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Monkeybrain Monday Review: “Art Monster” # 1

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While Monkeybrain comics may not specialize in horror, they do specialize in quality comic books. For those of you looking to expand your palette this is “Monkeybrain Monday” showcasing some of the digital titles this smaller publisher has to offer.

Jeremy Holt is about to become a household name with numerous exciting projects in development. “Art Monster” is one of the few horror books the publisher offers. So naturally it’s the perfect fit for today’s feature. The story follows Victor Stein, a listless art college student who has been lost in his educational institution for seven years. Through a macabre voiceover Victor ponders the question of artistic innovation to ghastly results.


WRITTEN BY: Jeremy Holt
ART BY: Francesa Ciregia
PUBLISHER: Monkeybrain Comics
PRICE: $0.99
GET IT HERE: http://www.monkeybraincomics.com/

Anyone who has been to art school knows the place is filled with weird people. This strange place gathers a society pulled from different houses of inspiration. The effect can be alienating for those who don’t have it all figured out. Which is exactly Victor’s problem. He ponders the line of innovation: the difference between not going far enough and going too far.

This is all brought to life by a grim voiceover that amounts to a very telling analysis of the artistic process. Brought to life by Francesa Ciregia’s dark and bold art. Contrast is this black and white books best friend. The blacks motivate most panels and special attention is paid to shadows. They are often closing in on the subject of a frame and create a claustrophobic look that adds to the vulnerability of the narrative.

Naturally the reason Holt ponders the question of going too far is so he can take Victor into a dark place with a moral high ground. It’s the type of excellent character premise that fueled stories like “Re-Animator.” To push the boundaries, to try something different, to enrich the medium we must break down taboos.

There is an assortment of supporting players who briefly introduce themselves in this debut. Holt takes the little time he has to suggest who they are and how they will ultimately influence Victor.

While the book only ponders this question the real disgusting stuff has yet to come. The hints of the horrific art on the horizon are enough to fuel this exciting read. For anyone who has even been lost as an “artist” or has contemplating how to contribute to the ever-expanding canvas of art history than this book will surely resonate with you. It’s a wonderfully written look into being lost in art brought to life in a dark and brooding style.

Rating: 3.5/5 Skulls.