Jeffrey Brown’s work typically falls into the confessional-autobiographical category, but his latest book, Incredible Change-Bots (Top Shelf), pays homage to the Transformers toys he loved as a kid. It looks like something a bored child would secretly draw during class, and the story feels like something you and a friend would devise on a rainy afternoon stuck inside with your toys.
The story’s pretty pointless: two teams of transforming robots fight each other. (For some reason. Not sure why. It doesn’t matter.) It’s charming, if slight, with some decent jokes and a couple political jabs. My favorite part: one of the Awesomebots (read: good guys) shoots one of the Fantasticons (read: not-as-good guys), who shouts back: “Hey, time out! My arm is stuck! Jerk.”
The book is enough to make me curious to check out Brown’s other work, a lot of which seems to be about his series of failed relationships with women. Which, when I think about it, is not so different from the themes of Change-Bots - a young male, playing with toys perhaps a bit too seriously, trying to claim dominion over the world.
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