Friday, 17 October 2014

Motel Art Improvement Service by Jason Little Review


It’s the start of the summer and Bee, an 18 year old Mahattanite, is riding her bicycle to San Francisco for the adventure of a lifetime - and to lose her virginity along the way! After an unfortunate accident, Bee winds up at the Green Pine Inn where she meets Cyrus, an artist who uses his cleaning job to sneak mundane motel paintings to his room and alter them before putting them back. Together they set out to make motel art everywhere more interesting. But Cyrus’ unfortunate pill habit gets them into scrape with many colourful characters - the things artists do for the sake of their art eh?

I picked up Motel Art Improvement Service on a whim because I really liked the art so I was delighted that Jason Little’s book turned out to be a revelation! It starts slowly with Bee coming across as kind of a hipster before Little starts adding intriguing elements like the mysterious Cyrus and the various plot threads that eventually mix together perfectly toward the end. I was totally committed long before that though.

Little’s character work on Bee is top-notch and she comes across as a fully-realised character with a charming personality while her relationship with Cyrus is completely believable and well-written. As good as the writing and storytelling is, the artwork is the star of this book. Little’s style has a lot in common with Herge and his clear line approach, as well as the adventure/mystery tone of the story. The book reads like a Tintin tale minus Snowy plus a lot of sex and drugs - an awesome combination when done this well! 

This book is a strange, quirky tale of art and artistic intentions with the likeable Bee caught in the midst of it all. I was totally immersed in it from start to finish and really enjoyed it. I highly recommend Motel Art Improvement Service for comics readers looking for an original graphic novel with great art and a fun storyline featuring a wonderful heroine.

Motel Art Improvement Service

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