A Review of the 1/0 Comic

1/0 is a comic where the characters are fully aware they are fictional. They experiment to determine the physical and narrative laws of their universe, create new characters, and debate the nature of free will.

The story begins with the author, Tailsteak, quoting Pablo Picasso “Good artists steal.” He starts by stealing bit characters from other Webcomics.

Characters

1/0 has a surprisingly deep cast of characters for a black and white low-brow comic. The characters are fully aware of their existence in a comic, and often debate the physical and narrative laws of their universe, experiment to determine their fates, and even rebel against their author. They also know the world they live in will end at the 1000th comic, although those who die during the comic’s run are resurrected as ghosts.

Ghanny occasionally piques the octogenarians’ indignation with his use of a “ghost point” to resurrect Junior after he’s killed off-panel. Similarly, he once admitted in-universe that he pigeonholed his character Junior by making him small in relation to the other octogenarians (although he apologized for it). The fourth wall is broken on a number of occasions, including when a swear is used during an argument between Terra and Zadok, and a smooch is shown between them. In addition, a number of other snarky one-liners are tossed in from time to time.

Story

A story in a comic book is told through the use of speech balloons, panel borders and captions. Speech bubbles are used for spoken dialogue and balloons with a tail, called a thought bubble, indicate what a character is thinking. Thought bubbles are normally cloud-like with a tail, but can be any shape that suits the style of the comic.

The plot of 1/0 hinges on its characters and the ways they react to each other. The author, Tailsteak, often interferes with the action by talking to the characters or introducing new ones. He messes up plans for long term plotlines and breaks dramatic moments with idiotic questions.

1/0 is also full of call backs and references to other comics. For example, the first strip of the series references the arcade style from a comic over a decade old. It’s a great way to show that the comic has an extensive history. This is a good way to build up the audience for the comic.

Art

I love the art in this comic, which is surprisingly rich for a black and white webcomic. It’s also a great example of what you can do with characters who have full knowledge of their existence in a comic: They can break the fourth wall, experiment to determine narrative and physical laws, or even rebel against the author. It’s a great reminder that the best writers are those who let their characters write themselves. The 1/0 characters are a testament to this. The creator of this comic goes by the name “Andy” or “Kent Mansley” on Comic Art Fans, and he is one of our most prolific commenters on CAF galleries.

Final Words

A good author knows that their characters are their worst enemies. They can mess up long term plot points or break dramatic moments with idiotic questions. They are also capable of stealing bit characters from other comics or “creating” them from scratch.

1/0 uses this to its advantage, giving us an in-world wiki full of character facts. The characters also discuss math, science and philosophy. They even talk about themselves and their favorite foods, though they never mention anything sexual.

0-0-0 and BT-1 finally merited a front cover (albeit in a color variant exclusive to the El Capitan theater and a sketch variant for 1:100 store incentive) on the final issue of Vader Down, though this wasn’t until Part 3 and not Part 2. Earlier, they shared a back cover on a Star Wars #13 connecting cover by Clay Mann.

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