Cal Duck and Dr Rianne Nicah Callous Comics

Cal Duck and Dr. Rianne Nicah, the main protagonists of "Callous Comics"

Callous Comics


Carlo Jose San Juan, MD


Update Feed

Current status / schedule

Active / Daily and Sunday

Launch Date

August 7, 1996


Humor, Workplace, Children, Teens, Adults, Adventure, Fantasy


Comic Strips


G Rated

Callous is a daily and Sunday web comic strip written and illustrated by Dr. Carlo Jose San Juan. It features Dr. Rianne Nicah, a struggling new physician, who braves the world with her guardian duck, Cal Duck.

The comic strip series mainly takes place in the fictional town of Chanceborough, Wyxcestershire of the Republic of San Lazaro. It is here where it takes lighthearted look at life both within and outside of the medical field.

Occasionally, Callous Comics features storylines set in the world where Rianne's Guardian Duck comes from, known as the Inter-realms or as The Land of the Guardians among readers. Here, she undergoes fantastic adventures. Much of the series' character development occurs in these storylines.

Publication History Edit

Callous was first published in August 7, 1996 as a college comic strip regularly printed monthly in The LaSallian and continued until 1999 with occasional contributions until 2000. In 1997, the official website for Callous went online mainly featuring scans of published comic strips. From 2000-2003, the series was revamped and printed biannually in Medyaryo as Callous: Quacks. Callous went into hiatus from 2003-2007. Only two comic strips were produced and published online from 2007-2008. In September 2009, the series was revived as a daily webcomic.

In August 2010, Callous - The Comic Strip Series: Chocolate Chip Wishes and Caffeine Dreams, the first printed compilation of Callous comic strips was launched. This compiled selected comic strips from 2007-2010.

In May 2011, the second compilation, Callous Comics - Take Two Spoonfuls of the Sunny Side!, which featured comic strips from 2010-2011 and a printed storyline, Callous Comics - The Land of the Guardians was released.

Series History Edit

Callouscomics rianne aug96

Rianne from the August 1996 "Callous" comic strip.

began as a college life situation comedy comic strip and occasionally would spoof television advertisements. Rianne was a sporadically recurring character at the time, going through life as a college student. Cal Duck would appear in the title frame in various unfortunate circumstances. In 1997, the series branched out to include one-panel comics in which Cal Duck would star. In 2000, when the series was revamped, Rianne encounters Cal Duck upon her entry into medical school. Cal revealed himself to be a guardian duck, assigned to her to guide her to be the best person she could become. She initially found this to be a nuisance as guardian ducks are not invisible, hampering her capacity to live the normal life of a medical student. This complication is further accentuated whenever Cal's mentors would appear.

Since then, Rianne has graduated from medical school and specialty training and has grown accustomed to the complicated life of having a guardian duck and has gained good friends in her otherworldly housemates. She is currently a Family Medicine with Obstetrics specialist working in Chanceborough Hospital and Medical Center and still goes through life with her good friend and guardian duck, Cal.

Guardian Ducks Edit

The Guardian Ducks are a fictional order of anthropomorphic ducks who serve as guides to their assigned charges' lives. They serve as philosophical and sometimes spiritual guides and, when necessary, fierce protectors. To date there are six known Guardian Ducks with Cal Duck, Mallard Duck, Decoy Duck, and Ling Duck being the most prominently featured in the series. Master Kalus is the Keeper of the Guardian Gateway, the portal between the human world and the Inter-realms. The Sixth Guardian is Muscovy Duck, once a fallen Guardian who is currently undergoing rehabilitation to reenter the Order.

Cal is the newest guardian duck and occasionally would be mentored by the others. Rianne is Cal Duck's first charge.

In the past it was an honor to have a Guardian Duck by your side. However, all written record of their existence has mysteriously disappeared. They are naturally not invisible though are able to instantaneously travel to and from their world at will. Non-Guardians require Master Kalus as escort through the Guardian Gateway. Guardian Ducks with an assigned charge are not allowed to leave the world their charge is in.

Characters Edit

  • Dr. Rianne Nicah -- Rianne, the main protagonist of the Callous comic strip, is a simple yet determined woman who just wishes to be all she can be but has no idea on how to do so. When she entered medical school, a walking, talking duck in a plaid flannel shirt appeared before her and introduced himself as Cal Duck, her guardian duck. Having a guardian duck was supposed to be an honor but Rianne initially found it a nuisance since guardian ducks are not invisible. Nevertheless, she eventually realized how much Cal helps in her newfound never-ending pursuit for self-improvement. Now a practicing physician, she realizes she still has much to learn. The only other people who know of Cal Duck are her best friend and colleague, Aimee Queens, her niece, Audrey Nicah, and her significant other, Gray Woodrow.
  • Cal Duck -- The newest member of the Order of Guardian Ducks, Cal is an ever-excited, eternally optimistic, and all-around fun duck. Rianne is his first charge and is often tutored on the ways of being a guardian duck (much to the dismay of Rianne) by his seniors, Mallard Duck, Decoy Duck, and Ling Duck, who pop in and out of our world from time to time. Cal is fascinated by the world and seess everything in as many perspectives as he can. He has a slight addiction to peanut butter and coffee, though.
  • Dr. Aimee N. Queens -- Aimee went through college and medical school with Rianne and is her closest friend. She is a practicing Pediatrician. Aimee is the antithesis to Rianne's naivete, often being a voice of reason. While Rianne seeks to be all she could be, Aimee seems to have already done so, though she would be the first to say that she has much much more to learn and that she is no better a citizen of the world and student of life than Rianne.
  • Bel Bean -- Bel is a barista at "Coffee Specialties", a cafe Rianne and Aimee like to go to on a daily basis. She has become a good friend of the two who both find it strange yet amusing how she dislikes coffee. She prides herself on her simple life and loves coming up with special promotional gimmicks for the cafe. She is naive yet delightfully wide-eyed to the world.
  • Gray Woodrow -- Gray is a movie critic for The Chanceborough News. He has a great passion for motion pictures and has vast knowledge on the subject. However, his overly eloquent diatribes and praises for films are an impediment on his social skills. Gray is Rianne's frequent movie date as she continually tries to keep up with his appraisals. Recently, he has also become Rianne's significant other.
  • Audrey Nicah -- Audrey is Rianne's niece. She is a high strung, often over-sugared girl. Sometimes, her father, Ren Nicah, would ask Rianne to take care of her for a weekend. Audrey discovered Cal Duck and the rest of the Guardian Ducks by accident. She promised Rianne to keep their secret, even from her own parents. She has become good friends with the Guardian Ducks as well.
  • Sherwin S. Sherwin -- Sherwin is a frequent "Coffee Specialties" patron and college friend of Rianne and Aimee. He often has to lend a friendly ear to his medical friends as they vent to him their frustrations. Sherwin is a clever and crafty entrepreneur. He would try to convince "Coffee Specialties" customers to invest in whatever he's into at that time.
  • Mallard Duck -- Mallard is Cal Duck's immediate senior Guardian Duck. He is the most stringent of the Ducks, as well. He has mastered all the rules and protocols contained in Guardian Duck literature and is a fond reader of The Chanceborough News. Mallard loves to write things down. He has an itchy quill finger. He is also borderline obsessive-compulsive and loves to maintain order, especially within his own kind. He abides by rules to the letter and expects others to do the same, if only for common courtesy.
  • Decoy Duck -- Decoy is the immediate senior Guardian Duck to Mallard. He also oversees Cal Duck's Guardianship but doesn't speak much. When he does talk, however, everyone listens. Decoy is a featherless Guardian Duck.
  • Ling Duck -- Ling Duck is the wisest and most powerful of the Guardian Ducks. He only speaks in
    chirps, however, requiring the other guardians to translate what he says to Rianne. He is unfathomably patient, incredibly intelligent, and immeasurably clever.

External linksEdit