Review: The Beast of Wolfe’s Bay (TPB)

I had fun reading this book. It’s not really a genre that I enjoy, but I had a good time. It’s a story that is very much based in reality, but then at the same time is inconsistent with the rules of reality when needed. These conveniences taken in order to progress the story don’t necessarily hurt the book, but they definitely keep it from greatness.

We’re introduced to the college that sits in the seemingly small town of Wolfe’s Bay. Meet Professor Freddie the epitome of the perfect nerd girl; beautiful, loves sci-fi (especially of the English variety), wears glass and has a dude’s name… she’s also funny. I’m not saying that this girl doesn’t exist, but the story goes out of the way to give you all of these quirks of her personality and passes over everyone else. After classes let out some of her students have a rager of a kegger and while the party winds down, two of the students are killed by having rocks thrown at their heads. Which was strangely hilarious to me.

The story flips over to another campus were we meet Brian, who also teaches while trying to finish his doctoral. He’s chewed out by the Dean and put into a “last chance” situation of getting his doctoral or just plain getting out. Deflated, Brian leaves school, but receives a call from the Sheriff of Wolfe’s Bay asking him to come use his archeology skills to look at something strange they found in the forest. Not having anything else to do and it being his home town, Brian agrees to chase the evolutionary missing link known as the Sasquatch.

The overall story is pretty predictable, but there is one big twist in the third act. While I enjoyed the story I didn’t really believe it could happen. All of the research and “I’m smarter than you” pissing matches came across as rehearsed speeches rather than fluid, believable dialog. I hate to say it, but it was almost as if just enough research was put into each intellectual study to sound versed in it, but not actually knowledgeable. This is fine since I don’t expect any creator to have a degree in what they’re writing about, but the fact that so much time was spent on the different subjects made it obvious.

At one point Brian takes a gun off the wall of the Sherriff’s house and shoots one of the “monsters” in question because the trained law enforcement officer froze up…  now there was some explanation afterwards, but I didn’t buy it. It was scenes like this that were convenient to the story, but not believable. The fact is if my town’s police department ran like this I would move.

While I enjoyed Freddie and Brian’s relationship, they spent way too much time finding out they were perfect for each other. They were basically childhood friends so they already have the same interests, but rather than just getting it out of the way they pretend not to need the others involvement on mystery. The other characters weren’t much better either as one of the forensic cops picks fights with both of them in the most unprofessional manner possible and at the worst possible times. The crazy part is that Freddie’s dad is the Sherriff and he did nothing more than say “settle down” after the conversation had already run its natural course.

The art is actually really good. There were a few moments that it struggled with the action sequences, but overall it was good. I enjoyed the character designs and even the minor cast was detailed and distinct. I really enjoy stories that take the time to make everyone in the story memorable. For instance the Dean is only on two or three pages, but her outfit is believable and she even has a flower to accent her clothing. I will say that Brian had too much personality with his facial expressions. If he was a real person you would think he was in a constant state of panic due to looking so worried.

I really think that this book is going to be more for people that enjoy the monster hunter genre, which I am not one of. While I could appreciate the effort and work while being entertained by the story, it wasn’t personally for me. I would say that if you enjoyed things like non-alien episodes of The X-Files, then this book might be right up your alley. There is a possibility of a follow up series as well and I kind of wonder how that would work… we’ll see though.

Score: 3/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Erik Evensen

Publisher: Evensen Creative

Price: $19.99

Release Date: 3/19/13