Friday, 14 February 2014

‘Monsters & Other Stories’ – Gustavo Duarte (Dark Horse)

I’m not bad at getting across what I want to say here but, every so often, a book comes along that leaves me scrabbling around for the right words to say how awesome I think it is. More often than not, I fail miserably and end up with a post that can be summed up as “this book is good, duh…”
I’ll warn you now, Gustavo Duarte’s ‘Monsters & Other Stories’ is one of those books and I am going to do my level best to come up with a post that sounds all rational and stuff. It may not pan out like that though so if I don’t make it, tell my family that I love them and then go and get yourself a copy of ‘Monsters’; it’s more than worth it.

In ‘Monsters’, Duarte presents his readers with the eponymously titled ‘Monsters’ (monsters smashing up a city with only an old fisherman to stop them), ‘Cos’ (a farmer deals with the strangest alien abduction I’ve ever seen) and ‘Birds’ (a story of the inevitability of fate). All of these tales are have no dialogue at all but are astonishingly eloquent nonetheless because of the high quality of Duarte’s artwork. We’re talking artwork that is compelling to follow not only because of Duarte’s distinctive style but also because there’s a sly humour always bubbling under the surface that has you chuckling to yourself when you least expect it, even when the horror makes an always welcome appearance. I couldn’t pick a favourite from the three stories if you made me; they are all quirky with a hint of the subversive about them that makes reading ‘Monsters’ a real pleasure. There’s no question about it, this is a collection that I’ll be returning to over and over again.

That artwork though… The best thing here I think is to let it speak for itself, check this out…

Glorious isn’t it? Reading ‘Monsters’ is the best time I’ve had reading a comic book for a long time, get yourself a copy and have some of the same.

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