Rob Saucedo’s Where Wolf might be the greatest Houston indie comic success story since Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise. After a smash debut in Fangoria, Saucedo is putting out a physical version and promoting it alongside screenings of the werewolf classic Silver Bullet all across the country. He’ll be at the Alamo Drafthouse La Centerra on Friday, March 31.
“I honestly might have done this whole project specifically so I would get to go on this book tour,” says Saucedo.
Where Wolf is the story of Larry Chaney, a 30-something journalist at a small town newspaper in College Station (where Saucedo himself was a reporter) who is slowly losing his mind from lack of excitement and direction. Luckily (for him), several people are murdered, and the culprit looks like a lycanthrope. Now full of purpose and with much less caution than he should be exhibiting, Larry tracks the wolf.
Saucedo has been planning the release of the book for years, and it’s a prime example of how a punk rock mindset can break through into comics even when the market is flooded thanks to the omnipresence of Marvel, DC, and more.
“This whole thing was born from my desire to tell a story,” says Saucedo. “I’ve wanted to tell it since 2008. For ten years I waited for someone to come a long and tell me Marvel or Dark Horse was waiting for me. I realized no one was ever going to do that. So, I made it myself, just like Lloyd Kaufman did with movies.”
Saucedo has spent a decade pulling weird publicity stunts on behalf of Alamo Drafthouse (remember when he brought in a Bigfoot corpse?) so few people in Texas were better equipped to turn a weird werewolf story into a runaway success. He found out that billboards in College Station were surprisingly cheap and bought a month-long eye-catching advertisement warning the residents of the town that they had a werewolf problem. A guerilla flyering campaign on the Texas A&M Campus helped the word spread further. Fangoria was so impressed with the attention that Where Wolf 2 is already being worked on.
Some people were upset at first, but the quality of the work won them over. Part of the story takes place at a furry convention and involves a grisly murder, which rankled the furry community.
“I got an email from a furry in College Station, and he was ‘do you not like furries?’” says Saucedo. “I said, ‘No, I get your apprehension. Please read the first few chapters. Take a look and let me know if you really think I was unfair to the furry community.’ Since then, he’s become a huge supporter who draws fan art. I am so honored there is fan art of something I wrote.”
When it came time to pair a werewolf film with the chance to hock his book, Saucedo’s first choice was the 1985 television film Silver Bullet. Starring Gary Busey and Corey Haim with a screenplay by Stephen King based on his novella Cycle of the Werewolf, it’s about a small town where no one knows who might be the monster killing people. Mostly panned when it came out, the film is now considered a cult classic and an interesting take on the werewolf mythos.
“Stephen King’s sincerity, especially in Silver Bullet, that’s what I was trying to achieve with Where Wolf,” says Saucedo. It’s scary, but emotional. I like that.”
Silver Bullet and Rob Saucedo’s Where Wolf at 10 p.m. on Friday, March 31 at Alamo Drafthouse La Centerra, 2707 Commercial Center. For more information, visit Drafthouse.com/Houston or call 281-492-6900. $12.