‘Where Monsters Lie’ Could Be a Sleeper

Coming from Kyle Starks and Dark Horse Comics, Where Monsters Lie is a mini-series I had heard nothing about, yet came highly recommended at my local comic book shop. Starks is the creator behind Sexcastle, an 80’s-themed story about an assassin who’s retired to become a small town florist. While I can’t say I’ve read it, Starks must be doing something right because Sexcastle was just optioned to become a major motion picture, according to Image Comics. Hats off to Starks’ success, but can he match that with Where Monsters Lie?

So a dozen serial killers move into this neighborhood…no, really.  That’s the plot of this four-issue mini-series.  More specifically, they reside in a gated community and there are rules these psychos must follow.  Led by matriarch Zel, the old woman keeps her fellow bloodthirsty nut jobs in line, but when one victim escapes, it’s time for an HOA meeting like no other.

If this all sounds utterly ridiculous, it’s because it is, and yet somehow Starks has managed to pen this kooky tale into a completely addictive read.  I can count on one hand how many comic books have had this effect on me the last year (Vanish being one of the other few). It’s like a “Who’s who” of slasher film baddies all living next door to one another and it reads brilliantly.  There is a level of deranged here that is off the charts, but I think that’s why this first issue succeeds so well. It’s all so unexpected.

Let us not forget the artwork here, so carefully done by Piotr Kowalski (Deadbox) who manages to visually fulfill an array of moods that brilliantly capture each panel, whether it’s the tension between Zel and Grandpa Murder, or the childlike stupor of some musclebound mayhem staring in awe at a butterfly.

As for the story at hand, the questions my mind races through are many.  How long will all of these lunatics get along? Who’s going to snap next?  How long until the police show up?  Why haven’t they shown up already?  We will all find out together when the second issue arrives March 1st. Oh, and to answer that inquiry of matching success to his prior work, yes, I definitely think Starks can even surpass it with Where Monsters Lie.  This is just a crazy good read that has originality written all over it.


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