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I'm just Rice Boy. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. All I can do is grow plants and watch sunsets and listen to stories.
Rice Boy is a surreal fantasy comic by Evan Dahm. It began April 1, 2006, and finished May 14, 2008. It was the first comic set in Overside. The comic is available as a webcomic, in softcover, and in hardcover.
The One Electronic is a mechanical man on a Mission From God: he is searching for the Fulfiller of the Prophecy of Ridrom, and he will not die as long as he continues searching. Unfortunately, T-O-E has been searching for 3,000 years, and every candidate for the position of Fulfiller has been a spectacular failure. When his latest candidate dies, T-O-E once again finds a replacement: the humble little pawn-shaped Rice Boy.
The only problem is Rice Boy says he can't do it.
T-O-E grows despondent and begins doubting his mission, while, unknown to him, a number of events are set in motion: Spatch II, the son of the last candidate, convinced that he himself is the Fulfiller, prepares to kill the new candidate and to wage war. To this end, he begins amassing an army, and he hires the Bounty Hunter Golgo to shadow T-O-E.
Meanwhile, Rice Boy decides he's a little bit curious about this Prophecy, so he sets off to learn more...
What ensues is a classical hero's journey story with many twists, played by a cast of strange creatures and set against the background of a surreal land.
After the conclusion of Rice Boy, Dahm began other webcomic series based in the same world. Order of Tales, which is now completed, is a loosely-connected prequel to Rice Boy. The third and current webcomic set in Overside is Vattu.
The world of Overside has a wiki.
- Ancient Keeper: In the library of the Kingdom of Seen.
- Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: The comic has one page of gratuitous brother-sister incest, in a story that's otherwise completely free of sex and innuendo.
- Badass: T.O.E and Golgo.
- Badass Adorable: Admit it, Rice Boy's like Frodo, sweet-natured, cute, huggable and brave. Also Gerund.
- Badass Longcoat: T-O-E.
- Because Destiny Says So / Chosen One: Played with. Over the years hundreds of people were declared to be the fulfiller until they finally found the right one. In the end, both T-O-E and Rice Boy met the requirements to be Fulfiller, but T-O-E is the one who dies first.
- Beneath the Earth: The Kingdom of Seen.
- Big Bad: King Spatch.
- Big Good: T.O.E.
- Big Eater: Gerund.
- Bilingual Bonus: Evan Dahm's constructed language of Seen-Script is present in places all over the Overworld, and gives those who can read it extra little insights into the world.
- Bittersweet Ending: The 'vaguely-defined' prophecy is fulfilled and Spatch is defeated. But T.O.E. is stabbed by Golgo for the last time while trying to save Rice Boy. Rice Boy, in tears, rests his head on T.O.E.'s lifeless body. Afterward is the epilogue.
- The Blank: T.O.E.
- Bounty Hunter: Golgo.
- Break the Cutie: Rice Boy. Gerund for some.
- Brother-Sister Incest: As seen here.
- Cartoon Creature: Almost everybody on Overside.
- The Chooser of the One: T.O.E.'s role.
- Corrupt Church: The Church of Spatch.
- Cryptic Background Reference: The comic raises many more questions than it answers.
- Dead Little Sister: T.O.E.'s brothers, apparently 'taken' by the beast. Perhaps meant as a parallel to Gerund losing his brother to the same creature. Except not. The beast is harmless, working for Parod, who is manifestly not dangerous, and apparently makes strangers into apprentices. T.O.E. never learns of this though...
- Death Seeker: It turns out T.O.E. is one of these, suffering a bout of Who Wants to Live Forever?.
- Dialogue Reversal:
"Are you following me?"
"No. I am going where you are going."
"I see. Where will I go next?"
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Eldritch Abomination: Father Dimmon, former ruler of the Lonely Land whose hands are nailed to the ground.
- The Faceless: The White Formless, who can only speak by cutting off their heads.
- Flat What: Rice Boy does this here. And here.
- Flat World: The Overside and Underside. This story takes place mostly in the former.
- Foil: Calabash and T-O-E, to an extent. They have radically different personalities and outlooks, but are still friends and work towards a similar goal.
- God Before Dogma: T-O-E's theological position.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Golgo's robotic eye.
- Heroic Sacrifice Parod.
- Hero of Another Story:
- T.O.E, Calabash, and Golgo, all of them being immortal and relevant in many legends and history books.
- In a side story of their past, it mentions T.O.E becoming the king of a civilization while Calabash waited years for his return in tundra, right when ANOTHER hero of his own story was there.
- Horse of a Different Color: The Frog-men use giant lizards, and Maquìn has a horse-like creature that's able to contract its entire body into its cubical head.
- Immortality Immorality: Not all immortal characters are immoral, but this is the effect that the Black Spirit has on people. Averted with Calabash and T-O-E, who still desperately cling to a failing moral compass.
- Invisible Anatomy
- Knife Nut: T-O-E vs. Golgo.
- Lame Comeback:
Rice Boy: You aren't very helpful, Bor.
Bor the Very Large: Uh-huh, well -- you aren't very large.
- Loads and Loads of Races
- Lord Error-Prone: Prince Yureg, the Prince of Satuar.
- Magical Land
- Mechanical Lifeforms: The Machine Men. They can smoke, they grow as they age, and one of them nearly dies of poisoning. Order of Tales includes a story about them evolving into their metal form from rock material.
- The Messiah: Rice Boy, kind and humble to a fault.
- Messianic Archetype: The Fulfiller of Ridrom's prophecy.
- Mission From God
- Mouse World: The Trill-Folk.
- Physical God: The three Avatars, maybe. T-O-E argues that while his employer is very powerful, it is no God.
- Pinball Protagonist: Rice Boy.
- Poisoned Weapons: T-O-E's knife. It backfires on him, though it is implied that it was intended to end his own life.
- Prophecy Twist
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Gortch, the late father of the late King Spatch.
- The Quest
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old
- Refusal of the Call: Rice Boy doubts that he's the Fulfiller, initially.
- The Reveal: T-O-E and Calabash's employer, who turns out to be the Avatar of Time.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Calabash.
- Scenery Porn
- Shock and Awe: T.O.E.
- Unintentional, at that. Dahm asked his friends what he should name the bounty hunter; they suggested Golgo, after the protagonist of Golgo 13, and Dahm used it, only learning of the reference later.
- Angel-Eye saying "one name is as good as another."
- Smoking Is Cool: T-O-E is a chain-smoking robot. Don't ask how it works, but it looks cool.
- The Stoic: T-O-E.
- Supporting Leader: T.O.E. Or so he thinks.
- Terminally Dependent Society: The people of Whetton were utterly dependent on the Tree of Thought. When it died, they attacked another city for its tree.
- Twist Ending
- White Gloves: T-O-E.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Calabash, T-O-E.
- Words Can Break My Bones : Literally, after Rice Boy learns to speak the Trill language.
- World Tree: Daughter, the oldest and strongest tree in the Heart of the Dorlish Wood, which holds the Tree Keeper's most valuable possession.