One of the highlights of exhibiting at Wizard World Philadelphia this past weekend was running into my friend Terry LaBan. You probably know Terry from his syndicated strip, Edge City, that he co-creates with his wife, Patty. But Terry has launched a webcomic that is very much worth it for you to check out.
Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman. It's a fantastic concept. From the site:
It was on one . . . excursion, to Chicago’s Field Museum somewhere around 1992, that LaBan conceived of Muktuk Wolfsbreath. The Field had just revamped a large section of their Native American exhibit, a part dealing mostly with Northwest Coast cultures, with an emphasis on that region’s version of shamanism. A remarkable collection of artifacts–masks, carved totems, the contents of sacred bundles–were displayed in a darkened room, where the exhibit cases only lit up as you approached them, an effect that both helped preserve the objects and dramatize them. Accompanied by grainy black and white video loops of turn-of-the-century rituals and a soundtrack of chants and drumming, the whole thing was quite evocative. Somewhere in there the realization that shamans were kind of like detectives, in that they brought about change by discovering the source of problems, clicked with that classic hard boiled voice, and, suddenly, there was an idea for a character. At the time, LaBan, who’d recently bailed on his first “alternative” comic book series, Unsupervised Existence, was working on the first book of a second series, Cud. The first Muktuk Wolfsbreath story–set in Siberia, home of the classic shamans– appeared in there, and the positive response was immediate. LaBan eventually wrote and drew two more Muktuk stories himself and wrote a 3-issue Muktuk miniseries for DC, which was drawn by Steve Parkhouse, and appeared in 1998.
The DC series sold only moderately and unsure what else to do with the character, LaBan shelved him and moved on. Over the years, though, he continued to hear every so often from Muktuk fans, looking for art and asking him if he’d ever write more. The answer was always “no’, but when, one day, when considering his options for a thesis project that would allow him to complete his Masters in Interactive Design, he decided a web comic would fit the bill and that Muktuk Wolfsbreath would be the perfect concept to build it around. And here we are.
Terry's work is rock-solid, and this new online graphic novel has some serious legs. This is a terrific time to jump aboard.