Automatic Robotics

Though it is a rather slick-looking item, the cockiness that seems to pervade Automatic Robotics is not quite justified by the content. There is some exceptional art (in particular, Brandon Hall demonstrates how understated mixed media can be), but the zine for the most part comprises work that is only almost memorable. A number of anecdotal pieces — one about a run-in with Adam Sandler in a crepe shop, another concerning a dispute between a cop in a wheelchair and a man who claims to have a disabled daughter — feature narrators that come across as insensitive rather than insightful. One three-page spread offers spam as poetry, for those readers who don’t have their own email accounts. The (admittedly accomplished) drawings of fantastical creatures are marred by a tedious sketch of the creatures having sex, an image which seems to have become obligatory in contemporary zinemaking. On the whole, Automatic Robotics is energetic, but directionless. (Daniel Marrone)

zine, Damon Belanger, $5, damon@damonbelanger.com, P.O. Box 311, Belmont, CA, 94002

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