Lab Journal #1: How Mic Robio started

Lab Journal #1

How Mic Robio started

A lab Journal is a written record of your lab work, so then you don’t forget anything and keep record of each step you do. This space is something similar, here I share details of the progress of different projects.
In this case, I’ll do a little overview of the beginning of Mic Robio project.

Content journal chapter

2015 and the first release

Mic Robio appeared the first time in a event in Antofagasta (Chile) called Puerto Ideas (~Harbor of Ideas) in 2015. In that time, I was living already in Germany and Gonzalo Fuentes contacted me with an idea: “Make a coloring book about a bacterium that meet interesting people while walking around a microbial city”. Cartoons and microbes? For sure I’m in. The problem? Less than one week! So, after plenty of coffee I did the illustrations while waiting for my plates to dry at the lab.
Together with Gonzalo we created the story, named the characters and with the content curation of Cristina Dorador, we could manage to create the starting point on this growing project!
In that event, the project was a success! The kids loved the story that Gonzalo told them and enjoy painting Mic and his friends.

My PhD thesis supervisor, Antje Wichels, saw my cartoons and she proposed me to translate this story in German for the Open Day in Helgoland later that year. With the help of my friends and the authorization of Gonzalo, we could present this story in a Poster and give more coloring books to kids curious about the microbial world!

2018 and a new request

Now the first adventure of Mic Robio was translated to Spanish and German. In 2018, the event It Ma­Ter(s), the Max Planck con­fer­ence for en­vir­on­mental mi­cro­bi­o­logy, invited me to include our comic in their souvenir gifts for this event. Now the triad is done and the English translation was integrated. 
You can download the first story translated in any of these languages in the following link.

In 2016, Mic Robio Started a new journey, with new ideas and the first trial of a website focused in this project. But I’ll talk about it in another post.

You can check more information about these events, in the news page. In addition, this project now is growing with more Mic Robio adventures, which you can check in this page

The creation process and teamwork!

As every research project, you cannot work alone, or you’ll reduce considerably your scope and sleep time. The translations, the design curation and support to build this and the first website, were done together with lot of people.
This is a description made in 2016 with most of the people involved in these years. Most of them are still supporting me and this awesome project.

Original idea:
Gonzalo Fuentes Rodríguez

In that time, I was a Biotechnologist of Universidad de Antofagasta, (Antofagasta, Chile). Now, I finished my Master degree and I just started my doctoral studies!
I did my undergrad thesis in compounds producers by halotoerant yeast. During that period I worked with my little bacteria friends, who are resistent to UV!
I like play and hear andean-folkloric music… and always I wanted to draw what is happening into my head!!, but I don’t good draw it, nevertheless I always practice.


Ale Garin-Fernandez

At that time, I was PhD Student at MPI-MarMic and AWI. My main thesis topic is phage ecology, and of course when I have a break I’m always drawing sketches, e. g. happy viruses.
I admire the artwork of Craig McCracken, Alex Hirsch, Anna CattishGonzalo MartinezGabriel Picolo… and a long etcetera! More information about me at about.

And for sure we are not alone, always is someone to give us a hand!
Everytime we have any doubt our group support us in different fields of this project:

Giant-thanks from the micro-crew to:
German translation: Claudia Lorenz, Ivo Int-veen
Spanish translation: Miguel Tripp, Maria Algueró

If you have some questions or ideas to add to our comics, do not hesitate to contact me 😉

Next journal:

A new start of Mic Robio, now as a Tender.

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