Posts tagged IDW

Cover A- Menton3

Monocyte #4 – The End

Cover A- Menton3

Monocyte #4 sees the end of the series, the end of the Antedeluvians and the Olignostics, possibly the end of Monocyte, if he gets his way. This series has been incredibly challenging and unique. Each time a new issue came out, I found myself re-reading the previous and keeping it by my side as I tried to articulate how to write about the current one. It’s a complex story, full of intellectual questions and metaphorical poems. It’s by no means a casual read, or even a mild one, but Monocyte will never fail to leave you wondering what you just experienced and feeling in awe of the artwork that shines from it’s pages.

Cover B- David Stoupakis

Incentive- Phil Hale

Issue #4 does a nice job of tying up the storylines of several characters we’ve met along the road to Monocyte’s eternal death, which was his only real goal from the beginning. I’m not going to lie and say that I understood exactly where these characters ended up, even after two reads, but I won’t hesitate to read through a few more times to get a better understanding. It’s that good.

Menton and Kasra  enjoy using multiple artists and writers to layer Monocyte with texture and vision, particularly in telling side stories of the human slaves. In #4, I found the additional stories to be a confusing, distracting end to an issue already thick with development. I can’t fault them for following a successful system, especially when utilizing such creative talents as Chris Newman, Barron Storey and Ben Templesmith. Perhaps it’s just my personal attachment to Menton3’s mind blowing art and the fact that this is the last time I’ll enjoy it under the title of Monocyte, but this time around I wasn’t drawn to the extras. 

Monocyte #4 is, all in all, a very impressive conclusion to an incredible story. Monocyte has been one of the most engrossing comic series I’ve read in years. Menton3’s art is astounding and has left me a permanent fan; I’ll be watching his work enthusiastically as long as he continues to make it. Since Monocyte #1, Menton has been making a name all over comics and I don’t see him slowing down any time soon. I’ve already started my collection of work, in book and print form, and I’m very much looking forward to the Monocyte collected edition coming in July. 

There’s been a new bar set for comic books. That’s what Monocyte has left me with: a higher expectation for the future of my comics collection.

Monocyte #4 will be available May 30, from IDW.

B cover- David Stoupakis

IDW’s Monocyte #4 Coming, With Big Extras

B cover- David Stoupakis

Monocyte #4, the post apocalyptic, muti-species battle story love child of Menton3 and Kasra Ghanbari, will hit stores on May 23 and conclude the series. I’ve been covering this series since the beginning and it has raised the bar in both artistic chutzpah and writing prowess for comic books to a godly level. Yes, I am a fan. Monocyte is a story of two species locked in a never ending battle, using and throwing away what humans are left on the planet as tools of life force, weapons of mutilation and play things. Monocyte is the being sent to put an end to their nonsense and clear the clutter left behind. He does his job with pure brutality, staggering insight and intelligence, style and grace.

Incentive- Phil Hale

I promise you have not read a story like this one before. It’s everything I always wanted to find in a comic but never thought was possible. If you want something heavier, something thicker, something more cranial in your comic collection, Monocyte is just that. The poetic writing of Kasra Ghanbari and the other worldley artwork of Menton3 come together in a tender, perfect embrace that other comic teams can only dream of. Monocyte #4 will feature 3 covers plus interior art by Chris Newman and Ben Templesmith. Preview here!

 

I will follow up with a full review of Monocyte #4 after release, of course. If you haven’t already picked up Saltillo’s Monocyte album (have you not been paying attention?) then now is the time. The cd, released earlier this year, was on the top 50 electronic releases on iTunes and nabbed the #1 spot for industrial sellers on Amazon for over a week. Artoffact Records has now released Monocyte: The Lapis Coil on vinyl, which includes three tracks from the CD, two new remixes, and an exclusive new track called Necromancy. It will also contain some amazing artwork by Menton3. The vinyl is limited to 492 copies and will also be released digitally to iTunes and Amazon MP3.

Last, but certainly not least, IDW will bless us all with more treasure to add to the Monocyte collection: a 224 page, hardcover collected edition that will include the entire Monocyte series, with all covers, plus over 60 pages of brand new content. This book boasts a huge roster of incredible talent like Ashley Wood, Bill Sienkiewicz, George Pratt, Phil Hale, Barron Storey, Ben Templesmith, Riley Rossmo, Christopher Mitten, David Stoupakis, and Chris Newman. You’ll also get all the slave stories that were written for each issue and the series prequel, previously only available digitally. This book will be the one to own not only for fans of the work of Menton3, but comic collector who want the ultimate in impressive, unique hard cover brag material on their shelf.

The Monocyte collected edition is in the May Previews for pre ordering, which means do some pre ordering! It’s how you show those guys and girls at your local comic shop what you want and how you are guaranteed to get it.

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Molly Crabapple’s Week in Hell Preview

Photos: Steve Prue, with additional photography by Kate Black, Yumna, and Andras Frenyo
Front and back cover photography by Clayton Cubitt

Publisher: IDW

Molly Crabapple is a modern artist in so many ways. She delves into social networking, online fund raising opportunities (Kickstarter) and invites fans to get involved first hand in her various artistic projects. Her art is like a daydreaming doodle let loose to roam, growing so large and complex that it crawls beyond the boundaries of the page. I’ve always been a fidgety doodler myself, and have wondered, on occasion, if there are artists out there who have developed the skill of the doodle in to more disciplined creations that can be considered full blown works of art. Molly has done just that and in a most impressive, beautiful way.

Molly Crabapple is best known as the founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School, an alternative to the stiff, school room approach of art education. Dr. Sketchy’s utilizes the titillating faces and forms of various underground performance artists and boasts guest appearances from artists like Ron English, Audrey Kawasaki and Ben Templesmith. The doors are open to all artists. I’ve never had the opportunity to visit my local Dr. Sketchy’s, here in NY, but looking at pictures, videos and blog posts, it looks like a year round birthday party for David Lynch.

So, here’s the low down: Molly’s 28th birthday was approaching and she wanted to celebrate in a special way. She chose to ‘go crazy’, documenting every step of her journey in drawings, photos and videos. The endeavor was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, raising an astonishing $25,805 in pledges; backers were rewarded with live streaming of the Week in Hell and receiving actual pieces of the art walls created during it. Molly locked herself in a fancy hotel suite in NYC, covered the walls in lots and lots of paper, brought plenty of booze and drew until her pretty little fingers could stand no more. She stayed in those rooms for 5 days and welcomed many visitors including close friends, dancers, artists, press and possibly a monkey or two. Ok, maybe that didn’t happen, but it sort of did. Some of these visitors were drawn on the walls, becoming living pieces of the swirly, lacey landscapes pouring from Molly’s imagination.

Lucky for the rest of us, Molly’s Week in Hell is being published as a photo collection, including lots of added sketching and notes from the artist. I had the honor of previewing this collection and it fucking rocks. It’s sweet and pretty, eccentric and weird, comfy and soft, raucous and heady with subdued sex appeal. It’s like peeking in the window of an aristocratic party, the attendees being swanky artists, bohemians, circus performers and musicians. You want so badly to be one of them. You know you can’t be; there is a special, intimate magic happening between these people. The white rabbit could show up at any moment and clink his champagne glass with Molly’s.

I’m a big fan of nicely made art and photo books, even if I’m the only one around my house who picks them up repeatedly to enjoy the eye candy they promote. Week in Hell is a must have and available for pre-order through Amazon right now. Get it, if you want to party with the cool kids. Or not, but don’t blame me when you realize how much seductive color is missing from your life because of your choice to pass this book by. Yes, it’s that’s good. In case you’re being ridiculous and not taking my word on this, watch the video below. Call me later so I can say ‘I told you so’.

 

 

Molly Crabapple’s Week in Hell from Brainwomb on Vimeo.

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Monocyte: A Terrifying Story of a Future World

Monocyte is the new horror/adventure comic series from Menton3 and Kasra Ghanbari. It is incredible, terrifying and fantastic. It’s language is unique and complex. A dark, bleak future world controlled by two warring species who utilize alchemy, magic and technology; humans are slave soldiers sent to lose their souls on the battlefield, pawns for the brutal creatures who own them.

This book will not only be an impressive, fresh addition to the genre of horror comics, but also super fun in it’s different approach to story telling. Each issue will include a bonus story told from the viewpoint of the human slaves. Covers will be beautifully interpreted by a list of talented artists. I am so excited about this comic. I chased down Menton3 and asked him to tell Nerds in Babeland readers about his new project, in his own words.

MissLissa: Ok, I’d like to start with a different approach to asking you what Monocyte is all about.  If you had to summarize the story in 3 sentences or less…

Menton3: Monocyte is about the horrors of immortality, and in the end it will beg the question, ‘How would you have it be?’

ML: The art in this book is beautifully textured and quite unique. What medium do you use?

Menton3: Well, there is a bit of everything in there: oil paintings, traditional pen & Ink, and  digital. I would say that the first book is about 60% digital. The way in which I approach  working digitally is the same in which I approach any other medium; I say this as some  people think if it is digital somehow someone punched a button and poof there was an image. I work just as hard digitally as I do on any other medium. For me digital just allows  me to change panels and revamp the story if I need to on the fly. And to be honest, the first  book for Monocyte had a few questions in the script that me and Kasra were not sure on, so  we needed that ability to edit quickly on this first issue.

ML: The writing, at least in book 1, feels almost poetic in it’s structure. Was that intentional?

Menton3: Very much so yes. The first book starts off with Death himself narrating, we want  to be true to that ideal. I mean this is Death talking, we did not want to dumb it down. That  is kinda our philosophy behind the whole of the story, we want to write it the way we see it,  and hear it. Sure there is the impulse to want to dumb down the language and make it easier to understand, but that would be extremely unfair to the story, as well as very dishonest. Each line of narration or dialog in the book is poured over for days if not weeks. We take great care in each and every word. Most everything you read in Monocyte has multiple meanings.

ML: Can you tell me about some of the interesting details in the set up of the Monocyte series, as far the way they are being published?

Menton3: Well it has been a great experience thus far, the guys at IDW are amazing, and I love working with them. They are really going nuts over there and each book is going to be gloriously printed, card stock spot UV covers for floppies and etc. They are pulling out all the stops for us. I am really excited. Also we have some amazing incentive covers from the likes of Ashley Wood, Bill Sienkiewicz and Ben Templesmith just to name a few, as well as mini stories in the back of each book from some amazing artists and writers that all take place in the Monocyte world.  I just got off the phone with someone I love over at IDW and we are talking about one amazing hardcover collection.

ML: Who or what would you credit as your biggest artistic influences?

Menton3: Hieronymus Bosch, Bill Sienkiewicz and Ashley Wood are the artisst that most make me freak out and need to draw and paint. But the reason I paint is from the need to manifest the internality of my own psyche. To place in the external world my own personal internal architecture, iconography, tropes and loci, connecting them together and seeing them in ways that my psyche does not naturally do outside of dreams, to the point that resolution was a forgone conclusion.  So, I would say I am drawn more toward “phantasy” rather then “Fantasy”. In psychoanalytic terms when spelled with the “ph” it refers more to the unconscious content of the psyche. I see painting as a way of communicating to the part of me I have no seeming connection with, i.e. the unconscious self, the various archetypes and of course the “shadow aspect”.

ML: This is a creator owned comic. For those unfamiliar, can you explain what’s unique about that and how it changes the relationship between the writer/artist and the buyer?

Menton3: The American comic book industry is dominated by old tried-and-true characters we’ve all heard of, like Superman, Batman, Captain America, Iron Man, the X-Men, Hulk. For all the comics that are created and dedicated to these and other properties owned by major corporations, writers and artists are still out there creating their own new characters and stories, doing this on their own in the hopes of finding a publisher and attracting then building an audience literally from scratch. So, the relationship between the creator-owned writer/artist and the buyer is a kind of direct, more interconnected, symbiotic agreement that if you support and follow and buy these kinds of books, then more of them can and will be made.

ML:  What can people expect in the future from Monocyte and from you? Do you have anything else  in the works that you feel really excited to tease people with?

Menton3: We have a great many plans for Monocyte, but I can not really speak about any of them  as they are not public yet, but we should have news on that very soon.  I am working on a lot of extremely exciting projects right now, one of which me and Steve Niles are  doing, a book called Transfusion which should be out in 2012. Me and Steve have many many  plans on other projects as well. Working on a Mark Twain book, doing some really fun covers I can  not talk about yet for IDW and Dark Horse. Lots of stuff coming.

 

 Monocyte #1 will be available at your local comic shop, and from IDW Publishing, this October. I highly recommend picking this one  up and if you love it, support creator-owned comics by pre-ordering the next issue.

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