Story, Art, Color & Lettering: Jimmie Robinson
Cover Art & Variant Covers: Jimmie Robinson
Release Date: April 5, 2023
A masked man walks through a toxic landfill. A hovering camera streams (or “Thlinks”) Steeper’s hip slang to viewers in the domed city. Out of the corner of his eye, a rabbit streaks past. Steeper’s cries of terror abruptly die. What happens next? Let’s tune into Junk Rabbit #1 and find out!
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By 2198, consumerism has cluttered our world. The ultra-rich abandoned Earth for life on the moon and in space. In domed cities, the well-to-do live like the aristocracy of Britain’s Edwardian Age or the passengers aboard the Axiom in WALL-E. The broadcasts of streamers like risk-taking Steeper–along with news, entertainment, and advertising–pour into their minds through bio-implants. These provide momentary distractions from the commercials played on immense digital signs. Steeper’s father, Chief Elder Richard Masters, orders stylish detective Chela Omina to investigate his death. Once she links the murder with the mythical Junk Rabbit, he tells her to report solely to him. Should she not agree, he will destroy her life.
The first two pages of Junk Rabbit #1 convey how centuries of waste created a gulf between the rich and the poor. Immense domes separate the well-off from the wastelands. As in New Chicago in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, citizens live in skyscrapers linked by walkways. They enjoy air and weather untainted by toxic materials outside the domes. Drones hover by each citizen, cossetting them with all they could ever wish to know or see. “Try blue, folks—it’s the new red!” Without robots to compact or process trash, shantytowns rise amid the toxic rubble. Unlike the Poor in the movie Ready Player One, they lack access to the info-sphere. They comb hills of garbage for anything salvageable. Even old cell phones, relics of the pre-implant age, are repurposed for local communication.
In contrast to the highly detailed art in Junk Rabbit #1, Jimmie Robinson’s limited palette colors the wastelands beige and the domes gray. People and objects get more attention and thus emerge from the background. Scenes set in the Sink resemble colored portraits on toned paper. While this approach lacks depth, it focuses the reader on the waste humans create, seemingly as a byproduct of their existence. Jimmie Robinson employs a wide variety of lettering in Junk Rabbit #1. He conveys dialogue through uppercase letters in spherical dialogue balloons. History, news, and drone-speak come in rectangular yellow narrative boxes. Often these are underlined or outlined in red. Reactions to the info feed appear as black letters atop a yellow wash inside transparent boxes outlined in white. Shock, outrage, and alerts appear as red ovals within transparent boxes outlined in red. Symbols proliferate. Some readily communicate. Others we ponder.
While characters in the dome remain distant in Junk Rabbit #1, those inhabiting the Sink seem more relatable. The actions of Richard Masters and Chela Omina speak to class differences in a gender-neutral world. The relationships among the Poor—and their inherent sense of community—remind us that prosperity and happiness are not inseparable. Their devotion to a mythic hero underlines the power of faith. The highly thematic nature of this comic invites contemplation. Is Jimmie Robinson’s labor of love more than another byproduct of human existence? As always, you decide.