|WHERE MONSTERS DWELL No. 2, August 2015|
It is very clear from the narrative of Issue Two of “Where Monsters Dwell” that “writer Garth Ennis loves dinosaurs.” For the Northern Irish-born American comic book author has somehow managed to cram into this magazine’s twenty pages some of the largest most ferocious prehistoric beasts known to Mankind and do so whilst still providing “an old-fashioned, rip-roaring adventure with a strong streak of humour running through it”.
Indeed whether the reader be a fan of the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex, the reptilian Sarcosuchus or the predatory Megalodon, the Eisner Award-winner’s storyline ensures “they’re huge, they’re noisy, they look fantastic, they rip everything in sight to pieces, and they stretch human imagination beyond its limits”.
Admittedly the “Preacher” collaborator’s “black” comedy occasionally strays close to the ‘mature’ mark with the odd swearword or uncomfortable adult reference, such as when the Phantom Eagle offers to keep “the fetching Clemmie Franklin-Cox” warm overnight and insensitively suggests that “if it comes to it you can always have a… whatchamacallit… abortion”. But in the main Ennis’ script, which includes the “flying Ace” inadvertently leading a ‘lizard king’ straight into the centre of a hapless pygmy village, is a wonderfully witty non-stop thrill ride with plenty of gory tongue-in-cheek moments; “Nightmare, some kind of awful nightmare - Oh God, just let me wake up --!"
Equally as engaging as the flawed character of Karl Kaufmann is the World War One fighter pilot’s acidic passenger, Clemmie. The young woman’s pithy banter with her cowardly would-be-bedfellow provides several laugh out loud moments within the book, especially as the combat aviator becomes increasingly stressed and terrorised by “giant lizards and pushy broads” and won’t “stop bleating for five minutes…”
However undoubtedly the main draw for this comic is the outstanding artwork of one of Ennis’ “all-time favourite collaborators” Russ Braun, a man whose pencilling “makes it all look effortless and easy, when of course it isn’t at all.” “There’s an old-school quality” to the New Yorker’s illustrations which not only brings the dinosaurs to dynamic bone-crunching life but also imbues the “general jerk” with plenty of waggish touches which only add to the airman’s hilarious panicky antics.
|Writer: Garth Ennis, Artist: Russ Braun and Color Artist: Dono Sanchez Almara|