Concession

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Concession
Concession Logo.jpg
Author(s) Immelmann
Website
Update schedule Tuesdays and Fridays
Launch date July 1st, 2006
End Date February 11, 2011
Genre Humor, parody
Rating(s)
Censor MA button.png

Concession is a furry webcomic by Immelmann based around the employees of a movie theater concession stand. Its humor varies wildly between themes of violence, parody, and increasingly frequent adult situations. Launched in July 2006, the comic now updates in color twice a week. It was named Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story in the 2009 Ursa Major Awards.

Concession initially focused on the characters as they acted behind the stand, but evolved to show them outside of work. While not specifically a "gay comic", the themes of homosexuality and bisexuality frequently appear, as well as religion.

On October 8, 2010, Immelmann announced through that day's panel (thus breaking the 4th wall of narrative) that Concession would soon end its run[1]. He then confirmed that the 21st chapter of the series would be the last, due to exasperation with the comic's increasingly-complicated plot[2]; however, he maintained that Concession characters will continue to appear in other media[3].

Contents

[edit] Cast

Rick, Joel, Artie, and Matt
Main article: List of characters in Concession

Concession has a wide-ranging cast, including random one-shot characters. Frequently-appearing plot-critical characters include:

  • Joel Calley, a male black wolf with a cynical and sadistic streak, with a dark past
  • Matt Gein, a male brown striped cat, whose innocent nature is often taken advantage of
  • Artimus Crowley, a male white mouse who suffers from brain cancer and Joel's malevolence
  • David Innitou, a male panda and supervisor of the concession stand
  • Rick Riberio, a male ring-tailed lemur and drug dealer who has close relationships with several characters
  • Roland le Fay, a male pangolin, art major/gallery clerk and Joel's roommate
  • Thonnen Turunen, a female dinosaur and Roland's girlfriend
  • Aaron "Nicole" O'Connor, a male skunk romantically involved with several other characters

[edit] Plot


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

[edit] Summary

Joel Calley is dealing with his past and working to get revenge on his brother, Julian. To accomplish this goal, Joel has access to a source of spiritual power, augmented by his deceased sister. Though a direct confrontation has yet to occur as of this writing, Joel is preparing by spreading a network of spiritual manipulation. His actions severely and sometimes violently alter the people around him, causing major conflicts between other characters.

[edit] Story arcs

The many stories of Concession are told in arcs, usually separated by periods of random, story-less comics. Stories commonly stop and resume at a future date. The comic archive split the stories into numbered and titled chapters, but the chapter breaks are not represented in the comic itself; there are no chapter covers, for example.

  • The New Guy (7/1/06) - The initial chapter introduces most of the main characters and focuses partially on Matt, as he starts working at the Multiplex theatre. There are many jokes about movie attendees.
  • The Health Inspector (9/5/06) - Dave gets a tip that a health inspector is going to be visiting the theater, causing a rash response by Joel. Joel re-unites with Nicole from the first chapter, revealing his bisexuality. The black-and-white series begins, shifting to college life and Joel's room mate, Roland.
  • Never Mind the Pollock (10/24/06) - Roland and Thonnen meet in art class and start a relationship.
  • Metastasis, part One (10/24/06) - Artie learns that the brain cancer he had beat a year ago has returned. He tells the story of his father's death from the disease, and his mother's suicide.
  • Reptile, Part One (1/2/07) - The first 'proper' story arc, focusing on Roland's visit to Thonnen and Angie's family. Raj Jansen is introduced, a family elder who disapproved of Thonnen's inter-species relationship. Raj plots to have Angie seduce Roland in order to break them up, but the ploy fails.
  • Smells Like Children (1/26/07) - Chelsie, a young sheep girl, is left behind at the movie theatre by her parents, who are soon found dead. Artie takes the girl home for the night, for lack of a better place to keep her; Chelsie proceeds to seduce Artie, and it is revealed that the young girl is actually a cross-dressing boy, Charles. Artie confesses to Dave, and the two keep it a secret (though Joel seems to know about it).
  • Tormentor of Christian Souls (4/10/07) - Chelsie is taken to her priest's house, Timothy McNeill, who is to take care of her. Joel and Tim confront each other; Tim expresses his suspicions that Joel caused the death of Chelsie's parents and caused Chelsie to seduce Artie. Some time later, Joel tries to seduce Matt in the theatre's break room, and, after work, Matt is picked up by Nicole and visits his home. Nicole proceeds to kiss Matt, which prompts Matt to ask Joel to retrieve him via text message. Joel picks him up and drives him to Rick's house.
  • Dirty Thoughts (7/10/07) - Matt, Joel, Rick, and his sister, Kate, use their day off to see a free movie. Artie is introduced to Kate and develops a crush on her.
  • Reptile, Part Two (8/17/07) - Mariam Jansen, head of the Reptile family, dies at the hands of the Grim Reaper — who looks mysteriously like Joel. Thonnen travels to the family's estate for the funeral, accompanied by Roland. Raj, now the head of the family, pays a lizard named Valae to rape and impregnate Thonnen. The chapter ends with Valae repenting and confronting the council of family elders, revealing Raj's plan to them.
  • The Confession (10/9/07) - Matt visits Father Tim and confesses his confusion with his sexuality, caused by Joel's seduction and Nicole's kiss. Matt reveals his concern that Joel may be plotting evil things, and Tim begs him to stay away from Joel.
  • Metastasis, Part Two (11/16/07) - Artie's brain cancer has worsened, but this does not stop him from taking Kate out on a date. Also in this chapter, Matt hears from Roland, who tells of the stress Thonnen's pregnancy is creating.
  • With a Strong Hand and an Outstretched Arm (1/1/08) - Joel visits Tim's confessional booth. Joel admits that he is the cause of the deaths of Chelsie's family, Artie's seduction and Thonnen's rape as well as many numerous crimes in the past. Joel reveals he is indeed the Grim Reaper (or some form of it), but Tim already knew that for an unspecified reason. The two have a spiritual battle in the confessional that ends in Tim's defeat. Joel proceeds to walk outside and cough up blood, while Tim emerges visibly shaken.
  • Metastasis, Part Three (2/5/08) - Joel professes concern with his plans. Thonnen breaks up with Roland, and it is revealed that Thonnen cheated on Roland with Joel. Artie and Kate continue going out, but the relationship is ruined when Kate brings Artie to a NAMBLA meeting, assuming he is a pedophile. Artie's medical condition worsens and he is hospitalized, but not before Kate gives him her inheritance to pay for cancer treatment. In the hospital, Joel confronts Artie and attempts to kill him, but fails to do so. Joel confesses that he gave Artie cancer, and that he made Chelsie seduce him. Just before the fight ends, Artie rips a female figure out of Joel's body.
  • Eye in the Sky (6/27/08) - Joel confronts Matt about both his feelings and his religion, strengthening the former and weakening his faith in the latter. Meanwhile, Dave has installed a new security system in the theater which he uses to maintain tighter control and spy on the debauchery of his employees. Rick ultimately discovers a bug infestation within the walls while investigating a broken camera, causing the Multiplex to be shut down for fumigation.
  • Convergence (8/22/08) - The staff take off for a "business retreat" at a beach resort. After an asbestos scare, Joel confronts Matt about his feelings and makes him accept himself, resulting in them having sex and hooking up. Artie begins to have dreams about a mysterious dolphin woman.
  • Revelations (1/02/09) - Matt's past is revealed, showing why he was so scared to accept his homosexuality. Joel's past explains his drive for revenge against his brother.
  • The New Boss (2/24/09) - The staff get a new boss, Millicent Brooke, who's determined to run a tight ship. Through Joel's manipulation, the staff go on strike and refuse to work, resulting in her resignation. We then learn that she's actually a spy for Joel's brother, Julian, and Joel attacks and infects her. The chapter ends with Joel revealing how all of his final plans are going to come together.
  • Aqua Dementia (6/30/09) - Artie travels with the dolphin Melusine to her home city, training with her and her sister to prepare to free Joel from Miranda's control. Artie and Melusine become close, and Melusine becomes pregnant, although it is not clear how as Artie says they used protection. She is taken hostage by Melusine's enraged brother-in-law, Darin, who believes breeding between water-mammals and land-dwellers is punishable by death. Artie confronts Darin, who kills Melusine (and her baby), and is then killed by Artie, who snaps and burn down the city. Meanwhile, Matt's parents disown him for being gay, and Joel has to convince Matt's father to change his mind. The chapter ends with Matt buying Joel a new coat, and Artie preparing to fight Joel and Miranda.
  • At the Heart of Winter (11/27/09) - An unlocked computer leaves Matt accidentally outed to his parents, who disown him for being gay. Joel attempts to comfort Matt, but Matt lashes out angrily, complaining that Joel refrains from using his powers to help his friends. Joel ends up doing just that as he confronts Matt's father, Jacob Gein, and forces him to relive a childhood memory where he falls in love with a boy and is ostracized by his own father for it. Jacob relents, accepting his son's sexuality, though he states he can't accept him loving a monster like Joel. Matt gives Joel a new coat, as Artie reveals his dolphin 'marriage tattoos' and shows that Melusine lives inside of him, just as Miranda lives in Joel.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest/Reptile, Part Three (2/9/10)
  • The Ghost in the Mirror (4/2/10)
  • The Butterfly Effect (7/3/10)

[edit] Parodies and one-shots

Occasionally the author will take a break from the main plot or current sub-plot altogether for a one-shot comic usually involving a parody of a popular culture reference or a involving the main cast that isn't referenced again, such as when Roland alarmed his boyfriend, Nicole, with the news that he had crabs; not the STD, but a family who had moved into his dorm room.

Initial parody comics were posted to replace normal updates, having absolutely no reference to the main comic at all. Such comics have parodied TV shows like Time Squad (produced in an attempt to draw hate mail) or video games such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl. More recently, parody comics are posted as movie trailers, in keeping with the 'Multiplex' theme of the comic — for example, Sub Sonic, a story of Sonic the Hedgehog's fall from grace due to drug abuse.

Furthia High sometimes parodies the characters of Concession via guest comics, and vice-versa. In 2009, a Halloween-themed comic even went as far as to have one of its main characters dress up like Joel for the occasion.[4] At the same time, Concession featured its own Furthia High costume in its 2009 Halloween comic by having Matt dress up as Christopher "Campy" Hamachek.[5] This year, Fox Kale was blackmailed into going as Miranda.

[edit] Background

[edit] Story origin

Immelmann spent three years working at a concession stand, eventually quitting out of fear of going absolutely insane. During that time, he filled a small notebook full of comical experiences that either did happen or should have happened. Initially planning for the comic to serve as an excuse to say to customers everything he couldn't in real life, Concession soon evolved on its own as the characters became more than just sarcastic, satirical tools.

[edit] World information

The comic's world is inhabited by both humans and furries, through the former rarely appear and it is implied that the two rarely interact. Similarly, lizards and sea-dwellers tend to live separately from the furrier mammals.

[edit] The Jansen Tribe

The large family of which Angie and Thonnen are a part has a very lengthy history. The family can trace its roots back to Africa, to where the modern-day dinosaur species originates.

The Jansen Tribe bases its customs off the example made by its religion, Church of the Animal Christ, which focuses on family loyalty and respect. It is an elder-based system, with the ruler of the family being the oldest female, who surrounds herself with a council of personally-chosen elders. This tradition dates back to their African roots, where tribe elders would keep control over the movement of family members, the organization and distribution of crops, etc. The tradition stands mainly as a formality in modern times, but the elders are still to be treated with great respect, and they are still to organize family meetings and make decisions regarding the family's assets.

The family owns a number of businesses, picked up through years of buying stocks and forming partnership deals. Most the companies are owned collectively by the elder council, but a few companies are held exclusively by the elder female. Ownership passes on to the female's heir in the event of death.

[edit] Furry religions

A number of furry-based religions are unique to the Concession canon, many of them attempting to explain the origins of furries.

  • Church of the Shepard - This is a branch of Christianity, based on Protestantism, which tries to re-interpret the bible in a favorable way towards furries.
  • Church of the Animal Christ - The text of this church is based off the life of one dinosaur, ages ago, believed by the church to be the second reincarnation of Jesus.
  • Church of the Animal AntiChrist - This church believes that the furry race is the genetic equivalent of the antichrist, and that, someday, the furry race will inherit the Earth.
  • Church of Gaia - This is a naturalistic religion that believes furries to have a natural connection with the Earth and its soul/goddess, Gaia. The religion implores a life of peace and one-ness with the earth. The most controversial part of this religion is its support of bestiality, and its belief that marriages between feral animals and furries is to be celebrated.
  • Church of Lilith - The mythology of this religion states that Lilith, the first wife of Adam who was cast out of the garden of Eden, gave birth to the furry race after breeding with demons. This implies a heavy feeling of nobility and righteousness, as the furry bloodline is, allegedly, partially the true inheritor of the Earth. The mentality of this religion is very similar to the Church of the Animal Antichrist, and the two are often considered "ally" religions.
  • The Alien Following - This religion believes that Furries are creations of an alien race.
  • Kemetic - Sometimes known as the Neo-Egyptian movement, this is a revitalization of ancient Egyptian mythology, and believes that the old Egyptian gods are still alive in the spiritual level of earth.

[edit] Dinosaurs

Thonnen's infant child, displaying the crest, arm, and tail feathers with which all dinosaur children are born.

One species featured in the Concession universe are known as Dinosaurs. Two main characters, Thonnen and Angie, are of this race. The dinoaurs are based on the theory that ancient dinosaurs evolved into birds, with these modern equivalents having gone in reverse, thus explaining the lack of avians in Concession.

The dinosaurs are very similar to the lizards that also populate the comic's world. Their most striking visual feature are the brightly-colored feathers on the head of the females. The color of a lizard can range between green, yellow, and brown (albinism exists, and certain African tribes have, rarely, yielded blue children) with most lizards browning as they age. Various skin patterns exist, usually in the form of stripes or spots. Their feathers have more color range and have been known to be nearly any hue, though red and purple are the most common.

The dinosaurs, based on birds and lizards, have no external genitalia and only one opening that serves as both their reproductive and excretory opening: this is known as the cloaca. This, plus the lack of breasts in females (as egg-laying creatures, they don't have mammary glands), creatures a very vague sexual dimorphism. The only outwardly-physical difference are the feathers, found only on females past the adult age. As children, all dinosaurs have feathers on their head, arms, and tails. These feathers are lost once puberty is hit.

The lizards of Concession are very similar to the dinosaurs in that they are egg-laying, cloacal creatures. The main differences between lizards and dinosaurs are the feathers and the skin. Lizards have scales, where the dinosaur's skin is rough but scaleless.

[edit] Related projects

Besides Concession, Immelmann has worked works on two main spin-off projects, At the Heart of it All and Concession Chronicles. He also ran a panel about Concesssion at Anthrocon 2009.

[edit] At the Heart of it All

Logo for At the Heart of it All

At the Heart of it All, named after a song by Nine Inch Nails,[6] is drawn mostly as an introspection of the author himself, with inspiration taken from comics such as xkcd and Modern Love. Launched November 24th, 2007, the comic is considerably more violent than its original counterpart, featuring Tyras as Immelmann's psychiatrist, and Joel as the embodiment of the author's own fears and self-sadism.

The comic occasionally features other characters from Concession, and at least one plotline is considered canon with Concession itself, involving Joel's treatment in an asylum. This arc revealed how he was kept bound in a straightjacket, was raped by a doctor or orderly, and was prematurely released thanks to his sister, Miranda. While Immelmann is normally portrayed as a wolf/rabbit hybrid, in 'At the Heart of it All' he has also been featured as a Pangolin, a Martian, and even a Hentai Tentacle Monster. Updates have stopped as of the 99th strip.

[edit] Concession Chronicles

Logo for Concession Chronicles

Concession Chronicles was launched on May 13th, 2008 as a direct canon spin-off of Concession, featuring blog style essays and short stories featuring the Concession cast. Some of these stories featured character history not divulged in the main comic, such as the origin of Aaron "Nicole" O'Connor's feminine nickname, or details of Kate's underage sexual partners.[7] Other short stories feature important plots points that author did not have the time to feature as a full story arc in the comic, such as Nicole and Roland becoming boyfriends, Rick and Kate's incestuous encounter. In keeping with the blog-style of 'Concession Chronicles', readers are allowed to comment on the stories posted, and Immelmann will occasionally answer them as Concession characters as an added bonus. The last update was made on January 3rd, 2009, and like 'At the Heart of it All', it is unknown if the author has any plans to continue it.

[edit] Ballerina Mafia

Ballerina Mafia was launched on September 6, 2010 as a humorous, "gag-a-day" spinoff with few recurring characters and no dramatic interjection. The comic is on hiatus as of January 2012

[edit] Planned future comic

Upon announcing the winding-down of Concession, Immelmann announced that he would launch a future comic project with the following distinctions:

  • a story-driven, near-future sci-fi plot, with a blend of action, drama and humor
  • a mostly female cast
  • not in the same universe as Concession
  • colored in black and white with an intent to print in a book/graphic novel format
  • intent to publish in whole chapter releases rather than single-page releases

On April 13, 2012, this comic was first published, titled The Order of the Black Dog.

[edit] Anthrocon 2009

At Anthrocon 2009, Immelmann ran an hour-long panel about Concession, in which he discussed the comic's history, the nature of Joel's powers, Matt's fetish, and the comic-making process, among other things. An estimated 61 people showed up. The panel was recorded on video and posted to YouTube in six videos (one, two, three, four, five, six).

[edit] Criticism

The comic's themes of sexual tolerance has met with some harsh criticism. Story arcs Smells Like Children and Metastasis, Part Three involved strong themes of pedophilia. During most of the arc the characters involved express extreme distaste for the subject — at one point, a lead character even gets into an argument with a true pedophile who is defending their choice of lifestyle. An article from Cracked.com criticized Concession's view of both sides of the issue, listing this sub-plot and the comic itself in their Top 10 The 5 Circles of Baffling Web Comic Hell.[8] Concession came in at #3 representing web comics that fall under the category of The Incomprehensible Sexual Fetishes.

[edit] Trivia

  • Millicent Brooke was intended to be part of the main cast since its debut, however was left out of the story for unknown reasons until Comic #225 "Butterflies and Hurricanes".[9]
  • Another character meant to be part of the starting cast but was left out from the final cut was Dennis, who was going to be featured as nothing more than a disembodied voice through a walkie-talkie.
  • Some of the comics contain an easter egg which can be viewed by holding the cursor over the comic and waiting for the title text tooltip to pop up. These normally include additional character dialogue, or author commentary about the comic's situation.
    • In particular, comic #347, "Father Tim", has a title text tooltip containing a URL. This URL leads to a letter from Tim about Miranda Calley, which contains a disguised hyperlink to another letter from Tim. This second letter states that there are "more clues are on the cast page", and that "at least one secret lies elsewhere, on another page"[10]. Clicking on the word "Miranda" in the cast page will get the reader to a modified cast page that also includes a description of Miranda[11].
  • On 8 November 2007, Concession moved from Comic Genesis to its own server.

[edit] References

  1. Immelman October 8, 2010. #351: "The End Begins". “Tim: "Is it true, Joel? Is this web comic coming to an end?"

    Joel:"Yes."
  2. Immelmann October 8, 2010. The End of ConcessionQ.
  3. Immelmann October 8, 2010. FAQ.
  4. http://furthiahigh.concessioncomic.com/index.php?pid=20091030
  5. http://concessioncomic.com/index.php?pid=20091030
  6. http://heart.concessioncomic.com/about.html
  7. http://chronicles.concessioncomic.com/?p=8#more-8
  8. http://www.cracked.com/article_17607_the-5-circles-baffling-web-comic-hell_p4.html
  9. http://www.cs.uml.edu/~aveilleu/misc/Concession_Panel.txt
  10. http://concessioncomic.com/tim/timm.html
  11. http://concessioncomic.com/cast.php?id=mire#cast

[edit] External links

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