Graphic Novel Review – Incredible Change-Bots
Jeffrey Brown wrote and drew Incredible Change-Bots One in 2007. It was released on September 11th, 2007 through Top Shelf Productions, and unlike some other things that happened on that annual day, it wasn’t a complete disaster. This fleeting non-tragedy is also outside the norm from what I normally think of Jeffrey Brown’s releases, or at the very least his autobiographical pieces. For those who don’t remember, I also reviewed Brown’s Unlikely and A Matter of Life, neither of which compelled me.
On a robot planet, which has a long, hyperbolic name that I can’t be bothered to recall right now, two different kind of robots war over differing political ideologies. One faction, billed as the good guys, named the Awesome Bots hold it to be evident that Change Bots came from a shared word processor ancestor, while the other faction, named the Fantasticons has more of a creationist-equivalent view of the world. After destroying their own planet through warfare, they come to Earth to continue fighting.
Brown appears to have drawn the majority of the book with pens and artist grade color markers, which is an odd choice to say the least. It certainly adds to the child-like aesthetic that Brown keeps attempting in his books. This style never works well in his autobiographical stories because the juxtaposition of adult subject matter with amateurish drawings and toddler’s dialogue is too strong for me to buy. With Incredible Change Bots it works a lot better. The robot designs aren’t particularly interesting or complex, but I can give him a hand for coming up with 20+ robots to split between the warring factions.
Nothing of consequence really happens in the book, and the futility of the war appears to be the main point of the story. What is odd about the book is that like much of Brown’s books, it looks like it’s aimed at children but the subject matter is clearly meant for adults. Incredible Change Bots kind of rides the line for what sort of age group it’s aiming for. Several jokes and satire of Michael Bay movies are going to be missed by younger audiences, and I can’t think that an adult would take some great enjoyment in the plot. Thus I can only go with a middle of the road recommendation for people in some kind of developmental limbo.
Brown managed to actually make me laugh with this book, which is all really needed out of him to pull out a moderate rating for this book. The bar may have been set low, but it was at least skimmed over this time. The book is on sale at the Top Shelf Productions site and on Amazon.