Tuesday, July 12, 2011
A major milestone is coming up as master cartoonist and illustrator M. Rasheed reaches the halfway point in his epic 10-part Monsters 101 graphic novel series with the release of Monsters 101, Book Five: “Monsters & Monarchy”!
The ambitious Monsters 101 cartoon adventures by African-American independent cartoonist/publisher M. Rasheed is coming up on its fifth title of a scheduled ten book graphic novel series.
Raleigh, North Carolina (FPRC) July 11, 2011 – Cartoonist M. Rasheed is wrapping up work on his fifth title in his Monsters 101 series of cartoon books (graphic novels). The first such work completed by an African-American cartoonist and independent publisher, a scheduled 1,320 pages of artwork will be completed at the project’s end.
Started back in April of 2000, the tale chronicles the adventures of a former school bully turned monstrous superhero Pugroff, and his former favorite nerd victim Mort, an aspiring sorcerer. Each book has 132 pages of story, featuring black and white interior artwork with color covers, and is scheduled for a ten-title run ending sometime in late 2012.
“I thought I had all the time in the world,” said M. Rasheed when asked why it’s taken him eleven years to get to Monsters 101, Book Five: “Monsters & Monarchy” despite a reputation for speed. “In the very beginning I wasn’t planning on making it a finite series. Imitating some of my favorite newspaper comic strip artists, I was just going to plug away at it for the rest of my life.” Not having a sense of urgency of any kind is what the 40 year old cartoonist accredits most to not having the series done already.
“When my daughter was born I knew I really had to get on the ball. So I tightened up my plans by taking all of the major storylines I was most looking forward to writing, and strung them together in one big super saga. Once I plotted them out they just happened to end at Book Ten.” Confident he can wrap up the next half of the ten titles in the next two years, M. Rasheed surprisingly has even more books planned for Second Sight Graphix, his publishing company. “Making cartoon books is what I do. But I need to put my masterwork behind me finally, so I have my legacy set in my chosen industry. It’s important to me that I show other aspiring cartoonists with busy lives and families that they don’t have to abandon their dreams because of the normal bumps of life.”
M. Rasheed speaks enthusiastically about his series, and especially the nearly finished Book Five, stopping himself repeatedly to keep from giving away the surprises. Despite the cartoonist’s child-friendly art style, which developed from an early childhood interest in television animation shows like Underdog, The Mighty Heroes, and Fang Face, “Monsters 101 is not a children’s story,” he says. “I don’t talk down to my audience, or otherwise write specifically for children. I subscribe to the creator’s idea of ‘write for self.’ If I entertain myself… make me laugh, make me angry, make me scared, gross me out… I always felt I would create a pure form of art that many people would understand organically, as opposed to creating what I’d think an audience would like.” Consequently, even though M. Rasheed says children can read it “if they’re mature enough,” Monsters 101 can be quite heavy with violence, heart-stopping suspense, great tragedy, as well as black humor, all quite a handful for a pre-teen to deal with.
“It’s important to me that cartooning be seen as it really is... a full medium that any kind of story can be told in,” says M. Rasheed. “Cartooning is quite versatile enough, as much as any other art medium like novel writing or painting, to enable the cartoonist to express whatever his/her creative vision might be. Mine happens to be an eclectic mix of crazy stuff!”
Monsters 101, Book Five: “Monsters & Monarchy” by M. Rasheed, the halfway mark in the scheduled ten book graphic novel series is due out later this year.
Second Sight Graphix, the publishing company that M. Rasheed creates under, so far has a total of seven titles. This includes the four previous graphic novels in the Monsters 101 series, as well as nonfiction titles on his specific methods for cartoon and comic book creation. All can be found through his Website.
M. Rasheed, cartoonist
Monsters 101 graphic novels
Second Sight Graphix
Posted by William Satterwhite at 9:15 AM