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Talkin’ Comics: The Howling Good Time Edition

As a comic reader, I have a couple themes or elements that will always make me sit up and take notice of a comic.  Werewolves will get my attention every single time.  Most of the time I will come away a little disappointed when I find a new werewolf comic because I have a standard which I measure these style of comic against, Dirk I. Tiede’s excellent Paradigm Shift.

Pardigm Shift  follows Kate McAllister, a hot headed chicago cop, and her partner, Mike (who’s full name I cannot find at the moment,) as they investigate a series of gruesome murders.  Yes, its a somewhat typical setup for a werewolf comic but don’t let that deter you for a moment.  Dirk’s work truly shines in the details, both in the art and the story.

Dirk renders the world in a beautifully toned japanese influenced style, that sucks you into the story and doesn’t let you go.  The art fits the story perfectly, whether we’re looking at talking heads or watching a hyper detailed werelion maul governments agents.   Dirk’s paneling is super smooth and I’m never trying to figure out the order of the action.  And every once in a while he fits in these awe-inspiring views of Chicago land marks.  If Walking the Lethe’s Boston is half as authentic looking a Paradigm’s shift Chicago then I will be more than satisfied.

Dirk’s writing is as strong as his art as long as you realize that Paradigm Shift is written to be read as a graphic novel and not as a web comic.  It starts slow and stays with a very methodic build up until the frantic climax towards the end of book 3.  The story focuses equally with the who dunnit plot and Kate’s struggle with the psychological effects of her… condition.  Since the comic updates on weekly basis, this is a good one to stick on your RSS feeder, or just buy the books.  Like my wife and I did.  Dirk’s now finished the first big arc of the story in a series of three graphic novels and we received them on saturday.

They’re nicely built books and seem quite sturdy and come packed with footnotes and pinups.  Highly recommended and I’m looking forward to seeing where Dirk takes his characters now.  Check it out:  Paradigm Shift.

- Dan

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