Arthur, King of Time and Space is a humour webcomic by Paul Gadzikowski. It retells the story of King Arthur, in real time (with occasional timeskips) in several time periods. It ran from 2004 to 2014.When Arthur took the sword from the stone, history itself was altered. Now Arthur exists in several realities simultaneously. The main arcs are the "baseline" or "fairytale" arc (Anachronism Stew 5th century, based closely on Malory and T.H. White); the "space" arc (A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away..., with Arthur as king of British Space, and Excalibur as his Cool Ship); and the "modern" arc (in which Arthur started as an Ordinary High-School Student, before learning he had inherited a controlling share in Excalicorp).The main storyline in all three main settings is the Love Triangle between Arthur, Guenevere and Lancelot. Secondary arcs include the "Western" arc (Arthur as sheriff), the "Mash" arc (Arthur as Hawkeye Pierce), the movie parody arc (Arthur as various film characters) and others.Was on sabbatical for six months in 2009, and replaced with Arthur King of Time and Space 2.0. This returns to Gadzikowski's earlier King Arthur In Time And Space concept, in which the comic is crossover fanfiction between two fictional TV series, one about the space-faring Arthur (and very similar to Star Trek) and one about the time-travelling Merlin (and very similar to Doctor Who). A second sabbatical began in June 2011, with the strip being replaced by sketches and concluded in December, the strip resuming after a Time Skip to Arthur being 35.The strip ended on 6 January 2014, owing to real life pressures, after one last timeskip to wrap up the storylines.Became the Trope Namer for Panicky Expectant Father after the News Post pointed out we didn't have it.It can be found here.
Arthur, King of Time and Space provides examples of:
Book Ends: The first and last strips both have Arthur's situation being explained to him by magic users in four time periods simultaneously; the baseline, space, and western arcs, and a fourth arc where what they're saying is Lost In Transmission.
except that in the last strip, the last panel is a straight transliteration of English letters into their nearest Greek equivalents of a three word sentence which should be very familiar to readers of this strip, i.e. "Thanks for reading".
Born Lucky: Lancelot has God's favour, and as a consequence will inevitably win any contest he enters. This extends not only to contests of skill, but to games of chance — Western arc Lancelot does very well at cards — and even bets on events that no human being could influence: Arthur once cured his sea-sickness by betting him he'd be stuck with it for the rest of the voyage.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Many, many examples, usually indicated by characters being against the blank website background; literally "outside" the regular strip. (A brief sequence in the Lancelot-goes-mad-and-ends-up-at-Carbonek storyline had the court of Carbonek breaking the fourth wall "in continuity".)
And again at Carbonek when Percivale, Galahad, and Bors visit. King Pelles starts talking about the cultural (and pop cultural) influence of the Grail Quest stories down the centuries, leaving Bors to remark, "I'd forgotten how free with the fourth wall it can get at Castle Carbonek."
Comic Book Time: Sort of inverted; the characters have aged during the Time Skips, but the contemporary arc is still contemporary, meaning, for example, that Merlin's meetings with Barack Obama were first shifted to Arthur, and now presumably didn't happen at all, since the President is the right-wing Lucius Roman.
The Fair Folk: Morgan's faerie allies in the baseline and space arcs.
Foreshadowing: In one contemporary arc strip when Arthur is still in high school, there's a discussion as to whether a "an ancient warlord [who] lived today instead of a thousand years ago" would become a politician or run a corporation. Contemporary Arthur goes on to become both.
Every mention of Excalicorp before Contemporary Arthur learns his destiny.
Mad Scientist: Morgan in the Western and Space arcs and Elaine of Carbonek in the Western arc. (In the Space and Baseline arcs Elaine is a "Mad Theologian". In the contemporary arc she's only a character in Arthur's own webcomic.)
Mega Corp.: Excalicorp in the contemporary arc. The strip doesn't directly state how big it is, but if you pay attention you'll notice that everything from computers to cars has a sword-in-the-stone logo.
Not a Morning Person: Arthur, who couldn't stay awake for his son's birth in the contemporary arc, and once spent a battle with Space Pirates in the space arc muttering "I don't want to get up." Also Morguase, by contrast with her son Gawaine.
One Steve Limit: Averted with the Elaines; Isolde and Isuelt are given different spellings
Parody Magic Spell: The Language of Magic is English written with Greek letters. If you go to the trouble of translating them, the spells are famous quotes, often from children's literature (the chant to get more power for the Excalibur's engines is "I know I can, I know I can...")
Perspective Reversal: There's a space-arc strip that starts with Lancelot claiming that God made the universe to be perfect as it is, and Guenevere countering that change is good, because it's how things progress. Arthur tells Merlin he wishes they could see things from each others' perspective. The next panel has Lancelot saying that if a certain species is dying it's God's will, and Guenevere responding that on the contrary, things have to be preserved.
Retcon: In the modern arc, Lancelot used to be Lancelot Benwick, following the pattern that knights who were "of" somewhere in the baseline arc had that as a surname in the modern setting. More recently his surname is Du Lac (because, c'mon, he's Lancelot Du Lac) and Benwick is his home town. More obviously, Bedivere suddenly stopped being female in the space and modern arcs, in order to have a male gay couple. (This has since been further retconned; the earlier strips in which Bedivere was female are still canon, but he's male now.)
Paul Gadzikowski's attitude to continuity is probably summed up here.
Shout-Out: Many of the secondary characters are based on other comic characters, most notable Elaine of Carbonek, who is Helen Narbon. (Also, a group of Roman diplomats were based on the actors who've portrayed the Doctor).
Merlin's spells are often lines from classic children's literature in Wingdinglish.
His insane babble when trapped in the crystal cave resembles that of Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the Dying Detective".
In this strip, Elaine's line about "grey. Pinkish grey" is interesting, because while it's totally appropriate for a character based on Helen Narbon, it's also a quote from the Fifth Doctor in "Castrovalva".
Signature Line: "The problems in this world are not caused by those who love. They're caused by those who hate." Not used often enough to be a Catch Phrase, but the line that sums up Arthur's philosophy.
Also a brief arc in the modern timeline, where Guenevere and her family are nudists. Arthur, Lancelot, and Tristram visit Guenevere while on vacation, and Gwen invites them to nude it up. Guenevere snaps at Lancelot for trying to apologize when he doesn't feel comfortable taking off his trunks-she's too open-minded to brook any notion of feeling bad about your own comfort level.
This had less to do with this trope and more to do with some of the conversations they had about a girl (modern!Isolde); Tristram's chivalrous talk led the others to think "male" instead of "lesbian".
There Was a Door: After Lancelot and Guinevere get into an argument, she tells him to go away immediately. He then hops out a window, causing her to say, "I didn't mean you couldn't use the door!"
Time Skip: Although the sabbatical didn't actually last two and a half years, as intended, it still picks up the story two and a half years later. The second sabbatical lasted till December 2011, picked up the story nine years later, and was preceded by a one year timeskip to wrap up some plot threads.
Wham Episode: The last strip before it went on sabbatical. The last week of strips before the second sabbatical. Strip 2904 certainly seemed to be one for Lancelot. (The triangle art may make it a little confusing at first for readers, and reduce the impact.)