Webcomic / Zortic
is a Science Fiction webcomic
by Mark Mekkes. The comic focuses on the adventures of Zortic, a Little Green Man
who's a huge Fan Boy
for Earth pop culture; through winning a trivia contest, he finds himself the owner and captain of a spaceship. Along with saner and wiser
female companion Zoie and Zen-like
mechanic Splink, they set out across the galaxy where they engage in affectionate parodies
, send-ups, and spoofs of all kinds of Earth sci-fi and pop-culture material.
The original run of the comic, now known as Classic Zortic
, ran from 2000 to 2008, updating usually three times a week; it ran to over 1200 comics. In September 2008, Zortic
underwent a Continuity Reboot
, becoming The New Adventures of Zortic
, otherwise known as Z2
. It updates weekly on Saturdays and has reached over 200 strips.
Can be found here
Both series contain examples of the following tropes:
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Even within the same species.
- Art Evolution: The art style improves noticeably over the course of the strip.
- Artificial Gravity
- Catch Phrase: "Shut up, Splink!"
- Flying Saucer / Cool Ship: The Entire Prize. It actually bears a resemblance to some NASA lifting body designs.
- Game Show Appearance: How Zortic wins his spaceship.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Zoie, apparently.
- Klingons Love Shakespeare: Both Zortic and Zoie are fans of Earth pop culture.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall
- Little Green Man: Zortic.
- Meaningful Name: The ship is called the "entire prize" because Zortic won it in a game show.
- In Classic, he intended to win enough money to pay off his student loans. He got a ship instead, and increduolously asks "That's the entire prize!?".
- In the reboot, part of the prize was a date with Zoie (a celebrity this time around), who is miffed at being a prize in a contest. She angrily tells Zortic the ship's the "entire prize" and he liked it.
- Never Say "Die": Averted.
- Only Sane Woman: Zoie
- Pointy Ears: Most of the aliens have these.
- Purple-Skinned Space Babe: Zoie
- Robe and One-Way Visor: Splink is always seen in a comfortable, long robe that hides his legs and feet completely and has never been seen without his visor, which doubles as an Expressive Mask. While his eyes have never been seen in canon, omake scenes hint that the goggles hide Eye Scream, although he says it's prosthetics and makeup.
- Spirit Advisor:
Splink: I'll be joining you as your native guide, spiritual advisor and on-board mechanic.
Zoie: Spiritual advisor?
Splink: Hey, I didn't say I was a good mechanic.
- Stripperiffic: Zoie occasionally finds herself in outfits like this to "fit in" on planets. It doesn't make her happy.
Classic Zortic contains examples of the following tropes:
- Accidental Marriage: Splink and Kris.
- A.I. is a Crapshoot: Otto the Autopilot, expy of HAL. And, later, Blade Runner.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Zortic's father is jailed by the Knastie Empire for trespassing, espionage, and body odor.
- Amazon Space Pirate Girl: Captain Red Bimbo
Captain Bimbo: On Amazonia, "Bimbo" means "ingenous warrior"!
- Bare Your Midriff: Captain Bimbo, of course. Zoie on occasion.
- Bland-Name Product: Burger Thing.
- Brain Uploading: When Zortic retrieves his mother from Hell, she doesn't have a body to return to, so she inhabits the ship.
- Chekhov's Armoury: Splink clearly relishes the chance to play Q.
- Conscription: Being drafted into the Sector Guard for a year is apparently considered appropriate punishment for space racing in a restricted zone.
- Crossover: Most prominently with Melonpool, although the comic takes part in some mega-crossover events as well.
- Damsel in Distress: Don't call Zoie this.
- Evil Knockoff: Otto!Splink.
- Fingerless Hands: The three main members of the cast have these; other aliens sometimes do, but it varies.
- Flying Car: The Entire Prize's ground probe.
- Handsome Lech: The captain of the Space Guard Cutter Cavalry.
- Heel–Face Turn: Red Bimbo
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Zoie's reaction to learing she'd been trapped in Splink's head.
- Human Popsicle: Captain Brut.
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Inverted
Splink: I'm a mechanic, not a doctor!
- Ironic Echo: Zortic and Zoie take out the trash.
- Lampshade Hanging: The artist depicts the characters hands without individual fingers. This leads to a gag about them only having one huge finger and a thumb.
- Long-Lost Relative: Splink turns out to be the half-brother of Ralph Zinobop of Melonpool.
- Playboy Bunny: Zoie finds herself dressed like this (much to her annoyance) when a tribe of "fake primitives" decides to sacrifice her to the Mugwump.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: Ottoette.
- Ring of Power: Chubby gets tricked into putting on the One Ring - which was coated in Crazy Glue.
- Royal Blood: Splink turns out to be the heir to the throne of Planet Zinobop. He renounces the claim, much to Ralph's relief.
- Security Cling: The bad special effects of Lost in Space are scary!
- Shared Universe: Technically, as a result of Melonpool's continuity, Zortic's adventures take place in the Walkyverse.
- Snake Pit: One of Captain Bimbo's fiendish traps.
- Speaks in Binary: Splink can do this, although it was only used once.
- Student Loan Shark: The gangster Jabba...er, Chubby the Lump.
- Temple of Doom: An Indiana Jones parody happens, of course, complete with the required death-traps!
- To Hell and Back: Zortic beats the devil in a game show quiz to rescue Zoie's soul after a space station explosion.
- Villain Ball: Captain Brut takes firm hold.
- We Used to Be Friends: Inverted; the cast met in nursery school, and hated each other. 20 years later, give-or-take, they're fast friends.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Splink's goat is seen when he boards the Entire Prize for the first time, but is never seen again.
- Whole Plot Reference: One arc has the crew rescue Zoe from hell; another has the ship taken over by a reality show. Yet another does The Lord of the Rings.
- Actually it would be easier to count the arcs that were not this...
The New Adventures of Zortic contains examples of the following tropes:
- Darker and Edgier: A moderate case, but the adventures tend to be more realistic and more than one quirky antagonist becomes a full-scale villain. There is also Zortic's love of Star Trek being explained as being its escape from his parents constant arguing...
- Space Pirates