Thursday, August 27, 2015

Monstrosity & Monstrosity II

Independent graphic novel publisher Alterna Comics produced two volumes of a horror / sci-fi anthology called Monstrosity in 2013/14. Overall, the short monster-themed comic tales are funny and engaging, with some stunning artwork. What's even better is that most of the content was created by indie Canadian writers and artists--including Attila Adorjany, Sanya Anwar, Jordyn Bochon, J.Bone, Rodrigo Bravo, Dylan Burnett, James Edward Clark, Jason Copland, David J. Cutler, Ian Daffern, Matthew Daley, Anthony Del Col, Alex Diochon, Brian Evinou, Toma Feizo Gas, Ryan Ferrier, Adam Gorham, Keith Grachow, Max Haig, Brice Hall, Shane Heron, Fred Kennedy, Eric Kim, John Lang, Marvin Law, Ricky Lima, Jason Loo, Nimit Malavia, Cory McCallum, Brian McLachlan, C.M. Morgado, Jeff Moss, Sam Noir, Gibson Quarter, Katie Shanahan, James Stokoe, Noel Tuazon, James Turner, Kris Waddell, and Michael Walsh. Whew! That was quite the roll call.

Described as an "homage to the monster movies and comics we loved as kids," both collections feature horror and science fiction stories often told through a comedic lens, and were edited by Phil McClorey and Brian Evinou (who also contributed work). I picked up my copies at The Beguiling in Toronto, and after having read them several times cover-to-cover, I can't recommend them highly enough! So be sure to support this great collection of work from Canadian writers and artists. See if your local comic book shop can get them in, or order copies directly from Alterna Comics (or other online sources).

Monstrosity cover art by James Edward Clark

Monstrosity

BOOM! The earth trembled and shook as 20 monstrous tales emerged from the depths! Action, adventure, mayhem, monsters, and over 30 ferocious small press creators lurk within the pages of Monstrosity!

ISBN: 1934985333 / 978-1934985335
Purchase from Amazon.com





There are many quirky stories here, and some of my personal favourites include "Junk Food" by Fabian Rangel, Jr. and Austin Rogers. This tale features Jack Manzo, a mutton-chopped slab of testosterone who stops at a fast food joint en route to Texas, where he's going to hunt werewolves. He makes the mistake of ordering the biggest, baddest burger from Frankenburger--which is the home of, well, the monster burger! (This guy needs his own series.)

Detail from "Junk Food" by Fabian Rangel, Jr. and Austin Rogers

Another fun story is "The Boggart" by James Turner and Noel Tuazon, an office horror/comedy where the interns are a disposable commodity--and only one employee knows the real truth behind why they're going missing.

Detail from "The Boggart" by James Turner and Noel Tuazon

Both volumes also include a selection of pin-up art, and here's some nice work from Keith Grachow:

"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Keith Grachow


Monstrosity II cover art by James Stokoe
Monstrosity II

Featuring 25 monster-filled science-fiction adventures, this second volume of the Monstrosity series is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. From indestructible robot hordes to dimension-hopping serial killers, the stories in Monstrosity bring to life the horrifying imaginations of their creators!

ISBN: 1934985414/ 978-1934985410
Purchase from Amazon.com



This second volume is about 40 pages longer than the first, so it offers even more cool stories. One of my favourites is "Rex Banning" by Conor McCreery and Jorge Santiago, an eponymous story about a sarcastic lawyer who takes on a rather hellish client. (Another guy that needs his own series!)

Detail from "Rex Banning" by Conor McCreery and Jorge Santiago

There's also "The Cold...of Death" by James Turner and Noel Turzon, where one of the strangest viruses you've ever seen makes its way through the crew of a space station. This story features a Ripley-inspired character named Jill, who's the only voice of reason among this ship of fools. (She needs her own series, as well!)

Detail from "The Cold...of Death" by James Turner and Noel Turzon

There are also some great pinups here, and my favourite is David J. Cutler's gender-swapped take on The Creature from the Black Lagoon:

The Creature from the Black Lagoon by David J. Cutler

Both volumes include stories featuring Jason Loo's "Grizzly Biker," who used to be a circus sideshow attraction--a bear on a bike with the need for speed--that was captured by an evil organization hell bent on turning him into a monster of destruction! So they gave him the eyes of a night owl, the heart of a raging bull, and gorilla arms. But before he could be brainwashed into becoming a killing machine, he escaped, and now battles monsters created by the same corrupt minds that tinkered with him. I'm happy to report that he now has his own minicomic!

"The Grizzly Biker" by Jason Loo

Here's a master list of all the contributors for Monstrosity and Monstrosity II, with links to their presence on the Interwebs. Many of them also frequent local fan conventions, so be sure to look them up when attending Fan Expo or Toronto Comicon!

Editors: Phil McClorey and Brian Evinou.
Contributors: Attila Adorjany, Sam Agro, Shawn Aldridge, Sanya Anwar, Brandon Barrows, Jordyn Bochon, J. Bone, Rodrigo Bravo, Dylan Burnett, Adam Christopher, James Edward Clark, Jason Copland, Rob Croonenborghs, David J. Cutler, Ian Daffern, Matthew Daley, Anthony Del Col, Alex Diochon, Brian Evinou, Julie Faulkner, Ryan Ferrier, Toma Feizo Gas, Jay Fosgitt, Adam Gorham, Keith Grachow, Max Haig, Brice Hall, Shane Heron, Kyle Kaczmarczyk, Fred Kennedy, Eric Kim, John Lang, Marvin Law, Ricky Lima, Jason Loo, Martin MacIntosh, Nimit Malavia, Cory McCallum, Phil McClorey, Conor McCreery, Brian McLachlan, Jim McMunn, C.M. Morgado, Jeff Moss, Sam Noir, A.G. Pasquella, Brian Prince, Gibson Quarter, Fabian Rangel Jr.Austin Rogers, Jorge Santiago, Katie Shanahan, James Stokoe, Kelly Turnball, Ben Truman, Noel Tuazon, James Turner, Kris Waddell, Michael Walsh, Howard Wong.


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