Hi there, in this page I’m pleased to announce that I’ve arranged a special guest blog post from Kylar Merrell of foreignpresscomics.com – I reached out on various comic making platforms asking for other voices to provide a wider commentary on the themes of the book than I could do on my own – as you can see from this page, the topic is about the media and how they choose to drive the agenda.

Kyalr has put together a very interesting take on this, looking at what you could describe as the opposite of corporate media, user generated content on social media – it’s a great read, thanks Kylar for putting the post together – without further ado, I’ll hand it over to Kylar.



My name is Kylar Merrell, I’m an aspiring comic writer and artist at foreignpresscomics.com, and when I heard on Reddit about Digitopia and the blog here. I knew I wanted to contribute.

I was told to write something about the media, how comics reflect life and vice versa.

Specifically the first thought that came to mind was an underrated book (underrated to me) by DC Comics: We Are Robin.

A book that reflects life as a teen and the use of social media. Admittedly a bit of an exaggerated reflection, but still a valuable one nonetheless.

We are Robin - book cover

source: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/3/3b/We_Are_Robin_Vol_1_1_Textless.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150625174334


The story of a troubled teen in Gotham City’s foster care system. Sounds an awful lot like a red-and-green wearing sidekick. But it’s not. Kind of.

We Are Robin captures a unique time in the DC Comics universe, specifically a unique time in Gotham, when Bruce Wayne was dead, Damian Wayne was gone, the original Robin Dick Grayson was a secret agent, and police commissioner Jim Gordon was running around in a giant mech suit.

Duke Thomas, the aforementioned troubled teen, became part of a group calling themselves the Robins, a group of teens being superheroes in a city that’s strangely without its usual protectors.

More than just capturing this time in DC Comics, this book reflects our world.

The book features the use of social media as an important part of how the book works. Whole conversations appear over text, and in fact, the use of social media is how this book brings together teens from all across Gotham, specifically the main six characters.


  • Duke, the troubled teen.
  • Troy, the varsity athlete with a heart of gold.
  • Dre, son of a member of the Maroni crime family.
  • Dax, the mechanic with discipline problems.
  • Izzy, the bilingual girl who wants to do better.
  • Riko, the academic artist who loves Batgirl.


source: https://pm1.narvii.com/5779/1639a5782ab29f1a15f346e8159ddba512891098_hq.jpg

Where else but on social media can a diverse group like this find a common interest and turn it into action.

In real life, this bonding doesn’t usually turn into violent vigilantism; at its best, it turns into marches, protests, and petitions made to produce some sort of social change.

Social media is the best avenue many young people have to make themselves heard and do something about whatever problems they may be facing.

Sure, sometimes it does turn into the second arc of We Are Robin. In opposition of the Robins, a group called the Jokers rises up, following the example of the Joker and one boy nicknamed Smiley, another troubled teen like Duke, whose circumstances are also out of his control.

Social media can go either way. But that’s just to show how effective this book is… or was. There’s plenty of other comics that demonstrate the importance of social media and the growing use of the internet like Crowded by Image

Crowded – book cover

or Snotgirl, also by Image,

Snotgirl, Vol. 1 TP

Snotgirl – book cover

but We Are Robin reflects life as a teen, is a semi-realistic way to look at how action can come from a desire to affect change.

Like the title says, the book just deserves more attention. Besides all this, it features great writing by Lee Bermejo, and particularly gorgeous art by Khary Randolph and Jorge Corona. The only character from the book that’s still being used today is Duke, and even he is used sparingly.

But I digress.

If this book received the attention that it’s due, maybe we could see more of this book. Maybe we could have more of this book, maybe it could have continued to produce prevalent content, maybe it could have shown us more reflections of our world.

Maybe it could have produced more for all readers to identify with, because maybe that was the point.

Because maybe that point is that we are all Robin; or we can be.



Thanks Kylar for that, to learn more about Kylar’s work head over to www.foreignpresscomics.com and check him out on Twitter @fpresscomics and Instagram at @foreignpresscomics.

If you are interested in buying the book, you can get the Kindle version here (Aff)


or the paperback versions here