The death of Francis, cool older brother and affectionate son, leaves each member of the Harrelson family struggling to make sense of a changed world. Parents Gene and Helen lose themselves in separate fantasies, ten-year-old Crispy envisions herself carried away by pop star Marky Mark, and his ghost seemingly haunts Francis’s fiance.
But the story’s central character is Francis’s brother Stephen, an imaginative thirteen-year-old boy who copes by creating a comic book universe with the help of his quirky girlfriend, Nicole. As Wolf Boy, Stephen manages to find power and pride despite the absence of his real life hero. These fictional adventures are featured throughout the book, introducing a graphic novel subplot that adds both humor and visual interest to this moving tale of hope and redemption.
And that’s where we come in. Author Evan Kuhlman and Shaye Areheart Books editor Sally Kim hired us to illustrate the graphic novel narrative in this novel. In Wolf Boy you’ll find over 40 pages of comic book art depicting the further adventures of the superhero Wolf Boy and his allies Wolf Daddy, Lila Butterfly and the recently departed Wolf Brother. Villains are also lurking within these pages: Clock Man, Iguana Man and The Interrupter, to name a few.
This was quite an enjoyable experience for us as we were allowed to participate in much of the creative process, and also given the freedom to make the comic stories as long and complex as we wanted (although the stories were already so well written there wasn’t much to add). Our main goal was to make the comic books stories flow with the storytelling and give them that appropriate “superhero comic book” feel.
We also know how lucky we were to be hired by, and work with, these great and talented individuals. Sally and Evan knew they really needed an artist with just the right style. Fortune smiled on us when Evan one day clicked onto our website and said, “These are the guys!” So, let this be a very public THANK YOU to everyone associated with this novel, author Evan Kuhlman (keep an eye on this guy, he’s gonna be BIG!), editor Sally Kim (what a sweetheart!), Daniel Lazar, Paige Alexander, Kira Stevens, and Kathleen Kennedy.
And now, on to the quotes! Here’s what some people whom you may recognize think about Wolf Boy. -
“I dipped into Evan Kuhlman’s Wolf Boy and couldn’t put it down. Interspersed throughout the pages of this imaginative and compelling novel is a unique graphic novel, cleverly drawn by Brendon and Brian Fraim, making Wolf Boy a rare treat.”
“Wolf Boy is absolutely beguiling. Evan Kuhlman has boundless empathy for all his characters [and his wonderful protagonist Stephen is, in turn, boundlessly inventive. The graphic elements of this novel give us a terrific window into Stephen's worldview.] This is an auspicious debut.”
--Valerie Sayers, author of Brain Fever and Who Do You Love
“Rarely is the pain of losing someone expressed with such directness, energy, and, yes, humor. The grief in Evan Kuhlman’sWolf Boyis palpable, and so is the flawed, honest humanity of his characters. Here is real loss and somehow, real catharsis.”
--Peter Orner, author of Esther StoriesandThe Second Coming Of Mavala Shikongo
“The illustrations [in Wolf Boy], moreover, by the Brothers Fraim, possess all the energy of a good superhero comic.” --KIRKUS
“An air of sweet sorrow mixed with hope suffuses Evan Kuhlman’s remarkable first novel, Wolf Boy. [Kuhlman’s story of an ordinary family dealing with the loss of its oldest child is distinctive not only for the ease with which it moves back and forth between the sensibilities of the four surviving family members, but for the gentle humor with which they are rendered.] Stephen Harrelson, the 13-year-old middle child who pens the graphic novel within Kuhlman’s larger opus is one of the most engaging adolescents to grace the pages of American fiction in a very long time.”
To learn more about Wolf Boy and the very talented author, Evan Kuhlman, click onto his website at www.evankuhlman.com
For more on Shaye Areheart Books and the fine novels they publish, click on www.crownpublishing.com
Wolf Boy is Trademark and Copyright 2006 Evan Kuhlman. All illustrations are Copyright 2006 Brendon and Brian Fraim. All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Shaye Areheart Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.