For Everyone

For Everyone

The guiding principle behind Atomic Robo comics is accessibility. It’s why we work in mini-series format instead of a monthly model. It gives you story lines that are easy to navigate. And it lets us tell the stories we want to when we want to. And it means a new reader can start with any volume and read the rest in whatever order he or she is able.

But it goes beyond just making the comic book easy to follow. It also means making a comic book that doesn’t exclude readers. Our promise is all about that really. Everything in there is a specific effort not to push people away.

Here’s a letter we received recently.

So, this is probably very old fashioned of me, but I just wanted to write you a short little note to tell you how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Atomic Robo.

I’m still very, very new to the series – I picked up the FCBD comic after having read last years and enjoying it, and after this year I really couldn’t get enough. REALLY. I went right out and got Volume 1 and the boyfriend and I read it together (he does a great Robo voice) and we’re getting ready to get Volume 2. It’s great.

I never really thought I would like comic books, but Robo really sucked me in and has gotten me hooked. I love seeing things try to attack him and fail (since he’s, y’know, a giant motherfuckin’ robot), I love the use of SCIENCE, and I especially like trying to figure out what all these noises would sound like for real. (My favorite comic book noise so far remains “WHUD!”)

Oh, right – and i especially love Doctor Dinosaur. Actually, I would probably read an entire series of comics with just Dr. D. I’m also extremely, extremely curious what he keeps in that cooler.

So thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for being my first proper introduction to comics and creating a character that I really, earnestly want to know what happens next to. He’s just SO COOL. I genuinely, earnestly feel like a little kid in regards to this – if there was an Atomic Robo lunchbox, I would want it. If there was an Atomic Robo cartoon, I would seriously wake up every Saturday morning to watch it. Seriously. It’s so great.

Anyway, this concludes my fangirl letter of the day – I just genuinely wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading this comic and how much I’m looking forward to reading the other volumes. Thanks for putting something so awesome in to the world.

We get letters like that every so often. And they mirror what folks tell us at every convention we attend. We love hearing this stuff because it means we’re on mission.

I think there’s a perception that making an effort to be inclusive means artlessly shoehorning a bunch of unnatural “politically correct” material from a master checklist handed down from the Office of the Liberal Elite.

First of all, the OLE doesn’t hand those out, you have to request them. Second, you don’t need the list anyway. Just stop going out of your way to do things like this:

(spoiler alert: it is actually super easy not to do that)

One “defense” for not making the effort to be inclusive is, “Aw, but man, I don’t want to have to think about this stuff, I just want to read/write stories.”

And, y’know what? We’re sympathetic to that. Thinking about it can be really taxing, confusing, and depressing. Imagine if you had to think about that stuff all the time. Perhaps due to being not white? Or not male? Or not straight?

We want our dumb robot comic to be the easiest thing in the world to enjoy, and that means it doesn’t get to make anyone feel icky when they read it.

  • BillyMc

    Word.

  • BeastieRunner

    Maybe that’s why I love it so much!

  • http://twitter.com/AmelieJuon Amelie Ju-on

    Good call. I love that about Atomic Robo.

    Also, lunchboxes. Yes please.

  • Tracy Edmunds

    I love you guys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Serge-Broom/1567496523 Serge Broom

    When’s the next shot of Robo without pants?

  • Scott!

    Oh man, you should see that panel without the word balloons. Definitely NOT for everybody. :D

  • SilverHammerMan

    While that panel from ASBAR is disgusting, I can’t help but love the way that Frank Miller wrote the panel description. Frank the Tank doesn’t care what we think of him, he’ll put all the gratuitous whores and bureaucrats and ass shots in his stories that he wants.
    And I too would buy the heck out an Atomic Robo lunch box, or maybe just a button or something if I was low on cash.

  • Derly Fernandez

    So, that means we wont get ass shots of Robo in panties?
    :(
    Or Dr Dinosaur???
    T_T

  • http://twitter.com/SpikeEcks Spike-X

    You guys have the right idea when it comes to making comics everyone can enjoy. And it’s not robot science, it’s not complicated stuff, I can’t understand why so many other comics creators seem to be going out of their way to exclude from their audience anybody who isn’t the stereotypical Comicbook Guy. 

    The excuse you posted above doesn’t hold a drop of water, either; when you’re creating a comic, you have to think about *every word* that goes on the page. You have to think about *every line of artwork* that goes on the page. You have to actually go out of your way to include half a dozen butt shots per issue. It’s not like they just fall onto the page when nobody’s looking and oh it’s too much effort to erase them, let’s just leave them there. They were put there, as a deliberate artistic choice. So I do not accept for one second that it’s “too hard” to make a comic that isn’t wall-to-wall T&A.

    Anyway, you keep makin’ ‘em, I’ll keep buyin’ ‘em. And I’ll give them to my kids to read, and other people’s kids, and anyone who’s interested in having some FUN in their life, goddammit!

  • Scott!

    Your entire middle paragraph: YES!

  • Ron Shirtz

    By sweet serendipity, I stumbled across Atomic Robo last month. I was hooked instantly, and I bought every volume and issue I could find. It’s smart, funny, and beautifully drawn. I like it because it lifts me up, instead of bringing me down—-unlike many comics today that focus on nihilism and seem more like catharsis therapy than fun escapism. Keep it up, and you’ll always have my money.

  • Henry O’conner

    So I just received an Text. I’d forgotten volume 3 at a friends house and his roommate had picked it up. the text read: ” “Robo, I think I’m insane now” Jeez this is good stuff!”

  • http://www.nuklearpower.com Brian!

    Hooray!