Written by Luke Anthony
on Wednesday, November 06 2013 and posted in Reviews
Have you hugged your robot today?
is a lovely little project by Max Miller Dowdle, a legitimate painter
who seems to be addicted to storytelling. After receiving his BA in painting and art history from the College of Charleston, Dowdle studied under a master painter in Italy. Now he takes that great experience and education and applies it to an art form he can really enjoy; comics. Grease Monkey is just one of the most current projects from Dowdle.
The first issue of Grease Monkey is already setting up some endearing overtones, with just a taste of impending destruction. You know that faint taste off-taste you get when drinking a Heineken? Or for the younger readers, when the milk in the fridge smells just a little off but you just keep drinking? It’s subtle, questionable verbiage mixed into the dystopian, alternative, futuristic vernacular. If you're not paying attention, you won't catch it. The protagonist, Jess, has a band of misfit robots he employs, or maybe just works with, and goes around fixing fellow robots, waiting to be rescued by someone. The isolationism is obvious, but why is the question. Zombies? Robot takeover? It’s not clear yet - It’s a mystery!
Another character, PI seems to be the butt of the story. He's a senseless robot who gets some cliche or phrase mixed up nearly every time he speaks. This is not only funny, but memorable. His boss also loves to chuck out a good pun or five at PI-derman. But the ELF robots are the heart of the story so far. The little guys are like kids adoring their best friend and boss Jess. Adorable is the right word. I would love to take one home. But in the last frame, you’re questioning their safety.
The best part about the book, in my opinion, is that it makes you think about it after the fact. Piecing it all back together paints a much larger picture. One could suppose that what Dowdle is really going for here in his craft is painting a picture in your mind; one that you have to paint on your own. Even if I didn’t like the story I appreciate that level of artistry. The story is fun, charming, and has plenty of directional potential. Dowdle seems to be outdoing himself already, and given the current success of the Kickstarter
project he has in conjunction with Grease Monkey
, it has plenty of room for growth. Back the Kickstarter
if you want to get your hands on a copy, and check out his other work
. Not only does he have a very trippy, thought-provoking, & gripping 160 page graphic novel on that Kickstarter, but other works in progress that you can read for free on his website
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About the Author - LukeAnthony
When Luke isn't writing reviews, he's writing manuals (occupation), original comics (vocation), children's books, or music (recreation). As a lover of all things high-concept, sci-fi, and/or philosophical, comics found their way into his life only a few years ago, at the ripe age of 26. It was V for Vendetta & Watchmen that led to his pathological media consumption rebirth of 2012. Ever since then, he found himself happier, more child-like, a tad bit smarter, and a much better liar. True to Outhouser gospel, he believes humor, like water, must be present in all things. If it's not, it's too dry & sucks the life out. Sarcasm, the salty demeanor of the South, frightened this idealist in youth, but is now the occasional spice used in his well seasoned personality. He sold all he had to leave his old world behind (cars, house, belongings) & become a full-time traveler across the US of A, a decision that altered his inner world as much as his outer one. If it has humor, depth, spiritual significance, and/or technicality and in that order, then consider it on this briny dude's shelf and up for review. Favorite on-going series include Black Science and Saga. This light, but deep fellow can be found on Facebook and/or Twitter.
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