Asbury Park Comic Con this year was great, we got to spend time with a bunch of old friends and made some new ones! It was a pretty packed convention and as well as having tables on the main floor there was a second floor it was a wide breezeway running around the circumference of the building. Sunny and open it boasted table after table of comics, collectibles, original comics and art. This is where I ran across one of the most interesting tables I’d stopped at that day.
Micheal Montenat is a young artist of more than a little talent, he’s also been fortunate enough to work on two books with Brandon Seifert a writer I’ve extolled the virtues of many times.
When I saw Spirit of The Law sitting on his table I did a double-take, that’s a Monkeybrain title isn’t it? But they’re digital only (at least until they première a few titles through IDW), intrigued I introduced myself and asked what was what. Michael is so proud of this book he did a print run of his own, to sell at conventions. Smart cookie. I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, digital is fine but I love to hold a comic in my hands.
And what a comic it is.
$.99 – Ages 17+ – It’s the Great Depression, and Sammy Workman is lucky to have a job — even as a mob hitman! But when a hit goes wrong, Workman and his men find themselves stalked by the paranormal vigilante they’ve accidentally created! You’ve seen plenty of superhero origins– now, see one from the villains’ point of view! Part one of a new two-part noir/pulp mashup from Brandon Seifert, creator of WITCH DOCTOR and writer of DOCTOR WHO, and Michael Montenat, artist of HELLRAISER and PILOT SEASON: ANONYMOUS.
Brandon Seifert, Writer
Michael Montenat, Artist
Ron Riley, Colors
This comic plays out like a tight supernatural thriller. Four mob hitters take out a woman, and that turns out to be a big mistake. What follows her death is nothing short of a bloodbath, as the murdered woman “Daisy Dumont” returns to exact her revenge. It’s told in first person narrative, one of the hitters telling the story, and in the course of two issues we’re led through the events resulting in the deaths of the men who did Daisy wrong. The deaths are gruesome, bloody, and justified. The brutality shown to Daisy by these mooks perfectly warrants the treatment they receive.
One of the things I truly enjoyed was the simplicity of the story, Brandon doesn’t get bogged down in why the hit was put out on Daisy or the motivations of the mobsters who wanted her dead. There is reference to her past but it’s quick and well done. The other really enjoyable aspect is the art Michael captured the look and feel of a classic gangster movie really well. His characters look real and fit the era nicely. He was nice enough to send us over some pages for your perusal, enjoy.
One of the perks of reviewing comics is that artists and writers often agree to answer some questions about their work, as is the case with Michael! At the bottom of the page are links to Monkeybrain’s page for Spirit of the Law and the comixology page as well. Hope you pick this one up, it’s a fun read!
Boom’s Hellraiser, Red Stylo’s Unprofessionals, MonkeyBrain’s Spirit of The Law, you are building quite the varied portfolio, do you find the different genre’s pose different challenges?
Well every genre poses something different. The main challenge for me is making sure the darker, more realistic style I have fits the particular story I’m working on without getting stagnant.
You often work with Brandon Seifert what kind of working relationship do you two have? Is he heavy on the paneling and description? Or does your interaction stray more into “the marvel method”?
I’ve worked with Brandon twice so far and hopefully more in near future! He’s a killer writer and his scripts are great to work from! His writing is pretty open to interpretation and not overly detailed, but he definitely paints a picture in those brief panel descriptions.
The characterizations in “Spirit” are wonderfully reminiscent of a classic gangster film, did you use any specific reference material?
As far as movies and what not? Not really. I did some general research on the 1930’s, but other than that just a lot of my own picture taking as ref.
Can you give us the inspiration for Daisy Dumont’s look as the Spirit?
The classic Lady Justice image was our main inspiration.
So what’s next for you? What should we be on the lookout for?
I’ve been working on a comic called The Fallen with writer Alex DeGruchy. That’s my foray into the superhero genre…kind of. It’ll be released as a digital comic by Monkeybrain on ComiXology. No release date yet, but keep an eye out!
Will you be attending any conventions in the near future? And lastly, where can we find info on you latest stuff? (twitter? blog? facebook?)
I’ll definitely be at Baltimore Con in September. That’s the only one I’m positive of right now, but maybe Philly and New York as well. I post when I’ll be at cons on Facebook. Recent work can be seen on my sites, armhead.net and montenat.blogspot.com