After having his name and website mentioned in a cover story in one of the nation's leading news magazines, Paul Guinan is feeling pretty smug.
A mild-mannered comic-book artist, story writer and history buff, Guinan created Bigredhair.com, which tells the story of Boilerplate, the world's first Victorian Age robot. The website (named after his wife's voluptuous cayenne curls) is complete with sepia-tinged photos of the creation, which initially was envisioned as a weapon. It follows Boilerplate through history as [the robot] travels to Antarctica and stands arms akimbo with Teddy Roosevelt and Pancho Villa. It also tells of Boilerplate's inventor, professor Archibald Campion, who lost his dear brother-in-law in the Korean War of 1871 and from that day forth set out to resolve human conflict without the loss of human life.
The problem is, robots weren't invented until after World War II, which explains how Guinan found himself mentioned in the closing paragraphs of U.S. News & World Report's recent cover story on hoaxes.
Guinan, 39, says he never intended Boilerplate to be a hoax; he simply wanted to meld his interests in history, adventure and comics, and to spark interest in history by placing the bogus robot in actual and often forgotten historical events.
He says the publicity has unleashed a flood of largely positive emails. One critic, however, told him he ought to set the record straight, and Guinan now has a link to the Aug. 26 article on his website.
He has no intention of letting Bolerplate rust, however. He's completing a coffee-table book about his "invention," and a Boilerplate documentary (filmed by Dan Junge, last year's winner for documentaries at Robert DeNiro's Tribeca film festival) is in the works.
All contents copyright 2000, 2010 Paul Guinan.
Boilerplate, Archibald Campion, and all related marks and indicia are trademarks of Paul Guinan.
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