Gronk: A Monster’s Story
Gronk is a classic fish out of water. She’s a little monster adopted by Dale after she left the monster world because she didn’t like being scary. The comics mostly cover how Gronk misunderstands or learns something about how humans live. My favorites are when Gronk interacts with the huge dog Harli or the cat Kitty. Gronk also has her own Kitteh, only that one is stuffed.
Although the strips ran on the website in black and white, they were gorgeously colored and shaded by Kevin Minor for the book. I like reading the webcomic, but I love the art in full color! It seems more solid and real.
Gronk is a wonderful stand-in for a toddler, making for lots of amusing encounters, beautifully cartooned. Some of it’s slapstick, some shared pop culture references, some Gronk playing, and some the humor of conflicting expectations, as when Gronk learns to use the toilet. The comics generally revolve around quiet observations of how silly behavior can be, with Gronk sometimes acting as a child would and inadvertently destroying parts of the home. Says Cook,
“Gronk has always been a very personal project for me… I developed the character back in college YEARS ago and had always planned on doing something with her. It wasn’t until I kicked myself in the pants and started the webcomic that I started in on the journey that became Gronk: a monster’s story… a project that has seen me through years of my life. Every change my adult life has faced, leaving a comforting job for full-time freelance, becoming a mom (twice!), and more, I’ve always tried to get a Gronk strip up that week! It’s my true “me” creative time every week. It’s a strip that has grown with me as a person and a creator.”
This first volume contains the strips from the April 2010 beginning up through May 2011. Extras include a short “how Gronk began” page, guest strips, and fan art. In comparison to the original self-published book of Volume 1, the Action Lab edition has an additional six-page comic by Otis Frampton (about Gronk trying to fart) and a one-pager by Jay Fosgitt about Gronk selling convention sketches.