Real Life (Motor Girl Volume 1) by Terry Moore. Abstract Studio, 2017. 9781892597632. Contains Motor Girl #1 – #5.
I remember reading Angel & The Ape as a kid. Then Matt Fraction’s The Annotated Mantooth made me laugh aloud. (“What if James Bond was a gorilla and what if Ian Fleming was drunk the whole time he wrote From Russia With Love?”) And now this — Terry Moore, one of my favorite comics creators, writes about another strong woman with beautiful hair (Samantha) and her buddy, a talking gorilla (Mike).
In her three tours of duty, Samantha was captured, held, and beaten in Iraq for almost a year. Her injuries required nine weeks in rehab and a year in the hospital but all is not well. She’s got headaches. She’s given to rants. And she sees things no one else can see, like Mike, and maybe the aliens that are visiting the desert junkyard where she lives. (Or are they real?) Mr. Walden (a rich dude with nefarious plans) just offered Libby (the junkyard’s owner and a crazed version of Estelle Getty’s little old lady character on the Golden Girls) a bunch of money for the yard, but Libby leaves the final decision on the sale to Sam. Aliens visit. Thugs try to force the sale. And Sam shows everyone how tough she is, though her condition may be worse than she wants to admit.
I’ve loved everything Terry Moore has ever written, but I haven’t laughed this hard since Strangers in Paradise: High School.
Full disclosure: Terry once gave me a windup chicken that poops jelly beans, and he told me something like When I saw this I thought of you. So I owe him. But that’s not why I’m talking up this book.