Review: Monsters Are People Too In ‘Wayward Kindred’

by James Ferguson


Explore themes of loss, grief, and just plain changes through the lens of monsters of all shapes and sizes in this diverse anthology.


Monsters have a bad wrap. They’re almost always portrayed as…well…monsters. They bite and scratch and eat you up, but just like people and animals, they are someone’s child or someone’s parent. Wayward Kindred plays with this idea, looking at the family side of monsters of all shapes and sizes. The anthology collects stories featuring a wide variety of monsters from a diverse set of creators.

The horror in Wayward Kindred comes from real life trials and tribulations. Think of how terrifying and uncomfortable puberty was. Now imagine doing that as a werewolf or vampire. These are things that make these characters different and they could be made fun of as a result by the scared and ignorant, but these also make them unique and special.

The stories in Wayward Kindred humanize the monsters. They are just like us. They just look different. This should help in relating to people different from us. Several of the tales deal with loss in an emotional and poignant manner. A great example of this is “The God of Roadside Memorials” from Tate Brombal and V. Gagnon, a wordless short that says so much. It follows a woman who has lost a child as she’s visited by a horrifying spirit in the night. This looks like a cross between a mummy and the Grim Reaper, although its intentions are not sinister.

There’s a good amount of humor in this anthology. “Cursed Uncle Teoscar” from Meaghan Carter is a standout tale in that regard, centering on a young girl embarrassed by her skeleton uncle who comes in for career day. This is a fun story about family and acceptance with a healthy dose of laughter.

Wayward Kindred is light on scares, but it more than makes up for it in heart. It uses monsters as a lens to tell interesting and personal stories that everyone can relate to. More importantly, it provides a valuable perspective from a different point of view. People could really learn something from this book.

Wayward Kindred is currently available in print and digital through the TOComix store.

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