Ulises Fariñas and Erick Freitas are creators I’ve slowly grown to enjoy and downright love. From their fantastic work on Amazing Forest series that was incredibly inventive, to Fariñas’ artwork that’s uniquely detailed and weird (like his work on Star Trek: 50 Artists 50 Years), I can’t stop enjoying the work. We check out his new series at Oni Press and ask the question, is it good?
Motro #1 (Oni Press)
So what’s it about? For the full Oni Press summary just read this:
A reclusive young boy with superhuman strength follows a prophecy from his dead father on a mission to save people, but when he finds the area villagers are less than thrilled by his noble intentions and he faces adversaries both human and magical-mechanical, what will it take to fulfill his destiny? Can his miniature talking motorcycle help? From illustrator and intricate world-builder Ulises Fariñas (IDW’s Judge Dredd), comes the first story in the life and legend of a fantasy hero for the ages.
Why does this book matter?
This series has a fascinating purpose that Fariñas put into words beautifully:
“I think a lot about how we constantly read stories about men punching other men and monsters and creatures for a lifetime, but never really think of the emotional toll that has on a person. Violence isn’t easy, violence isn’t forgettable, and when we are violent, it’s easy to depict a man covered in scars as a shorthand for “TOUGH DUDE”, but that’s simplistic. I’d rather think of a Conan the Barbarian type character, not as an odyssey of perpetuating violence but as a victim of violence.”
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Kid has power man!
This issue opens with a boy who talks to his motorcycle (who speaks via emojis) and is dealing with a lot of emotional pain. His village is attacked by strange tank-loving men (literally) and he must use his powers to stop them. Fariñas does well to capture the frailty and confusion young people go through and it’s interesting to see the character when they’re not in direct confrontation. The story itself reminds me of Paul Pope’s Battling Boy as it tells a tale of a boy with incredible powers and what that is like internally for the character.
The comic is wonderfully weird too–from a square headed character that’s extremely strange, to the idea of tanks speaking via emojis, it’s a strange world you’ll only want to dig deeper into to understand. There’s a lot of pain and anguish in this issue and not just for the heroes, but the villains as well. There’s a deeper meaning underneath it all that draws you in quite well.
The art by Fariñas is great, capturing the scope of a punch or the bitter cold of the winter well. The main character’s frailty bleeds through beautifully via the imagery and there’s a wonderful mix of detail amongst figures that are almost cartoony in nature. The style is some sort of quasi-place in between that gives the art a realistic feel while also one that’s reminiscent of fables.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Much like any title that drops you into a world with few answers, you might find yourself frustratingly confused as to what is going on. A tale like this has a fairy tale feel though which gives it a pass as far as answers and explanations.
Is It Good?
A wonderfully weird and deeply heartfelt tale that drops you into a place you never knew existed, but will only want to learn more about. If you like fables, fairy tales, and stories that feel entirely new, you gotta read this.