Interview: Terry Moore on Abstract Studios’ Motor Girl

Motor Girl #1

Motor Girl #1


Terry Moore is well known as the creator of Strangers in Paradise, Echo, and Rachel Rising. Now, he’s introducing us to Samantha in Motor Girl. Moore recently told Westfield’s Roger Ash more about this upcoming series.

Westfield: How did Motor Girl come about?

Terry Moore: I did a drawing in my sketchbook of a girl mechanic with a welder’s hat. I added a gorilla on a motorcycle in the background. It was a nice drawing, so I showed it to my friend Brian Miller. He said that he’d read any comic that had a girl, a gorilla, and a motorcycle in it. I laughed, but it struck me as something I’d like to read, too. So, Motor Girl has been on in my top 3 of stories to do ever since. Now it’s her turn.

Westfield: What can you say about the story?

Moore: A girl runs a junkyard in the desert, her companion is a gorilla, and they’re visited by a UFO. That’s sort of issue one, but there’s more to it. I hate to give spoilers.

Westfield: Why did you decide to make a gorilla part of the cast?

Moore: It’s a gorilla. Why would you NOT want to make him part of the cast? You might as well ask why would you put snakes on a plane.

Actually, there is a very serious reason why the girl hangs with a gorilla. It’s something you learn in the first issue.

Westfield: What can you tell us about the title character, Samantha?

Moore: She is a loner, she is a veteran who did 3 tours of duty, and she is a great mechanic. And I like her a lot.

Westfield: Who are some of the characters  readers will meet meet?

Moore: Sam is working a junkyard in the middle of hot-as-hell Nevada. The yard is owned by an old lady named Libby. Readers of Strangers In Paradise will recognize her—she’s Francine’s aunt and she made several funny appearances in that series. The only other characters you’ll meet in the first issue are the aliens, Bik and Beep. I drew some cartoons called Bik & Beep a few years back. My social media followers may remember them. So even the aliens are familiar characters to me that I have cartooning experience with.

Westfield: Motor Girl looks much lighter in tone than Rachel Rising. Was that intentional?

Moore: Yes. I can’t keep staring down the devil and dreaming about murder. I need to take a break and look at the pretty flowers, pet a dog. To make a series like Rachel Rising, you have to think nonstop about the dark topics. Here’s an example: I was standing in the aisle of a plane last week, waiting for the toilet, and I saw a man sleeping with his head back, mouth open. My thought: “someday—maybe this year—a mortician will sew your mouth shut to keep it closed during your wake. And I can picture it, I can draw it, I know the stitch. And you won’t care because you will be nothing more than a lifeless piece of yellowed meat.”

That’s how you have to think to write Rachel Rising. I’m ready to think about something else for awhile. I have to stop seeing people as an endless supply of victims. It’s time to think about life and love and hope and happiness and gorillas and aliens.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Moore: Don’t judge me? lol.

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Motor Girl #1

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