Mostly, I don't read what Chris buys. Mostly, I'm distracted by crime books, or whatever writing or reviews I'm working on, or the kiddo unpacking all our cds and repacking them into new, unrelated cases, never to be found again. I still read some, but not as many. Today, over a Lime After Lime cupcake, I read Monsters! & Other Stories.
Some art looks so natural it reads as if the illustrators have no difficulty in what flows through the arm and past the pen. Gustavo Duarte is one of those people. Every stroke looks flawless, relaxed, and easy. It's impressive and completely enjoyable. The realistic lines of people's faces--exaggerated yet honest--and the swirl of the fantastic in his monsters and the water; they are all just right. There were maybe one or two panels in the, uh [flicks, guesses] one-fifty pages where I got lost in what was on the paper. Those are pretty good odds.
There are three stories. In Co, a farmer encounters an alien, and the resulting abduction tilts his world into a pig-and-chicken-fueled confusion. In Birds, Death pays a visit to two work colleagues who try to avoid this unpleasant appointment. In the title piece, giant monsters storm a city, and only one man and his glorious moustache know what to do. In none of them is there a single word of dialogue. Duarte is Brazilian, so this probably saved a decent amount on translation fees. The lack of dialogue or narration is never missed, with everything told in expressions and a punchy storyline. It's glorious, cartoonish, fun, delivers some swift bloodletting and left me completely happy with the afternoon's purchase and with the medium itself. Fine, I'm convinced. I should get back into this comics malarkey.