Saturday, February 28, 2009
Built for Pleasure! Programmed for Destruction!
In 1984, First Comics published a comic called Shatter! It was a futuristic noir mystery with a gimmick: all the art had been done on a Macintosh computer (back in the days when Macs were all-in-one-box jobbers with a tiny black-and-white screen and no hard drive) by a guy named Mike Saenz. Saenz became an evangelist for CG art from then on, producting a computer-generated Iron Man graphic novel titled Crash and creating the sexy Macintosh game Virtual Valerie.
And then in 1993, he started up a comic book label and published Donna Matrix #1, written by Saenz with "art" by Norm Dwyer.
Donna Matrix was the forerunner of all the comics produced today by teenagers with Poser and Photoshop. It was generated in crude 3-D with special effects added in Photoshop and then composited in Illustrator.
The story takes place in the near-future. Horny guy buys a sex robot, a busty blonde model called an XTC 69. He wants it to perform S/M on him, but there's a law, called the "Deviate Robot Sex Act," which inhibits her from actually doling out corporal punishment.
So the guy seeks out a hacker who sells him stolen and highly illegal military software used to program robot commandos. Dude hacks up the progam so that the robot will talk dirty while it spanks him. He loads it into his sex android, which promptly kills him then goes on a murderous rampage across the city. While talking dirty.
Donna Matrix never made it to issue two. The book was printed in expensive full-process color, but the story was mindless, and the computer-generated models were crude and the rendering was often murky. Backgrounds were scarce, poses were stiff, textures were shiny and toy-like--whatever novelty value the 3-D had to offer didn't offset the book's many shortcomings.