Last week marked the release of Terry Moore’s new comic, Motor Girl #1. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this since the end of Rachel Rising, which is my favorite comic book series of all time, which you should check out the omnibus here. I’m a bit late in reviewing because of other obligations, but here goes!
I had the pleasure of meeting Terry Moore I think either directly after or right before Rachel Rising came out at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. It was the first time I’d gotten on my own panel at Comic-Con, and his spotlight was right after. In my day, I’ve been to and spoken on a lot of panels, Mr. Moore’s was one I won’t forget. He talked about love. He talked about philosophy. He talked about inner peace. It was really refreshing to listen to, and gave an incredible insight to a brilliant mind. That deep, serene person is reflected well in both the heavy and the humor elements of his comics, Motor Girl included.
Rachel Rising was a pretty intense, a dark story, very serious though for readers of Terry Moore’s past work, he had plenty of intra-personal relationships and light moments too. Every time it went dark, it seemed at times like Mr. Moore’s inclination was to go back to the lighter elements because he didn’t quite feel comfortable being in that space. While it had quite a push and pull of tone because of that, I think it made it one of the more interesting horror comics I’ve read, as it created a more three-dimensional reading experience.
I was sad when it ended, and tepid on Motor Girl because of that. There’s a gorilla on the cover (trigger warning, Harambe fans), with a classic comic style sign saying “buy her comic or I’ll rip your head off”. It harkens back to golden/silver age comics where they routinely threatened readers with characters dying and the like if they didn’t buy it. It’s fun tongue in cheek stuff, but would with that tone set, would I enjoy it as much as Rachel Rising?
Terry Moore’s art style has always been one of a classic cartoonist more than a typical superhero comic artist. He makes faces for expression, makes bodies to be real in all the wrong (i.e. not muscular beefcakes or big breasted skin-tight) ways. He took that style really to a further classic look with Motor Girl, and you can tell by each line stroke that he’s really having a lot of fun with this. A+ on the art, which I’ve been a fan of anyway.
Story wise, as mentioned, I was tepid going in because of my love for the riveting and serious Rachel Rising. Could he capture my imagination with something that was trite looking? Motor Girl #1 has classic cartoonist elements, jokes that hit their punch each page, beats that progress like a Sunday morning strip. The story does still progress nicely, and it’s not trite at all. I won’t spoil anything, because you should check it out, but if you like fun, if you like characters who are in depth and have some hurt they need to over come, if you like cartoony little green men that also harken to classic days, you’ll enjoy this. From the first couple of pages of Mr. Moore’s writing, I was lulled back into his character-driven charm that has been a hallmark through his past work.
As a first issue, I’m hooked, it did its job. I can’t wait to see more.