Sunday, July 03, 2005

Now That it's Finished: 1/0

(All pictures from 1/0 by Mason Williams. Click on the pictures to see them within the context of the site. )

One of the things I want to do with this site is honor comics that had a definite end to their story and actually reached their goal. It's a hard thing to start a webcomic in the first place, and finishing it is something that's almost unheard of. Sadly, most comics when they finish are just left out there, forgotten. I want to remember these strips and the acheivement that the author made. I'll tend to be more lenient with my judging on the finshed strip. Mostly because I can't complain about missed updates.

1/0 is a comic strip experiment that started out simply enough, but soon grew into a complex world where many characters lived and interacted. The strip starts out with a creator named Tailsteak. What separates this strip from many others is that that characters talk to the creator and acknowledge his existence. Therefore there is no fourth wall. Although the characters started out as simple archetypes, they soon expanded into complex chracters with thoughts and emotions that seemed separate from the author.

The strip itself starts off rather tentatively. You can tell the author was trying to have fun. The first thing he does is openly steal a character from another strip. After talking to this character for a while, he decides an action needs to be taken.

He decides to declare war on another strip, with disastrous results. However, the time the strip really starts to pick up and becomes a force unto itself is with the introduction of Junior. Junior is an eyeball that came from one of the other characters named Ribby. He does everything he can to work against Tailsteak and succeeds quite a few times in annoying the author. A lot of comics seem to have mascots, personalities that you associate with the strip. Junior is the mascot for 1/0. Even though he's a one-dimensional character with a single joke, he makes the world work.

After Junior was introduced, other things started to fall into place. Other characters came quickly, a landscape was made, and characters started talking about their existence. This is where 1/0 gets interesting. All the characters know they are in a webcomic and have been created by this author, so the question of whether or not they truly exist is entirely debatable. There are many different viewpoints that come from the characters.

Also the fact that they all know they are in a comic leads to some very good jokes about their state of being. One such joke happens when they decide to explain what a comic is to one of their companions.

Tailsteak also deals with the concept of atheism by making it possible for characters to build a forth wall if they want to. When the forth wall is up, they can't talk to or hear Tailsteak, but the people around them can. The forth wall is shown to be up by a four in the corner of wherever the forth wall is. It was first put up as a gag, but then became a viable plot point.

After the world gets started, the characters then start building the world for themselves and try to figure out what the rules of the world they live in are. Since Tailsteak is the writer of the comic, he also has control over what the characters do. Even though he promises he won't do anything that's unexplainable, there's still the possibility that he can. The characters are very aware of that and mention it several times, to the point of protesting for consistent physics.

However, the characters do have some fun on their own. One example of the things they do is when they have an impressions contest to see who will get a hat. This, of courrse leads to other things, but it's fun to watch them make references to other comics.

1/0 is a fun comic and worth reading. It's finished so you can take as long as you want, and I still enjoyed it as I was reading it. That's it for this strip, I think. Hopefully, I'll get better at these.


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