One Punch Reviews #34: Motokool

South Park once did a two-parter called “Pandemic” and “Pandemic 2: The Startling.” It was partially a parody of horror movies, partially a parody of Cloverfield. While I don’t remember much about the episodes, I have a vivid memory of the central joke: live action footage of guinea pigs. The city of South Park gets invaded by supposedly giant, fearsome monsters who are, in reality, adorable critters with twitchy noses, oftentimes wearing silly costumes — like the Guinea Pirate (a guinea pig in a pirate hat) and Guinea-saurus Rex (a guinea pig in a dinosaur outfit).

I remember when these episodes were released, fans were complaining that this was a pretty flimsy premise to base a two-parter on. Now, imagine that same episode, only in webcomic form… and the guinea pigs are limited to wearing only one costume. What you’d get is something very close to Scott Ferguson’s Motokool.

Your enjoyment of the comic is highly dependent on your own personal opinion on how hilarious you find giant furry monsters who resemble guinea pigs. They also wear monocles. Quick question: do you find monocled monsters, who, incidentally, sometimes sport grey mustaches, the sort of thing you find adorable? How about if they also scream, “MOUSTACHE!” Is it delightful, quirky, and yet oh so random? Do you also have a mustache tattoo on your index finger because you want to show the world how wry your sense of humor is? Because, let me tell you, the only time that’s ever cool when it’s on University of Michigan Offensive Tackle Taylor Lewan, and that’s because the whole “cool jock” and “nerdy hipster” dichotomy is ever so intriguing.

Even if you do enjoy manga-influenced illustrations of monsters with one-piece eyewear and thick, luscious facial hair — and really, it is kinda amusing if it’s the first time to see such an absurdity — be prepared to take your affection to the breaking point. Watch, dear reader, as this one joke is stretched past the breaking point over the span of a year! Sometimes, like the Simpsons rake gag, you can stretch a joke out for so long that it becomes tiring, then goes back to being funny again.

This is not one of those times.

Sadly, the monocled monsters are the only thing that Motokool has going for it. Not counting the mostly inarticulate creatures, there are only three characters in Motokool with speaking roles, and they’re all barely one-dimensional. There’s a disaffected teen hero named Jarvis who stoops quite elegantly in his bomber jacket while other people do awesome things and generally chafes under authority; his strapping grandfather, who continues the national propaganda machine attempting to convince the world that Scottish old dudes are totally cut; and a fey villain named Templeton, who has a history with grandpa. While a noble attempt to expand the Motokool repertoire beyond a single thin joke, Templeton is neither intriguing nor effortlessly absurd, despite having a nemotionally responsive mask that looks like an sheet of paper pinned by a a knife protruding form his face. He needs to go back to the Japanese anime from whence he came.

For sure, the story also include a lot of punching and singing while punching, but there’s only so much singing, punching, and monocled monsters one can take. Especially since the action sequences look pretty damn awkward half the time. Pass.

Final Grade: 2 stars (out of 5).


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on October 25, 2010, in 2 Stars, action webcomic, adventure webcomic, comedy webcomic, fantasy webcomic, One Punch Reviews, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. ruins for me that doesnt have an archive or at least a story arc archive of I want to read something from the middle it will take me a long time to check it, as the comic grows the problem will be bigger

  2. I only want to hear about giant hamster monsters if they’ve been created by space-faring gnomes as a means of propulsion. Or if one is a Miniature Giant Space Hamster that hangs out with a mad berserker…

  3. Gotta remember though, its still a fairly new comic. If you were to give a few hands over to, say, Nerf This, it has many more pages. You can’t just review something that hasn’t even gotten out of chapter one.
    Thats like reading the first five pages of a book and saying you know everything about it.

    • While your point is valid, I make exception if the comic has been out for more than a year… which was the case for Motokool. At that point, pacing or lack thereof becomes a valid concern. And it doesn’t guarantee a low rating either. Lackadaisy was reviewed when there were something like 30 pages in the archives, and it too had been out for over a year. But that comic I gave 5 stars.

  4. Pretentious much? I rather like the comic, and his other works. They’re fun, quirky, and I simply enjoy them. I understand where you’re getting at but just because this one furry monocle joke might get old- I don’t even- it doesn’t make me not want to continue. I enjoy the characters. Even if you enjoy and read a comic, if you enjoy ANYTHING you’ll still find things wrong with it if you look hard enough.

    Plus I don’t really appreciate the comment about anime. It sounds like the opinion of someone who only knows of the whored out Americanized anime like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and Dragon Ball Z. And others that were ruined with terrible dubbing or were just retarded to begin with. But it can’t all be lumped together in one category to be made into an attempted witty comment.

    Anime is perfectly fine the way it is. Someone who doesn’t know that ‘japanese anime’ is an incredibly wide range of artwork that can not only be beautiful but moving in story line as well, shouldn’t really act as if their opinion is god’s gift to humanity. Especially if others like myself are manga/anime style influenced artists. It’s not all just awkward triangle faces and, ‘look at my giant sword and my giant tits. I will save the world and use my shiny super powers. Hahahah let’s all laugh like this.’ I’m not defending all anime/manga. But it isn’t all badly drawn, stupid, shit.

    That’s just a pet peeve of mine, the ignorance of not realizing that.

    But one snarky comment being used for self-authority and shock value shouldn’t make me so annoyed. That’s basically how critics write. What a pathetic career.

    Anyway, the comic’s just fine to me.

  1. Pingback: Manifesto time! | Paperless Comics

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