Get your claws on a large format Ploog & Bisley “Thicker Than Blood” art book

A. Quinton — Jul. 18th 2017

There’s nothing I despise more than a tiny-ass art book. Ink all piled up on the middle of minuscule pages like pepper on a playing card because you don’t respect the art? Get your small format reproductions away from me. I don’t want to see it. Get me a nice big tome like this new Thicker Than Blood art book from FPG.

Thicker Than Blood is a three-issue comic series written by Simon Reed, with pencils by Mike Ploog and paints by Simon Bisley. For an overview of the story and an assessment of why the series is considered a stand-out effort, may I direct you to this Werewolf News review from 2011. Suffice it to say that what grabbed most folks’ attention was the art, which is what this new book depicts, at its original size and in a variety of states.

This will be a large hardcover book that measures 12” x 17”. We will take full advantage of this format by reproducing Mike’s graphic pen and ink pages on the left-hand page and Simon’s richly painted artwork on the right-hand page. So, each and every cover and interior page can be compared and enjoyed in both mediums; one right next to the other!

This is a Kickstarter project but it’s already 200% funded with over a month to go on the campaign, so chipping in at this point is essentially a pre-order. Every pledge tier – ranging from $10 to $175 – gets you a copy of the book, so if you’re an interested party, your only quandary is just how fancy you want to be.

Thanks to Doruk Golcu for the link, and apologies to the Internet in general for the following – my first and last foray into the world of Drake memes.

Jughead Jones is a werewolf, now even moreso: “Jughead: The Hunger” becomes a series

A. Quinton — Jul. 14th 2017

It’s the supernatural Archie spin-off so nice they did it twice! After the success of Jughead: The HungerMarch’s one-shot comic in which Jughead Jones becomes a werewolf and Bettie Cooper a werewolf hunter – Archie Comics is continuing the concept with an ongoing monthly series. Writer Frank Tieri will return, with Pat and Tim Kennedy picking up art duties.

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

“We purposely left the door open with the one shot, we told you if you made Jughead: The Hunger a hit we’d make more — and since you more than held up your end of the bargain — here we are,” writer Frank Tieri said in a statement. “Fans can expect more of everything they loved about the one shot now as we expand our universe — more werewolf Juggie, more bad ass Betty, more conflicted Archie and more twists and turns than you can shake a severed arm at.”

The series will continue on from the one-shot, under the same title – Jughead: The Hunger – and the first issue will be available in comic stores and digitally on October 25th.

Thanks to @EvilViergacht for the link!

Frank Bruce’s grim storybook comic “The Marrow Bones”

A. Quinton — Jul. 13th 2017

Pop quiz! Which of the following best describes Frank Bruce’s online, free-to-read comic The Marrow Bones? Find the answer at the bottom of this post!

  1. a lovingly-illustrated storybook for disturbed children
  2. a pitch for an enjoyable episode of Tales from the Crypt or The Outer limits
  3. “a tale of societal expectations and conformity”
  4. a dark little morality tale with a punchline that could be summarized by the last line of Mother Mother’s song “The Stand”
  5. all of the above

I had a lot of fun reading this. It’s a privilege to see someone’s concept expressed with such diligence, craftsmanship and character. The artwork – generally hand-drawn on Bee Paper products with Sakura Micron ink pens and Copic markers,  according to Frank’s site – is mesmerizing, and the story leads down some interesting paths before taking a (maybe kind of expected but still enjoyable) twist.

There’s a ton of captivating art on his site, including a gallery titled “Women & Werewolves” that had me scrolling for a long time. For more of his work you can also follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

Thanks to @EvilViergacht for the link.

Quiz answer: stop reading this and go look at the comic, ya dingus

“Another WolfCop” trailer (or, “your job interview at the end of time”)

A. Quinton — Jul. 10th 2017

You and I are alone in an executive office. I am sitting across from you at a desk. Behind me, a smouldering sunset illuminates the skyline through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The desk is massive, gleaming, its dark varnished surface devoid of objects except for my folded hands and an unbranded video tablet. Its screen is illuminated but shows only a white triangle on a black background.

We sit in silence, the steady eye contact between us drawing out for what seems to you like many minutes, until I lean forward suddenly, as though responding to a signal your senses are not yet attuned to detect. My leather chair creaks as I push the tablet towards you with my stiletto-manicured fingertips. Wordlessly, you accept the device, rotating it so that the triangle points to your right in the universal symbol of commencement, fresh starts, new beginnings. But you have been here before, you tell yourself. This is not new. Can this be right?

“WolfCop?” Your whispered question hovers between us like a frightened hummingbird.

I lean back in my chair, folding my hands, and blink slowly. A look of profound serenity settles on my face, as gentle and implacable as the encroaching twilight. You don’t understand, yet. But you will.

“No,” I murmur. “Another WolfCop.”

As the last sliver of sun sinks below the horizon, presque-vu blooms in your mind, heralding a sudden liminal epiphany – too big to comprehend, but eternal and infinitely knowable. With trembling fingers, you reach out and press “play”.

Thank you to @Somnilux and everyone else who sent me a link to this trailer for the long-awaited sequel to WolfCop. If you’re in Montreal you can catch the Canadian premiere at Fantasia International Film Festival at 2:40 PM on July 29th. If you’re anywhere else in the world, keep an eye on this site for release info.

Full Moon Features: Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope (1975)

Craig J. Clark — Jul. 8th 2017

Is it possible to make a successful werewolf movie where the protagonist never transforms into a wolf creature of any kind? Well, in 1975, Toei Tokyo proved it was not only possible, but the resulting film could be wildly entertaining in unexpected ways. Based on a popular manga series by Kazumasa Hirai, Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope follows the adventures of Akira Inugami, the lone survivor of a clan of werewolves slaughtered during the opening credits who grows up to be a reporter played by action star Sonny Chiba. After witnessing the grisly demise of a man in a white suit (all the better to show off his red, red blood) frantically fleeing from a phantom tiger that corners him and claws him to death, Akira is grilled by the police, but soon released when the autopsy report comes back. “A human being wouldn’t be able to slash a body like that,” one cop says, “and not in such a short time either.” Little do they know…

From that point on, the fantastical plot Akira gets enmeshed in becomes increasingly convoluted. Turns out the dead man was in the band Mobs which, at the behest of its corrupt manager, gang-raped up-and-coming singer Miki Ogata (Etsuko Nami), who was given syphilis by one of them. As a result, she’s strung out on drugs and reduced to singing in a cheap strip club, which is where Akira tracks her down, but not before facing off against a vicious gang of yakuza thugs. From this altercation he’s rescued by a mysterious motorcyclist all in black leather who takes him back to her place, literally licks his wounds, and initiates sex. “Right now, I’m just a woman who wants an animal,” she says, and she gets one before disappearing from the film as abruptly as she rode into it.

At various points during the story, director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi inserts a caption to keep the viewer updated on what day of the lunar cycle it is. This is pertinent because while Akira never physically changes, his mystical powers wax and wane with the moon, so on Day 15 — the full moon — he’s near-invincible and he’s at his weakest when it’s new. Even so, between these extremes he still has astonishing healing powers, which is why he shrugs it off when he’s shot in the shoulder and is unconcerned about catching the clap when he puts the moves on Miki.

For her part, Miki turns out to have a psychic link with the phantom tiger slashing her rapists and other ne’er-do-wells to death. This is why she’s of interest to the Japanese Cabinet Intelligence Agency, which also scoops up Akira and experiments on him, even performing a blood transfusion to see if lycanthropy and its attendant powers can be passed on in that fashion. The answer: kind of, but the effect is only temporary and the recipient has a nasty surprise coming to them. “Is this proof that werewolves and humans can never mix?” Akira muses, sending him back to his birthplace, where he’s immediately recognized and captured by the same superstitious villagers that massacred his clan years before. (Guess they have long memories.)

This development leads to the the film’s third weird sex scene, when Akira is freed by a woman who takes pity on him and says, “Let my body give you some relief, even if just for a while.” (Screenwriter Fumio Konami’s dialogue is full of such howlers, although it’s entirely possible this is just a translation issue.) Inevitably, everything winds up with the long-awaited clash between wolf and tiger as Akira and Miki are pitted against each other by the J-CIA, whose director also meets a fitting end. And now, thanks to Arrow Video’s sterling release, this underseen werewolf exploitation film will be reaching more eyeballs than it has in decades. Long live Wolf Guy!

Welcome to #Julycanthropy

A. Quinton — Jul. 6th 2017

I love a good werewolf-themed event hashtag. I even tried starting one myself, to middling success. (Pro tip: don’t expect your art-related group thing to pop off if you don’t really draw anything yourself). Enter #Julycanthropy, the preferred portmanteau of summertime werewolves everywhere.

Originally coined (as near as I can tell) on Twitter last year by Tiffany Turrill, Julycanthropy is a great excuse to draw werewolves for an entire month. It’s like Inktober with all of those pesky non-lycanthrope prompts removed. Participating artists generally post their daily drawings on Twitter under the #julycanthropy tag, where the rest of us can enjoy the wide variety of thematic interpretations.

Collective, decentralized events like this are awesome because anyone can do whatever they like, but for those wanting a common set of prompts to work from, may I recommend Maria Nynfa‘s list:

The featured image on this post (used with permission) is a work-in-progress shot by Ben G Geldenhuyscheck out the finished piece here.

Get the complete “Astounding Wolf-Man” series in one bone-breaking hardcover collection

A. Quinton — Jul. 4th 2017

All right, put down your hot dogs and sparklers. Put them down. You shouldn’t be holding both of them at the same time. What’s wrong with you? Anyway. Today Image Comics published= the entire series run of The Astounding Wolf-Man in a single hardcover collection, and at 656 pages and 4.4 pounds, you’re going to need both hands to pick this thing up. That’s heavier than the MacBook I’m typing this on.

And pick it up you should, especially if you’ve ever wished that werewolves had their own mainstream comic book series or television show, like zombies got with The Walking Dead. The Astounding Wolf-Man was written by none other than TWD writer/creator Robert Kirkman. While it eschews the monochrome misery of his famous zombie franchise for a more superhero-versus-supervillain type of tale, TAWM has its fair share of narrative shocks and monstrously-derived violence. It’s one of the first comic titles I ever wrote about for Werewolf News, and I’m very glad to see its three-year run and all of Jason Howard‘s awesome art captured in such a lovely artifact.

For the first time ever, the complete ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN is collected in one volume! When Gary Hampton is mauled and left for dead, his life takes a drastic turn! When the moon is full, he transforms into a beast of the night—a werewolf! But this curse will not be used for evil. Witness the birth of the world’s most unlikely new superhero—The Astounding Wolf-Man! Collects ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN #1-25 and INVINCIBLE #57

This big book of werewolf-punching-vampires is available right now in print from Amazon or your favourite local comic retailer (request it with Diamond ID APR170737), or digitally through Image and Comixology.

Many thanks to @JDBoucher0 of Space Goat Productions for the heads-up!

All-ages werewolf comic “Moonlighters” joins the Halloween ComicFest catalog

A. Quinton — Jun. 28th 2017

Space Goat Productions is combining three things I love: werewolf comics, Halloween and free stuff. Their very sweet, very fun all-ages comic Moonlighters has joined the 30-title roster of Halloween ComicFest, and will be including a mini-version of Moonlighters #1 (which I reviewed in March) in the spooky version of Free Comic Book Day.

Halloween ComicFest happens on the Saturday before Halloween (this year it’s on October 28th) at your local comic shop. It’s a family-friendly event where you can pick up some free comics, show off your costume someplace that isn’t a cold sidewalk after dark, and maybe win a shopping spree in the Halloween ComicFest costume contest. There are at least two comics in this year’s list that feature werewolves (Moonlighters and this Black Betty one-shot, which looks great), and the commemorative t-shirt (illustrated by Francesco Francavilla) features a werewolf who’s super into Hellboy.

For more on Halloween ComicFest visit the event website, and for more on why Moonlighters is an especially good choice for a family-friendly give-away, check out this Space Goat news post. And lest you think a kid-friendly werewolf comic has nothing to hold your grown-up werewolf fan attention, check out this page from Moonlighters #2, which shows that not every werewolf transformation in the series is of the “sparkle magic” type.

Best Buy offers exclusive “Wolf Man” SteelBook Blu-ray with cover art by Alex Ross

A. Quinton — Jun. 27th 2017

Via Bloody Disgusting comes the news that Universal (who really seem to be doubling down on their stable of monsters lately) is re-issuing seven of their classic horror films this September. They’ll be sold exclusively through Best Buy as SteelBook Blu-rays, featuring brand-new cover paintings by legendary comic artist Alex Ross. Included on the roster is 1941’s “The Wolf Man”.

So what’s a “SteelBook Blu-ray”? According to the SteelBook site, it’s a cool metal case.

Prized by fans and collectors for its iconic design, luxurious finish and ability to showcase artwork, a SteelBook® edition is a premium metal case that represents the ultimate way to store your favorite movies and games.

Nowhere on the Best Buy site are the specifications of the Blu-ray disc itself given, so it could very well be the same edition of The Wolf Man that’s available for purchase right now, albeit with some lovely new artwork wrapped around it.

I think Ross’s work here might be the best Wolf Man art I’ve seen since Martin Ansin’s print for Mondo, but the delivery format isn’t for me. My DVDs and Blu-rays and VHS cassettes are all slotted sideways on a shelf so that only the spines are visible, and I’m not interested in collecting physical media for films anymore anyway, unless the film itself is something rare or exclusive. In this case I’d rather pay for a print of Ross’s beautiful new art that I can put up on the wall than a 5″ x 7″ copy that’s stuck to the front of a metal box.

If this edition of The Wolf Man catches your fancy, though, you can pre-order it directly from Best Buy for $19.99 right now and it will ship in mid-September.

Movie Nights explains why we got “An American Werewolf in Paris” instead of “An American Werewolf in London 2”

A. Quinton — Jun. 26th 2017

Thanks to @Somnilux for bringing the excellent Movie Nights Youtube channel to my attention with this fascinating video about the nearly-extant An American Werewolf in London 2. No, I’m not talking about the execrable “An American Werewolf in Paris“. I mean an honest-to-goodness sequel, starring the original cast (yes, even those that were turned into meatloaf or gunned down). I’ll leave the rest of the details for you to discover in the video, but suffice it to say I would have much preferred this very weird continuation of the “American Werewolf” tale to Paris, which was associated to the franchise in name only (since the single scene tying it to its predecessor was cut).

Movie Nights is hosted by comedienne / podcaster / prolific maker-of-things Allison Pregler. You can follow her work on TwitterTumblr and Facebook, and support it over on Patreon, where she specifically gives a shout-out to werewolves – always a signifier of distinction, if you ask me. A quick scroll through the Movie Nights Youtube channel reveals at least six other werewolf-related reviews in amongst the Baywatch and Evil Dead videos, so get, like, a Coke Zero or something and check it out!