Review: Remake


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There are so many things to love about Lamar AbramsRemake (AdHouse Books, 2009).

First of all, I think AdHouse should sell subscriptions. I am biased (because Richmond!) but AdHouse is without a doubt one of the most interesting comic publishers out there. It’s a delightfully discriminating publisher, and one that doesn’t really have a particular aesthetic (except for “good”). I am still really sad I never quite got it together to buy Project: Superior.

Part of what I love about AdHouse is how the design of the books suits the content. Remake is a fun, compact little book that evokes manga digests.

And Remake itself also evokes manga. Max Guy, our robot protagonist, recalls Mega Man and Astroboy. The overall aesthetic is pretty immature — there’s a few gross-out jokes — but it’s still all pretty innocent and charming.

Max Guy fights various supervillians, although he’s pretty bad at it, and is mostly interested in playing video games and eating sugary cereal. He’s pretty much self-centered, but in a childlike way. His roommate, Cardigan, puts up with him for some reason, as does the waitress at his favorite restaurant.

Abrams has a good understanding for the language of comics as well as video games. Much of the humor here is slapsticky and ridiculous, but it’s all pretty delightful. There is a silliness to this book as if Abrams is just making it up as he goes. For instance, Max Guy’s battle with Cy-Baby transitions into them getting ice cream together. And then the cat that Max Guy creates after vomiting from eating a reasonable amount of Marshmallow Kitties (yes, it’s that kind of comic) resists attempts to learn tricks but ends up frying Max Guy some eggs.

Abrams’ art is obviously fueled by a lot of giant robot anime series and episodes of Power Rangers and late ’80s to early ’90s video games. It’s playful, animated and goofy.

While I’m currently without Cartoon Network, I think a series of this would find a happy home there (and be better than a lot of what is on there now). I am thrilled to see that there will be the Remake Special from AdHouse in a few months.

(Full disclosure: Lamar Abrams is local — and I do love that he slipped in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of DC into this comic — and I have met him a couple of times. His comic is still awesome, though, and I’d think so even if I hadn’t met him.)

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