The Wrenchies

The Wrenchies

by Farel Dalrymple


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Sherwood and Orson should never have gone into that cave.

That day, a door was opened from our world into a dark and profane realm...and earth's destiny was changed forever.

In this demented future, whatever life remains on earth is oppressed by the evil shadowsmen. Only a gang of ruthless and powerful children called the Wrenchies can hope to stand against them. When Hollis, a lonely boy from our world, is magically given access to the future world of the Wrenchies, he finally finds a place he belongs. But it is not an easy world to live in, and Hollis's quest is bigger than he ever dreamed of.

Farel Dalrymple brings his literary and artistic powers to bear in this sprawling science fiction graphic novel about regret, obsession, and the uncertainty of growing up.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

With its plot in constant flux and scant exposition, it’s easy to get lost in the violent fever dream Dalrymple has concocted. But far from being a detraction, the book’s untethered structure plays into its overall weirdness and elusive premise. The Wrenchies could be a band of preteen freedom fighters from a barren, postapocalyptic future; comic-book characters come to life for a nervous, imaginative boy named Hollis; or the twisted fantasies of Sherwood Presley Breadcoat, a disillusioned 35-year-old who never got over the childhood disappearance of his brother. Trying to suss out the truth is likely missing the point. The book is more like an abstract painting, insofar as what it evokes matters more than what it literally communicates. The plot and characters adhere to a dreamlike logic, one where interdimensional travel, arcane magic, complex quests, and explosively gory deaths are treated at face value. Dalrymple uses simple language to convey the book’s nightmarish concepts and depicts them in lurid yet childlike watercolors that combine in a haunting, strange, and frequently stomach-churning exploration of human insecurity and pain. Ages 14–up. Agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Associates. (Sept.)

From the Publisher

Readers immediately enter a world where epic violence is the norm, science fiction tropes abound, and kids may save one of a few different times/world - if they aren't murdered first . . . Fans of Rapp's Ball Peen Hammer will be equally enthralled by this nightmarish but impeccably rendered look at a few overlapping world and the kids who seem doomed despite their efforts.” —BCCB

“*Dalrymple takes a deep affection for comics and role-playing games and a deep distrust for adulthood itself and combines the two in an offering unlike anything else in the field today. For a certain demographic of angry, alienated, and demoralized older teens, this graphic novel will resonate powerfully . . . as vibrant and disturing as if David Lynch directed The Goonies.” —Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“*The Wrenchies introduces readers to a twisted futuristic world filled with nonstop action, a bit of magic, and graphic battles against gruesome monsters, brought to life with Dalrymple's complex full-color art . . . a high-quality, original graphic novel.” —VOYA, STARRED REVIEW

“Dalrymple's art vibrates with violent action, awash in colors alternately lush and lurid . . . With its abundant violence, profanity, and drug use, The Wrenchies is not for the squeamish, but offers breathtaking adventure for those with a strong heart and a stronger stomach.” —School Library Journal

“Dalrymple's art is impeccable . . . It's beautiful, dreamy and nightmarishly violent . . . Not for the faint of heart, but what a ride for those who go with the flow.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Incredible. A deeply personal epic…a book that calls for rereadings.” —Craig Thompson

“AMAZING. Beautiful drawing and painting, great characters—it's pretty much everything I could want a graphic novel to be.” —Mike Mignola, author of Hellboy

“I've been a very enthusiastic admirer of Farel Dalrymple from the first moment I was introduced to his wonderful work. Now here comes his most epic work with The Wrenchies! This book is a stunning and original piece of work. The characters are richly authentic and their world is simultaneously exciting and horrific, filled with hauntingly beautiful detail. The Wrenchies is a masterpiece that will knock your socks off!” —Michael Allred, Madman

“Tremendously masterful, as to be expected of Farel Dalrymple. A work of art with fevered imagination and lush nightmares that should haunt every reader.” —JH Williams III (Sandman, Batwoman, Promethea)

“The years of love dumped into The Wrenchies is apparent on every page, every panel a work of high art. Lush worlds and fascinating characters drenched in originality and childhood nostalgia. The story is heartfelt, wildly imaginative and engrossing as Farel achieves something all too often lost in comics—pure fun. The Wrenchies is a game changer. I couldn't love anything more. ” —Rick Remender (Black Science, Deadly Class)

School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up—In the far future, demonic Shadowsmen rule over a grim wasteland. They inflict adults with despair, corrupting them into zombies—or worse. Bands of fierce, foul-mouthed children fight against this oppression, and the Wrenchies are the greatest of these gangs. An ancient and arcane comic book creates a portal between our time and this bleak future, allowing a lonely outsider named Hollis to join the Wrenchies on their crusade. Together they embark on a quest to destroy the source of the world's corruption. Kind, sensitive Hollis feels out of his depth, not born to battle like the rest of the gang. He wrestles with his hopes and fears for the future. Readers will connect with his need for belonging and delight in the acceptance he finds among the Wrenchies. The plot unfolds in a stream-of-consciousness, reality blending with dreams, mystical visions, and drug-induced hallucinations. Dalrymple's art vibrates with violent action, awash in colors alternately lush and lurid. His masterfully detailed panels reward careful study, from devilish grotesqueries to intricate architectural cutaways. With its abundant violence, profanity, and drug use, The Wrenchies is not for the squeamish, but offers breathtaking adventure for those with a strong heart and a stronger stomach.—Tony Hirt, Hennepin County Library, MN

Kirkus Reviews

Children must fight a complicated evil in this dark, disturbing sci-fi tale. While out playing one fateful day, brothers Sherwood and Orson stumble upon a horrible and mysterious cave. Inside, the boys encounter a demon that will forever alter the paths of their lives. In a parallel universe, a motley crew called the Wrenchies band together in a violent, futuristic wasteland trying to survive numerous foes, especially the Shadowsmen. In yet another place/time, a comics-loving misfit named Hollis (who takes to running about in a scarlet superhero costume) finds himself immersed—literally—in the pages of an enigmatic, purloined comic. These three tales twine together in a somewhat confusing fashion, full of reaching sci-fi leaps into other times and dimensions, creating a brain-aching nonlinear plot. Couple this with a handful of epilogues and an esoteric "fotogloctica" that kind of but not really wraps things up, and expect readers' brains to be smoking. Dalrymple's art is impeccable, capturing the horrors of demons that routinely spear eyeballs and great swarms of parasitic insects that can crawl into ears and need to be killed by swords and/or knives; it's beautiful, dreamy and nightmarishly violent. Think of this as an insidiously macabre Coraline-esque tale meets Charles Burns. Morbid and discomfiting; not for the faint of heart, but what a ride for those who go with the flow. (Graphic science fiction. 15 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596434219
Publisher: First Second
Publication date: 07/15/2014
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 348,458
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

Customer Reviews