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Wolfmen, The

Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
By: Zakarya Anwar

Dave West
Andy Bloor
Accent UK Comics
This book is different. Very different. ThatĎs the first thing that hits you when you pick up a copy of The Wolfmen. From the two hardened, blood-spattered men with cold amber eyes to the simple font used for the title of this yarn, you know youíre not getting the usual mainstream stuff after a single glance at the cover. Youíre not even getting the usual small press stuff. This is new . . . different.

Writing duties are taken up by Dave West, editor of Accent UKís themed anthologies and established figure of the British small press scene. Westís writing is good. Very good. He tells you how it is, without any of the flowery stuff that saturates the mainstream market these days, no witty banter or quips in sight. Thereís nothing funny about this tale.

West spins a very dark yarn full of multi-dimensional characters that are both real and surreal in equal measures. The dialogue is a breath of fresh air, especially after all the British writers Iíve read who are trying so hard to be British that they fail miserably. I donít believe I read the phrase ďsod offĒ even once. Thatís a first.

Andy Bloor (The Business, Sundown, ESPD) is the artist on this particular tale, and heís the daddy. Black and white seems to fit him nicely, and he uses it to his advantage with chilling art. He adds something to every character, something thatís his and his alone.

The central character, Grey, has a dangerous edge to him. When he makes the choices you least expect him to make, something in his expression and his eyes tell you that you should have expected it all along. Itís more than that though. Itís the way Bloor has the characters walk and hold themselves.

The decision to use the more classical look for the Wolfmen of the title is surprisingly original considering what Hollywood has gotten us used to. If youíre an artist yourself, youíll love what Bloor does with his panels.

The story is another strong point--though the fact that it is not actually finished off by the end of the graphic novel is a drawback. West and Bloor show you one thing, then slowly morph it, twist it, into something entirely different. From a dark British crime drama version of Reservoir Dogs into something far more sinister . . . honest.

West and Bloor give you something new here. Something to bite your teeth into and howl about. If you like your Guy Ritchie movies, the horror genre, or just want a story that teaches old dogs new tricks, then this book is for you. Itís the dogís bollocks.

Sorry about all the wolf references.



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