One of the books that I read about recently in the Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine’s book reviews section is a graphic novel titled Curse of the Were-Woman. Here’s my review.
Curse of the Were-Woman is an original graphic novel from writer Jason M. Burns and artist Christopher Provencher. It’s a classic “high-concept” story, the kind of thing you’d see in a movie. Christopher Dalton is a womanizer and power-hungry ad exec who has constant one-night stands. Some kind of Wiccan that he beds one night gets her feelings hurt and curses him to turn into a woman every time the sun comes down. He’ll remain a “were-woman” until he becomes less of a chauvinist.
I could see Curse of the Were-Woman playing out as a movie with a traditional leading man type (Vince Vaughn maybe) with someone like Jack Black as his best friend. And I think it would make for a successful and probably funny film. I left the graphic novel with the feeling that the writer really enjoys Ben Stiller and Judd Apatow movies.
Unfortunately, the kind of formulaic storytelling didn’t work well in the graphic novel format. My expectations from a graphic novel are different than my expectations of a movie. I come to a graphic novel looking for surprises. Curse of the Were-Woman offers no surprises to anyone who’s seen as many Hollywood movies as most people have.
The other problem I had with Curse of the Were-Woman is that the core assumption is that a man who likes having sex with a variety of women somehow has a lesson to learn. That’s a pretty old-fashioned attitude. The main character didn’t seem to be a total chauvinist ass to me; he just seemed like a guy who enjoys sex with multiple women. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s a pretty common thing.
But the artwork was excellent, and the writing was workmanlike if not inspired. I’d not hesitate to recommend this to someone as pure entertainment. At least Curse of the Were-Woman is trying to do something other than be a dark parody of the superhero genre, which is an overwhelming trend in the graphic novel/comic book field today.
There’s a great interview and plot synopsis of Curse of the Were-Woman available on the Comic-Con message board here: