Propaganda: We Are The Robots.

Published On March 5, 2009 | By Richard Bruton | Reviews

Robots

Accent UK

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We’re charging our battery, And now we’re full of energy
We are the Robots
We’re functioning automatik, And we are dancing mechanik
We are the Robots
We are programmed just to do, anything you want us to
We are the Robots
(Kraftwerk – The Robots)

I really get demoralised by anthology comics. There’s something about them that I find vaguely annoying; the truncated, rushed feel of the stories, the sense that talented people are throwing in their weaker work. too much filler and not enough killer usually. Especially off-putting are those anthologies which lean heavily on an seemingly endless stream of one, two or three page strips that start and end without really saying anything.

Which brings me to Robots: the 2008 entry in Accent UK’s annual anthology series. It starts so well: look at that cover by Andy Bloor; it’s a beauty isn’t it?

But underneath the cover we get an anthology. And I’ve told you what I think of those already. Robots is guilty of a lot of these faults but there’s enough variety here amongst these stories to keep most people happy I’d imagine and, despite my grouching, the whole point of an anthology is to mix it up, so I’m just going to skate over the problems of this anthology and I’m going to concentrate on a few of the nicer things about it.

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(Robot Interviews by David Baillie. From Robots, Accent UK)

David Baillie brings in a series of really nice single pagers spread through the book. Called Robot Interviews they’re just a different root each time casting some light on robot-human relations but with David’s customary deft and light touch they managed to get a smile out of me each time.

Benjamin Dickson gives us 7 pages of Divinity, Existence and Toast which has the great concept of the A.I. toaster that declares itself a God (is it related to Talkie Toaster from Red Dwarf? Joe). It’s funny, it’s well drawn and it’s rounded off with an impassioned argument against the existence of God based on the work of J N Findlay. And it does it with some style:

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(Benjamin Dickson’s existential kitchen appliance drama)

Job Satisfaction by Jon Ayre and Nolan Worthington takes just five well drawn pages to tell a clever crime story of an all too perfect Body Collector robot that seems just a little too good at solving the cases of the murders it’s recovering and the writer who gets a little too involved in the story he sees in front of him one day at the park:

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(From Job satisfaction by Ayre & Worthington)

Those are my three favourites. But there’s more than this of note; Jenika Ioffreda has some nice art in Andrew Cheverton’s Autololita story, Leah Moore & John Reppion write and Andy Bloor draws a funky little retro cyberpunk take on the Robots idea, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey’s 3 pager of the benefits and inherent problems of robotic hearts is a nice throwaway idea committed to the page. And I could list them until we all get bored of it, but suffice it to say it’s a good mix, with enough to keep me happy. I’m betting that there will be enough for most people here as the overall quality’s better than the majority of anthologies. But Robots, despite being good, is still flawed. And despite enjoying it, I’m still not that keen on anthologies.

Richard Bruton is off to have bytes and megachips for tea

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

2 Responses to Propaganda: We Are The Robots.

  1. DAJB says:

    You might like to try Wes Huffor’s “Charnel House” anthology. Each story is around 10 pages in length so they have time to develop and Wes’s art is superb. Available from his website: http://www.charnelhouse.net/

  2. Jon Ayre says:

    Hi Richard
    Thanks for the mention for Job Satisfaction. Was particularly please to have Nolan on board for the artwork for this story.
    Cheers
    Jon Ayre