Story by Gordon Rennie
Art by PJ Holden
Colours by Steven Denton
Letters by Jim Campbell
Renegade Arts Entertainment
Review by Patrick McAleer
Dept of Monsterology #1 is the first of a 4 part miniseries from new guys on the block, Renegade Arts Entertainment. It is a gorgeous little book detailing the exploits of two teams of researchers who specialize in the whole gamut of ‘ologies’ that one would term the supernatural or the mythological.
This first issue opens in the south Pacific, on board a research vessel. In the depths below swims Amelia Court, one of the aforementioned specialists. Right from the get-go we are introduced to one species of the monsters that will no doubt populate this series. Are our human protagonists perturbed by these creatures? No, on the contrary, they are hunting for them.
Writer Gordon Rennie no doubt takes inspiration from the likes of Mike Mignola, and if you read carefully you’ll notice he pays homage to earlier Lovecraftian influences. That said, this is an altogether new and fresh take on the supernatural, monster hunting sub-genre. Particularly given that the story is divided between two team, which is where my only criticism of Rennie arises. Creating basically a two-part first issue seems unnecessary, and indeed if he had chosen to focus on one team, it would have allowed greater exposition to more firmly establish his characters. Not only that, but perhaps this could have pushed this out to five or six issues instead of four. However, the demands and economics of publishing perhaps forced his hand here. In any event its a minor quibble as he has defintely piqued my interest with what he has given us in this first issue.
As for the art, PJ Holden has a joyful style, yet he can call upon his darker urges to craft some wonderful looking beasts. There’s no doubt this is visually a dark book, maybe a little too dark in places to fully appreciate the detailing in Holden’s backgrounds. Again a minor quibble as Steven Denton’s colours adds wonderfully to the overall dark foreboding mood of the book.
Overall this is a great first installment in what I fear will be an all too brief four part series. If you like your comics populated with monsters and adventure, you won’t do better than Dept Of Monsterology.
Patrick is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @RepStones.