Graphic Novel Review - Monster Motors - Brian Lynch (Author) & Nick Roche (Illustrator)
Recommended for Older Children/YA/Adults
I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks.
You know how sometimes a book tries to do something different, like re-telling a classic story using reanimated-motors rather than a monster? Yes? Then read Monster Motors, because it does it ever so well. No? Then read Monster Motors, because it does it ever so well.
Mechanic Vic Frankenstein buys a junkyard in Transylvania to set up a repair business, and immediately comes across the not-too-insignificant problem of a vampire cadillac called Cadillacula, who wants to suck the gas out of all the other cars, and be evil and stuff. He'll have to reanimate a truck of his own if he's going to stand a chance at stopping this evil...
Later on, he'll team up with Minivan Helsing and his team to stop an even greater threat, when a lightning strike accidentally reanimates all the other cars in the junkyard and sends them on a cannibalistic spree across town. Not quite the simple life repairing cars that Frankenstein had in mind.
Monster Motors is split into the two separate stories described above, and it's definitely the second (The Curse of Minivan Helsing) that is the strongest. Not to take anything away from the first about Cadillacula, because it's perfectly good fun, but the jokes and subtle humour in the second are far better, and genuinely laugh-out-loud in places. The idea of 'Minivan Helsing' for starters is genius, and in places the script seems to acknowledge the sheer craziness of everything with a knowing wink to the reader, without ever actually breaking the fourth wall, which is a technique I've always been fond of.
It's in the second story, again, where the characters really start to standout. To start with, it was only the delightful robot Igor that I had found memorable, but with the arrival of Minivan Helsing and crew, you've got Minivan himself, his daughter, some self-admittedly treacherous crewmates, Frankenstein's own monster truck, and Frankenstein himself becoming funnier and more likeable. I'd see it as the ingredients all properly falling into place, just like Neil Morrissey joining Men Behaving Badly; good beforehand, excellent afterwards.
The illustrations are great, with a very cartoony feel to fit the story perfectly, and I'd happily get people to read this in the library. If the next story is as good as The Curse of Minivan Helsing then I'll be delighted!
Monster Motors is out on 16th June 2015 through IDW Publishing