Fantagraphics has announced plans to publish legendary writer/artist Barry Windsor-Smith’s original graphic novel Monsters.
Clocking in at 360 pages, Monsters reportedly took Windsor-Smith 35 years to complete. The story focuses on a United States Army recruit who finds himself embroiled in a military experiment – one that secretly continues a series of Nazi experiments that began in World War 2. As one sergeant fights to protect those victimized by the experiments, monsters both literal and figurative stand in his way.
Here’s Fantagraphics' official synopsis:
“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.
"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.”
“After putting so much time and investing so much creative energy in this project,” says Windsor-Smith 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,” adds Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth. “I’m grateful that he’s entrusted this important work to us.”
Monsters is due out in January, 2021.