I’m one of those guys that takes my horror seriously. I love a good horror story. What people don’t realize is that it doesn’t take blood and gore to make a great horror story. It doesn’t have to scare the hell out of you or make you cringe. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t hurt, but it’s certainly not necessary. I find some of the best horror is just disturbing or makes you uneasy. It makes you question reality. Case in point, the best horror comic of the past year, hands down is a little book called Monocyte. I reviewed Monocyte when it first came out, as a four part bi-monthly mini-series with additional tie-in stories at the end of each issue. Just recently it was released in full as a hardback collection with all kinds of cool extras.
Monocyte is the brain child of writer Kasra Ghanbari and artist Menton3. This was the first work by Ghanbari, but believe me when I tell you this guy knows exactly what he’s doing. Menton3’s artwork is nothing short of breathtaking….Every single page of the book is mesmerizing; I mean every page looks as if it belongs on the wall of a fine art museum. The beauty and extreme detail in every panel is equally matched by some truly terrifying, evil images that you could stare at for hours and still be fascinated with.
So what’s Monocyte about? What’s so special about the book? Well first off it’s an original story built upon its own mythology, yet grounded into reality due to humans being central to the plot. Central because in this reality we humans have been enslaved by two warring races of immortals in what seems like a barren world where time means nothing, and death is considered a blessing. Death comes in the form of the character Azreal, who is trying to reclaim his power over this world by summoning a long forgotten necromancer. The necromancer? Monocyte. Monocyte makes a pact with Azreal in the hopes to finally achieve his goal, death. What sounds like a pretty straight forward story is actually a very demanding , involved tale that requires you, the reader to really make a commitment to read into every single page. It isn’t an easy read and that’s part of what makes the story great. I remember hating having to wait so long between issues, but it actually benefits the book. It gave me time to go back and analyze each issue to make sure I truly understood what was happening.
Not only do you have the main story, but at the end of each issue you had two separate stories giving you more background into how this world became, and what goes on from the humans point of view. You have, “The Chronicles of the Messenger” written and illustrated by David Stoupakis. It revolves around the character Beatrice, a child who is also in the main story as an adult. She can see the immortals and understands the way humans fit into this immortal society. The second short story is titled, “Chronicles of the Shepherd” also written by Ghanbari and illustrated by the amazing Riley Rossmo. It shows how the humans are farmed. Both stories are perfect fits for the main story and help add layers to the mythology that Ghanbari has created. On top of all of these stories there are various covers for each issue, from not only Menton3, but also the talented Ben Templesmith and Riley Rossmo.
To top things off, Menton3 also made an album titled Monocyte under the name Satillo to act as a soundtrack for the book. It fits perfectly! It’s a dark, industrial, driving album that is amazing on it’s own. It works like clockwork when combined with the comic. This isn’t Menton3’s first album, you can also check out Ganglion both available from Storming the Base.
So if you’re sitting around and looking for something creepy and unique to read, pick up Monocyte. It’s a rare treat that you will be able to read again and again, always finding something new to keep you up at night. Don’t forget to check out some of the other horror themed reviews right here at Comicbooked.com where you’ll always find the best tricks and treats.