That's a gag heading, for a gag that will probably be caught by very few readers of this website (not that I have many to spare). The "Stanley" is John Stanley; the "monster" is Little Lulu, the character who consumed his artistic energies for fifteen years; and "Stanley and His Monster" was the title of a feature in DC's Fox and the Crow comic book at the end of its life. Now do you get it? John Stanley and Little Lulu are the subjects of a new book by Bill Schelly, which you'll find reviewed at length at this link.
From Thad Komorowski: I loved the Stanley piece, and agree with you 100%: Schelly's book is a missed opportunity and shows obvious signs of haste. Consider that the same author and publisher put out an excellent book, the Kurtzman bio (although admittedly I lost interest after the MAD years, but that's on me—it's still great to the end), and it only makes sense a more satisfying Stanley bio could've happened via the same people. But on the other hand: could it have happened? While it can still provide an awful lot of important information about an important cartoonist and writer, since Stanley was a recluse to so many for so long, a keener and more thorough analysis in the way of Kurtzman or Barks may be highly unlikely.
[Posted October 16, 2017]
From Garry Apgar: Great review of Bill Schelly's new book, John Stanley: Giving Life to Little Lulu. I would, if I may, offer just one comment and one suggestion:
(a) You say that Stanley’s “taste in reading ran to the likes of Samuel Pepys’s diaries,” which made him “more sophisticated and intelligent than his typical comic-book contemporary.” True. But such rarefied taste elevated him above 99.99 % of all of his contemporaries, academics and literati included.
(b) Instead of hiding this review under a bushel, in the permanent links section, it ought to be posted on the main page. Who knows how many web-surfing readers from among the horde of fanatical visitors to MB.com have missed this critical gem by failing to click on the link.
MB replies: I have to agree that I could do a better job of calling attention to long posts like my Stanley review. In this case, I should have summarized the review in a few paragraphs, illustrated by the cover of the book. Next time.
[Posted October 18 2017]