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'Where Monsters Lie' #1 is a meta-horror filled with wonderful weirdos
Dark Horse

Comic Books

‘Where Monsters Lie’ #1 is a meta-horror filled with wonderful weirdos

A unique approach to horror and killers, it’s funny, weird, and wholly original.

Monsters don’t get enough exploration in our media. Sure, they get plenty of slasher flicks, but what’s going on inside Jason’s head? Can Freddy ever relax if kids keep dreaming, and where do they all go when they need to retire? Thankfully Kyle Starks is doing all the thinking for us with Where Monsters Lie, a new series from Dark Horse Comics drawn by Piotr Kowalski. Self-dubbed a meta-horror, the new series feels incredibly original in an industry of overflowing sameness.

Where Monsters Lie #1 opens with four boys running from a house at the end of a street. They escaped a kidnapping, but an old woman answered the door and will surely help them. Just kidding: she sticks her knitting needle through one of the boy’s throats and up through his eye. We soon learn this is no ordinary street but a street filled with serial killers, and each has their own gimmick. As each boy gets taken out, we soon learn these killers know each other and are a bit weird.

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Cut to the old woman leading a meeting with them all, angry that the rules were broken. You don’t sh*t where you eat, as it were. Puzzleman broke the rules by bringing a kid to the neighborhood, drawn to perfection by Kowalski. We can see he’s not quite all there. In fact, we soon learn that they’re all not quite there, or at least most of these killers have lost their mojo.

'Where Monsters Lie' #1 review

That’s gotta hurt.
Credit: Dark Horse

It’s dark humor, to say the least, with plenty of opportunity to go in a few different directions. While you learn about these characters, I dare you not to daydream about what Puzzleman’s killer traps are like or what the deal is with the guy wearing a teddy bear. It’s obvious there’s a lot of story to mine here, although, given the cliffhanger, it seems these defunct and semi-retired killers might have overstayed their welcome.

The plot moves quickly, maybe too quickly, as we check in with the cops after they pick up the lone survivor from the massacre of kids at the beginning of the issue. Given how great these weird scenes are with the killers interacting like death traps and murder are normal, the cliffhanger seems sudden.

The art by Kowalski is strong, with a heavy focus on environments and background detail. The little details, be it the texture of the wallpaper or the pictures on the rug underneath the killer’s feet, are such that you could go without color, and it’d still look good. That isn’t to say Vladimir Popov’s colors are bad, far from it, giving the world a nice pop with some of the more colorful killers. There’s something incredibly comedic about a guy wearing a paper bag with blood on his apron standing in the green grass.

Where Monsters Lie #1 is the kind of comic you’ll be fully invested in by the end, wishing to learn more about its colorful characters. A unique approach to horror and killers, it’s funny, weird, and wholly original.

'Where Monsters Lie' #1 is a meta-horror filled with wonderful weirdos
‘Where Monsters Lie’ #1 is a meta-horror filled with wonderful weirdos
Where Monsters Lie #1
Where Monsters Lie #1 is the kind of comic you'll be fully invested in by the end, wishing to learn more about its colorful characters. A unique approach to horror and killers, it's funny, weird, and wholly original.
Reader Rating2 Votes
8.8
Creative premise sets you up to laugh and be compelled to come back for more
The art has a great attention to detail
Comedy timing on these weirdos is great
The cliffhanger progresses things almost too soon? It's too early to say but the cops are barely introduced
9
Great
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