Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Monday, December 17, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: ENORMOUS

 What would happen if the world was suddenly overrun by a bunch of mutated plants and giant monsters that decimate the world’s population?  This is the basis of the graphic novel Enormous from writer/designer Tim Daniel and artist Mehdi Cheggour.  Ellen is one of a few survivors of a decimated world and her job is to search the cities for other survivors and bring them back her underground lair, where it is safe from the dangers of the world above.  Just as she is heading back home with several child survivors who have hiding out, she is over taken by James and his people, another group of survivors who have more nefarious goals.  Now she must find a way to escape her captives and protect the children while traveling through a world that sees them as nothing more than the bottom of the food chain.  
Cheggour’s artwork is breathtaking to behold and lush with details showcasing a world in which humans are the endangered species.  It also helps that the book itself is in a larger format than normal graphic novels so the page spreads with the actual monsters puts you right into the danger of the world itself.  Daniel’s designs for all the monsters are also very original and something to behold as they jump off the pages and look like something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story.  Daniel’s story works because it never forgets that it is the human interests that drive the narrative and Ellen’s story is one worth telling.  The book could have easily been one that was simply a nice showcase for all the great monsters contained within but there are large sections of the narrative that focus on Ellen and the rest of her group trying to escape the maniacal James and his people.

Giant monsters have been a mainstay of the horror genre especially when you look at the continuing success of such icons such as Godzilla, King Kong, and Gamera but more recently monsters have made a successful comeback in such films as Monsters, Super 8, and The Host, not to mention all the giant monsters that are featured in the various Syfy Channel original films.  Daniel and Cheggour’s book is is definitely a must for fans of giant monster stories that just so also happens to be a good post-apocalyptic story as well.

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