Accidental Centaurs is a webcomic created and drawn by John Lotshaw. It debuted on January 15th, 2002.
The strip follows the ongoing adventures of Alex and Sam, two scientists from Earth who had been working on a teleportation system. During testing, the system exploded, sending them through a wormhole to an alternate universe. There, they find themselves transformed into centaurs (or, more accurately, transformed into something so strange that their minds perceive themselves as centaurs to protect their sanity). Their arrival is noted by the W!rxn, (The "!" is pronounced as a click of the tongue) a shadowy race of omniscient beings who watch over the parallel universe and believe the new arrivals to be fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. The less-than-enthused duo are given a ring which contains Lenny, a djinn who is supposed to be their guide and protector, but generally spends rather more time insulting them than doing any guiding or protecting.
The story underwent several re-imaginings since its original launch, and the most recent version rendered the original stories non-canon.
One constant throughout is that Sam and Alex's relationship is contentious, with each blaming the other for being stuck in this new world. They appear to have no romantic interest in each other at first and are quite hostile and sarcastic around each other. As already noted, Lenny has shown a darker side as well, and it's clear that his part of the prophecy is against his will as well.
Often went through long periods of inactivity; the strip was offline with only a placeholder announcement on its website when in November 2022 it was announced that Mr. Lotshaw had abruptly passed away.
Accidental Centaurs provides examples of:
- Fog Feet: Lenny hovers with the traditional trailing bit of smoke instead of feet.
- Killing for a Tissue Sample: Went on hiatus with a cliffhanger about whether Lenny is going to kill Stavvros to get a DNA sample.
- Shout-Out: Several, mostly to Pop Culture, though there's the occasional webcomic reference.
- Lenny refers to himself as "Brain the size of a planet" and makes various other The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy references, including the Great Zarquon. Alex buys a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster at one stage.
- In his first appearance, Lenny is holding a copy of the 12th published volume of Kevin & Kell, "Yo Mama".
- He later turned Sam and Alex into human-ish slime creatures based on "the maid of this wizard [he] met once in another dimension", aka Myrrh, slime maid servant to Lord Sykos of Melleck Xaos' dimension in The Wotch.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: hardly, Sam and Alex appear to genuinely dislike each other. Alex comments on Sam's *ahem* physique, comparing it favourably with her ..... attributes... in human form, which she doesn't appreciate at all.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: As noted above, the characters aren't actually turned into centaurs. Whatever they are, they merely appear as centaurs to themselves and each other as their mind's way of understanding themselves and protecting their sanity.