Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"PSST! HEY THERE, PSST! YEA YOU!"
"What's that sensational smell?"
"Oh gee, it's my lucky day."
"RITE U LITTLE DWEEBS. LET'S ROCK AND ROLL!"
It really isn't the little dweebs' lucky day. Far from it. I can't say I'd want to check into Motel Universe and here is the publisher's promotion to tell us precisely why...
"Check in to Motel Universe, a dystopian, casino galaxy of tasteless hedonism! On a macabre jungle planet, the Skins, a slave race, are hunted for their precious hides by tycoon dictator, Barton Flump. Join the Skins as they run for their lives, but when there's nowhere left to run, it might just be time for a little revolution!"
Haha, Barton Flump, now I wonder which 'tycoon dictator' that is meant to be...? Actually, Donald Trump should wish he looked as good as Barton Flump!
Given the first impression of this work is all-out, full-on sensory assault with the spectacularly, crazily coloured delightfully, deliberately crude* artwork blitzing one's brain right from the off it took me more than a few pages to appreciate just how good a storyteller Joakim Drescher is too.
I think a very good point of general comparison would be Theo UNDERSTANDING MONSTER Ellsworth, though Joakim's colour palette is more retina searing.
* I feel I very strenuously need to make the point that I am using the word crude in an entirely positive sense here. You might think you could draw like this, but trust me, you can't. Unless you are actually a good artist, I guess, which I'm certainly not. But I still can't draw like this. It reminds me of an anecdote recounted by the Arch-Drude Julian Cope in his book 'Krautrocksampler' concerning the legendary Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit. In fact, you know what, here is the quote in full...
"Jaki Liebezeit had been playing free-jazz in Spain for five years. But recently, he had had a moment of immense life-changing clarity at a show he'd played. Leibezeit had been touched and changed by the words of, what he called, "some kind of freak." The "freak" had slagged Leibezeit for playing free-jazz, and said: "Why do you play that shit? You must play monotonously." Those words stayed with him forever. Jaki Leibezeit had never heard the word 'monotonously' used in a positive way before, and the pealing bells of truth shot through him. Leibezeit changed his drum style immediately."
The moral of the story being when you pick up a comic and see an art style that you don't get or indeed perhaps even like, don't put it down. For, if you persist, perhaps your mind will be blown and you too might even have "a moment of immense life-changing clarity". Comics can do that too, you know! On the other hand, you might just think it's a crock of shit. As I always say, life would be very boring if we all liked the same things. I personally like this a lot, though.