A Graphic Novel by Kid Toussaint, Andrés Garrido
On the surface level, Love Love Love has the initial appearance of being a simple love story between two people on polar opposite sides of life in pretty much every way. Elle is a down on her luck former waitress, with nothing is going right in her life, and Karel is a robot in a world where robot lives are completely expendable. In this universe, life as a robot is hard. They are definitely second-class citizens, and are denied even the smallest bit of hospitality. For example, we see Elle try to get a taxi for the pair, and Karel is denied service. This book is both an allegory for inter-racial relationships and social justice, ala the Civil Rights Movement, through the lenses of a classical science fiction story.
“In a futuristic Paris, robots have evolved into sentient beings whose rights are being revoked due to the perceived threat they pose to human society. But not everyone has turned their backs on these so-called mechas. When the cherish bot Karel and down-on-her-luck Elle meet in the subway, they soon become friends, and something more… But a robot resistance is forming, and the two of them are dragged unwittingly into the chaos. Not only that, but Karel’s programmed life expectancy is mysteriously decreasing… Will they be able to stop the countdown, and steer clear of both the robot rebels and human police?”
One cool little callback that I enjoyed was the author’s reference to the first ever story involving robots, R.U.R or Rossum’s Universal Robots. The 1920 Czech play written by Karel Čapek coined the term “Robota” or “robot” which is literally just the Czech word for “slave”. So when the main character is named Karel Rossum, you can see where they are going with this. In many ways, this story parallels the very story found in R.U.R. which is about the creation of a race of synthetic beings to be used to do manual labor. These beings become disillusioned with their place in life, and revolt causing the end of the world. While that ultimate fate has yet to happen by the end of volume one, there is definitely a group striving for that ultimate goal. This story also takes ideas from Asimov, and perhaps even Lang’s Metropolis a bit as it is, in many ways, a love letter to early robot stories.
I really liked this book, and had no idea it would go the direction it was going to end up. If the first volume is indicative of how the story is going, I feel that it will probably end tragically, but here’s hoping the author surprises me. I have a feeling volume two will be far more action packed, and I’m down for that for sure. If you are a fan of classic robot fiction, Asimov, Metropolis, or even Astro Boy, I would definitely recommend this comic. Europe Comics hit it out of the park once again!
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NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.