Gabby Catella could have selected a better boyfriend. It turns out Brian was a werewolf, couldn’t always control his mood and transformations, and before he was shot by the police on a night with a prominent full moon, he scratched her face. The result is that she now experiences her own transformations and weird experiences, a source of insult to her devout Catholic mother.

Rich Tommaso lays on some angst to keep the pot boiling, but by and large that’s not the aspect he’s interested in. He uses the standard trappings of the traditional werewolf story (heavy on the hand-wringing tragedy of existence), but primarily in order to ridicule them. His preference is to deal in the absurd, never sticking too long in one place and pointing out the ridiculous aspects of the condition over a thoroughly engaging first chapter. The promptings of the subconscious feature throughout as Tommaso changes tack with each successive chapter to incorporate other horror standbys like vampires and demons. These may or may not be the threats of legend, but they’re a suitably silly bunch, fitting the tone of the series, which is midway between Richard Sala’s explorations of the macabre and Gilbert Hernandez’s style of whimsy.

Everything is drawn in a gloriously exuberant blur of movement almost supplying joy to the assorted feral decapitations and demon summonings. The page-turning action is designed to be a fast read, meaning this slim paperback is over all too soon, but there’s the comfort of Tommaso’s mates getting in on the game and supplying pin-ups to ease the wait until Volume Two: Black Baptism.