Ahoy Comics Mags 2020
The Monster Serials: To Hell Comes A Guest
Written by Mark Russell
Illustrated by Peter Snejbjerg
Coloured by Peter Snejbjerg & Ole Comoll
A Tipple of Amontillado
Written by Devin Grayson
Illustrated by Chris Giarusso & Richard Williams
All Letters by Rob Steen
Writer Mark Russell (Second Coming) and artist Peter Snejberg contribute another in their popular original Cereal Monster series: A magical leprechaun invades the castle of a breakfast-obsessed vampire and his undead bride. PLUS! Poe attempts to explain his classic "Cask of Amontillado" to a group of famous writers who aren't impressed, in a story by Devin Grayson with art by Chris Giarrusso and Richard Williams.
Okay this is going to be your new favourite obsession trust me, if you’ve ever been a fan of cereal and the characters who represent them then you MUST own this book and series. The first feature alone is worth 100 X its weight in gold or at the very least in sugar. I think the way that Mark wrote this is beyond a shadow of a doubt a highlight of storytelling for me. To see the main characters and then those around the breakfast table being utilised is sensational, though I wish we met the Captain (of the crunch of course) and there are some beautiful unnamed characters that are somewhat easily identified and I have to say the whole damn thing is bloody genius.
I adore the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented perfectly. How we are introduced to the characters is beautifully done and this ties directly into the character development that we see. How they interact with one another and the dialogue and back and forth banter is so delightfully written. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists & turns along the way it’s an absolute delight.
The interiors here are fantastic! I love the linework and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to bring out such lovely detail work. The characters, their faces, facial expressions and even their hands are so human then the playing cards are awesome with whom they represent. There aren’t a ton of backgrounds in play here but then with the way the panels are filled and the focus of the story that’s okay. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The colour work as well is very nicely rendered. The various hues and tones we see within the colours utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is lovely.
Oh the second story does feature Poe and his adventures and this time the extremely talented Devin Grayson gets to play in this sandbox. The entire story is so incredibly well written that’s almost scary. Picture it Concord, Summer of 1846 as a group of friends sit around the dinner table talking. The laugh, poke fun and generally drink have a good time in each other’s company. Okay my Sophia impression aside it really is the kind of dialogue that you would expect from those assembled and it really captures the imagination of the reader incredibly well.
How we see the story & plot development through how the sequence of events unfold and how the reader learns information is expertly done. This is a dinner party and a story is being told and it is so damn engaging that the reader alongside those listening around the table get their chance to interject themselves in that story. I cannot get over just how damn good the writing is here and how in my mind, how accurately the personalities match up.
The interiors for the second story are mindbogglingly brilliantly rendered! I meant he black and white style suits this to a “T” and it’s just composed so incredibly well. Aside from the likenesses being superb the story within the story is one that captivates the reader and transports them to another age. The judicious use of backgrounds is damn near perfectly done. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The linework and it’s varying weights and techniques that we see really are beyond brilliantly utilised because what we see here is something I wish we’d see in many more comics.
Rob does an amazing job lettering the stories and bringing a different flair to each one and should be recognised for that. The imagined accents through script choice really makes a difference when the reader thinks they understand in their mind how it should be heard. This is why comics were invented. Two incredible stories here that are as different as night and day and yet still find a way to feel connected and separate in every sense.