What do you get when you take a bunch of mega-geeks and mash them together with artistic geniuses? If you’re picturing a giant tentacular (yes, it’s a word, because I say so) beast with palettes, brushes, sidewalk chalk, joysticks, action figures, and comics clutched in its various scaly appendages, I’m right there with you. But more importantly, you get the PopCap Games art team!
This year, a number of our artists joined up to take on Emerald City Comicon, and in addition to their own unique wares, they brought a limited edition comic book anthology called Monsterpedia (the arty beast described above was not included, but that’s what sequels are for, right?).
The first question may be: Why monsters? Well, why not? For one thing, they’re fun to draw. They allow a creative freedom unique to the fantastical compared to the restraint of depicting the recognizable. And yet they are recognizable to us, a kind of shorthand for the subconscious, a shortcut to metaphor.
Dev Madan (whom BlogRiders may remember as the designer of the Wolfpack shirt!) has a history in comics and started this monster ball rolling.
Monte: The Monsterpedia was really Dev’s brainchild, and I credit him with really lighting a fire under the rest of us. We all met for lunch to hammer out the theme, and I remember everyone being on board with drawing monsters from the start. The idea of the “Monsterpedia” just evolved naturally from our discussion.
DRP: Everyone was immediately excited about the book, and we all got to work on planning faster than any game production I’ve ever done. Dev and Steve (Notley, of Bob the Angry Flower fame!) were incredibly helpful on the practical points of the process, both having experience with printing and publishing books. The entire group was helpful during the story creation phase. I remember bringing in different versions of my script for people to read, and got good help hammering out the flow of the story. It was exciting, because everyone had a different approach to creating their comic. Seeing all the stories in various stages of completion was invigorating and inspiring. I think that’s the biggest advantage of doing an anthology… you aren’t alone.
Adrien Yorozu had what sounds like an unenviable task at the later stages of the Monsterpedia, but she pulled it all together like a boss!
Adrien: I really wanted to get involved from the start… I don’t draw awesome comics so I thought that I could contribute some of my print background to the cause while hanging around the cool kids. It was exciting to see everyone’s work come together and nice to be part of making it really look like a collection.
As a comic book fan, great visual storytelling knocks me out, and when there’s a single panel as gorgeous as this one by Misael Armendariz, I can get stuck staring at it for minutes:
And when I teased the notion of a sequel up top, I wasn’t just toying with your fragile monster-loving hearts! A second volume of the Monsterpedia is in the works, so keep an eye out for PopCap artists at conventions so you can get a signed copy with nifty little sketches like this:
Of course, if you can’t wait till the next convention to get your mitts on this monster work, you can find it for sale here! We must caution, however, these comics are not for all ages. As hinted by the “Invisible Woman” photo above, there are definite non G-rated elements to this book, not to mention some scary monsters!