AiT/PlanetLar takes on a 'Monolith'ic project

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AiT/PlanetLar and former CBR columnist Larry Young checked in with CBR News to give us a sneak peak at an upcoming original graphic novel he's publishing later this year.

Coming late 2002/early 2003 is "Monolith," an original graphic novel by writer Joe Casey and New York City-based illustrator Scott Cohn is penciling, inking, and toning the book. Young described "Monolith" as the "story of a man slowly turning into stone, and how that impacts not only his life, but the lives of those in the town he lives in." It will be 88 pages, squarebound, in the same format as the "Couscous Express" trade.

"We're hoping to have a cover by Brian Wood, but that's too early to tell, and is dependent on Bri's schedule," Young told CBR News. "I have to say, he's the best designer working in comics today, and is always the guy I ask first to produce our covers. The rewarding thing is he always bends over backwards to accommodate us, too, so that's win-win all around."

Based on the description of the story above, one might think this book sounds similar to Paul Chadwick's "Concrete," but Young is quick to point out there are some very big differences.

"Well, while 'Concrete' features a man placed in a stone body by aliens, 'Monolith' is the flip side. Tommy is ossifying. He's turning into stone. Stone can't move. It's a rumination by Joe about mortality."

The genesis of "Monolith" rests with a phone call.

"Well, I love talking to Joe on the phone, because he's on top of his game in mainstream comics, and I'm the King of Independent Comics, so we're at the opposite ends of the spectrum, professionally. But I love following all the corporate intrigue and Joe loves our indy street cred. So nearly every time we talk, I ask him if he's got time in his schedule to do an OGN for us. Finally, one day he said, 'Yeah, I got one for you. How about a guy slowly turning into stone? How this disrupts his life, which isn't that good to begin with? A little of the ol' fantastic-situation-in-a-real-setting. No 'suspension of disbelief,' just one situation you have to buy into. He's turning into stone. The rest is HBO-level drama.'

"'What kind of art do you want?' I asked him.

"'Get me somebody who knows tones like Brandon McKinney. Love that 'Planet Of The Capes' stuff he's doing.'

"So I gave Scott Cohn a call and he jumped right on board," said Young.

Young feels "Monolith" will appeal to the mature comics reader out there.

"It's an adult look at an adolescent power fantasy," said Young. "Anyone who liked 'Unbreakable' will dig this. If you watch 'Six Feet Under,' and enjoy the talking dead people, you'll like this. So far, it reads like the best 'Twilight Zone' episode ever. Plus, there's a lawyer in it named Fred Sanford. What's not to like?"

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