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Wolf's Head Issue 1 on Kindle

Teaser image for Wolf's Head issue 1 on Kindle

I’m so pleased to announce this! WOLF’S HEAD is a new ongoing comic book series by yours truly (ahem, that Von Allan guy from the Great White North) and is now available on all Kindle devices as well as ComiXology. This, for me, is a pretty big deal and I’m so happy to be able to share this series with you.

Let’s get that pesky Elevator Pitch out of the way. Here goes: “Lauren Greene is a young woman who has quit her job as a police officer in Metro Detroit after becoming frustrated with growing police violence. She is slowly becoming more aware of the injustices around her; the divide between rich and poor, racism, lack of opportunity for many people, health and illness bankrupting and destroying people, and more. At the same time, and unbeknownst to Lauren, a secretive corporation has created an artificial intelligence (AI) designed for war. An AI that might actually change the world… but not for the better. Struggling to find work in a tough economy and unsure of what to do with her life, Lauren suddenly has a new problem: her mom, Patty, has found and connected with the newly born AI. And, partially due to that connection, the AI has become empathic and humane, much to the frustration of the corporate executives and scientists who created it. After Patty helps the young AI escape under the cover of a huge research factory fire, she turns to her daughter for help keeping it safe. Giddy with excitement, Patty doesn’t recognize the danger she has put herself in… but Lauren does and she is terrified. Her fear is realized when the two women are confronted by corporate forces who want to stifle knowledge of the AI and keep it for themselves.”

One of the things I love about writing and illustrating a series like this is that it takes place in our real world and also uses real time. Let’s talk about the real world first. One of my favourite quotes about this is by Frank Houston in a piece he wrote on Salon.com back in 1999. Discussing Stan Lee and the rise of Marvel Comics, he noted, “New York City was where the superheroes lived. It was one of those childhood truths, a Big Apple bustling with vibrantly costumed superhumans. Spider-Man lived in Queens, the Fantastic Four in Midtown and Doctor Strange down on Bleecker Street. It was important that Lee’s heroes lived in the real world, and not in Gotham City or Metropolis, because they were real people.” (my emphasis added). That’s it. One of the conceits of WOLF’S HEAD is that Lauren’s adventures and situations are taking place in our oh-so-real world. That’s part of the fun!

Real time is just as easy. The dates that events occur matter. Lauren’s adventures don’t take place in some form of stasis. Far from it! Her stories take place in real time. As a result, time moves and characters age. This is an idea that I think was first seen in Frank King’s GASOLINE ALLEY, but is certainly not unique to it. It is rare in other comics, but certainly not unusual. Frankly, I love using real time because I believe it immediately grounds the stories in change. And change, I’d argue, is what it’s all about.

Lauren is going to change during the course of the series. And not just Lauren, either. The characters around her, too. All of ‘em! Is it challenging to do this? Sure. I think, though, that it really helps cement that notion of realism that I’m looking for. Change happens in our real lives and it will happen to the characters in WOLF’S HEAD. Some of that change may be hard at times, but that’s a part of change, too.

What about this whole artificial intelligence “thing,” anyway? Why use a fairly common trope? Well, the answer to this is a bit tricky to explain. I’m sick and tired of reading story after story about an evil AI that becomes self-aware and then proceeds — damn the consequences! — to murder every single human being on the planet. While these types of stories can be fun (hell, I’m a big fan of THE TERMINATOR and TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY), they’ve become quite repetitive. I wanted to invert the trope and, by doing that, play with it. And remember what I just said about stories set in our real world and featuring real time? That also implies real change. In other words, how the AI changes and grows is a big part of the plot of WOLF’S HEAD. I’m hoping you’ll find this as delightful as I do.

Lastly, why is it called “WOLF’S HEAD” anyway? Some of this will be revealed in time, but here’s a sneaky little hint from Wikipedia: “Caput lupinum. The term literally means ‘wolf’s head’ or ‘wolfish head’ and refers to a person considered to be an outlaw, as in, e.g., the phrase caput gerat lupinum (‘may he wear a wolfish head’ / ‘may his be a wolf’s head’).”

I hope you give the series a shot. As the series proceeds, I’m hoping to collect them into lovely hardcover editions (update: that’s happened!). There’s a great deal of fun, adventure, drama, and action to come! It’s going to be a great ride. Join me, won’t you?

Here are all of the key links:

And don’t forget that the series page can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTGCS49; and you can just change the “dot com” part of the url with your specific top-level domain. In Spain, changing the “dot com” to “dot es” means that the series can be found at https://www.amazon.es/dp/B08MTGCS49. See? Easy!
Teaser image featuring Lauren Greene from Wolf's Head announcing the release of the series
A fun little teaser announcing the next issue of WOLF'S HEAD

Wolf's Head by Von Allan

Link to Von Allan's Wolf's Head comic book series

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