Putting Grace Into Grease: Greasy Space Monkeys

One of my favorite webcomics is Greasy Space Monkeys, by Reine Brand, with the help of her mysterious editor Mark Kestler (who may be a robot or AI program, but who I hope is a human).

The premise – our Big Damn Heroes, Nathan and Caspar, are actually under-appreciated maintenance workers on a run-down space station – looks like it will make for some nice low-maintenance throw-away humour, but not for sophistication, satire, emotion, eloquence, or superb storytelling. Guess what?

It is true that there are many one-off jokes that are not the most graceful, and often even outright gross.

But many jokes are on the theme of robots vs. humans, and those are connected, and even quite deep, sometimes.

There’s also something for the aficionados of fighting in space, and it’s done with wonderful visuals, which is all the more astonishing given the strip style format of the comic.

And there’s also some romantic tension to be found, which is, IMHO, done so well that I’m dead serious in calling Greasy Space Monkeys my favorite romantic comedy.

But the most awesome thing about this comic is that there are several storylines, of different length, often intertwined, and typically also with tie-ins from the trow-away jokes.

But before I discuss these storylines, I admonish you to check out and read Greasy Space Monkeys first, because there will be spoilers.

Now, if you are back, or if you don’t mind the SPOILERS AHEAD, click for more, read on, and discuss (that’s what the comments are for, duh).

One of the titular heroes, Nathan, has disrespect not only for all forms of authority, but also for any basic considerations of safety. This is first established in cheap jokes, but later comes back to bite him in the *ss in interesting storylines.

Despite this, Nathan gets romantically involved with the most badass and – it has to be said even if it may be sexist – most attractive female commanding officer ever. Or at least for a long time! (And of course disregarding the movie The Martian, which I haven’t seen yet.)

But maybe his attitude problem and lack of discipline is rather an advantage?

But there’s also a similarly competent and – bear with me – attractive female transport pilot, so there’s room for real or imagined romantic shenanigans.

The largest and greatest and most intriguing storyline yet starts when Nathan and Caspar are sent to, and abandoned on, a derelict space station, to fetch some important spare part.

Their mission leads to an outcome that could be called inevitable. But when the worst break-up ever is just about to happen, the transport pilot saves the day and acquires herself two beer slaves until further notice.

How the space station is annihilated just after Nathan and Casper are saved is depicted in a
truly awesome page that I didn’t think was even possible in a strip format comic.

This storyline ends on a low note, but hilarious, with an example of Captaining Under The Influence.

Now, what do you think about Greasy Space Monkeys? Tell us in the comments!



  1. Hi !

    What can I say about GSM ? Heck well, since I discovered it, a year or two or more ago, I fall in love with it.
    It’s truly awesome !
    There’s all the things I love : robots who wants to conquer the world, hideous xenos, sexy captains and pilots, nice spaceships, cold directors, funny guys and lame jokes !

    I really crave for GSM ❤
    Thank you for the review awesomely cool, I loved the words liking to actual strips !


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