#1 16 pages; #2 16 pages; #3 12 pages, digest size, $? by Kayla Escobedo, montycomix(at)gmail.com + www.kaylascomix.weebly.com
Mega thanks to Dexter Cockburn for sending me these (Monty Comix #4 will be published under his The Comix Company imprint).
Monty Comix #1 is, aside from a couple of illustrations, a single story, 'High School Train Day Blues' in which 'Whale Girl' is robbed and assaulted by three thugs on the subway, who then shove her off the train. She makes it back to the platform (Union Station) to witness the same thugs assaulting a human girl. Whale Girl gets back onto a train and is creeped out by an ugly cretin sitting opposite, constantly saying, "HEY". It reminded me of Mandy Ord's similarly-themed tale from her comic Birthday Bitch. I'm pretty sure Mandy's story was autobiographical, but it makes me feel sick to think maybe Kayla's is too. Anyway, this comic is one hell of a strong first issue.
Most of the stories in #2 seem to be subtle existential musings, this time featuring Monty (a blobby kind of creature with big lips). In class he gets dazed out and imagines cross-sections of the people around him; he leaves his house, travels many mile, sees no birds, then sees a lake - water, for the first time. Then he's in an empty room with Whale Girl, he stumbles around, eventually wondering, "Where am I going?" Then there's a series of four straight stories that deal with diabetes (Monty's grandmother has it and Monty lives in terror of inheriting it), cancer, leukemia, and dementia. These are all done with obvious background research, and a personal connection in at least two of them. The back (colour) page is snapshots from scenes of Whale Girl walking down the street and shouted at by obnoxious jerks. "Hey you cunt!" .. "Hey bitch don't we know each other?" .. "I can smell your pussy girl" She arrives home with a huge thought bubble - "IT'S NOT GOING TO STOP." Stories like these, obviously taken from real life and the kind of shit women have to put up with from some stinking, worthless men, really make me wanna become a woman for a week or two, and have these things happen to me so I can charge up to them and stab the fuckers in the groin with a bigass butcher knife, before gouging their eyeballs out and shoving 'em in their rotten mouths. Ha ha!
#3 features a story of Whale Girl when she was small. She would step on broken glass barefoot, climb trees and pour glue on ants, have good days followed by nightmares and bad days followed by vivid, lush and beautiful dreams. She was fat and would scarf food down to fill a sad, empty void. During her year of junior high school she spent most of her days at a nursing home with her grandmother. These are parts of it, there's more. Kayla's work really draws you in and drags real emotions from you. Depressingly rare in most comix. (Dexter really summed up her work perfectly in just one word: "phenomenal.")