Saturday, 8 August 2015

Reviews - Wolfmen

From www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk in 2009.




The Wolfmen Book 1
by Dave West and Andy Bloor
Published by Accent UK
I can’t take credit for the Reservoir Wolves line - that’s from Andy Diggle’s blurb on the back cover. But it’s so good that I had to use it. Because it’s really the obvious, immediate comparison to make. You’re all up to speed with everything the book is about now. The Wolfmen is book 1 of a werewolf crime drama from Accent UK, the company responsible for the excellent series of anthologies (Monsters, Zombies, Robots).
Andy Bloor’s stark, black and white linework does a good job of emphasising the brutality and violence of this horror crime story and he’s made great use of the darkness of the tale to illustrate the story with huge chunks of blacks and greys across the page, with white space at a minimum, used just to accent some detail or other through the panels. There are a few off moments where Bloor’s figures lose a bit of perspective and the anatomy goes a little stiff, but overall; very nice.
The story by Dave West is good, but lacks the final piece of greatness in both plot and dialogue that would make this a really good comic book. Some of this is down to the fact that this is just the first volume, so the story here is essentially the set-up portion of a longer story. It’s very fast moving, with a lot of action as one man becomes involved with a criminal gang who disguise their true identities behind wolf masks. Of course, as the brutality of their actions escalate, our hero realises he’s too far in to back out now and the real secret behind the gang’s true nature is revealed.
But of course, given the title and the blurbs and the whole tone of the book, you knew exactly what was coming from the very first time you saw the gang, if not before. This is the big problem that books like the Wolfmen have. They need a great hook to get you to read it, but in giving away the hook like this, the sense of surprise is also thrown away. I know there’s no other way to do it, but it disappoints all the same.
So despite a couple of quibbles, The Wolfmen is still good crime/horror fiction. It moves a little too quickly for it’s own good perhaps, and the plot seems rather sparse. But the art, with it’s confident handling of darkness within and without more than makes up for these problems. I’m not a great horror fan, so that may explain some of my lukewarm responses to it. However, I’ve heard back from a friend I showed it to, who IS a manic horror fan and he reckons it’s really good. So what do I know?
The Wolfmen is available from Accent UK at their website. Book 2: Fall Of The Wolfmen is plotted and scripted and should be out in 2009. Keep an eye on the Accent UK website for news of this and their annual anthology series.
Richard Bruton


 

Review from www.statueforum.com in 2008.

JLM’s Frighty Trade Review

The Wolfmen
Accent UK
Written by: Dave West
Art by: Andy Bloor

On the forum of my LCS there’s something of a rave about Accent UK, a UK based indie company who have been around a few years. (Check them out at http://www.accentukcomics.com/). On a trip over to the shop, to pick up a few things, the owner keenly trust a copy of this title into my hands, and I was suitably impressed after reading it.

Set in 1960’s London, it tells of a small town crook, Jack Grey, who gets his chance to play with the big boys – the Reservoir Dogs suited Wolfmen. He joins them for a bank heist and quickly realises he’s in over his head.

Then he meets the head of the Wolfmen, and realises that what he though was over his head before, was merely up to his knees, as the whole thing takes a supernatural turn.

At 60 pages, it’s a slim volume, but tightly paced all the way through.

The artwork is in a clean black and white. Appropriately enough (given the main character’s name) there’s a predomination use of grey, setting the gloomy, foreboding tone for the tale. The cover has some red thrown in on a magnificent stark image.

There are a couple of epilogues to the story, and a sequel is in the pipeline, which I’m looking forward to.

I don’t know the availability of this outside the UK, but if you can get your claws on this, I suggest you pick it up and devour it.




Review by Lewis?!?!'s on www.comicsvillage.com in 2008

The Wolfmen
Accent UK
Written by: Dave West
Art by: Andy Bloor
The Wolfmen is a 60 page B&W production from Accent UK, and having read it twice over, it's very good. Basically, Jack Grey is recruited by the Wolfmen, a group of robbers with wolf masks, to have a role in a bank heist. That's all I'll tell you.
To quote the introduction by Paul Cornell, "Bloor clearly sees black and white artwork as a delight, not a restriction". Very true- the colours are used masterfully, and make the book a pleasure to look at. The only slight gripes with the art are when you take a look past the striking cover and take a peek at the anatomy. Heads are often incorrect, although this is no major problem. The cover is also very appealing, and what persuaded me into buying the book in the first place. Excellent use of colour.
The writing is also top notch and there are very few faults. Dave West uses two genres skillfully, both crime and horror. It does, at times, give the impression that a lot has been missed out- things which are barely touched that could definitely could be elaborated on. Apart from that, though, the writing is nice and there's a good ending.
The book is extremely well presented- as previously mentioned, there is an introduction from Paul Cornell, who has written for Doctor Who, and there is also a sketch of a Wolfman by John McCrea in the back. It is billed as a graphic novel at 60 pages, although I did finish it quickly - in about half an hour. This said, it costs £3.00, which is phenomenal- even better value than Irn Bru. It's that good.
On the whole- pick it up, definitely. It's worth it. It's not without flaws, but it's a good read, without question.

                                                                                                                  

Review by David Hailwood in www.downthetubescomics.blogspot.com in 2008.

The Wolfmen
Accent UK
Written by: Dave West
Art by: Andy Bloor

Another fine offering from Accent UK, publishers of Robots, The Wolfmen successfully merges the crime and horror genre.

This time, we get a stand alone comic written by Dave West and drawn by Andy Bloor set in South East London, in the 1960s. It's the tale of Jack Grey's chance at making something of himself, of becoming one of the most notorious gangs of the time .... of becoming one of The Wolfmen.

The script by Dave West is incredibly well paced, and keeps the story moving along at break-neck speed; there’s never a point where I felt bogged down in unnecessary detail. Andy Bloor’s dark and gritty film noir art style complements the material perfectly – he even manages to make a splash page of a goldfish look exciting, which is quite a trick to pull off.

The only negative comments I’d level at the artwork is that some of the characters look alike, making it difficult at times to work out who’s who. Also, the character proportions (especially on one of the henchmen) are occasionally a little off. Minor details in a real page-turner of a comic.

No comments:

Post a comment