Saturday, 14 June 2014
Monsters Graphic Novel Review
Graeme Neil Reid
Shane Oakley (Front)
Garen Ewing (Back)
Horror, Comedy, Anthology
The word 'Monster' is one of those words that has been abused by common language. A 'monster edition' and a 'monster sale', are not. the word seems to have been corrupted to mean 'very large'. You can't buy a monster at a 'monster sale' and a 'monster edition' isn't packed with hairy three eyed creatures.
This anthology however collects stories about 'monsters' from the minds of a group of independent UK comic creators.
Some are regulars but as usual we've also managed to get a few new contributors, which is great.
Some of the results are traditional, whilst others play on the humorous side. Some also deal with the much more frightening monsters living amongst us day to day.
As a big Accent UK fan, I was quite eager to started getting some of their older releases so I could compare those with some of their recent titles such as 'WesterNoir' and others. I always knew that they had started out by putting anthologies out there but hadn't read very many of them.
That's when I was very kindly sent a couple of the older ones by the brilliant Shane Chebsey from Scar Comics. I was sent this, 'Pirates' and 'Twelve' but I figured I would get started with this one as, let's face it, who doesn't love a good monster story or two?
One of the things that struck me was the sheer variety on show here. You have some that are funny, some that feel like an old fashioned horror movie and others that deal with some very hard hitting subjects that raise the question of what truly makes a monster.
The real stand out stories for me were 'Darkness' by Jason Cobley and 'Maybe Tonight' by Dave West and Andy Bloor. 'Darkness' by Cobley really deals with a hard hitting story that makes you realise that you don't need to have claws and fangs to be a monster. In fact, it stayed with me long after I had close the book itself and is definitely the strongest story in the collection by far. The art for this one was done by Dave West and really gives the story an uneasy feeling to it that makes it get under your skin. 'Maybe Tonight' written by West and Andy Bloor takes a different route, creating a story that comes across as a bit of an action horror story but leaves you wanting more. You want to get further in to the story and when it ends, you can't help but be a little disappointed because it's well written to the point of it hooks you straight in despite it's short length. Andy Bloor's art is completely different to the art that West provided for 'Darkness' and it's that level of variety that made this collection so good. His art gives the story a sense of urgency and really plays well with using shadows and angles to create a sense of dread.
I will admit that some of the stories and art aren't as successful as others but that's nearly always the case with anthologies of all kinds but for the most part, this is a very good collection and well worth picking up if you can find a copy.