Please let this not be porn...please let this not be porn... After my run in with the boredom and body fluids that was 'The Dirty Triangle', I've started reading into the titles of books I open up in the indie previews file. For all I know, any or all of these things could just be more fapbooks that I'll then have to try and review critically.
'Love Machines'. Okay. Right off. Just like a band-aid.
Okay, so a young Japanese girl with limited resources goes to work at a theme park to pay for college. Since she's the new girl, she gets the worst job of them all, to stand as a helpful attendant at the one attraction nobody cares about, a hall of animatronic versions of history's greatest philosophers; basically Disney's 'Hall of Presidents'. Once there, she finds herself growing more and more attracted to the words and writings of 19th Century thinker Karl Marx, specifically his rallying call for proletariat revolt. So much so, that she begins falling romantically for his robo puppet...
This book is certifiably insane. This book also might be goddamn awesome. I can't quite tell.
It should be mentioned that 'Love Machine' is apparently an anthology series; we will not presumably see the future adventures of these characters as the book's goal is to tell a range of stories that explore the increasingly fused world of people and machines. Now, I'm not sure the book is anywhere near accomplishing any sort of philosophical goal, this ain't 'Ghost in the Shell', but despite its seemingly unattainable ambitions, this book is weirdly well written. It's funny. And not ironically funny because the premise is bizarre, as in there are some written jokes in here that are actually funny. I will admit, I had a bit of a hard time telling where some of the humor ended and what was supposed to be taking seriously, as there is some resolution here that blew my mind, but I was engaged the whole way through on this one. The creativity here is just unique, and I applaud its gonzo ambition. All I know is that writer Josh Trujillo has my attention, and I will definitely be following up on this title.
The art is strong as well, accomplished by manga artist Kawakami Ryo. While occasionally showing some weaknesses here and there, the lines and the zip-a-tone shading are professionally done, indistinguishable in many places from something Shonen Jump would publish. While I haven't read manga seriously in a while, this is one of the sharpest looking indie books I've reviewed so far for 'Bastards'. Credit also to artist Micheal Schisler, who illustrates a short story in the back whose plot I won't spoil for any potential readers.
Flabbergasting in the best possible way. It may be far from perfect, but I've never read anything like it, and goddamn if I don't treasure that feeling.