The Monsterjunkies by Erik Daniel Shein

The Monsterjunkies

An American Family Odyssey, Volume 1
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A graphic novel adaptation of the Monsterjunkies YA adventure.

Talon and Pandora Monsterjunkie use their mansion in Foggy Point, Maine, as a sanctuary for rare and endangered creatures. In their care are the pituitary giants Frances and Betty, a pygmy elephant, a sea monster, and a sasquatch named Beau (among many others). The Monsterjunkies keep their lives as cryptozoologists private, fearing that the outside world might exploit or turn violent against them. Yet the Monsterjunkie children, Crow and Indigo, have the normal teenage desires to fit in and have friends. Talon and Pandora bring a few creatures to the kids’ schools for show and tell, dispelling some of the mystery shrouding the family. Indigo befriends a girl named Winter, and Crow eventually hits it off with a trio of classmates after they sneak onto the Monsterjunkies’ property (only to be terrified by Beau). Later, when a group of bullies picks on Winter, Crow and his friends are drawn into an escalating prank war. The lead bully, Ruth, is encouraged by his rich and powerful father, who’s busy using connections to run the Monsterjunkies out of town. Can the family rise above the prejudice of a hateful minority? This graphic novel adaptation by Jay Fotos Studios is delightfully faithful, in spirit and dialogue, to the original material. The art presents wide-eyed, smiling characters who skew fairly close to those found in Archie comics. The color palette is mostly subdued greens and browns, except for bolder colors that help the creatures jump from the panels. Shein and Gates’ important themes of standing against bullies without stooping to their levels and battling homophobia carry over from their novel. There’s also an anti-smoking and -drinking message, as Ruth and his evil father indulge frequently. For the wrap-up, the authors rely on realistic solutions to the Monsterjunkies’ problems—like Talon working less and being more available to Crow—which keeps the characters identifiable (and admirable) to readers of all ages. Fans will surely welcome a follow-up adaptation.

A worthy, faithful companion to the prose novels.

Pub Date: March 14th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-615-99015-6
Page count: 82pp
Publisher: Red Anvil Comics
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2015




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