Monday, May 6, 2013

AlphaBots Catchup: L for Lead; M for Marvin

I'm going to catch up on AlphaBots this week, but I haven't drawn this week's robot yet. Instead, let me give you a member of an inexplicably under-published shape-shifting alchmico-scientific super-robot team, plus an android from a story near to every nerd's heart.

So, first, L is for Lead, the least shiny of the Metal Men. Having thought about this drawing for two weeks didn't make it any better — there's more fun and more energy in some of my preliminary sketches — but it did get me thinking about the special properties of Lead. I wonder: has Lead even concealed something from Superman's x-ray vision? Has he ever formed his finger into a pencil to write a message? Has he ever formed his hands into revolvers and shouted, "Eat lead, copper?" Since he's not the brightest knife in the crayon pack, does Lead have the sort of homophone trouble that haunts modern college students?

I'm even less happy with this drawing of Marvin, the Paranoid Android. I knew that I didn't want to replicate the movie or TV versions of Marvin, neither of which actually looks very andr-oid. I first encountered Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a novel (and then shortly thereafter as a script for a radio show, a radio show itself, and a text-adventure video game), so I had some time to imagine what he looked like before anyone showed him to me. I always sort of mixed Marvin up with Neil from The Young Ones, a show I never really watched (we had no cable and thus no MTV) but heard quoted and described to me an awful lot over the phone.

Alas, my skills of robo-caricature aren't up to the challenge. Clearly I'm rusty; the only solution is to draw more.

Oh, here are those sketches of Lead that I liked better than my finished panel:

Dialogue in these panels is "dark whisper" and "bibliomantic search" (an alumni magazine that happened to be on the table).

More soon.

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