Sunday, January 15, 2006


(From 1/0. Click for full sized philosophical discussion in the guise of humor.)

OK. I know I haven't been saying a whole lot lately. But I did promise you a reaction from 1/0 when I finished it, and I intend to follow through on that, dangit.


I don't even remember where I first heard about 1/0. (Not that I haven't looked, but Websnark, The Webcomicker, Fleen, Tangents, and I'm Just Saying are all curiously devoid of any recent mention [that I could find, at least, after a cursory search] of the quirky strip.) What I do remember is that wherever I read about it, I heard that it was a completed strip, with a clearly set beginning and end at exactly a thousand strips (the neatness of which appealed to me for some indecipherable reason; I suppose it's because it was the sort of thing one could invest a certain amount of time into, like a book, then go on about one's life without having to worry about.) Also, this mystery review blathered on about how intelligent, witty, and well done 1/0 was, and so I made it a priority to take a glance.

Edit: I found it. It was the review that Andrew Araki did a while back over at Comics Rock. Give it a looksee, 'tis nifty.

And, of course, that glance turned into a gaze, which turned into a stare, which turned into a drooling fixation for three days until I'd gobbled up all 1000 strips (which do indeed form a complete story, spanning, in fact, from the beginning of the universe to the end of the universe.) 1/0, I discovered, was everything it had been touted and more. It was funny ("This is war! There is no time for feet!") as well as being sometimes rather deep.

It starts in the beginning. First, there was nothing... then... there was Tailsteak. After creating light, he then proceeds to steal his first character, Barnacle Jones, from the strip Absolute Tripe (which I would link to if I could find it, but I can't, so I won't.) From there, the strip proceeds in earnest with gobs of wacky energy. It was clear that the story was simply supposed to be crazy and frenetic, and it was amusingly wacky for a while.

But then... eventually it settled down a little bit. It began to explore its world, the physics of the world, and the way that it worked. And since the characters had never had fourth walls (except for about a week in the beginning when Tailsteak experimented with an enforced fourth wall, which didn't go over too well) they spent a lot of time conversing with their creator. Because of this, long discussions spawned concerning the nature of their existence. They know they're in a comic strip, which brings up interesting theological questions. What kind of morals should they adopt? How should they regard their creator, Tailsteak, who converses with them and seems to be a normal guy just like them, rather than a god.

And most importantly, what will happen to them after the strip is over?

This spawns hundreds of discussions on the nature of fiction, examinations about breaking the fourth wall, and even (intended or unintended) metaphors for the differences between athiesm and Christianity.

When reading 1/0, you quickly become embroiled in the action yourself because it feels real. It feels like this place really exists, just because Tailsteak drew it into existence. What is great about this is that you develop an emotional investment in what happens to the characters.

I'll try not to spoil any more of the story for you, because sitting down and reading these thousand pages truly is a treat, and I'd highly recommend it.

Head over and take a gander. You won't be disappointed.

(...Unless you're the type who is always disappointed. In which case this will be just another disappointment. Sucks to be you!)



Blogger Peter C. Hayward said...

Hehe. Can you imagine the mortification if this had been posted exactly one year later?

5:57 AM  
Blogger Andrew Araki said...

Hmm.. Mystery review, huh? I remember it being reviewed at Webcomic Examiner. I also have reviewed it on my site.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Kneefers said...

Holy Cheese. You're right, dude. I think it was ComicsRock where I read the 1/0 review.
...Sorry 'bout that. Good review, though.

8:37 AM  

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