By Hannah Eaton
An adult Where the Wild Things Are, Naming Monsters is a warm, compelling graphic novel about a college student grappling with her emotions after losing her mother, but without knowing how to express them.
Fran is a keen amateur cryptozoologist – an expert in the study of animals that may not exist – and she can’t quite tell if the animals she meets are real or part of her imagination. But one thing is for sure: monsters are all around us.
The year is 1993, and we join Fran on a wild ride around London while she negotiates its real or imagined menageries. Tales of strange creatures that might-have-been introduce each stage of her journey.
Fran’s adventure, often with her best friend Alex in tow, is a psychogeography of London and its suburbs – a picaresque graphic novel in which the grief of losing her mother is punctuated by encounters with her semi-estranged dad, her out-of-touch East London Nana, a selfish boyfriend, and the odd black dog or two.
Hannah Eaton shows in sensitive pencils and beautiful penmanship what happens when your emotions become personified by monsters, and how you can learn to live with them.