Maybe Skynet's Not So Bad

 Note- There are no super inappropriate pictures in this discussion so it isn't super NSFW. If your fellow employees can read though... they might raise an eyebrow.

Chester 5000 XYV 

Totally by, Jess Fink
Published by, Top Shelf Productions

My my my! What a steamy tale! This summer in good 'ol upstate New York, there was a new convention held at a local library called Electric City Comic Con and it was fantastic! It was small, free to get into, lots of activities for kids, and a whole mess of creators (many of which were local which is neat). Among those creators was Jess Fink, who has previously worked on Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors, Smut Peddlers, We Can Fix It, and a bunch more including a story called Adventures Into Mindless Self Indulgence which I am quite intrigued by. YOU can check out some of her art and buy some stories right here!

The year is 1885 and love is in the air! This story begins with the young couple Pricilla and Robert, who are slightly at odds, as Robert must continue his inventor duties and Pricilla is very enthusiastic and sexually charged. To make sure his wife is getting what she wants, Robert invents the Chester 5000, a robot meant to satisfy his wife when he is not available. Switching the mechanical man on using a key hole on the crotch, Pricilla soon discovers that this might be a pretty darn cool arrangement. As time goes on, Pricilla and Chester begin to have feelings of more than just lust and function, while Robert wonders if he made the right decision.

Sounds pretty nuts right? Well it is! In a great way! Fink has created a totally silent tale which showcases the human condition in terms of desire, love, jealousy, happiness, and more expertly. There is clearly a glimmer of sci-fi and steam punk genres that seep into this tale, but honestly what you will find is more of a look at folks trying to make each other happy and the benefits/consequences of that. Now look, I'm usually not a huge fan of books with little to no dialogue, but when an illustrator knows exactly what they're doing it just resonates in every page and every panel, and that's what's happening here. We may not know what these characters are saying, but we don't need to as we can easily understand many of their feelings. The subjects of sexuality and desire can be very tough to tackle, but Fink clearly had a story in mind and the end product is pure (not so much innocent) fun.

If you are familiar with Jess Fink's art or clicked on that helpful link in the first paragraph then you have an idea what this may look like, but your idea is probably wrong. Using a style that is just as cartoonish as it is attractive, we see characters drawn with clear intent drawn in every face, and actions which can never be misconstrued. It's a style which seems slightly similar to her always enjoyable look, but put through a filter that is much different than what you've seen before. Essentially, there are four characters in the story, Chester, Robert, Pricilla, and another woman, each of which are largely unique among their fellow cast members. Fink's decision to stick with a smaller group has proved invaluable to this story, as we got to see much of what drives them and a good amount of their characterization in a way that gives each one importance in this story. Of course, you can't talk about an erotic Victorian robot story without mentioned the... intimacy. Right off the bat we see intercourse in the story and as the book goes on and the characters grow closer those acts get more and more crazy. Let's just say that Chester is one talented automaton! One of Fink's largest strengths in this book is her conveyance of emotions during these sexcapades, as between them there is always pleasure but also a sense of romance and joy. It's nice... in a dirty but also just nice way.

Alright so listen, in case you haven't figured it out by now, Chester 5000 is NOT "SFW". Don't let that deter you though. Not everyone may be into stories that could be considered erotica, but all the same there is some series heart and some enticing visuals that make this read intriguing, fun, sexy, and smart read that isn't afraid to push the boundaries. This hardcover costs $14.95, a steal for the amount of work put into it! Thanks for reading folks!

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