After Three Decades In The Making Barry Windsor-Smith’s ‘Monsters’ Is Finally Released

by Olly MacNamee

Tomorrow, Tuesday April 27th, sees the release of the 360-page behemoth that is Monsters by Barry Windsor-Smith. Over three decades in the making!

“Set in a timeline spanning the 1940s to the ’60s, Monsters centers around young Bobby Bailey, a naïve, emotionally fraught young man with a tragic destiny. The day he walks into a US military recruitment office, little does he know that he will become the subject of a top secret, experimental genetics program with loathsome Nazi origins. Thus kicks off a dizzying chain of cascading events that spin out of everyone’s control as friends, foes, and others are swept into his orbit and must grapple with the earth-shattering ramifications of what this unholy experiment has wrought. As the titular monsters of the title multiply, becoming real and metaphorical, literal and ironic, the story reaches its emotional and moral reckoning.

Monsters’ vast narrative canvas is part familial drama, part espionage thriller, part metaphysical journey — in sum, an intimate portrait of individuals and an epic political odyssey spanning two generations of American history. Trauma, fate, conscience, and redemption are a few of the themes that intersect in Windsor-Smith’s Monsters. Rendered in Windsor-Smith’s impeccable pen-and-ink technique, this graphic novel is surely one of the most intense and gripping works of visual storytelling ever drawn.”

The artist’s artist, here’s what Windsor-Smith had to add:

“After putting so much time and investing so much creative energy in this project. I’m pleased that it’s finally being published.”

Short and sweet. As for publishing it through Fantagraphics, well publisher Gary Groth counts his lucky stars for this one. And a longstanding friendship with Windsor-Smith:

“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. I’m grateful that he’s entrusted this important work to us.”

Look out for Monsters from Fantagraphics dropping tomorrow and selling out soon after that I imagine.


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