Comics Anonymous

November 24, 2011, 6:28 pm
Filed under: Previews | Tags: , , , ,

While out at Dundee Comics Day (see our massive feature on the day here) we spoke with Montynero briefly about his new comic coming out next year, Death Sentence. He was kind enough to give us one of the 50 limited preview copies of issue #1 to read and review for the blog.

During his talk at Dundee, Monty explained his inspiration for the comic – his wife was a few months pregnant and on telling friends and family he was repeatedly told how his life would end in six months time – a bomb will go off and things will never be the same. With this warning he pushed himself creatively to sit down and write a comic in those remaining six months – and so was born Death Sentence, a comic set in an alternative UK where a new sexually transmitted disease “G-Plus” is making headlines. Once contracted, the infected have only six months to live, but start to show signs of super powers – sound familiar? (well the six month’s bit anyway!)

It’s an interesting take on the “normal person get’s super powers” idea, posing some powerful questions such as “If you only had six months to live, what would you do?”. Adding super powers into the mix makes it all the more interesting, and then there’s the curious characters on top of that. Monty doesn’t go for your stereotypical cast, instead drawing on today’s world of drug fuelled rock stars, sex symbol celebrities and the everyday Joe who hates their job. The book works well to tell the tales of each of these separate characters and it’s exciting to think that they’re probably going to meet up in later issues, where hell is likely to break loose.

While speaking about the comic, Monty flashed up a few pages of the artwork, which really caught my eye. Mike Dowling is responsible for the art in the book, probably most known for his work on Frankie Boyle’s Rex Royd published through CLiNT magazine. His work on Death Sentence reminds me a little of Eduardo Risso and Gabriel Ba – which I’m sure you can agree is a good thing – it’s got plenty of sharp edges and bold black lines. It matches well to the setting of the comic, in the same way that Russo’s 100 Bullets helps enhance the seediness of that world, Dowling perfectly portrays the grimy lifestyles of the characters.

I’ll be looking forward to picking this series up when it comes out next year and I recommend you do too, it’s a really original story and a nice looking book to boot.


Now an STD may not be the 1st thing I’d have chosen for the main topic in a comic book….but after listening to Montynero talk us through it the Dundee Comic Day….I was intrigued.  As Craig mentions above, we were able to get a glimpse of the artwork and hear the creator talk us through the premise – a first for me as a comic book fan.

If anything, it just confirmed that outside the world of Marvel & DC we have comic book writers and artists fully prepared to take risks….and when it’s dealt with as a personal project, which it is in the case of Death Sentence, that’s a very engaging and involving take for the average comic book fan.  No spandex on show…and like many of the Indie/Self-published market, we get the kind of tales that you can relate to in some way….whether that’s the real life situations or the feelings being felt.  I can hold my hand up and say with all honesty that I don’t have an STD….and never have done…..and even if it gave me superpowers….I wouldn’t be interested….but it does raise a lot of questions.

Real-life portrayed with a super-being-world twist is pretty common these days but only in some cases can it REALLY be pulled-off….and that’s what Death Sentence achieves.  As much a spin on the approach to mutant/super-powers as it is a comment on the world we live in today….much in the same way as E4’s Misfits has managed to tap into that part of the tv-watching public.

Solid, involving writing mixed with the kind of art that makes me wish I could draw and that’s where we see this title stand up against anything else being re-booted or billed as an “event” in the otherwise mainstream world of comics.  For me, even the little touches work for me….the inside cover has a breakdown on what the G-Plus Virus is, as a sort of NHS Public Health warning – while the inside cover has an Internet news headline on the breking news of the rockstars current condition.  All adding to the sense of realism that few folks would take the time to add….but the inclusion of that just proves how important a project this is.

I’m wishing the best for Montynero & Mike Dowling in their continuing push to release Death Sentence and I’d urge anyone I know who reads this Blog to help spread the word……..but to always practic safe-sex….just in case 😉


Death Sentence is expected to be released mid 2012.

Montynero has been creating 2D/3D artwork for various products including computer games. His website is over at and his blog You can also follow him on twitter @montynero.

Mike Dowling has done work for Insomnia, Ubisoft, 200AD and the Torchwood Magazine. His website is over at

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