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Showing posts with label wolf's head. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wolf's head. Show all posts

Thoughts on Wolf's Head Book 1

Teaser image for Wolf's Head Book 1
Teaser image featuring a montage of the first six issues of Wolf's Head
As WOLF’S HEAD BOOK ONE continues to make it’s way around the world, I thought I’d take a moment and talk about what’s inside the book. At 176 pages, it’s packed full, featuring the first six issues of the digital series as well as loads of “extras” that serve as a peek behind the curtain of its creation.

Right from the beginning I tried very hard to design the series to work episodically as well as collectively. What does this mean? Well, each issue stands on its own, giving what I hope is a terrific reading experience. Probably the only exception to that is the very first issue. Why? ‘Cuz issue 1 ends on a cliffhanger! Issues 2 through 6 don’t, however, and I really wanted that to be an important of the series. This is the notion of “episodic closure” that I’ve discussed before. At the same time, I also wanted an impetus, that sense that events were building towards something. Step by step, issue by issue, events and circumstances were racing towards a strong climax. That culmination is in issue 6 and I think that payoff is incredibly exciting; when the six issues are read together, one gets a really neat story. A story full of change, reversals, and excitement! The hardcover collects all of that in one handy place. Plus its a beautiful edition, too!

That’s something I love about comics. I also love it about storytelling in general, but I especially love it in comics. That sense of “Wait! What happens next?!” WOLF’S HEAD has that in spades and I’m extremely pleased with how everything turned out.

Of course, you don’t have to own the hardcover to get that thrill. The digital series does the exact same thing, just in a slightly different format. While I think the hardcover is great for curling up and reading, reading on a tablet or even your phone can offer the same kind of experience. When it comes to my own reading habits, I’m not an elitist. I read paper books, I read on a tablet, and I read on my phone. And I read all sorts of stuff, including comics on all of these platforms. For digital, I tend to prefer reading on a tablet, but I’ve had lovely experiences reading on my phone, too. For the digital series of WOLF’S HEAD, I worked very hard to ensure that even for those reading on their phone the experience would still be really smooth and intuitive.

So, what’s next? Well, I’m hard at work on issue 18 and that should be out in the not-too-distant future. And I’d also like to collect the second story arc into a matching hardcover, too. There’s no firm date for that yet, but it’s coming.

In the meantime, please enjoy WOLF’S HEAD in whatever form suits you best. The whole idea was to offer readers a lot of different ways to enjoy the series. If it’s the hardcover, terrific! It’s the digital versions, great! Whichever way suits you best works just fine for me!

Oh, and if you’re brand new to the series and would like to learn a bit more, here’s the ol’ Elevator Pitch for BOOK ONE: “Lauren Greene is an ex-police officer who turned her badge in after becoming frustrated with the police force’s corruption. She’s had enough of violence and is thinking about packing her bags and hitting the road to see how she can make a difference out in the larger world, when her mother Patty shows up at her door with a complication. It turns out that Patty’s employer — a secretive military corporation — has created an artificial intelligence to fight humanity’s wars. Unfortunately for the corporation, the AI fell in love with Patty’s humanity and orchestrated its own escape through her. Giddy with excitement, Patty brings the AI straight to Lauren for help, not realizing the danger she’s putting herself and her daughter in. But Lauren has dealt with people like this; she knows what they’re capable of and she is terrified. Her fears are realized when she and her mother are confronted by corporate goons who want the AI for themselves and are willing to do anything to get it. As Lauren does her best to keep herself, her mom, and her family safe, the tensions over the AI erupt into violence… and suddenly Lauren is on her own. The new little life form doesn’t want to go back to the corporation and Lauren realizes it cannot be forced to live out its life as a war machine. There is already enough corruption, inequality, and violence in the world; the AI has to have a chance to help humanity — peacefully — while figuring out its own existence. Together with the AI, an eccentric cast of friends and family, and her dog, Lauren must figure out her next steps… while keeping herself alive.”

Where To Buy

Here are all of the key purchasing links for the hardcover:

United States of America


United Kingdom





The Digital Series

Promo of Lauren from Wolf's Head announcing the series debut on Kindle
Don’t forget that the series page for the digital version of WOLF’S HEAD on Kindle can be found using the following links:

Wolf's Head Issue 17 on Kindle

Teaser image for Wolf's Head Issue 17 in digital format

I’ve very pleased to announce that WOLF’S HEAD 17 is now available worldwide on Amazon’s Kindle platform. As I’ve noted before, there’s a great deal of changes going on with ComiXology/Kindle and it’s difficult to note how everything will play out. For now, though, I’m very pleased to have the latest issue published. As always, you can find the full series on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTGCS49. Oh, and a handy tip: if you are shopping from somewhere other than the United States, simply replace the amazon.com part of that link with your preferred domain. For example, in Canada the "dot com" becomes "dot ca" — therefore, the series can be found at https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08MTGCS49. Easy!

It’s a bit of a milestone for the series, too. While 17 issues probably doesn’t seem all that special, creating 17 issues of a full-colour independent series really is. Honestly, it hasn’t been easy; getting reviews for my work has never been easy, but it’s become much harder over the past few years. I’m not sure why this is (and there are notable exceptions, of course), but it’s a struggle. One of the things I’ve long-loved about comics was that both creators and the media that covered them had a punk/do-it-yourself kinda mentality. I think this partially stemmed from the fanzine roots of comics media combined with how disparaged (at least in the West) comics as a medium often were. Here I’m thinking of Fredric Wertham, the United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency hearings on comics books in 1954, and the subsequent creation of the Comics Code Authority. I personally find this history pretty repugnant; the idea that comics books could have a potential impact on juvenile delinquency has always struck me as extremely narrow-minded view and, more importantly, certainly not a fact-based view. However, this mentality remained pretty dominant right into the 1990s (one only has to look at Mike Diana’s legal troubles for one concrete example), though fortunately seems to have faded since then. One advantage of all this, though, is that I’d argue many comics creators as well as journalists had (broadly speaking) a sense of solidarity. My feeling, and it’s only just that, is that this solidarity has dissipated over the past few decades.

That’s not to say that there can’t be “good” corporate comics; obviously there can be and certainly are. However, it is to say that the space for independent work seems to have shrunk. Or rather, the space to review and celebrate independent work seems to have shrunk. At the same time, the coverage of corporate comics is all-encompassing and difficult to penetrate.

What can you do? Here are some ideas:

  1. If you like my work, then certainly buying it is a good first step.

  2. More broadly, reviewing it and telling people about it is, in some ways, even more important. If you like it, tell your friends and family about it!

  3. And lastly, if you have a favourite comic book site or even a favourite journalist, drop them a line and tell them about WOLF’S HEAD. Despite my best efforts, many people don’t know the series exists. You can help change that!

Share the love… because without that, the series will eventually die. Sad, but true.

Panel examples from Wolf's Head 17

Wolf’s Head on Kindle

Coverage Montage of Wolf's Head digital comicsAs many are no doubt aware, Amazon’s ComiXology app has been integrated into Amazon’s Kindle app. This has created a surprising number of headaches for regular users of the ComiXology app and it’s difficult to know exactly how this will play out. For now, there’s been quite a bit of coverage of the problems this transfer has entailed (here and here, for example).

Technically speaking, I submitted my titles to ComiXology through their Submit program (aka “ComiXology Submit”). With this option eliminated, all previous ComiXology Submit titles needed to be uploaded to Kindle via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. When this move was first announced, I scrambled to convert my titles to Kindle format. I’m pleased to say that this went pretty smoothly and all of my titles that were previously available through ComiXology are available for digital reading using the Kindle app. No problems there.

The one problem I can’t resolve is Amazon’s curious decision (well, curious to me, at any rate) to discontinue subscriptions to a series for all non-Americans. For my ongoing series WOLF’S HEAD, this is a thorny issue and one I can’t solve on my own. The Amazon.com Kindle Store page for WOLF’S HEAD (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTGCS49) does not offer a subscription option that I can see; of course, I’m Canadian and I’m probably “geo-locked” out of any subscription option that might otherwise be available to American users. For Canadians, the Amazon.ca Kindle Store page for WOLF'S HEAD (https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08MTGCS49) clearly doesn't offer any subscriptions options at all.

I’m hoping that a subscription option will be made available for digital comics worldwide, but as of this writing I have no idea if that’s even being considered let alone knowing what a potential timeline would be. See? Irritating, right?

The other significant issue is “discoverability.” Lower profile creators (ahem, like yours truly) are not easy to find. Searching the Kindle Store is a frustrating experience. That’s also true for the new ComiXology “store” page. How that will effect lesser known and/or indy creators is anyone’s guess, but I suspect the results will not be positive. Again, irritating.

Coverage Montage of Wolf's Head digital comicsGiven this situation, here’s what I can suggest:

  1. If you enjoy my comics and want to show support, then please consider purchasing the digital versions of my titles (WOLF’S HEAD can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTGCS49,  WIZARDS FOR HIRE — CHEAP! can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089QXBYY9 and STORIES! 2015 TO 2019 can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089QX5LJC).

    I put a lot of effort into converting these to read very smoothly on digital devices (tablets and cell phones) and I’m very pleased with how they turned out. One drawback to losing ComiXology Submit was they themselves created the Guided View technology that allowed for panel-to-panel viewing. This now needs to be created by individual publishers using Kindle Create, Amazon’s software for creating ebooks of any format. I think I did a pretty good job and hopefully you’ll agree.

  2. For those who prefer print editions, then the first hardcover of WOLF’S HEAD (collecting issues 1 through 6 of the digital series) can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1989885179/. And my hardcover collection of short stories LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND LOSS (which contains both WIZARDS FOR HIRE — CHEAP! and STORIES! 2015 TO 2019) is available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1989885160.

    And, of course, both hardcovers are also readily available through bookstores and comic book shops worldwide. If your local store happens to be out, then these can easily be ordered by the store. Ordering times are pretty quick. Both hardcovers look beautiful in print, too. Really, really sharp. If you’d like to see some evidence of that claim, then please visit https://www.vonallan.com/2021/12/wolfs-head-book-1-in-hardcover-worldwide.html and https://www.vonallan.com/2021/05/Love-Laughter-Loss-Comics-Collection-by-Von-Allan.html).

    Also, there have been some really lovely reviews! For example, Frank Plowright over at The Slings & Arrows Graphic Novel Guide has reviewed both (here and here).

Okay! This describes the current situation, at least from my point of view. How long it will remain this way is anybody’s guess. For my purposes, regaining subscription options for non-Americans is a key goal. In the meantime, you can obviously purchase individual digital issues easily enough. And if you’d like to keep on top of future releases, there’s always the handy-dandy RSS feed for this site (https://feeds.feedburner.com/Von_Allan_Homepage) as well as the dedicated WOLF’S HEAD “mini-site” (https://feeds.feedburner.com/Wolfs-Head).

Coverage Montage of Wolf's Head digital comics

Smash Fascism!

Since apparently this still needs to be said, fascism and nazism are never cool. Never have been and never will be. Or, as Professor Henry Jones (!) once said, nazis are the “slime of humanity.” I decided to do a pin-up of Lauren from WOLF’S HEAD making the point… clearly. Art speaks for itself, right?

Lauren from the ongoing comic book series Wolf's Head tearing apart a Nazi swatiska flag by Von Allan

WOLF'S HEAD BOOK 1 in hardcover worldwide!

Hot on the heels of the release of my first hardcover (LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND LOSS: A COMICS COLLECTION) comes the biggest release of my career so far! WOLF'S HEAD BOOK 1: WE ALL WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

Cover of Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan

That’s right! I’m very pleased to announce that WOLF’S HEAD BOOK 1: WE ALL WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD has now been published in a deluxe hardcover edition! This book (and whew, it is gorgeous!) collects the first six digital issues of my ongoing comic book series WOLF’S HEAD and packed with extra material. Altogether it’s 176 pages in length and I’m proud of it. Damn proud, in fact.


In many ways, LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND LOSS was the test case for WOLF’S HEAD. When I published that short story collection, I noted that it was the first time that my work had ever appeared in a premium hardcover format and I was pretty nervous about it. Part of the reason to do that collection in hardcover was a test case for WOLF’S HEAD. I wanted to make sure that WOLF’S HEAD looked as good as possible and the only way to know for sure was to test. And then test again. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing over the past year or so while production continued on the ongoing WOLF’S HEAD comic.

Now, some of you may ask about the previously published print editions of WOLF’S HEAD. Those came out in seven “issues” over the past few years. Each print “issue” collected two of the digital issues together, creating a print edition that was approximately 60 pages in length. These were in trade format (which means that they have a spine rather than being saddle-stitched — stapled — like a “typical” 32-page comic book). I was never very happy with these print versions. Why? Well, the first reason is that it was a compromise for publishing into the Direct Market (this is explained fully here). The second reason was that both the format and the print quality weren’t quite what I was hoping for. Does that mean they were awful? No, far from it, but to keep costs down the paper wasn’t the best. I never found the printed colours in these trade paperbacks looked quite right. Worse, being printed in trade paperback format meant that you could never lay the comic out flat, like you can with a “typical” 32-page comic. This new hardcover corrects all of that; the newly remastered colours (more details on that here) combined with better paper means that everything looks beautiful, the hardcover is actually quite a bit larger than the previous trade paperbacks so that the art really “sings”, and it’s much easier to lay out the book flat if you’d like (though keep in mind that at 176 pages this will not sit flat like a 32-page comic would).

Going forward, the trade paperbacks have been discontinued and will no longer be supported in print. In other words, when they sell out, that’s it! They won’t be reprinted. The series will continue in digital format and, when a specific number of issues have been completed, these will be collected into hardcovers, too. In other words, hardcover is the way the series will be printed, at least for the foreseeable future. I also believe that collecting issues into “story arcs” is the best way to present my work. I hope that you will think so, too.

I'm also pretty confident now that WOLF'S HEAD will also be debuting as a webcomic in the not-too-distant future. That would give folks a third way to read the series. I don’t want to say much more about that yet, though!

Additional Photos!

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan cover montage

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan cover

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan interior page

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan interior page

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan interior page

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan interior page

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan interior page

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan interior page

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan interior page

Wolf's Head Book 1: We All Want To Change The World by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan interior page

Links to Purchase

WOLF’S HEAD BOOK 1: WE ALL WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD is still “propagating” out there (in fact, I'm still waiting to get my own copies for local distribution), but here are some initial purchasing links that I know of for sure. More will be added as they appear.

WOLF’S HEAD is truly a journey of love for me. It represents the best art and writing I’ve ever done and I can’t wait for people to hold the hardcover in their hands!

Wolf’s Head Issue 16 On Kindle

Teaser image for Wolf's Head Issue 16
WOLF’S HEAD #16 is now available on the ol’ ComiXology/Kindle platform. With the recent changes to ComiXology, “discovery” is a little trickier than it used to be, so the easiest way to find it is by using this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MSPS66V. As always, if you aren’t living in the US and use a different version of Amazon, all you need to do is change the “dot com” to your domain. For example, I’m in Canada so that means I typically use Amazon.ca. Therefore, issue 16 can be found at https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09MSPS66V. In France it would be Amazon.fr and thus https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B09MSPS66V. Easy, right?

So, what’s this issue about? Well, here goes: “An increasingly desperate Lauren Greene has realized that the young artificial intelligence she’s befriended is in mortal danger from the powerful corporation that created it and wants it back. On the run again, Lauren must outsmart corporate agents on her tail, keep herself and her dog alive, and teach the reluctant AI to defend itself… or risk losing everything!”

It’s one of the more emotional stories I’ve done with WOLF’S HEAD. And given what’s happened in the series so far, that’s saying something! Lauren is continuing her road trip south from Alaska into Alberta, but is dogged every step of the way by a “tail” that she just can’t shake. That creates a great deal of pressure… and that pressure eventually blows in a way that hopefully will catch readers by surprise. I hope so, anyway!

Creating a series like this is very rewarding, but also difficult, especially from the point of view of “getting the word out to people who’ve never heard of it!” So, if you’ve been enjoying WOLF’S HEAD, please tell your friends and family about it. And if you’ve somehow stumbled across the series, then please give it a try. I’ve worked very hard to make sure that each and every issue is “new” reader friendly. There isn’t any one particular “jumping on” point; they all are! At the same time, a deeper and larger story is being told. Where Lauren was at the start of the first issue is a very different place than where she is now. That’s part of the fun of comics! And part of the fun of WOLF’S HEAD!

Oh! The full series page on Kindle is at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTGCS49. And the official homepage for the series at https://wolfs-head.vonallan.com/.

WOLF'S HEAD on Kindle with Guided View

As many of you probably know, ComiXology announced their recent decision to discontinue their ComiXology Submit program. As of September 15th, 2021, publishers are no longer allowed to publish their titles through ComiXology Submit. As I write this, titles published prior to September 15th are still available, but my understanding is that the ability to purchase any of these titles will eventually be “turned off” sometime during the fall. Exactly when that will occur is anyone’s guess.

For me, this was an unfortunate but not unexpected turn of events. One of the problems with ComiXology Submit is that titles available on that platform are not “discoverable” on Amazon. In other words, readers already keen on comics and already using ComiXology were fine. Other readers— perhaps not diehard comic book fans but those who still read comics — would not be able to easily find digital comics. In a sense, ComiXology was a “closed ecosystem,” appealing to current fans but not proactively cultivating new readers. Maybe.

There was always a bit of a weird schism between fans of digital reading in general (often using Amazon’s various Kindle devices and/or using Amazon’s Kindle app) and fans of digital reading through ComiXology. In my experience (and it’s just that: my experience), digital readers struggled to find comics on Amazon’s main website. Using my own digital comics as an example, if you searched for “Von Allan” or “Von Allan Studio” on Amazon prior to 2020, you would only find my print comics and graphic novels. None of my digital comics would be found at all. Based on that — as well as some conversations with my wife — I made the decision in late 2019 to begin jointly publishing my digital comics on Kindle as well as ComiXology, via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

At the time, I was using Amazon’s KDP software “Kindle Comic Creator” to create the Kindle versions of my comics. This was inferior to ComiXology’s versions, mainly because the KDP software required a lower maximum resolution. And, of course, with comics the art does matter. It was frustrating, but at the time I wasn’t aware of any workarounds.

Fast-forwarding to today and given ComiXology’s decision to end their Submit program, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks reformatting all of my digital comics using the newer KDP software “Kindle Create.” This new software matches ComiXology — at least the files I had submitted to ComiXology —  and are also set up for Guided View. In other words, the Kindle versions of my work look just as sharp as those on ComiXology, something I’ve wanted for quite some time.

Since ComiXology Submit will eventually disappear, the Kindle versions of my work will be the only digital versions available through Amazon. As ComiXology themselves noted, “In the coming months, the Kindle Store will replace www.comixology.com as the primary avenue for fans to purchase new comic content.” Not knowing exactly when this will occur is frustrating and was a big part of why I decided to go ahead and make the changes now. I suspect other publishers are doing the same thing.

So, if you’re a fan of independent digital comics (“indy digital”? “indydigy”?!), Kindle is a great way to go. And with that in mind, here are links to all of the current issues of WOLF’S HEAD on Kindle. I’m thrilled with how great they look and the Guided View works extremely well.

Give them a shot, won’t you?

Wolf's Head Issue 1 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 2 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 3 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 4 cover by Von Allan
Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button

Wolf's Head Issue 5 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 6 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 7 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 8 cover by Von Allan
Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button

Wolf's Head Issue 9 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 10 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 11 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 12 cover by Von Allan
Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button

Wolf's Head Issue 13 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 14 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 15 cover by Von Allan     Wolf's Head Issue 16 cover by Von Allan
Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button     Amazon shop button

Wolf's Head by Von Allan

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

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