Thursday, September 6, 2012
A THING OF GREAT BEAUTY: A review of MONOCYTE: IN THE LAND OF THE BLIND THE ONE EYED IS KING
Right off the bat, this book is overwhelming in its beauty. This hardcover is so tall and wide it resembles a tome of old rather than a graphic novel, and the painted image depicted on the wraparound cover is so beautiful and strange, a customer would have no choice but to buy it. It catches the eye like no other book on the market. Does the content live up to expectations?
It exceeds expectations by far. The story is fairly simple. It takes place kinda’ nowish, kinda’ near future-ish. Unbeknownst to humans, there is a war being waged between two groups of immortals: the Antedeluvians (who have been here since this planet was formed, who deal with creatures known as Seraphim, and who number Moses among them) and the Olignostics (who were created by science fairly late in the game). Both seem to feed psychically off of human beings, and due to their immortal status, no one ever dies in this war. And then comes the one-eyed being known as Monocyte, who has been prophesied to start killing these immortals. Surely enough, when he arrives, he starts going about ending these creatures.
This is a pretty cool idea, even though it’s not particularly new. The true star of this book is the art. It is simply mindblowing work. Every page should be hanging in an art museum somewhere, it is that amazing. It is all painted, and it is creepy beyond thought. With a heavy dose of Clive Barker and a dash of H.R. Giger, with perhaps a helping of Simon Bisley and Keith Giffen, it takes into account all of these influences and grows beyond them so far it can’t even be conceived of. Menton 3, the artist, is an unsurpassed genius who should be numbered among the greatest painters our nation has to offer. Not only does he have the instincts to tell a very creepy story with his art, he has everything spatially figured out. Look at the geometric designs in his art, and you’ll see the extent of his madness/method.
It helps that he co-wrote the story; Kasra Ghanbari also had a hand in this tale, and the two of them together have woven a truly beautiful work of art. Perhaps this is even the next step in the evolution of the graphic novel. One can hope that this isn’t the only offering this creative team has for us. Pick up this book as soon as you can. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth every penny and more.
MONOCYTE: IN THE LAND OF THE BLIND THE ONE EYED IS KING
Written by Menton 3 and Kasra Ghanbari
Illustrated by Menton 3
Published by IDW