Story and Pencils: Mitch Schauer
Ink: Mike Vosburg
Colors and Letters: Michael Lessa, Justin Yamaguchi
Type: Graphic novel
Publisher: Lincoln Butterfield, LLC and Fantagraphics Books, Inc.
Release Date: September 29, 2010.
Synopsis: RIP M.D—the debut graphic novel from The Angry Beavers creator Mitch Schauer—is a creepy, fun-filled, all-ages adventure introducing Ripley Plimpt, an 11-year-old boy whose ordinary life is turned upside-down when he discovers that monsters are not only real, but are also in desperate need of his help to overcome their very real problems.
RIP M.D. is very sweet all-ages graphic novel introducing us to Ripley Plimpt (Rip), a little boy who has been obsessed with classic movie monsters his entire life and has convinced himself that they are real. The book begins with Rip going in search of monsters in the cemetery one night. What he finds in the cemetery instead is a vampire bat impaled by a thornbush, which he then rescues with his “tiny bat rescue tongs” and proceeds to doctor up. Before long, word gets out at the cemetery that Rip is a friend to the scary and the creepy and all manner of creatures start showing up at his door. One of the first characters we meet is Dead Guy. Dead Guy is, as his name would suggest, a dead guy, and he quickly becomes attached to Rip. Unfortunately, Dead Guy has some trouble staying attached to his own body parts in sort of an on-going comedy bit throughout the story. Dead Gut is only one of a cast of many, and each character really shines. You can definitely look forward to each page turn hoping for a new monster. Like werewolves? RIP’s got one. However, this werewolf is seeing Rip as a sort of psychoanalyst to help him work through his irritating, and not scary, howl.
RIP M.D. is an all-ages graphic novel, so anyone looking for blood and guts should look elsewhere. For those that would like to try something focused on harmless monsters, or are looking for something to share with the family, RIP is an excellent choice. The writer, Mitch Schauer, is clearly a fan of classic monsters and has really had some fun with these characters.
The real gem in RIP M.D. is the artwork. Beautiful, beautiful panels that you may want to tear out of the book and put up on your walls. Don’t think a creature that is pretty much just an eyeball can be super expressive? Think again. And the colors in this book are just stunning. This is a book that warrants some extra time to just enjoy each page.
Often, the creators of all-ages horror stories put so much love and effort into these books to show young readers how awesome horror can be and to share the thrill that scary stories brought them when they were young. The benefit is that adults get to enjoy it, also. Ultimately, this is a book that anyone can read and enjoy that would also make an excellent gift to a young reader as a Halloween treat.
Bottom line: This is a book all fans, young or otherwise, of classic monsters will definitely want to check out, but one that may not impress fans of more intense horror.