Department Of Monsterology: Sabbaticals Review

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Published byRenegade Arts

Twitter : @renegadeartsent

Facebook:  Renegade Arts Entertainment Ltd

Available to buy digitally HERE

Art by: PJ Holden @pauljholden

Cover by: @pyeparr

Written by: Gordon Rennie

Colour by:  Steve Denton stevendenton.wordpress.com

Lettering: Jim Campbell @CampbellLetters

Officially, it’s the Department of Cryptozoology, Mythological Studies, Parapsychology and Fortean Phenomena. But to the rest of the students and staff at the Dunsany College, baffled by the cloak of secrecy that surrounds the Department and its affairs, it has another, more dismissive, name:

The Department of Monsterology

Funded by the mysterious Hampton Foundation, the Dept. operates several field
teams that roam the globe on extended research expeditions. 
Their brief: to investigate the dark and unexplored corners of our world – the places we’ve forgotten, lost or believe to be mythical. And to study those things that may still be lurking there. Sabbaticals picks up after the events of Monsterology 101, with several team members pursuing their own agendas following their near miss with apocalyptic catastrophe in China and the SouthPacific.

The Lamont Institute may have stumbled, but it takes more than death to stop their plans, and now they are aware of Samwi’s potential, she has become their quarry. Professor Tovar’s parasitic secret is leading him into the deep darkness, far from his colleagues, towards a fate that may have consequences far beyond ridding himself of his personal burden. Michael Calvary takes Team Challenger on a sojourn to sunny Scotland to investigate an apparently haunted house, whilst the remaining members of Team Carnacki take two grad students to a remote South American island to discover there is a lot more than dinosaurs out to eat them.

And of course, following Professor Booker’s revelation in Monsterology 101, he’s wasted no time getting started on his own personal quest through the now active portal.

‘Sabbaticals opens with a really clever plot device to re-establish and remind you of the main Characters… A secretary answering phone call, who then goes on to explain to the caller who and where everyone is in a matter of fact manner that hilariously clashes with PJ Holden’s art showing us exactly what they are up to. I really liked this really clever idea. For new readers it seamlessly introduces the large volume of characters while old hands are given a gentle reminder of who they are, what teams they belong to and what they are up to without rehashing over old ground. The dialogue is believable and economical, not a single speech bubble is there that doesn’t need to be, I love tight, to the point dialogue, and this is a fantastic example of it.

The script as with the original series has a real sense of impending doom about it, you are just waiting for the massive monster to appear in the next panel. Speaking of the panels, PJ’s choices pull your eye along seamlessly with the story and when there is a surprise he loves to whip out a full page and when he does it’s an absolute beauty to behold.image1 (4)

His action panels are ace too. Showing weapons for example coming through the frame really enhances the feeling of movement and ramping up the drama in the scene.

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His use of shadows as with all his work is impeccable one of my favourite things though are his backgrounds. Doesn’t matter if it’s jungle, rocks or a numbers on a blackboard in the background the level of detail inked into them is phenomenal. image1 (3)PJ occasionally inks live on periscope and if you can’t catch one of these sessions do so, it’s mesmerizing to watch.

Steve Denton’s colours don’t smother these details either, they compliment them perfectly. The bold palette choice of colours really suits the subject matter.

Jim Campbell’s letter are a joy to read in this book. His choice of font matches the tone and content and in particular his sound effect lettering is off the chart.image2

The whole thing gives me a feeling of a 1940’s chapter plays like The Mark Of Zorro, or King Of TheRocket Men and also has the air of classics like Doc Savage or the Phantom about it. This includes the fantastic cover. In other words…

ADVENTURE.

In short: Fantastic script, PJ Holden drawing the kind of monsters he was put on this planet to draw and exceptional production values all round from Renegade Arts.  Oooh and did I mention Nazis…

Department Of Monsterology: Sabbaticals Review

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