Monday, September 5, 2011

SPX Spotlight: Joey Weiser's Monster Isle Big Monster Stuff

Here there be cute monsters!
This is part of Panel Patter's SPX Spotlight, a series of reviews of work from creators or publishers who will be attending SPX in 2011 leading up to the show on September 10th and 11th, 2011!

Monster Isle Big Monster Stuff
Written by Joey Weiser
Illustrated by Joey Weiser
Self-Published

Ever wonder what the Japanese movie monsters do in their spare time?  Wonder no more!  Joey Weiser has the answer for you in his weekly webcomic, Monster Isle, the best of which are collected in this 24 page mini.

Long time Panel Patter readers will know that not only am I a big fan of Joey Weiser, Monster Isle was the first webcomic I profiled here on the blog.  I liked--and continue to enjoy--the offbeat humor Weiser uses for the comic.  These are potentially some of the most powerful creatures on earth, but instead of destroying things, they spend most of their time talking about movies or pop culture references or verbal wordplay.  The results are entertaining--and a lot less destructive on poor Japan!

Like most webcomics, each strip is built around a particular gag.  Weiser tends to keep the ideas contained within one comic strip, but occasionally will extend it across a few weeks (now pages) at a time, such as when Gary (the Godzilla stand-in) insists on going to Tokyo--on a leaky raft.  Another recurring gag in this collection is Torgo's brother Morgo, who must be evil--he has a goatee!

The jokes in Monster Isle are gentle and playful, like much of Weiser's humor.  He's wisely opted to pick the best strips for this mini, rather than collect every single chapter in the story of the monsters.  This is a greatest hits collection, not an archive.  As a result, it reads a bit better, I think, than webcomic collections that keep everything.  No one doing a regular comic is funny every single time out.  Why not go with your best foot forward?

Monster Isle appears weekly in color, which Weiser has preserved for the mini.  Part of the fun of the strip are the garish colors used for the monsters and their friends, and I think we'd have lost something to go with a cheaper, black and white edition.

If you've never read Monster Isle, this is a great way to get introduced to the characters and the humor of the webcomic.  Anyone who loves Japanese monster movies definitely needs to get this quirky, loving take on the characters we love from the films.  If you're a fan of Weiser, this is must-purchase at SPX this year.  If you can't make the show, it will soon be available on his website.  To check out Monster Isle, you can click here. Please note that Monster Isle is a limited release.  If you want it, get it now, because the plan is to not go beyond two printings.

[Joey was kind enough to provide me a PDF copy for review.  Thanks, sir!  If you are interested in having me review your comic, please get in touch with me at trebro@gmail.com.]

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