January 10, 2009

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Dark Horse Book of Monsters

Written by Various Writers
Illustrated by Various Artists
Dark Horse

Mr. Allie put together a series of short books about various horror themes, and asked comic creators to contribute. This is the second one I've read. Allie feels that Dark Horse, of all the comic book lines, keep the Monster Comic genre going better than any other, with its Goon, Hellboy, and other creations. Frankly, that's hard to disagree with. He also talks about how of all the other types of horror, Monsters are the ones comics can do best. Again, hard to argue with the results. :)

In this collection, we get an amazing neo-Monster age story done Marvels style by Kurt Busiek, Keith Giffen, and Al Milgrom. It's so good that the rest of the stories pale in comparison, and I'd have put it last for that reason. Busiek does the eyewitness view from the perspective of an explorer hero, and it's just amazing. When he's on, and he is here, Busiek is one of the best in the business.

There is a Hellboy story in here, too, with typical Mignola humour and art, as well as a Victorian sea story that gets some good illustrations.

The other stories are just okay...we get a variation on Frankenstein, an evil priest story where the Monster is the man of the cloth, and a werewolf story illustrated by Jill Thompson. They round things out, but I'd have rather seen less typical monsters, since Mr. Allie was just talking about how there are monsters only comics can do, and I've seen those tropes work just fine in print.

Still, this is worth it for Busiek-Giffen alone, and the rest are at least enjoyable. Definitely worth the read.