REVIEW: Once Monster
Get ready for something very, very special.
Ladies & gentlemen what I’m about to present to you is possibly one of the best first issues of a comic book I’ve possibly ever read, I kid you not.
Late last year I was introduced to the character of Razor Bastard as I had the privilege of meeting creator Paul Johnson at a horror convention. He passed me his comic and I totally fell in love with the character and the world he had created. Me and Paul have kept in touch since and a few weeks back Paul emailed me to say he was sending over his latest work ‘Once Monster’ and would like my thoughts on it.
I don’t want to come across all important, but I kind of have a busy life, (like watching horror films, TV and eating)….I know I’m ashamed to say I’ve only just found time to sit down and open up this little beauty.
Let me give you a brief synopsis; Claude is a monster, the last of his kind. He lives on earth amongst us working as a police officer. People don’t really like him except his friend Lucy and he spends most of his days watching 80’s action films most notably Jean-Claude Van Damme (hence were he got his name). Claude gets abuse from everyone, but takes it in his laid-back, sarcastic stride.
Issue one finds Claude caught up in the murder of two escaped inmates in which he is framed for. The man on the case is officer Swatch, who’s basically a Don Johnson clone and totally politically incorrect. I don’t want to say too much about anything else as it would be cheating the reader. Issue one delivers enough to show you the world in which Claude lives and the tone of the story.
‘Once Monster’ has three key elements which are so important. Johnson’s artwork is amazing as ever, his quirky style is unlike any other. His writing is dipped straight from the nostalgia-jar. I absolutely love his references to pop culture and there were at least three times I laughed out loud. Finally his imagination is mind boggling. Johnson has created a character in Claude that is so polished, so creative that I could easily see him appearing in his own animated series or movie. These elements combine and complement each other so well and it’s so refreshing to see a writer and artist who’s 100% original and not replicating other titles or what’s fashionable.
easily one of the best comic books of 2015 so far.
The only criticism I had with the book was it just wasn’t long enough. I took a huge sigh when I knew I’d have to wait until the next instalment.
It boggles me that Johnson isn’t a bigger name or selling out at places like ‘Forbidden planet’ because he’s that good, but I truly believe it’s only a matter of time. Once this guy blows he’s gona blow big time as he’s so talented and creative that once the world catches on to him, there’s no limit to how far he could go and achieve.
I honestly thought he wouldn’t top Razor Bastard, but I think he may well have done it with Claude, who’s my new favourite character in comics.
‘Once Monster’ is a slick, creative, gruesome and hilarious tale of a new unlikely hero, it’s easily one of the best comic books of 2015 so far.