JUST JOSHING: Mary Shelley’s School For Monsters Origins #1

Mary Shelley is someone I’ve been thinking about this month as I’ve been doing my freelancing. Mary Shelley is considered the mother of science fiction, and her work Frankenstein has inspired many an author ranging from Ray Bradbury to people in comics lore, including this week’s review. I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Maison at SDCC. Jessica was really nice and had this amazing book I couldn’t quite afford with my Canadian money down there. Her book mashes up Mary Shelley with horror and young adult elements. I think those elements go together like peanut butter and jelly, and Jessica agreed with me. Without further ado, here is this week’s book.

The Book

Mary Shelley’s School For Monsters Origins #1
Written by Jessica Maison
Illustrated by Anna Wieszczyk
Lettered by Joel Rodriguez
Publisher: Wicked Tree Press

A note before the review begins: This book is a larger piece of the series, which you see on the cover here. As you can tell it’s an amazing-looking book, and I encourage you after reading this book to find the rest of the series.

Okay then, on to the review…

Mary Godwin is a little girl who is off sneaking into a graveyard, which is something her father warned her she shouldn’t do. At the graveyard, she enters a crypt and finds the Necronomicon lying around in the catacombs. She tries talking to it before she runs afoul of a great and terrible wizard named Dr. M, who has bound the book in this terrible place for terrible purposes. He captures Mary and has dark plans for her.

Mary, much like many a girl her age, refuses to cooperate. She uses the book in a way somewhat unexpected to her and somehow creates two versions of her. One of them escapes back into the normal world. The other is still in the clutches of the terrible Dr. M.

Using her wits, the book, and a little bit of luck, Mary manages to escape Dr. M and revive one of his experiments that goes by the all too familiar name of Frank.

This is an excellent start to an interesting adventure. Jessica Maison has managed to capture the reader’s attention in this prologue with this really cool moment of the two Marys forming this mystical connection. This book is a near-perfect origin story, telling the full story of the connection and how it happened while setting up the plot for the rest of the book. Mary is brave, likable, and a touch mischievous. Both (?) of them are quite fun, and it feels like a great all-ages book in tone and feel. It reminds me a bit of Megan Hutchinson’s early works.

Anna Wieszczyk has a lot to do with her style. There’s a bit of a cartoony vibe to the book, with touches of horror to give the book a little bit of spice. I love her character depictions and the personality in the Necronomicon, and I enjoyed her take on Frank.

This book will hook you and make you want to read more, which I definitely will. I cannot recommend this book enough. Check out her website for more about the series.

The Business

All in all, I had an amazing time at SDCC, and all the books I got that weekend were incredible. I want to thank all the creators for letting me pick up their books and let me show them to the world. Thanks all.

Healing Hands has already done better than expected. Episode 3 will be coming out this weekend, and episode 4 the week after. You can check out the show here and subscribe to the channel.

I hope to have some great news in the weeks to come about the travel aspect of the show. A lot of magical things have happened since my time in San Diego, and I’m hoping to be able to share them with you all soon. In the meantime, I promise the next episode as we step beyond my SDCC material, and into more cool books from great creators.

Stay inspired out there.

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