Today we dig deep into the part of Daniel Davis’ mind that has four arms, seven eyes, a tail, and that may or may not wear a monocle.
A life-long monsterologist and master of art & design, Daniel has spent the last few years using Monster Commute (and other outlets) to invite you to visit his hilarious and hauntingly beautiful world – Monstru.
So, tell us about the world of Monstru.
Monstru is a tangled post-industrial (steampunk) world of monsters.
It has an evil fascist government ruled by 30 foot tall robot crows, and the economy is so bad that everyone has to live in their cars. It’s kind of Orwellian and it’s also a little strange and silly too.
It’s sort of like the movie Brazil meets the Wizard of Oz, in traffic. Or maybe the film City of Lost Children, but with monsters instead of children.
What are some of your favorite Monstru inhabitants?
Oh man, that’s tough. I really like all of the Monstrunians. We’ve just barely seen any of the cultures, so it’s hard to say just yet.
I like that the Feratu live in the most civilized looking city: Skullopolis. It looks a little like Paris did in 1910. However, it’s teeming with blood drinking zombies, skels, and other Bloodless. Terrible place for the living to visit.
What attribute of Monstru is your biggest challenge to portray?
Hmm… definitely the population of the place is hard to show.
Monstru is really over-populated, but it’s crazy time consuming and difficult to make it really look that way. It’s one reason that I chose autos to show the folk, instead of individual monsters.
It’s just something that I’m unable to really show fully.
Are we scratching the surface of our courageous carpoolers, Chadworth, Beastio and Kip?
Sure the crew have some pretty long and deep pasts, though they’re not uber-deep fellas or anything crazy complex. They are who they are now, and they’re good with that. We’ll probably continue to learn about what they’ve done and seen years ago, which is fun for me.
Dawna says that Chad and Beastio are both me. Kip especially.
How do you go about picking great colors for your strips?
I’m a big fan of vintage color design… the Arts & Crafts movement in particular, though I’ve moved into brighter colors of late.
You’ll notice that I rarely use black, and use brown instead. Just KlawBerry and a few other things ever get true black. Anyway, I picked out a palate when I started, and I’ve stuck to it more or less. I continue to evolve it though, and will probably do new color stuff as we continue.
Are there any electric octopi in Monstru? (Important question!)
Hmm… there could be this inventor fisherman guy who can’t catch any fish, so he builds this elaborate copper octopus that is run by electric eels that are in these internal jars.
Something like that work for you?
(Yes. Very yes.)
You’ve also created a Monster Commute RPG?
Well, I’m hip deep on working on it. That’s my big 2011 project, aside from delivering more work-daily Monster Commutes. It’s been a grand way to dig into Monstru, and learn a lot more about it. I’m making the RPG because I’m a lifelong gamer, and I really want to play in this world.
Are you going for another book drive this year?
Oh yeah, it starts November 1st.
Our last one was a pretty smashing success, so I’m really excited about how it goes this time. Same book format and page count, with all new factoids and bonus stuff. It’s a joy for me to see these low res images printed in really high quality.
We’re not asking for handouts; we’re offering all kinds of levels of support, kind of like public radio, except that you get books and other great stuff too.
I really hope that the Patriots step up and support us once again.
100 bushels of thanks to Daniel!