I was really looking forward to this comic when I heard it was coming out. A story by Denny Williams and Christian Beranek and art by Josh Medors, this werewolf comic book was released April 16th, 2008. As you all recall on April 15th's show I marked it down as something to get and at the time I couldn't place my finger on why. Something about the title jumped up and grabbed me and now I know why. I have issue #0 which came out in February and I hadn't gotten around to reading it. So lets see what we see in issue #1.
The story of this comic is pretty simple. A New York City cop becomes the Sheriff of a small town in Northern California called Willow Creek. In the first few pages we see a woman who has picked up a hitchhiker and nearly raped by this scum bag and when she flees from her car to get away from the rapist she is slaughtered by something we can only assume is the werewolf. The new sheriff gets a call to investigate the murder of this woman and well things go on from there. I won't get into any more detail as I don't want to ruin this comic for you.
One thing to mention right away is this looks like a total "30 Days Of Night" rip off. The look of this book is nearly identical. From the covers, which there are multiples, to the interior panels.
Is this a bad thing? Well actually in the case of this book, no it's not. I like the art and creepiness of the whole thing. As you open this book you get an overall feeling of doom and gloom with each turn of the page. I have to say right now I think the look of this book is nearly perfect.
One thing you need in a scary book is to care about the people who are in danger. I need a sense of realism from the characters and this book lacks that. The dialog is juvenile and cliche across the board. One gets the impression this book was written around the artwork, or basically the artwork was first and they decided to write a lame as set of dialog around the sweet looking pictures. This is not to say the story idea is a bad one, because that was one thing that drew me to the book in the first place. I love the idea of a town using Bigfoot to cover up it's Werewolf crimes, that sounds very cool. I just can't get past the cheesy fourth grade dialog however. It took a lot away from the enjoyment of this book.
A book to compare this with would be "The Walking Dead". Now this book looks nothing like Willow Creek, it's got very basic art throughout the book, but the dialog and the realism of the characters makes you look past the art and see into the lives of these people in serious trouble. Artwork is important in a book for sure, but the dialog and story line are much more important in the long run. Some of the best books I have read recently have been lacking the art department, but have grabbed me by the verbal balls and not let me go until I was very satisfied.
This book drops the ball on the most important element a scary book needs. Good character development so I can be scared for the lives depicted in the book I'm reading. This fell quite short of that. The art is beautiful and creepy on it's own, but art can't carry a book. Die hard Werewolf fans, like my friend Turek, might enjoy this book for the look alone, but I highly doubt it. Do yourself a favor, if you want to be scared by a book, run out and get "The Walking Dead" TPB. You'll thank me later.
P.S. Josh Medors, artist and co-creator of this book, had an interesting health scare that delayed the book. Apparently Medors had a tumor near his spine and had to have surgery. They found out the tumor was benign, but he still had to have an 8 inch incision along his spine and go through weeks of therapy to learn to walk again. That still doesn't forgive the terrible dialog.
Artwork - 4.5 stars, nearly perfect in my mind. One bad thing is the books looks amazing like "30 days of night".
Story - 2 stars, great idea, poorly executed. I don't care about these people so my lack of interest in them means I never get scared for them. The Cliched dialog bites ass too.