"Harbor Moon" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Arcana Studios
Written by Ryan Colucci and Dikran Ornekian
Illustrated by Pawel Sambor
2011, 142 Pages
Graphic Novel released on February 15th, 2011
Despite the fact that wolves hunt in packs, you rarely hear a story about a large group of werewolves living together. Sure, there was that batch of lycanthropes in season three of True Blood, but being a werewolf is often portrayed as a solitary burden. If only they had a nice little place that they could call home. A sanctuary, if you will. That's the background behind Harbor Moon by Ryan Colucci and Dikran Ornekian, a story about a town of the same name where these creatures can live free of oppression and are able to let loose when the moon is full.
There's a lot more to this, though, and I'm not really giving anything away about the werewolf town thing. It's pretty easy to put two and two together based on that fearsome cover image and the synopsis on the back of the book. The story itself focuses on Tim Vance, whose search for his birth father brings him to this little town in Maine. He's not welcomed by the locals and given the runaround because he's an outsider. He uncovers so much more.
The idea behind Harbor Moon is a good one, but it's often tough to see that due to the art. Pawel Sambor can do some great stuff, but he needs to organize it a little better. His style fluctuates throughout the book, but it seems to be most like that of Ben Templesmith, which is always a good thing. Templesmith has already shown us that werewolf stories can look harsh and dirty in Welcome to Hoxford, but Sambor takes that grime a bit too far, causing it to be tough to follow. This makes things very difficult to understand what's going on, especially in the fight scenes. It's unclear who's hitting who or even what exactly is happening.
There's certainly a good story in Harbor Moon that I would have liked to see fleshed out a little more. There are several questions that are left unanswered, but the end leaves things open for a sequel. I just hope that if this team does go in for another trip to this small town they clean up the art a bit.