Advance Review: Lemire and Nguyen Shine in `Little Monsters’ #1

by Tom Smithyman


The pair responsible for the Descender and Ascender series are back, once again telling the story that focus on young people. Great writing and artwork give a fresh take on a familiar evil – vampires.


Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen are back together in the new Image Comics title Little Monsters – and after reading the premiere issue, it’s easy to understand the pair’s popularity.

Similar to Lemire and Nguyen’s Descender and Ascender titles, the focus of Little Monsters is on children. But unlike Tim the robot or Mila from the previous series, this story focuses on tells the story of a group of adolescent vampires.

The book opens with each of the children whiling away their evenings – strumming a guitar, playing capture the flag, jumping off high-rise buildings. It seems being immortal is not all it’s cracked up to me. While it’s unclear how they were turned, the group has been undead for over a century. And they’re wicked bored. In a nod to Waiting for Godot, the group has been anticipating the return of the Elder for at least a hundred years. They suck the blood of rats for sustenance as there don’t seem to be any living humans around for dinner.

Lemire wisely lets Nguyen’s artwork carry the first few pages, illustrating this post-apocalyptic world where the children rule. Unlike in their past collaborations, though, Nguyen’s artwork is almost entirely black and white. Only a massive orange blood moon dominating the night sky, some chalk drawings and crimson rat blood add a splash of color to kids’ nighttime adventures.

Lemire talents as a writer also add brilliant color to the story. His dialogue always feels authentic, even for teenagers who have lived hundreds of years. While this first issues spends most of its time introducing the many characters and not developing much external conflict, Lemire’s writing keeps the reader coming back for more.

At the end of the book, we are promised that this is the night that will change everything for the group of bloodsuckers. The good news is we won’t have to wait a century for the next issue.

Little Monsters #1 will be available for purchase on March 9, 2022.

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