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).
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.