The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo vol. 2: The Monster Mall – Drew Weing

5 out of 5
This is so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so good.  (Note: Add more sos)
Margo Maloo, via the mighty pen and mind of creator Drew Weing, flips so many aspects of its genres on their patoots: it dodges out of YA conventions by skipping hand-holding and direct moralizing for accepting that kids inherently ‘get’ vampires and ghouls and showing maturity instead of explaining it; it skewers the paranormal investigator concept by having our heroine Maloo out to protect monsters from humans instead of vice versa; it tap-dances on world-building how-tos by constantly interrupting what would normally be exposition dumps to, again, show instead of tell… and then trusting reader intuition to pick up the extras from the details (and, sure, from the fantastic monster bios in the back).  There were plenty of points in this second volume that I spotted places where other creators would have mined fake drama (I got lost on the train!) or unnecessarily extended a particular storyline, but Drew just zeroes in on the most effective and entertaining way to tell his tale.
Of which we have two, once again (a la volume one) standalone but also building on each other: Margo and Charles ferret out the source of pranks in a suburban home; Margo and Charles try to convince a group of goth band teens (CreepyPasta rulez, bro) to stay out of the abandoned mall, sparing the monsters there potential exposure.
Drew’s timing and expressions and character designs are a joy, but a massive above-and-beyond here is found in the coloring (co-attributed to by Katherine Guillen and Joey Weiser) which has an old school comic vibe that both grounds the fantasticness and also sets the nostalgia buzz on high, which is a good thing in this case.
Amazingly awesomely re-read-it-right-away-ly stuff.
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