Comments for The Wrenchies
The Wrenchies: 11/15/14
The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple is a time travel, dystopian YA graphic novel. It blends magic and science and comic book tropes to create a world destroyed and over run by monsters. Only the children are able to fight back.
With the retro, 1950s or early 1960s backstory to The Wrenchies combined with the horrific events that lead up to the present day, I'm reminded of early Stephen King, "The Body" or It. Things get out of hand when a pair of boys go into a storm drain and are attacked by an unspeakable evil.
The background art for The Wrenchies is stunning. It's crowded with details that need second and third looks. When a new location is introduced, especially in the far future, there's usually a single page devoted entirely to it, like an establishing shot. They remind me of the sorts of picture books I loved as a kid that featured cut aways of day to day things (like skyscrapers, hospitals, factories, etc.)
But stunning set design wasn't enough to get me fully engrossed in this book. The plot itself is nonlinear (fairly normal for a time travel story) and frenetic. With a huge ensemble cast all fighting for panel time, combined with the cuts back and forth, as well as some incredibly disgusting scenes involving a combination of extreme violence and the typical rotting decay of horror, I lost interest in trying to sort of the time line.
The gross out factors of the book seem to be there mostly for padding. Cut most of them out, and the remaining story is a much tighter, still non-linear tale of self sacrifice and time travel.