Thursday, April 23, 2009
Robocat Final Project
I apologize for the state of the images. I ran into the deadline and thus they are in various stages of inking. The dialogue for the comic is as follows below:
Sarah’s dad: Hello?
Yes, this is he.
Oh my…I- Thank you for telling me.
No no, thank you for letting me know…
No, I couldn’t tell her.
Sarah: Did somebody find Snowball?!
Sarah’s dad: No…sorry, sweetie. We-we’ll just have to keep looking.
Sarah: I know we’ll find him. He’ll come back.
[Approximately one month later]
Sarah’s dad: Hey come here, I got a present for you Sarah.
Sarah: Really?! What is it?
Sarah’s dad: It’s a robot cat. He can do everything a real cat can do, and he won’t ever run away.
Sarah: I don’t WANT some stupid robot! I just want Snowball back!
Sarah’s dad: Sarah, wait-!
[whirring noise, Robocat’s eyes open and he steps out of the box and looks around]
[meowing from outside]
[The cat hisses at him and jumps off the fence]
Sarah’s dad: Don’t forget to clean your room after school.
Sarah: I won’t.
Sarah [to Robocat]:What are you looking at? You're not even a real cat.
[Robocat hears meowing from outside again]
Sheba: [Speaking in 'cat'] So the strange one can speak after all.
Robocat: Can you tell me how to be a real cat?
Sheba: Can you tell me how to be a robot?
Robocat: Well, no...
Sheba: Then you have your answer
[Voice]: Sheba, din-din!
[Voice]: Why, who's your friend? Why don't you invite him in?
Robocat: Oh no! What should I do?
Sheba: Relax, you'll be fine. Just do as I do.
Granny: You poor thing, you feel so cold!
Granny: I know, I have just the thing. You wait right here.
Granny: I knit this for Sheba, but I think you need it more.
Granny: There we go.
Granny: Much better.
The writing on the box says 'robokatto' in katakana, the Japanese character system for sounds and loan words.
I can't say whether this was somehow subconsciously intentional, but Sarah's outfit reminds me vaguely of the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz.
Such an article would presumably be about Japanese scientists developing robotic cats for people who can't take care of real ones. There are already some robotic cats on the market, though they are nowhere near as sophisticated as Robocat, obviously. Try searching for 'yume neko smile' on youtube. Be warned however, as those robots are creepy as heck. Apparently animal robots can inhabit the uncanny valley too.
I decided to change Princess' name to Sheba as it was more fitting for her recast role as a sort of wise guide. She reminds me vaguely of the priestess from the Epic of Gilgamesh, bringing Robocat into catkind, as it were.
Robocat is understandably nervous about being rejected again. Luckily for him, Granny's eyesight isn't what it used to be, and she's too nice to be mean to even a robotic cat anyway.
I'd like to note that the sweater is white and fluffy, aluding somewhat to Snowball and page 10.
I think putting Robocat in such an old-timey setting in Granny's house gives a good contrast between him and his surroundings. It also serves to make him more 'normal' in a sense.