Posts tagged Menton3

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Review: Monocyte Collected Edition HC

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Written by: Kasra Ghanbari

Art by: Menton3

Review by Melissa Megan

My local comic shop guy messaged me online: “The Monocyte hard cover is here, bagged and ready for you. I thought I should let you know right away, since you’ve been excited for it to come” ‘Excited’ is definitely an understatement here. I admit I don’t frequent my local shop as much as I should, but they know that for the last year I’ve never been late to pick up my latest Monocyte issues. This one, in particular, had me itching to get my hands on it. Nerds in Babeland readers are well aware of my addiction to these comics, as I have reviewed and highly recommended every single one. Creators Menton3 and Kasra Ghanbari felt that the horrible grandeur of Monocyte could not be contained in tiny comic book pages, so they brought fans a collected, hardcover edition that is so, so much more than just the story of Monocyte.

Collected edition size comparison to Monocyte single issues

From the minute you turn the book to take in the entire wrap around cover it is obvious that it was created with an incredible love and dedication to the power of Menton3’s art. He’s by far one of the most unique and impressive comic artists of recent years and Monocyte was, I believe, the creation that really got him noticed by readers, art collectors and artists. Within the first few pages of the book I became painfully aware of just how limiting those single issue comic pages had been for Monocyte. All I can compare it to is maybe seeing a film in IMAX for the first time. You have no idea how much you’ve been missing until you see it in all it’s glory, splayed out in giant size images that you can’t help lingering on after you’ve already read the words.

This is not at all to downplay the quality of writing that Kasra Ghanbari brings to Monocyte, which is the backbone of the book. He writes like he’s carving mythology in to a modern world, building characters and events on each other with unflinching grace and balance. The story is complex and requires your full attention, but if you allow yourself to be present in it, you will not be disappointed with the reward. I will stop gushing about how much I absolutely love Monocyte because as I promised, this collection is so much more than just the story of Monocyte.

art by Chris Newman

The Monocyte Collected Edition is a 224 page hardcover book. It contains the entirety of the original Monocyte story, plus the previously digital only prequel. The book also offers over 60 pages of new content, including a gallery of Menton3’s conceptual and design work for Monocyte, plus a very impressive guest artist gallery. Creepy little child demons by sculptor and fine artist Scott Radke. Sexy, gothic pinups by Alberto Ruiz. Fluid, surreal digital art by Chris Newman. Even some bad ass metal sculpted Monocyte head pieces by Tim Roosen. The book is literally stuffed with so much breathtaking art. One of my personal favorite pieces is a super goulish, almost 3D painting by David Stoupakis that I haven’t been able to stop looking at.

art by Aaron Ryan

The Monocyte Collected Edition is not only a magnificent representation of one of the best comics to be released in the past year, but it’s a guaranteed brag book for your collection. Set this book down on your coffee table (be careful not to spill on it!) and there’s no way someone won’t pick it up and get sucked in. Menton3 and Kasra Ghanbari are up to huge things this year (44FLOOD, anyone?), but Monocyte is the beginning of their magical union and one that every self respecting comic book reader should experience. if you’re a Menton3 fan or just a Monocyte fan, this book is a must own. MUST OWN. Not maybe. Get it now and bask in it’s awesome power of pure, artistic unicorn blood voodoo. Get it HERE.

 

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TOME by 44FLOOD Kickstarter

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44FLOOD is a brand new publishing project comprised of Menton3 (Silent Hill, Monocyte), Kasra Ghanbari (Monocyte), Ben Templesmith (Wormwood: Gentlemen Corpse) and Nick Idell (Owner of Alley Cat Comics, Chicago). It’s a true creator owned company, committed to bringing readers top notch material. The first thing 44FLOOD has planned is a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of an amazing collaborative art publication called TOME.

TOME will be an annual anthology in an oversized format showcasing world-class artists as they explore a single theme using  comic book, painting, and music mediums.  The first theme of TOME is vampirism. TOME will gather together a huge lineup of artists presenting their unique interpretations of vampirism in whatever form they choose, including artist to artist interviews. The Kickstarter launches today. If you love art, comics and everything they could be, when given the right medium and environment to grow, you must get in on this.

Nick Idell, Menton3, Ben Templesmith, Kasra Ghanbari

Not only will you have the opportunity to be part of the beginning of a huge creation that will packed to the hilt with super talent, you’ll get endless chances to be rewarded with some truly incredible, limited edition swag. I’m not bullshitting you when I say every donation to this Kickstarter will get you something brag worthy.

44FLOOD is a great group of guys with outstanding talent and I promise you that whatever these guys produce will blow you away. Please jump on the Kickstarter page, check out the details and consider supporting TOME. I damn sure will be!

Kickstarter (search for TOME)

44FLOOD on Facebook

44FLOOD Twitter

 

Cover A- Menton3

Monocyte #4 – The End

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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

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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.

A wraparound cover - menton3

Review: Monocyte #3

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A wraparound cover - menton3

Creation/writing: Menton3 and Kasra Ghanbari

Art: Menton3

Publisher: IDW

I am so fucking in love with Monocyte. It has been so long since I’ve read a story that not only grows and morphs along the way, but only increases in intensity and substance. Monocyte never relies on shock, never forces you to accept it using cheap tricks like ineffectual violence or sensory offense. It creeps in quietly, requiring your full attention to keep up with an incredibly complex vocabulary; once you are wrapped up in the mythos and alien quality of the landscape, Monocyte lashes out with an uncompromising attack on your belief in the world around you and of time itself. I am not being melodramatic here, this shit is real and it is not taking prisoners.

B wraparound cover - Ben Templesmith

Incentive wraparound cover - George Pratt

In Monocyte #3, we join the Antedeluvians as they prepare for the wrath of Monocyte to drop down on their city. We discover betrayal from within, and are treated with some incredibly rich history of the pre-war beginnings of Monocyte. This issue leaves us with a battle that could, possibly prove the most challenging yet for the seemingly indestructible bringer of eternal death.

Part of what makes the Monocyte books so unique is the extra bonus of mini stories at the end of each. These are written and drawn by very talented names, sometimes flying under the radar, and offer the reader some engrossing perspectives of the human slaves that both the Antedeluvians and Olignostics use as immortality nourishment. Monocyte #3 includes stories by Christopher Mitten (Wasteland, Criminal Macabre, The Dark Crystal) and George Pratt ( Enemy Ace: War Idyll, Wolverine: Netsuke). Personally, my favorite this time around was Christopher Mitten’s contribution. His artwork is so luscious to look at and feels like a natural accompaniment  to the other-wordly creations of Menton3.

Monocyte #3 is available with various covers, each one full of awesome in a fresh way. For this issue, you can have the A wraparound cover by Menton3, the B wraparound cover by Ben Templesmith or the incentive cover by George Pratt. I’ve made it a goal to collect every cover of each issue that I can get my greedy hands.

This book asks so much more of it’s readers than a casual understanding and enjoyment. It asks that you bend your concepts of the future, present and past. It demands that you ponder the possibility that the human race is by no means the most powerful or malicious species in existence, and to accept that we all possess innate flaws, the largest being mortality. And let’s not fail to mention the spine of Monocyte, the black blood that flows through it’s veins which is the artwork of Menton3. I have praised the genius of this man’s creations many times here on Nerds in Babeland, so I will keep this short, but this art is so much more than art. Each issue seems to add a new layer to the graphics, a luxuriousness that is all too rare in modern art. His work drips with texture from the heart, emotion boils over the edges of the page. Menton’s art hangs on the walls in my home and I’ve never seen someone walk past it for the first time without stopping to stare for several seconds, eventually asking me to explain what they’re seeing and who made it. In my humble opinion, there is no match in the comic industry right now to the level of work that Menton3 is producing.

 

Monocyte hits shelves on March 21. I can tell you these things sell out fast, so if you can get your hands on #1-#3, snatch them up. And remember, creator owned support means pre-ordering, so if you love Monocyte, please pre-order your next copy!

 

Walt Hall "Untitled; or A Recess for the Night School"

Menton3 and David Mack Accepted for Laluzapalooza Art Show (NSFW)

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The highly respected La Luz De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles hosts an annual show to feature the freshest, most unique and anticipated artists. The gallery had over 9,000 art submissions and only accepted around 125 artists to be in the show. Jurors took submissions from artists of multiple mediums and backgrounds including commercial illustrators, graphic designers, tattooists, scenics, students, animators and working gallery artists. “This is the one show annually that most patrons look forward to seeing, as it’s a chance to discover new artists in the venue that has launched so many careers,” notes gallery director Matt Kennedy. “Every year we manage to discover a new conglomeration of fresh talent, and among them a class of breakout successes.

"Mia4" Acrylic on canvas, by David Mack

"Anima Penumbra III" Oil on wood panel, by Menton3

I’m so proud to say that at least two fantastic comic book artists earned spots in Laluzapalooza this year, Menton3 and David Mack. Menton3 is the artist/creator of Monocyte, contributing artist for Silent Hill and artist for upcoming Dark Horse Comics publication Nosferatu Wars. The piece featured from Menton is also a page from Monocyte #3!  David Mack is the creator/artist/writer of Kabuki, has done covers for Alias and Daredevil.

Laluzapalooza runs from March 2 through April 1, at the La Luz De Jesus Gallery. If you’re in the L.A. area, this show is a must see for the scoop on some of the most impressive up and coming alternative artists. See more of the art pieces featured in the show here.

 

 

 

 

Andreanna Iakovidis "Scavenger"

Walt Hall "Untitled; or A Recess for the Night School"

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Interview: Steve Niles and Menton3

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As many of you know, a new project between comics writer Steve Niles and breakout artist Menton3 was recently announced and has stirred up quite a bit of excitement. Personally, I’m jumping up and down, squeeing like a child going to Disney for the first time. Steve Niles is an amazing story teller, specifically in the realm of horror. Menton3 creates some of the most intense and beautifully crafted art landscapes the comic industry has ever seen. These two together? Explosions will surely happen. Not only are these guys both incredible creators, they are also super nice, down to earth dudes and they were awesome enough to let me nail them down for an afternoon chat about Nosferatu Wars. The conversation veered into so many directions; Steve and Menton were candidly honest about who they are and why they love being part of the comics industry. I found the whole thing thought provoking, intriguing and just lots of fun. I hope you do too.

Steve Niles/ Menton3 interview:

Lissa: Ok, guys, thanks for taking the time to talk to me, I know you both have tons of projects going on right now.

Steve: Of course.

Menton:  It’s a nice break for me, to stop and do this, I’m about to kill myself on Monocyte 3.

L: I’ve covered few things for the two of you separately recently, including a review of the Saltillo (pronounced SAL-tillo) Monocyte album for you, Menton, and the Criminal Macabre Omnibus #2 review for you, Steve. It’s so much fun to have a joint project now with both you to talk about and anticipate.

S: Actually, Monica (Steve Niles’ fiancée, Monica Richards) and I are sitting here waiting for the pallet of cd’s and books to arrive for the album we did which Menton did some artwork for. It’s Monica Richards’ new cd with fully illustrated book!

L: I’m just going to start signing my paychecks over to you guys. Ok, so a little question I’d like to ask that is sort of fun, ‘can you summarize Nosferatu Wars in one sentence?’

S: No, and that’s the beauty of it! I’m not worried about being able to pitch it to a movie studio; this is just a fun comic book for me and Menton to do. I’ve had people ask me ‘what’s the pitch?’ and I tell them it’s a three part trilogy. It’s a huge story and what I love about it is that we can’t tell it in one sentence. I spent the last 11 years writing stories that I could tell in one sentence, it’s really nice to have one that’s impossible to.

M: I’m the worst person at that, I’m the most long winded son of a bitch, so for me to say what I want for dinner in one sentence is saying a lot. I’m a complete geek, I’ve only been doing comics for, like, 2 years and I’m a huge fan of Steve. To be able to do a vampire book with him has been a dream of mine for a really long time, then to be able to do it at Dark Horse, it just gets better and better. But, I don’t really know how to summarize it in one sentence besides ‘holy shit, I’m excited!’.

L: I think that’s perfectly acceptable.

S: This thing is happening in comics more and has completely taken over movies. I literally won’t watch trailers anymore because now we live in this world where people want to know the entire plot of everything before they’ll go pay money for it, and I hate that. We have one big part of this, of Nosferatu Wars, that we’re keeping hidden because it’s just going to be more fun to read it than if I say it all in an interview or a plug. For me it’s fairly traditional vampires, during the black plague, in love, having the time of their lives. Something separates them for 500 years and that launches us into the middle story and then the last element of this being the lovers’ return, looking for each other in modern day. One of the really fun parts of this is we get to spend a whole lot of time playing in the Dark Ages, during the ‘Black Death’.

L: Oh, god, throwing vampires together in a story with the black plague is such a cool idea; it creates a whole new twist and concepts to work with in the classic vampire story.

S: Here’s the thing: during the black plague it was the commoners dying in the streets, out in the countryside were all the rich, holed up in their homes, and that’s where the vampires are hunting. So they get fresh, clean, rich meat. The vampires are going from castle to castle, dining on the best quality blood they can. Nobody’s looking for them anymore, every death they cause is blamed on the black plague.

L: How did you guys end up getting together for this project?

S: You want us to tell the fictional, exciting version or the boring one? We shook hands, met, began talking and fell in love. I can tell that in one line!

L: That was pretty simple. So, what’s the fictional version?

M: Steve’s really a vampire. I’m his chosen one to carry the torch after he’s goes into hiding. I don’t fucking know, I’m talking out of my ass now. (Laughs) Well, we met at SDCC, but starting talking before that.

S: Honestly, we just hit it off right away. At the time, we were at the IDW booth and I remember just immediately getting along and jamming out ideas. Normally at conventions, you meet each other, shake hands, it’s whatever; Menton and I just knew immediately that we were going to be working together.

M: I think me and Steve were kind of cut from the same cloth a little bit, I don’t mean that pretentiously but we both have musical backgrounds, we both grew up in subcultures that were similar and I think we just had a lot in common. So we were on that IDW panel and we were just like two kids in church, giggling, taking pictures of each other and posting them on Facebook.

S: It’s true, though; we found out that we had connections from years back because Menton knows Monica, my fiancée, from the music scene. I think that’s a major element of why we work together so easily is because of our roots in music. The music industry is where you learn how to cooperate; you don’t get anything done without cooperation. More of that kind of community in comics would be great. But we come out of that; me and Menton are able to apply that to our comics work.

(more…)

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