The fourth wall is the imaginary boundary, or wall, that seperates the audience from the charactes.
This barrier exists at the front of the stage in a theater, in the front of a comic panel, or in front of the television screen. It is through the fourth which the audience sees the action in the world of the play or order form of media.
"Breaking the fourth wall" refers to a situation in which a character reveals his or her awareness of the audience. This can also be called metatheatre.
Example of Breaking the Fourth Wall
Character A refers to an important event happening the day of the comic release. Character B, aware (or unaware) of the subject tells Character A to tell more. Character A speaks to the audience of how important (or unimportant) the subject is. Character A then speaks to the audience and tells then to not make fun of whatever is happening on the day (or vice versa), and Character B can either agree with him, disagree with him, or (for comedic effect) sleep through the entire thing.
Use In BZPower Comics
The fourth wall is broken frequently in comic series, notably Project Klinkerpoop and Livin' the Sprite Life. The fourth wall is often broken in order to add a slight touch of comedy to the comic, or to adress a serious (or funny) message to the reader.
Breaking the Fourth Wall
In Project Klinkerpoop, the characters often openly refer to events on BZPower, discuss the thoughts or motivations of the author writing the comic, or complain about the inability of the authors to progress the plot forward or put effort into the comic.
Conversely, in Livin' the Sprite Life, the characters often look towards the viewer and address them directly in an attempt to emulate some sort of talk or variety show. This is not the only instance, however; the device also manifests itself other ways, including the characters mentioning that Dokuma lost a guest star's sprite sheet, leading to a cop-out of a guest star comic.
It has also been used in Philipnova798's Comic Factory 2.0 plenty of times. In one instance, Turaga Dlakii reminding Philipnova798 that he only agreed to Guest Star in Phil's comic because he was getting a Mudkip and a foot rub. Resulting into a mob guest stars chasing and injuring Phil afterwards. The cast themselves have also been known to break it at times too. With The Landlord narating an event that happened and Dawn telling Phil not to break the Fourth Wall.
- Breaking the fourth wall can also freeze someone from another Dimension in the Time-Space Continuum, as seen in the comic series Live, Learn and Lawsuits.
- The fourth wall is a major part of the plot in the aptly named comic series, The Fourth Wall.
- The fourth wall is often used for characters to have conversations with the audience.