Sunday, 10 April 2011

Review - Mo-Bot High: Book One

I am not the target market for this book. I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't know the creator Neill Cameron - not personally, I just remember fondly his work from the UK small press scene in the 90s and was pleased to see him make the leap to the professional leagues.

So if the target market isn't 39 year-old losers who've been reading comics all their lives... that in itself marks it out from most comics being published these days. Every now and then you'll hear some old comics fogey bemoaning the fact that "nobody makes comics for kids anymore"... and next time you do, point them towards Mo-Bot High.

Because if I had a 10 year old son or daughter and I wanted to show them how cool comics can be... this is the book I'd give them. Its premise - a school where the kids take part in giant robot battles controlled by their mobile phones while their teachers remain blusteringly ignorant - speaks to the inner 10 year in us all without once talking down to them. For adults who grew up watching Grange Hill, you'll warm to the scenes of flying bananas in the cafeteria, but there's also enough giant robot smashing action to keep even the most attention-deficient pre-teens interested. As if creating a comic for kids wasn't enough of a challenge, Neill has pitched Mo-Bot High at girls, making them the heroes of his adventure (he wittily explains that the unimaginative boys spend all their time playing Mo-Bot football). That's not to say lads won't enjoy the book - I wasn't put off by stories with girls as the central characters when I was a kid... as long as there was plenty of action and excitement and they didn't spend all their time talking about ponies.

Mo-Bot High is tons of colourful fun for readers of all ages, but I'd recommend it particularly if you're looking for a comic to interest your own kids, young nephews, nieces etc. We do need to encourage the next generation of comic readers if the medium is going to survive beyond ourselves... and Neill Cameron's book is surely at the forefront of this worthy campaign.

The Book Depository are selling Mo-Bot High for a very reasonable £7.94, which is a quid cheaper than Amazon. Buy a copy for a young person you know.


  1. Good review, Rol. i have these strips from the DFC and it's great fun.

  2. AND Neill's a really lovely man. As if being really talented wasn't sickening enough on its own...