Automatons in Love

By Jesse Durona, CJ Joughin, Kevin Uehlein, and Carl Mefferd

Robots! Robots! Robots! I love robots so much. And this zine is beautifully put together, with a silver cut out cover, pages printed on clear plastic, and occasional spot colour. It all looks really nice!

The four stories in here are pretty varied, and while all of them feature robots, not all of them really fulfill the title criteria. I was a little disappointed by this, as I've recently been reading Pluto by Naoki Urasawa. It's a fantastic comic about what it means to be a robot and a human, artificial intelligence, and how the two groups would interact with each other as robots get steadily more advanced. I've just read the first six books and I'm (im)patiently waiting for volume seven to come in at the library so I can finish reading the series.

So back to this comic! The first story, by Durona, appears to be from their webcomic that no longer exists. It's a cute little story about a robot who befriends some monkeys. Rad! I like the way the various apes are drawn, though I don't enjoy the human's designs as much.

Joughin's comic is an interesting one about consumerism and wants vs needs. However, while I liked the idea behind the comic, the actual story didn't really grab me. The pencil only (I think) art didn't reproduce that well either, so maybe Joughin should work on either their inking or digital manipulation skills to ensure better reproduction next time.

Uehlein's comic was my favourite out of all of them. The art is reminiscent of old funny animal cartoons (in no small part because most of the characters are animals in fancy clothes), and the plot of a robot performing cello in an orchestra seems like something that would fit right into an animated short. The comic is almost entirely silent, and one of my few wishes is that Uehlein had made the entire comic without anybody speaking. Still, it's pretty awesome in general.

The final comic, by Mefferd, features some really good robot designs. However the story doesn't really grab me for some reason. Maybe it's the pages of build up for what turns out to be a fairly old joke.

Overall though, this is a well put together anthology that features a variety of different styles. It's worth checking out even if you're not a huge robot fan (or a fan of huge robots).