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Working grunt helps save the day

By Staff | Jan 26, 2010

A. Lee Martinez brings a comic tale of two everyday workers who must save the world in “Monster.”

Judy works late night at a food store and while it isn’t her dream job, it pays the bills. And then one night her store is beset by yetis. Eating the ice cream. Not knowing what else to do, Judy calls animal control, which connects her with Cryptobiological Containment and Rescue Services, which sends someone to take care of it.

Monster is the Crypto guy who works the job to pay his bills. He’s got a succubus girlfriend at home who may be the death of him, literally, and an interdimensional partner who takes the form of a paper gnome named Chester. And due to a past run-in with another creature on the job, Monster has the sometimes fortunate, sometimes unfortunate side effect of changing colors and getting powers from it. But all in all, he’s just another working guy like Judy, albeit with collecting strange creatures.

Monster helps Judy with her yeti problem and while Judy thinks the job sounds interesting, she’ll never remember the encounter — most people have something in the brain that helps them to forget any encounter with the supernatural. But then trolls trash Judy’s apartment. And then a sphinx attacks her sister, and then a hydra wrecks her house. It’s as if the universe keeps bringing Judy and Monster back together, but why? And what does all of this have to do with a very strange old cat lady?

This is a great story, solely for its sarcastic sense of humor. Mixed with the supernatural aspect of it and the book is pure magic. Where else do you get cheating girlfriends who would rather kill you than just break up with you; has wicked “cell phones” that will hurt you if you do any harm to them; angels have names like strippers and will give up someone’s location for $10 for Taco Bell; and yetis who like rocky road ice cream?

I would love for the author to give us more adventures with Monster and Judy. There’s something about the sense of humor and the story of ordinary Joes in extraordinary situations who may have to save the world and unlock the secrets of the universe that reminded me of Douglas Adams — in a good way.

The book also had a section of entertaining extras, including a Q&A with the author and excerpts from a “dragonkeeping” pamphlet.

Contact Amy at letters@graffitiwv.com