Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    "1/0" is a paradox in a way that "0/1" is not. Nothing can be divided by zero. If one approaches the formula from the positive side, it would appear that the answer is an infinite positive value. If one approaches the formula from the negative side, the opposite is true. Thus, anything divided by zero is simultaneously positive and negative infinity. "One over Zero" is a paradox in another way too, in a way that transcends mere arithmetic. One is something, and Zero is nothing. The fact that the universe holds something over nothing, that it prefers to exist, rather than not exist, is fundamentally absurd. No being can ever come to deserve its own birth. 1/0 is a cry out against mere logic and efficiency. Stuff exists. All existence, all truth, cannot be ultimately justified: it can only be described, explained, and enjoyed.


    1/0 is illogical. 1/0 is irrational. 1/0 is impossible. 1/0 is transcendentally unfair.


    1/0 is true. Deal with it.


    1/0 starts, appropriately enough, with darkness. Tailsteak, the ever present and all powerful narrator and author thinks for a moment and says "Let there be light" and from there on goes about creating his universe. He starts by stealing bit characters from other Web Comics, talking to them, creating other characters from them and begging them to do something interesting.

    As any good author will tell you, a good character is your worst enemy. If you are doing your job properly, you don't know what they will do, they write themselves they will do things occasionally that will really mess up your plans for long term plots or break dramatic moments with idiotic questions. A good author doesn't control their characters, their characters control themselves. And that is where 1/0 is masterful -- The characters are aware, and they don't always agree with Tailsteak.

    They know everything we do, they know who the president is and how long a year is, even though neither exist in their universe. Confronted with overt intervention by their author they strike for months of strips, refusing to speak or move or think until he promises never to change the laws of physics again. They contemplate where they go when Tailsteak isn't writing them, they question whether they, as fictional characters are actually alive or if their writer is just schizophrenic.

    And they wonder about and fear, the end. At 1000 strips, a nice round number at which point their creator, Tailsteak has told them "Your universe will end."

    In less prosaic terms, 1/0 is a Web Comic that was started to get the author a girlfriend, when he began to explore the possibilities of a series that firmly established there was No Fourth Wall for one of the most poignant examples of Meta Fiction yet.

    Not to be confused with Divide by Zero, or the video game I/O.

    Tailsteak is still around now that 1/0 is complete -- he's working on new projects on a new site. He also recently started a new continually updating comic: Leftover Soup.

    Tropes used in 1/0 include:
    • Author Tract: Lampshaded very aggressively in the debate between Ghanny, Mock, and Marcus. Petitus pointed out that it was very much an Author Tract coming from a Christian writer.
    • Awesome but Impractical: Mock's horizonite claws.
    • Back from the Dead: Everyone gets one "ghost point", which lets them more or less do this. They're still technically dead (and incorporeal) rather than getting resurrected physically, but they're able to participate fully in the comic's society, so it hardly matters.
      • Those who did disappear for good are physically resurrected shortly before the world ends.
    • Balancing Death's Books: Between Terra and Max.
    • Book Ends: In the first strip, "Let there be light!" In the last strip "Let there be darkness!"
    • Brick Joke: Junior mentions that it smelled like an old Arab woman here, leading to a small serial about whether or not he had been at CN tower. Later, when he tries to smoke the grass...
    • Calling Your Attacks: "Spark punch! Clap shocker! Thunder fists!"
      • Don't forget the "ELECTRIC BODY SLAM!"
    • Cerebus Syndrome: The comic starts as pointless doodles. Philosophy grows naturally out of the tomfoolery once there are enough viewpoints to fuel conversations, which may give a charming low-key atmosphere, but is tough on new readers.
    • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Everyone's adventures in Portland, if they have any, after the end of the comic are left by Tailsteak to the audience's interpretation.
    • Chekhov's Gun: The greasy stuff from the grass didn't exactly turn out to be a plot point, but it was used to blow bubbles shortly before the world ended.
    • Cliché Storm: The only way to summon the running gag.
    • Contemplate Our Navels: There's pretty much nothing for the cast to do but this.
    • Deader Than Dead: Deanthropomorphization, which destroys a character's personality and reverts them to a nonsapient version of whatever creature/object/body part they were made from, although it doesn't destroy anything material. Actually dying is no big deal (although the event itself is unpleasant), because you just come back as a ghost.
    • Denouement
    • Discount Lesbians: Tailsteak specifically introduced Terra as a lesbian to have a female the guys can't date, which is justified by saying that earthworms are hermaphrodites, but he's characterizing them all as female. The fact that she's not a "real" lesbian is key to her being with Zadok without a fourth wall.
    • Dissimile: "Yeah... Sort of like being friends. Only it's completely different, and with more suffering."
    • Face Palm: Zadok has a realization.
    • Fantastic Aesop: Thanks to the ghost points -- in the words of Max, "Gee, I hope none of our readers have suicidal tendencies."
    • Flat Earth Atheist: Marcus, when he gains a Fourth Wall, and for while also Mock and Terra.
    • Foreshadowing: This, then this happens. For those who are lazy, Junior threatens to kill Mock, then later follows through with it.
    • Genre Savvy: The characters converse with the author about the rules of their universe and the author's plans for them, and try to use this knowledge to stop him from killing them off. Petitus is particularly good at that last part.
    • Golem: Zadok, Petitus, Mock, Teddy Weddy.
    • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Well, album title.
    • It Which Must Not Be Seen: The jar.
    • I Know Your True Name: Golems are brought to life by a character saying their true name out loud. After Zadok realises that "Teddy Weddy" is a nickname, he uses "Theodore" to resurrect him as a golem.
    • In a World: Zadok does a Don LaFontaine impersonation in strip #818, complete with underlined text.

    Zadok: Beyond known space. An ancient evil lurks. Now, six friends must join forces to do the impossible.