"The Pack: Volume 1" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Th3rd World Studios
Written by Mike Raicht
Illustrated by Daniel Faccilongo
2013, 106 Pages
Graphic Novel released on November 12th, 2013
The first time I saw The Breakfast Club, I thought, “You know what would make this movie better? Werewolves.” Author Mike Raicht seemed to have a similar idea and thus, The Pack was born. That's about where the John Hughes comparisons end though. The small town of Marcellus, NY is rocked when Brian Foster, the star high school football player is found brutally murdered. Years earlier, David Lassiter's mother was killed in the same fashion. Could the two be related? New neighbor Greg Jordan, having recently lost his mother as well, is trying to figure it out. You know, for a small town, this place has a lot of death.
Anyway, it's pretty obvious from the get-go that werewolves are involved in these murders. Whether it's all the same one or a pack is unclear at the start of The Pack, but that's what makes it a mystery, right? Raicht has put together a good story that had me guessing until the very end. Every time I thought I figured it out, the plot took another turn and revealed a bit more to it.
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This would have been enough to make the comic interesting, but it gets bogged down in stereotypical high school nonsense. You know why The Breakfast Club worked so well? Because it took those stereotypes and showed how stupid they all were in the scheme of things. The jocks are assholes. The nerdy kid is awkward and book smart. The cheerleader is a slut. Was high school ever like this for anyone outside of TV and movies?
Daniel Faccilongo's art style is both sharp and rather rough around the edges. When he draws werewolves, they're unlike anything I've ever seen. Seriously, these things are terrifying with razor sharp claws that top off twisted hands covered in fur, not to mention the fact that they're massive beasts. Unfortunately, this artistic skill doesn't translate to normal humans. People often look flat or blocky. They're usually in weird positions, like they don't know quite how to stand. This wasn't enough to take me out of the story, but it's noticeable.
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The Pack sets up what could be a pretty cool high school werewolf comic that would rival the current Teen Wolf show running on MTV. The mythology is laid out. The characters are all introduced. Raicht just has to keep them alive long enough to get to a Volume 2.