KC Green’s brilliant, terrible “Good Boy” considers the benefits of lycanthropy

A. Quinton — Feb. 11th 2016

HE IS A GOOD BOY.

I’m a fan of artist/writer/animator KC Green. After ending his brilliant Gunshow comic (samples of which you have almost certainly seen whether you know it or not), KC launched three new comics. Back is a surreal fairy tale done in collaboration with Anthony Clark, Pinocchio is a faithful retelling of Carlo Collodi’s original story, and He is a Good Boy… well, HIAGB is hard to describe.

Imagine if your late 20’s / early-30’s millennial worries about your bad job, worse prospects, miserable apartment and constant anxiety were compressed into a surly, selfish, painfully self-aware alcoholic avatar… who is also an acorn. That’s Crange, protagonist of HIAGB and “the last acorn to leave his tree”.

Crange faces many challenges in the comic’s episodic vignettes – the violent death of his home, abduction by a serial killer spider who turns his victims into pretentious works of art, and forced participation in an armed robbery by a gang of sentient rocks, to name a few – and he steadfastly refuses to learn from any of it. He’s terrible, but he’s good enough to feel bad about being terrible, and therein lies the opportunity for weird, gross, strangely profound lessons.

In the current episode, which began last week, Crange is on a collision course with a werewolf. Five pages in, there’s already been one gory death, an introduction to the werewolf character, and plenty of increasingly ludicrous speculations by Crange on the fringe benefits of lycanthropy. Even ignoring the werewolf thing, stories like this are why I adore KC’s work and HIAGB in particular. If you can’t find parallels between situations in your own life and Crange’s unfounded rationalizations in the face of terror, you’re probably a dead tree, or a sentient rock.

You can start reading He is a Good Boy here, and you can suppport KC Green on Patreon here. I recommend both!

Mind’s Eye Theatre: “Werewolf the Apocalypse” for the LARPer in your life

A. Quinton — Feb. 5th 2016

wwta-larp

Now, at long last, there’s a way to get dressed up in a werewolf costume and run around in a local park or forest… for experience points! The Laughing Hyena writes in to share news of a Kickstarter campaign for an officially-sanctioned, self-contained (and already funded) Werewolf The Apocalypse Live Action Roleplay book.

In the interest of getting you The Main Info I’m going to quote directly from The Laughing Hyena’s email:

This Kickstarter is from By Night Studios, which previously did the MET Vampire KS [which raised almost a quarter million dollars – AQ]. It’s all about live action role-playing or LARP’ing, if that’s your thing to do (Dressing up as werewolves or howling and growling at people).

By Night Studios is offering Tribe, Auspice, Rank, Breed, and Fera pins for the very first time as add-ons (if they get unlocked). Those that remember the old White Wolf pins know that Werewolf only got two official pins made for it previously, while Vampire got tons.

Also the Ajaba (werehyenas) never got a proper write-up of rules of any kind in the old White Wolf MET books, so this might be the first time they get in.

From the campaign:

Mind’s Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse draws on more than two decades’ worth of material from the iconic World of Darkness game setting. The rules are designed and adapted specifically for the Live Action Roleplay environment, while honoring the original editions. Modern design methods meet classic feel in our new expression of the game!

Our book is approximately 80% developed, and this Mind’s Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse Kickstarter allows us to complete the development and publication process. We estimate delivery on or before December 2016 for both PDF and Softcover versions of the book, as well as the Hardcover if it is unlocked. We have been working tirelessly for many months to write and test our new product.

A 400-page “gamma” PDF of the rules is available here, if you want to see what they’re up to. The finished book will contain art (like the image at the top of this post) by Werewolf fan and “Legendary Photographer and Artist” Scott Harben.

I have never LARP’d, and I may never LARP, but everyone I’ve ever met who did it seemed to regard it as a peak roleplaying / social experience. If you’re into playing Werewolf, live action role playing, or just chomping down on some juicy Werewolf lore, check this campaign out.

 

Blood, beheadings, beasts & bar brawls: “Werewolves Versus Romance” is out now!

A. Quinton — Feb. 2nd 2016

WV02

Just in time for Valentine’s Day / Horny Werewolf Day (née Lupercalia) / “Eat a lot of chocolate and watch Netflix” day, here comes WEREWOLVES VERSUS ROMANCE! This is the second issue of the “werewolves + everything” magazine I make in collaboration with rad contributors, and I’m very excited and proud to share it with you.

In the first issue, we spent 84 pages visiting the 1990s. This new issue is over twice the size – 176 sweet pages of gory / violent / funny / sad / disturbing werewolf short stories, illustrations and comics, all on the theme of “what happens when you love and trust a fur-covered killing machine?”

Nineteen contributors worked incredibly hard for countless hours to make this issue a reality, and now you can download it for free or for whatever price you name. If you do pay, whether it’s $1 or $10,000, all proceeds go to the contributors and to producing future issues.

Thanks for your patience over the last few months as I worked to put this together – my posting schedule here on Werewolf News definitely suffered, but I think you’ll agree it was worth it. Check out Werewolves Versus Romance, and if you like it, let me, my collaborators, (and your friends) know!

WV02 Cover

Wolverton, where werewolves “hang out and have pizza just like everyone else”

A. Quinton — Jan. 29th 2016

Wolverton

Author and artist Peter Von Brown wrote in to share his new comic, about a place that I would like to live.

I’m an author and artist who recently started up a webcomic called WOLVERTON, about [a] town of werewolves. It’s unconventional in that these are gentle werewolves, interested in hanging out like regular people in wolf form.

There are eight pages up so far, mostly depicting the discrimination that Talbot the 24/7 werewolf faces in his everyday life, despite just wanting to chill on his front lawn and eat chips. He’s eventually driven out of his home, but with some guidance from a magic 8-ball, discovers some clues about a place where his kind can pick up a pizza without getting hassled by the man.

The cute, colourful art and underlying gentleness contrast effectively with the reality that all kinds of people face exactly this sort of treatment every day. Wolverton updates on Wednesday. I’ve subscribed – check it out for yourself!

Waititi & Clement working on lycanthropic “What We Do in the Shadows” spin-off “We’re Wolves”

A. Quinton — Jan. 26th 2016

Waititi & Clement

As reported by Crave, Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement are “trying to write a werewolves spin-off” to their 2014 vampire horror/comedy What We Do in the Shadows. “It’s going to be called We’re Wolves,” says Waititi – “like ‘We are wolves.’ We’re Wolves.”

This is one of two projects Waititi’s considering after he’s finished directing 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok (as though a Marvel Cinematic Universe tentpole film is something you just casually complete), and he tells Crave it “will most likely be the next thing” he works on.

Even if I need to wait until 2018, I couldn’t be happier. What We Do… is hands-down the funniest thing I saw last year, and I say that as someone with a fairly dim view of vampires. If Waititi and Clement can find a werewolf treatment that’s even half as delightful, funny, frightening and sincere as the one they gave Viago, Vlad and Deacon, We’re Wolves will be a shoo-in for my new favourite werewolf movie.

Here’s hoping Rhys Darby’s pack returns, along with its newest member – a person I think of fondly, but whose name I won’t mention, lest I spoil What We Do… for anyone lucky enough to get to watch it for the first time.

werewolves-not-swearwolves

Full Moon Features: President Wolfman (2012)

Craig J. Clark — Jan. 22nd 2016

President Wolfman

Looking over this year’s crop of presidential hopefuls, I can’t help but think our nation would be much better off with a werewolf in the Oval Office than any of the candidates currently on the campaign trail. Sure, the White House would have to go on lock-down every 28 days or so, but electing a lycanthrope would send a clear message to other nations and extremist organizations across the globe: Don’t mess with us. Our president is literally a lunatic.

Until the day that comes to pass, the next best thing is 2012’s President Wolfman, which came to my attention via Noel Murray’s “After Midnight” column at The Dissolve (R.I.P.). It’s the brainchild of writer/director Mike Davis, whose day job as a stock footage coordinator served him in good stead since President Wolfman is almost entirely cobbled together from public domain material, the lion’s share of which hails from the 1973 feature The Werewolf of Washington, which I covered in its own right some years back. As it’s been re-dubbed by Davis and his voice cast (à la Woody Allen’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily? or the serial spoof J-Men Forever), Dean Stockwell’s junior White House press secretary has now become embattled President John Wolfman, who’s up for reelection and faces some stiff challenges — including being a single father to his son Bobby (a subplot drawn from an entirely different film) and the threatened takeover of the country by the Chinese — even before he’s bitten by a supernatural coyote and cursed with lycanthropy.

Over the course of the 80-minute film, Davis casts his net wide, having a go at the Miss America Junior Miss pageant, hippies, stoners, and Smokey the Bear, and periodically indulging in “ironic” racism directed at Native Americans, African Americans, and Chinese Chinese. At least President Wolfman’s struggle to prevent the United States from falling into the hands of the latter (and being renamed “Chimerica”) gives Davis the ability to incorporate all of his source film’s werewolf attacks, recasting the victims as the duplicitous Speaker of the House, powerful lobbyist Maude Atkins, who sold Congress on the deal, and the aptly named Vice President Mangle, who intends to sign the bill that the President doggedly refuses to once Wolfman is out of the picture. None of them are a match for a Commander in Chief whose bite is worse than his bark, though.

HowlCon II has been cancelled

A. Quinton — Jan. 20th 2016

Final production work for the next issue of WV has distracted me from posting here, but some new shit has come to light, as the The Dude would say, and I wanted to get the word out so people can adjust their plans. HowlCon II, the Pacific Northwest werewolf convention scheduled for February 6 and 7, has officially been cancelled.

January 21 edit: here’s the official statement from HowlCon.

I say “officially” despite lack of an update on the HowlCon web site (as of this post, anyway) because I’ve been in touch with the convention’s organizer, Stephen Couchman. He told me over the phone that the demolition of the convention’s original home and the subsequent venue change had a big impact on pre-registration, which in turn affects cash flow and logistics. There were some other issues as well, most of which were out of Stephen’s hands… but some of which, in my armchair quarterback opinion, could have been avoided with better planning and/or project management.

It’s a shame that the event has been cancelled, and it’s kind of a pain in the ass that we’re only hearing about it now, less than three weeks before the event – and that you have to hear about it from me, rather than the event organizer. My overall impression, though, is that HowlCon II has been cancelled not because the idea is bad (the idea is extremely good in theory and in practice), or because the organizers don’t know what they’re doing (they clearly do, judging by the success of their other big convention) but because conventions are extremely hard to plan, fund and execute, and sometimes things just don’t work out. I have faith that HowlCon will return in some shape or form, and I look forward to supporting it – and attending it! – when it does.

Stephen tells me that an official post about HowlCon II and future plans will be up at howlcon.com within the next 48 hours. In the meantime, if you booked a hotel reservation or made travel plans, now would be a good time to get a refund.

Comic Review: Captain America Sam Wilson Issue #4

Andrew Niemann — Dec. 30th 2015

capwolf-4-shedding

Sam-Cap-Wolf continues onward in the new chapter of this marvellous series by Nick Spencer, teaming up for this issue with guest artist Paul Renaud.

Having been transformed by the wicked Dr. Malus into a flying lycanthrope last month, Sam Wilson is slowly adapting to his new form with only a few rage issues, some howling at the moon, and the occasional rummage through trash cans. Meanwhile, the jobber squad known as the Serpent Society have re-invented themselves as an evil corporate think-tank called Serpent Solutions and have hit Wall Street with a plan to control America where it matters: the executive boardroom. Sam consults with former member of the team (and former Steve Rogers flame) Diamondback to find out exactly what the serpentine gang is planning. Unfortunately, it turns into a setup, and Sam is captured and taken to a boardroom which contains… every single past member of the Serpent Squad!

Cap-Wolf 4 CoverThe humor continues in this issue, coming particularly from Sam in his wolf form– for example, in a throwaway panel in which he’s licking from a plate at a restaurant. A few panels of Viper in a full set of golf knickers and vest laughing with executives on a course is also absurdly perfect. It was also pleasing to see the appearance of Claire Temple, a fan favorite character you might recognize from the Marvel Netflix shows, as a new member of Cap’s team. There’s also a tease of who the next Falcon will be in a Hispanic bird-man named Joaquin Torres who was introduced last issue. If there’s a fault with the story this week it’s that there really doesn’t seem to be much for Misty Knight to do (D-Man doesn’t appear at all!). It would be great if she could accompany Cap on some missions as well. Maybe we could even have Misty Wolf-Knight!

The art by Renaud is also sometimes inconsistent panel-to-panel, but the appearance of Cap’s wolf head is especially realistic, showing lots of teeth and animalistic qualities. The design of Diamondback is very much in line with her original neon purple 80s design but also doesn’t sexualize her as much as past appearances. She even has a great line about how women can finally breathe in their costumes again. All things considered, it’s a really fun book and uses its premise to the full extent, instead of just having it run for one issue. In turn, the book is the right blend of humor and relevancy in its portrayal of corporate America being literally run by a group of racist snake people. The Serpent Society have been forever known as a bunch of goons in the Cap mythology so it is awesome to see them here as a viable threat. Still, it’s nothing our Sam-Wolf can’t overcome!

Full Moon Features: Wolf Blood (1925)

Craig J. Clark — Dec. 24th 2015

Wolf Blood

This month marks a major milestone for werewolf movie fans since December 16th was the 90th anniversary of the release of the 1925 silent Wolf Blood, which is the earliest extant werewolf-related feature on record. This is, of course, not to say it’s been given the deluxe restoration treatment. To date, its only DVD release has been through the budget label Alpha Video, which included it as a bonus feature on its release of F.W. Murnau’s The Haunted Castle in 2008. Within a year, Kino came to The Haunted Castle’s rescue with a restored authorized edition, but Wolf Blood still languishes and, like a lot of films in the public domain, can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube.

Subtitled “A tale of the forest” (because evidently the filmmakers didn’t want to go for the “tail” pun), Wolf Blood is set deep in the Canadian wilderness where a bitter rivalry between competing logging companies has fatal consequences. Caught up in the conflict is the Ford Logging Company’s new field boss Dick Bannister (George Chesebro, co-director with Bruce Mitchell), who quickly gets fed up with his men getting shot at per the orders of Consolidated Lumber’s underhanded owner Jules Deveroux (Roy Watson), who hires half-breed bootlegger Jacques Lebeq (Milburn Morante) to do the job. Dick calls in the boss, society dame Edith Ford (Marguerite Clayton), and she brings along her fiancé Eugene Horton (Ray Hanford), a doctor whose surgical skills come in handy when Dick has a run-in with Deveroux and requires a blood transfusion.

It’s a while before it comes to that, though, and in fact on the day Edith arrives at the camp Dick is felled by a tree but somehow suffers no ill effects, which already makes him out to be some kind of a superman. Even a superman can be overpowered when outnumbered, though, and after one of Deveroux’s men brains him with a rock he’s left to die in the woods, where he’s menaced by some of the least threatening wolves ever put on the screen. (I suppose they’re distant cousins of the lone hyena masquerading as a werewolf in Murnau’s Nosferatu.) Luckily, Eugene happens upon him and is able to keep him alive with the blood of a she-wolf, but there are complications when Lebeq starts spreading the rumor that he’s now half wolf and the superstitious lumberjacks start to shun him.

Even Eugene follows suit, telling Edith, who has since become smitten with him, that “the blood through his brain will change his whole character — his mentality — his desires — his whole life!” This, coupled with Dick’s vague memories of the “weird tales of the Loup Garou of the Far North,” makes him suspect himself when Deveroux turns up dead one morning with his throat torn out. He then heeds the call of the “phantom pack,” following their photo-negatives to the edge of Wolfs Head Rock, but Edith pulls him back at the last minute. Seems there’s a non-supernatural explanation after all, which is mildly disappointing, but it’s still preferable to, say, She-Wolf of London, the 70th anniversary of which no one will be celebrating next year.

“Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter” miniseries starts tomorrow on Adult Swim

A. Quinton — Dec. 6th 2015

As prophesied back in May, Jon Glaser’s brightly-coloured fever dream “Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter” has arrived. Starting midnight tomorrow night (Monday the 7th), Adult Swim will air one half-hour episode each night this week.

In the tradition of Walking Dead and True Blood comes a better show – Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter. Set in the sleepy town of Garrity, VT (aka “B&B Town, USA!”), Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter is the story of a neon-clad man with a mysterious past and a specialized skill of hunting werewolves. The five-part mini-series airs each night, December 7-11, at midnight on Adult Swim.

So suck it, vampires. Take a seat, walkers. Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter is coming. HE-YUMP!

From the look of the trailer, Joe’s outfit has evolved a bit (gone are the Coors Light “silver bullet” pants) and the town of Garrity is plagued by more than just werewolves. Robots? Aliens? It doesn’t matter. I don’t need this to be coherent to enjoy it!

Thanks to Viergacht for the link.

Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter