Written by Jonathan Wojcik



"Draw 101 Monsters" by cartoonist Dan Green is a book I've seen a couple of times in the past, and I always said to myself I ought to review some of its quirkier, more interesting residents, but I just never got around to making any scans of it! Luckily, friend and reader Robert Kresse went through the trouble and donated all the files for a review, which isn't really going to cover all that much of this book or even all of the best things in it because that would probably cost it at least a few more sales, but let's check out some of the best monsters here....and how to draw them!

So here's Jarred, and I love how some of the monsters in this just have a normal person name. This is like some kind of blobby sludgy monster but with a large, solid reptilian head and its eyes are under its mouth. I guess there aren't many descriptive names you could give it, so we end up with just...Jarred! Hey, Jarred!

And here's "Snozz." That's more of a monster name, at least, but it's even harder to do Snozz any justice with mere words. Snozz is a fat grub with a man face and wheels, like a giant rollerskate. I want to think that Snozz is humongous and could absolutely run you over.

This is a good one because the name works together with the design to tell you just what this monster is all about, which is listening in on whatever it wants, and with no facial features but a single eye, Eavesdrop still manages to look positively haunted by whatever it just heard.

...Nun? Nun?! You're just going to drop a freaky little hooded figure into this book of monsters and call it a "Nun!?!" That is raising FAR, FAR too many questions for a book with no other text inside. You can't do that. What makes this little ghastly Nun a monster. What is Nun going to do to us. Please tell us on a scale of one to ten how afraid we should be of The Nun and her huge blocky teeth.

Two good ones together on this page, a carnivorous plant whose name is hilariously "Potty" and WHATEVER in the world Verm is supposed to be. Just a clawed, flightless bird with a human face and a long tongue, huh? Verm would look right at home in a painting by Bosch, in which case Verm would actually be some sort of demon. Alternatively, Verm might fit in with a medeival bestiary, in which case it would have been someone's sincere attempt to illustrate a duck.

Another solid twofer, you've got a hairy Skull with arms and legs and a "snail" that's more like a morose Nautilus shell with webbed feet. I hope they're friends. I bet they'd really round each other out.

"Robot" is interesting because it looks kind of organic to me, though whether fleshy or metallic it's generally nice to include a Robot as a type of monster, and it even looks more monstrous than your typical generic mechanoid.

How eerie is it the name of this bug-eyed hobgoblin? I feel like it may have been inspired by Gollum, or something, but calling it "Baby" throws me off and makes me think this is somebody's secret, mutant child they probably keep hidden away in an attic.

Man, this book has got to be so inspiring to a kid who's just getting into monsters. It really shows off how many things can BE monsters and how wild a design can get. Fingers is just a hand, but the placement of the eye and mouth give it so much personality.

Just a nice page with two solid concepts. Jagged is some kind of hammer-headed saurian beast whose cranium is also basically a saw blade, while AAARGH! Is just...I don't know. A thing. A thing named AAARGH! Not gonna argue with that!

I love Sharky because a shark that can walk on land would be somebody's worst nightmare, somewhere, but he looks like such a sensitive soul, truly more frightened by us than we would ever be of him.

Eyes in a mouth! Tentacles! A carnivorous plant! These are three things I have seen together more than once, actually, including only weeks ago in Yo-Kai Watch: Shadowside, but ANY combination of those three things, including any one of them, are almost always a solid "yes" in my book.

Snorky is adorable! Look at this goofy anteater-faced wiggleworm! Look at its goofy shoes and its little hat! I'm sure that, as a monster, it may not be wise to judge Snorky by appearances alone and underestimate its threat potential. For all we know, that heffalump trunk can spray you with enzymes and suck out your liver.

...Or, it just follows you around in its annoyingly squeaky, giant sneakers and talks a whole lot in a nasally voice about its extremely niche hobbies.

I love the idea of a big walrus-like beast with an eagle head and a beak full of teeth. It feels like a Dungeons and Dragons monster, like the owlbear, only this would be amphibious.

THREE winners on one page! Goggle eyes is just a blob of almost entirely mouth, but named for its five eyeballs and I guess for the fact that they veer off in random directions. TRUCK is like...not a truck. It has tank treads and a robot bulldog face. I don't think that qualifies as a truck at all. Finally, we've got SLIME, who's really truly just some slime with a couple of eyes floating in it, like bubbles on the surface of a pond. That's probably my favorite way to put eyes on a slime creature, but I don't see it nearly often enough.

A mass of goo with a mouth and stalked eyes is a pretty common sort of stock monster, but it's always a great combo, and it comes to us on the same page as another slimy, eye-stalked creature, a tusked snail inexplicably named Slug! Perhaps it just aspires that much to one day be naked.

Oh man, Batty is up to NO good. I like how a monster called Batty just has bat's ears and bat's wings while the rest is basically a big maggot with a pointy nose.

Here we have my definitive favorite in the book, exactly the one for me. It's not just a fly creature, but a super bizarre fly creature with fins on its abdomen instead of wings or even legs, and its name is just SMELLY! I don't know why I love monsters that smell bad. It's not even in a gross-out humor way, I just think there's something charming and neat about creatures that emit a terrible enough odor for it to be considered one of their defining characteristics, like a skunk or a stink bug or a musk ox or a corpse flower. Stinking is an underrated creature power and I strongly support this weird, legless, stinky bug. It's me.

NO!!! Don't look at me like that!!! I didn't mean it, Glum!! It was an accident!!!! And quit JUDGING me, Cyclops!! I'm apologizing, aren't I!?