Monsters! & Other StoriesMonsters! & Other Stories by Gustavo Duarte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this book as a free advanced review copy via Netgalley.

You know how sometimes it’s better to let the pictures speak for themselves? It worked for Chaplin and Keaton and a lot of the time, when it comes to the graphic novel genre, the most effective panels are the one’s that let the images do the talking.

This is the case with Brazilian artist Gustavo Duarte’s new collection ‘Monsters and Other Stories’.

In all honesty, it is only three stories (and the overall review does lose a star due to length) but they are all funny, evocative and very dark with death and destruction as the main theme throughout.

The collection starts with CÓ! a darkly comic tale of a lonely pig farmer who after chasing aliens away from his pigs finds things taking a bizarre turn.

Next up is ‘Birds’ following two humanised, office-working birds as they try to escape their fate. While funnier than the opener, it’s not as graphically impressive, feeling more like a strip from the funnies.

Lastly, comes the best of the three, the extremely enjoyable ‘Monsters’. Taking it’s cue from the Japanese monster movies it portrays what happens when a groups of seemingly pissed off super sea monsters invade a Brazilian sea town. To say what occurs next would spoil some of the gags, but suffice to say, Duarte gives credit to his influences.

As I said above, the only reason this gets a 4 star review is down to the length. I would recommend loaning from the library upon release as opposed to buying it, unless the final retail price reflects the size of the novel.

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