Leasebound is a “gender-critical” (TERF) webcomic that attained notoriety after releasing a chapter with hateful depictions of trans people, leading to it getting banned from Smack Jeeves. It’s currently self-hosted on a comic press site without a cast page, archive, or even menu, and doesn’t appear to have a patreon (and likely won’t, given its content). It’s a small enough comic that I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable reviewing it, except that the creator explicitly encouraged me to and appears to be getting off on the bad press.


The story starts with two characters finding out that they both rented the same apartment because the landlord was incompetent and double booked it.


And this particular landlord doesn’t have any other rooms available. There’s a host of logical objections to this set up, such as

  • Isn’t this fraud on the part of the landlord?
  • Wouldn’t a major deception like this void the lease?
  • Why don’t the women move to some other landlord’s apartment and sue the shit out of the woman who sold them a single apartment and surprised them with a roommate?
  • How does a huge apartment complex with at least 18 rooms have two people booking rooms that don’t talk to each other?
  • Is the groundskeeper also doing the paperwork and background checks? You don’t buy an apartment at the apartment store, it’s like a whole process.
  • Isn’t this just the fanfic “but there was only one bed!” trope taken to an even more illogical extreme?

But that road leads to becoming CinemaSins, so let’s just acknowledge that the premise is ludicrous and all the characters are morons so we can move on with our lives. Anyway, the characters introduce themselves as Jaden and Riley, and casually accept sharing a bedroom. They exposit a bit about how Jaden dropped out of college and Riley never went, and



RILEY: Sorry- I wasn’t trying to pry.
JADEN: All good. Earlier you said you had a “few things” in mind
RILEY: Right, yeah! I thought it was be good to set some ground rules.
JADEN: You can add’ “more organised” to the list then too. Haha.
RILEY: Wait, really?
JADEN: Stories for another time

What the fuck? What list? What is Jaden talking about? Why is there an apostrophe hanging out after “add”?

You know how in PS1 JRPGs the translation would be really bad and sometimes people would just say weird shit that didn’t seem to have anything to do with what was just said?


That’s how Leasebound dialogue reads, bizarre punctuation and all. The add’ with an apostrophe is baffling, but I also like how “Haha.” is it’s own sentence with a period at the end.

Anyway, the rest of the chapter is about how Riley owns a cat but has to keep it a secret because she doesn’t know if the landlord allows pets and I guess didn’t think to ask when she was applying for the lease.


So, the status quo is established. Jaden and Riley wanted to buy a single apartment but got foisted with a roommate, but they’re happy because that means the rent is cheaper. Personally if I wanted a cheaper apartment and was willing to have a roommate I’d get an apartment with a roommate in the first fucking place but we really can’t keep complaining about how stupid the premise is we have to move on. So Jaden is in the living room and, hold on, sorry


This living room is massive. The kitchen has a fridge, and oven, and two matching sofas. In chapter 2 Riley’s going to fit in a four-seat table in here. This is supposed to be a studio apartment in Downtown City


Y’know, City. Not any particular specific real or fictional city with a name, but City.

And Jaden and Riley, neither of whom have college degrees, are so hard up for cheaper rent that they’re comfortable with the surprise revelation of having to share a bedroom with a stranger. But they’re also in a huge apartment in the middle of a metro area? This living room is nearly as big as mine, and I have three roommates and live in Cheaper Suburb. Why are you buying all this space at City square foot prices if money is tight? Get a smaller apartment, or if you really need the space get an apartment that’s not in the middle of City? The author of this comic is 23, has she not looked into getting an apartment? Bigger ones are more expensive.

Okay, okay, the premise is dumb. Let’s move on. Riley and Jaden make sm-

Why are you sharing a tiny bedroom if your Living room is party sized and has multiple sofas? Why not partition off some of the living room with room dividers from IKEA to make a faux bedroom with privacy?

Ahem, Riley and Jaden make small talk and order a pizza and it takes a long time and it’s not super interesting but it’s supposed to be cute and I can’t really fault a slice of life comic for taking its time. Riley’s worried that her girlfriend won’t like that she has a roommate (Riley why don’t you move in with your girlfriend?), and Jaden gets a call from work that they’re shortstaffed.


They’re so short-staffed that they’re going to send an employee out to go pick up Jaden. Can Jaden not get to work on her own? That seems like the kind of thing that would make her not want to move in to this specific apartment. Why would you move to an apartment that you couldn’t get to work from? You’re in the middle of City, and your job is a big nightclub in City, and City has public transit. You previously did not live in City, meaning you used to live further away from work than you now do. How did you get to work before? Isn’t picking up a Jaden a tremendous waste of an employee’s time? Even if the club is aware that Jaden can’t get in on her own and is willing to bend over backwards for her here, why not “Jaden, we need you at work pronto. Take a uber over, we’ll reimburse you”, which is dramatically easier for all involved? Why is everyone in this comic so fucking stupid?


Well, Jaden goes to work, and that leads us off into the infamous chapter 3, “The T is for trouble”


We open the chapter with a bad-faith trigger warning that looks like a real content warning but is actually designed to get trans people really mad as Jaden heads to work and-


Hey hey, Rusty started putting links to her tumblr in the comic pages. Someone was expecting pages from this chapter to go viral, wasn’t she? Was the chapter where Riley and Jaden spend a few pages ordering a pizza not giving you enough engagement? But now that you’re the official #2 Terf Webcomic you get lots of angry people in your tags that you can reblog and be snarky at. Bet that makes you feel powerful. I know the feeling. I built my tumblr following by writing reviews and advice columns for five years, but you went from zero to hero in like a week and all you had to do was say mean things about trans people oh my god I figured it out


You’re Mary. Rusty Hearts is Mary Bradford from Dumbing of Age. You want the validation of the “wrong” kind of people giving you shit. That’s why you made sure all your transphobic comics had links to your tumblr and your getting pizza comics didn’t. That’s why you keep reblogging my ads for my comic that I place in your tags. That’s why you see me post the review and make a response like this


And you know what?


I’m not going to include chapter 4. I’m not going to read it. I’m not even going to include chapter 3. There’s nothing that I can add to it that hasn’t been said by a ton of other people. I can post your anti-trans stuff and get the vapors about how bigoted you are, but at the end of the day I’m not the Social Justice Report. I’m The Webcomics Review. And your webcomic sucks. It’s boring, it’s stupid, it doesn’t make any sense. Your premise is ludicrous and quickly abandoned to bait and switch people into reading a political polemic (I did skim chapter four, it’s literally people standing around in a circle talking about how trans people are bad like a terfy Ayn Rand novel). Your characters are all morons in order to get to plot points you want to get to, and your first two chapters are a mountain of pointless exposition and characters being vaguely cryptic about their backstories.Your art is bad not just in that you can’t draw well, but in that you don’t bother to include details to give your world a sense of place, and the details you do include like that luxurious living room actively undermine your alleged story (to the extent that there’s a story at all).

But hey, you got your 15 minutes of fame (and zero patreonbux) from the anti-trans stuff. You got people to read your comic. Good hussle. Well done. Tatsuya Ishida does it better.

Leasebound gets zero genders out of a spectrum.

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