Hi everyone! Today we’re joined by a very special guest, my editor Adam Wilson. Adam is awesome, but you’ll see that soon enough:
If you’re like me, you read The BFG growing up and were enchanted by Sophie and her friendship with the world’s only kind giant. If you’re even more like me, you owned not one but several encyclopedias (bestiaries!) of assorted monsters and beings. Some were D&D related. Some were just whatever pictorial endeavor was available at the library. Some were…ahem…self-made and self-illustrated. You read them a lot, even past your bedtime. You watched the Smurfs, Thundar the Barbarian, the short-lived Qbert cartoon, He-Man, and a million other shows that blurred the line between reality and the fantastical with that greatest medium of all: the cartoon.
Finally, if you’re even more like me, you’re a thirtysomething Gen-X editor who lives in New York (Brooklyn, really), likes to imagine what other types of beings would be like if they were around, thinks about how their presence would affect us all, wonders if they would cash in on celebrity culture—and you would have happened to have read the great series Jesse Petersen began with Married with Zombies.
This me/you was drawn not only to Jesse’s wit and easy narrative flow, but, above all, to her awareness of humanity. In Married with Zombies, the humanity was in, well, actual humans, who were (darkly) comically dealing with a zombie invasion. (So absorbed in their own problems were the hero and heroine that they didn’t notice the world had basically ended…until they saw their marriage counselor chewing on the brains of the annoying couple being seen before them. That is people I know!)
So, with the warm glow of that fun tale in the me/you, I/we read another fun work by Jesse—Club Monstrosity. Here, the humanity wasn’t wasted on puny humans but rather inhabited supposedly monstrous individuals. At last–here were the monsters of Saturday morning cartoons that I once rooted for. But, wait! They had grown up along with me/him/you/us. They faced adult problems. They had adult feelings and foibles. And they were, well, hilarious, dorky, adorable, nervous, loving, arrogant, frustrated, smart, wishy-washy, kind, gentle, complex, human, and maybe even a little monstrous. The Frankenstein’s creature that is worried about her scars? The Wolfman who has to constantly shave lest he go full furball? And, in the sequel, The Monsters in Your Neighborhood, a Cthulhu named Pat? Pat? …Pat?
These thing made me smile. A lot. And I think they’ll make you smile, too. For, one thing’s for sure: if there were monsters in NYC, they would definitely need group therapy like those in Club Monstrosity, and their adventures would definitely be just as epic.
Editor—Pocket, Gallery Books
See, told you. He’s awesome. 🙂 Thanks for that flashback to my own childhood, Adam. And for all the very nice words about my zombies and monsters.