The Sahara Desert after dark.
The sand is warm beneath your toes, a cool breeze teases relief after a long day of punishing heat.
The moon hangs in the sky like a polished silver coin on a velvet blanket sprinkled in star dust.
From out the corner of the eye you see something move.
Something like a man but not a man.
Something impossibly big and impossibly fast.
A fast shadow moving towards you with teeth and claws shining like in the night like a butcher’s knife.
Welcome to the world the Pack, a werewolf story like no other.
The Pack Issue One by Midas Monkee
All words and pictures by Paul Louise-Julie.
Available now for Kindle at Amazon
The elevator pitch behind the Pack is simple it’s genius. “It’s Werewolves meets Ancient Egypt”.
This debut issue introduces us to our hero Khenti, his brother Nekhet and their adventures through the fantastic and magical world of Aya, a mythic analogue for Africa. Khenti is a Shadow, a member of the Pharaoh’s elite forces, but he is not Egyptian. He, along with this fellow Shadows, hail from the kingdom of Nubia to the south.
The Pack was the first comic book released under Paul Louise-Julie’s Midas Monkee imprint in March of 2015. The year that followed saw the release of 2 further volumes to complete the series’ first story arc.
Now in 2017 Midas Monkee returns to the Bright Sun and Deep Shadows of the Mythic World of Aya as part of its ambitious Phase II which will see it release a book a month over the next 12 months following on from the success of the Pack and Yohance.
Nekhet has grown tired of killing in service of the Akhenon and longs to return to his ancestral home. Khenti is reluctant to go along with his brother but has his hand forced after the untimely death of the Pharaoh.
Khenti is a man with blood on his hands a dark secret in his heart and now he flees not only from the Pharaoh’s armies but also from more sinister forces that he is only just beginning to comprehend.
The first volume of this initial story arc, “A Wolf in Egypt” does a great job of introducing the world of the Pack and our protagonist Khenti.
Creator Paul Louise-Julie’s ability as an artist and visual story teller as just as powerful here in Pack as they are in Yohance. We see the the full expanse of he Egyptian Empire stretching from the magnificent decadence of the Pharaoh’s capital in Luxor and the Southern Centre of Waset in the South to the green and gold of the reeds along the banks of the mighty Nile through to the midnight blues of the marshland under the haunting silvery moonlight.
Louise-Julie clearly has a strong eye for panel design and layout. Each image is densely packed with information about the rich and vibrant world of the Pack.
It’s a refreshing change to see an authentic, African-inspired presentation o the fantastic African world of Aya, especially in light of the recent backlash against Hollywood’s whitewashing of Egyptian stories in the Gods of Egypt and Exodus: Gods and Kings.
This is an action packed first issue that leaves you wanting to know more about Khenti as he attempts to find his way back to Nubia.
What is the true nature of the Beast that lurks within him?
Is he the only one of his kind?
What will become of his fellow Shadow’s in the wake his betrayal of the almighty God King, the Pharaoh Akhenon?
With the Pack, as with Yohance, Louise-Julie is flexing his genre storytelling muscles and demonstrating a commitment to exploring the convention, tropes and trappings of the genre through his unique perspective.
The Fourth Volume of the Pack Rise of the Sobe-Ka will be here in June, so now is the perfect time to jump on board and run with the Pack. You can pick up a digital or print bundle of the first three volumes now from Midas Monkee.