ADVANCE REVIEW: Dept. of Monsterology #3 of 4
“My, I bet you monsters lead interesting lives. I said to my girlfriend just the other day – Gee, I’ll bet monsters are interesting, I said. The places you must go, and the places you must see, my stars! And I’ll bet you meet a lot of interesting people, too. I’m always interested in meeting interesting people!” - my favorite philosopher, Bugs Bunny
Strong art and quick plotting make it a real page-turner!
Monsters, monsters – and even human monsters! What else would you want from a horror book?
Be sure to get the two previous issues so you can understand what’s happening properly.
DEPT. OF MONSTEROLOGY #3
Writer: Gordon Rennie
Artist: PJ Holden
Publisher: Renegade Arts Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in DEPT. OF MONSTEROLOGY: Ofﬁcially, it’s the Department of Cryptozoology, Mythological Studies, Parapsychology and Fortean Phenomena. But to the rest of the students and staff at the Dunsany College, bafﬂed by the cloak of secrecy that surrounds the Department and its affairs, it has another, more dismissive, name: The Department of Monsterology. Funded by the mysterious Hampton Foundation, the Dept. operates several ﬁeld teams that roam the globe on extended research expeditions.
The department follows up on the Chinese vampire attack, only to find that someone has beaten them to it!
ACTION, ACTION, AND THEN EVEN MORE ACTION!
This Wednesday, December 18, will see the third issue of this four-issue miniseries hit the stands! I was fortunate enough to be sent a preview copy, so I can tell you what I thought of this excellent horror title!
Sometimes horror comics make the mistake of trying to be like television or movies, with lots and lots of “suspenseful” (read “slow”) sequences that bog down the reading AND my interest. They forget that comics are a visual medium that require movement to keep us interested!
There’s no chance of Dept. of Monsterology losing my interest, particularly in this third issue. I was nearly breathless at the end of the book, but still dying for more! This title has been surprising me since I previewed the first issue back in August, and the biggest shock of all stunned me this month! Let’s just say that not everyone wins in this miniseries, and I really prefer it that way! If I knew what was going to take place, why would I waste my time on it?
The truth is, Monsterology does a great job of presenting characters that live and breathe, even on paper! I truly care about these people, so what happens this go-round has me panting for the final issue! The fact that it accomplishes this is why I chose the Bugs Bunny quote above – both monsters and humans really are fascinating!
One of the strengths of Monsterology is its ability to juggle multiple storylines so successfully. I mean, I’m easily able to keep track of the various plots. And not many comics today can keep this much going on coherently!
Oh, and I still enjoy me some Chinese vampires!
THE ART CONTINUES TO FIT THE MOOD AND PACING OF THE BOOK
Whether we’re looking at creepy underwater beings or on urban settings, I continue to feel that Holden’s art is up to the challenge. Like the plots, Holden conveys a quick, fast-moving feel that is fun to dive into, again, pun intended.
Also, I appreciated the use of full-page layouts when they helped the story instead of simply being used to take up space. When we discover the aforementioned loss, a full-page set-up is used, and it really matched the moment! I always enjoy that.
BOTTOM LINE: DEPT. OF MONSTEROLOGY CONTINUES TO SET THE STANDARD FOR HORROR IN COMICS
Dept. of Monsterology is racing toward a conclusion, and I can’t wait to see how these storylines resolve – at least, the ones that actually wrap up. What’s going to happen next? (Personally, I like a miniseries because literally anything can happen, unlike a monthly comic that has to hit the reset button so it could be given over to another writer/artist team if need be.)
The truth is, I’m enjoying Dept. of Monsterology so much that I hope we’ll get another miniseries after this one comes to its conclusion (and comes out in trade paperback form)! Personally, I feel we’ve only just scratched the surface of the Monsterology-verse, and I want more!
But first, I have to hang on until next month so I can read issue #4! I can’t wait!