Monsters in a strange land

by Ahalya on September 28, 2010

Whether they appear at the start or towards the end, monsters instantly drive the plot forward. Some authors use them as an effective plot device — to get rid of the bad guy, or as many of the bad guy’s flunkies as possible, or they use the monster to show how brave, strong, kind, beautiful, talented, quick-witted, the hero, or heroine is. Almost always ridiculously large, the monster (a runaway bear, a mutant snake, a dinosaur looking after her eggs, a brainwashed panther, or most popularly a chimera) has no real agenda but to eat the hero. And for this reason, it must be JGW-2010-with-campfiredestroyed, quickly, violently, with as much POW and BAM as possible. Personally, I think illustrators must have a great time creating monsters, adding extra eyes, legs, hands, fangs, or deciding upon the proper monstrous colour, or exactly how much the poor animal will froth and foam.

I have often felt sorry for the monster, who is almost always ruthlessly killed just before the last page (so that the hero walks off dramatically in the last panel, as the monster’s body fills up the background, rivers of blood running everywhere), or it slinks away into the ocean for doing nothing more than being wild, or a mutant, or hungry, or nursing. Monsters are classic underdogs in my dictionary. And I wince as the ‘POWS’, ‘BAMS’, ‘WHOOSH’ and ‘KRAAAACK’ fill the bubbles over the monster’s defeated body.

Now that I think of it, haven’t monsters changed over the years? Earlier, most monsters were just big snakes, dinosaurs, gorillas, tigers, spiders, etc. In short, your basic beast. Today, graphic novels have mutants, chimeras, aliens and supernatural mutant chimeras! The monsters are changing!

I didn’t always feel this way about monsters. When I was a kid, picture books with monsters were tucked behind all the other books. I could get nightmares with just one look at a huge snake. In fact, the one monster that scared me night after night for more than ten years was the the hound of the Baskervilles. I refused to read the whole story, the title itself scared the heck out of me, and the image of the hound on the cover was frightening, to say the least. But now, he doesn’t scare me anymore. In fact, I don’t think he was all that evil and bad as people thought he was :/

Which novel/ graphic novel have you read recently that has instilled fear in you?

There’s another giveaway you could participate in today!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Vishal September 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Don’t remember having any such graphic novel 🙂
But would love to read one that could take me down the creepy lane.



Pretty Kt Mirchandani September 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm


Being a full time writer, I have my own blog Pretty Ktm and more than 8000 readers, but when I want to give my hand some rest I read a lot print as well on INTERNET. I like your Monster in a strange land as I found it very good, and that’s want a writing should be like, good and getting a reader engrossed with one’s one.

Keep the creative fire burning.
God Bless


MRS. FRANCES TELLIS September 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm

The spine tingling, break out in a cold sweat book is Rosemary’s Baby. Though frightening, I couldn’t put the book down and spent many sleepless nights thereafter having nightmares!


neeraja September 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I haven’t read any so far! But would love to read!! I think i’ll read Rosemary’s Baby!!!


neeraja September 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

………..or Monster in a strange land 🙂


admin September 29, 2010 at 9:50 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Mrs. Frances Tellis you have won this giveaway. I will contact you via email soon. 🙂


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