Published by: Image Comics
Writer & Illustrator: Rich Tommaso
Rich Tommaso is a creator of over a dozen different comics, both self-published and through companies such as Chronicle Books. He is mostly known for his very controversial title Perverso!, the story of a pornographer who is obsessed with his own work. That alone should tell you that Tommaso walks to the beat of his own drum. She-Wolf is his newest new title that brings the supernatural into play in interesting ways.
Gabby is a stereotypical goth cheque girl, with a bad attitude and an aura that emanates trouble. The protagnoist is being haunted by the death of her friend Brian, who according to her, had turned into a werewolf. The rest of the town is skeptical of Gabby’s supernatural tale and blow it off as her brain coming up with traumatic fantasies. She suddenly begins to deal with some shapeshifting issues of her own as she realizes she has been affected by the werewolf curse.
Tomasso’s art style is uncommon. It’s reminiscent of a fashion designer’s sketches with exaggerated features and colors. Some readers may enjoy this style because it isn’t something you usually see conventionally in the comic book industry. The use of color is unique with each frame or page being dedicated to a set scheme, whether it be dark earth tones or blue sky like colors. This coloring style sets the scene and gives the reader a good idea of the tone the creator is trying conceptualize. The paneling is classic and remind me of the Archie series, which I appreciate. The main character named Gabby looks to be in her late 40’s wearing too much make up, instead of an 18 year-old girl. The characterization is stereotypical of the gothic cheque girl who has a Betty Rizzo (from the musical, Grease) attitude. Ultimately, it’s been overdone and was expecting something fresh and different from an indie comic.
The itself story is confusing. There is no true introduction of the main character, besides the fact she appears in the first panel on the first page and becomes the focus of a murder scene. The writing is choppy and does not help move the story forward. One can guess from the title that this may be werewolf related, but honestly beyond that the writing is perplexing. The story lacks words or speech bubbles, and even adding direction indicators to the panels would have made it easier to understand. You keep turning the page because you want to know if it’s ever going to make sense. You get the gist that the character is being sucked into the curse of the werewolves, but there’s little incentive to know what will happen next.
Long story short, I can appreciate the colorization and the panel transitions of this comic. I think it’s a great example of sticking to the basics, but still allowing the creator’s personality come through the pages. However, I do not foresee an in-depth storyline due to the overall confusion that the reader is already put in, nor character development, nor overall growth in the comic. If you are looking for something completely different and independent than maybe this is a style that you would be fond of.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.