Monday, December 12, 2016

[BOOK REVIEW] Lio: There's A Monster in My Socks by Mark Tatulli

Title:  Lio:  There's a Monster in My Socks

Author:  Mark Tatulli

Genre:  Horror / Comedy / Fantasy / Animals

Year Published:  2012

Year Read: 12/10/2016

Series: Lio

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+ (Dark Humor)


Now, I have been reading newspaper comics for many years now with “Garfield” and “Peanuts” being my most read out of all the newspaper comics.  So, imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a newspaper comic series called “Lio” that was created by Mark Tatulli and after reading my first “Lio” comic book which is called “Lio” There’s A Monster in my Socks,” I am definitely going to keep reading this series for a long time! 

What is this story about?

In this graphic novel, we see the various hijinks that Lio and his father get into as Lio’s creepy nature causes a lot of humorous and creepy situations to arise such as giving out guns to hunters, only for the hunters to realize too late that the guns are fake and the animals start viciously mauling them and Lio owning several scary creatures as pets such as spiders, snakes, squids and dragons!

What I loved about this story:

Mark Tatulli’s writing: Even though there are barely any dialogue in this comic book, Mark Tatulli’s storytelling is highly creative and hilarious as the story cleverly integrates black comedy into the strips without going too dark with the punchlines and I enjoyed seeing various strips where Lio’s creepy nature is the highlight of the story, especially in the creative ways he deals with bullies who either picks on him or on someone who is smaller than the bullies.  I also like the fact that Lio seems like a character straight out of Tim Burton’s works as he is a young boy who loves creepy things like spiders and world domination, but he is put into a world that treats his creepy obsessions as being humorous.

Mark Tatulli’s artwork:  Mark Tatulli’s artwork really tells the story in this comic book and is hilarious and surprisingly cute at times, considering the black comedy that is prevalent throughout this comic.  I like the fact that Lio is drawn as having a unique hairstyle where he has a small tuft of hair that sticks up in the front and has white blank eyes as it makes him look like a unique character.  I also loved seeing the various monsters that Lio meets throughout the strips as we get to see Lio meet up with ghosts, dragons, the grim reaper and aliens and I loved the fact that they are drawn more realistically than the main characters of this comic strip as it helps set them apart from the humorous universe they are thrown in.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like black comedy, this comic book has plenty of dark humor that might make some readers uncomfortable.  There are moments in this comic book where the jokes can get pretty dark at times such as scenes of Lio trying to achieve world domination by implanting weapons inside toys and him feeding cute little animals like puppies to his pet snake.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Lio: There’s A Monster in my Socks” is an excellent read for anyone who loves comic books that has black comedy and quirky situations!


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