cover image Robotika


Alex Sheikman, . . Archaia, $19.95 (128pp) ISBN 978-1-932386-21-9

In the future, genetic enhancements of humans and humanizing treatments on machines—all in pursuit of a "true cyber-genetic hybrid"—have resulted in a race of discarded cyborgs and other experiments who live at the edges of the universe. The Queen's chief scientist creates a "biological machine" that could bring cyborgs and humans together. But before he can bring it to her, he is killed and his invention stolen. The queen sends mysterious samurai Niko to recover it. He travels from world to world in search of his prize, having misadventures and picking up companions on the way. This is the first full-length work by Sheikman, whose prior work as a role-playing–game illustrator informs the tale, from the detailed world-building to the quest structure. Sheikman's dreamy yet sharp art features bizarre details reminiscent of Mike Mignola's early work on Hellboy , and his story has absurdities that recall Grant Morrison's edgy plotting. But the marriage of these techniques results in something all Sheikman's. Chua's nuanced color work and expert shading adds much clarity. Though at times overwritten, Robotika is a unique treat and should appeal to fans of Mignola and Morrison as well as samurai film devotees. (Nov.)