough to make sugar look just like salt.
- Gentle Giant: Scipio who could also be considered a Genius Bruiser. Moze also qualifies.
- Geographic Flexibility
- Gut Feeling: Flannery about Gordon.
- I Ate What? Xenophage: Morally Indefensible Fine Dining.
"...Petrified deer penis, with sesame and lemon. Fruit bat consomme. Minerva's Shield... that's mostly pike livers, lark tongues, and some peacock brain... Stir-fried porpoise head. Honey-grilled panther with earwigs... and, of course, puppies. Whole and quarters. Braised, broiled, or grilled. In a delicate human milk sauce. Excellent. And especially divine, if I may say so. I find that canids are most ambrosial before they open their eyes."
- Innocently Insensitive: Mesmer.
- Insistent Terminology: Tuesday Pryor does not dance naked, she does freeform naturalist eurythmy.
- Intergenerational Friendship: The Elliotts.
- It's All About Me: Orpha.
- Jerry Springer: The Coliseum (combined with Judge Judy)
- Kavorka Man: Moze
- Kissing Cousins: Moze's grandfather tries to get him to court some of the temple dancers. Moze objects on the basis of their being both his cousins and underage.
- Knife Nut: The Jakeskin, a whole cult of them
- Landlord: as yet unseen, Anthony the Super
- Large Ham: Regan ohsomuch. Also Orpha
- Mama Bear: Feather towards Gene, also Reagan towards Zora.
- Man in a Kilt: Scipio
- Meaningful Name: Several, but here's an example; Curio. She asks a lot of questions.
- Mundane Fantastic: Some of the weirder elements of Templar go largely unnoticed by the residents.
- My Beloved Smother: Gene's mom Feather
- Naked on Arrival: Ben
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The "Old School Moscowbilly Klezcore" of Templar's own Phineas Rage
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Epiphany, and Feather when she's talking to Ben
- She does it a little too well and Ben suspects she doesn't like him.
- Positive Discrimination: The Jakes are all horrible racist bastards--who strangely focus on the positive stereotypes associated with various ethnicities. "Africans = strong," "Asians = smart," etc. Their plan is to have as many children they can with a cross-section of all these groups to have a perfect hybrid race.
- Professional Slacker: Mesmer.
- Quick Nip: "The State v. Regan Mancuso exhibit A"
- The Rainman: Gene, rock god with the mind of a five year old.
- Refuge in Audacity: this. Although since it EJ we're dealing with it may be a case of Too Dumb to Live instead.
- Scary Black Man:
Regan:"An' I'm sure bein' a Gigantic Black Man don't got nothin' t' do with it, gi-GAN-tic"
- Subverted in that Scipio is actually a Gentle Giant as mentioned above
- He has a dadgum chicken as a pet. That he carries around. He has the soul of a a scrawny white guy. He just happens to be large and black.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: The aforementioned Child Soldier.
- Show Within a Show: Nikki Collision's Damage Report, Mondays with Tuesday, In The Coliseum with Claudius R. Graves.
- Social Darwinist: the aforementioned Jakes have some interesting ideas about the future of humanity.
- The Unfavorite: Marcus, with Gene as Feather's favorite son, much to Marcus's dismay.
- Too Dumb to Live: EJ Elliot apparently literally at the end of "Lit"
- Town with a Dark Secret: What happened to the river?
- "All th' water's behind a dam in California." Come to think of it, though, this trope is pretty thoroughly averted: much of the town's history concerns a long-running feud between rival whoremongers, which would constitute a dark secret in most other places, but in Templar, it's just some stuff that happened.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Invoked. Ben runs up against this when he tries to read classic literature.
- Unfazed Everyman: Ben.
- Unusual Euphemism: Mariah Girls, wet houses
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Reagan keeps her flask hidden in this way.
- There Are No Coincidences: In Templar, AZ, everything happens for a reason. Everything that you read, anything alluded to, anything that gets a passing mention, is completely relevant, and you should really consider taking notes.
- The Stoic: Gene and Scipio, though they are, on rare occasion, known to lose their shit.
- The Unfavorite: Marcus
- The Wild West
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: The subcultures, ye gods the subcultures, so far appearing more in the intermissions than in the normal comic.
- Webcomic Time: The whole of the comic is set to be one year in Templar
- Weirdness Magnet: The whole damn town, but Ben seems to have a concentrated dose of it.
- With Friends Like These...: sums up Curio and Tuesday's "rival/frenemy" relationship