One Punch Reviews #86: Girls of Monster Paradise
Welcome, boys and ghouls, to another frighteningly fun edition of the Deadcomic Overlook … um, Hotel! Ha ha ha ha ha! This is your ever fiendish host, El Satan, bringing you another chilling review of …
Is it November already?
Well, pilgrim, get ready to feast on another review. This time we’ll be looking at a little giblet of a comic called Girls of Monster Paradise by Stephanie Gladden. Will this webcomic leave you feeling thankful, or will it be turkey terrible?
Stephanie Gladden is a veteran of comics and animation. Among her incredible resume are stints working on comics for licensed characters such as The Simpsons, Looney Tunes, and Ren & Stimpy. She’s also been a very busy character designer for various Cartoon network properties. Some of hr arts has shown up in The Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Dexter’s Lab, and Chowder. As you may be able to surmise, her work has a very strong retro-60′s vibe. They’ve got the fluent, minimalist aesthetic that reminds me of old Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The characters of Chevelle and R.T. look like they stepped straight out of Wacky Races.
Now you may be looking at the title of this webcomic, and you might be thinking, “Monster Paradise Island? Surely, it’s just a name.” Ah, but there are monsters! Real monsters! Ranging in size class from the lowliest werewolves to hulking giant crab. But, as it turns out, there’s nothing to fear. The monsters all turn out to be super friendly, and the titular girls of Monster Island include them in all their games. If you were to, say, summon a giant kaiju through the power of song, needless to say it’s not to engage in city wrecking but rather for the express purpose of catching a huge wave.
In fact, the girls more or less act like conservationists, trying to protect Monster Paradise Island from the meddling of interlopers. Interlopers such as the clueless Volker Von Volker, who is … well, he’s not much of a threat, really. Like a good-natured Hanna-Barbera cartoon, the villains are not actually threats, and more like minor nuisances. Unfortunately, this leaves the girls without much to do. I sorta do wish there was some sort of conflict, because watching girls bicker about just who abusing their monster privileges to transport them to Nordstrom Headquarters just isn’t that interesting or funny to me.
However, it is kinda cool that the girls develop some pretty strong personality traits in the rather short amount of time that this webcomic has been around … a sure sign that Ms. Gladden knows her stuff when it comes to creating characters. While it’s not yet appointment reading, I will admit to enjoying the earthy gearhead Chevelle bounce off the airy hippie chick Fay, and I do like watching the haughty Emiko sneering at everyone and everything. There’s so much potential with the characters that I’m a little disappointed the story hasn’t grabbed me yet.
Another note: there are no archives in this webcomic. If you lose your place, or if you’re checking the comic on a cellphone after initially reading it on your home desktop, you are pretty much out of luck when trying to find which page you left off of. Webcomic writers, I beseech you: always, always include an archive! I will be forever… thankful.
Final Grade: 3 stars (out of 5).