R Stevens' pixelated webcomic Diesel Sweeties is nearing its 3000th update. That's 3000 pages of human-robot relationships, misanthropic androids, sexy geeks, self-destructive hipsters and secretly divine cats. That can make the archive binge an intimidating. But if you've been waiting to jump on the Diesel Sweeties train, now may be the time. Stevens has released the first volume of Diesel Sweeties comics as a free eBook.

Diesel Sweeties has been online since 2000, and those early strips don't have quite the lightening-fast wordplay that becomes one of the comic's hallmarks. But the first volume introduces the pixel perverts and robots who populate Stevens' world: Maura, the alcoholic ex-pornstar, Clango, her nice-guy robot boyfriend, Indie Rock Pete, who listen to bands that don't even exist yet, Red Robot, whose interest in humans is largely homicidal. It's also a great primer on the power of Stevens' minimalist art style. By altering just a few squares of color, he can convey the sarcastic personality of a pop-up toaster or a robot's post-coital delight.

The first volume of Diesel Sweeties is also available in print. If you'd like to start reading the comic without starting from the very beginning, you can start with the "save point" in 2009.

Or, if a diagram of romantic entanglements is more to your liking, the Diesel Sweeties hookup chart by DS fan James B.:

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