Friday, January 12, 2007

Flashback Friday: Robotman

I remember watching the Robotman animated special years before I read the Robotman cartoons. It was called Robotman and Friends and portrayed Robotman as a loveable little robot with a heart on his chest, flying through the clouds with his little propeller on his head. Sort of like R2-D2 meets the Care Bears. Looking back, I imagined that must have been the creator of the comic strip's worst nightmare - his edgy, funny comic strip being transformed into a sappy, silly, cutesy special. But it turns out it wasn't. When I did the research for this flashback, I discovered it was the other way around. The character of Robotman was created for the toys and the animated special, and the comic strip was just supposed to be a part of the media blitz. That explains where the heart on his chest came from. It turned out that the comic strip survived while the stuffed doll vanished into obscurity.

* The original special was called Robotman and Friends, aired in October of 1984.
* Robotman had sidekicks - Stellar, Oops, and Lint. They fought an evil robot Toberon who tried to eliminate all the love in the world.
* After one other TV special, the Robotman character lived only in the comic strip.
* In the comic strip, Robotman lived with a family in suburbia for several years. He never fought an evil robot or tried to spread love in the world.
* Several years later, Robotman switched to living with a nerd named Monty.
* In 1999, Jim Meddick permanently phased out Robotman from the comic strip, changing it into Monty.

The best website, hands-down, for Robotman is the Robotman Library. There's a good interview that explains the origin of the comic strip, as well as info on the related Robotman paraphenalia. That's about it.

Flashback Friday: Out of This World
Flashback Friday: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Flashback Friday: Herb


PBS said...

Yay Robotman!

I used to be a temp, too. And while I like to think of myself as hard-working, really I wasn't as a temp, unless someone was watching! That's why I dream of going back to being a temp again, except the money and perks aren't there.

Mauricem said...

Awesome. That always one of my favorite strips. Thanks for clearing up the mystery of the heart and stuff. I remember being totally bewildered as to why the cartoon characters were so different from the comic. Turns out it was the other way around.
Also interesting to see how his story changed over the years. in his first interview he made it sound like he was the chosen one to lead Robotman into the new age, but by the year 2001, he made it sound like he was constantly fighting with the syndicate and made it seem like he never wanted to do it all along.
Ah hindsight.