SHORT VERSION: Go here, figure out a way to buy ALL THE THINGS. You’re welcome.
DISCLOSURE: I get nothing out of this beyond my friends being able to write more comics and me being able to read them. So, yes, it is entirely selfish on my part.
For those of you new to my rambling, I will from time to time take a moment to share things I think you all need to know about to help make the world a better place. Better is defined by my highly subjective and personal standards of More Awesome that will get people thinking about and enjoying the world they live in.
One of those things that qualifies for this is the comic Atomic Robo, by Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener, Rhonda Pattison, Jeff Powell and the unofficial fifth Beatles of Team Robo that helps them spake Angleesh much da goods, Lee Black.
They are embarking on their sixth volume now but, thanks to their Promise and understanding of the narrative art/storytelling structure, you can happily drop in at any point story that spans the 90 year long (thus far) life of Atomic Robo and you’ll be no worse for wear. I’m gonna strongly recommend you read all of it because I like you and want you to have More Awesome in your life, but you may feel free to start at Volume 6, Issue 1.
Volume 6, Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X, starts with the wonderful combined narrative threads of astronauts in trouble and the mystery of why someone stole a building from Blechtley Park. If that isn’t enough to sell you on wanting to know the rest of the story, I don’t know what will. There is also, teehee, a glorious surprise in it.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the creators, caffeinating the bejeezus out of them, and then setting them loose on the world of comics once more. It’s sort of like a creative catch and release program. I’ve had the pleasure of being science sounding board for them for several years now. It’s one of those things that makes my day when I get a fresh email along the lines of “Phil, how does *INSERT HORRIBLE THING HERE* work and how can it be made More Awesome?”
I adore Atomic Robo for more or less the same reasons I loved the cartoons Animaniacs and Invader Zim. For one, they’re funny and they’re funny on multiple levels, which makes them appealing to both kids and adults. Second, they are smart. There’s a lot more than just funny and Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius, grade explosions. If you aren’t careful, you’ll accidental learn things. And third, the detail in both words and art. Brian & Scott have managed to hide an awful lot of things that give the world of Atomic Robo depth and character. I can see where Scott went off the deep end and spent hours researching engineering awards from the height of the Jet Age, just to make a logo look right for the era. They’re crazy, but it’s crazy I appreciate.
Enough of my words. Go buy it, read it, and enjoy it. Then go buy more and give it to a child you wish to corrupt.