Comics

Learning Curve: A Monsters Unleashed Sketchbook

Artist Francesco Gaston creates some real buzz with his first issue!

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MONSTERS UNLEASHED will hit a milestone with December 20’s issue #9. That will mark the first installment of the modern series not written by Cullen Bunn, as Justin Jordan takes over. The book will feature a variety of different artists handling the artwork in a series of stories from that point. For his first adventure, Jordan joins forces with Francesco Gaston to pit Kid Kaiju and his monstrous friends against a group of increasingly ornery giant bees who just want to live!

We talked with Gaston about the insectoid menace, working with Jordan, and the difficulties of drawing robots!

Marvel.com: How does it feel to be launching a new era of MONSTERS UNLEASHED with Justin Jordan?

Francesco Gaston: I have to say it has been truly a stimulating process. I did not know MONSTERS UNLEASHED that much before, so it has been a great discovery. It is actually [populated] by a quite large bunch of extremely funny and dynamic characters, very different from one another. I really had fun working on Justin’s script.

Also, it is always so exciting to me the idea of contributing to the launch of something new which is actually unfolding under your own eyes as it is being created. I’m very proud to be part of it.

Marvel.com: For you as an artist, what’s the major appeal of working on a book like MONSTERS UNLEASHED?

Francesco Gaston: Personally, I have always found the Japanese world of Kaiju extremely fascinating, since I’ve actually grown up with Godzilla, Mazinga, Gundam, and all the typical cartoons from the 70s or the 80s. They all had huge, gigantic robots as main characters who had to fight with even bigger monsters. For my personal taste and perspective I could not have hoped for a better and more evocative project.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about the threat Kid Kaiju and his pals find themselves facing off against in this issue?

Francesco Gaston: In this particular issue, Kid and his pals are facing off against a very unexpected enemy: giant bees.

Those gigantic mutant bees do not actually want to destroy everything and the world they’re living in as usually happens when someone has to face giant monsters. Those freaky and over-sized bees simply try to live their life in a no longer compatible environment and world, which over time has become too small for them. The main challenge for Kai and his team this time will be to save and secure everyone, both human and monsters.

Marvel.com: The MONSTERS UNLEASHED cast is definitely an eclectic looking bunch—did any of them give you more trouble nailing down?

Francesco Gaston: With no doubt whatsoever I have had great challenges with the two androids of the entire bunch: Mekara and Aegis. It took me quite some time to deeply understand their dynamics, metabolize them and then imagine and realize all their positions and credible movements. They are also of course a lot of fun to deal with and the coolest characters to sketch!

Justin Jordan and Francesco Gaston kick the hive on December 20 with MONSTERS UNLEASHED #9!