“The human condition, legacies of violence, and – of course – werewolves.” That’s how Ryan Cady, writer of the popular webcomic series Wolfsbane, describes the horror/urban fantasy tale he and artist Morgan Beem have brought to life. Wolfsbane follows Quinn, a woman trained by her survivalist father from a rougher part of civilization, tasked to stamp out the newest generation of werewolves. During her journey, Quinn takes on the care of a young girl not used to the type of life Quinn has experienced. How they influence one another while also trying to retain their humanity in a world that often tests them and threatens to strip them of decency is part of what makes Wolfsbane such a compelling read and elevates it above much of the horror fare online and in print.

Last fall, Ryan Cady and Morgan Beem launched a Kickstarter through Rocketship Entertainment to bring Wolfsbane to print, offer backer rewards, and offer a pre-order to campaign contributors. This October, Rocketship will make the collection available for retail purchase to the general public.

I had the chance to speak with Mr. Cady during the campaign about Wolfsbane, his collaboration with series artist Morgan Beem, how his love of horror seeps into the series, and how Cormac McCarthy has impacted how he approaches some of the relationships in Wolfsbane.



FreakSugar: For folks who aren’t familiar with Wolfsbane, what can you tell us about the series?

Ryan Cady: Wolfsbane is a horror/urban fantasy comic about the human condition, legacies of violence, and – of course – werewolves. We follow the last of a long line of werewolf hunters in her quest to exterminate the last of a long line of werewolves. Along the way, our hero picks up a young girl from a much gentler part of the world, and together the two explore what it means to survive in a world ruled by violence and danger, and how those survival techniques blur the line between man and beast.

But really, it’s about these badass, terrifying werewolves.

FS: The cast is incredibly rich. What can you tell us about some of the characters we meet?

RC: Our hero is Quinn, the last surviving member of the Garza family. Raised by her survivalist father on the fringes of society, she’s burdened with the task of eliminating the latest generation of the Wolves, a family line inexorably tied to her own. Quinn’s brusque, determined, and not at all afraid to get her hands bloody, but when Adrienne Morton – a young girl from the suburbs – winds up in her care after a werewolf attack, everything changes. Adrienne is timid, terrified, and ill-prepared for the cold and indifferent world she’s landed in – but there’s a fire and determination to her, as well, and it’s up to Quinn to train and temper her.

And then, of course, there are the wolves. Practically unkillable (and beautifully, grotesquely rendered by artistic genius Morgan Beem), these devious shapeshifters live as ordinary humans but transform into lupine juggernauts at will. All such monsters are dangerous, but this latest generation is different; like Quinn, they have adapted in clever and surprising ways.



FS: The series mixes elements of adventures and horror. What was the inspiration for the comic?

RC: Well, I’m just a big horror guy, honestly, and I kind of felt like a lot of the popular “monster hunter” stories weren’t anywhere near horrific enough. There are tons of werewolf stories that I love, and other inspiring urban fantasy series, but none of them were really exploring the parts of these creatures that I was really drawn to. I wanted to make werewolves frightening again, and to really explore the themes of what separates man from beast, and how these monsters blur the line.

FS: Following up on that, what are some of your influences for the narrative and look of the series?

RC: The aesthetic is all Morgan – I did my best to write evocative, sensory scripts, and give her as much inspiration as possible, but I give her full credit for creating this stark, nightmarish visual world (so similar to our own, but just a little darker). I tried to put as much Cormac McCarthy into Quinn and her father, and took what inspiration I could from other werewolf horror I loved – World of Darkness stuff, Cycle of the Werewolf, etc.

FS: What are you reading? What inspires you?

RC: Good question! Like I said above, a lot of Cormac McCarthy goes into Quinn and her father – and I like to flatter myself that I’ve recreated some of his brilliant mood-setting. A lot of Anne Rice, on the other end of the evocative horror spectrum, as well. When I was writing the bulk of Wolfsbane, back in 2018-2019, I was reading a ton of Neil Gaiman, and while I wanted this book to be a bit more brutal than his usual stuff, there’s no doubt that his fantastic prose and worldbuilding inspired me a lot.



FS: The series is just wonderful. What is your Morgan’s collaboration like on the comic?

RC: That’s so kind of you to say! Thank you. It really is one of my favorite things I’ve ever worked on, and so much of that is due to working with Morgan. I had already developed a lot of the book before Morgan came on, but when I saw her first character designs of Quinn (and the Wolves, my god, the Wolves!), it was like everything clicked. Suddenly, I could picture every single moment in her style. Working with her was an absolute joy, hahaha.

FS: Are there any other projects you are working on that you’d like to discuss?

RC: Another original series of mine, Haunt You to the End – co-created with the brilliant artist Andrea Mutti – just wrapped up its fifth and final issue. It’s about a group of ghost hunters during the climate apocalypse, and I’m pretty darn proud of it. You can grab single issues at your local comic shop, or wait for the collected edition in January!

FS: If you had one last pitch for the series, what would it be?

RC: Simply put: if I had to have my entire creative output judged by a single project, this would be the one. I’m the kind of writer who struggles with going back to his own work – I’m pretty self-critical – but with this book, even I can’t deny we were onto something special.

Wolfsbane: The Moonlight Edition goes on sale Tuesday, October 29, 2024, just in time for Halloween, from Rocketship Entertainment. You can pre-order the book here. 

From the official book description:

Following in her father’s legacy, Quinn’s entire life has been devoted to slaying werewolves, but when a young victim falls into her care, and her stash of inherited silver bullets begins to run low, the horror of the monsters grows stronger, and the hunter becomes hunted.

WOLFSBANE is a book about legacy. About family. About blood. Quinn’s bond with young Adrienne is not just a chance to be the parent that her father couldn’t be, but also to pass on some part of her beyond the life of the hunt.

It’s about the way we view the things that we fear and hate, and how that fear warps our perception of the world, and what we will do to survive – and to fulfill our destiny.

More importantly, it’s about the line between man and beast, and who hunts whom.