The Story: This is a story of many themes and stories untold, just out of reach. A story of a woman and her disconnected feelings of loneliness in a world of vast space.
There is a mystery behind this woman… One that both she and the reader are investigating and discovering. The only sound that reassures her that this world is not a dream or a nightmare is the monologue in her head…
His work floats up towards you like a hot wind on a humid day, using angles and repeated images like a great art house film director. SJ has a mastery of pace: slow and beautiful, it puts you at ease -then hits the weird button, as the monologue pulls you into its drift.
This creator distills his own shifting reality into the mind of the reader, making use of tone, time and place to exceptional effect. Time passes slowly as the moments unfold with mystery. Who is the woman central to the story? Is this whole tale a coma induced dream?
As the character moves on with her life and banal fixed stare job, you sense something much more playing just out of sight – sinister and with possibly involving bullets.
It is the horror of small, private moments that SJ plays with here in the second issue. Things that may be anxiety-filled hallucinations are seen in the bright light of morning. Reality or nightmare, the balance in this story is never fully known – to terrifying effect. As a reader, it is the still moments that drew me along through the story, their vision and the mood they conjure urging me forwards… Fear and beauty simultaneously co-existing in the same panel.
I will read this book again and again. Its visuals and narrative are unlike anything else that is out there at the moment.
Monologue Issue Two is an improvement on the already great first issue in the series – and I urge you to follow the threads that SJ is laying down and grab both copies (Issue One is still available as a digital edition). It’s a project that’s as much an exhibition of art as a comic book, exhibiting the best qualities of both.
SJ is putting out some outstanding work and is definitely someone to watch. Monologue Issue Three is planned for a late autumn release, followed, possibly, by the release of a graphic novel of another project, Delta.
Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer – his hips don’t lie.