Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Blast From the Past: Melvin Monster by John Stanley




Any fan of retro comics has gotta love Drawn and Quarterly's reprint of the first three Melvin Monster comic books. Part of The John Stanley Library series, this book reflects Drawn and Quarterly's high production values. The cover is elegantly textured, the pages are sewn in, the paper is thick and smooth. You get the feeling that this book is meant for collectors, not kids. But I'm not one to let that stop me--I took this beauty home to Ewan last night and we read the whole thing in one sitting, at his insistence. And big sister Katrina was hanging around listening in, too.

What a hoot! Here's the back blurb:

"Melvin is a good little monster boy who just wants to be helpful, go to school, and do as he's told--all things that are forbidden in the town of Monsterville. His days are spent trying to avoid getting eaten by his pet crocodile Cleopatra and tricking the local teacher witch, Miss McGargoyle, into accepting him into The Little Black Schoolhouse. Everything he does disappoints his parents, Baddy and Mummy! And it only gets worse when the monster collector discovers poor little Melvin."

It sounds like it could be a bit cutesy but it's not at all. My favourite character is Melvin's guardian demon, Damon, who is frankly a bit of a prima donna. The eternally optimistic and hungry Cleopatra is great too. And the only word for Melvin himself is irrepressible.  Here are some samples:
















By the way, I never realized how prolific a writer John Stanley was. Not only did he create Melvin, but he also wrote the long-running Little Lulu series and the Nancy and Sluggo cartoons, as well as writing scripts for many other famous characters. Genius. Sheer, inexhaustible genius. 

1 comment:

pink said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................