It’s been a great year for unconventional werewolf stories at Image Comics, with both Cry Havoc and Wolf offering intriguing new twists on werewolf characters. Rich Tommaso’s She Wolf completes Image’s werewolf trinity when it hits stands on June 22, introducing 18-year-old werewolf Gabrielle Catella, a high school senior who is turned by her werewolf boyfriend shortly before he’s killed by the police. But while these three books all have female werewolf protagonists, they have dramatically different concepts and styles. And She Wolf is the only one created by a solo cartoonist.
Tommaso has a distinct creative voice with exceptional range, and She Wolf sees him moving in a very different artistic direction from his recently concluded crime series Dark Corridor. She Wolf has a much softer line and delicate, painterly colors, giving the title a less rigid aesthetic that amplifies the surreal elements of the story. These preview pages show how well Tommaso uses color and light to set the tone and bring dimension to his characters and environments, and the combination of his clean, minimalist linework, dramatic panel composition, and lush color rendering results in some striking visuals.
A conversation between Gabrielle and her principal becomes something bold and foreboding under Tommaso’s pen, and every element on the page is working to heighten the tension, including the colored word balloons. He’s a cartoonist that makes strong, confident choices, and after spending years making those choices within a crime framework, Tommaso is pushing himself into new creative territory by jumping into the horror genre.