A few years ago, about the same time I was leaving SWAMP, I randomly came across a webpage that showcased the artwork of Popbot. I had never heard of Ashley Wood, but I was immediately impressed by his painting style; his ability to quickly render a scene with clarity and emotion, in a different way than the clean precision of someone like Jean Giraud or François Schuiten. In fact, my first point of familiarity with the work was not other comic book artists (although I wasn’t yet familiar with Bill Sienkiewicz or Enki Bilal) but painters I studied long ago: Gustav Klimt, Egon Shiele, Edgar Degas, Francis Bacon. I was a bit put off by the story at the time, but over the past couple of years I have grown to like the content in an indescribable way – there is definitely more going on beyond the surface of sassy cats, bumbling robots and sexy women. Popbot lives on today in the form of collectable robot toys, which I’ll probably throw down some cash for at some point. It was really awesome when I learned one of my former students is actually working on this project with threeA. Meanwhile, I just received the entire Automatic Kafka series in the post -looking forward to reading through this. On a youtube video Wood was saying Automatic Kafka, while perhaps the least successful financially, was his favourite to work on.