I love to support local creators. When I heard about theListen to the Thunder project, I jumped at the opportunity to promote it. I become a Kickstarter backer.
I knew this comic was going to be special. I expected nothing less from my friend Adam McLaughlin and his awesome art. After I met Kevin Watkins, my expectations for the book skyrocketed. I was not disappointed.
Listen to the Thunder -Issue # 1
Publisher: The Lunchbox Press Family
Writer: Kevin Watkins
Artist: Adam McLaughlin
Creative Director: Chris Annen
Letters: Troy Peteri
Creative Consultant: Javier Saltares
Plot: (Major Plot Spoilers)
The sleepy little town of Whisper has a resident with a secret. Caleb Dorne is a werewolf. He is not only a werewolf but a member of the werewolf royalty. All is normal in Whisper until Caleb is confronted by someone from his past and then things go sideways.
The story starts Caleb having a nightmare of a little boy and Caleb’s father, Cale. Cale has the boy tied up in a chair. A werewolf shows up and causes havoc. We can assume this nightmare is from Caleb’s experience with his family. What does it fully mean? What kind of trauma did Caleb have in his past? Was he the werewolf?
We follow Caleb through what seems to be a typical day in a small town. He ends up at a bar at the end of the day. He is confronted by someone from his past. This leads to a deadly bar fight.
This is a beautiful black and White comic. Tons of details in the panels give the feel of small town America. The details tell the story with facial expressions and scenery of this sleepy town.
The tattoos on both Caleb and his father Cale are phenomenal. There are tons of details on the arms of both guys. These are very significant to the story of their family and the tattoos pop off the pages.
There is not a lot of verbal communication in this book. Many of the panels and some of the pages have no words at all. This fits really well with the masculinity view of actions speaking louder than words. The art really tells the story so they don’t need a lot of conversation to drive the story.
The story blends the familiar of small town America with the extraordinary of a Werewolf royal family. It has a great set up with Caleb’s nightmare to let us know things aren’t okay with him. It develops his internal struggle as we experience his relationship and friendship. The story concludes with a big fight from Caleb’s past that leads to unexpected. The story leaves us with a cliffhanger for the next issue. It is a perfect hook to get one sucked into a new series.
I enjoyed every aspect of this comic. I found myself getting sucked into Caleb’s world and caring about him. The art was beautiful in black and white. The art and writing worked in complete harmony in telling the story. I put down the issue and instantly wanted the next issue.
I re-read this issue several times. I wanted to make sure my friendships with Adam and Kevin didn’t taint my review of this comic. I found that I would have loved this comic from any creative team.
Listen to the Thunder is what an independent comic should be. It is well written, beautiful, and has an intriguing story.