Peter is the Wolf
Among the earliest submissions artist BAR-1 made to White Lightning Productions's adult comics anthology Bootleg was a story featuring teenage werewolves. Although the story was rejected, editor Kris Overstreet thought the writing and sense of humor worth remembering for future use. A later two-page gag story inspired by Overstreet was accepted and printed in Bootleg issue #7.
In 2004 Overstreet's creative mind turned to werewolves. He had already toyed with the subject a little with a character for The Magnificent Milkmaid, Sweater Puppy. He wanted to do a similar character, comedic but not as silly. To offset the intense power and sexuality of the female werewolf, he decided to have the male lead be unusually small and weak as anthropomorphic werewolves went. With only these vague ideas in mind, Overstreet approached BAR-1, who had mentioned a desire on numerous occasions to do a webcomic.
Writer and artist began hashing out the beginning cast and details. Gradually images were sketched, accepted or rejected. BAR-1 gave the male character a heavy fur jacket which he would wear in all weather to make himself look bigger. A first attempt at the rival werewolf female, deemed as "unmenacing" by Overstreet, became the basis for a third female main character, who would act more or less as a sister figure to the male lead. At length script pages were produced, artwork drawn, and on January 1, 2005 the strip debuted.
The comic gained popularity slowly but surely over the spring and summer of 2005. In June 2005 BAR-1 began having computer problems, and by July 2005 his computer became totally unusable for finishing comic pages, forcing the comic on hiatus until October. When the comic resumed, however, its popularity resurged, as readers who had discovered the comic over the hiatus became regular readers. In April 2006 the comic surpassed Chocolate Milkmaid, becoming White Lightning Productions' most popular web comic.
The comic is notable for having different versions of pages for general audiences and adults-only reading. In some cases the differences are only enough to cover nudity, but in places where the adult version becomes sexually explicit, the general audiences version pages cover entirely different aspects of the story. The technique allows readers to skip graphic sexual content if they wish while exploring characters and situations not covered in the adult version.
In 2009 White Lightning Productions released two trade paperback versions of the first volume of the story, a PG-13 version (The First Twenty-Five Hours) and an adults-only version (Werewolves Gone WILD!).
The story thus far (SPOILERS)
The following are major characters who have appeared in the Peter is the Wolf webcomic as of this writing:
- Peter Stubbe, a less-than-average werewolf
- Sarah Hazen, his formerly human girlfriend, now a thrall of incredible power and size
- Jean Goodwin, Peter's best friend-with-benefits, a laid-back young werewolf
- Rebecca "Butch" Cramer, strong female werewolf with designs on Peter
- Con Nero, sheriff and former pack alpha for the town's werewolves
- Jack Goodwin, Jean's father, current pack alpha and town newspaper editor
- Carla Whitetail Goodwin, Jean's mother, pharmacist
- Walter Stubbe and Sally Stubbe, Peter's parents
- Gus Cramer, "Butch" Cramer's father; deputy sheriff and pack pariah
- Inari Abe, were-fox doctor for the town's lycanthropes
- Arthur Hazen and Millie Hazen, Sarah's parents
- Noah Dunbar, werelion would-be rival for Sarah's affections
- Irving Feetlebaum, professor of parapsychology at the town university
- The Muzzle Group, the lycanthropes of various species in the same class as Peter, Sarah and Jean, taught by Debbie Wynn
Although Kris Overstreet no longer remembers why Peter's last name is Stubbe, it is possible that the name is an ironic reference to 16th Century werewolf Peter Stumpp, also known as Peter Stubbe.
"Peter is the Wolf" was not intended to be the strip's actual title. Neither Overstreet nor BAR-1 could think of a good name for the comic, and "Peter is the Wolf" was used as a temporary name in early production. Overstreet thought it, at the time, a stupid reference to Peter and the Wolf; however, it stuck, and thus far nobody has complained.
Comic Publishing History
- "Peter is the Wolf," online January 2005 - present
- "Peter is the Wolf: Thralled, I'm Sure," Bootleg issue #13, August 2005
- "Peter is the Wolf: New Pup on the Block," Bootleg issue #14, December 2005
- "Peter is the Wolf: Lycanthrope I," Bootleg issue #16, September 2006
- "Peter is the Wolf: Call for Dr. Kitsune," Bootleg issue #18, September 2007
- "Peter is the Wolf: Denwarming Party," Bootleg issue #19, April 2008
Character concept: Kris Overstreet
Graphic design: BAR-1
Peter is the Wolf and all related characters are trademarks of White Lightning Productions since 2005.