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I'm Reading Comeeks

I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc.  And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.

Dense Macabre

Gary Gianni's MonsterMen and Other Scary Stories - Gary Gianni, Michael Chabon, Scott Allie

Here we go again with the name before the title, why does it seem like everytime I mention a feeling I've got a connection I've made, the exception to the rule quickly shows itself?


Gary Gianni's MonsterMen & Other Scary Stories, was a far cry from whatshisface's Superannuated man.  The collection had wonderful pen and ink art, the while the characters didn't interact a whole lot (very little background was developed in this collection for any character), the stories were amusing and often completely bizarre.


There's a bit where a guy has a stegosaurus coming out of his head.  Unexplained and only mentioned in passing by Occult Detective Benedict, who has pretty much seen it all.


Benedict himself is an interesting figure, always dressed in black tie and a knights helmet readers never see the face of the mysterious protagonist.  Stories feature raining skulls, demonic forces, yeti, ghosts, vampires and of course, of course, Santa Clause.


Reading this comic is no light endeavor, each page is not only packed with neat details to examine, but tightly packed word bubbles as well.  And the words filling those bubbles.  Often hilarious pulpy prose, that made me want to quote it.


After the comics are done, there are illustrated stories at the end.  Including the truly disturbing story and accompanying un-unseeable illustrations of Mother of Toads by Clark Ashton Smith.  Gianni's illustrations add a lot to each story and I'd highly recommend reading through each story at the end, though it does feel like one's finally reached the end of the dense comic only to find another hours worth of reading ahead.


Gianni has also illustrated many novels, including Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon, who did the introduction to this collection of tales, that should give one some sense of the tone and humor of the piece.  These stories of Benedict and his adventures  accompanied Hellboy, so it's similar in subject matter to HB, but rooted a bit more in the detective side of things and definitely more true to the pulp genre.