SDCC: Marvel: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Panel
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at Joe Casey and Ashley Wood’s Automatic Kafka…
Automatic Kafka was a sadly too-short comic book series that ran 9 issues from 2002-2003.
The plot of the comic is not particularly important, but it is about a robot who was part of a heavily-marketed superhero team during the 1980s and now, years later, his artificial life is in a bit of a shambles, and the series shows him trying out different ways of capturing the spirit of being human, and we’re talking some pretty offbeat ways, like trying to become famous.
To wit, in #1, he looks to get high, as that is something he’s never been able to do as a robot…
As you can see, Ashley Wood’s artwork is striking. Joe Casey’s story is complex and intriguing.
The two most famous issues of Automatic Kafka are definitely numbers 4 and 9.
#4 sees Automatic Kafka working as a game show host and we examine the life of one of the contestants, a grown-up Charles Brown. We also see his friends’ lives.
Brutal stuff handled expertly by Casey and Wood.
And the last issue of the series, #9, sees Automatic Kafka come face to face with his creators, Casey and Wood, as they explain the cancellation of the book.
Really clever stuff.
The other issues are great, too, I just figured I’d show you the highlights to really motivate you to go find these issues in the back-issue bins.
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