The end of Monsters, Inc. the movie changed everything. Suddenly it was laughter that provided power for Monstropolis, not screams, and it was the funny monsters that were raking it in.
That’s where this new Boom! comic is set, taking the original TV ad dialogue from the movie and twisting it to the new reality.
Seriously, I know my Monsters, Inc. continuity. I have seen that film about seventy times. I have young children. It’s what you do.
And this is a different world. Right at the beginning, it’s Sully whose face is obscured by the company logo while Mike Wazowski gets a full frame shot. This is very significant, honestly. But it’s one of the few reincorporated jokes and references from the movie that works – and there are lots more that grate. If you haven’t seen the movie seventy times, it might come over different. But I can quote this thing verbatim.
Benjamin does give the book new aspects of the world weariness of industry and of being in charge of your friend, but while Pixar films often work on multiple levels simultaneously, this comic is less adept at that and for the most part plays down to the young reader. So while my daughter may enjoy this, I found it hard.
But if there’s a real problem here, it’s in the art. Monsters, Inc. was a lush, gorgeous production and the penline here just doesn’t capture the characters or their reality well. It’s thin, scratchy and doesn’t seem to understand basic cartooning skills. There’s no presence on the page, no character weight or understanding of motion. Her colouring does a damn fine job to try and make up for what’s lacking there, and her penlines are left wide open for it, but it’s not enough to convince and it comes off as a pale imitation of the Pixar original.
Not that my daughter cares. Philistine, she is.