‘Namwolf makes its intentions known right from the title. I mean, it’s clear what you are getting yourself into when you pick up a comic book with the word ‘Namwolf sprawled across the cover. Yes, this is a comic book about a werewolf in the Vietnam War. Yes, it is awesome. The book is jam-packed with over-the-top action and fun. If you, like us, love grindhouse flicks and ’80s action movies, then ‘Namwolf is a book you’ll adore.
“I’m a huge werewolf fan, especially 80’s werewolf movies, explained writer Fabian Rangel, Jr. “So the inspiration is definitely ’80’s style action movie with a werewolf.” told us. When you read ‘Namwolf, a real ‘80s grindhouse feel comes through, like a throwback to a time when you discovered stuff like this on VHS at your local video store. “Ultimately, this was combining elements we both love; monsters, werewolves, cheesy action movies, and Vietnam flicks. Maybe if Predator weren’t so high budgeted, [and] replacing Arnold with Bill Paxton, [‘Namwolf] could’ve been one of those ’80s straight-to-VHS classics!” artist Logan Faerber added.
It’s this Z-grade feel that makes the book a perfect fit for Eric Powell’s Albatross Funnybooks imprint. Both creators are huge fans of Powell’s work, so pitching their little project to him was a no-brainer. “Albatross really is the perfect home for it,” said Rangel, Jr. “It’s been a blast having Eric as our editor. He’s one of my favorite creators, and the dude is an Eisner award winner, so his feedback is valuable as hell. Eric is the best dude.”
Faeber echoed this sentiment: “I’ve always loved Eric’s art and have followed his books for years”
When telling a story in a specific time period–like a historically significant war–research usually plays a big role and ‘Namwolf was no different. That said, the type of research certainly wasn’t typical and crossed into several mediums. Rangel, Jr. said they used “’80s movies with werewolves in them, reading about Vietnam, and reading the Marvel comic, The ‘Nam” as resources while researching the book.. Faerber spent time studying photos from the era to make sure uniforms and weapons were accurate. He also spent plenty of time watching classic films about the Vietnam War, name-checking everything from Full Metal Jacket to Good Morning Vietnam.
One of the most striking elements of ‘Namwolf is Faerber’s art, which feels like a cross between Jason Latour and Darwyn Cooke. It’s kinetic and exciting, bursting with energy on every page. “To me, rather than tackling a realistic look and feel to the characters, the world is more fun and expressive when it’s a bit cartoony,” Faerber said. His artwork is gorgeous and a big part of what gives the book so much charm.
Of course, we had to ask the guys who they thought would when in a fight, ‘Namwolf or WolfCop. “I mean, war is hell, and Vietnam was some rough shiitake, so I would say ‘Namwolf hands down,” Faerber said.
Rangel, Jr. added, “I haven’t watched WolfCop, but ‘Namwolf is a lot bigger than him, and has a machine gun instead of a handgun so…”
You’ll be able to pre-order ‘Namwolf this Feburary from fine comic book shops everywhere, so make sure to add a copy to your pull list. In the meantime, you can check out the gallery below which features an exclusive preview plus a peek at covers from Eric Powell and Mike freaking Mignola.
Image: Albatross Funnybooks