Here’s your brief intro to Monsters!, a collection of three short stories by Brazilian writer/artist Gustavo Duarte. It comes out today! I should mention that this is Duarte’s debut publication with Dark Horse Comics, and incidentally his debut in English print…but as Monsters! is a wordless collection of short stories, the “in English” part is pretty much irrelevant.
This collection is one of whimsy. With darkly comedic plots and art reminiscent of Disney’s Rikki Tikki Tavi, these stories really are charming. Starting at the top…
Co! tells of the booze-fueled nightmares of a drunkard. It’s not clear whether the goings-on of the story are dreams or reality, but that trip in the UFO across the Great Divide (to a striped, wormy grim reaper, no less) really puts the poor sap through his paces. Oh well, he’s probably fine. It’s amusing, trippy and definitely stands out from the others in the collection. Then again, they all do that.
A visit from Death brings this yarn full circle. This is the story of a couple of
guys birds at work who make a grisly discovery (a corpse of course). Matters worsen when the Grim Reaper shows up at the office door…seeing a theme here? The two panic, stash the body and try to escape…only to pay the toll themselves.
This is a fish story in every sense of the term, and it’s easily my favorite of the collection. A seaside town is invaded by giant creatures from the sea. I’d call them Kaiju, but the title of the story is not Kaiju–it’s Monsters! Disaster ensues until an old-timer takes initiative, and something tells me this isn’t his first rodeo. Monsters! is genuinely a cool short story, and, I hate to say “cute” but it is. And charming. And funny.
This collection is worth checking out for the last one alone, but the others make it a journey too, and certainly no quick, forgettable read. Check out Monsters! today at your friendly local nerd store.
Images from Dark Horse Comics.