1995: Grease Monkey

Grease Monkey (1995) #1-2 by Tim Eldred

Eldred says he created this series out of disgust? Well, that’s new. And then we get a Star Trek-referencing summation of this universe… and… that seems like a pretty odd and off-putting way to start a series.

Well, Eldred sure is a fan of Steve Rude, but he doesn’t really have his chops — the faces aren’t bad or anything, but they’re not as attractive as Rude’s. And… the storytelling is slightly weird? Is he going for a Japanese comics thing with all the angles?

It’s printed on newsprint, and it’s colour, and by the mid-90s, that was a weird combination.

The entire opening text seems really superfluous: It’s a gorilla mechanic and his apprentice on a space ship. What mare do you need to know?

The two issues feature a bunch of shorter stories of varying lengths, which also doesn’t seem like an ideal way to introduce a series. But perhaps this is a reprint of appearances from anthologies or something?

Well, scary dentist is a good concept, but the spaceship seems oddly devoid of characters. That is, we’re only introduced to a handful, and only two of them have much character.

Eldred explains that his disgust was with “mean” comics, and he wants to do something more lighthearted. But! Then we come to the real impetus for this odd series: He’s heard that Kitchen Sink can hook him up with Hollywood producers (since they have Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, and are owned by the Hollywood-based Ocean Group), so the point of this comic book is to have something to show investors!

Things become clearer.

It seems like Eldred had previously been a one man Anime-a-like comics producer? That’s a lot of books.

The second issue continues like the first — it’s almost like we get a sample of what an animated series based on this book could be like, from sassy barroom brawls…

… to comedic hi-jinx in space… that makes no sense what-so-ever — they’re not in a war, they’re just training, so why not just abort the manoeuvre instead of risking they most valuable person on the station this way?

And things get even clearer here — this may not only be a Hollywood pitch, but is an ad for the idea of publishing your books via Kitchen Sink so that Hollywood producers can pick up the series.

It’s not just mercenary, it’s meta-mercenary: The series itself is an ad for publishing comics as ads for adaptation.

He’s done several more pitches, and apparently published a novel, and continued the comic series.

Doesn’t look like anybody’s biting in Hollywood.

This is the one hundred and eighty-eighth post in the Entire Kitchen Sink blog series.

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