Category: Books & Comics

Azzarello & Risso bring prohibition werewolf horror “Moonshine” to Image

A. Quinton — Sep. 21st 2016

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A great new Image comic written by Brian Azzarello and drawn & coloured by Eduardo Risso comes out in two weeks. You might recognize those names from a little work they did for Vertigo a while back – the legendary, multiple-award-winning 100 Bullets. Not satisfied with defining a genre for a decade, these two Crime Boys are back with Moonshine, a comic that should interest fans of werewolves, backwoods hooch and pinstriped suits.

From Image:

Set during Prohibition, and deep in the backwoods of Appalachia, MOONSHINE #1 tells the story of Lou Pirlo, a city-slick “torpedo” sent from New York City to negotiate a deal with the best moonshiner in West Virginia, one Hiram Holt. What Lou doesn’t figure on is that Holt is just as cunning and ruthless as any NYC crime boss. Because not only will Holt do anything to protect his illicit booze operation, he’ll stop at nothing to protect a much darker family secret…a bloody, supernatural secret that must never see the light of day… or better still, the light of the full moon.

Moonshine #1 hits shelves on October 5th, but there’s already a glowing review from Benjamin Bailey on Nerdist:

The setup of Moonshine is a crossover of two genres. On one hand, you have a prohibition-era gangster tale and on the other. you have a werewolf horror story. Set in backwoods of West Virginia, Moonshine captures the creepiness of a backwards small town perfectly. The story feels small and intimate, but the landscape is vast and the lore is even bigger. By the end of this first issue, you’ll be hooked into this world hard. Nothing is what it seems and death is awaiting around every corner.

I’m sold! Thanks to TallyDude on Twitter for the heads-up. You can read the first four pages of Moonshine #1 below.

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“Werewolves Versus: Music” available for preorder, comes with advance MP3

A. Quinton — Aug. 26th 2016

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wv03-advance-mp3The third issue of the digital “werewolves battle everything” magazine I edit, Werewolves Versus, is now available for pre-order! WEREWOLVES VERSUS MUSIC comes out on Tuesday, August 30th. It features over 150 pages of brand-new, never-before-seen werewolf stories, comics, art and essays, and a killer cover by Lew “Viergacht” Delport.

Like every WV issue before and after it, it’ll be pay-what-you-want, including $0, but right now I’m trying something new: if you pre-order it now for a minimum price of $1, you get an instant advance download of “As the Sun Sets”, the song my friend Colin Janz wrote as a contribution. Here’s how Colin describes the song:

This song is based on a character who built himself while I was writing. Every full moon, he transforms; however, he never remembers anything about his transformation, only that it happens. On full moon nights he travels to a grassy hill above his forested town, far away from people, to watch the light fade. But instead of succumbing to a torturous, violent experience, everything becomes hazy, peaceful and quiet, as if he was falling asleep to the sound of wind and morning songbirds.

Check out WEREWOLVES VERSUS MUSIC, or the previous two issues! All paid purchases of Werewolves Versus directly benefit its contributors and support the creation of future issues.

Exclusive: “Blind Liberty” teaser from “Joe Dante Presents American She-Wolf”

A. Quinton — Aug. 18th 2016

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Another full moon has risen, and with it comes a Werewolf News exclusive! It’s “Blind Liberty” by Orlando Arocena, August’s teaser for the upcoming premiere issue of Joe Dante Presents: American She-Wolf.

The issue is a one-shot co-created and co-written by Kris Millsap and Lance Dobbins. Pencils, ink and colour are by Ario Murti, and Keenan Reed lettered it. I had a chance to read it earlier this summer, and even in greyscale pencils it was nasty, rip-your-face-off fun. The partially-transformed lady portrayed in Orlando’s teaser image represents her country very enthusiastically.

Ario’s character designs are great, and I wasn’t the only one who really liked the look of this particular American She-Wolf. In a recent email to me about the comic, Kris had this to say about Joe Dante’s reaction:

When I showed Joe the first round of pencils, his exact words were “THAT is the werewolf we wanted on The Howling!”

If that’s not the gold standard endorsement for werewolf aesthetics, I don’t know what is! If you’re near Paris in October, you have a chance to share your own werewolf opinions with Joe in person – he’ll be at Paris Comic Con.

This one-shot will be available digitally this autumn, and even more American She-Wolf will hit the shelves in 2017. For more information, keep an eye on the Caption Comics site.

Micky Neilson’s debut horror novel “The Turning” puts a strung-out werewolf on a cruise ship

A. Quinton — Aug. 1st 2016

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NY Times Bestselling Author Micky Neilson worked at Blizzard for over 20 years, guiding the narrative of the Warcraft universe and writing many of the related comic series, including Curse of the Worgen. Now he’s debuting The Turning, his first self-published horror novel.

Years ago Brandon Frye was bitten, cursed to transform into a primal killing machine under the light of the full moon… until he met Celine, who introduced him to experimental pills meant to suppress the turning. Now, after a terrible tragedy has taken Celine’s life, Brandon boards a cruise ship bound for Alaska, intending to venture into the cold white north and never return.

But when Brandon meets Ginny, he gains a second chance at love. Nevertheless, circumstances align against him: a storm is building, a hunter is on his trail, and the pills that are meant to prevent the turning… are about to trigger it.

If I may be reductive for a moment, “werewolf runs amok on a cruise ship” sounds delicious. I’m buried in production stuff for the next issue of Werewolves Versus, so I don’t have much leisure time for reading, but I chomped off the first 16 pages and it’s got everything I want at the start of a werewolf horror novel: a dive bar, a grisly death, and some excellent werewolf action. Neilson’s been wrangling Worgen for years, so I have high hopes for his modern-day, Earth-based werewolf tale.

The Turning ebook comes out tomorrow, August 2nd – you can pre-order (it in the next 11 hours) or buy it on Amazon.

Wereshere.com, a huge new resource for werewolf comics fans

A. Quinton — Jul. 21st 2016

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Werewolf comic fans might want to clear their afternoon schedules before reading any further. Werewolf News reader / supporter / all-around great dude Kurt just launched wereshere.com – a tremendous resource for anyone interested in comic books and graphic novels with werewolves in them.

The site is split into two sections: comics in Kurt’s collection, and comics he’s searching for. Both lists are enormous, and every entry leads to a page with tons of details on the issue. Publication info, characters, writers, artists and letterers are all present, and Kurt plans to start adding his own reviews, too. He was nice enough to answer a few questions I had about his collection and his site.

I count roughly 500 comics on the “own” section of the site. Is this your entire collection of werewolf comics, or only part of it?

The first collection listed on wereshere.com is every comic book and graphic novel that I have in physical print. This is NOT my entire collection. The second list of comics to dig up represent books that either I have come across and do not own or in some cases may not be available in print and only exist online. Drivethrucomics, Amazon Kindle, and Comixology contain some great materials by independent people who don’t have the financial support. And comic books and graphic novels are just at the edge of the wereshere forest.

What’s your criteria for adding a comic to the list? Can a werewolf appear anywhere in the issue, or do they need to be a character of a certain prominence?

darkchyldeThere are actually a few titles already listed that are may not even be considered were-related to most. For example, I have an issue of Darkchylde that except for the cover art turned out not to have anything within its pages, but the issue caught my eye with what looked werewolf-related. If I see something that looks were-like, humanoid monster, or fur, fangs, and claws, that is enough in my book. Wereshere will start providing reviews and details on each of the materials listed so others can prey upon the flavors they want.

What’s your favourite single issue in the collection, and why?

batman-scratch-1Wow, do you have any difficult questions? That was wercasm if you didn’t catch it. To keep this question in proper context, Let keep the choices limited to the comic books then. One of my most lasting impressions was from a Batman miniseries called Scratch, specifically the final issue #5. At the time I read it, Scratch was a boy’s alter werewolf ego and until he was to accept this part of himself, the werewolf transformations resembled puberty because he could not control it and often times only a portion of his body might change, so maybe one of his hands would be a paw while the rest would remain human. I have never seen this metaphor used in another comic book and at the time I read the series, I could really connect. The messages delivered by the story and the art style itself really leaves an impression.

Are there any comics you’re searching for? What’s the best way for WN readers to reach you if they have something you’re interested in?

Without going into the what should a werewolf look like panel [I did a panel that touched on this topic at Howl Con – aq], I am always looking for new stuff usually with creatures that tend to resemble the Howling or American Werewolf in London appearance. I respect and pay homage to the Lon Chaney Jr. hairy face creatures, but I am a child of the 80’s and between Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, KNB Effects, or Stan Winston, the more lupine features are my idols. Also, gotta mention my late mentor Lance Pope of Haunted Verdun Manor who shed light and fur on many things. I have lots more to share and I hope wereshere will be my window to do just that. Twitter, tumblr, and email all point to me and I will keep my ears perked.

I met Kurt during Howl Con 2015, at a roundtable discussion about werewolves in comics (surprise!). It was my first panel and I was nervous, but the pretence of formality instantly dissolved when Kurt produced an enormous pile of werewolf comics, which he spread around the table and invited everyone to explore. He was generous and kind, and his enthusiasm for collecting, sharing and reading werewolf comics was infectious. Check out wereshere.com to get bitten by werewolf comics yourself!

The full moon reveals another killer “American She-Wolf” teaser

A. Quinton — Jul. 20th 2016

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For the next few full moons, Caption Comics will be sharing teaser images for their upcoming comic series, Joe Dante Presents American She-Wolf. Featured in this post is July’s image by Orlando Arocena, which is more revealing (conceptually and literally) and more menacing than the one they shared on Independence Day.

I’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak peek at what the folks at Caption have in store for American She-Wolf, and I have used a lot of enthusiastic exclamation points in my email responses. These teaser images are a lot of fun, a little schlock-y, and great at building hype – eg., they’re very good at their job – but behind the scenes, there’s a lot of character work and excellent world-building happening. I’ve promised I won’t share any details, but I’ll go out on a limb to leave you with this little tidbit, which pertains to one of the deepest schisms in the werewolf fandom:

In the world of American She-Wolf, werewolves have tails.

Follow Caption Comics on Twitter or Facebook for more on ASW, and Orlando Arocena on Twitter for more great art! Oh, and don’t forget to check out the “mothership” site for Joe Dante and ASW writer Kris Millsap, Trailers From Hell.

“Howl”, the comic where everyone’s a werewolf except a history teacher with a baseball bat

A. Quinton — Jul. 5th 2016

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I have another werewolf comic recommendation for you, and this one you can buy and read right nowHowl is a black and white indie series about Jack Lowe, high school history teacher and “last man living in a world where a mysterious pandemic has transformed everyone else [including his wife, Rebecca] into werewolves.”

Thanks to the Lycanthrope Emancipation and Human Transition Act, everyone in the world – except Jack – gets to go buck-wild on the eve of the full moon, although people are encouraged to restrain themselves for their own safety. Of course, not everyone thinks self-restraint is necessary or patriotic.”Things might have changed,” the Lowe’s bulldog of a neighbour barks over his hedge, “but we still have rights!”

Writers Ryan DavidsonEastin Deverna and artist Dan Buksa funded the first two issues of Howl with a Kickstarter campaign that went on to raise 180% of its goal. I’ve read those two issues, and I’m happy to say they’re smart, funny, and just adult enough – thanks to some gore and mild werewolf nudity – that it could earn you some serious Cool Aunt / Uncle Credit if you were to get it for your wayward nephew or niece. Buska’s werewolf design is big and hairy/scary enough to satisfy any werewolf fan, but nuanced enough that readers can easily identify who a werewolf might be on the other 29 nights of the month.

Issue 3 is in the works. For updates on that and other merch (they had a cool t-shirt design at one point), check out the Howl web site, Facebook page or Twitter account.

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Celebrate the 4th with this gore & drool-streaked poster for “Joe Dante Presents American She-Wolf”

A. Quinton — Jul. 4th 2016

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Happy Independence Day! Caption Comics is celebrating the red, white and blue by releasing a teaser poster for its upcoming comic anthology series, Joe Dante Presents American She-Wolf.

Yes, that Joe Dante. He’s been working with TrailersFromHell.com colleague Kris Millsap, who created American She-Wolf along with co-writer Lance Dobbins. This title is the first of (hopefully many) comics that Caption plans to develop for the enjoyment of cinema savvy comic readers.

According to Kris, American She-Wolf is an anthology series that will showcase “gritty tales of girls gone feral” in a variety of formats. Artists Greg Smallwood and Ario Murti are involved, and an illustrated anthology magazine and a graphic novel are in the works. From what Kris tells me, they have a lot of werewolf stories to share, and more details will be released later this summer. For more information, follow Caption Comics on Twitter or Facebook.

In the meantime, check out this lovely gore and drool-streaked painting by Orlando Arocena, featuring a hand-lettered ASW logo by Mateusz Witczak. Ah, it’s patriotic enough to make me consider applying for that dual citizenship!

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“Brooklyn Animal Control”: the crime drama that might still be the TV show werewolf fans have been waiting for

A. Quinton — Jul. 1st 2016

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bac-panel-1Let me tell you about Brooklyn Animal Control.

First, it was a 2013 comic written by JT Petty and drawn by Stephen Thompson. It depicts several days in the life of a modern New York City in which a secret, powerful werewolf family is responsible for the metropolis’s growth and prosperity. It’s still available directly from IDW in print or digitally as a one-shot. I read it twice this week and I thought the concept and the execution were excellent. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, no further work was released or planned after those 48 pages, despite the cliffhanger ending. It’s as though it was intended as a pitch for something else…

Wait, it almost certainly was. In 2015, USA Network asked Petty (who has tons of experience writing for games, films and his own novels) and Universal Cable Prods. to produce a pilot episode of Brooklyn Animal Control for consideration as an ongoing series.

The pilot was produced. It starred James CallisStephen GrahamJane Alexander and Clea DuVall, and featured some very nice CG werewolves. The concept was adapted from the comic thusly:

Brooklyn Animal Control follows the inner workings of a secret subdivision of the NYPD that functions as social services for some of the city’s most unique citizens — werewolves. Delving into the lives of both the Case Officers, and the secretive, highly insular Kveld-Ulf, a community of werewolves living deep in the borough, the drama will examine city politics, immigrant communities, and families divided by ambition, secrecy, and tradition.

Werewolf drama looks like this:

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The pilot was never publicly released, but a trailer (polished, but probably never intended for the public) made its way to YouTube and survived for a few weeks before getting yanked. I’ve re-uploaded it as an unlisted video for Werewolf News readers to enjoy, but fair warning – if anyone from USA or IDW pulls it, I won’t put it back up. I gotta play ball. The screen grabs at the bottom of this post will stay, though!

During the short time it was up in the Spring of 2016, the trailer got a lot of people in the werewolf fan community (including me) very excited. Finally, here was a prime time werewolf show with actual monstrous werewolves instead of “regular wolves”, and a plot that balanced its supernatural hocus-pocus with real-world grit. Sure, the trailer was a bit more melodramatic than the comic’s in media res matter-of-factness, but when you have 72 seconds to pitch a concept, you exaggerate. The show looked great, the secrecy bade well, and we were all excited.

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Unfortunately, news broke in April that USA was not ordering Brooklyn Animal Control to series. According to Deadline, USA didn’t “pass” on the show, as they might have done with something they have no interest in pursuing. Rather, BAC as a series will be “redeveloped with [JT] Petty, who also wrote the original pilot and executive produced it.” No further details are available at the moment.

Redevelopment sounds bad, but it’s not as terminal a sentence as a “pass”. You “redevelop” a recipe by throwing your slightly botched cookies in the compost and starting from scratch; you “pass” on a recipe by throwing the whole fucking cookbook in the trash and setting the kitchen on fire.

There’s no way for us fan-kind to know which aspects of the pilot treatment didn’t make the grade, but here’s hoping UCP and Petty’s second pass finds success. Us werewolf fans need a TV series to look forward to! Oh and please keep the cast (Stephen Graham yes please) and whatever creature effects house is responsible for that werewolf, because damn.

In the meantime, I encourage you to check out the comic (a good place to start might be IDW’s six-page preview) and these seven screen grabs from the Brooklyn Animal Control pilot trailer.

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Get trapped in the lonely, guilty surreality of Rich Tommaso’s “She Wolf” #1

A. Quinton — Jun. 29th 2016

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Issue 1 of Rich Tommaso’s new Image title She Wolf is the loneliest thing I’ve read in a long time.

she-wolf-1-eatingSince Gabby Catella watched her boyfriend Brian die in their high school parking lot, she’s been having problems. Nightmares plague her, bleeding into daylight in episodes that might be waking dreams, hallucinations or, worst of all, reality. She’s taunted by creatures who look like Brian did the night he was gunned down – lithe, smirking monster wolves who peer back at her from mirrors and invite her to consummate her growing appetites. Gabby resists, but there’s a reluctance there, underscored by an apology and acceptance of responsibility – for what? – she makes to wolf-Brian moments before his death. She’s isolating herself from the sun-bleached 1980s summer around her, and to the rest of the world, Gabby may look like a traumatized teen goth in mourning, but to readers, it’s clear she’s dealing with the unintended consequences of some darker problem. I can’t wait to find out more.

She Wolf #1 is available now, digitally on Kindle & comiXology, and in fine comic shops everywhere. The next three issues come out monthly between July and September. If you’d like to pre-order like I did – and increase the chances of there being issues beyond these four – here are the details: