Chico Comics Page Review: Mechaboys
By: James Kochalka
Published by: Top Shelf Production
Reviewed by: James Kniseley
Mechaboys is a visually appealing adventure with nonsensical story implementation.
The art for this comic is simple, but that does not make it bad. It reminds me of Persepolis in it’s simplistic yet charming visuals. Its approach to visuals is very akin to a Sunday morning comic strip. It fits perfectly with the over the top approach to everything else.
The characters here are over the top to a fault. The tone of each character is always set to 11 and never fluctuates. This style works for serialized comics that don’t take themselves seriously such as Dilbert. But with this comic, it tries to tell a complete story, and this kind of characterization doesn’t work well with that style of narration. It tries to have cute character gags that come out of left field and are intrusive to the story. These types of jokes such as one about the Bechdel test would work if it were not for the linear nature of the story. As such, the characters in that scene feel unnatural. A lot of the jokes come as punch lines that the writer assumes you’ve heard the set up before and can skip to he good part. This causes the humor to falter.
As stated above, the characters come off as way over the top and while there are some good moments between characters here most of the time characters make nonsensical leaps and sudden shifts in their personality to justify some gag that the writer wants to throw in there. It tries to make a personable story by showcasing the nerd characters fighting back against the bullies, but it is not executed correctly. Just about the time you start to get a feel for a character, they will do a 180 and act completely differently from what was presented before.
The story is confusing and has no real flow to it. The motivation of the characters aren’t logical, and all the different gags employed throughout don’t mesh together. Even the ending is a hot mess that is anti-climatic and unclear. You’ll be scratching your head at the end wondering if you missed something.
Should you buy:
Ultimately, the story would have been better suited for a Sunday morning comic approach of short silly adventures within a crazy world, but by trying to build a long-running story with it, the presentation falls flat. If you don’t mind the nonsensical approach then this is worth a read for the strange ride that it takes you on.
I give this a 5/10
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