Way, way back before I was doing the comics thing I’ve taken on at our school library I reviewed a volume of Robot City, and I wasn’t overly impressed.
But they took the criticism without offence, each to their own etc etc and when I sent out the call for donations they kindly sent us a set of the Robot City books for the school’s Graphic Novel library.
And as usual, it turns out I was wrong. Although it may not have been to my liking, the children really enjoy them. Perfect for 8 year old plus boys the Templar press release said, and thanks very much say a load of our 8 year old plus boys.
So this time, with Templar’s new Paul Collicutt Robot City book, even a cursory flick through is enough to convince me that The Robot City Guide To Robots will be a huge hit with our children.
Essentially this takes the ideas of Robot City – a place where humans and robots live together, and creates a really bold, bright, and full of fun style text book about everything robotic in the city. Starting with a basics tour, through a look at robot evolution, to features on the many famous robots of Robot City, this book covers it all.
It’s one of those fun novelty text book things – loads of extras throughout, fold out flaps, comic inserts, special pockets – the sort of thing children will absolutely love.
Just a look at the various pages included here should give you an idea of the content; every page is absolutely packed with reading, and full of fun facts, all tying together to create a rich and fascinating history of the world of Robot City.
But this is no simple novelty book, there’s a lot of reading in here, and Collicutt adds in a lot of engineering and scientific detail. Levers, ovens, air resistance, hydraulics, magnetism… all presented simply, cleverly, within the context of the book and yet covering a lot of scientific ground.
Collicutt illustrates the book in a variety of styles that help to make each page a visual delight. I still think his flat comic style work has a touch of the Michael Lark about it – very attractive. But his other styles are just as impressive to be honest, and all the way through there’s an inescapable sense of fun.
And to tell you the truth, I had a lot of fun reading through it as well. I can remember getting books like this from Dudley Children’s Library when I was a lad, although nowhere near as complex in structure. And you’ll have to help me out here, because although I remember them so fondly, I can’t remember the series or any titles. They were big Euro-album sized things, each one full of big fantasy artwork, and themed on fantastical worlds, alien creatures, or massive and exotic spacecraft.
Robot City Guide To Robots gave me just that feeling. A very enjoyable, fun book that will be a perfect Christmas present for any number of Robot and Sci-Fi loving boys and girls out there. And, I’d imagine a fair number of Robot and Sci-Fi loving grown up boys and girls as well!