What Did I Learn?
Robomeks by Miguel Chaves seems to take place in the far future, after Ghandi went nuclear against Lenon. (I’m not sure if it’s referencing Lennon or Lenin or someone else, but it makes for an interesting twist on history – and it lets the reader know not to take it all too seriously.)
After reading the archive, I can tell you that there are great action sequences, some good sci fi in the vein of I, Robot and fun characters to enjoy. There is also a fierce focus on advancing the story on every page. I only found one aside page that wasn’t primarily about the overall narrative- which is probably a setup for something further down the storyline. Sometimes you’ll see science fiction comics that slave everything to advancing the theme/story and other comics that wallow in things unrelated to the story just to create a larger story-world picture. Robomeks gives story-world details out without sacrificing the pace of the story.
The art is catchy on its own but I also liked the offset word balloon colors shown in this page. It slows down the reading ever so slighty and creates additional time lapse in the scene by forcing you to consider the colored blocks of text as being ‘together.’ In this page, we see some other uses of the color. In the leftmost bottom panel, the colors are mainly used to separate the speakers and the following panel’s color shift creates a pause. The next panel uses the same color – almost like the second speaker paused for half a second before yelling a response. Then a longer, stilted silence gets inserted between the last two panels as the color changes. It’s a nice technique to have in the toolbox.
What Did I Learn?
Scott McCloud discusses in his books that visual placement of panels determines the time that the reader perceives as passing but perhaps there is more to it than that. Anything (in this case the colored word balloons) that creates mental separation between panels accomplishes the same goal of showing that time passed.
I originally found Robomeks on DrunkDuck, but there’s more information and newer updates on Robomeks.com. There’s also a new readers page which confirmed my initial assumptions, character pages and an earlier storyline too. Enjoy.