Monstrosis Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Question of the Day | Mythology vs. Narrative

Chris Wisnia's Monstrosis is big on mythology

In a recent interview, filmmaker Rian Johnson was asked about the potential for a sequel to Looper. He said he was grateful that people thought the world could sustain more exploration, but ultimately it’s not something he’s interested in. Among other reasons, he’d rather let the unseen parts of the movie remain unseen. “Even if you do feel like you want to see more of it,” he said, “do you really want to see more of it?” He continues, “I think there’s something powerful about it being mythology as opposed to it actually being narrative.”

We seem to have an innate desire to want The Whole Story. We want to see the Clone Wars. We want to know about the giant pilot from Alien. We want the history of the Bourne project. And all this got me thinking about comics as well as movies. When I was a kid, we didn’t have comics stores. I got my comics at the local drug store or supermarket, and my choices were limited to whatever what was on the spinner rack. There were no back-issue bins or eBay, so if I missed an issue – and I always missed issues – I was hosed. Every issue of Batman seemed to be continuing some story I didn’t have the beginning of. Every issue of Spider-Man ended on a cliffhanger that I’d never see resolved.

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Chris Wisnia brings back Kirby-style monsters in Monstrosis

Before Reed Richards ever convinced his friends to join him on a rocket trip to outer space, and before the Avengers ever assembled, their co-creator Jack Kirby had spent years at Marvel working on a different kind of mutated comic: monsters. And although Kirby may be gone, others have proudly pushed on in his stead, and now an upcoming graphic novel by Chris Wisnia is lofting the freak flag one more time in a Kirby-infused panorama of man versus monster.

Released by the fine folks at SLG Publishing, the graphic novel Monstrosis: The Giant Russian Monster Conspiracy has Wisnia taking his intrepid photojournalist character Doris Danger into the belly of the beast — literally — when she goes out to uncover the truth about monsters. Along the way she’s bound to meet “the world’s greatest actor” Dirk Doole, Army Commander Luke Luggash and a librarian-turned-behemonth  known as … Pootwah.

Although Wisnia might be a veritable unknown in comics circles, his pop Kirby art homage recalls the King himself … and Wisnia has enlisted a few modern greats of his own in the form of guest inkers like Mike Allred, Herb Trimple and Bill Sienkiewicz, and pin-ups from everyone from Neal Adams to Simon Bisley.

This seems like a unique weekend read, celebrating Kirby’s epic style in the hands of someone new and reveling in insane monster wackiness.

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