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Melvin Monster: Volume One Hardcover – May 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Melvin Monster (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly; First Edition edition (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189729963X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897299630
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #946,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JOHN STANLEY (1914–93) was a journeyman comics scripter in the 1950s and 1960s. He is most famous for his scripts for the majority of the Little Lulu comics produced by Dell, and is considered by many comics historians to be the most consistently funny and idiosyncratic writer ever to work in the field. He left comics bitterly sometime in the late 1960s, never to return.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Diamonddulius on December 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Drawn & Quarterly (much like Fantagraphics) has championed artists rights and the artistic merits of cartooning/comic books since they came into existence. So how in the world could they think leaving the covers out of this collection is a good idea? It seems like a DC/Marvel decision to me. No real historical text about Stanley, the comics industry at that point or the importance of the Melvin character in general. The cover and design (by Seth) are handsome, but sorely lacking without the covers and other stuff mentioned. D&Q similarly dropped the ball on the Nancy collection. Please D&Q, get on the ball with the remainder of this series!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gord Wilson VINE VOICE on June 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The John Stanley Library from Montreal's Drawn and Quarterly has been the talk of 2009, as fans look forward with eager anticipation. The first volume, Melvin Monster, is out at last, after a 32 page teaser comic for Free Comic Book Day that was half Melvin/ half Nancy. That comic gave a pretty good preview of things to come. Like the Library, it was designed by Seth, who gave such a retro look to the Peanuts hardback sets The Complete Peanuts 1950-1954 Box Set. Unlike the Peanuts sets, however, the Melvin cover depicts a stylized design by Seth, rather than Stanley cover art.

Melvin Monster was published by Dell from 1965-1969. There were only ten issues, and the tenth is a reprint of the first. This hardback, color volume includes the first three comics, so there could be two more volumes to cover the entire run. However, unlike the Another Rainbow Little Lulu Library, you don't get the original comic covers, only the stories. There are about a hundred pages of color comics, printed on quality paper, but which looks like the original newsprint, in a handsome, library quality 11 X 8 inch hardback binding. Certainly more archival than the original comics.

Collectors will still likely want the original issues, as some of the covers, at least, have Stanley art. Everyone else may be wondering what's the big deal about John Stanley? In the realm of humorous kids' comics, he was simply without peer, and most of the exceptions one might name turn out to also be by him.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Syn on May 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Melvin is an underrated and underlauded creation of the monster crazy 60's by artist/writer John Stanley. The art and especially the humor of these stories really holds up however. Melvin's journeys, "through the looking glass" from Monstertown to "Humanbeanville", create a bizarre and hilarious little mythology that I enjoyed today as much as I did when they first came out. The presentation in this volume is beautiful, but I wish it contained more than three issues for volume one..
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on June 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This collection was a very pleasant surprise. I actually remember when these first issues of Melvin Monster were originally published. There was a heck of a lot of "funny monster" material back in the 60's- with a few rare exceptions most of it was pretty forgettable. But not Melvin. Looking back at these stories from a four decade perspective I think I know why they are so memorable. These aren't primarily monster stories, but are really stories of dysfunction and alienation. Don't get me wrong- these are extremely funny stories, it is just that the humor flows from deeper wellsprings...

First of all, Melvin's family is the perfect picture of dysfunction. There is "Baddy" who can barely contain his disappointment and rage at having a son like Melvin. Then there is bandaged, wounded, remote "Mummy" who goes along with "Baddy" and gives no real support. The family pet constantly dreams of killing and eating him, so there is no comfort there. Even his relationship with his cute little witch girl friend is essentially a masochistic one- Melvin is so starved for affection that he puts up with the abuse. Even his guardian demon can't remember his name.

Then there is the fact that monster society (which runs parallel to human society like a monster "ghetto") is absolutely at odds with all of Melvin's instincts. He tries to do what he feels is right and good but it is always condemned as weird and abnormal. The best example of this is the way all "real" monsters are expected to hate school and play hooky. Melvin on the other hand loves school and shows up everyday- only to be punished and scorned by the teacher.

He doesn't fare any better in human "bean" society either.
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