Monster on the Hill

Monster on the Hill

Paperback - 2013
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"In a fantastical 1860s England, every quiet little township is terrorized by a ferocious monster--much to the townsfolk's delight! Each town's unique monster is a source of local pride, not to mention tourism. Each town, that is-- except for one. Unfortunately, for the people of Stoker-on-Avon, their monster isn't quite as impressive. In fact, he's a little down in the dumps. Can the morose Rayburn get a monstrous makeover and become a proper horror? It's up to the eccentric Dr. Charles Wilkie and plucky street urchin Timothy to get him up to snuff, before a greater threat turns the whole town to kindling"--Page 4 of cover.
Published: Marietta, GA :, Top Shelf Productions,, [2013]
ISBN: 9781603090759
Branch Call Number: J741.5973 HAR
Characteristics: 186 pages :,color illustrations ;,23 cm


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GeeksInTheLibrary Oct 17, 2017

Every town has a terrible, horrible monster to frighten the villagers: except Stoker-on-Avon. Stoker-on-Avon has Rayburn, and Rayburn needs a lot of help if he's going to be scaring anybody. Good for fans of "the little guy", unexpected heroes, and the power of friendship.

Oct 19, 2015

This charming read is such a fun twist on the traditional monster story. It literally made me laugh out loud. Loved it!

Jul 14, 2015

A fun look at a dragon who lacks self-confidence. The disgraced scientist and the ragamuffin newsboy take on the job.

BCD2013 Jun 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
The only thing worse than living in Stover-on-Avon is being Rayburn, the depressed creature responsible for terrorizing it. With the help of a disgraced scientist, a plucky newsboy, and a “successful” behemoth, Rayburn sets out to be the best worst monster he can possibly be.

forbesrachel May 04, 2014

Monsters mean money. In this parody, monsters terrorize villages, however they do this not out of a pure desire for destruction, rather they create a sense of town identity, as well as lining the town's coffers with profit. One monster, Rayburn, is not quite up to par though. He is a dragon-like creature that can neither fly, nor spew fire, and this has led to a bit of a confidence problem. So, he hides on his hill. Stoker-on-Avon sends Dr. Charles Wilkie, an eccentric, and unlicensed physician/inventor to cheer him up...tourism depends on it. Along with the intelligent and chipper orphan, Timothy, they set out on a "quest" to help him. Rayburn's absence brings an unexpected side-effect though, for each monster has an additional task. They actually guard their town from the Murk. Rayburn must use some unconventional means, for a monster that is, the help of his new friends, and some newly gained confidence to defeat it. Characters react in a way that is quite opposite to the norm. It is this counter-intuitive nature that makes this comic really funny though. Characters have an amusing comic-strip design to them, are brightly coloured, and live in a world similar to early Europe. Humour is equal parts visual slapstick, randomness, and intelligent parody. This title may be classified as a children's graphica, however it can easily be enjoyed by all ages.

JCLChrisK Feb 17, 2014

The people of Stoker-on-Avon have an unfortunate problem: their monster is mopey, melancholy, and self-doubting to the point that he hasn't done anything monstrous in forever, which is killing the town's pride and tourism. Other towns' monsters are famous for their ferocity and personality. So they send a disgraced doctor to work on his spirits, which leads to an unexpected adventure of discovery and danger. Fun and funny, simple yet deep, colorful and cartoonish and vibrant. This was a nice little read.

Dec 03, 2013

Best known for the syndicated strips Big Top and Adam@Home, Rob Harrell makes his first foray into the full length graphic novel format with the humorous Monster on the Hill. In Harrell's fantasy vision of 1860s England, a monster terrorizes every town. Each unique creature serves as a source of civic pride and financial windfall as the terrifying monsters attract a lucrative tourist trade. Save for Stoker-on-Avon whose resident, less-than-impressive dragon Rayburn, suffers from depression. With the help of the eccentric Dr. Charles Wilkie and the fearless street urchin Timothy, the morose monster must overcome his foibles before a menace destroys the town. Recalling the best of Bone, Harell's charming caricatures, funny asides, and creative fight sequences propel the exciting tale. Truly living up to the all ages moniker, Monster on the Hill should thrills all adventure-lovers, from 8-80 and beyond.

Nov 29, 2013

Quick read, but a really great graphic novel about a monster who doesn't know how to be a monster until he finds a little inspiration from his friends.


Rob Harrell is, at this time, best known for his comic strips, but kids that have never even seen a newspaper comic, let alone read them, will be instantly hooked by this particular book's kooky storyline and good-natured monstering. For those kids who want something adventurous and amusing, their prayers will be answered. Granted, for the most voracious amongst them this book will take up a single hour of reading (maybe less). At least it’s fun while it lasts. Monster On the Hill. Get your own.


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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12


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Every good town has a good monster. They’re fantastic. Much of the time they’re terrorizing the citizenry, and as everyone knows that’s just good for business (tourists love to be terrified). Best of all, a good monster will guard a town from a threat known only as The Murk. And then there’s poor Stoker-on-Avon. They’ve a bit of a monster problem. His name is Rayburn and . . . well, let’s be honest. Rayburn’s kind of pathetic. Worst of all, he knows it, so his days are spent wallowing in self-pity. When Dr. Charles Wilkie is charged by the town fathers to perk the creature up he unwittingly brings along plucky newsboy orphan Tim. Together, the three try to get at the root of Rayburn’s problem. Unfortunately a trip to his friend Tentaculor leaves Stoker-on-Avon without a guardian. And The Murk? He’s hungry . . . very hungry . . .


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