Advanced Review: Monty The Dinosaur #2

Monty The Dinosaur #2

Writer: Bob Frantz

Art: Jean Franco

Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment

Release Date: 09/28/2016

Monty the Dinosaur from writer Bob Frantz  and artist Jean Franco is the story of a lone surviving Dinosaur in the 21st century who is dying to make a friend. Only problem, everyone’s afraid of him. Until he meets Sophie, an adventurous young girl who is not scared one bit by the friendly dinosaur. With new friend Sophie, Monty isn’t alone anymore. Issue one is broken up into two short stories. First, how Monty met Sophie and in the second story Monty and Sophie attend a birthday party together (and there’s cupcakes!). Issue two follows that same pattern with two short stories entitled School and Bananas.

In the story “School” Monty learns of a place that human children go to called School. Monty is pretty intrigued and then Sophie informs him that there is chocolate milk and Monty declares he has to go. What follows is a set of hilarious antics aimed at getting Monty enrolled in school (all for that chocolate milk, I’m sure).

The second short story is called “Bananas”. This story focuses on Monty and Sophie’s quest for, you guessed it, bananas! The duo is dismayed to find that they are all out of bananas at their home so they head to the local grocery store to buy some only to find they are out as well. So where do they go next to find their food of choice? Well, you’ll just have to buy the issue to find out. Make sure to ask for Monty The Dinosaur at your local comic shop.

Bob Frantz does an excellent job in this series of creating a character that is both funny to children and adults. Often times in series that are aimed at all ages, they either have main characters that appeal to children, or they have main characters that appeal to adults. Frantz has given us a character that excels at doing both. Monty the Dinosaur is layered in such a way that children can understand the jokes, like when Monty can’t do things because of his short arms. But also adults can read into it a bit further, like how it’s sort of a commentary on belonging in a society when you’re a bit  different than the norm. The art by Jean Franco is excellent. The character design for Monty is great, making a dinosaur that is as cute as Monty is is a feat in and of itself. I love the layouts and the structure the Franco uses. It adds another dimension to the story telling. The color choices by Franco bring a bright and vibrant palette sure to please children and adults a like.

All in all Monty the Dinosaur #2 is a fun all ages romp that is sure to delight the entire family. If you don’t have this series on your pull list then you better hurry and add it. You can order the trade due out in November here. Be sure to follow Bob Frantz on twitter for updates. You can get more news about Monty the Dinosaur and Action Lab’s other offerings here. Also, make sure to demand Monty the Dinosaur at your local comic shop.


Advanced Review: Gotham Academy #4

Gotham Academy #4

Release Date: Jan. 28th 2015

Publisher: DC

Creators: Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher

Art: Karl Kerschl

“Seriously. I dare this day to get worse”


I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible. Gotham Academy was one of my favorite series from last year. The writing team of Becky Cloonan (who is quickly become one of my favorite writers), and Brenden Fletcher expertly craft a compelling who-donnit story. All the while building a roster of characters who are not only enjoyable, but easy to connect with and feel for (also Maps is THE most adorable young person in comics today). Issue four continues in this strong tradition. It picks up a couple days after the events in issue three with the gang trying to come to terms with what had happened. Turns out that In their rush to leave the North Hall they forgot to close the front door behind them. Now everyone knows that someone was there last night and the whole hall is  shut down. Luckily for the gang no one knows they were the ones who entered in. Cloonan and Fletcher continue their quick, dialogue heavy story telling throughout the comic, solving a few mysteries and presenting a few more. Balancing their narrative and leaving the reader feeling satisfied, yet famished for more all at the same time. This issue also features a certain special cameo by a certain special someone (again no spoilers, if you want to know go buy the book!). This issue moves at a torrid pace, not leaving any time for the reader to become bored or complacent. The art by Karl Kerschl raises the bar on what was already spectacular art for this series. Kerschls use of spacing a framing really sets this comic apart. An example of this would be pages 4-5 He uses clever spacing and paneling to convey movement and as a mode of story telling in and of its self. In doing so he creates a world that is equal parts intricate and beautiful. He has a knack for creating facial expressions that perfectly match the situation the characters are in. The coloring by Msassyk & Serge LaPointe is a perfect pallet for the world of Gotham Academy. The use of light and glare make it feel like a perpetual twilight, which adds to the overall tone and feel of the comic.

This comic is an excellent addition to an already strong series. In my opinion this issue is the best entry yet. Cloonan and Fletcher continue to lead readers down a twisting, ever expanding story, and I personally cannot wait to discover whats at the end. Seriously go buy this issue.

I give this issue a 8.5/10

-Andrew Horton