Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: Cry Wolf Volume 1

"Cry Wolf" is Patricia Briggs' "New York Times" bestselling novel about the werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham. Now, these characters come alive in full-color graphic novels. 

Anne never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack...and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack she's learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. 

Then Charles Cornick-the son of the leader of the North American werewolves-came into her life. He insists that not only is Anne his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And Anna may be the key to stopping a rogue werewolf that threatens the entire pack.

Isn't that cover gorgeous?  Just saying, Daniel Dos Santos always makes me a happy girl.  Now if only the artwork continued to be as well drawn in the book itself...

I read a lot of comics--from the 'Big Two' (Dc and Marvel) to the comparatively smaller imprints (Top Cow, Image, Oni, IDW) to web comics (Full Front Nerdity, Otaku no Yen, The Dreamer) so I'm used to all sorts of artwork styles and can usually find little fault in the overall style if it suits the book/series.  Unfortunately Todd Herman's artwork style did nothing for me.  At all.  And this hurt my overall enjoyment of the volume.

Thanks to Damn, Lay off the Bleach for the panel

That's meant to be Anna and Charles (in the red coat and white blanket) and Ansil.  Seriously.  Yes.  "Damn, Lay Off the Bleach" has an excellent post about why none of the above matches the book descriptions at all (though their grief is with the 'white-washing' moreso then anything else...and I can see where that could be an issue).

While I understand there is room for changes from one medium to the other, I think I'd forgive the book more if the artwork was at all appealing.  Laying aside how not attractive any of the folk or wolves are, the art makes everyone appear sinister, evil and/or angry.  The backgrounds are barely worth mentioning and the awkwardness in the body posing is obvious (look at Charles' arm around Anna, his right shoulder is way above where his left shoulder is, despite the fact Anna is shorter then him).

The storyline hems very close to the book itself--which is a saving grace since I eventually abandoned looking at the artwork to just read the captions and speech bubbles.  But the fact remains if I was going to do that why would I pay $25 for the graphic novel when I can get the paperback novel for under $8?

When this book was originally announced (like...4 years ago? More?) I was so excited.  I love the Cry Wolf and to have it in comic form as well sounded great.  But I wasn't able to get the individual issues (my comic shop didn't carry them) and until I received this in the mail I hadn't realized it was being re-compiled by 'InkLit', the graphic novel imprint of Penguin.

This isn't worth it for $25, do yourself a favor and just buy the paperback.