Monday, April 2, 2007

Little Gloomy/Super Scary Monster Show

Little Gloomy and Super Scary Monster Show, by Landry Walker and Eric Jones (Slave Labor Graphics)

Little Gloomy is the only “normal” person living in a world of monsters. She’s constantly getting into trouble and her friends, Larry (a werewolf), Carl (a chthulhu), and Frank (can you guess?), are always helping her out. There’s a friendly mummy who owns a bar and speaks in hieroglyphics, an unfriendly witch named Evey who has evil robot kitties, Gloomy’s spurned mad scientist boyfriend, Simon, and Shelley, the supposed-to-be-bride of Frank, who didn’t turn out as planned.

The characters are absolutely adorable and the stories are fun. The adult favorite has to be Carl Chthulhu, an interstellar demi-god, destined to destroy all existence, who suffers from self-esteem problems. He’s cute as the dickens, refers to himself in the third person, and loves ponies and daisies. When he returns Gloomy’s copy of “Happy Bunny Hollow,” he says, “It did not displease Carl. Particularly the chapter with the talking bunnies. In his gratitude, Carl has decided that when the time comes for the Eldritch Gods to consume all that lives, your death will be merciful and painless.” Carl’s blog is at – trust me, you will laugh.

Super Scary Monster Show is sort of a fresher, hipper version of Little Gloomy. Eric Jones has given all the characters balloon heads and little bodies, which seems to make them cuter, and has loosened up his lines which gives it a bit of an edge. The stories are just as much fun as before, so Gloomy fans need not despair.

If your little ones like spooky, this is good stuff. Invisible men, a trip to mummy land, and lots of laughs – what’s not to like? Landry Walker writes brilliant dialogue and Jones’ art is wonderful (the sketches he did for the girls at Comic Con are amazing). There are some semi-scary zombies and a soul-stealing pumpkin-head guy, so these books probably aren’t for tiny tots who are prone to nightmares, but otherwise Little Gloomy and SSMS are great all-ages fun.

Sarah says: I like Carl because he’s supposed to kill people, but he likes bunnies and daisies and cute stuff. And I like Gloomy because she always likes to be alone like I do. It’s not too scary but it’s kind of scary ‘cause a boy scientist, Simon, is trying to take Gloomy’s mind and put it into Frank’s girlfriend that he made – she’s Shelly. Gloomy still had her mind, but Shelly is craaaaaazy (twirls fingers by ears). You will like it because it’s really funny and Carl’s really cute. SSMS is about the same thing, Little Gloomy, but the art work is different. I like it better because they make the artwork cuter.

Shelby says: You’ll like it because it isn’t very scary. Little Gloomy has a necklace that’s like an eye but they didn’t tell us why yet. She’s “the girl with three eyes” and she keeps getting kidnapped and she has this wacky ex-boyfriend who’s an evil scientist. SSMS is about Little Gloomy and her pals but is in Super Deformed style. I think Carl’s MUCH cuter – his body is rounder and smaller. The eyes get better and that’s the ticket to cuteness.


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