Trick or treating doesn't start until tomorrow, but Marc Arsenault's Alternative Comics has a gift for you as a free download in the 8-page mini, All Monster Comics from David Lasky and a host of creators assisting on inks.
Lasky wrote the script and pencilled it, then Marc gathered some of his comics friends to ink the work so that it could be done in time for Halloween. The lineup includes Roland Pete Friedrich, Gabrielle Gamboa, K. Thor Jensen, Karl Stevens, Dalton Webb, Scott Stripling, Patrick Lugo, Reid Psaltis, David Lasky and Andrei Molotiu.
The story itself is pretty silly, involving a lost cell phone that turns into a monster fight that only the biggest of them all can stomp--er, stop. Basically, it' an excuse for Lasky to draw a bunch of classica creatures, ranging from Dracula to the Frankeinsteins to just about all of the Universal pantheon.
And if that was the end of it, that'd be fine, because anyone who loves horror and comics loves it when creators play with the creatures we all grew up with. But this one has an extra twist, and that's watching the passel of inkers show how the same creator's pencils can be re-interpreted. It's something that gets talked about a lot, but when you get to see the experience in an actual comic, with notes telling you who each inker was, it's a great time for those of us who enjoy looking at comics from a craft perspective.
I won't belabor it here, but just a few quick examples:
- When K. Thor Jensen gets the Bride of Frankenstein, her hair is a solid block of black with the traditional white streak. In the very next panel, however, Karl Stevens gives her hair individual strands. When we see Reid Psaltis ink the monster's hair, she's got more of a wave, giving her slightly natural curls. The white shock is now more grey, as it is flecked with black lines, not just as a white shock, imitating what real hair might do.
- The use of hatching or solid shading varies from creator to creator, adding or subtracting to the level of depth and detail. Some prefer to keep it basic, focus on the characters, while others show that there's gradients across the brick buildings.
- Patrick Lugo's panel is the most dramatic, using a spiral pattern to focus on the fact that the Bride has attacked our protagonist. It's impossible for me to know how many of those lines were in the original pencils, but the inking is all designed to take advantage of the spiral construction of the pattern, radiating out from the punch to the gut.
It's great stuff, both on a macro and micro level, and you can't beat the price of FREE. I don't know how long the PDF will remain up for nothing, though, so make sure you grab it right away. Classic monster fans enjoying a little comedy will be glad they did!