Ralph Fauntleroy Zinobop
First Appearance: It's Walky! February 20, 2001
YOB: 1973
Height: 3'1"
Weight: 92.5 lbs
Relatives: King Zinobop (father), Splink (half-brother), Ralphie Zinobop (clone), Fauntleroy Zinobop (clone)

Ralph Zinobop is the selfish, irritable, and impatient inventor of the starship Steel Duck, and one of the main characters in Steve Troop's long-running webcomic, Melonpool.

Zinoboppians are inventive by nature, and Ralph is exceptionally intelligent even by their standards, but years of hard luck and suffering his ship's incompetent crew have left him extremely bitter. Ralph now acts as the Steel Duck's engineer and insists that he is just a regular scientist in a perpetually bad mood. His current goal is to return to his home planet.

Coffee comprises 80% of his diet.


Ralph was once Prince of the alien planet Zinobop and heir to its throne, but his even more selfish father had him secretly exiled in order to retain control of the royal treasury. Ralph spent 3 years trapped on Melotia, a planet where the natives are influenced on a subconscious level by television signals from Earth. While there, he invented the Steel Duck and hired Mayberry Melonpool and Sam T. Dogg to be its captain and pilot respectively. The ship was powered by Sammy the Hammy, a giant mutant hamster who Ralph created by accident.

On the Steel Duck's initial test flight, Mayberry caused the ship to crash on Earth. There, the crew met Roberta Smeffinfeffer, who became and the ship's medical officer, and Ralph invented the Dup-O-Matic, a ray gun that creates an anti-clone of anything shot with it. Ralph accidentally created an anti-clone of himself named Ralphie, who became the ship's navigator. Ralph eventually repaired the Steel Duck, and the crew returned to space.

However, the additional crew members began to exhaust the Steel Duck's air supply, forcing Ralph to go back to Earth and modify the ship's life support features. Ralphie had the ship land in the La Brea Tarpits, which he mistakenly thought was an abandoned parking lot. While staying with No-da, an amoral Jedi, Ralph discovered a broken down protocol droid named JLB-8, which he remodeled into a robotic pop singer named Jalea Bates. Acting as her manager, Ralph plotted to make Jalea famous and use her a source of income. After a few performances, Jalea was nominated for a Grammy.

It's Walky!Edit

While Ralph and Mayberry attended the Grammy Awards ceremony, Head Alien's scanners detected the Steel Duck. Head Alien mistook it for Martian technology and removed it from the La Brea Tarpits using his flying saucer. Unable to discover what powered the ship, he found trace amounts of DNA and used Martian scanners to find Ralph and ambush him. Head Alien interrogated Ralph, and Ralph agreed to tell him what powers the ship in exchange for help with fixing it. When Head Alien discovered the ship's engine was actually a giant hamster wheel, he attempted to kill Ralph but was thwarted by Jalea, who was split in half by the laser blast she took for Ralph. Jalea had arrived with Mayberry, Ralphie, and SEMME agents David "Walky" Walkerton, Sal Walkerton, and Joyce Brown.

Ralph used the Dup-O-Matic to create an army of anti-Aliens, as well as an Anti-Head Alien and Anti-Joyce. In the ensuing chaos, Ralph had Jalea's lower half power the ship, but he was sucked out of a giant hole in the hull during take-off. He was caught by Jalea's upper half, who was holding onto Sal, who was herself holding onto an extension cord attached to the ship. Mayberry helped all three of them back onto the ship, convincing Sal that the Steel Duck crew was benign and harmless. SEMME agreed to keep their existence a secret.

The Steel Duck crew briefly returned to the strip during the Martian invasion, when they helped Walky and Joyce mount their counterattack.


  • Steve Troop is a personal friend of David Willis, and the two of them organized a crossover between their respective webcomics in 2001.
  • Ralph is named after Ralph Hinkley, the main character of The Greatest American Hero, as the two characters both have crazy hair.

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