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The Wrenchies

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,745 ratings  ·  378 reviews
Meet the Wrenchies.

They're strong, powerful, and if you cross them, things will quickly go very badly for you. Only one thing scares them—growing up. Because in the world of the Wrenchies, it's only kids who are safe... anyone who survives to be an adult lives in constant fear of the Shadowsmen. All the teenagers who come into contact with them turn into twisted, nightmari
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by First Second
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Average rating 3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,745 ratings  ·  378 reviews

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Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hoooooly shit, what was THAT.

I thought I'd be able to write something, but I can't. It's gonna need another reread, and a long think.

Suffice it to say you need to pick this up, and you absolutely have no idea what you're getting yourself into when you do.
I don't know how to comment on the book any further unless I take notes while I go, which is pretty much how I use Goodreads half the time anyway. I feel a little bad about it this time around because Wrenchies is so new, so as much as it feel
Heidi The Reader
May 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
A gorgeously-drawn graphic novel that suffers from a bonkers plot and scrambled timeline.

I'll try to give a brief summary here, but understand that this is gleaned from every part of the book — beginning, middle, end. Farel Dalrymple doesn't present the story in a linear fashion, which is incredibly frustrating.

A boy and his brother enter a cave and are attacked by a demon-like creature called a shadowman. During the course of the attack, the demon messes with the first boy's eyes and something
Jan Philipzig
Dalrymple draws and paints and means well. As a story, though, I found this almost unreadable. Lifeless characters, random plot developments, heavy-handed self-reflexivity - a mess!
Magical? Mind-expanding? Evocative. All that just from chapter one.

Or maybe it's just distracted. Tangential. Unfocused.

I keep hearing Keith's review ( in my head, and it keeps haunting me with the promise of some mind-bending insanity. But the more I read, the faster I skim, as I get more and more impatient for something to surprise and delight (or at least unsettle) me.

These loosely-connected tales of these kids don't entirely like up in time - is this
The premise of this story is really good and quite intriguing but I found the execution a little confusing and overly complicated, I was rather lost by the time I was halfway through and found myself having to go back to check that I hadn't missed anything vital. There are moments where this is really engrossing and whisks you along at speed, but then there are bits that just don't seem to fit and seem to come out of nowhere. Because of this I found I couldn't really get to grips with the charac ...more
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was really into this at first, loved the art and was enjoying the plot and action. But less than a third of the way in it got WAY too vague and lost all its momentum. I'm willing to 'go with it' through a lot of vague and weird things, but it has to be interesting and at least vaguely follow-able. It also fell into characters just explaining the story for really long periods, rather than anything actually happening. ...more
This book was painful to read. It was boring, confusing, and I couldn’t have cared less about any of these characters. I’m almost two thirds of the way through this and I still haven’t quite figured out what exactly this is about It has been such an exasperating read, to say the least.

Plot: Confusing, messy, unclear. Set in some kind of apocalyptic world, I was never able to figure out what the goal of the story was.

Characters: Could never really figure out who the main character was. There wer
First Second Books
Aug 19, 2014 marked it as first-second-publications
I think this book is great!

One of the most interesting parts of Farel Dalrymple's THE WRENCHIES, for me, is how it deals with the violence of the post-apocalypse.

This book is full of characters who are children and teenagers, and they're dealing with the end of the world and magic!zombies wandering around everywhere who are trying to eat them. Because THE WRENCHIES is a graphic novel, it's difficult for the end of the world not to be in your face at every minute you're reading -- you can never
Jun 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
I honestly can not figure out what the plot line was. This book was just surreal. And not in a good way. Perhaps if I was under the the influence of some hallucinogens, I might be able to make sense of it. But I'm not, nor will I be. So it shall remain one of the graphic novels that I just shelve.

And now that I have let my mind rest an entire night's sleep on this novel, I am still completely baffled by what I just read. There are so many interweaving story lines, with tertiary characters that
Vinton Bayne
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This little gem gets me on so many levels. First and foremost, the artwork is amazing. Every page begs for your attention with colorful detail that arrests your eyes from moving on in the story.
Oh but you will move on, because the story won't let you stop for long. The narrative will exercise your understanding of reality, it will test your need for the clear and obvious. You will be wondering how to connect it all, in fact a good part of the story will play out in your own mind as you fight for
This is one of those books that really doesn't lend itself well to summarizing, but I'll do my best. There are several groups of characters that exist in several different dimensions (realities?). We have our world, with two of the main characters. Then there's the world of the Wrenchies, a post-apocalyptic wasteland where only the children are technically "safe" from the Shadowsmen, a terrifying entity that attacks anyone "of age" with the purpose of turning their victims into more Shadowsmen. ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tweens, gn-ya, gn-children
So, the drawing and painting of this one is terrific. It's dark, in almost every sense, but I think it is still almost (not quite?) an all ages book, since, though it is pretty violent in places, it is not that violent, in my opinion. The art I love, actually, but everything is dark, visually and thematically, because it is a post apocalyptic or dystopian tale, where gangs of kids roam the blasted out world defending themselves against Shadowpeople, or Creepers, that all seem very much like Zomb ...more
Get X Serious
Sep 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book is extremely incoherent in the worst way possible. I tried to write a review but apparently this book is so bad and confusing and stupid that it's infected my ability to write a coherent thought. I want to say something along the lines of, "It's like somebody forced me to watch a four year old on PCP act out their favorite David Lynch movie," but even that is giving it too much credit. ...more
Actual Rating: 2.5

I felt sort of “meh” about this work.


Let’s start off with its appeal factors:

Visualization. Wrenchies has this distinct drawing style, that you will either love or hate, added with the underlying grotesque layer. It is not a pretty world (growing up never is) and the ambiguous themes that are presented throughout the book matches the drawing style.

Themes. There’s a lot going on in the world of the Wrenchies. There always is on the edge of adulthood and adolescence, especiall
Julia Sapphire
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
I liked the art style but the story was messy and bland. I enjoyed the first bit of this graphic novel but than it just went really down hill for me. I did not care for the characters and the plot was super random.
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
It begins with a single demon in a cave. Soon, the world is overtaken by violent creatures which prey on teenagers, turning them into monsters themselves. This graphic novel combines an apocalyptic world, superhero and comic book lore, and a gang of warrior children. Dalrymple’s aesthetic is raw, saturated – beautiful and terrible all at once. There’s an exactness to his scrawl. The reader will find themselves dwelling on his scenes, looking for the winking details and small moments of truth. Th ...more
Mark Parsons
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What if Philip K Dick wrote THE HUNGER GAMES?

What if David Lynch rebooted THE GOONIES?

What if the Gnostic Archons had created SCOOBY DOO?

If you like Grant Morrison's THE INVISIBLES and THE FILTH, then you may well dig this beautifully illustrated scifi-magick-timetravel extraveganza.

Warning: this book does not reinforce mainstream spoonfed consensus reality, even on a storytelling scale. Does the plot add up?
It is not intended to, but thematically, it all ties together wonderfully, especial
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars. Artwork was dark, painterly, and simply great. The story left me with no flow, minimal character development, and really wanting it to be better than it was. It was worth it to admire the artwork and some of the highlights of the messy text. A fun dystopian idea but not enough development for me to work. It felt like Dalrymple was torn between wanting to create a story with all the parts to make sense (or at least a reasonable amount) and wanting to have it be more of a stream of cons ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
So, the art was super epic and I loved it. Everything else was all over the place and was just terribly done. Nothing was clear and so many things were happening at once. The characters weren't bad but besides that and the art, this just wasn't for me, at all. ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
this was a mess
Aug 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program to review. It was an interesting read. I thought the plot was way too convoluted and at times way too wordy. While I enjoyed some of the irony in the story in the end I don’t think it is something many people will enjoy.

These two kids wander into a cave and one of them, Sherman, gets an eyeful of evil and acquires an evil amulet. Then we are transported to a story in the future where the world has ended and a gang of kids dubbed The Wrenc
Oct 07, 2014 rated it liked it
There are two brothers who kill a shadow and find an amulet. One of those brothers grows up to write a comic called The Wrenchies. There's a world where shadowmen have killed almost everyone, and the best fighters who oppose them are a group of young'uns called The Wrenchies who read a comic called The Wrenchies. Then there's young Hollis, who reads a comic called The Wrenchies and then falls into the world of The Wrenchies. Confused? Welcome to THE WRENCHIES.

Honestly, I feel like I should read
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A gang of children battle against a horde of evil zombies, vampires, and demons to save the world. And that's just the beginning!

I have really been looking forward to this guy's next big book ever since reading Popgun War. If Popgun War was a surreal and haunting dream, The Wrenchies feels deeper like a recurring, heart-pounding nightmare. One that is all the more visceral because the drama is laden with meaning. It is also by turns funny, sweet, beautiful and heart breaking.

I expect that some r
Kristen Harvey
The Wrenchies was a beautiful read, if not a bit confusing. I loved the artwork, I loved the settings and the colors used to portray a post-apocalyptic world where only children survive. Once you close in on adulthood, the Shadowmen come for you. These kids form gangs and this one follows the Wrenchies, a group that is filled with interesting characters. Unfortunately, after killing some Shadowmen, they find their name written on a paper and know that they are after their gang, who seem too good ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have no idea what I just read, but I already want to read it again!

Love love LOVE this book. Its an experience for sure. It took me quite some time to read but only because of how layered it is. It is in chapters which helps, but there's just a lot to cover and I found myself having to put it down from info overload. However, the way everything is finally pulled together is so beautiful and worth the time! Worlds inside of other worlds! Kids in a post apocalyptic world fighting off the evil sh
This rating/review is based on an ARC from netgalley.

3.5 stars.

Probably the weirdest comic I've ever read (well, this one and Ed the Happy Clown). It reminded me a lot of the movies Primer and Upstream Color: really complicated with not a lot of explanation. I like that though. I think it would have benefited from perhaps a little less text, but overall it was an enjoyable read. That being said it is definitely NOT for everyone. I can see people being frustrated by the length and lack of clear p
Sep 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who like weird pictures but can't read.
Recommended to Zedsdead by: Vault employee. Impulse purchase while browsing comic shop.
Shelves: graphic-novels
I always get burned by impulse purchase books, but every year or two I see a shiny pretty cover, I'm stricken by sudden-onset selective amnesia, and I get burned once again. This was my 2015 when-will-I-learn moment.

The storyline is a confused mashup of standard fantasy quest plot points, told in the clumsiest way imaginable. Something about a ruined world populated by children who fight zombies and demon-bugs There's a magic amulet with useless heroes inside it who mostly just die a lot. There'
Steev Baker
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Wrenchies opens with green gore and violence. Two young boys find a cave and destroy the creature that lives there, setting in motion events that will lead to a surrealistic future full of magic and darkness. Or do they? I was unprepared for the Wrenchies. Based on the reviews and the Amazon customer comments, I was expecting post-apocalyptic story about monsters--maybe something akin to Paul Pope's "Battling Boy." It was that, partly. But mostly it was something completely different. I'm no ...more
Seppo Alanissi
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this was.. strange. Post-apocalyptic tale turning into sort of metaphysical meditation on one's fate and choices.. or maybe different sides of your spirit and persona.. or not. I might sound a bit idiotic saying I didn't wholly grasp all the ideas etc presented here but I still liked this a lot. That being said, I was sort of interpreting this all the time I went on and looked at it from many different views. I felt the story really encourages you to do it, not really emphasizing any speci ...more
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
5 Stars for the art and story, 1 for the book. Average 3.
I'm a fan of Farel Dalrymple and have been waiting for this. I love the story, love the art, but sadly, the physical book is a major disapppointment. Why is it so small? Why are the images so muddy? The online samples look great, but in the book there are many panels that one can not tell what is going on. The details of the wonderful full page "panorama" shots of the Wrenchies' lairs are totally lost. Why didn't First Second print this at
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Farel Dalrymple is an illustrator and a comic book creator. He was the artist on omega the unknown with writer Jonathan Lethem. His creator owned comic book, Pop Gun War was a Xeric grant recipient and won a gold medal from The Society of Illustrators. Farel was a co-founder of the comic anthology Meathaus, and has worked on a range of illustration and cartooning projects for comic book publishers ...more

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