Monsters, mayhem and madness are, to coin an often overused phrase, like a four colour red rag to my comic devouring bull. If a book has one or more of them, I will, much like a less homicidal Liam Neeson, find it and read it. And the higher panel and page percentage of any combination of the three that are included between the covers, the more likely it is that I’ll geek out over the book and do my happy little funny book dance while rabidly consuming its contents.
As Kyle Starks book about a gated community of serial killing slasher stars facing off against a legion of armed police thanks to one of the video nasty villains making a trademark mistake in the opening credits, sorry I mean, pages, turns my triumvirate of comic book titillations all the way up to eleven and barely pauses to catch it’s gore infused breath, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was hooked from the moment the first eye ball popping skewer to the skull appeared in grizzly detail before the end of the third page.
Where Monsters Lie is a heartfelt tribute to the slasher genre, that flips the usual stereotypical tropes on their head to tell a darkly humorous, character driven tale of obsession and what life for the deranged and criminally insane is like in the ‘burbs. Packed full of in jokes, Starks’ narrative rips apart the idea of the suburban white picket fence dream and rebuilds it as the plot for the slasher film that you never knew existed, but have always wanted, and needed to see and questions the nature versus nurture idea of whether killers are born to make others bleed, or are turned into monsters by the sum of their experiences. Fuelled by the deliciously detailed art of Piotr Kowalski. Where Monsters Lie, much like the films that inspired it, is destined to become a cult classic, so drop whatever you’re doing and say yes to the Kowalski and Starks Kool Aid. It’s time to testify at the altar of Monsters… Tim Cundle