Friday, July 19, 2013

Monstrology Review

Monstrology is a book all about monsters. There are trolls, goblins, satyrs, demons, and even evil churches. It is not a book really meant to scare you as much as it is meant to highlight the monsters in each story. That isn’t to say that some of the stories aren’t scary, because a few definitely hit that mark, but you probably won’t have trouble turning the lights off when you finish the book. Hit the jump for more!

Edited by: Scott O. Brown and Rachel Deering

As with any anthology, Monstrology is a mixed bag of quality. The book is 112 pages long and contains eight tales of terror, each with a different monster. Some of the writers and artists mesh better than others to create a truly unsettling story, while others feel as though they weren’t on the same page.  In order to give each story some justice, I’m going to give a tiny, almost twitteresque, description to all of them starting… NOW!

Writer and letters – Erica J. Heflin
Art – Elias Martins
Colors – Fares Maese

Stories told by her grandmother come back to haunt a girl and her girlfriend. Goblins, piss-soaked clothes, and weird egg scenes abound. The story is probably my least favorite. The narration and art don’t work and end up being confusing, but the creature designs are creepy.

White Widow
Writer – Charles Webb
Art – Andres Esparza
Colors – Fares Maese
Letters – Scott O. Brown

A haunted house, creepy dead children, and a ghostly woman, these were the ingredients chose to make White Widow. One of the best collaborations in the book, but the ending lost me a bit. I still enjoyed it.

What Fools These Humans Be
Writers – Joey Esposito and Erik Norris
Art – J.C. Grande
Colors – Juan Contares
Letters – Adam Pruett

A musician’s life sucks until she befriends a bum, and then it sucks even more. I enjoyed the story, but the art and colors didn’t seem to mesh well with the tone. The bright colors and style didn’t fit the world.

The View of Mumbichi Valley
Writer – Walt Mancing
Art – Horacio Lalia
Colors – Marcelo Orsi
Letters – April Brown

A post Civil War Confederate family wants to build their house on old Indian land. We all know that never turns out well. The art is rough and unsettling, and the bright color choice does not detract from the scares. Also, that harpy is horrendously creepy.

Troll Behavior
Writer – Andrew Foley
Art – G. Gerald Garcia
Letters – April Brown and Scott O. Brown

An old man spends his life repairing cars and being a good person to find out he has been upsetting trolls for years. This is my favorite story from the book. The double play on the world troll is brilliant and the ending makes for a nice twist. The rough art and dark color scheme makes the world of trolls ominous and dangerous.

Darkest Corners
Writer – Thacher Cleveland
Art – Fernando Cano
Letters – Scott O. Brown

A kid enters the tunnels of Las Vegas to disappear, and he finds that what lurks beneath may be worse than what he is running from. The main character is naïve and charming, which adds to the disturbing factor in the ending. This story also features the most clean line work of the book. In the end, Darkest Corners is another one of the top stories.

Children of Russia
Writer and Letters – Ryan Ferrier
Art – Hugo Petras

On his death bed, a man confesses to a priest the horrors of his life that all began in an orphanage in Russia. Holy hell, this is the only story I found in the book to be completely terrifying. The black and white color scheme mixed with the demonic themes in the story blend into a fear-inducing comic that becomes scarier by the panel.

The Abomination Denomination
Writer and Letters – Scott O. Brown
Art – Amin Amat
Painter – Stu Chaifetz

Men are stubborn to ask for directions, because of this story. When a family gets lost and decides to stop and ask for directions at a church, things go downhill quickly. The family dynamic of this story feels fluid and made it more endearing. The coloring of this story stands out among all of the others because it is painted.  It brings a vivid almost psychedelic feeling to the art. This is definitely the most unique looking tale of the book.

VERDICT - Buy it.

I feel as though horror has a hard time working in comics. The writer and artist have to be completely in sync, because in horror, atmosphere is everything. You can have the most terrifying story, but if the art is colorful and cheerful looking, then the end product isn’t scary. The same can be said the other way around. In the end, Monstrology manages to have just the right amount of scares, and any fan of horror books will fall in love with it.

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