Cycle of the Werewolf

cycle of the werewolf cover art bernie wrightson
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Fun illustrations, good concept, quick read

Would like to see an expanded text to fill in the characters

Book Info

Book Name:  Cycle of the Werewolf

Publisher:  Land of Enchantment

Writer:  Stephen King

Illustrator:  Bernie Wrightson

Release Date:   1983


Yeah, buddy…that’s going to work.

It’s a new year and a killer has come to town of Tarker’s Mills, Maine.  Throughout the year each full moon brings another death, and the killer has been nicknamed The Full Moon Killer.  As the attacks become more gruesome, and a boy named Marty Coslaw reports that the killer is a beast, the town of Tarker’s Mill realizes it might be dealing with a werewolf.  When Marty is able to identify the werewolf, he makes himself a target, now the werewolf is coming for him as the year comes to a bloody end.

Written by Stephen King and illustrated by Bernie Wrightson (often credited as Berni Wrightson due to Wrightson’s attempt to differentiate himself from an Olympic diver of the same name), Cycle of the Werewolf started out as a calendar that turned into the short novella.  The novella followed the release of Pet Sematary (also released in 1983) and the story was adapted into the popular film Silver Bullet starring Corey Haim as Marty and Garey Busey as his uncle.

Cycle of the Werewolf is one of those books you can read in one quick sitting.  The plot is basic with the werewolf attacking on each full moon once a month during the year.  Stephen King admits that the book technically doesn’t even work…all the full moons happen to fall on holidays (an impossibility) and it more is a concept piece that a serious novel.


Church is different than I remember it

Unlike a lot of Stephen King stories, Cycle of the Werewolf is more driven by the concept rather than the characters.  We do get some insight into werewolf’s victims like Marty and his family, but one of the things Stephen King does really well is develop characters.  Here he only gets a couple short pages to try to explore the characters.  It is a nice attempt, but I would have rather have seen a longer book in addition to the art and style.

What Cycle of the Werewolf does have is a lot of fun art.  Horror comic artist Bernie Wrightson provided nice painted pictures and black and white pictures that really stylize this story.  The illustrations are one of the best parts of this novella.  Wrightson also worked with Stephen King on Creepshow and some of his Dark Tower books.

Cycle of the Werewolf might not be the best Stephen King story, but it is one of the shortest.  Reading it isn’t much of a commitment, and it is good to see another type of Stephen King story.  Unlike many of Stephen King’s books, Cycle of the Werewolf really hasn’t been canonized into the other of his novels, but one of the werewolf’s victims is Clyde Corliss also appeared in ’Salem’s Lot.  Stephen King followed Cycle of the Werewolf with his collaboration with Peter Straub on The Talisman in 1984.

Related Links:

Silver Bullet (1985)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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