Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Reader's Diary #1059- Neil Christopher (writer), Ramón Pérez (illustrator): The Country of Wolves

As a fan of both comics and Inhabit Media, I'm a little ashamed it's taken me this long to get around to The Country of Wolves, an Inuit legend retold by Neil Christopher and illustrated by Ramón Pérez. 

The Country of Wolves tells a story of two Inuit hunters who find themselves lost after an ice sheet they were hunting on breaks off and sets adrift. They eventually wind up ashore in an unfamiliar place and discover a village of iglus. However, their relief quickly turns to fear when they discover that it isn't an Inuit village, but a werewolf village. (There's also another twist at the end that I won't spoil here.)

Though the introduction to the book mentions this story as one that had been passed down by countless generations across the Arctic, it was one that I'd not heard of in my time in Nunavut and was pleasantly surprised to know werewolves had a place in their mythology. 

It's quite a scary tale, and I don't mean that with any disrespect at all (the intro refers to it as a "sacred story) and would be perfect for Halloween or perhaps for Carl's RIP IX Challenge. If the thought of werewolves doesn't scare you in and of itself, I should note that Pérez's illustrations of the creatures are terrifying.

I quite enjoyed Pérez's artwork. His dark shades of blue really capture both the setting and the mood, plus he strikes a perfect balance of realistic work that is still cartoony enough to draw you in to the emotions. My one complaint is that many scenes and images show so little variation that they look reused at first glance. An old lady's face, for instance, is front on on for six pages and if not for her mouth being parted slightly more in some scenes than others, she'd appear to be a simply trace and paint job. 

Otherwise, a highly enjoyable book.

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