By Jonathan Case
Tor, 194 pages, $15.99
Grue has major problems in his life. He is in trouble with the law, he has crabs and he is in love. Plus, he is a sea monster (see where the crabs fit in?). His story is told in Portland-based Jonathan Case’s debut novel Dear Creature. His black and white illustrations are extremely detailed. Each panel captures the angst involved in unrequited love. A graphic novel is a story that is written using comic strips that have been combined to form one book. Most of them have a beginning, middle and end. For some time they weren’t acknowledged because some people said they were just comic books. It has been fairly recent that graphic novels have been accepted my mainstream society and even have their own section in most libraries. This isn’t an easy read. One of the unique aspects of the book is that Grue, the sensitive sea monster, speaks entirely in iambic pentameter. Remember William Shakespeare? He wrote his plays using this format. Don’t worry if you need some additional guidance. A funny little comic strip at the end of the book will help. Adult readers are in for an entertaining and unique treat.