Monster on the Hill

GameStop, Inc.

Whitney Graceby Whitney Grace
Staff Writer
[email protected]

 

 

 

The townspeople of Stoker-Upon-Avon are less than satisfied with Top Shelf Monstertheir resident Monster on the Hill. He never comes into town rampaging and wrecking havoc. Instead he sits in his cave and sulks. The monster’s sulking isn’t helping in tourist numbers, so the town fathers contact Dr. Charles Wilkie, a less than revered scientist, to cure the monster’s melancholy. Urchin town-crier Timothy joins the doctor and both come to the conclusion they will help Rayburn. Yes, the unfortunate monster has a less than terrifying name. The trio set out on a road trip to visit one of Rayburn’s old school chums for solidarity, but a foul beast lurks in the darkness waiting to destroy.

Monster on the Hill is about a monster who gets stuck. Rayburn can’t pull himself out of his funk and it takes the boosting of outside sources and imminent danger to help realize his own talents and strengths. Despite the heavy themes, the comic is full of humor that pulls from Lonny Tunes and slapstick days of early Hollywood. It is a type of genuine humor that is hard to come by in these days of random ADD laughter. Each character brings in their own set of reasons to laugh, especially town crier Timmy and his quick sarcastic remarks.

Rob Harrell’s art is an echo of nostalgia mixed with his own blend of current creativity. Rayburn’s world has a Dr. Seuss-like feel with its colors and foliage with some of the cartoon-iness of Jeff Smith. It is easy to imagine the Cat in the Hat or Fone Bone appearing around the next panel. Rayburn’s character design borders more on the endearing than fearsome and his scowl is quickly relatable to anyone. The panels are animated with color, great simple character designs, and a world that can be explored to a fuller extend-that is a compliment.

Monster on the Hill is one of the few graphic novels in the past year that has the perfect blend of art and story. Originality oozes from its pages.

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