Thursday, July 10, 2014


Remake stars Max Guy, a robot boy who is a cross between Mega Man and Astro Boy. He loves bread pudding and Marshmallow Kitties cereal. He has a robot roommate named Cardigan. One of his friends is a boy made of magma and another is Sick Rick, who is covered with mucus. Max is trying to fit into the rest of the world and live his life, but many things complicate matters. Like the villainous King of Stretching. And a giant cat monster made of vomit. And Cy-Baby, a destructive robot baby that tricks women into taking care of him and being his mommy. Luckily, Max has a Max Blaster which can do all kinds of things, like shoot bananas or turn a dog into a fashionable pair of shoes.
Exhibit A
This book is weirdly funny but not overly cloying, mostly because Max is a tumultuous kind of kid. Sometimes he is kind and friendly and others he is surly and jerkish. The dash of acid is welcome in this narrative concoction, especially because the art is so sweet and playful. The episodes contained in this volume often end abruptly, which opens up possibilities for future storytelling and emphasizes just how kooky and fun these situations are. Overall, I enjoy the lack of satisfying resolutions, because it makes Max Guy's adventures as compelling as they are difficult to predict.
Exhibit B
Lamar Abrams is the writer/artist behind this bunch of surreal silliness, which originally was published as mini-comics. He has a couple of sequels to this book, including a Special and a compilation called 3xtra. He speaks about his work on Remake in this interview.

All of the reviews I read about this book have been positive. Dustin Harbin called it the "bomb-diggety" and went on to write, "I have found myself looking at this book again and again–there’s something really effortless and engaging about Lamar’s comics, as if he’s channeling the kind of silly comics you’d make when you were 8, but employing man-sized talents to those comics." Heather stated, "I appreciate the light hearted  nature of Abrams' art and storytelling. Max Guy is a robot I would want to hang out with to see what trouble he's going to get himself into next." Comicsgirl offered her opinion that "much of the humor here is slapsticky and ridiculous, but it’s all pretty delightful."

Remake was published by AdHouse Books, who provide a preview and more here. There is a smattering of swearing (nothing worse than found in a typical YA book), which means that I suggest an adult preview the book before giving it to younger readers.

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