Posted May 1, 2024 at 12:00 pm

Okay, folks. We're moving our entire inventory to another warehouse/fulfillment outfit this summer. That means it's time for A MONDO SALE to make sure the best fans in the world (that's you folks) can grab everything you want before we have to shut everything down for a few months.

Another way to look at this is that we're actually bribing you with a huge discounts to help us lower our transport costs. Well, I won't deny that factors into our calculations. But is it so bad to be plied with savings? I could have just relied entirely on flattery, but of course you're too smart to fall for that. And you smell so nice!

What are we offering? What aren't we offering! Uh, knives, I guess. We do not sell knives. But here is some of what is, in fact, on sale.

Atomic Robo Plushie — $19

Atomic Robo the RPG and M12 Supplement — $30 for both
Tabletop nerds, this one is for you. These books are out of print and we have the final supply on the face of Earth!

Doctor Dinosaur's Time Travel Through the Backdoor — $15 softcover or $25 hardcover

Tesladyne Field Guide — $5 (a steal!)

All Print Sets — $10 Dawn of a New Era / Nicodemus Job / Spectre of Tomorrow / Real Science Adventures

Mystery Shirts Now Include Proton & Electron & Neutron & Hadron & Fermion & Boson

Atomic Robo Sticker Pack — $5

Bumper Sticker Set — $5

Button Pack — $5


Posted February 5, 2024 at 12:01 pm

I don't mean to alarm anyone, but Atomic Robo's very own co-creator and artists Scott Wegener is drawing pages for the first issue of the next series AT THIS VERY MOMENT.

Well, I mean, maybe not this exact moment. I can't know when you're reading this. But the main take away is that new pages are being made. We still need to color and letter these pages of course. And we want a nice, juicy buffer of completed pages before we start posting any. But new pages ARE HAPPENING and that's reason enough to celebrate after the year we've had.

Meanwhile, I'd like to draw your attention to two new projects.


Cult of the Morach is an investigative, event-based scenario for characters of experience levels 2 - 4. This adventure is campaign/setting-agnostic and compatible with any old-school fantasy adventure game. For use with modern fantasy TTRPGs, a GM need only swap out monster stats for the system of their choice.


8BTTRGWYTLWGITABODWBIAGWBTARBAT is literally what it says on the tin. We got rules for playing as the Light Warriors as they try to save whatever doomed world you build for them. Unfortunately, like 80% of what you do will backfire on you, or your friends, or innocent bystanders, and the world will not be saved. But, hey, you had fun the whole time and that's what matters.

Posted November 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

Would you folks like to help us out? Of course you would!

We have got to clear out some inventory to make space in ye olde warehouse to make room for ye newe stuffe in the warehouse.

At this point you might want to ask, "Is he trying to get us to buy things so we can buy more things later?"

That's a fair question! Unfortunately we aren't taking questions at this time.

But what we are doing is helping you to help us by slashing prices on damn near everything in our online store for the rest of the year! Let's take a look at what some of those discounts look like.

First up, you can get the Skeleton King Chapter 1 book for just $8. It's just like a Twitter subscription only you get something out of it! Or you can get the whole Skeleton King Bundle for a just $20 — a whopping 98% savings (from the ludicrously high retail price that we would never charge anyway but it still counts)?!

You definitely want to pick up the Plushie Head of a Robot Named Robo for only $15. That's less than half price!

You want print sets? We got print sets! Real Science Adventures, Nicodemus Job, Spectre of Tomorrow, and Dawn of a New Era are just $12 each!

But that ain't all. The following volumes are all 24% off for the rest of the year!

The Fighting Scientists of Tesladyne

The Dogs of War

The Shadow from Beyond Time

Other Strangeness

The Deadly Art of Science

The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific

The Savage Sword of Doctor Dinosaur

The Temple of Od

RSA: The Nicodemus Job

RSA: The Flying She-Devils in Raid on Marauder Island

Whew, that's a lot of discounts! Please use them to buy things to help us make more room in the warehouse to make you more things to buy and don't stop to think about this process for even one second!

Posted September 18, 2023 at 12:01 pm

Woke up to find out I was suspended from Twitter.

You can find me on Bluesky.

You can join our Patreon.

Or sign up to our Newsletter that we've never actually used so it's not going to be something we spam.

There's also the unofficial subreddit.

And, of course, just visit your favorite webcomic (THIS ONE) and keep an eye out for fresh blogs. 

So, why was I suspended? That's the fun part, no one knows!

Pretty damning stuff as you can see!

I appealed on the grounds of, well, c'mon already. The reply was instantaneous! Which is a sure sign that a human definitely exists somewhere in the appeal process lol lmao no sorry, zero percent chance there's a single person in that entire department anymore.

To be clear, I still have no idea what was posted or when. Oh, and I will never know! Extremely good and functional system they've got there. I absolutely do not wish for the whole operation to metaphorically and nonviolently burn to the ground.

Posted August 14, 2023 at 12:44 pm

Hey, you know how things cost money? Well, we decided some of our things are going to cost less money for the rest of August! Which things? These things!

Doctor Dinosaur's Time Travel Through the Back Door is 40% off.

The ULTRA Field Guide is 30% off!

Atomic Robo and the Spectre of Tomorrow is 30% off

Atomic Robo and the Dawn of a New Era is 30% off

Atomic Robo plushie head is marked down to just $25!!!

Print Sets for Spectre of Tomorrow, Dawn of a New Era, The Nicodemus Job, and Real Science Adventures are all 40% off!

And, lastly, the Mystery Shirts are just $12 (and good luck to ya).

Posted July 24, 2023 at 08:51 am

"Are you guys going to make more Atomic Robo comics???"

Short answer: YES

Longer answer: we always have a hiatus between volumes. This lets us build up a buffer so we can work at a pace that we're comfortable with and produce comics that we are proud to put out into the world.

The current hiatus is a little longer than normal because we've been juggling some non-comics real life stuff (boooooo) behind the scenes all year. We felt that adding LOOMING DEADLINES wouldn't help things go any smoother. 

The good news is that the vast majority of that stuff is behind us and we've been playing catch up on prior obligations to clear the schedule for full time Atomic Robo production.

Our current plan is to release a spin-off short story that's a semi-sequel to Agents of C.H.A.N.G.E. before diving into the next full on main volume, Atomic Robo and the Peril of Prometheus.

Thank you all for reading and for your support all these years. We can't wait to show you what's next. Stay tuned for more updates!

Posted June 19, 2023 at 02:34 pm

A couple weeks ago I said there were two major pitfalls with regard to research. The first was researching instead of writing. The second was writing the research instead of your story.

This is less common but I bet we’ve all come across it at some point.

You’re reading a story. Book, comic, whatever. And out of absolutely ​nowhere​ you find yourself in the middle of a scene that exists only to tell you about some research the writer did. Maybe they’re showing off. Maybe they’re just excited to share something they found super engaging or interesting. This isn’t ​always​ a problem but it usually is because the scene exists for the writer​ instead of the ​story. And as we mentioned before, the greatest crime you can commit against your reader is to waste their time.​

Movies and TV shows are less prone to letting scenes like this slip in because more people are involved with making those, so it increases the likelihood of someone​ asking if we really need this scene where everyone talks about the price of wheat in ancient Rome for a couple minutes.

Now, as a writer I totally get the impulse to include this scene. You found something really cool and unexpected and you wanna share it with everyone! It’s the easiest thing in the world to convince yourself that ​this​ tangential conversation is appropriate and character building and interesting and relevant and arises organically from what’s going on. But really it’s just that you’re​ excited to talk about it, and probably have been for what seems like one million years, so the gravity of your interest has warped the text until it enters this unstable orbit around the object of your interest. And everyone on the ship (what) can see you’ve flown into this eccentric orbit that’s gonna crash and kill us all and they’re trying to make you correct the entry angle, but no, you’ve got this god damn death grip on the controls and you’re like, “But see, the fall of Rome and the price of wheat are inextricably linked! The entire Western world as we know it took its shape because of the economic viability of a single crop a thousand years ago ​isn’t that interesting?!?!”

And, I mean, yes it is!

But does it ​belong​ in your story? Probably not!

Also I was just making up that thing about wheat and Rome. I have no idea if there’s a correlation.

Maybe I should research it instead of figuring out how to give advice...

No, I must be strong!


Anyway, this is why I always bring up that thing about how only 5% of my research makes it to the final page. A lot of what I come across is surprising, or exciting, or funny. Sometimes it’s all of the above! But information that doesn’t actively contribute to the story is just trivia. There are ways to put some of this stuff in there. Characters are allowed to have hobbies or niche interests or strange knowledge they picked up from who knows where. But this is seasoning, not the whole meal. A line here. A reference there. Used sparingly this information can brighten up a story. But you shouldn’t let it take up a whole scene in the same way no one’s ever going to serve you a plate of salt for dinner.

Well, that brings us to the end of this blog series. I have no idea if any of that was useful! But it’s some of the stuff I’ve thought about and learned over the course of writing over one thousand five hundred pages of ​ATOMIC ROBO​, so there’s got to be ​something​ in there. Even if my advice was so bad and wrong-headed that all it did was convince you to do the exact ​opposite?

That still technically counts as helping you HA-CHAAA!!!

Posted June 12, 2023 at 02:23 pm

Last time we talked about the dangers or doing too much research as a (possibly subconscious) way to avoid doing the hard work of actually writing your story.

So how do you know when you've gone too far? When the research is causing more harm than good? You’ve got to constantly interrogate your motives. Do you really​ need to do more research? On this topic? Is the research you’re doing ​actually productive? Would it be more beneficial to shift the focus of your energy? Do you feel like you can’t even write out a little test passage without doing more research?

One way I try to navigate these waters is to leave a fair amount of research until I’m writing the text. Writing the story will always expose more questions than you could ever anticipate. For some folks excessive research is about setting the table just right before you begin the meal but this is an effort doomed to failure. The story will ​always​ surprise you, so no matter what you do or how exhaustive your research is, you’ll have to do more as you write it anyway.

This is actually the main reason for that 16th century China story I’m working on. Writing the story necessarily asks for all sorts of information about day-to-day life in that era that wouldn’t necessarily come up while reading ordinary history texts. Writing the story illuminates ignorances I didn’t even ​know about and that forces me to dig deep for specific answers to specific questions which (uh, in theory) narrows the focus of my research so there’s less of a threat of just researching my brains out instead of writing. Plus, since I’m in the middle of writing the text, ​I want to get back to writing the text as soon as possible.

What if I can’t find the answer? Or the answer I’ve got is unsatisfying or useless or contrary to my needs? Depending on which is better for the story, I’ll ignore the correct answer and forge ahead ​or​ change the context of the scene so this malevolent information is no longer a problem.

One example I often give is from writing the first issue of ​ATOMIC ROBO PRESENTS: REAL SCIENCE ADVENTURES: THE BILLION DOLLAR PLOT.​ In the original outline there was a scene with Tesla and Westinghouse at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Part of the fair was this model city of the future that was erected to show off how new technologies by Tesla, Westinghouse, and others could improve the cities of tomorrow. Anyway, I’m writing this thing, and our heroes are supposed to notice some thieves a using a fire escape to make their getaway from a rooftop heist.

Pretty standard.

Well, it occurred to me: ​hang on, as a Northern Florida Swamp Creature I’ve never been on a fire escape and can’t recall encountering them in person. But you see them all the time on TV and the movies. And one thing that seems pretty obvious is that most (a lot? all?) of these things were bolted on well after the building was built because if you designed those buildings with fire escapes in mind you’d never make them so awkward and cramped up right next to one another. Hmm, come to think of it, I wonder when fire escapes were invented?

Enter: some research! Turns out fire escapes were designed at the end of the 19th​ century and the first ones were the model city of the future at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

Well, ​that​ was a freebie!

I often tell this story when I’m talking about research because (A) it's the writer’s version of a hole in one and (B) if I didn’t ​tell​ the story then no one would know it was such a lucky shot because who the ​hell​ is thinking about the history of fucking fire escapes while they’re reading a story?!

What I mean by that is: what if the story took place in 1875, well before fire escapes are being discussed or designed? How does the scene work?

Like I said above, ignore it or change the context.

IGNORE IT:​ I could’ve written a fire escape into the 1875 version of the story. Honestly, would anyone have noticed? Pretty much everyone expects to see fire escapes on 19t​h century looking multi-story buildings anyway, so I could’ve slapped one on there without raising a single eyebrow.

CHANGE THE CONTEXT:​ I could accept that there are no fire escapes for the baddies to use in 1875, so our heroes instead notice them slipping into a top floor window or an access door on the roof or something. It’s the same basic scene, I just rearranged the details so fire escapes aren’t a problem.

This is a bit of a tangent, as it’s not research ​per se,​ but I’ve had folks tell me they can’t write their fantasy epic until they know the history of every family of every major character going back who-knows-how-many generations, and the names of every village in every nation, and the wars that shaped them, and then something about where they get their potatoes.

I would gently suggest that those folks aren’t interested in writing their fantasy epics, they’re interested in writing a sprawling network of Wikipedia articles. There’s nothing wrong with that. Frankly it sounds fun! But spending months or years working out and cross-referencing all that information is not writing the fantasy epic and it never will be.

Research is important. But you cannot mistake it for writing your story.

Posted June 5, 2023 at 01:04 pm

Like I said at the start of this li'l blogging project, I do ​Way Too Much Research​ for ATOMIC ROBO.

This does not affect you, the reader, because I wisely only include about 5% of it on the page. That doesn’t mean the other 95% is wasted — hey, that’s ​Rule Three from the previous section, wow! — because I can’t know ​which​ 5% belongs on the book without the ​other​ 95%.

And, hey, joke’s on all of you, I’m only writing the comics to get paid for reading history books anyway! HAW HAW.

But research can be tricky. The two most common research blunders I see are...

(1)​ ​Researching ​instead​ of writing.

(2)​ ​Writing the ​research​ instead of the story.

These are bad habits that can get in the way of writing and I’ve certainly ​never​ been guilty of either of them, nope, trust me, don’t look into it, ​moving on.

Today we'll focus on that first one: Researching instead of writing.

Look, writing is hard. I mean, it’s not hard like competing at the Olympics is hard. Or how working in retail is hard. It’s hard in a weird and nebulous way because at least with the Olympics or retail there’s an absolute goal to work toward, from having the best time humanly possible to the least worst time humanly possible. And, generally, there are objective markers that let you know when you’re doing it wrong at every step of the way.

Writing is more like competing in the Olympics only you never tried out, and the competition runs 24/7 for some reason, and no one will tell you when it’s your turn, or what you’ll be competing in when you get there, or where the competition is but you’ll be fired if you aren’t there on time, but don't worry because you'll also be fired if the judge is in a bad mood because of something completely unrelated that happened to them at lunch so your actual performance is meaningless either way, except when it isn't, and fuck you for trying.

Sounds kinda stressful right? Like, if you had to live and work under that cloud of confusion you’d be exhausted all the time! ​Well, that's​ the way writing is hard. Because it’s ​baffling. You’re never sure where you’re going with it, you’re never sure when you’ll be done, you’re never sure if you did it right when you are done, you’re never sure ​if​ you’re done, you’re never sure if you should scrap the whole thing to start over, ​and​ you’re never sure if it was worth doing at all.

It’s why you read stuff like this to try to figure out what the hell is going on.

You know what’s ​way​ easier than writing? Doing something that ​feelslike writing without doing all the hard parts! Something like research!

You need to do some research, no one's arguing against that. But it's real easy to find yourself doing Way Too Much Research! This is most often characterized as ​Way Too Much Worldbuilding​.

Read an article? Research! Took some notes? Research! Went to the library? You better believe that’s research!

And researching ​is​ (technically) working on your story, and you ​have​ to do it before you write, so ​technically it’s fine to do research and it’s totally not ever about putting off all that writing that's so god damn baffling and terrifying NO SIREEBOB.

Okay, but research doesn’t add a single page to your current draft. ​Writing​ is writing. Research is research.

Now, I’m not saying don’t do research. I’ve been off-and-on writing a story that takes place in 16th century China and it would be ​the worst idea​ to go into that blind. Research is integral to getting this thing written! Definitely do your research!

But there’s a thin line between doing research that's necessary and doing research to ​feel​ like you’re writing. This usually — not always, but usually — takes the form of worldbuilding.

I’ve railed against excessive worldbuilding before, so let me make this clear: ​WORLDBUILDING GOOD​. It’s just that the right amount of it isn’t far from too much of it. And it’s hard to define where exactly the difference between them is because how much ​is​ too much depends on the type of research being done and the type of project it’s for, who you are, the audience’s expectations, etc. We can’t work out an objective system that considers all the variables, so let’s try this instead.

Remember that you’ll never actually do enough research. It's a trap. You cannot possibly do "enough." Especially with regard to something like historical fiction. Even if you lived through the time and in the place of the story, you’re going to get ​something​ about it wrong.

It’s fine! Honestly.

I mean, don’t get the date of the Moon Landing wrong — unless you’re doing alternative history in which case 1899 is a perfectly legit date for landing on the Moon — but it’s okay to get some stuff wrong! You’re not writing a documentary, you’re not writing a dissertation, you’re writing a ​story.​ You need only to invoke a sense of the era, not a perfect facsimile of it.

You’re never going to get the voice of the era just right, you’re never going to get the slang of that place just right, and you’re going to screw up the price of milk. It’s fine! I promise you.

The alchemy of writing a story for someone else to read is an inherently fuzzy process. Consider that no two people are going to have the same experience of the same text. They will even remember the exact same scene in completely incompatible ways! Every reader carries their own version of the story in their own minds with their own vision of what happened and how. Even in comics where there are literal actual images​ on each and every page! This fuzziness isn’t something you can overcome by researching yourself down to the precise location and velocity of each individual main character and their lineages across a dozen previous generations. Readers understand and expect ​some​ fuzziness in fiction because everything they’ve ever read was built out of that fuzziness. You can use it to your advantage. Here’s one way: hide stuff in it!​ You can frame information to de-emphasize or to hand wave away incidental details that would require hours and hours of digging and researching to ferret out.

Posted May 29, 2023 at 12:21 pm

Last time I talked about a couple strategies to free yourself from the terror of screwing up. Mostly by creating fresh drafts where you're free to go completely bonkers while you've still got that original draft as a safe backup.

Maybe it seems like a waste of time to do all that extra writing only to throw some or all of it away? But consider this rather nuanced counterpoint: no, it’s not.

In fact, that's Rule Three: Anything you do to find the best path for your story is ​not​ a waste of time or effort.

Dumping new drafts? Cutting out scenes entirely? Re-writing a whole chapter? ​Those aren’t wastes of time! ​Those are what you ​needed​ to do to find the best way to tell your story. I’ve talked to a lot of writers who ​hate​ cutting content, even a little of it, because it makes them feel like they wasted hours, or days, even weeks of work. Here’s the thing about that. If the only reason you won’t cut a scene (a page, a line, a chapter, whatever) is that it feels like a waste of ​your​ time, then ​keeping​ it is a waste of your ​readers’​ time.

And wasting the reader’s time is the number one absolute ​most worst​ thing you can do as a writer. So don't.

Corollary: wasting their money is fine. Money comes and goes. Our entire economic system is a pyramid scheme anyway, so it hardly matters. But wasting ​time?​ No one’s getting that back.

I think the resistance to cutting material comes from being overly concerned with daily word counts (or weekly or monthly). You're always hearing from Real Professional Writers who write 400 or 500 or 1,000 words everyday. You want to be a Real Professional Writer too, so it seems logical to emulate this behavior.


Word counts are a goal of writing, they are not the point of writing. If your word count becomes the point of your writing instead of the reader’s experience of the story you're writing, then you're confusing good metrics​ for good ​work​. Surely we've all witnessed and/or been victim of the bizarre outcomes demanded by distant corporate algorithmic tracking by this point to have figured out there's no correlation between good metrics and good work.

Cut the line, cut the conversation, cut the scene, cut the chapter, cut the whole fucking act if you have to. There is nothing so precious or brilliant about ​anything you will ever write that it cannot be cut. And if you ​think​ you’ve written something so amazing it would be a crime to cut it, then it’s probably in there for ​you​ and not for the ​reader.​ Cut it.

And on the off chance it really is ​that​ good? Make that new draft like we talked about so you can cut it with impunity to see where it takes you!

Any time I come across a ​big​ change that might be risky to implement, or that makes me worried about the results, or that forces me to change or eliminate material I really loved, I just create a new draft, bump the letter up by one, and go nuts with it.

Most of my scripts hit Draft C or D by the end but I’ve had a couple go as far as G. And to date I’ve never reverted back to an earlier draft. I've gone back to the original to copy/paste a line or something here or there, but I've never had to back to work from the original. That probably means it’s safe for me to stop this practice of creating new drafts entirely and just move full steam ahead with my big, wild changes right there in the original files.

But just ​knowing​ there’s a fall back position is the safety net, and safety blanket if I'm honest, that lets me loosen up and be more receptive to alternatives in the first place.

Sometimes it tanks the number of pages I write in a week. But every time it's improved the pages that get written.

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