No contest this week, no vampires this week. Just werewolves from the first chapter of STRANGEWAYS: MURDER MOON.
Commentary follows after the jump.
The lovely family moment continues with Rale trying to badger his sister into breaking her vow of silence. What are the odds of this paying off later? Pretty good I’d say.
Indeed, Shian is the only reason why Rale is there, that bond of blood between them. Panel two does a wonderful job of showing Rale’s power and darkness but not overdoing things, where he directs his attention to Thoma and his plea. We’re not sure what Thoma has asked, what path he’s walking that Rale is charging away from. Or vice versa.
Time has left Rale behind, only he hasn’t figured it out yet. He’s trying to stay wild as he once was, as they all once were. Just that now he’s fenced in, viewing humans as thieves, stealing his territory. Thoma’s accepted it and questions Rale’s attempts to take that territory back.
Which is immediately thrown in his face. Rale, wild and crazy, almost leaping to attack, but not, asserts that things will be better again. He’s on a path of war, thinking that his is the only way, refusing to compromise. You can see the realization of powerlessness on Thoma’s face in the second to last panel. But it’s not abject, or overdone, just knowing and fearful. And who wouldn’t be when faced with a ravening and unrestrained wolf bigger than a man?
This sequence was a challenge because a lot had to be packed into it in terms of setting up relationships and placing the story and giving the characters motivation. Thoma and Shian seem to want to stop Rale, but is it to protect themselves or him? That’s not one hundred percent clear. Is this selfishness or altruism? Do they want to stop Rale from a self-destructive path or are they just trying to hide themselves?
So yeah, a challenge. A lot of it had to be carried in the dialogue and just as much had to be carried through the artwork. The great thing with comics is that you get to say a lot as a writer, but you don’t have to write it all. Yeah, that’s a contradiction, but not one that’s impossible to reconcile. Sometimes you don’t want to describe every damn thing down to the last detail. When I write prose, I tend to only include stuff that’s important. Not a lot of really long descriptions. I’m no good at describing people in particular, so leaving that to the artists is just fine by me.
Back to the actual text though. How the hell can a wolf be a brother to a woman? You curious yet? Well, that was the aim. Is this wolf the hero? And where are the cowboys? Weren’t we promised cowboys?
Yeah, I guess you were at that. But you’ll have to wait until Friday.