By Dustin Cabeal
Look is a story about a robot named Artie trying to find purpose in life. Like all of us. His job is to survey the desert, and he does that job, but he doesn’t know why. He’s followed around by a buzzard named Owen, who is his friend and yet also his biggest problem to deal with at times. One day the head bots decide that Artie needs to have his memory wiped and he’s not a fan of that and breaks his programming. From there, he and Owen set off on an adventure of uncharted territory.
The story is pretty simple and straightforward. There’s some danger to Artie, but you know that at the end of it, he’ll be fine. It’s his spiritual journey that’s of particular interest. He is a robot programmed with a specific task, but he wants to know why. Worse, when that task is taken from him, he needs to know what else he can do. It’s like losing a job you’ve been at for a long time and wondering if there’s anything else you’re good at; you won’t know until you try. Overall, the story seems a little kiddish and lacks some overall emotional depth. There is one segment that was deep for a minute, but when it came out on the other side, it lost all that depth.
The artwork is simple and effective. Artie has his one little eye that floats around and exudes emotion. The line work is clean and light without any thick dark lines. It has some gray scale to it, but it does give off the vibe of needing to be colored. It doesn’t 100% feel as if it was illustrated to remain black & white, which is a shame because the whites end up blown out after a while.
The thing I struggle with when recommending Look is the fact that it’s not terribly deep. It’s illustrated well, but nothing is that unique or exciting to look at. It’s also something that you’re unlikely to read twice or enjoy having on yourself. But it’s not bad either. It’s not a book that I’m disappointed in; it’s just that it doesn’t offer enough to justify buying it and owning it forever really. I enjoyed it, I was entertained and liked it more than I thought I would, but I also had a review copy given to me. Again, Look isn’t a bad book by any means; it’s just not great either.
Creator: Jon Nielsen
Publisher: NBM Publishing