Webcomics You Should Be Reading: “Rogue Robot”
I’m back, my gentle compatriots, with another webcomic for you to feast upon! I know what all of you are saying though, as you sit with arms folded in protest– ”But Marc, you’ve brought to us a rising list of the sick and macabre! Each new webcomic (be it still active, or dead, or with a glorious hard cover archive hitting shelves) has sunk to new depths of depravity. Have you found another gloriously funny webcomic, or are you simply reaching for the rafters in a pathetic attempt to appease us, your loyal and ravenous fanbase!?”
Worry not my friends, I bring to you a funny (if not so grotesque) webcomic to tickle your funny bones. I bring to you… Rogue Robot!
Rogue Robot was started in 2005 by Herron School of Art students Ben Roe and Amory Abbot. Ben initially wrote the strips and provided color, and Amory lent his pencils and inks to the strip. Over time, Ben has become a bit dormant, and Amory has gallantly picked up the slack on all chores, and has been putting out the strips ever since.
The comic had humble beginnings, but quickly gained speed, and found it’s voice. As it has progressed over the years, the strip has really tightened up it’s art, and acerbic wit. Akin to a ‘Penny Arcade’, the comic is essentially about 2 buddies (Amory and Ben) and a few other cast-mates with their own set of unique peculiarities. Humor ranges from straight-up slapstick violence, toilet humor, sex, with occasional epic (as in longer than 1 strip) stories. The comic hits the mark most of the time, and when it goes for broke, well, like so many other comics I’ve shared with you thus far– it’s laugh out loud funny (even though you’ll go to hell for laughing.). It’s also funny to note just how many comics end up dealing with not updating all the time.
And who exactly is the ‘Rogue Robot’ in question? Well, as it were, he’s a near-mute robot of near-limitless power, with a powerful imagination who shows up every once in a while. Why? My personal guess here is robots as a whole are just awesome. Amory and Ben, knowing this fact, not only named this buddy comic after the aforementioned cybernetic ne’er-do-well, but they decided to only pepper him into the strip when they feared they might run out of jokes. Lucky for all of us, they’ve kept the funny going (albeit not as much lately) now for 3 years. With a little love from all of us (and that means you, you, and you in the back, lurking on my articles and NOT commenting…) the strips will continue to pour forth from Amory’s mighty pen.
So now, as always, I submit to you a listing of my personal favorites to savor. As always I suggest popping some corn, and perhaps pouring yourself a tasty beverage to wash down the funny with:
• I said it before, I’ll say it again… Eye Lasers Are Always Funny.
• Heh heh heh heh… boobs.
• See, even when Amory’s gone, the strip goes on.
• I mentioned toilet humor, didn’t I?
• If you own one, you know this is true.
• Why I love working in an office of 70 other guys.
Drama: Do you count trips to a con dramatic? I sure do.
Humor: A fine mix of violence, threats of violence, swears, farts, and male-based goodness that you either love to love, or love to show people who’ll hate it.
Continuity: If you dig through the archives, you’ll find some great epic multi-strip comics deal with topics ranging from the strips’ first trip to the mall for new clothes, Pornographic Hoodies, to the truly amazing ‘Ninjas vs. Pirates’.
Art: Amory’s photoshopping skills have certainly improved since the comic’s debut. The current style balances the inking to a more sophisticated usage than in the first strips, and I personally like it better than the “sans-inking” period during 2007. The colors are bright and inviting, and you generally can’t tell at first glance that the happy strip you’re about to read deals with some horrible vulgarity. On occasion, Amory even dabbles in alternative media, which much like the Perry Bible strips…. provides a nice change of pace.
Archive: The archive is 248 strips long, with more strips forthcoming.
Updates: I called up Amory to see about that, and was told … “We used to update the strip 3 times a week, but due to the economic downturn, and a few other sundry issues (my guess is day jobs, girlfriends, and cat fancying)…. I’ve been kinda, uh, not updating it as much. But hey, since you’re gonna write about it, well, maybe I should put up some more strips real soon!”. You see kids? You can get artists to work more if you just ask them nicely (see also: blowing a little smoke up their tuchises).
Risk/Reward: If you dig Penny Arcade’s buddy comedy stylings, but want something a bit more accessible (that is jokes that don’t require a newsfeed from the video game industry), then Rogue Robot is a strip for you. The future is bright for this little comic, so let’s all visit them frequently, and enjoy all the good laughs and violence to come!