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‘Mary Shelley’s School for Monsters: La Llorona in the Machine’ – Graphic Novel Review

A sequel to Mary Shelley’s School for Monsters: Origins, this story starts two hundred years after the events of Origins. Our main monsters, Shel and Frank, have opened a school for other monsters who might need their guidance. But one night, a mischievous wisp arrives to tell them that children have gone missing in the Kaibob National Forest in Arizona, and the witch, La Llorona, is responsible.

Another wisp, Jack, was sent to get help to rescue them. All of them are afraid if word gets out that a monster is kidnapping children, then monster hunters will invade the forest and kill everyone. Frank doesn’t much care about the kids, but he doesn’t want to be hunted, while Shel is more sympathetic to their plight. What’s even more curious is that the disappearances are somehow connected to a VR game.  Off through the ether they go, but hey have a problem: How do they get into the game and, even more importantly, how do they get La Llorona and the kids out?

Anna Wieszczyk’s art is vibrant, and there is an openness and vulnerability to our main characters.  Once again, Necro is still the most interesting and entertaining character for me.

Frank and Shel have been together for so long by this point that I’d think they’d be finishing each other’s sentences or at least be annoyed at hearing the same jokes for two hundred years; however, they are cute, affable, and fun.  If the story continues, there are so many opportunities to be explored. I would like to see how Frank and Shel founded the school, their shared experiences to this point, and what obstacles they faced to get there. I would like to see what they teach, why they teach, and why it’s important for monsters to attend. The character, Jack, mentions they have a reputation for defeating evil humans, but we never see just the two of them in action which would add more dimension to their characters.  There is some nice organic conflict in the overall plot, but I would like to see more tension between Shel and Frank.

The overall premise is adorable and has a lot of potential. Plus, the bonus material of the additional art and character designs are very cool.

Creative Team: Jessica Maison (writer), Anna Wieszczyk (artist), Joel Rodriguez (letterer)
Publisher: Wicked Tree Press
Click here to purchase.

Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Fanbase Press Contributor


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