A. Quinton — Aug. 22nd 2014
The next instalment of Todd McCullough‘s stellar horror graphic novel “Who Needs the Moon?” is now available via Gumroad (and comiXology pretty soon, I would guess). This is the fourth issue, the midpoint of the story, and the most horrifying entry yet. It describes a high point in McCullough’s storytelling ability so far, and a low point in our time with the werewolf protagonist Ethan. I read it two days ago and my skin still crawls to think of it.
From the first issue it’s been made clear that Ethan is haunted (literally) by the consequences of his actions, but as a reader it’s been tempting to write those actions off as the behaviour of an out-of-control “Past Ethan”. He’s been a werewolf for a while, and the capable, methodical, sometimes charming guy we know now is certainly capable of keeping his bestial impulses in check, right? Wrong. This issue reveals with shocking clarity just how little control Ethan has over his monstrous side, and now I’m starting to feel like the ghosts pursuing Ethan and demanding his death might have the right idea.
This issue disturbed me in a way I haven’t felt about anything I’ve shared on this site. McCullough found it difficult to write, and it’s a credit to his vision and storytelling abilities that it feels like the next step in a pitch-black downward spiral instead of an abrupt left-turn into gratuitous depravity. I still maintain that this is the best graphic novel series I’ve ever read, and I urge you to buy it immediately (it’s a pay what you want scenario on Gumroad so you literally have no excuse not to). Just… be careful.
Edit: check out this interview with McCullough on Pipedream Comics for more on the story’s background and a look at the real-life challenges he and his family are facing. This is why it’s so important to support the people who make the things you love.