Tuesday, April 13, 2010

National Robot Week: The Intrepid Girlbot

I've just learned that this is National Robotics Week, a time when we prepare for the inevitable robot uprising by placating our Roombas and microwaves with sacrificial offerings -- or something like that. Here at Storming the Tower, we're going to spend the rest of the week honoring robots of the cartoon variety.

The Intrepid Girlbot seems like the perfect place to start, perhaps because it's set in a universe without human beings. That's right, no people, just robots (of the android, gynoid, and theridroid varieties) and woodland critters. But webcomic robots still have to cope with many of the same problems webcomic humans do: loneliness, an overpowering desire to fit in, and a tendency to cause inadvertent harm to the aforementioned woodland critters.

Girlbot is a girlbot, the latest in a long line of girlbots. She wants to be the girliest girlbot ever, but she's far more bot than girl. She processes girly magazines, drills flowers to her hair, shocks butterflies into submission, and tries to get the attention of more successfully womanly gynoids. She lives in a strange and sprawling house filled with a seemingly endless supply of fun rooms (Infinite ball pit? Yes, please!) all alone, until the day she fries a hapless raccoon and "heals" it by transforming it into a laser-eyed cyborg. Hilarity naturally ensues.

Like a certain other (very NSFW) robot comic, The Intrepid Girlbot contains minimal verbal dialogue, instead relying on visual storytelling and some cheeky mouseovers. Fortunately, creator Diana Nock has a nice feel for slapstick, but this means Girlbot isn't a good comic to leave sitting in your reader. It's best to save up a story arc or two, then read them in a single sitting. Maybe we'll luck out and get such an adorably whimsical robot overlord, though hopefully one with a touch less Elmyra in her.

[The Intrepid Girlbot]

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