From modern comics icon Jeff Lemire (Gideon Falls, Black Hammer) and artist Dustin Nguyen (Descender, Robin & Batman) comes the stellar second chapter of their tiny vampire survival series in Little Monsters #2. Featuring lettering from Steve Wands, this issue delves into the past of certain cast members and reveals more about the children’s situation – and what has been kept from them. With a perfectly paced script and functionally perfect art work, this comic will be an absolute joy for fans of vampire fiction needing something new.
“When a man stumbles into their camp, the long-forgotten taste of human blood is quickly remembered.”
Writing & Plot
Jeff Lemire continues his streak of near-impeccable writing projects with his script for Little Monsters #2. Where the first issue worked as an introduction to this concept and the cast of characters, the 2nd chapter is a perfect launch point for the coming conflicts. Here, we get to see into one character’s past and an inkling of how they may feel about their vampiric life – and what that life sometimes means. We also get the exact opposite view of this lot in life, and some more hints as to the nature of the being who made all these children into little creatures of the night. The pacing of this chapter’s plot development is absolutely perfect. Lemire switches from a tense flashback sequence to the present view of multiple characters and it all feels so seamless. Being a cartoonist, with writer/artist credits on acclaimed titles like Sweet Tooth, Underwater Welder, and most recently Mazebook, he’s well aware of how to pace a comic to take advantage of the visual medium. Lemire leaves many panels and pages without dialogue, allowing for Nguyen to carefully craft a tense reading experience that will surely enrapture readers. We will need to have a conversation soon about how Jeff Lemire may very well be the most consistently great comics writer currently working.
As stated previously, Dustin Nguyen really gets to flex his creative muscles in Little Monsters #2. His stunning use of black & white in conjunction with his detailed and unique penciling will leave an indelible mark on a reader’s mind. If you’ve read the prior issue, or his work with Lemire on Descender or Ascender, none of his raw artistic skill will surprise you. However, his rendition of the story’s methodical pacing is true comics-exclusive magic. The way Nguyen takes Lemire’s narrative and so carefully blocks and directs it with his drawings is truly fantastic work. Scenes in this comic will stay with me for some time just because of how Nguyen places them, and how perfectly paced out the whole issue feels. The lettering from Steve Wands is subtle, and sort of blends into the reading experience. I mean this in a positive manner. Even his SFX lettering is subtle, coming in at the perfect moment in small doses to add the perfect punctuation to a tension-filled scene. Visually, this comic is an absolute feat, featuring the kind of storytelling only possible in this medium.
Little Monsters #2 is a stellar 2nd chapter for this unique post-apocalyptic vampire tale. Jeff Lemire’s script is perfectly paced and steps in a compelling direction for the next stages of this plot. The visuals from Dustin Nguyen are starkly drawn and carefully directed, making for one of the most striking comics of the year. Be sure to grab this issue when it hits shelves on April 6th!