Robbins, John – The Monkey-Head Complaint



The Monkey-Head Complaint

You know, there’s a downside to my usual method for reviewing these comics.  To the curious, here it is: I read the comic, go the computer and write a review.  Some days I take more time than others, but mostly it’s a pretty simple formula.  There is occasionally a comic like this one, however, where as I sit down to write it feels like the story is still blooming in my head and, in this case, increasingly making me uneasy.  Not in a bad way; for the story involved that means Sean/John succeeded admirably.  It’s just a solid hint that my usual instant reaction to these things is probably going to be lacking.  This is the story of (and I’m cribbing this from the back of the comic) a jaded couple, a contrary mother and her oddly troubled son.  The husband of the couple Frank, sees the son (Jack) out shoplifting a couple of times and, vaguely knowing the mother, decides to stop by and try to talk some sense into the lad.  Most of the story here is told by the couple sitting at a table and chatting, and the idea to have them tell the story in a smarmy and literary manner (while the husband briefly bitches about it) was brilliant.  Soon after this talk the mother ended up dead from a self-inflicted wound, or so everybody thought.  Frank decided that perhaps his visit set something off in the boy and he needed to find out if that was the case; meanwhile the wife is worried sick after not hearing back from her husband.  If this all seems vaguely creepy, Sean/John did a great job of making the story seem almost casual as I was reading it, even with a vague undercurrent of dread that was always around the corner.  Still, the tone of the conversation alone kept things light, which is how they managed to make everything that happens next even more shocking, while still managing to  make perfect sense in hindsight.   This doesn’t even mention the monkey-head, which is the sampled page anyway, so read it for yourself.  Hell, read the whole thing for yourself.  If we want comics as a whole to get smarter things like this are going to have to lead the way.  Subtle horror is damned hard to come by in comics, or anywhere else for that matter.  No price but John usually keeps these things cheap, so I’d guess $2-3.  Send extra money and just get a bunch of his comics to be on the safe side.


Posted on April 26, 2010, in Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Robbins, John – The Monkey-Head Complaint.

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