Friday, October 12, 2007

Monkey Vs. Robot by James Kochalka

In a jungle somewhere, robots are building a mysterious factory...presumably as part of the evil scheme of someone-or-other. Elsewhere in the jungle, a group of monkeys (Tribe? Pack? What is the collective noun for monkeys, anyway?) go about their normal lives.

A robot kills a monkey, a monkey kills a robot. And then the battle is on.

Kochalka is one of the most distinctive and individual voices in modern comics; he manages to do autobiographical pieces that aren't self-indulgent (probably because he does them as a single-page daily diary, which focuses him to look at specifics and keep it short) and also does odder comics. Like this one, which I think was his first book-length project, back in 2000.

Monkey Vs. Robot is a nearly wordless book-length comic, drawn in Kochalka's distinctive thick-lined, loosely-rendered style, in which, yes, monkeys fight robots. That's pretty much the whole plot. There's some vague symbolism (monkeys = nature, robots = technology), but it's clear that this isn't what really interests Kochalka. He just wants to get into the hot monkey-robot action.

And I can definitely appreciate that; this is a fun story, with some unexpectedly poignant moments (on both sides).


"As You Know" Bob said...

What is the collective noun for monkeys, anyway?

It's "troop", isn't it?

Paul D said...

Is this based on the classic internet meme video? From almost 10 years ago, the musical video based on the monkey versus robot premise?

Andrew Wheeler said...

Paul D: It doesn't claim to be based on anything in particular, but Kochalka is also a musician, so...I guess it's possible.

Paul D said...

A quick search shows that the creator of the video was Kochalka.

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