If you’ve listened to the podcast you should know that Kevin and I are big David Lapham fans. He’s a creator that I will always give at least one issue to see if the book is any good. Thus, I was very excited to see he had a new series from Avatar Press entitled Ferals. From the cover and title you can guess that this is a werewolf book, but unlike any other werewolf story you’ve read because this one is bloody and gory as hell... and it has boobies. The story is kind of cheesy to be honest. I didn’t really care for the dialog or the characters and this started right from page one with three people standing over a severed hand. Actually, I shouldn’t say severed since it’s torn from the body, but they have a never-ending discussion about it. The three people are an ex-wife of the hands owner, the sheriff or deputy of the town and the vic’s best friend and the coroner who takes his job as serious as I take mine. After several pages the conclusion is that the hand wasn’t cut, there is no body and the ex-wife found it because she was stealing his shit to support their kids. Eventually they find the body somewhere else.
Later our deputy Dale hits the bar drinking his sorrows away as most people hated his friend. He says as much as he tells them off in the bar. He notices a blonde in a red dress staring at him and even though he’s shit faced drunk he hits on her. She’s apparently down with it since they end up having sex in the bathroom. Things turn violent when she asks about his friend in the middle of it and so he hits her. She likes it that rough, but Dale is shocked by what he’s done. They wrap up without saying a word and leave each other like nothing happened.
Dale then ends up going to the vic's ex-wife’s house and they too get it on, this time without a fist to the eye or her asking him to describe the dead body. The next morning the ex-wife wakes up and heads down stairs to make everyone breakfast, until a huge fucking werewolf snatches her from the porch and begins kicking her ass.
I’m not a big fan of Lapham’s dialog in this issue. And it wasn't just that everyone was talking about sex because that’s no different from a Kevin Smith comic. What I didn’t like was the fact that everyone talked exact same way and none of the dialog sounded genuine. It was almost as if Lapham was trying to create a bad horror movie intentionally, but succeeding where the movies fail with the sex, gore and violence. In general it just seem to lack the intelligence usually associated with Lapham’s work.
When it comes to Avatar Press books I always think of Black Summer. The art was overly detailed to the point that you spent a majority of your time just looking at the pages in awe. It’s something that I associate with the publisher due to the fact that so many of their artists have this hyper-detailed style. Gabriel Andrade fits the bill perfectly with his work on this issue. Everything has massive amounts of detail, from the characters jackets to their body parts as they’re torn limb from limb. What’s great about Andrade’s style though, is that the amount of detail to everything isn’t distracting. It doesn’t take you out of the story as you figure out what it is you’re looking at. It has that perfect balance between art and storytelling that’s needed in comics.
Ferals wasn’t a hit out of the park for me, I had to re-read it and sit on it before I really could decide if I liked it or not. Ultimately though, I liked it and I’m looking forward more to the next issue. There’s definitely a lot of typical horror story setup in the issue, but I’m hoping that it pays off in a way only Lapham can deliver.
Writer: David Lapham Artist: Gabriel Andrade Publisher: Avatar Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/4/12