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Webcomic / Never Mind the Gap

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Never Mind the Gap is a "small town romance in a Sci-Fi future" webcomic hosted on ComicFury. The story concerns the day to day lives of several people and robots living in a small town, in a future where robots are capable of sentient thought. The author is an American artist known only as view.

It's a slow paced but unique web comic, putting a different and very believable spin on the "what if robots lived amongst us as equals?" concept.

The author always made clear that the comic "has a beginning, middle and end." The story has now concluded, with the last set of pages uploaded on July 14th, 2012. If you are reading the comic for the first time, make sure to start from the beginning!

There is occasional nudity and sexuality in the comic — it is a romance story, after all — but it is never gratuitous or tasteless. There's plenty else to keep the reader's attention, like complex characters, excellent writing, and a carefully crafted setting. It also has no mirror anywhere! Which means that it's up to us to dowload the comic in order to create one. And then upload it on so the comic can be further preserved!


Also see Space Pulp, view's next comic.

Never Mind the Gap provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The use of quantum computers have helped in creating a technology advanced society, specially with human-like robots and other complex technological solutions, but aside from that, the setting is not that different form a small rural town in the present day.
  • After the End: The setting gives some vibes to this, at least locally.
  • Androids Are People, Too: While at the present this is an accepted fact that everyone seems to agree and respect, a decade ago it may have been a little different.
  • Attempted Rape: This punk over there tried to rape Mary, but was interrupted.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jim is probably one of the nicest characters and always there to help anyone who needs his skills. DO NOT LAY A FINGER ON MARY.
    Jim: I once killed 47 marines for a thumb drive.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Jim and Mary are finally comfortable together in a relationship before Mary is damaged falling off a collapsing billboard sign, revealing the extent of her robotics and damaging her QRAM, which causes memory loss. How much memory loss isn't revealed after he repaired her that night, but Jim is willing to build their relationship back up again, content she was still her.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: on this page, Miwa isn't listening what a teen robot is saying to her. He apparently notices.
  • Child Prodigy: Jim and Miwa.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: It mentioned that the head is the only suitable place for a humanoid robot to have their CPU. Most notably, they can't be put in the chest, because it's occupied by the power source and its radiation shielding.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Gretel is a robot with one large circular eye, as per this trope — but she subverts it by being a Ridiculously Human Robot, a generally nice and pleasant person, and a little bit ditzy. It's likely that the only human being she's capable of intimidating is that boy who has a crush on her.
    • Still, the author has pointed out that Gretel's eye does reflect a not-entirely-human nature. Her face isn't always great at producing human expressions (though it has a built-in display to help this), and the author commented at one point that, compared to most humans, Gretel suffers from a bit of "tunnel vision" when it comes to the way she thinks.
  • Dug Too Deep: Parodied with the construction site, that was cancelled because it unveiled dinosaur bones.
  • Expressive Ears: On this page. Justified, as the ears belong to a Ridiculously Human Robot, and so may have been a conscious design choice to give the character a way to express emotions.
  • Fatal Flaw: Miwa's would be perfectionism and/or pride, which means she isn't great at coping when things don't go her way. She has few other flaws, being a young, attractive, rich, generally popular genius.
  • Fear of Thunder: Miwa. This inspired her to create a program for predicting thunder strikes.
  • First Girl Wins: Mary with Jim.
  • First Time Feeling: Throughout the comic, any time Jim tries to be intimate with Mary, she goes through a sensory trance that gradually fills her entire body until it gets too much for her.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Jim and Mary used to be in a pro-robot anarchist group.
  • Genki Girl: Gretel, somewhat.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Loose bioweapons tend to cause this. Usually with "XVT Saturation bombing" as Godzilla.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Miwa's invisible halter neck top. Not see-through, mind you — it uses futuristic light-bending materials to actually make her upper torso appear completely transparent.
  • I'm Melting!: The effect of XVT on any biological lifeform.
  • Insufferable Genius: Miwa is one of these, but she works hard on hiding it. In public, she's kind, friendly, and gregarious. In tense personal moments she'll say quite frankly that everyone in town (with the exception of her love interest, of course!) is an idiot compared to her. And, given that she can design entire ecosystems and predict lightning strikes to within a tenth of a second, she may well be right... Except when it comes to matters of the heart.
  • In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: There are AI's equal to human intellegence and rights, and there are Roomba-like robots and other automats that do menial tasks. It is hinted that not all robots are built with a human-like intelligence architecture and some are not that different at the ones we have in the present.
  • Mangaesque
  • Manchild: Both Miwa and Mary, though in different ways. Mary seems to lack confidence, and often chides herself for showing any trace of immaturity; Miwa seems overconfident if anything, and is dedicated to proving herself to be a super-competent adult to get the townspeople who watched her grow up to stop thinking of her as a kid.
  • Mechanical Muscles: Esteban is built to show a robotic macho body to match his luchador persona, all at his own volition.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Somewhere around level 5 ("Speculative Science"), or possibly 4 ("One Big Lie"). The main speculative aspect of the setting is that Ridiculously Human Robots are commonplace thanks to the development of quantum computing (and in addition they have to be very human-like because AI researchers found no other way to give machines human-level intelligence). The author has clearly put a lot of thought into these aspects of the setting. Otherwise the science is quite hard. No other particularly speculative technology is shown, except for the ability of one character to make extremely accurate weather forecasts (but she needs a room-full of super-computers to do it, in a setting where quantum computing is common). Even though the robots are very human, they're quite realistic in other ways — for example, they must make trade-offs when it comes to the complexity of their mechanical joints (their bodies can be strong, or flexible, or fast — but not all three at once, unless they're willing to pay a fortune in maintenance costs).
  • My Greatest Failure: Jim feels personally responsible for the XVT strike that caused the Metropolis Melt as well as the event that led to Mary being rebuilt as a robot.
  • Naked Apron: Mary at the start of chapter 8.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: In their robot activism days, Jim was known as Quantum Jim and Mary was known as Patentkiller Marina.
  • Nice Guy: Jim is very reserved and polite to most people, and is generally liked by everyone in the area.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-universe example: I want your skin! Jim is obviously a bit... disconcerted, though it turns out to be a perfectly innocent request.
    • Scarier forms of Nightmare Fuel are hinted at, and eventually explored, in the back-story. The characters lived through some unpleasant times in the years leading up to the events of the comic, and these occasionally come back to haunt them...
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever the first XVT incident was led to Texas being a melted crater.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: On this page.
    Miwa: Did you just honk my tit?
    Hanzel: I asked! You said "mmhm"!
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The fact that any heavy damage to a robot can lead to memory loss spanning years. When this happens to one of the robotic teens, his friends are devastated.
  • Oblivious to Love: Jim is this to Miwa at the beginning, but Jack doesn't let it last that much. The fact that he is not oblivious to Mary's crush shows who he is really interested in.
  • Precocious Crush: Mary had a major crush on Jim since she was little. It's fully reciprocated in adulthood.
  • Razor Floss: A living one, forgotten bioweapon.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Robots act pretty much exactly like humans in this setting, and even grow up in a very human-like way, going through infancy, different stages of childhood, and so on. The justification is that building very human-like robots is the only way to create an AI with any recognizable sapience or human-level intelligence at all, or at least the only one that AI researchers ever found. There are also various non-humanlike robots and "smart" devices in the setting that act more like realistic robots, but their mental capacities are very limited — just slightly smarter than what already exists in Real Life, with no capacity for any self-awareness.
    • Present Day Mary seems to be almost completely robotic, but still looks entirely human, having had her brain and limbs replaced with cybernetics.
  • Robo Family
  • Robotic Spouse
  • Robosexual: Robots and people can legally marry in this universe, though it's implied to be a recent phenomenon.
  • Skinny Dipping: Mary loves to do this in the lake close to her house. Since she lives quite apart from the rest of the town it's usually not a problem. Except when Jim visits unannounced to Mary's embarrasment.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Invoked unintentionally by Dr. Kirk on this page. He certainly doesn't want to be thought of as scary, but it seems he can't help it — this isn't likely to help the "creepy" reputation he's acquired amongst the town's robots...
  • Shoot the Messenger: When Jim warned the banks about a critical security flaw in the payment system, they called him The Cracker (which sadly happens in real life) and had him arrested.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Level 3, but fully emotional and social. Robots in this universe are exactly like human beings, capable of intelligent thought and emotions (even writing books and getting married to humans), save for the occasional need to have their circuits checked up on, and growing up for them involves having someone build them a new body.
  • Spider Tank: The kids accidentally stumble across a buried spider-tank left over from the bio-weapon war in the comic's back-story. It's disabled and filled with mud, but Jim appears to feel nerdy glee at the prospect of restoring it.
  • The Ghost: Jianguo, a prominent scientist, Miwa's father and someone who is never at home.
  • Tranquil Fury: Jim looks emotionless when he's really angry. Including when murderously so, like against Mary's corrupt doctor: his friends had to restrain him.
  • Transforming Mecha: Gretel wants the new body she's getting for her birthday to be one of these (also she wants it to fly). It's not a realistic request in this relatively hard setting, where robot bodies need to worry about things like joint complexity and the economics of maintenance and construction... But then, Gretel is just a kid, and what kid wouldn't want to be a Transforming Mecha?
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: What can happen to robots if the trauma is big enough to damage their QRAM. It happens to one of the robotic kids and then to Mary.
  • Tsundere: Mary
  • Uplifted Animal: The local octopi.
  • We Can Rebuild Her: Miwa after being hit by lightning twice needed one replacement limb, a serious patching up on two more, and new eyes.
    • Mary is revealed to have been this way to a much larger extent, as a lot of her body is robotic under synthetic skin and her brain had to be copied into a processor.
  • What Does He See in Her?: Miwa regarding Jim and Mary.
    Miwa: (alone) Why an idiot, Jim?


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