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M IS FOR MONSTER by Talia Dutton


by Talia Dutton ; illustrated by Talia Dutton

Pub Date: June 28th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-4197-6220-8
Publisher: Surely Books/Abrams ComicArts

A Frankenstein-inspired graphic novel that explores how expectations get in the way of creation.

Grief-stricken and remorseful, scientist Frances “Frankie” Ai attempts to resurrect her younger sister, Maura, several months after she died in an experiment gone awry. After taking apart Maura’s body, stitching her up, and jolting her with a lightning-powered contraption in their home laboratory, Frances awakens a monster. She is surprised to discover that the monster, M, has no memory of her sister’s life before the accident. Though M and Gin Ivanov, Frances’ nonbinary spouse, have their reservations, Frances is determined to keep trying to bring back the sister she remembers. Settling into Maura’s old bedroom, the monster is startled by Maura’s ghost—whom only she is able to see—emerging from a mirror and announcing that M is wearing her body. The ghost agrees to help the monster behave more like Maura in order to stop Frances from taking her apart again. In exchange, Maura’s ghost can continue her research, talk to Frances, and live vicariously through M. Dutton pairs her rich storytelling and expressive characters with bold illustrations that evoke the mid-20th century and are executed in a palette of teal, black, and white. Sewn up with a powerful ending, this debut is a deftly paced, satisfying read. The Ai sisters read as Chinese; Gin appears White.

Electrifying, swiftly moving, and full of life.

(Graphic science fiction. 12-18)