Sunday, January 06, 2008

Giant Monster – A Review

Giant Monster – Trade Paperback – Published by Boom Studios

Writer: Steve Niles Artist Nat Jones 6” x 9” Format $14.99

What a great book. Okay I gave away what I thought about it with sentence #1, but it is just so much fun and outrageous action and adventure that you owe it to yourself to rush out and buy this book or force your store to order it for you.

Steve Niles has the right tone and voice for taking the old time monster movies and comics and makes them become a vehicle for today. The premise is that an astronaut goes into space is attacked by some alien parasite. The parasite and our astronaut merge and as they return to earth they start to eat everything in site and grows into a (and you knew this was coming) giant monster. He crashes in the ocean, comes ashore, eats large quantities of people, snaps his cheating wife’s head off and creates mayhem. The military general has an old Nazi scientist stashed in area 51 who has a giant robot that is sent off to defeat the monster.

I’ve given away way too much of the story, but it is the dialogue and the characters in the book that make it such a wonderful read. Niles has fun with this stuff, but still infuses it with enough drama to keep you reading and enough humor to make you smile.

No let’s talk about the art. Nat Jones was born to drawn monsters. The giant monster and the giant robot are absolutely gorgeous. If we have to have a giant monster attacking and destroying our city, then at least we know it looks like a creepy a** glorious monster if Nat Jones is drawing it. Nat is currently drawing Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer being published by image. Nat has a solid amount of detail, draws action well, and has a medium line with a sketchy feel to it. His people are realistic, but can have a slight exaggeration to them to help convey the mood and feel of his work. I’m still trying to learn how to describe various artists, but Nat is a very good one and his myspace page is here.

This is reprinting Giant Monster #1 and #2, which was apparently two, 48 page comic books that I missed. As a bonus the trade includes Steve Niles script. I enjoyed skim reading the script as it gives me an idea of how much the artist contributes to the actual layouts and choices of how things look. Based on the script Niles, gave Jones a lot of leeway to make the book how he wanted it to look.

A great book and a fun read. This is the way this type of comic should be done. True value for you r entertainment dollar.

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