If I’m reading supernatural stories, I typically prefer my monsters evil and my heroes good. I like the clear moral definitions and often in horror fiction, monsters who are good guys can dilute the genre. What threat does a sparkly vampire pose when you're telling a bedtime story late at night?
Monster MD by Von Klaus takes a different tact, humanizing the creatures of the night and, despite of my preferences, it works. First, it’s more of a comedy action story than a straight horror tale. Second, the quality of the writing and the overarching theme carry the book. A real sense of fun and cool comes through in this book and it helps. It’s a vital ingredient missing from a lot of comics lately.
The power of stories is they are allegorical, not documentation. Using monsters with medical needs to say something in a fun way is what makes this book great.
Wyatt Black is a gifted medical student whose enthusiasm ends up with him getting caught doing after-hours autopsies. The situation leads him to discover the existence of the supernatural, not to mention losing a limb and being expelled from medical school. He starts up a practice as a doctor to the macabre, operating out of an ambulance with the assistance of an invisible nurse.
Life is hard treating patients who have a tendency towards killing and eating people. And the extreme nature of his practice leads to some humorous situations. The author uses an interesting montage of vignettes in the second act bouncing from one ridiculous patient to the next. It is not a technique used very often in comic books and works well here. It flushes out the world and sets up components that come into play during the third act during the big showdown.
Will Dr. Black give it all up for a quieter life? Who is hunting the monsters? Also, what is up with his transplanted forearm? At 144 pages, there is a lot of story to read.
The art for the book is sublime. Maccagni delivers extremely polished cartoon illustrations that are also dynamic and possess an enthusiastic sense of movement. The art helps set the tone for the world of Monster MD, and really elevates the story to the next level.
Read a preview of the book and pick up your own copy of Monster MD at https://www.riseagaincomics.com/ (they might be sold out currently) and follow the creators on Twitter https://twitter.com/__RiseAgain__ and https://twitter.com/MonikaZeroTwo
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