Webcomic / Warbot In Accounting

A true killing machine.

Warbot In Accounting was a short-lived webcomic written by Brian Clevinger and drawn by Zack Finfrock. It takes place in a world where warbots, large unmanned war machines with human-like artificial intelligence, were created by the US military. However, in their first ever use, they were so effective that they were immediately declared weapons of mass destruction and protesters world-wide demanded they be disarmed. The US military complies, but is then protested by AI rights groups who want the warbots to be rehabilitated and released into the civilian workforce.

This brings us to the life of X-17, the titular Warbot who works for the Weyland Accounting Firm. He tries in every episode to fit into his new life, and repeatedly fails due to his lack of speech, hands, and general knowledge of human behavior.

The creators have basically admitted that they're trying to make each update more depressing than the last. They've also said that they'll "continue making [it] until the Internet cries out for us to stop". Due to scheduling issues, there are only 15 comics (or maybe the Internet stopped them.)

Warbot In Accounting contains examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: X-17 is fully conscious and feeling, but is severely limited in his actions and unable to speak. This causes him endless torment.
    • Somewhat challenged by this strip which implies he has some method of communicating with others (either that, or that's one perceptive therapist). This could imply that he never gets the chance to explain himself.
  • Anachronic Order: Three comics take place during this one.
  • Black Comedy: Just read the other examples, it'll become obvious.
  • Crapsack World: Played with. The world as a whole is pretty nice for the most part. For everyone except Warbot.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The whole series. Word of God says the intent is "to make each comic more depressing than the last until the Internet cries out for him to stop."
  • Diving Save: The closest thing X-17 has to a CMOA is the time he saved a cat by standing between him and the bus about to run him down. And then it was horribly subverted.
    Headline: Gov't Sponsored Death Machine Downtown Rampage!
  • Driven to Suicide: Warbot, by jumping off a building. It doesn't work, though. And then his coworkers bitch at him for ducking out of work that day.
    • According to a blog post, the mother of one of the creators had called him saying that the strip wasn't "sad enough" and that Warbot should have been fined for the damage to the street. In order to not give out the wrong idea, this was preceded by him explaining how happy his childhood was and how his parents were loving and supportive.
    • Warbot tries to help one of his coworkers, James, but inadvertently cause James to be fired and commit murder-suicide of his wife and children.
  • Imagine Spot: When Warbot goes to a copier place to get some invitations to his birthday party made up, he briefly imagines what it would be like to have a large number of people show up to his party and spend his birthday surrounded by friends. He winds up alone.
  • Informed Ability: Warbots are supposedly weapons of mass destruction, but X-17's only danger to those around him is his weight and clumsiness. Justified in that, according to Word of God, there are empty weapon slots on his top and sides.
  • Invisible Anatomy: Very noticeable in some comics—he can't dial a phone, so he tapes a hands-free phone to the side of his(?) self, on a dating site he can type his name and age but not description, etc.
  • Mundane Utility
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Warbot tries to help.
  • No Sympathy
  • One-Person Birthday Party: Because Warbot's unable to send out invites.
  • Pater Familicide: The result of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: If it weren't for the readers being able to see Warbot's life from its perspective, they'd likely feel the same as his coworkers.
  • Rule of Empathy: Would anyone believe anyone could feel gut-wrenching sympathy for a faceless, voiceless, semi-appendageless killing machine? You can. And you will.
  • Schizo Tech: Minor example. In the Warbot world, human-like AI has been developed, yet their computers still have CRT monitors. Otherwise, the tech is mostly on par with ours.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The company is called Weyland Accounting. One of the strips is titled and references "The Yutani Account". Put them together...
    • There are several references to Atomic Robo, including a wall calender on the protagonist's cubicle wall, a statuette on his desk, and one of his three dates was to an Atomic Robo movie.
    • One episode has a poster of GIR in his cubicle, and another has what appears to be a GIR plushy in his apartment.
  • Slice of Life
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted, for all the good it does him.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Yes, it's only picking up a checker, but even with Warbot's lack of facial features it's easy to feel his happiness and sense of achievement.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The friendly skating instructor who decides that Warbot's immense, heavy frame is ill-suited to skating... and thus invites him to go sky-diving. The two-ton robot means the plane barely gets off the ground before it crashes, killing everyone on board. Except Warbot.
  • Truly Single Parent: Warbot attempts this by building a robot child for himself after he hears how enriching raising a child is and dating doesn't work out for him. Its only words are "Daddy? I'm scared, Daddy. It's so dark, Daddy. So daaaaaaark".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: He's a gigantic death machine, yet nobody looks at him twice.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: During the Christmas Episode, Warbot's co-workers decide that since he's just a giant metal box of bolts, he has no emotions and therefore has no right to be at the Christmas party, telling him to get back to work. Back home, he has a single stocking and a tree.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: This is a case where all he is is a hammer, leaving him greatly limited when trying to perform any task which requires social interaction or manual dexterity.