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Motel Art Improvement Service

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  197 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
From Jason Little, author of the Ignatz Award-winning Shutterbug Follies, comes another exciting "bubblegum noir" graphic novel, originally serialized in the acclaimed webcomic Bee!
Eighteen-year-old Bee has finally saved up 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.
Hardcover, 205 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Dark Horse Originals (first published December 14th 2010)
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Sam Quixote
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It’s the start of the summer and Bee, an 18 year old Mahattanite, is riding her bicycle to San Francisco for the adventure of a lifetime - and to lose her virginity along the way! After an unfortunate accident, Bee winds up at the Green Pine Inn where she meets Cyrus, an artist who uses his cleaning job to sneak mundane motel paintings to his room and alter them before putting them back. Together they set out to make motel art everywhere more interesting. But Cyrus’ unfortunate pill habit gets t ...more
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yummy totally delicious candy comic book.

Eighteen year old intrepid Bee has decided to bike her way across the continental United States. When she finds herself waylaid in a roadside motel, she encounters a dude who enjoys altering motel art. Many hijinks ensue.

Bee reminds me of Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy, but this is that archetype VERY grown-up. Be not deceived by the approachable and friendly illustration style (or young protagonist) - there is a LOT of adult content in this story. Relat
David Schaafsma
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brightly colored, fun, takes a surprising turn from a story of a girl on a road trip who cleans motel rooms who takes it upon himself to replace the art with better stuff… to a drug intrigue (but still lighthearted) story… Bee, the main character, is pretty darned likeable. A fun romp, very entertaining.
Kate Sherrod
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 ca
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not my usual form of graphic novel, but I've dipped into this sort of tale before, most notably with Ghost World.

I thoroughly enjoyed the quirkiness of the story as well as the clarity of the art. It seems more and more these days comic book creators feel the need to be all experimental and fancy with their page design. It's refreshing to see art that is unselfconscious. By rendering the story this way, Little makes the art unobtrusive, so it serves the story rather than hindering it.

As to the s
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a well-crafted graphic novel--multiple storylines come together and chaos ensues. It's funny and action-packed. I thought it was a bit weird that Bee was so trusting of a complete stranger and seems to acquire a job as if by magic...but what ever. Minor technicalities I guess.

Jason Little also knows how to create pretty darn sexy (and simultaneously cute) sex scenes.

While reading I realized that I'd seen some of Jason's work in a gallery that was showing work
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Eighteen-year-old Bee-Jin sets out on a bicycle ride from NYC to San Francisco, but she does not get very far into her journey before an unexpected event strands her in an unfamiliar town. A chain of circumstances leads her into a side journey as well as a relationship with a 26-year-old artist who surreptiously replaces motel-room artwork with his own, all while working in housekeeping. Once he has replaced every piece in a motel, he considers his project complete and moves onto his next motel ...more
Artur Coelho
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Uma adolescente sofre um percalço na aventura de atravessar os estados unidos de bicicleta e conhece um artista reclusivo, viciado em experiências com químicos e que depois de uma carreira nos píncaros do mundo artístico se dedica a um conceito totalmente inesperado: reinventar os quadros banais que pululam nas paredes anónimas dos hotéis com pormenores surrealistas. Há também um negócio de drogas que corre mal à mistura, mas o foco mais interessante desta história narrada num traço clássico de ...more
Brittany M.
Read a friend's copy of this while she napped. Though wary of young women's coming of age stories as written by 40-year-old white men (can't help it), I enjoyed it. It had it's flaws: What was up with the part where Bee fake "slanted" her eyes to illustrate that she was a Chinese-Jewish American/"a walking ethnic joke"? Or the desperate-to-lose-my-virginity trope? I liked the style, however, and I did appreciate the end.
Dave Riley
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, humour-satire
Charming. Beautifully drawn with a superb knack for capturing movement. And the framed perspectives are always interesting. Many pratfalls -- all well conceived and depicted.. Really, a gem. Lead character -- is engaging. In its way it updates the sort of visual comedy of Tin Tin. Comedy of errors stuff. Gotta get myself more of Jason Little.
Sandra Valentine
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this graphic novel. It reminded me a lot of Ghost World in its style and wit. The characters are great and it is a story of a spontaneous adventure that includes love, sex, travel and ingenious art. A must read for all young people. Would make a great gift for an artist and/or traveler. I loved it. The ending is a little unexpected in a way but it truly does fit the story.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Sweet and unpredictable, Bee's journal is a tightly-wrapped package containing elements of sexual awakening, biking adventure, joe jobs, uncommon lifestyle choices, consideration of the role of art, and some thrilling twists. And chase scenes! Light reading and very precise, carefully styled art make this a particularly attractive book.
Tate Ryan
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tate by: Graphic Novel fans
Shelves: graphic-novels
What a surprisingly enjoyable read this was. Very classic comic art and a unique and entertaining coming of age story line. Some very adult sexy scenes and drug taking included but credit to the author for not over doing it and avoiding making those the focus of the story. I would like to see what other adventures 'Bee' gets up to in the future.
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A fun read with three/four story lines that twist and turn around each other in a sometimes raunchy, page-turning graphic novel. If you prefer gentler reads, this is probably not for you, as there are gratuitous amounts of drug use, nudity, and adult situations.
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trades-read
This starts out like a typical indie comic where a quirky hipster girl sets out to find herself by setting out to ride her bike cross country, but spirals into this Big Trouble-esque comedy of errors. Really cute story, with nice vibrart art, and some really nice character moments.
Oct 10, 2011 added it
Shelves: graphic, wordstock, 2011
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.
Sasha Boersma
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Really enjoyed this considering how many of the last few random pick-ups from the library have been dawdling autobiographies of sorts. All fiction! Great story and images. Very quirky little slice of life.
John Green
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fun book to kill time with. I found the artwork clean, flowing and the wording was fine. Some parts of Bee came off a little bit like a stalker to me in the first few pages of the book, other than that fun comic to read.
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Great artwork and nice, balanced narrative.
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, graphic-novel
Jason Little's art is cute — even his graphic sex scenes have an adorability to them. I wasn't a big fan of Bee's love interest here, which made me like the book less than I might have otherwise.
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fun quick read. I liked how the characters each had their independent goals, and it was nice to see a romance-plot that wasn't HEA.
Antonis Lamnatos
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Fun little story with a nice heroine, vibrant drawings and an interesting layout approach.
Dec 10, 2010 marked it as to-read
Very fun title.
Jun 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011, graphic-novels
everything was going fine what with the spunky heroine and Ghost World-style "quirk," but then cavalier treatment of sex workers soured me on this one.
Ryan McArthur
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pretty good, read this book because of "Shutterbug Follies".
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Lovely and funny. Can't get enough Bee!
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic
Cute. It gets and extra star because it wrapped up better than expected. Satisfying endings are so hard to come by.
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Starts off a little slow but quickly unfolds into a charming and thrilling dramedy with unique characters and interesting heart
Fabian Hebestreit
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this, it feels like a quirky Indie movie. It just uses the term "Meanwhile" way too often, to the point where it actively annoyed me.
Jean-Philippe Gaudette
Divertissant, mais rien de révolutionnaire ou de particulièrement mémorable.
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