“THE MEMORY COLLECTORS” (Comic Review)
There are many ways to torture a person. While plenty of horror tends to focus on the physical torment, it’s the psychological scars that truly stay with the victim, threatening to resurface at the most awkward of times. MEMORY COLLECTORS takes full advantage of this unique human condition, creating a comic that is steeped in nightmares and the demons who feed off the subsequent misery. Written and illustrated by Menton3, the series has been a long time coming for fans of the artist’s distinct, fetishist goth art. Though this is the creator’s second attempt at a full comic series, he is usually found only contributing to cover art, making MEMORY COLLECTORS a unique addition to his repertoire.
The comic begins in fashion familiar to those who follow Menton3’s work, with a group of bondaged, high-heeled woman kicking-ass and taking names. Words like whispers appear on the pages, the thoughts of the main character Edith as she tells the audience of her ability to read the unique lines of a person life. She can see their memories, their hopes, even who they are, but this time, she’s spotted something different: a demon among the sheep. As she is lopping off the sucker’s head, Edith explains her origins. Once a model, she became a demon hunter after one forces her to remember her childhood molestation, so as to feed off her emotional energy. Her unique sight tipped off another woman in the crowd and Edith is recruited to be part of a group who spend their lives killing the monsters that travel under the guise of humanity, wreaking psychic havoc for sustenance. Flashing back to present day, a sudden change in the air takes place– a signal of a new beginning, or perhaps, the end.
As much as this author wants to be a fan of MEMORY COLLECTORS, there are so many places where the comic falls short. Most notably, the story comes off as very cliché and at times, amateurish. The idea of hot women in fetish gear fighting demons reads as cheap. While it’s understandable that Menton3 would want to go with a concept that is near and dear to his heart—women and tragic monsters—there’s nothing original in the way he presents the ideas. The characters have little depth and seem to solely exist as eye candy in six-inch stilettos. Even the demons eating emotional energy from memories seems slapped together, as if it’s simply an excuse to illustrate evil creatures. MEMORY COLLECTORS feels incomplete, failing to explore the comic medium and instead more an expanded vehicle to present the exact same art that Menton3’s been pushing out.
His eye for anatomy and gothic beauty is very evident in the comic. His talent for fine art pops up beautifully throughout the work and the color palette of dark blues and browns only add to a very heavy atmosphere, creating a unique and fragile world view. Unfortunately, the art only works when the characters are standing still. Once action or facial expressions or any of the visual dynamics that are associated with comic books are in order, it once again falls short. The movement is painfully stiff, completely lacking any fluidity, while the facial expressions never change. Apparently, the women are not only tough monster-killers, but they lack all emotion. It’s an example of how just because an artist’s single images don’t immediately qualify them for sequential comic art.
If you’re already a fan of Menton3 or love fetish art, this is up your alley, but it might not appeal to longtime comic lovers. Perhaps it would have received a better reception as an illustrated book versus a comic book, but as it is, it’s hard one to enjoy.