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Comic-Book Review: ''Giant Monster''

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GIANT MONSTER
Steve Niles and Nat Jones
(Paperback; on sale now)
This graphic novel from 30 Days of Night writer-creator Niles deserves some sort of award for non-ironic titling. After space-shuttle pilot Don Maggert is overtaken by an alien parasite just before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, he transforms into an extremely hungry and extremely big beastie. Mankind’s only hope is a similarly outsized ”Super Attack Bot” designed by Nazi scientist Dr. Fenstermach. However, there’s something about Fenstermach’s massive ‘droid that seems a bit sinister. Maybe it’s those giant decorative swastikas. FOR FANS OF… Cloverfield, Godzilla, King Kong — anything, really, where there’s a strong possibility of people ending up as human bubblegum on the sole of a monster’s foot. DOES IT DELIVER? Artist Jones gleefully embraces the carnage-for-carnage’s-sake vibe as he berserkly illustrates the ever-growing Maggert’s rampaging ways. But Niles lards the proceedings with enough sly humor to elevate the result above the level of mere destructo-porn. B+ — Clark Collis

YOUNG LIARS
David Lapham
(Monthly; issue Nos. 1 and 2 are on sale now)
Guitarist David Duotone (né David Noonan) and retail chain heiress/poor little rich girl Sadie Dawkins (née Sadie Browning), departed Austin, Tex., for the Big Apple under as-yet-undisclosed, but very likely crime-related circumstances. Also, it turns out, Sadie later had a bullet lodged in the ”moral and emotional center” of her brain — so she’s nuts. Nonetheless, Duotone, our unreliable narrator, loves her. Now, along with a supporting cast that includes cross-dressers and groupies in NYC (and the comics’ readers), they impatiently await an as-yet-undisclosed plot direction. Maybe in issue No. 3? FOR FANS OF… Class of 1984; Crazy/Beautiful. DOES IT DELIVER? Lapham, author of the award-winning crime comic Stray Bullets, has a thing for elliptical storytelling. But without a plot to hang it on, the cheap nihilism (and the kind of anarchist punks that exist only on episodes of Quincy and CHiPs) gets tiresome — the first panel alone packs in cocaine, cunnilingus, and caged ladies. If he’s going to keep this kind of company, our hero might want to change out of his Violent Femmes T-shirt and into something a little tougher. B- — Sean Howe

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