“Biotronic Man” Stickers, 1977

Exhibit / September 22, 2016

Biotronic Man Stickers

Object Name: “Biotronic Man” stickers
Maker and Year: IPC Publishing, 1977
Object Type: Decorative stickers
Image Source: Comic Vine
Description: (Richard McKenna)

These colorful stickers, given away in the second issue of British science fiction comic 2000 AD, allowed children to visually emulate the appearance of a “biotronic”—that is, a combination of organic and synthetic materials—organism. They demonstrate how deeply ideas of transhumanism—such as those posited by Robert Ettinger’s Man into Superman (1972), FM-2030’s Up-Wingers: A Futurist Manifesto (1973), and the more approachable The Six Million Dollar Man TV series (for which “bionic tattoos and stickers” had been released in 1975)—had gone in penetrating Western culture. As the 20th century grew more precarious, humans often found comfort in the idea of incorporating “superior” technology into their all-too-fragile flesh and blood.

14 thoughts on ““Biotronic Man” Stickers, 1977

  1. So many transistors! Reminds me of when a friend had a pacemaker implanted. First thing I asked him as the anesthesia faded, “So how does it feel to be a cyborg?” He was so happy to realize that’s what he had literally become.

    • Yes, odd to think that while this stuff was being used to titillate kids’ imaginations, millions of people around the world were actually becoming cyborgs, for the joy of airport metal detector operators everywhere!

  2. Awesome…just in time for Halloween, too! Guess I’ll be Biotronic this year…

    lol, I especially like the “third eye” thing, which merely states, Stick to centre of forehead. hahaa…Hey but wait, so being that it’s like, subcutaneous, is it meant to imply that Biotronics are built with a third eye for “superior” intuitive properties?

    • It’s like Clarke’s law, Narvo – technology this advanced is indistinguishable from cheapo stickers you just whack randomly onto your face.

      • lol, Mr. McKenna. If there’s one thing I’ve found to be super-prevalent here on WATM, it’s obscure sci-fi references (i.e., Clarke’s law) that force me to Google in order to keep from being lost in orbit. Whew.

        I’ve never thought much about tattoos, but if I were to ever get one, I think it would be along the lines of a “biotronic” theme. Hmm.

  3. Odd request but…was the back of these just plain paper or did it have any watermark? Guy at a car boot sale had copy of issue 2 “with stickers” but while the comic was quite worn, the stickers looked “too new”. Can anyone advise…he was looking for £50, which is good if genuine, but overpriced if stickers are fake.

  4. Pingback: The Music the Machines Make: ‘Systems of Romance’ by Ultravox, 1978

  5. Pingback: Judging Dredd: A Brit and a Yank Discuss the Legendary ‘2000 AD’ Strip

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