Graham Nolan’s Monster Island is a classic adventure tale of two Navy pilots arriving on a lost island populated by giant monsters and strange aliens.
I learned about Monster Island through the Alien Alamo crowdfunding campaign. The signed 1998 48-page first printing edition in vintage/floppy format was available alongside the Alien Alamo and The Chenoo books.
Later on, I found out that there is a second book “Return to Monster Island” which was available through a crowdfunding campaign by Ominous Press at the time. If you do a general internet search for Monster Island you have to be specific. You will notice that there are many properties with the same name.
Monster Island and Return to Monster Island were created, written, and illustrated by Graham Nolan. Graham Nolan is a veteran comic book writer, artist, and publisher and the recipient of the prestigious Inkpot Award for his contributions to the comic arts. He is the co-creator of the iconic Batman villain, “Bane”, the creator of “Joe Frankenstein”, “Sunshine State”, “The Chenoo”, and “Alien Alamo”.
Monster Island tells the adventures of two American navy pilots Kelly “Mac” MacGruder and Tommy “Duke” Mitchell. The story starts when they crash land on a mysterious island, they then discover it’s an alien zoo filled with dangerous creatures from all over the universe and must escape before the island departs to another point in the galaxy exiling them from the earth forever.
Can Duke and Mac, along with a rag-tag group of rebels, overthrow the tyrants of Monsters Island and make it back home, or will they be doomed to live out their remaining years on this dangerous rock?
The book was first published in 1998 and released by Ominous Press in 2019 through crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. I got the digital edition from the Indiegogo campaign. The 2019 edition contains 100 pages including the main story and interesting bonus art by Graham Nolan. Check the 1998 48-page vintage comic at Compass Comics.
RETURN TO MONSTER ISLAND
In Return to Monster Island, two years have passed since our heroes, Mac and Duke escaped from their adventure on Monster Island. Now the island has once more appeared on earth, this time over the Bering Sea, and our stalwart pilots are once more called to service!
An alien group has taken over the island from the Gooch and Mac and Duke, with the aid of two Russian flyers must set things right. Can they do it before the island phases out again?
Graham Nolan’s Return to Monster Island Digital Edition was obtained through the Ominous Press crowdfunding campaign but they are also available on their website for sale along with the physical copies.
The 2019 edition contains 100 pages including the main story, more process pieces, and even a short story on his strip from “Sunshine State”. Sunshine State was published in 2009 and it’s been syndicated (digitally) on GoComics.com since 2014. In “Sunshine State: Visit to Monster Island Part 1” Mel and Dink meet Mac and Duke.
The stories are just pure fun filled with action, science fiction, adventure, and romance. Both are feel-good stories that you rarely see anymore. I got the digital editions of both books from the Ominous crowdfunding campaign before it closed. Because of the backers’ feedback and the lack of response from the campaign manager on those inquiries, remarks, and comments I was apprehensive about choosing the physical tier so that’s why I settled for the digital edition.
It’s not my preference but I must admit that the quality of the pdf files is good. I just find it strange the read a book on my phone or on the laptop which can be challenging sometimes. It is just a different experience which can be annoying with the scrolling instead of just turning the page but I admit that it is a personal preference. In the end, I prefer the physical copy.
In any case, the colored hardcover editions and the digital editions of Monster Island and Return to Monster Island are available on Ominous Press‘ website. By the end of Return to Monster Island, there is a clear hint that the story will continue. I’m wondering when it will be published?
I’ll look forward to reading more about the adventures of Mac and Duke on Monster Island.