Preview: The Understanding Monster by Theo Ellsworth

Secret Acre’s wildly psychedlic cartoonist Theo Ellsworth preps the release of his newest work, THE UNDERSTANDING MONSTER – BOOK ONE, as it debuts in a couple weeks at SPX. A quest to explore the inner workings of an imaginary world sends the displaced Izadore, whose current form is that of a mouse, to regain his true form and full realize his true identity.

Theo Ellsworth is no stranger to the mystifying exploration of one’s subconscious. His previous releases, CAPACITY and SLEEPER CAR, asked readers to figuratively occupy an imaginary body and join an imaginary version of his brain as he maneuvered and wormed through the inner workings of his mind. Terror, danger, and psychological confusion are usually a given, as are a slew of bizarrely awesome creatures.

THE UNDERSTAND MONSTER follows a similar tune, but this time taking place in a living house full of mutating rooms and growing toys. Izadore, the graphic novel’s delirious protagonist, endures a “dream logic” treatment that forces him to-and-from time and memory. The house itself and its inhabitants add to the story’s sickness, with a gang of ghosts called the Mean Kids.

Printed in large format, THE UNDERSTANDING MONSTER is a deliciously rendered journey exploring the essence of the mind’s creativity. The pages alone could definitely stand on their own, as everything is so detailed that it’s entirely possible to get lost in them.

If you can’t make it out to SPX to check out THE UNDERSTANDING MONSTER yourself, Brooklyn’s Bergen St. Comics is hosting a release party on September 13th.


  1. Brandon Graham says:

    This is exciting news.
    Capacity was so much fun to read.

  2. Chris Duffy says:

    Really excited to see this! I’ll be at SPX as long as I finish my Imaginary Homework before…

  3. glen soikie says:

    im an artist and i love your work too keep it up man!

  4. I’ve never read this guy because I don’t get much in print anymore but this looks awesome. I feel like I’ve seen his work in anthologies along the way? Hopefully I meet him at SPX! I’ll be there!

    This is SUPER cool. And what great themes. Looks like he’s the guy to take them on. Wow.


  1. […] There’s been plenty of other stuff happening in the meanwhile. Sean Ford has been feeling the love for his Only Skin from IndieReader‘s Sarah Morean (If you don’t know who she is, look her up. We’ll wait.). Edie got a shoutout from the awesome Bitch Magazine. Gabby Schulz, the former Ken Dahl, was the recipient of some seriously glowing praise from Comics Bulletin for Monsters (which has to be the longest wait for a review we’ve ever seen). Mike got in trouble with Trouble With Comics, and his Ink Panthers Show! had one of their best spots ever with episode 142 (no relation to Troop 142), “The Voyage Home.” Theo had himself a big exhibit at Giant Robot, an enormous interview at Newsarama, and you can even see a preview of the rather large The Understanding Monster on the Beat. […]

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