Monster Vol 17
Submitted by Faith on October 26, 2008 - 10:22
The newest volume of Monster (vol 17 of 18) was supposed to come out on the 21st, so I rushed over to Strange Adventures to pick it up. Disaster! For some reason it hadn't come in, and wasn't on their ship list for next week either. So I did a horrible traitorous thing and went by Chapters (Canadian big box book store, for the Americans), and weirdly enough, they had two volumes in the series. Number 5 and number ... 17. Yeah, it didn't make sense to me either, but whatever. I bought the thing, ignored the rumblings of guilt over not supporting my local comic store that'd done so much to support me, and raced home to read the thing without blinking. Ye gods, what an amazing series. I've never read anything like it, except for maybe Bone, in that the author seems able to juggle multiple plotlines across a thousand plus page epic like balancing a million spinning places on sticks. It's something to behold. It was amazing to see the plots and characters from previous volumes coming together for a cataclysmic event, a sense of doom hanging over the book, driving me to bite all my nails off ... and then the volume ends, of course. ARG.
Not quite sure what to expect with the final volume, which will be out December 16 (says the Viz website). Unfortunately that's also the day I fly back to Ontario for Christmas, and my hometown does not have a comic shop (it did last year, and even had a signing for me. Then it went out of business. I'm not really that surprised, considering what the guy had for sale ... I mean, he was nice and all, but all he had was Marvel and DC for sale, so ... yeah), so I may have to do something drastic to get my paws on that last volume. Like drive all the way into Toronto for a single book. Wow, lame. Anyway, I'm really hoping for a happy ending, the good guys walking off into the sunset after defeating evil, but I'm bracing for something worse. We'll see. The plot has actually been progressing in the way that I thought it would, especially in the relationship between the "monster" of the title and his twin sister, which makes me really happy. I hate out of the blue plot twists for the sake of having the audience surprised. Foreshadowing and careful plot building are your friends, authors. If you watch The Sixth Sense, the clues are all there, and indicate the ending twist. Which is why that movie was good and the rest of Shamalan's aren't. Well, one of the reasons. ANYWAY! I also really like that the series has a strong moral centre, a main character who is perhaps more traditionally "good" than the typical heroes you see in liturature right now (although we'll see if Tenma actually follows up his promise to kill Johan. I'm conflicted as to whether or not I want him to. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't). As dark as the series is, I still get a sense of hope from it. Not like, say, The Dark Knight, which was just so dreary.
Does anyone want to recommend more manga for me to read? I've been reading a bit here and there, but it's hard to find stuff at the library because they rarely have volume 1 of whatever series checked in. So I have to put it on hold. Anyway, so far I'm loving Monster, liking Nana a lot, and was pretty underwhelmed by a lot of the shojo/wacky magical adventure manga stuff that seems to be everywhere (Emma, Fairy Tale, Sand Chronicles, One Piece). Any recc's?