Interview with Cade H. Hawkins
Updated: Aug 29, 2020
I first became aware of Cade H. Hawkins, about two years ago when he posted a Facebook message in a toy group about how somebody with modest means is able to start collecting toy robots.
I replied back that one trick I use is go to on Ebay and search for “Robot Lot.” Sometimes Ebay sellers can’t identify what kind of robot they’re selling, and then they just group everything together as a group lot. I told him that sometimes you may get lucky and able to snag a more expensive robot toy for cheap. Blitz-Bot thanked me and given the enormity of the Internet and Facebook, I thought that would be the last I’d ever hear from Cade.
Fast forward maybe a year later, and I ended up talking to Cade again to be interviewed as a writer, and I found out that he had single-handedly started his own robot-focused blog called Planet Robot at https://planetrobot.space. It was during this discussion and in the course of working with Blitz-Bot that I learned that this 22 year old from Michigan had been writing his own blogs almost everyday since October 13, 2019, and he was looking for help. Shocked that he hadn’t burned out yet for having to perform such a Herculean task, I was impressed with Blitz-Bot’s maturity, knowledge of robo-culture, but more importantly, his passion and the seriousness he had toward discussing robots and robo-culture.
Beginning with its humble beginnings with only a few members starting on July 18, 2019, and now, about six months later, with over 500 members, Planet Robot has come a long way. Earlier this weekend, Planet Robot Entertainment contributor, Michael Sue, spoke with founder, Cade H. Hawkins to find out how more about Planet Robot Entertainment and what the future holds.
MICHAEL SUE: Cade, thank you for speaking with me. Let’s start off with your background. Can you tell us more about yourself.
CADE HAWKINS: Well, I’m from the state of Michigan. I’m a writer, voice actor, comedian, and former YouTuber. I love to create content. For me, perspective changes everything and playing with perspective is a way we can explore so many possibilities.
SUE: So what inspired you to start Planet Robot? What’s its origin story?
HAWKINS: I’ve tried to explain some of this with my first article on PlanetRobot.space (see Bridging the gap), but there is more to it than what I said. To simplify, I had never planned on blogging about or writing anything entirely about robots throughout science fiction and toys. Then in July of 2019 I had rewatched the Lost in Space series from Netflix. This made me want the pop figure of B-9; however, the current B-9 doesn’t yet have a pop figure. Being upset that I could not get the current robot, I decided to find the original. I purchased the highly collectible pop figure and from there I began looking through toy history to find more robots to collect as decor for my small apartment.
Now, to be fair I am quite new to the way of the Robonaut. But, I have done a lot of research and I’m still learning today. I’ve always been deep into pop culture and entertainment in general. I seem to become nostalgic for eras that aren’t my own. The roaring twenties, mid century 1950s, the 70s and 80s and early 90s. I was born in ‘97 and I’m 22 years old. None of this is a field that I was originally an expert in. All I know is that when I started writing on the Planet Robot Facebook page, people were engaging with it. Likes, shares, comments, and more started pouring in. Eventually I couldn’t keep up with all of it on my own so I set up an application for new team members and acquired the assistance of both Ken Gage, and you, Michael Sue.
SUE: So what exactly do you want people to get out of Planet Robot Entertainment?
HAWKINS: Simple. An experience!
What we intend to do is add to Plantet Robot with original content that people can dive into. We’ll be creating comics, short stories and videos. Basically a science fiction wonderland.
SUE: That’s good news for the Members. So, can you please tell the readers what exactly goes into Planet Robot and what you’ve done to create it?
HAWKINS: Besides recently, I was publishing an article on our blog every day of the week for over a month. It is incredibly important to me to write good content and correct information. I cross reference everything that I publish, and I never take Wikipedia information at its word. I had been blogging before this, and although in this topic I’m still learning, in blogging generally I’ve had experience and I’m grateful for that. Generally speaking, working around my work schedule and life circumstances I can occasionally be typing up an article until one in the morning to make sure we have a regular publishing schedule. But I never publish something that I’m not at least content with.
SUE: In some of your earlier posts, you’ve talked about retrofuturism. What is your opinion of retrofuturism and why have you brought it up on a robot site?
HAWKINS: Retrofuturisim is how the past perceived our future. It has become the heart of many science fiction stories and it is at the heart of what we do here, because it has inspired so much of what we create and share.
That optimistic childlike wonder. The sense of adventure. Timeless tales of nostalgia that drive us to be better versions of ourselves today. The escapism that it provides from the struggles we all face these days. We do this for the experience. Retrofuturisim is part of the experience I’d like to provide to our fellow Robonauts Community.
SUE: What are you currently working on for Planet Robot?
HAWKINS: For a while we had our own original web comic series, which is my attempt to contribute to this pop culture.
However, we hit a snag just a bit ago with the unexpected loss of our cartoonist (he’s still alive, just incapable of continuing this project). A lot of my spare time has been taken into finding and recruiting a new cartoonist to keep this series going. The series is called Club S.O.T.A. located at tapas.io/series/CLUB-SOTA and features a group of four brother robots that flee the government to live together in a suburban neighborhood.
Besides that project, we’re also collaborating at Planet Robot Entertainment now to create an original music album. These will include all new original songs that mostly sound like they’re from the era of swing jazz and there will be many surprises along the way. Our working title was: Robotic Hodegepodge. The goal is to release this album within this year as this is the new decade. Production hardly started after December, but this is still our goal.
Robotic Hodegepodge is basically why I’ve been rather inactive online lately. I’ve been writing all new lyrics for this original work. Hang tight though, I’m still around and I’ll get back in there, if there’s one thing I am with everything I do, it’s passionate.
SUE: Well, writing good lyrics takes time, and I’m sure the Members will enjoy the music when everything is ready.
Before we wrap this up, as the founder of Planet Robot Entertainment, what are your plans for its future?
HAWKINS: Well, the plan as far as growth within this and next year is to produce videos for Facebook and the blog that go through robots and toy robots and Retrofuturisim. Entertainment that’s been discarded, forgotten or given very little attention by mainstream audiences. Our goals with this is to break the box that you’ve comfortably stuck your viewfinder into and to show you there’s a whole multiverse of content to explore. It’s a lot to take in, but trust me, we’ll get through it together, because this my friends is an adventure through space-time and those who subscribe are all on board, whether we’re literally in space or not.
Do you have a question or comment for Cade H. Hawkins? Please feel free to leave a comment below or send him a private message via FB Messenger.