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Motel Art Improvement Service GN by Jason…
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Motel Art Improvement Service GN

by Jason Little

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Motel Art Improvement Service is about as charmingly goofy a graphic novel as anyone could ask for, by turns cutely raunchy and archly clever as it tells the story of Bee, an 18-year-old whose cross-country bike journey has been cut unexpectedly short, and Cyrus, a renegade artist who travels the country in his own weird way.

The title comes from Cyrus's habit of stealing motel art from wherever he happens to be working as housekeeper that week and embellishing it as only an art school hipster can; a showgirl advertising Atlantic City is suddenly a little old lady in pasties, a sickeningly bucolic farm scene suddenly depicts a shunned hitchhiker as well. He also has a habit of helping himself to 10% of whatever pharmaceuticals he finds in the guests' belongings as he cleans the room -- and it is this habit, rather than the art thing, that drives the plot, which is tight and tense and funny as hell.

This is not a book for the young'uns or the puritanical, mind you. Bee and Cyrus take a lot of drugs and have a lot of adorably explicit cartoon sex as they make their way through this offbeat little story. The art is bright and colorful and the character designs are very appealing; Bee is no standard-issue pneumatic comic book bombshell but seems like a real girl with a bigger butt (when getting uniforms she says she needs a size 10 shirt and size 4 top), and Cyrus is just a tall, rangy, lanky dude, but, like real people should and do, they just work with what they have and are trying to find ways to be happy. And as an aid in that endless quest, Motel Art Improvement Service is rather a good one. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
Love this graphic novel. The heroine is nerdy, fashion-challenged and pear-shaped and yet she's athletic, and finds love (or at least sex) and adventure! The art is fun, and the story line is original and funny. There is no adolescent angst at all.
  mulliner | Oct 23, 2011 |
"Motel Art Improvement Service" tells of Bee's wild journey across motels in the US, and about how she winds up romantically with a strange man as they go about on motel heists.

The art is rich with color and detail and the story moves along at a good pace. The plot is a bit thin and, unfortunately, devolves into slapstick towards the end. ( )
  jasonli | Jul 26, 2011 |
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"Eighteen-year-old Bee has finally saved enough to embark on her long-planned cross-country bicycle trip. However, she doesn't make it very far before disaster leaves her stranded at a motel. Her hormones surge when she meets a misunderstood young artist on a mission to 'upgrade' the banal artwork that hangs on the walls of every motel room. Taking a job there as a housekeeper, Bee snoops around in the motel's dirty laundry and finds herself entangled in a scary drug deal gone dangerously wrong."--Publisher description.… (more)

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