Published by Image Comics
Geek cultural touchstones merge, clash, and take on disturbing elements in this impressive display of Shaky Kane's considerable talent as the reader is treated to a dystopia that features everything from murderous clowns to the Batmanga version of the Batmobile.
I'm reviewing this one not just because it's awesome--it totally rocks my socks--but because it's notable for being the first library book I've checked out in nearly a year. Lord, how I missed being able to randomly grab things and find hidden gems I may have missed for some reason.
So it is with great pleasure that I return to using the library again, thanks to the Multnomah County Library, which was friendly and welcoming. May our association be long and profitable for both of us.
Anyway, back to the book. I first became aware of Kane's art when I read the equally quirky and insane mini-series, The Bulletproof Coffin. Working with David Hine, Kane illustrated some of the strangest things I've ever read, and that's saying something. In Monster Truck, Kane flies solo, spending most of his focus on the art and not as much on the text. What words we do see briefly describe the scene, and form a free verse poem that recalls someone's nightmare after watching too many b-movies on television.
Slowly progressing across a landscape where giant bugs dwell, vehicles of all kinds (often marked with Japanese graffiti, because why not?) deform or roll across the scene, and iconic figures from horror movies lurk about, Kane's narrative, despite the utter insanity of its words, proceeds clearly and linearly, moving the reader from scene to scene without missing a beat. That steadiness allows Kane to come up with increasingly strange visions, culminating in an ending that leaves the impression that the narrator is stuck in an endless loop of pop-culture nightmare.
Monster Truck is a work that blurs the line between a comic and an art book. It has a story, but the main draw (no pun intended) is the artwork, which is outstanding. If you missed out on this one, definitely seek it out, because it's well worth it to see how Kane mixes and matches cultural ideas. You might even check to see if your local library is as cool as mine and carries it. Either way, this one comes highly recommended.