Sometimes I pick up random books at the library and give them a read, because why not? One day I picked up a huge car manual called Bad Machinery, and it turned out to be a comic about six British kids making quips for a hundred or so pages. Brilliant!
The reason I picked this one up is probably because of the art style. It’s just the right level of detail for the sort of tone the story is going for, I think. Clean and simple, but not boring to look at. The character designs are distinct and their facial expressions amusing. Also, the characters wear a variety of outfits, which is nice. They are all more stylish than I will ever be.
How about the story itself? Well, apparently this is a compilation of comic strips from a webcomic, though I only discovered that after going through this volume. In hindsight this makes a lot of sense! This comic is pretty jolting, as it constantly jumps from one thing to the next with little in the way of transitions. (This happens. And then this happens! MEANWHILE. And also, this. Next up, THIS! And this too.) To some degree it worked okay though, because the style of humor is also quite quirky and random. And British. This comic is exceptionally British!
All in all, Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit makes for a fun little romp thanks to its amusing character interactions. The two trios solve a mystery in which the local football team (soccer team, for you YANKS) seems to be cursed by a ghost somehow. Get it, team spirit? Overall this wasn’t the kind of story that elicited laugh-out-louds, but sensible chuckles were most certainly present. It’s just good enough that I’ll probably pick up the next volume, should the library ever order it.
Or, I don’t know, maybe I should just go to the website and read it there? Damn, this internet thing though. Not sure if I’ll ever get the hang of it. But maybe you will? Here’s a link to the first comic, to get you started and on your way. Let me know how it goes, okay?
- I liked the artwork
- Interesting sort of tone, in which weird stuff happens and everyone just rolls with it
- Some fun to be had if you’re in the mood for kids constantly making wisecracks at each other, because that’s what Bad Machinery is
- It’s all just wonderfully British, all right?
- Hold the phone, these kids are twelve? Holy crap, I thought they were at least like, seventeen or eighteen… SIGH…
(tears down poster of Charlotte)
- No seriously, the dialogue for this… these kids are incredibly witty for middle schoolers — just roll with it, I guess
- Really sparse plot, and not much in the way of character development… Guess that’s okay though? There’s apparently several more volumes of this already
It’s a bit different, but it’s not bad! Give it a shot, why don’tcha?