What a great comic! Monty Comix #4 is another modern Underground Comix treat published by Dexter Cockburn’s The Comix Company, and my introduction to Kayla Escobedo’s work.
Kayla uses anthropomorphic characters (‘Chiz’ and ‘Lil Whalegirl’ being her stars) to tell stories that feel like they’re based on real life, but with a slightly off-kilter, tweaked and surreal take.
The artwork is beautiful – full colour inks and fine-art style painting throughout, which works wonderfully in telling the stories.
There’s a few single page comics, my fav of these is a true story about an investigation into a strange, foul odour coming from whalegirl’s house.
The feature story however, is ‘The Sleep-Over’ starring lil’ Whalegirl and her two friends.
The story starts at school and one of Whalegirl’s friends is having a sleep over and invites her and another friend along.
Whalegirl’s friend lives in a housing project with her mother.
After providing a dinner of pigs in blankets and salty chips, the mother goes to bed early, leaving the girls alone. They watch TV and talk about girls things.
Things suddenly change however, when Whalegirl’s friend wants to show her pals the ‘awesome channel’ which she’s discovered on cable.
The next few pages are conveyed brilliantly; with bizarre, exaggerated, grotesque images (which I found very funny), shown alongside the shock,embarrassment and uncomfortable expressions of the three friends who watch in silence as the images get more bizarre and explicit as they go (the image on the right is the first of these pages).
After this eye-opening sequence, the girls then go to bed, wide awake, and heads still reeling from what they have seen (apart from their friend who introduced them to this very adult world, who is shown sleeping calmly like a log).
The end of this story which takes place the next day, while still slightly comedic in tone, for me was somewhat tragic and revealing too. Despite the surreal sequences, Kayla creates an authentic and very matter of fact, yet sympathetic story.
It’s this subtle and original story that really made Monty Comix #4 shine for me, and I really hope Escobedo keeps producing work of this quality.
You can get a copies of Monty Comix, and other great Undergrounds from: http://thecomixcompany.ecrater.com