What kind of story combines monster movies from the ‘50s, Shakespeare and Roy Orbison with humorous crabs, an atomic sea monster, murder and romance? Try Jonathan Case’s debut graphic novel, Dear Creature. It’s a fun glimpse into the soul of a monster, portrayed in black and white detail.
The crabs have been quite happy tagging along with Grue, an atomically created sea monster until he discovers cola bottles containing Shakespeare’s plays. Now, he’s no longer content to feed on lusty teens on the California beach, and they’re losing their meal ticket. The crabs just can’t convince Grue that “Dead cheerleaders will always nourish better than dead playwrights.” He’s determined to find the person who set those Kiki Cola bottles adrift.
Grue follows a young boy distributing soda to an old boat, and once the boy and his flamboyant mother leave, he finds his soul mate, Giulietta, a woman who sailed from Naples after World War II. But, he finds her a prisoner on the boat, and it will take all his love to free her from her own fears. But, his own past comes back to haunt them, and tear them apart, threatening to destroy not only their lives, but the lives of everyone they care about, including those crabs.
Case’s first graphic novel is funny, tragic, and romantic. The black and white comics are perfect for the story, reminiscent of those old horror films. Grue is a charming monster, and readers will root for him. Jonathan Case’s debut is a successful story that manages to combine elements that shouldn’t mesh, but work well together in this appealing graphic novel. And, I just love those opinionated funny crabs who provide the commentary in Dear Creature.
Jonathan Case’s website is http://jonathancase.net
Dear Creature by Jonathan Case. Tor, Tom Doherty Associates. ©2011. ISBN 9780765331113 (paperback), 192p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.