(not to be confused with the classic Underground Zap Comix
by Robert Crumb
, or ZZap! the Commodore 64 magazine) is a science fiction webcomic which ran from 2003 to 2014 and centers around the title character, Zap Vexler. Chris Layfield is the writer, and Pascalle Lepas is the artist.Amnesiac
Zap finds himself the captain of a Cool Starship
called the Excelsior
. He discovers that he is psychic
and falls for the first officer, Reona, who is still heartbroken over the previous captain, Efrem. He had been apparently killed by an enemy, Naveed. Reona and the ship's mechanic, Grontar, and navigation droid, Robot, aren't too thrilled about Zap being picked as the captain. This is mostly because Zap is a doofus and far from captain material. They fight their way through the GEF
, crash land, fight their way through the GEF again, take off, and pick up an ally: Kasey. Another Resistance member, Kasey is infatuated with Robot and helps repair Reona's artificial arm. Zap runs into a stranger (to him at this point), Gunner, who claims to be a friend from his forgotten past.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Evil Versus Evil: The GEF against the Serpent's rebellion (which is different from the Resistance).
- Last of His Kind: Robot is the last robot left with a learning AI. The Elelmentaros are the last of their species.
- The Merch: Not a big part of the site, but there is a book out.
- Restraining Bolt: The "crowns". And Robot's programming to obey the Captain, like it or not (he does not).
- Scenery Censor: Here Zap is naked, with Robot's head "tastefully" interposed.
- Spot the Imposter: The Body Horror creature takes Zap's appearance. Side by side, everyone debates who to shoot. Gunner comes up and just unceremoniously shoots the fake. The monster was quite easily distinguishable ("Meeee, Reaaal Zaaaaaap...") when everyone was "Side by side" as it were, and the remark from Robot seemed like it was an obvious Lampshade hanging.
- Super Registration Act: Psychics are being rounded up for nefarious purposes (implied to be made into Super Soldiers).
- Technopath: One of Zap's first displays of psychic ability is activating the Excelsior's hyperdrive. In fact his mental commands are apparently the only thing that can do so. Gunner, as his name implies, uses his to improve the function of his weapons.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Zap, who was mistaken for a stowaway at first, is almost dumped with the trash into space (or so he thought).
- Title Confusion: Due to the old URL, the comic is often called "Zap IN SPACE". This is also something of a Berserk Button for the author, to the point that they've migrated to a new URL.
- Webcomic Time: A few years of comics following a few weeks of plot.
- Wig, Dress, Accent: Robot gets by a security checkpoint with pants, a wig and a sign the says "I am human". (The costume really didn't work, though, it was Zap doing a Jedi Mind Trick type thing on the guards.)
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Zap's fear of space squid is played as a Running Gag.