Mike Roukas — Jul. 17th 2009
The art of making a good werewolf book cover must be tough shit. For reasons that modern Roukasian science has yet to discover, most monster-fans shun lycanthropes in favor of books featuring thin pale guys who sip blood, sparkle, and languish in a dark existential tardzone. Of course, this may prompt me to smoothly remove my box-frame emo glasses as I lounge in my Panera booth-seat and say something like: “Well then what, dear reader, constitutes a monster to begin with? Perhaps his multifacetedness is all too eager to transgress our subjective demarcations of criticism and culture?”
While that’s a legitimate question, fuck it for now. There are tons, tons of werewolf book covers out there that suck royal truckloads of ass, and I have some ideas why. Perhaps it’s because the awesomeness of snarly animal-humans is just too hard for people to capture. Perhaps it’s because the human mind, when it gets its hands on the demonic cauldron of Photoshop, goes 100% more bat-shit crazy than it already is. Perhaps because, dear reader, a populace that exalts its own divorce from Thoreauvian nature will, by implication, fail to capture the energy of predation, especially if it fails to even remember that the Grande Columbian Dark-Roast Almond Latte always comes with soy, not SKIM milk.
Anyway, here are some more shitty werewolf book covers. A while ago, Werewolf News ran a feature of mine called “The Top Five Worst Werewolf Book Covers Ever,” and now I’m back to do it again.
Kiss of the Wolf by Morgan Hawke
Holy disappointment, False Advertising Man! If you’re going to allow soft core porn on your werewolf book, why would you draw the reader in with whitebread human missionary sex? That’s like putting Crisco in the lube isle of an adult store, but passing it off as a cooking ingredient. Yeah, like we’re falling for that. But what exactly IS the purpose of such a trick in the first place? WHY would you put Crisco in the lube isle but want people to think you’re selling it as a cooking product? Why would you use a boring human-sex picture (which there’s no shortage of elsewhere) to advertise snarling, growling virginity-devastation? That makes no sense. It must be an unsolvable natural mystery, like upstream salmon migration or tectonic plate behavior. Nevertheless, I feel obliged to solve it. The mystery of why people prefer Castlevania villains over werewolves has escaped me, but this one fucking won’t.
Question: Why does this book advertise werewolf sex using HUMAN BEINGS who aren’t even going doggy-style?
Roukas’ Best Answer: Modern men and women want fit bodies without exercise or effort, the taste of delicious ice-cream with out the consequent fatness, and lots of TV-viewing without more fatness. They want excitement without risk, and x-treme sports without fear or mortal danger. Likewise, they want an escape from corporate modernity into edenic / animalistic nature without the ferality this comes with. Their werewolf sex fantasies therefore must feature air-conditioned forests, fur coats that aren’t musky and don’t smell, and handsome male lycanthropes who sip Disaronno Amaretto and growl lightly when they give their human female “mates” the tender sex they’ve longed for upon a bed of Hallmark cards. This is all a sad case of people wanting to have their cake and eat it too… or perhaps having cake while neatly picking away the gluten and over-sugary parts to the point where it isn’t cake anymore. Decorum prevents me from describing what good werewolf sex is or should be, but I will say that Hawke’s cover doesn’t feature or imply ANY fur-pulling, shoulder-biting, or hot fang-locked kissing while snarling and barking. This omission makes “Kiss of the Wolf” the Richard Nixon of lycanthropic storytelling: a treasonous FAIL!
Guess Who’s Dating a Werewolf? by J.R. Black
Like, OMG!!!!1!! It’s hard enough being a material girl in a material world, but what happens when you throw a werewolf into the mix? Jacquelin Denimson thought she had high school life all figured out… until her boyfriend Lupe becomes a wolfman when the wolfsbane blooms, in spite of saying his prayers by night when the autumn moon is bright! Now, things start getting a little “hairy” when Lupe isn’t content with just one piece of chicken teriyaki from the free-sample girl at the mall food court! Things also get a little “wild” when Lupe “marks his territory” on the Corvette of Brock Linebackerman: Jacquelin’s former boyfriend! Now it’s a wacky race against time as Lupe needs to train like an “animal” if he wants to beat Brock in OMGFacebook University’s Frat-House Obstacle Course of Death! Rob Schneider and Jack Black co-star in this heart-warming comedy drama that will leave you and the family “howling” with laughter! Buy this stupid shit on Amazon for the price of a penny (seriously) today!
Werewolf Sanctuary by Eva Gordon
Werewolf Slut by Mark David King
I believe that awesomeness and absurdity are related in a way similar to matter and antimatter, or gravity and time. Usually, these ideas and principles are distinct and clearly demarcated. However, just like the infinite-lives turtleshell-hopping trick in Super Mario Bros., there are glitches. The very idea of a human being turning into a wolf or wolfish creature is inherently absurd, but so is Einstein’s general relativity. So was the idea of a free republic in 1776. So was a Judeo-Christian God dying on the cross for the sins of humankind.
Yet look at the corresponding awesomeness that we’ve gleaned from such “absurdities.” Thanks to Einstein’s general relativity, James Cameron was able to make his time-traveling Terminator movies kind of make sense. Thanks to America’s founding fathers, we now have the freedom to play on Twitter and watch as much Family Guy as we want while still being responsible citizens. And thanks to Jesus Christ, we can now let the Republican Party do our thinking for us.
In my humble opinion, the stupid cover of “Werewolf Slut” is similarly awesome. The key to its roundabout awesomeness lies in its simplicity. It would make a terrific shirt, and I must admit that I’m aroused at the thought of having a girlfriend with enough guts to wear it while hunting down ninjacrime with me in Hoboken. Two thumbs up, Mark David King!
The Were-Wolf by Clemence Housman
At first I thought that this was a strategy guide for gay British people who want to chase down gay fursuiters while saying things like “Tally-ho! Slow down my dear chap; your friend Dr. Pendegras surely cannot continue pursuit when your clip-on tail gives him such a jolly discomfort in his hose!” But then I saw the old-school spelling of “Were-Wolf.” I’ve studied a lot of werewolf media from Angela Carter’s writings to that fucktarded Van Helsing movie, and I know that I have a folkloric and symbolically rich treasure on my hands with I encounter an old book that hyphenates “were” and “wolf.” However, due to the nature of this feature, it would be unsound scholarship for me to base my review on anything I read from this book. So all I can say is that the pursuit on the cover probably continues along the lines of: “My dear man, it would be quite a lark if we could depart from this fursuit convention and pursue our sodomy behind the Dance Dance Revolution machine! Don’t you concur?”
Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar
Ho-Ho’s surround me like sacred runes.
Candy Corn like glyphs on my router.
A henge of Sour Patch Kids stand at the ready
By my scanner.
Demoted from packmate to nooblet rando commando.
Omega wolf, I scavenge the 7-11
Only Tigerfox138 hears my howl,
Only he can lick
My wounds with emoticons
And prophecy the forthcoming day of vengeance
Where I return with changed
Screenname and avatar.
Endless Mike & Ike, scattered gummi bears,
Altered Beast frozen on my emulator
Makes my spirit
ENCOUNTER A TERMINAL ERROR
AND NEED TO CLOSE
[ OK ]