BEVERLY — Imagine if Little Red Riding Hood had married the Big Bad Wolf. And what if instead of a wolf, he was actually a Wolfman?
David Gruba, 49, of Beverly has re-invented the story of Red Riding Hood in such a way, literally marrying the main character of the Brothers Grimm's Fairy Tale to the Universal Horror film monster.
"I've always loved the old monster movies," Gruba said.
He teamed with artist Rene Castellano, 35, of Mayfair, to publish "Bride of the Wolfman" in 2009. Chicago-based Instant Press Comics produced the first book, as well as the sequel, "House of the Wolfman," in March 2012.
A Beverly writer is teaming up with a Mayfair artist once again to bring you another story of Wolfman:
Castellano works for a large publishing company by day and serves as the publisher of Instant Press Comics on the side. Gruba works as a legal assistant and moonlights as the editor of the independent comic book company.
Most recently, the team behind Wolf and Red has launched a Kickstarter campaign. They hope to raise $5,000 by May 15. The money would be used to pay for a 48-page graphic novel called "Tales of the Wolfman."
Thus far, $1,385 has been committed to the project. The book will be a collaboration of short stories about the unlikely couple, written and drawn by Castellano and Gruba as well as several artists the pair have come to know locally and via the comic con circuit.
"Kickstarter is a way to pre-sell your book," Gruba said. Those who commit to donating $20 or more receive an autographed copy of the "Tales of the Wolfman." Donations of $100 or more will get you a guest appearance in the book.
The Wolfman comics are family-friendly books that feature a color cover with black-and-white art inside. Wolf and Red live in grandma's house in the woods. In Gruba's version of the story, Wolf didn't eat the homeowner. Rather, grandma ran off to Las Vegas.
Wolf is most commonly found playing poker with his buddies, which include the Mummy, Dracula and Frankenstein. The story is really more of a romantic comedy than a classic horror story.
Gruba met Castellano in 2001 while he was working on a zine that featured Gruba's short stories. He offered Castellano a spot in the independent mag where he could showcase his comics.
The pair kept in touch and reunited professionally with the Wolfman series. Their collaboration has been successful, albeit on a small scale. Most sales are made at comic conventions. Their books are also sold online and in comic book stores in Mount Greenwood, Hyde Park and suburban Skokie.
If the Kickstarter campaign manages to reach its goal, "Tales of the Wolfman" will be debut in October.
"It's perfect because of Halloween," Gruba said.
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