The Understanding Monster – Book One, a Lynd Ward Honor Book for Best Graphic Novel, is the first in a series that is a departure for reader and author alike. While maintaining the intimate nature of his debut Capacity, Theo Ellsworth has taken his personal experience to an entirely new reality, exploding with color and energy. Presented in an oversized, full color, hardcover edition that captures the beauty of his hand painted artwork at nearly full size, the Understanding Monster is a wonder to behold.
The New York Times' Douglas Wolk writes:
"There’s also some kind of unusual thought process driving Theo Ellsworth’s The Understanding Monster – Book One — not a disorder, exactly, but imagination turned up to fire hose intensity. Ellsworth fills every bit of every page with grotesque patterns and textures and doodles, and his writing is similarly wild-eyed. Nominally an adventure story involving a mouse, “phantom skeletons” and “toy growth formations,” the book is mostly an urgent (and often very funny) attempt to explain a coocoo-rococo cosmology made up of garbled fragments of role-playing games, “Transformers” episodes, relaxation exercises and horror movies. In one sequence, a character wakes up and exclaims that he dreamed he was a house. “That wasn’t a dream, Izadore,” a voice tells him. “You really are a house. You’re in a room inside yourself.”
72 pages. Hardcover. Full-color.
A preview of the book can be downloaded here.