Fantagraphics has announced that they will publish writer-artist Barry Windsor-Smith’s original graphic novel, Monsters.
Windsor-Smith has been reportedly working on the 360-page book for 35 years. It tells the story of a US Army recruit who ends up in a military experiment that is continuing experiments the Nazis started in World War 2. A sergeant fights to protect the experiment’s victims from different types of monsters.
“When he walks into a military recruitment office, Bobby Bailey has no idea that he is about to fulfill his tragic destiny. Close-mouthed, emotionally damaged, innocent, trying to forget a past and looking for a future, it turns out that Bailey is the perfect candidate for a secret US government experimental program, an unholy continuation of a genetics program that was discovered in Nazi Germany in the waning days of World War II,” Fantagraphics’ official synopsis reads.
“Bailey’s only ally and protector, Sergeant McFarland, intervenes, which sets off a chain of cascading events that spin out of everyone’s control. As the titular monsters of the title multiply, becoming real and metaphorical, literal and ironic, the story reaches its emotional and moral reckoning. Monsters is rendered in Windsor-Smith’s impeccable pen and ink technique; the visual storytelling with its sensitivity to gesture and composition is the most sophisticated of the artist’s career. It is surely one of the most intense graphic novels ever drawn,” the synopsis continues.
“After putting so much time and investing so much creative energy in this project,” Windsor-Smith said in a statement. “I’m pleased that it’s finally being published.”
“I’ve known Barry for over 50 years now, so publishing his biggest and most artistically mature work to date is a personal and professional milestone for me,” Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth said. “I’m grateful that he’s entrusted this important work to us.”
Monsters is due out in January 2021.