RoboChuck is back for a third edition, and this time there is an fascinating air of macabre that is usually absent. This is, of course, not to say RoboChuck is not child friendly; it is absolutely for both adults and kids alike. RoboChuck #3, unlike its predecessors, which focused on introducing characters, starts to allude to the darker mystery of the missing persons in Flatland. The imagery Callahan uses perfectly depicts isolation, and, for a split second, I stopped laughing, haunted by the fate of a toon . . . a dot on a page. RoboChuck #3 has more of a politico feel, filled with laughs, but it is in this edition we grow up as an audience a little, we start to realize the brute reality of what is truly going on in this world, and how it is a reflection of our own.
While this edition could stand on its own, it is heavily tied to the previous two editions in that it is filled with inside jokes and references. Readers are more likely to get full enjoyment if they have read the first two issues beforehand. Of the series so far, I would consider RoboChuck#3 to be the least episodic, serving more as plot momentum. New characters are not introduced, and there are less of the silly, bit scenes but, instead, scenes of just dialogue leading up to action. The multitude of character plot lines are a carry over from the previous edition and reminiscent of an action movie sequence, but without the action – just banter leading up to it. Past episodes were written very reminiscent of Buster Keaton, full of physical comedy and witty banter. I only hope that, as the episodes continue, we get to see more of that, because these characters are too good to deny such flavor.
RoboChuck #3‘s story structure has a different feel; however, the consistency of the characterization and art give the reader an anchor of integrity and honesty to the story. As a reader you trust Callahan may experiment and play with the medium . . . such is the nature of a cartoon world, but he has established that he will do so in the best interest of telling Flatown’s story (and making us laugh while doing so)—NEVER FORGET!