Sunday, June 08, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #158: Chester 5000 XYV by Jess Fink

Wordless comics tend to be assumed to be for children, because people love to pigeonhole things, and because kids can follow wordless comics. However, there's a surefire way to make sure your wordless comic doesn't get confused with the all-ages stuff: fill it full of hot robot-on-Victorian babe sex action.

That's the route Jess Fink takes with her "erotic, robotic, Victorian romance" graphic novel Chester 5000-XYV, the love story of one frustrated blonde woman in 1885 and the robot her inventor husband creates to fulfill her needs. The wordlessness means that we never get long florid speeches or explanations -- just iconic expressions of love, surprise, alarm, joy, transport, and pneumatic action. ("Vert!" is the new verb you'll come to know and love in this book.)

According to the back cover and Fink's website -- where this whole story is still available in its original webcomic form, along with a follow-up/prequel, Isabel and George -- the blonde's name is Pricilla and her inventor husband is Robert. When Robert finds Pricilla's amorous appetite to be a bit too much for him, he builds a fully-functioning robot butler/lover: the eponymous Chester 5000 XYV. Pricilla is initially surprised and unhappy that her husband chose this very unusual way to satisfy her, but -- since we are in a (mostly) happy porn comic -- she soon comes to enjoy Chester's very skilled and caring ministrations and the pages are filled with vert-ing.

Not to give away the whole plot here, or anything, but the course of true love -- or even true sex -- runs no smoother here than it does anywhere else, but, in the end, Pricilla and Chester and Robert (and another) have all found true love and/or true sex.

There's a sweet happiness to Fink's work in Chester 5000-XYV: a sense that the world can be put right with the correct application of technology and sex, which is a lovely and inspiring conceit. Her panel borders grow curvy and decorated as the sex heats up, as if melting and running from the rigidity of the sexless pages, while her characters stay mostly iconic without dialogue: Robert is a bit of a jerk, Pricilla just a creature of love and sex, and Chester the perfect lover and companion. Chester 5000-XYV is only for adults who can stand some sex in their comics -- and sex between robots and married women, to boot -- but it's a joyful, lovely thing for those adults.

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

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