By Dustin Cabeal
As you can imagine, I read a lot of comic books and a lot of indie comics. I have to give it up to Wolf Country because very few indie comics show this much growth over the course of six issues. My first experience with the series was pleasant. Hell, I name an episode of the podcast after it because I enjoyed the book that much. It’s continued to be impressive, but now it’s starting to get great. Better than good… great.
This issue comes at the end of the long night at the settlement in which Vampire and Werewolf lives have been lost. For those confused, Vampires rule the planet and co-exist with humans peacefully. As peacefully as ruler and livestock can live together. The only enemies to the vampires are werewolves, but they’re just called wolves in the series. The title tells you everything you need to know in that everyone avoids “wolf country” with the exception of the one lone settlement.
The story is split in two. Part of it takes place at the settlement in which some vampire soldiers have been sent to deal with a traitor that’s joined the wolves. The other part sees the leader of the settlement, a former soldier, and extremely religious man, caught in a web of lies and secrets that may destroy the history that civilization is built upon. What’s worse for him is that he just wants to go home.
Here’s the thing, vampires and werewolves are nothing new. Hell, the two fighting is nothing new. Transforming them both into a religion and making commentary about religion with them? That’s new to me.
Jim Alexander continues to take the tired premise of vamps and wolves and turn it into something interesting. It’s the world he’s created around the two monsters that have caught my attention and changes everything with the two concepts. This idea of a settlement in the middle of barren land constantly under attack by wolves echoes American settlements in the old west. Where Alexander shows the most improvement is with his narration; it’s sharp and to the point, but very interesting to read. You’ll cling to it in this issue.
Will Pickering’s artwork continues to improve. He shows the most growth because the visuals for this issue are leaps and bounds better than the first issue. He wasn’t bad in the first issue; it’s just that he’s improved so much that he’s starting to make himself look bad. I hope that’s a compliment because I mean it as one. His work is cleaner, the line work has removed all the excess lines and produced a detailed and full looking world. The backgrounds could use some more life, but otherwise, the art is much improved.
It’s increasingly rare that an indie series run long enough to see this type of growth. It’s even rarer that another publisher doesn’t try to swoop in and grab it for reprints. I’m just glad that this series is still releasing at a steady pace and look forward to seeing more Wolf Country in 2017.
Wolf Country #6
Writer: Jim Alexander
Artist: Will Pickering
Publisher: Planet Jimbot