Werewoofs by: Joelle Sellner, art by: Val Wise

Werewoofs is an interesting take on the myth of the werewolf. In the town of Howlette, werewolves are real but after a treaty with the humans, are now in hiding.

One day at school, a group of children are bitten by a random pack of dogs who have seemingly gone feral. Each child, in turn, becomes a were-dog. And the breed of the one they were bitten by.

This graphic novel felt like it had too many ideas it was trying to handle so they were all condensed for the sake of being able to cram them all in. And that’s disappointing.

One character is gay and we see him struggling to get the attention of the boy he’s interested in (more on him later, I have a bone to pic.) (pun unintended.) Then there’s poverty, how assumptions can damage relationships and the fear of being able to be accepted for who you really are.

It’s a lot to try to cram into a single volume and due to that, it’s not done well. Which is a letdown after seeing Joelle Sellner’s resume and the big names she been able to handle in the past. DC, Blizzard, IDW. That’s not the quality storytelling we get here.

The art was stunning and I loved it, absolutely loved it. Val Wise get’s an A+ from me. His art really added the heaviness and lightness in spots it was needed and I loved his style.

When it comes to character development and character relationships, I stopped caring. Why? Because the pacing in this graphic novel is awful. One page, something is happening and the next page, an indeterminant amount of time has passed and things have progressed. Some things weren’t set up for the characters until about midway through and it was a bit ham-fisted in my opinion. Pls, the writing was just a bit weak in some places, kind of awkward.

It has promise but since it’s a first volume, they needed to cut some of the ideas out or make it longer. Something, because what the reader ends up getting is an awkwardly paced story that sort of throws events at you.

Now this is where things get a little spoiler-y

The gay character is the brother of one of the other were-kids. He’s an pain. When they introduce the Black boy, all this kid has to say is mean, cruel things and when someone calls him out on it he calls them sensitive or says “can’t anyone take a joke.” It’s 2021, we all know that behavior like that is unacceptable. And that those are ways to deflect valid criticisms when someone says something hurtful. It’s not something anyone needs to perpetuate, especially in a medium meant for younger readers.

Second, the way he goes about talking with his love interest. When he can turn into a dog, he walks home and his crush sees him, thinks dog him is cute and walks home with him, giving him scritches. His sister says it’s creepy and all he says is he’s not proud of it but with a huge smile.

They visits go on and he learns the boy loves cereal and anime and tries to use these to stare a conversation. Of course it’s awkward and the crush thinks he’s being cyber stalked by this kid.

I didn’t feel any sympathy for him when he was turned down and honestly, the fact that he and the crush become friends at the end of the volume annoyed me. Because, he did stalk him. Plain and simple. And still gets what he wants.

He’s a jerk to the new kid, essentially the entire book and it’s annoying to read. He’s not a good character and the idea that he gets to be with his crush at the end after abusing his trust in this little dog form is disgusting.

This book gets 1 star from me. It had big ideas and didn’t execute them well, awful pacing, and some serious character issues.

I received this arc for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher.

Author:

Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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