Master Zen-Dao Meow
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- Address: MZDM Comic Index
- Note : The archive is part of The Dream's "PONDER" forum.
- Ran from/to: Spring 1999 - March 28, 2004(?) - strip currently in hiatus.
The comic strip focuses on the title character, Zen-Dao Meow, as he reviews his past lives to solve a koan that will, in turn, save the life of a young boy. The strip integrates Eastern philosophies into a mystic storyline, one that has Zen-Dao trying to work his way to the title of "Master" - a title that, in past lives, he's arrogantly claimed anyway (hence the title of the strip).
Aside from introducing the reader to the primary goal of "solve the koan, save the boy", this chapter also gives them a preview of each Past Life in the form of lamenting Zen-Dao Meow's past "failures".
To date, two of his past lives have been seen:
- The Maltese Mandala - Zen-Dao Meow is a "Transcendental Detective", working the case of the Maltese Mandala. The storyline is a parody of The Maltese Falcon.
- The Spiraling Heart - Again, Zen-Dao Meow is a detective, this time in San Francisco. The storyline is a loose parody of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo; it was still in progress when the strip went on hiatus. This storyline had an associated role-play in the Dream, scenes from which are integrated into the comic's story.
These two storylines were the first of twelve planned, each tied to one of the the Napping Cat's twelve symbols:
- Dynamic Balance (yin-yang) - The Maltese Mandala
- Spinning Hearts (spinning heart) - The Spiraling Heart
- Measurement & Magic (crossed ruler and magic wand)
- Frames Within Frames (blue square frames within one another)
- Circling Paradox (question mark in a circle)
- Fools and Tricksters (purple mushroom)
- Mind Mirrors (green brain atop a mirror)
- Cross Swords a.k.a. CrossWords (two swords clashing)
- Get Together (unbalanced scales)
- Laughter and Tears (drama and comedy masks)
- Mythic Vision (eye)
- Goodbye and Hello Again (skull)
There are also a number of side projects, called "Dream Ditties", that are self-contained one-shots that fall within the Master Zen-Dao Meow universe.
Dream Yourself Ditties
"Dream Yourself Ditties" are comics created from contributions by avatars (players) in The Dream. They combine ideas about Master Zen-Dao Meow with events going on in The Dream.
Napping Cat Chat Comics
Finally, "Napping Cat Chat Comics" are comics created based on the events of scheduled and unscheduled chats on The Dream's official Tag-Board-based chat system.