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Reading List: Robots and Androids

reading list

August 4, 2021

AI, machine learning, hi-tech homes… Humanity is still establishing the role of robots in everyday life, but what if in the not-so-distant-future humans have to fight to earn their place in a robot-dominated world?  Here is a collection of comics, graphic novels and a webtoons with robots and androids, good and bad.

I, Robot

What do we mean when we talk about artificial intelligence? Are we talking about beings more intelligent than humans? Wiser? Would we be able to coexist with such beings and overcome our presumption of superiority? These and other questions are what Isaac Asimov explores in his legendary stories of robots. And what Raúl Cuadrado has now dared to illustrate.

Yojimbot

In a dystopian not-too-distant future in Japan, Hiro lives with his father on an island populated by androids, where they eke out a meager existence while trying to keep out of sight. But when they run afoul of a troop of high-tech military thugs, Hiro’s dad sacrifices himself to save his son, turning Hiro’s already-bleak world upside-down. He is then rescued by a samurai robot called a “yojimbot,” and together they seek to avenge his father’s death and make contact with a mysterious associate known only as the “rights holder,” before the soldiers and their drones close in…

Love Love Love

In a futuristic Paris, robots have evolved into sentient beings whose rights are being revoked due to the perceived threat they pose to human society. But not everyone has turned their backs on these so-called mechas. When the cherish bot Karel and down-on-her-luck Elle meet in the subway, they soon become friends, and something more… But a robot resistance is forming, and the two of them are dragged unwittingly into the chaos. Not only that, but Karel’s programmed life expectancy is mysteriously decreasing… Will they be able to stop the countdown, and steer clear of both the robot rebels and human police?

Roger and His Humans

Things look like they might be starting to turn around for thirty-odd year old no-hoper Hugo, when he finds a robot in his house on his birthday. But, as he soon discovers, this is no birthday present (no one seems to have remembered to get him anything!), but the handiwork of his cousin, an engineer in the French army, who realized that the robot he had been building was designed to destroy humanity. Forced to hide out with Hugo, Roger – as he decides to call himself – must learn to live with humans… No mean feat!

Read the webtoon here.

Last of the Atlases

Birds wasting away in a national park, refusing to migrate. Identical geometric markings on the wings of completely different insect species. A pillar of dust in the desert. A small-time hood travels to India’s shipbreaking yards in search of a giant nuclear-powered construction robot. A big-time crime boss makes a killing off the Algerian Revolution, in a world where it happened fifteen years later than in our own. “A good story,” insists reporter Françoise Halfort, visited abruptly by a post-menopausal pregnancy, “is one that draws unexpected connections between seemingly unconnected events.” Four star creators join talents on a vast canvas that takes in the entire French 20th century.

Giga Years Robot

In this adventure where our immortal hero would do anything to die, what secrets about his distant origins will be revealed? Will they shatter our beliefs about life and death? Was it fate or chance that brought our societies together around completely different visions and perspectives about what it means to live out our lives on a lonely rock in a far-reaching universe? An ambitious series that faces all of these questions… alongside non-stop intergalactic action.

IAN

Intelligent Artificial Neuromechanoid… Ian. It’s the name of the newest recruit in Team 21 of the SRS – the ‘Special Rescue Section.’ Ian is an android, impossible to tell apart from a human being with the naked eye, and his creators claim that he’s controlled by a true artificial intelligence – capable of learning, adapting, and even of experiencing emotions. Not every member of the team is happy about their new partner, but their higher-ups aren’t giving them a choice – and the mission comes first…

Cover banner from Yojimbot © Sylvain Repos / Dargaud