Incoming: Monster Engine

Published by MWH Press, 2005

Dave DeVries, a renown illustrator and painter of Hulk pin-ups, donated a book to the Schulz Library at the last MoCCA festival (it’s almost that time again!). The premise for this magic book is the inherit story-telling children possess. DeVries asks some kids ages 3-8 to draw a monster, interviews them about it and then renders the drawing as an oil painting! Here is a drawing by Justine.

Here is an excerpt of DeVries interviewing Justine, age 3:

D: Would your monster eat broccoli?

J: Of course he would.

D: Why? He eats chocolate and chocolate isn’t very good for you.

J: He has the power to do anything with his nose.

D: With his nose? Give me an example of what he can do with his nose.

J: He can smell broccoli and not die.

And here is the drawing completely rendered by DeVries:

Obviously, this is a THING of nightmares. DeVries’ lush strokes truly breath life into these characters and the occasional superhero is thrown into the mix!

There are plenty more monsters and perhaps a gallery show near you to be found at the Monster Engine website. All in all, DeVries provides an interesting experiment and reminds us that children have the purest, untapped minds for wonder and horror. And you sleep with your bedroom doors unlocked…

-Jen Vaughn

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