Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Humor
Schedule: Multiple pages every week or so
Fun fact: The concept of robots becoming self-aware and dominating their human masters has been around since the word “Robot” was coined in the 1920 play Rossum's Universal Robots. And I'm sure anyone aware of robots could probably name a book, movie, or film that fits that description (even the film adaption of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot ironically enough, considering that his robots were specifically designed with rules to not go on a rampage and take over the world). Not to say that this premise shouldn't be used, but it is a common trope, and one that is used in the reviewed comic Blot. And while the art and the spin on this rendition of this standard are interesting, the characters are lackluster and not really worth caring if the world gets saved.
As a result of experimentation in AI and human cryogenics, robots called Blots become sentient and take over the world, running on the blood of the preserved humans as fuel. However, there is a resistance group of humans who are liberating frozen humans from the compound and recruiting them in their efforts to take the Blots down. At the start of the story, we meet Cedric, a 70's male porn star/stripper who is liberated by the resistance, which includes the strict leader Sal, the blushing doctor Rosie, the technology expert Jasper, father Dale, and later, Dale's son Hank. Later, a defective robot Gary abandons the Blot with plans to help them end the Blot's reign. But the Blot have the mysterious Project 89, which threatens to locate and squash the remaining resistance groups.
As I said in the introduction, the idea of robots taking over the world isn't new, but there are some changes to the formula that make it more interesting. For example, the robots using blood as fuel is particularly creative, and also explains why the robots don't just carpet bomb everything within a 50 mile radius of the compound to wipe out the rebels. Likewise, the robots have human-like personalities as we see with Mom, the queen of the Blots who acts like a hard to please berating mother who barely cares about the children she creates except Sydney, her favorite. Or the milquetoast Gary who gets mocked by the other robots about his allergy to blood (he runs on milk) who has a love/hate relationship with them until Sydney crosses the line, making him the most interesting character in the story. Similar to Mystereobot, it's these human-like traits that make the robots more interesting to read.
Ironically, while the robots are imbued with human traits, the humans are the exact opposite. For example, the humans are supposed to come from different time periods. Cedric comes from the 1970's, Rosie comes from the 1920's, and Jasper comes from the 2020's, and yet there is nothing in their speech or mannerisms that would indicate that they were from different time periods. While it could be explained away with the pre-existing members of the crew because they've been together and they got over the initial culture shock, Cedric integrates pretty quickly. Flashbacks to their respective periods reveal plot points and minor characterization, such as that Cedric was an aging male stripper, Jasper finding a device that will likely be important later in the story, and Rosie being gay, the concept doesn't seem like it was used to its full potential.
Also, the human characters are either flat or just unlikable. For example, besides being a father looking for his son, Dale is a bland character that only shows up as Cedric's drinking buddy. Once he finds his son, there's little else for him to do. Jasper's a tech guy, he has a girlfriend or wife but she rarely shows up, but that's all there is to say about him. Sal in the beginning comes off as an insufferable jerk, it being implied that she locked Rosie out of the base on purpose despite the fact that he synthesizes a poison that can be injected into the blood so robots can't use it. Cedric is a drunk, gets lost on two rescue missions (which considering the Blots want to find their base, you'd think they'd plan these missions better), and when he finds important intel regarding the robots, refuses to say anything because Sal was rude to him. The characters do soften up later, with Sal becoming romantically involved with Hank and Cedric and Rosie becoming an item as well, it comes off as a cheap gesture to make these uninteresting or unlikable characters more interesting by throwing in some romance (and with all the romantic subplots coming to fruition around the same time as Project 89 being enacted, tear them apart for drama).
This is a grayscale comic, which appears to be penciled and inked by hand (you can see the pencil marks on a few pages and on large black areas, you can see that the lines are somewhat fuzzy from soaking into the paper some parts are darker than others), then colored and lettered digitally. It's honestly my favorite part about this comic, and what drew me to it in the first place. The author clearly knows her way around pen and ink, as the lines are fluid and go from bold to tapered effortlessly, giving the art some depth and weight. If this comic was just the inks, it still would be pleasing to look at.
The art's not perfect though. The scanned pages aren't too cleaned up, with the pencils still showing through. And while they're not too noticeable, it can be cleaned up during the scanning process pretty easily. There also appears to be some sort of texture on the page, either from an overlay or just picked up from the scanning process. While it makes the flat colors more of a gritty look to them, it also results in poorer contrast, with nothing lighter than a light-to-mid range gray and no white spots.
Finally, a recurring nitpick of mine, word balloon tails. They should be pointing to the mouths, otherwise it can get confusing (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6),
Like Mystereobot from two weeks before, the comic has some good art and offers an interesting take on robots in science fiction. However, the characters aren't fleshed out enough, and considering that this comic has gone on for over 180 pages, the author had more than enough time to do so. But it's a good enough comic nonetheless, and definitely deserves more readers.