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REVIEW: 'Little Monsters' #1 by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

 


LITTLE MONSTERS #1

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 9, 2022
Cover Price: $3.99

They are the last children on Earth... who also happen to be vampires. For longer than they can remember, these child vampires have lived a life of eternal wonder amongst the ruins of humanity. But shocking events fracture the group and set them on a path of discovery that will shatter their innocence forever.

Score:
★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

There are certain comic book creators whose books I'll pick up without hesitation. One of those creators is Jeff Lemire. He instills confidence knowing that his stories will be thoughtful and engaging. You add a talented artist like Dustin Nguyen on another collaborative effort and well, 'Little Monsters,' is a must-buy. I know, shocking. 

 They team up again with an intriguing post-apocalyptic vampire tale featuring "the last children on Earth" who've been left to their own devices among the ruins of civilization. Issue one raises a ton of questions but lays the groundwork for the world-building and personalities of this precocious but bored group of kids. Seemingly immortal and unable to age, they fill their nights playing games, searching for rats to bite, and waiting for a certain someone to return. It's all clouded in mystery as Lemire holds back a lot of the why and when and where of it all. This day, or rather a night, in the life of these kids reveals plenty and draws the reader in wanting to know more. The kids themselves show enough personality and are distinctive enough to capture the reader's interest. Lemire's skill for creating sympathetic and empathetic characters comes through again. 

As economic as Lemire's dialogue is in this opening issue, the hopes and wants of the kids' are displayed with confidence and clarity. The issue is really a showcase of Nguyen's innumerable talents as an artist. The mostly black and white pages deliver a world at dusk that's been devasted for some time. Debris and dilapidated infrastructure cast in silhouette, skies of gray, buildings in disarray, and it all adds up to a gnawing sense of desolation and loneliness. What color Nguyen uses he uses sparingly to great effect. The orange in a harvest moon, a red flag, rat's blood on the lips, all become striking focal points throughout. Nguyen establishes a devasted world for which these kids must traverse. 

'Little Monsters' is off to an intriguing start with an endearing cast of immortal vampires alone in a world in ruins. Lemire spins a compelling tale that blends genres. 'The Lost Boys' meets 'Y: The Last Man' in this beautifully illustrated new series by Nguyen. It's an inviting and exciting new comic as only these two masters could create. 

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