TetZoo Time is a webcomic like no other. Inspired by both the artistic style and imaginative flair of the popular Cartoon Network show Adventure Time, the comic was created by TetZoo citizens Joan Turmelle and Albert Chen (or 'Albertonykus' as seen around the inter-webs). Early pages were drawn entirely by Joan, but the comic is now inked by Rebecca Groom and colored by Gareth Monger, with Joan providing the original line art. Much of the comic deals with caricatures of real-world scientists interacting with real-world species, yet in a fictional universe with fictional characters... yes it might be hard to wrap your brain around.
The comic stars Darren Naish and John Conway as two roommates and colleagues serving as heroes in the fictional world of the Tetrapod Kingdom, a large and vast royal land where both sapient extant and extinct tetrapods live in harmony under the rule of Princess Tetrapod (a pink azhdarchid pterosaur). The duo share many adventures all the while dealing with various concerns by the kingdom's citizens ranging from the trivial and mundane to the dangerous and deadly. But that's how they like their adventures.
TetZoo Time has an official website on Tumblr where the comics are posted, as well as questions from fans and news updates. There is also an official Facebook page and a fan-created TV Tropes article.
The creators are woefully inconsistent about how the series is "correctly" titled and several variations (Tet Zoo Time, TetZoo Time, or TetZoo Time!) are considered to be acceptable.
TetZoo Time started out as a standalone parody drawing uploaded at Deviant Art on September 6, 2013 by Joan Turmelle. Two days later on September 8, following endorsement of the cartoon by Darren Naish, Joan announced that she was considering an expansion of the concept into a regular series. Albertonykus was invited on board as a collaborator when he responded positively to the prospects of said project. Joan took on the responsibility of drawing the series, while both creators collaborated on generating ideas and writing scripts.
Following months of planning, the first official comic of the series was released and the Tumblr site launched on January 7, 2014. The official Facebook page was created on May 13, 2014.
After the successful completion of one episode and start of a second, a long and unintended comic hiatus began in July 2014 while the creators shifted their main focus to college. Recognizing their plight, the creators recruited Gareth Monger as colorist and Rebecca Groom as comic inker in January 2015 to facilitate production of the comics, which has since been put on hiatus yet again due to outside concerns.
Cast of Characters
Darren Naish - the mastermind behind all things tetrapod and yet isn't the Prince of the Tetrapod Kingdom, Darren is driven by two main philosophies: to be a hero for all creatures and a voice for scientific progress. As long as that progress doesn't involve invertebrates (he tried shooing away fishes, but we all know how well that turned out).
John Conway - a brilliant paleontographer and Darren's best friend and roommate. Call him a paleoartist and he won't hesitate to give you a good thrashing. John had a complicated past but tries to make up for it by being there for his friends, whether they need a helping hand or a sarcastic comment.
TMO - an anthropomorphic talking tablet computer and go-to-guide for Darren and crew. TMO stores every zoological paper ever written to be easily accessible should the situation call. The little computer is gender-neutral and simply likes being referred to as "little dude".
Dawn - a mute but magical Eotyrannus that Darren befriended a long time ago. Dawn has the power to stretch and grow at will and serves as transport for Darren and John over long distances. She's tough and is only loyal to those who treat her with respect.
Princess Tetrapod - the royal highness of the Tetrapod Kingdom and a three-meter tall azhdarchid. Fierce and powerful, yet loving and kind, this pterosaur is responsible for maintaining order in her land. However, her retiring demented side often leads to more trouble than she intended.
King Preter - Preter is a simple magical man with only one true desire: to be the authoritative ruler of all pterosaur research. The only progress he ever made was creating and caring for a small clan of mutated pterosaurs called punters who will do anything he commands. He's also written some books and papers that he tried to get published, but they were hailed as absolute garbage by all of his peers to the point where some paleontologists became fossilized by simply reading the titles.
Toni Naish - Darren's wife and a basilosaurid/narwhal hybrid (though it's unclear how this can be). Toni, unlike other cetaceans, can fly through the air and this makes communication with her husband a breeze.
Alice - the 'Anatomy Queen' whose specialties lie in comparative anatomy, anthropology, and television hosting - unique in the Tetrapod Kingdom! After being bitten by a rapid australopithecine once upon a time, Alice acquired the power to shape-shift and grow her body at whim, though not at the level of Dawn.
Memo - an artist and researcher who resides on the distant planet Snaiad and undergoes his own adventures with the planet's unique wildlife (as well as with a race of sapient Avisapiens!). Technologically savy, prolifically artistic, and perhaps a little bit eccentric, Memo enjoys the simpler things in life.
Dave - The “TetZoo Bulldog”. Dave is an expert on many things, but has a soft-spot for early tetrapods & their evolution. Dave lives up to his nickname by basically having the power to transform into a were-bulldog at will. Though you'll rarely find him acting monstrous, except on the internet against trolls and loonies.
Mark and Georgia Witton -
Wood Pigeon Butler -
U.L.T.E.R.N.O. and Darren Jr. -
Skate Comfort and Kirk Chameleon -
Episode 1: Eagles Fly, Everyone Dies: Darren and John try to help a bunch of moas (or "moa" depending on how stingy you are with plurals) who are terrified of an unknown eagle causing mass death in a canyon. (Tet Zoo inspiration: When eagles go bad)
Episode 2: Rio, Baby: Calling on Darren Naish's trip to Rio de Janeiro to see pterosaurs and take pictures of birds but not dance samba or see Carnival, Darren and John hit up the International Symposium on Pterosaurs in the hopes of seeing their old pal Mark Witton wax poetic on the flying reptiles. But tragedy strikes as the dreaded and slightly annoying King Preter and his army of mutated pretersaurs threaten to take over the conference. (Tet Zoo inspiration: In Rio for the 2013 International Symposium on Pterosaurs)
Episode 3: Sink or Swim?: TBA (Tet Zoo inspiration: Testing the flotation dynamics and swimming abilities of giraffes by way of computational analysis)