“Monster Portraits,” by Del Samatar and Sofia Samatar. Rose Metal Press. February 2018. 84 pp. Paper, $14.95. Adult.
Thanks to Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. in Goshen, for providing me with books to review. You can find or order all of the books I review at the store.
2018 has been a great year for literary monsters. Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is celebrating its 200th anniversary, and Emil Ferris’s graphic novel “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” won three Eisners, the most vaunted award for comics in the U.S.
Siblings Sofia and Del Samatar’s new book “Monster Portraits” settles comfortably between these two celebrated texts. Itself a monstrous hybrid of many genres—picture book, travel narrative, memoir, science fiction story, philosophical treatise, and scholarly gloss—“Monster Portraits” gathers centuries of monsters close for examination, honor, and affectionate portrayal. These are, after all, “portraits,” not the mug shots that society expects of those it deems monstrous. Continue reading ““Monster Portraits,” by Del and Sofia Samatar”
In late October, I’ll be reviewing “The Dragonslayer,” a TOON Graphics collection of Latin American folktales by Jaime Hernandez. If you’re not familiar with Hernandez, he’s a massive figure in the U.S. literary scene. Here’s a bit more context in an post from December 2014, the early days of Commons Comics at the “Elkhart Truth.”
Thanks to Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. in Goshen, for providing me with books to review. You can find all of these books at the store.
I’ve been reviewing a lot of young adult books here on Commons Comics since it moved to the “Truth” back in August, partly because I’m wary of breaking into comics that put the “graphic” in “graphic novel.” But this reluctance means that I’ve been neglecting a seminal subset of work that makes comics great. So, fair warning: Jamie Hernandez’s new collection “The Love Bunglers” contains nudity, offensive language, and a sex scene. Don’t buy this book for young kids as a holiday gift. But please also don’t dismiss this brilliant work because of a couple of pages that show adults being adults. Continue reading “Growing Up in Comics: “The Love Bunglers,” by Jamie Hernandez”