417: The Man Who Fell Sideways

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The Man Who Fell Sideways
Strip originally conceived in conversation with Jeph Jacques. Soon to be a major motion picture.
Title text: Strip originally conceived in conversation with Jeph Jacques. Soon to be a major motion picture.

[edit] Explanation

A Matter of Some Gravity.png

This comic is humorously built-up like a short drama story, about a man with an unusual condition.

It might have been inspired by the Uncle Scrooge adventure comic "A Matter of Some Gravity" (Inducks) by Don Rosa, in which Magica de Spell makes gravity pull sideways at Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck.

"Soon to be a major motion picture" in the title text might refer to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a film released later in 2008 (and based on a short story), in which the protagonist Benjamin suffers of the impossible condition of aging backwards.

"Over land... and sea", might be from the song "Nature Boy" by eden ahbez. Nat King Cole sung (the most famous version) about "A very strange, enchanted boy. They say he wandered very far, very far over land and sea".

The title text mentions Jeph Jacques, who is running the webcomic Questionable Content.

When Cueball hits Megan, he knocks her down and knocks her up. The baby shares his tendency to be pulled sideways by gravity, but this apparently does not start until it is born, because Megan and the doctor do not seem to have been expecting it. If gravity had affected the unborn fetus in the same way, Megan would have been able to feel it, would have noticed that her uterus was hanging differently, and would have had difficulty balancing due to the sideways forces.

The first part of the comic has some resemblance to this much later comic: 1376: Jump

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball standing, with a dotted line perpendicular to him and a 30 degree angle going downwards.]
From a young age, gravity pulled him wrong.
[Cueball bouncing around his house.]
Sometimes east, sometimes west. When he was restrained, it grew erratic.
WHAM WHAM
[Cueball bouncing/rolling on the ground.]
So he fell.
Cueball: AAAA
THUMPA THUMPA
[Cueball bouncing/rolling on the ground in a desert.]
Constantly
Cueball: AAAAAAAAA
[Cueball bouncing/rolling off a rock on the ground in a desert.]
Over land...
Cueball: AAAAA-THUD-A
[Cueball bouncing/rolling on the ground in the desert.]
Cueball: AAAAAAAAA
[Cueball bouncing/rolling on the ground in the desert.]
Cueball: A-THUD-AAAAAA
[Cueball bouncing/rolling on the ground in the desert.]
Cueball: AA-THUD-AAAAA
[Cueball under the surface of a body of water.]
And sea.
Cueball: AAAAAAAAAAAA
[Cueball still under the surface of a body of water.]
Cueball: AAAAAAAA
[Cueball temporarily standing on the surface of the body of water.]
Cueball: AAAAAA
[Cueball under the surface of the body of water.]
Cueball: AAAAAAAA
[Tree in the savanna, with Cueball off the panel.]
He found, where he could, food-
Cueball: AAAAAAAAAAAA
[Tree in the savanna, with Cueball still off the panel, but zoomed out so that part of Cueball's bounce/roll path is visible.]
Cueball: AAAAAAAAA
[Cueball upside-down, still bouncing/rolling in the savannah, with a gazelle galloping away from him.]
GALLOP GALLOP
Cueball: AAAAAAAAA
[Savanna with a tree in it.]
Cueball: AAAAAAAAAAA
[Megan standing, with Cueball off screen.]
And love.
Cueball: AAAA-THUD-AAAA
[Megan standing, with Cueball off screen.]
Cueball: THUD ACK CRASH
[Cueball crashing into Megan]
Cueball: Hiwhat'syourname-
WHAM
[Megan on the ground, with Cueball off screen.]
Cueball: AAAAAAA-THUD-AAA
[Megan speaking to Hairy.]
Megan: I met this guy. He knocked me over and tumbled into the distance.
[Megan speaking to the same man from the previous panel, with Hairy's hand to his mouth.]
Megan: We only shared a few seconds, but in his panicked scream I heard something beautiful.
[Megan speaking to the same man from the previous panel.]
Megan: I think... I think I'm...
[Megan speaking to the same man from the previous panel.]
Hairy: Falling for him?
Megan: I wasn't going to say it.
[Megan at hospital with doctor, giving birth.]
She never saw him again. But nine months later...
Doctor: Okay, push!
[Megan at hospital with doctor and new baby, who is bouncing/rolling away.]
Doctor: It's a gir-
Megan: !!
Doctor: Whoops!
Baby: Ga! Ga!
[Baby bouncing/rolling out of hospital.]
Baby: WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE
[Baby bouncing/rolling in front of a sunset.]
Baby: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
The End
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Discussion

I feel like the child should fall at a shallower angle from horizontal. There must be some way to do a punnet square for these things... BruceJohnJennerLawso (talk) 22:47, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

The "when he was restrained, it grew erratic" seems to imply that gravity always pulls him horizontally to the surface he's on. Otherwise, he would be able to stand on a wall, instead of bouncing around. This is one weird kind of gravity.108.162.219.7 20:10, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Any thoughts pertaining to Megan being the victim of rape in this strip? 108.162.250.210 01:10, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

If it was unintentional rape, does that make it ok? Answer: probably not, but maybe we should not read too much into the comic...108.162.254.66 16:24, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
"He found, where he could, food and love" - that sounds entirely intentional. Also, considering this entire website is set up to discuss and analyse XKCD comics, saying "we should not read too much into the comic" when the subject of rape arises is pretty shocking.108.162.250.210 11:52, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
The transcript of this comic says that Cueball is under the water for three of the four "water" panels. However, based on the wave visible in the first two panels, the splashes caused by his feet in the third panel, and the lack of a wake in the fourth panel, I believe that Cueball is sliding across the water on his feet, instead of being submerged most of the time.Codefreak5 (talk) 16:57, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
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