Thursday, June 12, 2008

Advance Monster Action

I've gotten my hands on an advance copy of Geoff Grogan's new oversize collage comic, Look Out! Monsters, due in stores in September. The narrative is launched by a bracketing historicist device--a trait in common with Grogan's Nice Work--a bomb dropped by a World War One biplane that gives birth to Frankenstein. That's not a Frankenstein, as in a metaphorical monster, but rather Boris Karloff in full makeup, who goes on to terrorize the trenches and commune with a gargoyle downspout.

The collages are built on top of New York Daily News tabloid pages, with selective bits of text left to peek out. Things progress from the first World War to what some have (unpersuasively) called the third, the inciting action of which involves two other airplanes. Shards of the Twin Towers are interspersed with some adventures with postmodern benday dots and found comic text.

The references are all accessible and clear. At once goofy and potent. The grayscale inkwashes of the Frankenstein sections are the strongest, for my money. The later sections are intriguing, but not as well resolved.

Monsters has been supported with a Xeric grant.

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