Category: Books & Comics
A. Quinton — Oct. 10th 2017
‘NAMWOLF is a 4-issue comic series published by Albatross Funnybooks that ran through the Spring and Summer of 2017. It didn’t appear on my radar until friend of the site @RealizationNews tweeted at me earlier today, and now I’m firing up Comixology to buy the series – the synopsis and what I’ve seen of the art is too good to resist.
When scrawny Marty Spencer is drafted into the Vietnam War, he finds himself smack dab in the middle of the heart of darkness. But Marty has a secret. A secret even from himself. And Vietnam is a hell of a place to find out you’re a werewolf.
When news of the series first dropped in January, Nerdist ran a write-up in which the creators, Fabian Rangel Jr (whose work I enjoyed in an earlier werewolf comic, Extinct) and Logan Faerber shared some of their influences.
“I’m a huge werewolf fan, especially 80’s werewolf movies, explained writer Fabian Rangel, Jr. “So the inspiration is definitely ’80’s style action movie with a werewolf.” told us. When you read ‘Namwolf, a real ‘80s grindhouse feel comes through, like a throwback to a time when you discovered stuff like this on VHS at your local video store. “Ultimately, this was combining elements we both love; monsters, werewolves, cheesy action movies, and Vietnam flicks. Maybe if Predator weren’t so high budgeted, [and] replacing Arnold with Bill Paxton, [‘Namwolf] could’ve been one of those ’80s straight-to-VHS classics!” artist Logan Faerber added.
The Nerdist article also has several preview pages, including alternate covers by Eric Powell (creator of “The Goon”) and the legendary Mike Mignola (“Hellboy” and its extended universe). You can see all four standard covers and two pages of Marty making a “discovery” below.
A. Quinton — Jul. 18th 2017
There’s nothing I despise more than a tiny-ass art book. Ink all piled up on the middle of minuscule pages like pepper on a playing card because you don’t respect the art? Get your small format reproductions away from me. I don’t want to see it. Get me a nice big tome like this new Thicker Than Blood art book from FPG.
Thicker Than Blood is a three-issue comic series written by Simon Reed, with pencils by Mike Ploog and paints by Simon Bisley. For an overview of the story and an assessment of why the series is considered a stand-out effort, may I direct you to this Werewolf News review from 2011. Suffice it to say that what grabbed most folks’ attention was the art, which is what this new book depicts, at its original size and in a variety of states.
This will be a large hardcover book that measures 12” x 17”. We will take full advantage of this format by reproducing Mike’s graphic pen and ink pages on the left-hand page and Simon’s richly painted artwork on the right-hand page. So, each and every cover and interior page can be compared and enjoyed in both mediums; one right next to the other!
This is a Kickstarter project but it’s already 200% funded with over a month to go on the campaign, so chipping in at this point is essentially a pre-order. Every pledge tier – ranging from $10 to $175 – gets you a copy of the book, so if you’re an interested party, your only quandary is just how fancy you want to be.
Thanks to Doruk Golcu for the link, and apologies to the Internet in general for the following – my first and last foray into the world of Drake memes.
A. Quinton — Jul. 14th 2017
It’s the supernatural Archie spin-off so nice they did it twice! After the success of Jughead: The Hunger – March’s one-shot comic in which Jughead Jones becomes a werewolf and Bettie Cooper a werewolf hunter – Archie Comics is continuing the concept with an ongoing monthly series. Writer Frank Tieri will return, with Pat and Tim Kennedy picking up art duties.
“We purposely left the door open with the one shot, we told you if you made Jughead: The Hunger a hit we’d make more — and since you more than held up your end of the bargain — here we are,” writer Frank Tieri said in a statement. “Fans can expect more of everything they loved about the one shot now as we expand our universe — more werewolf Juggie, more bad ass Betty, more conflicted Archie and more twists and turns than you can shake a severed arm at.”
The series will continue on from the one-shot, under the same title – Jughead: The Hunger – and the first issue will be available in comic stores and digitally on October 25th.
Thanks to @EvilViergacht for the link!
A. Quinton — Jul. 13th 2017
Pop quiz! Which of the following best describes Frank Bruce’s online, free-to-read comic The Marrow Bones? Find the answer at the bottom of this post!
- a lovingly-illustrated storybook for disturbed children
- a pitch for an enjoyable episode of Tales from the Crypt or The Outer limits
- “a tale of societal expectations and conformity”
- a dark little morality tale with a punchline that could be summarized by the last line of Mother Mother’s song “The Stand”
- all of the above
I had a lot of fun reading this. It’s a privilege to see someone’s concept expressed with such diligence, craftsmanship and character. The artwork – generally hand-drawn on Bee Paper products with Sakura Micron ink pens and Copic markers, according to Frank’s site – is mesmerizing, and the story leads down some interesting paths before taking a (maybe kind of expected but still enjoyable) twist.
There’s a ton of captivating art on his site, including a gallery titled “Women & Werewolves” that had me scrolling for a long time. For more of his work you can also follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
Thanks to @EvilViergacht for the link.
Quiz answer: stop reading this and go look at the comic, ya dingus
A. Quinton — Jul. 4th 2017
All right, put down your hot dogs and sparklers. Put them down. You shouldn’t be holding both of them at the same time. What’s wrong with you? Anyway. Today Image Comics published= the entire series run of The Astounding Wolf-Man in a single hardcover collection, and at 656 pages and 4.4 pounds, you’re going to need both hands to pick this thing up. That’s heavier than the MacBook I’m typing this on.
And pick it up you should, especially if you’ve ever wished that werewolves had their own mainstream comic book series or television show, like zombies got with The Walking Dead. The Astounding Wolf-Man was written by none other than TWD writer/creator Robert Kirkman. While it eschews the monochrome misery of his famous zombie franchise for a more superhero-versus-supervillain type of tale, TAWM has its fair share of narrative shocks and monstrously-derived violence. It’s one of the first comic titles I ever wrote about for Werewolf News, and I’m very glad to see its three-year run and all of Jason Howard‘s awesome art captured in such a lovely artifact.
For the first time ever, the complete ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN is collected in one volume! When Gary Hampton is mauled and left for dead, his life takes a drastic turn! When the moon is full, he transforms into a beast of the night—a werewolf! But this curse will not be used for evil. Witness the birth of the world’s most unlikely new superhero—The Astounding Wolf-Man! Collects ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN #1-25 and INVINCIBLE #57
This big book of werewolf-punching-vampires is available right now in print from Amazon or your favourite local comic retailer (request it with Diamond ID APR170737), or digitally through Image and Comixology.
Many thanks to @JDBoucher0 of Space Goat Productions for the heads-up!
A. Quinton — Jun. 28th 2017
Space Goat Productions is combining three things I love: werewolf comics, Halloween and free stuff. Their very sweet, very fun all-ages comic Moonlighters has joined the 30-title roster of Halloween ComicFest, and will be including a mini-version of Moonlighters #1 (which I reviewed in March) in the spooky version of Free Comic Book Day.
Halloween ComicFest happens on the Saturday before Halloween (this year it’s on October 28th) at your local comic shop. It’s a family-friendly event where you can pick up some free comics, show off your costume someplace that isn’t a cold sidewalk after dark, and maybe win a shopping spree in the Halloween ComicFest costume contest. There are at least two comics in this year’s list that feature werewolves (Moonlighters and this Black Betty one-shot, which looks great), and the commemorative t-shirt (illustrated by Francesco Francavilla) features a werewolf who’s super into Hellboy.
For more on Halloween ComicFest visit the event website, and for more on why Moonlighters is an especially good choice for a family-friendly give-away, check out this Space Goat news post. And lest you think a kid-friendly werewolf comic has nothing to hold your grown-up werewolf fan attention, check out this page from Moonlighters #2, which shows that not every werewolf transformation in the series is of the “sparkle magic” type.
A. Quinton — Jun. 17th 2017
If you enjoyed issue #1 of Space Goat’s canonical direct sequel to The Howling (my review, pre-order physically here), you can also pre-order issues number 2 and number 3 right now. Here are the covers and release details. Don’t forget that you can walk into most local comic shops and pre-order a physical copy with the SKU. Aside from guaranteeing you’ll get a copy, pre-orders are a great way to demonstrate to publishers that a series is worth renewing. You know, in case you want more werewolf comics.
UPC: 711099797381 00211
Writer: Micky Neilson
Art: Jason Johnson (A), Milan Parvanov (C)
Cover: Yvel Guichet (A)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Horror
Publication Date: August 2017
Chris Halloran is forced to take matters into his own hands as his redemption is threatened by a growing conspiracy, but a possible light appears at the end of the tunnel. Meanwhile, Marsha Quist embarks on a bloody campaign to claim the mysterious Hand of Akkara.
UPC: 711099797381 00311
Writer: Micky Neilson
Art: Jason Johnson (A), Milan Parvanov (C)
Cover: Yvel Guichet (A) Carlos Eduardo (I) Chris Summers (C)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Horror
Publication Date: September 2017
Chris Halloran faces demons both past and present, and soon learns that the hunter can easily become the hunted. Unexpected twists and turns in Marsha Quist’s schemes to exact retribution lead to the most shocking revelation yet.
A. Quinton — Jun. 7th 2017
Werewolf depictions fall on a spectrum ranging from “murder monster” to “fluffy friend”. I tend to prefer the former, but every now and then something comes along – a children’s book or a plush toy – that makes me say “aw, how sweet”, followed by “aw, shit, I definitely have to post about this”.
Kel McDonald and Molly Muldoon are co-editing an anthology of “cute or goofy” werewolf stories (predominantly or maybe exclusively in comic format) called Can I Pet Your Werewolf? It’ll be available as a PDF and as a physical book, funded by a Kickstarter campaign that’s currently on pace to be 100% funded in less than two weeks.
Can I Pet Your Werewolf? is a light-hearted anthology featuring tales of friendship, family, and romance shared between those who get hairy under a full moon. Just because they have sharp teeth and claws doesn’t mean they have to be a monster out for blood. It is organized by Kel McDonald (Sorcery 101 and Misfits of Avalon) and co-edited by Kel McDonald and Molly Muldoon.
It contains 160 black and white pages of stories by Alina Pete, Aud Koch, Kendra Wells, Mariah McCourt, Aliz Fernández, Meredith McClaren, Monica Gallagher, Rashad Doucet, Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein, Cat Farris, Seanan McGuire, Caitlin Like, Shauna Grant, Sophie Goldstein, and Zach Lehner. Stretch goals include radical concepts like “paying our contributors more”, plus goodies for you in the form of art prints by additional artists like Abby Howard and Nina Matsumoto.
One of the backer reward levels includes a print by Melanie Ujimori and I really hope it’s the “werewolf pile” cover art she did. It takes a lot to make me post a “tfw” or “this is me” tweet, but folks, this is me.
Indie werewolf horror comic “WereWolf Run” shows why putting “werewolf attack” on your auto insurance is a good idea
A. Quinton — Jun. 5th 2017
WereWolf Run is a four-issue indie horror comic written and drawn by Daniel Leister, an artist who’s turned his dream of a self-created “good and bloody werewolf story” into 100 pages of werewolf horror, gunfire and lovingly-rendered entrails.
As a comic book artist for the past 10 years, I’ve worked on such books as Hack/Slash, Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Ash, the Wonderland series, and the recently funded Lord of Gore. WereWolf Run isn’t the first comic book that I’ve done, but it is the first comic that I’ve completely written and illustrated myself.
Last year Leister ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the title’s production, with the primary reward being print and digital copies of the completed graphic novel. Production is a little behind schedule, (owing to the happy arrival of a second child and a colourist who acquired a day job) but I don’t think that’s a big problem. Lots of solo or small-staffed Kickstarter projects miss their deadlines, but as long as communication’s good and the backer community is kept informed, the end result is usually worth the wait. Judging by the steady stream of updates and art he’s posting on the campaign update page and Twitter, Leister’s working his ass off.
I’ve read the first issue and it reminds me of something Stephen King would’ve written in the early 1980s. Sometimes bad things happen to people for no reason, or through a series of coincidences, or because a government transport truck does a Mario Kart banana peel wipeout on the body of a (disturbingly graphic) injured deer. The werewolf doesn’t make an appearance in that issue, but from the sketches and additional pages Leister’s shared, I can tell I’m really going to like the design.
So where can you get WereWolf Run if you missed the Kickstarter?
- Head over here to read the first half (or so) of the first issue,
- visit Leister’s Patreon to get a PDF of the whole first issue for free (no money required), plus lots of behind-the-scene sketches and ongoing updates as pages are finished (money required, but come on, it’s two dollars), or
- pre-order the completed graphic novel and forget about it until the whole thing arrives in your inbox (or mailbox).
A. Quinton — May. 24th 2017
How do you write a worthy sequel to a (cult) classic werewolf movie that spawned a rogues gallery of generally putrid follow-ups? In the first issue of the officially licensed The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen comic series from Space Goat, writer Micky Neilson (no stranger to werewolf stories) doubles down on all the things that made The Howling a werewolf icon: creeping dread, brutal gore, characters making implausible but entertaining decisions, and multiple full-frontal werewolf transformations. The result is an experience so satisfying that it simultaneously redeems and obviates the seven other films in the series. This is the new Howling canon.
Werewolf Queen picks up just a few weeks after TV reporter Karen White’s dramatic revelation at the conclusion of The Howling. The first issue divides its time between Karen’s colleague Chris Halloran, who’s charged with murder, out on bail and having a hard time sleeping – and the titular werewolf queen Marsha Quist, who escaped the Colony with at least a few of her werewolf “brothers” and is now on the hunt for a valuable artifact.
Neilson’s script cleverly recaps the film’s conclusion for newcomers (and the forgetful) by serving it as part of Chris’s sweaty apartment-bound paranoia and confusion. The general public is either skeptical of or indifferent to the newly-revealed existence of werewolves, but Chris knows they’re dangerously real. He’d be happy to discuss the subject with the police or his KDHB co-workers, if only they would stop dying mysteriously.
Marsha, meanwhile, pays a visit to Vera, an antiques dealer whose stodgy outfit and shitty attitude made her my instant Comic Book Avatar of 2017. Vera deals in more than just antiques, and Marsha has some uncomfortable questions about one of these illicit transactions. This leads to a chase scene, a lovingly-rendered werewolf transformation and an accompanying monologue that all add up to pure horror cheese.
It’s good, the cheese. It’s very good. The last few pages of the issue would border on satirical nonsense both in setting and in content if it weren’t for the fact that it’s all so fucking fun. Any horror fan could look at the setup and predict the conclusion, right down to the jump scares, and what makes that such a delight is that Neilson and artist Jason Johnson know you know what’s going on.
They’ve been given a chance to revive a languishing franchise, and they’re already laying the groundwork for a direction that doesn’t involve Christopher Lee selling bad dialogue or werewolf castle orgies, but first they’re going to take a little detour through a literal horror funhouse. That’s what you came for, isn’t it? Arcane McGuffins, dress-shredding wolf-outs, snub-nosed revolvers, rotary telephones, gratuitous beheadings and all the best fashion of 1981? This stuff is a blast, and it’s this sense of smirking dangerous fun that makes this issue (and hopefully the rest of the series) work so well.
Available through comiXology right now (edit: as of June 16 2017 the issue is missing from Comixology. I’ve asked Space Goat to update me on its availability and will revise this post when I hear back) and in print on May 31st.
THE HOWLING: REVENGE OF THE WEREWOLF QUEEN #1 (of 4)
UPC: 711099797381 00111 (Covers A & B)
UPC: 711099797381 00121 (Cover C)
UPC: 711099797381 00131 (Cover D)
Writer: Micky Neilson
Art: Jason Johnson (A), Milen Parvanov (C)
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Kevin West (A), Yvel Guichet (A, C), Carlos Eduardo (A), Chris Summers (B), Anton Kokarev (B), Bill Sienkeiwicz (D)