"30 Monsters or Less #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Ross Kearney
Illustrated by Bryan Steward
2017, 36 Pages
How far would you go for a pizza? Would you put a man’s life in danger to get one? The answer is obviously “yes” because pizza is amazing. Such is the case with 30 Monsters or Less, an indie comic set in the near future where the world has been under constant attack by monsters for years. Infrastructure like armored silent monorails has been built to get by with this menace. The most dangerous job in this dystopian world is that of a pizza delivery boy.
Right off the bat, 30 Monsters or Less hits with an amazing hook. There are definitely some incredible ideas at work, however the comic falls short on its execution. First and foremost, the lettering is rough. The fonts are varied, like the creators just kind of wrote the text in wherever it would fit, changing the size as needed. The balloons are awkwardly placed and contain way too much text.
Artist Bryan Steward’s page layout is intriguing and a little trippy. The panels are in non-traditional sizes and shapes, which add to the post-apocalyptic feel of the story. It’s like you’re getting these snapshots ripped from someone’s mind and they’re flowing together on the page.
The main monster we see chasing the pizza delivery guy is a giant ant. That doesn’t sound all that terrifying on its own, but Steward makes it work wonders. Its head looks like a huge deformed skull, making it look like it just broke through to our realm from the underworld.
While the monsters are solid, the human characters appear rather flat and awkward. The anatomy looks off, so people are standing in unnatural positions. They’re faces look strange and a little stretched out too.
30 Monsters or Less has an incredible premise and there’s definitely a good story in here. It just doesn’t stick the landing. For example, the opening pages show the initial monster invasion, which is then followed up with a huge block of text giving you a history lesson as to what is going on and what you’re about to read. That kind of stuff should be weaved into the plot and dialogue to give you an idea of what’s going on while also moving the story along. The whole thing also raises the question as to how much a pizza costs if this is what someone has to go through to get it to you.