Maker Comics: Fix a Car! – Chris Schweizer

3 out of 5

Well, Schweizer, if you’re not going to give us more Creeps or Crogan, I’ll take what I can get.

Part of a series of DIY, fact-based comics, Maker Comics: Fix a Car! is pretty much what it advertises itself to be: an inside and outside guide to car maintenance and repairs.  The structure is fairly novel: several youths join a “car club,” led by a teacher, to learn the DIY lessons that are passed on to us; while this does often take the format of lectures and diagrams, Chris gives notes of lives beyond the club, with each kid (and their teacher) having fairly realized personalities, as well.  This allows for the lessons to extend to some more general areas of time and responsibility management, and because they’re well wended into the characters’ narratives, they don’t come across as preachy or cheesy.  Schweizer’s lively art, coloring, and lettering are in place, though of course there aren’t many antics or action, here – it’s some comedic beats breaking up process flows of how engines work and etcetera, but he makes sure to shake things up as much as possible within this, taking us to a scrapyard, having it pouring outside at one point, and so on.  The information is informative, and the charts are mostly clear, though it is fairly complex info and so sometimes the ‘start here’ maze of what to do first gets lost.  However, I do think the book very effectively accomplishes what I feel like is its main goal: not to be a manual, necessarily, but to make it clear that this stuff is manageable enough to do on your own, if costs and time make it worthwhile.  That, plus the list of “extras” at books end – reference material, one-page snapshots of systems not covered in the main text – definitely make it a worthwhile read, I’m just knocking it down from a higher rating because I don’t see myself as returning to it again; rather, it’s a book you read on your way to something else, and maybe that something else is a flourished interest in cars.