“Feeding Ground” – Of Werewolves, Coyotes and the Mexico-Arizona Border

I’m going to get right down to business, friends. Here are three things you should know about the upcoming werewolf comic Feeding Ground:

  1. it’s a six-part series from Archaia Comics,
  2. it’s the product of three friends working their asses off to tell a good story about important topics, and
  3. based on what I’ve seen of the first issue, it’s a series you’re gonna want to pay close attention to.

Swifty Lang, Michael Lapinski and Chris Mangun have combined their writing and illustration talents to tell a story about the Busqueda family and the brutal Mexico-Arizona border territory they call home. The first issue hits the stands on September 29th, but these guys were kind enough to share the first issue with me in advance. Here’s the premise:

A famine caused by Blackwell Industries drives Diego Busqueda, a noble “coyote,” to lead a band of Mexican border crossers across the unforgiving Devil’s Highway, a desert cursed with blistering days and deadly nights. Back home, Diego’s daughter Flaca discovers that something hungrier prowls the factory fields. Stalked and persecuted, can the Busqueda family maintain their dreams of immigration or will the horrors of the desert tear them apart?

It’s too early to answer that question only one issue in, but I’m hooked. The Wrong Night in Texas told its werewolves-in-the-desert story with manic energy, but every panel of Feeding Ground is a slow burn. The heat, desperation and simmering violence of the Busqueda family’s world is evident in every stroke of Lapinski’s artwork and word of Lang’s writing. One of Lang’s posts on the Blacklight Comics blog articulates the passion these three have invested in the project:

In the summer of 2007, a friend of mine, Thomas Peyton, an incredible documentary filmmaker recently completed a film on the harrowing journey of a man crossing the border from Mexico into Arizona. His story was riveting and I could not shake it. We also had a conversation on the least represented monster during the Oughts Horror Renaissance. We agreed on the werewolf. He had a great idea for a werewolf story at the time, and again, his words were indelible. The origin of this story is without a doubt based on our conversations.

I’ll be posting a lengthy Q&A with Mangun, Lang and Lapinski in a day or two. In the meantime, dig on this artwork, which includes cover art and panels from Issue 1.