Caveman Robot is a fictional character that is the subject of an ongoing collaborative multi-media art project involving dozens of artist, cartoonist, performers, actors, musicians, and animators since 1995. The characters first published appearance was in "Greg Cook’s Oatmeal Journal #4" anthology in June of 1995.
The character, which was created by Jason Robert Bell and Shoshanna Weinberger over a phone conversation, Weinberger jokingly said that men were all “caveman robots", and Bell did a drawing of that concept, and so the character was born. The copyright for the character is jointly held in both their names, and they hold the trademark on the term Caveman Robot. Caveman Robot has gone on to be the subject of numerous "zines", mass produced national distributed comics, graphic novel, songs, paintings, drawings, dolls, independent animated shorts, and a full-length musical performed at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn from April 8 – May 13, 2006. The narrative origin for the character has been in flux since its creation and the product of a collaboration between Bell and cartoonist Britton Walters and illustrator Joe Infurnari, where he existed at the Dawn of Human history an acted as a protector and demi-god to early humanity, and at some point was trapped and deactivated under tons of rock in stone age catastrophe. In the Modern era he was discovered and adopted by the Tuttlewells, a family of scientist and explorers. The character currently resides in the utopia city of Monumenta where he carries on his programming as the protector of his "tribe" all of Humanity.
History of Caveman Robot
In 1996 a Caveman Robot story by Bell was published in Britton Walters’ MOO juice #15 magazine. Bell published Monumental Comics Presents: Caveman Robot #1- included contributions from Shoshanna Weinberger, Britton Walters, Rob Syers, Mike McCarty, John Mitchell, Scott Wolniak and himself. Beside Caveman Robot, Bell created Yaldaobotha a recurring character. Walters created Loser Pete, Caveman Robot's sometime sidekick.
Bell exhibited a booth at the Chicago Independent Comic Exhibition (I.C.E)- in which the Caveman Robot comic was exhibited along with a two and half foot tall Caveman Robot sculpture display. This display was placed in Quimby’s Comic Shop in Chicago and is still there to this day. Bell altered a number of “action figures” purchased from toy outlet stores to be gag Caveman Robot figures. These toys were repacked with comical text mocking the language of such items. These toys were given as gifts and sold in The Chicago Comics Shop and Quimby’s Comic Shop. Caveman Robot #1 was reviewed in The Lumpen Times magazine and the “zine catalog” Factsheet Five. In 1997 Bell did a short Caveman Robot comic for Jenni Grover’s Buffalo Speedway # 5 magazine, and continued to create small-altered toys of Caveman Robot. Bell Published TETRAGRAMMATON #1- a collection of drawings and prints, one of which was Caveman Robot- this was reviewed in the “zine catalog” Factsheet Five, the drawing of Caveman Robot was mentioned in the review.
Bell Published Monumental Comics Presents: Caveman Robot #2- included contributions from Shoshanna Weinberger, Britton Walters, Rob Syers, Adam Novy, Scott Wolniak and himself. The main story “If This Me Not Me” was developed by Rob Syers and Britton Walters from Bell's concepts, with framing pages by Bell which featured The Slumberjack, a character of Bell's creation. Walters developed a number of characters in this comic- Caveman Robot’s girlfriend, Megan Tuttlewell, and the “Nefarious Nine” including Ape Lincoln, Half Head, Dizzy Man, Superpants, The Seat Stealer, The Copier, Simon De Dire, and The Human Postcard. Col. Rolf Threeheadedspacepony (was a co-creation of Britton and Jason Robert Bell). Bell did his first of many painting of Caveman Robot, a 30”x 20” portrait in oil on canvas. In 1998 Bell Published Monumental Comics Presents: Caveman Robot #3- included contributions from John Bell, Greg Cook, Jenni Grover, Meri Grover, K. Thor Jensen, Missy Kuilk, Ans Purins, Mike McCarty, John Mitchell, David Servoss, Jeremy Smith, Peter Staley, Tom Tiegler, Heather Walters, Tim Ward, David Wells, Scott Williams, Doug Young, Shoshanna Weinberger, Britton Walters, Rob Syers, Scott Wolniak and himself. All of the contributors were mailed a request for submissions entitled "Take the Caveman Robot Challenge". While in Gradute school at the Yale University School of Art in New Haven, Bell published Tetragrammaton Weekly, a “mini-zine” mailer that had an ongoing The Adventures of Caveman Robot feature- it was published for 32 weeks.
From 1999 to 2001, While at the Yale School of Art and after , for the Master in Fine Art program, Bell did a number of paintings, drawings, and sculptures of Caveman Robot. Also continued to developed a number of other characters that Caveman Robot interacts with –Yaldabaotha, Lucifer Morningstar, Lilith Queen of Babylon, Tar-Adom Zadmon, Dr. Zarathustra, The Hermit, "Eve", The Slumberjack, Gabriel the Hand of God, Behemoth, Marduke, The Yetisyns, Apollo the Last Human, The Orpheus Terminals. The narrative that Bell created for the characters has been in a constant state of development to the present. At this point Bell also started the TETRAGRAMATRON archive website which has a Caveman Robot section. In 2001, Bell registered the web domain http://www.cavemanrobot.com which has a collection of all materials and content regarding Caveman Robot.
The majority of drawing that Bell did at Yale were used in a 52 foot long by 12 foot tall Collage/drawings entitled Everything, Everyone, Everywhere, Forever. This piece along with three other large-scale collage/ drawings was exhibit in a one-person show at the Norfolk Summer School of Art in Norfolk, CT. The other works were entitled The Emerald Tablet, The Birth of a World, and The Tree of Life. Caveman Robot was one of the main themes of this works, along with the other characters Bell developed. Began collaborating with fellow Yale grad, Joe Infurnari on computer renders of Caveman Robot, using the programs Poser and Bryce. Infurnari was able to create a number of elements and images involving the character.
Began selling Caveman Robot products on Cafepress.com a digital web based output company that allows users to upload images onto prefabricated products and then sell them on their website. In 2002, there was a small Caveman Robot cameo in Britton Walter’s Huzzah mini-comic. Daniel Halperin, a media producer was in Chicago with Mark Frazel and they saw the Caveman Robot Figure that was still on display in Quimby’s Comic Shop. They inquired about it and they gave him Bell's contact info. They began talking about the character and various ideas about how it could be brought to the screen. Halperin's company is Epiphany Pictures. Bell and Walters began writing down a story treatment that could be used later for a full-fledged script. Infurnarie has added feedback to this treatment and developed images based on it. Britton Walters submitted seven short “episode” storylines for possible new Caveman Robot comics that have been fused with Bell's characters to create a fully realized fictional universe.
Bell have been requesting various musicians to create Caveman Robot Songs, so far “Create New Monsters” by Phil Williams and Peter Thompson, "His Robot Queen" by Debby Schwartz, "Bounce" by Coleman, "Grok, Brok, Blip, Blip, A Grok" by Steve Espinola, and "Funny Though" by Dave Weston. Bell working with a professional costume maker, Juliann Elizabeth Kroboth, created an actual Caveman Robot Costume for promotional actions and a short live action film experiment. Actor, Kory Smith has been working as the model for the costume. Kory and Bell are the primary actor with the costume. Bell's performance group “Wadlow” performed at The Brick in Williamsburg the first Sunday of Spet. 2003, Bell wore the Caveman Robot suit during the performance.
In 2004, Bell published Caveman Robot Gigantic Mega-Comic!- by Britton Walters, Jason Robert Bell, Shoshanna Weinberger, and Joe Infurnari. This comic is being funded by the film/TV option money that we received from Epiphany pictures.
In 2005, Bell published two new Caveman Robot comics, Chapter One Welcome to Monumenta a full color 32 page book written by himself, Britton Walters and Joe Infurnari, with Artwork by Infurnari and Scott Shaw! The second book was a 44 page black and white comic that has two stories "The Monsters from the Depths" with story and artwork by Walters and Bell, and The Mad Colonel by Walters. There was additional work by Greg Cook, Chris Wisnia, Shoshanna Weinberger, and Luc Thomas. Adventures of Caveman Robot The Musical was performed at The Brick Theater Williamsburg Brooklyn. The Brick and Piper McKenzie Present - Written and Directed by Jeff Lewonczyk, based on the Caveman Robot characters, stories, and comics of Jason Robert Bell, Britton Walters, Joe Infurnari, and Shoshanna Weinberger. Book by Jeff Lewonczyk with Jason Robert Bell, Lyrics by Debby Schwartz and Jeff Lewonczyk Music by Debby Schwartz . Featuring actors, Jason Robert Bell, Chris Harcum, Hope Cartelli, Devon Hawks Ludlow, Jay Klaitz, Jorge Cordova and Robin Reed, debuting April to May 2006, The Brick Theater Williamsburg Brooklyn. Debby Schwartz composed and recorded a dozen original songs for the musical. http://www.tetragrammatron.com/acmr.htm
The Caveman Robot character has been included in the Wold Newton Universe by Win Eckert, author of Myths for the Modern Age : Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe. In Bell's story THE HUNTED, Caveman Robot saves a group of "Dawn People" from a robotic wooly mammoth. A story in Caveman Robot Gigantic Mega-Annual 2004, Tetragrammatron Press. The whole story is told in the Mangani language ("Kreegah!", "Bundolo!", "Tantor," etc.) creating a linguistic connection to the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Since Tarzan is in the Wold Newton Universe, so is Caveman Robot. On page 93 of the Mega-Annual 2004 there is a caption that reads, "This comic is dedicated to the brilliant Philip José Farmer." The arch-foe and former ally of Caveman Robot is Dr. John Zarathustra, DDS, a pardoy/homagé of Doc Savage (another Wold Newton member), who has been warped and twisted by being outclassed by Caveman Robot as a hero, and in his old age attempts to do the machine-man in once and for all. He was played by Jeff Lewonczyk in the musical.