Monster Massacre is simple to break down really; it’s an anthology of monster stories. Each tale has some kind of monster that it’s dealing with and that’s why is awesome. There are ton of theme anthologies out there, but it’s rare to get a monster one that isn’t just a horror anthology in disguise. I’m going to talk about a few of the stories since spoiling the entire hardcover would really suck and not be fun to read or write. With that said, here are some of my favorites. Off the bat “Monster Puncher” was a standout story. It’s created by Andy Kuhn and follows the story of Ira Gershwin… a monster puncher. He arrives in a town in Mississippi that’s had monster sightings and offers to take care of the beast. He gets into a huge brawl with the creature, but the twist ending is where the coolness is. Kuhn’s style is great for the story. He captures the era and yet has a modern style. I really enjoyed the black, white and red coloring of the story and just his style in general.
The next tale I enjoyed quite a bit was from Ron Marz and Tom Raney called “Pair of Rogues”. Why they haven’t turned this world into a mini or ongoing is beyond me because it was very cool and interesting. Two men are being led into the forest by another man who is promising a night of passion with a Maiden of the Light Kingdom. That’s all I can say since the story gets even more interesting from that point on. Marz does a great job of building a world in just a few pages and giving our characters personality and history. Raney creates a wonderful world that looks alive. You get the attitude of the characters instantly from their expressions and actions which quickly develops the world as well.
I don’t want to tell you everything about the Sharky! story, but it does take place after the events in the first volume. It’s very cool and while you don’t need to have read Sharky vol. 1 to appreciate it, it is better if you have. Horley uses his painted art style for the entire story which really makes this tale stand out. It’s gorgeous looking for sure.
The last story I’m going to talk about is “Little Monsters” from Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, is about an incredibly strange word filled with creatures. They’re all types of unusual looking people, but that’s the norm so no one thinks twice. One day Wavy Davy Dali a boy with a mustache and hair that resembles a lit match and Tiny Tom Fish Head… a boy with a fish for a head (tail and all) are out playing. They come across a normal looking little boy who claims to be a monster. He tells them how great it is and that no one cares about what he does. The boys decide they want to be monsters as well and so he shows Wavy Davy and Tiny Tom how to be monsters. The thing that makes this story so fantastic is the art. The art is that of a story book. It’s incredibly detailed and stylized, but has this beautiful water coloring look to it. Just looking at it you would never imagine the dark and twisted story that it was a part of. The narration is also like a storybook, but again it takes a dark and twisted turn. It was my favorite story of volume and a prelude to a bigger tale that I now want to track down.
There are a ton of other stories to check out, but as I said there are too many to recap and that would suck to read anyways. If you love monster stories and want true monster stories then check out this hardcover. It’s a great anthology that offers something very different from most other anthologies being published and that’s why it’s good.
Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Atomeka and Titan Comics Price: $22.99 Release Date: 9/18/13