Writer(s): John Ulloa
Artist(s): Jose Varese
US Publisher: Creature Entertainment
Werewolves and werewolf hunters. And both look scary!
Still talking to the fine gents of Creature Entertainment, John Ulloa put this issue in my hands titled “Ravenous”, and they signed it for me too (bragging rights).
This preview issue is printed in Black and White, but I have to add, given the effort that Jose Varese puts into his art, it should be said GLORIOUS Black and White. Now, I seriously doubt that they will publish the final product in Black&White, but looking at the mature and proficient art that Jose Varese is producing for the preview issue, I really wish they did!
Notice in the picture above the signature on the cover. No doubt it may turn into a collectors item soon! I wonder if they are going to keep the cheesecake factor on the final release. Looks like someone is taking marketing lessons from the cheesecake sellers at Zenoscope entertainment.
In all fairness, in the few pages of the preview issue, I saw no hint nor suggestion of the character in the cover. And you know how I feel about bait and switch covers. If you didn’t, read my previous blog entries.
The preview issue is only 9 pages, but it does a great job at wetting your appetite for more. That’s what previews are supposed to do, so good job!
I was expecting an insipid tale of werewolf savagery. My take on the werewolf genre, ends by 1970’s , when Werewolf By Night was discontinued. Since then, I have read other iterations of werewolves in comics, but I can’t recall anything that impressed me other than what the Master Richard Corben did in the 1980’s Werewolf. This prompted me to start a blog entry on Werewolves in comics, and likely it will be the next one to come up. I didn’t want for Frankie’s monster to feel alone in the blog.
I don’t know if it was the art in Ravenous that captured me, but it certainly helped. And I hope they don’t put this to print in color, because Jose Varese’s art really shines in black and white, and creates a mood and a style that is solid, has volume and thickness, and his panache for capturing movement and dynamism makes the panels flow elegantly for a comic, but still carries teeth for a horror title. Don’t neglect to pay attention to the backgrounds (like many artists actually do). Jose Varese has this unique knack to choose wisely which panels will benefit from background graphical enhancement, and which ones stand alone by themselves, carried by the weight of the characters depicted and the mastery of the artist.
Any comic that shows a character punching a werewolf in the snout and makes me believe it and like it, has made a fan out of me.
The story/script left me feeling ambiguous, thought.
I read this book and find some pages about a conflict, about a hunter chasing an otherworldly monster, but the captions turn out to be mostly redundant to the graphics. I mean this as a praise to the graphic-storytelling aspect of the comic, and try not to put too much of a detrimental note on the quality of the written narrative. I think this is one of those books that will just get better and better the more pages you read, and soon I may regret complaining about how the script should’ve given a more individualistic voice to the character. I believe it will get more innovative with the narrative, and it will dare to take a leap and we will all forget the passive stance it took with the first pages.
Is that a major flaw? No. I predict that the majority of the audience that this comic is intended for won’t notice this narrative device at all.
After all, a big scary and hairy werewolf overshadows everything when it is drawn like Jose Varese draws them!
So I went to check on Midtowncomics in NYC and they don’t have the first issue of Ravenous. Yet.
I e-mail on Saturday 11-5-2011 Creature Entertainment asking them about the release date, and going to try to delay the release of this review till then (I write these reviews in my spare time, but usually many days ahead of actual day they get posted. That way, if any given week I am sick or busy, I still have some material to put to print).
On November 8th I received a cordial e-mail from Juan Navarro, informing me that they are planning on launching Ravenous February at Orlando Megacon 2012.
I really look forward reading this title. Wether it is in color or black and white.
Rating this comic as an Independent , I am glad to give Ravenous,
8 STARS out of 10