Category: Books & Comics

Werewolf comic “Howl” issue 3 review: what a time to be alive!

A. Quinton — Jan. 8th 2017

Issue 3 of indie werewolf comic Howl has just come out in physical and digital formats. The creators were kind enough to send me a review copy, which I consumed like a hot dog: with relish, and disappointment that there aren’t more.

Nearly halfway into its projected seven-issue run, Howl has firmly established itself as a showcase for writers Ryan DavidsonEastin Deverna and artist Dan Buksa. The first two issues (which I discuss over here) are driven by action and an impending full moon. This issue is more of a police procedural, as we follow the authorities who are trying to make sense of (and find the culprit responsible for) the carnage wrought by series protagonist Jack Lowe. Jack’s wife Rebecca and high school student Laura make the big decisions in this issue, setting up potential consequences that they and their families will have to pay for in future issues.

For now, there’s a lot of cop-talk in front yards, Jack himself spends most of the issue passed out, and with the full moon done for another month there’s nary a werewolf to be seen. In the hands of less efficient writers, these plot points could lead to boring exposition and frustration as the cops try to figure out what the readers already know, but the great dialogue and believable rapport between characters keeps things lively and manages some subtle world-building (the best kind, in my opinion).

Buksa’s art has gotten a little cleaner and tighter in this issue, but it still has the organic, high-contrast pen-and-ink style that made the first two issues so distinctive and fun to look at. I don’t know what his process is, but I could believe he turns each page from a blank document into a finished, inked panel layout with no in-between steps or drafts. It’s confident, charismatic work, and I couldn’t imagine this series drawn any other way.

If you want to get into Howl, head over to the Howl store to get caught up on the series. Davidson, Deverna and Buksa are doing excellent work, and I encourage you to support them and share your comments on the Howl Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Beth W. Patterson writes about werewolf packs & the music of New Orleans in “The Wild Harmonic”

A. Quinton — Jan. 2nd 2017

Add Beth W. Patterson‘s debut novel The Wild Harmonic to the ever-growing list of werewolf books I’ll finally have time to read after the upcoming nuclear apocalypse.

New Orleans musician Birch “Buzz” MacKinlay used to think she was the only werewolf in the world. But that was before the mysterious and captivating Rowan welcomed her into his pack, and showed her that shapeshifters – all kinds of shapeshifters – were hiding in plain sight everywhere. Now Birch is on a crash course by day to learn everything she can about the secret “shifter” world, while gigging as a bass player at night. But there’s a problem with this dream come true: a dark and growing danger threatens the shifters, who are beginning to mysteriously disappear or die. Faced with hecklers, drunks, stalkers, and incompetent bandmates in one life and fang-toothed double agents in the other, Birch doesn’t know who to trust – especially now that she’s the target of a powerful enemy. With menace closing in fast, Birch must find a way to save her new pack… or lose everything that matters, including her own life.

The excerpt on Patterson’s web site piqued my interest. I kept wanting to think “this isn’t my thing” as I read – the rhythm of the prose is a little strange in places, and Birch’s werewolf form is literally “a large wolf”, which you all know isn’t really my thing. What hooked me, though, and kept me thinking about this book for the past few weeks, is how Patterson writes about music.

She’s an accomplished musician, and from the first paragraph of The Wild Harmonic it’s clear that her experiences performing (and being moved by) music form an integral and exuberant part of the narrative. I’m not crazy about urban fantasy or quadrupedal werewolves, but give me a story in which the author writes with enthusiasm about something she loves and does well, and you’ve got me on board.

You can buy The Wild Harmonic in paperback and digital formats from Amazon and direct from the publisher.

1983: “What if Judge Dredd was a werewolf for a bit?” 2017: “What if he never changed back?”

A. Quinton — Dec. 28th 2016

For a little while, way back before many of you were born, comics’ premiere justice-dispenser Judge Dredd was both “the law” and “a werewolf” in a story arc called “Cry of the Werewolf”. Fast forward over three decades to March 2017: writer John McCrea and a handful of artists will use an IDW Deviations one-shot to explore what might have happened if Dredd had never been cured of lycanthropy.

Dredd Deviations cover by John McCrea

From Comics Alliance:

In March, IDW is launching another five-week Deviations event, and it’s kicking off with a Judge Dredd story [“Howl of the Wolf!”] where the always amazing John McCrea asks what Mega City One would be like if its toughest lawman had never recovered from that time he was briefly a werewolf.

So what’s the provenance of this alternate-reality sequel’s story?

In 1983, writers John Wagner and Alan Grant, letterer Tom Frame and artist Steve Dillon turned Mega City One’s massively-chinned lawman into a lycanthrope for seven issues of 2000 AD. “Cry of the Werewolf” was regarded as one of the better “Dredd versus the supernatural” stories and it got the stand-alone collection treatment in 2012. Now, in light of Dillon’s recent passing and the imminent release of Judge Dredd: Deviations, IDW is also reprinting that original story along with some extras, for a good cause.

Cry of the Werewolf art by Duncan Fegredo

…IDW will be reprinting the original “Cry of the Werewolf” with a new version that serves as a tribute to Dillon, who passed away in October. In addition to the full story, IDW’s version will include a section of pinups from artists like Duncan Fegredo, PJ Holden, Jock, and more, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated in Dillon’s name to his favorite charity, the Hero Initiative.

Both comics will come out in March 2017 and will feature a ton of great werewolf art, like this post’s feature image, Ryan Brown’s variant cover for “Howl of the Werewolf”.

My exposure to Judge Dredd is limited to 2012’s Dredd, a film (and soundtrack) that I will never ever get tired of, but as with so many other things, add werewolves and you will get my attention and my dollars.

Thanks t0 KSFWerewolf for the link that sent me down this rabbit hole.

“The Howling” gets an official follow-up comic & board game with “Revenge of the Werewolf Queen”

A. Quinton — Dec. 14th 2016

Space Goat Productions has just announced an officially licensed comic book and board game(!) based on The Howling werewolf film universe.

Not all of that colourful franchise is particularly worthy of adaptation or expansion, but don’t worry: the four-issue The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen will take place directly after the events of the first film. Given that title and the events of the second film, Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, we might be in for some backstory on a certain powerful werewolf lady.

The comic series will be written by two-time New York Times best-selling author Micky Neilson, whose lycanthropic work you might already be familiar with: he wrote the Warcraft comic series Curse of the Worgen and the werewolf novel The Turning, previously mentioned here on Werewolf News.

The comic’s line art will be handled by veteran Jason Johnson, who says he’ll “bring this story to life like only a true werewolf connoisseur can”. If the teaser image accompanying this post is any indication, uh, yes, dude, I believe you will.

The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen comes out in Summer 2017. No details on the board game yet, but if it involves quoting lines from the film series, I’m gonna win every single round with this gem.

Keep an eye on Space Goat and the very web site you’re reading right now for more details.

Trade your current dystopia for one featuring werewolves with “Apex Predator” by S.M. Douglas

A. Quinton — Dec. 2nd 2016

Here’s some holiday reading direct from the “You Might Like…” category of things I haven’t checked yet but want to: horror author S.M. Douglas‘s new werewolf novel Apex Predator.

It combines classic occult story assets like “secrets from WWII-era Europe” and “mythical evil on the verge of remaking the world” with a fictional dystopian present day that seems increasingly non-fictional as 2016 staggers to its miserable conclusion. But I digress! A summary from Douglas herself:

In a world destabilized by soaring inequality, climate change, and war the deaths of several high profile bankers leave national security experts scrambling for answers. A disgruntled and discredited FBI Agent striving to bring to justice the corrupt individuals responsible for wrecking his community is instead ordered to protect these same Wall Street power brokers. In the postindustrial wasteland of a bankrupt Detroit he stumbles onto a lead capable of not just cracking the case, but with potentially explosive ramifications for the future of mankind. Meanwhile, a team of historians investigating a mysterious Second World War era mass grave make a startling discovery in a medieval village located deep within a foreboding Ukrainian valley. Brought together, they face an ancient terror in a global adventure that forces them to confront the tragic history of Eastern Europe’s blood lands. There they struggle to reconcile their findings with the evidence that a mythic evil is possibly real, and murderously intent on keeping its existence a secret until able to set in motion events that could change human history.

To be frank, this sounds like exactly the kind of thing I want to read right now, so I’m going to order a paperback copy from Amazon as soon as I’m done writing this post. Aspiring metal bands, please contact Douglas directly to negotiate the rights to name your group “Eastern Europe’s Blood Lands”.

Bernie Wrightson “Cycle of the Werewolf” Art Portfolio on Kickstarter

A. Quinton — Oct. 13th 2016

Bernie Wrightson and Nakatomi, Inc are collaborating on a deluxe fine art portfolio of Wrightson’s artwork for Stephen King’s 1984 calendar-turned-book, Cycle of the Werewolf.

This Kickstarter project is to fund a high-quality artist edition collection of the full color illustrations from Cycle of the Werewolf as a print set, along with a book collecting the Black and White illustrations and never-before printed concept and process sketches.

This campaign is less than two days old and it’s already raised over $45,000 against a $12,000 goal, with many of its limited quantity higher-tier rewards quickly on the way to being sold out. Those extra rewards include a 2017 calendar, a 1984 calendar(!), a t-shirt, and a special boxed set of prints featuring a real (inert) silver bullet and original hand-drawn Cycle of the Werewolf art from Bernie’s archives. Some images of the 2017 calendar reward and Bernie’s concept sketches are below.

The campaign ends on November 11th, and Nakatomi, Inc is optimistic that they can have backer rewards in the mail in time for those 2017 calendars to be hung on walls by January 1st.

I resisted the PCS Howling statue pre-order, but my financial restraint has crumbled. Cycle of the Werewolf stands with An American Werewolf in London and The Real Ghostbusters Now Comics #5 as a catalyst for a young AQ’s werewolf fandom. I simply can’t ignore the chance to own such high-quality editions of this artwork.

Thanks to Doruk G. for telling me about this!

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They made a comic called “Werewolves Vs. Dinosaurs” and it’s a lot of fun

A. Quinton — Oct. 5th 2016

It might sound like the punchline of a “can you believe what kids are reading these days” joke, but Werewolves Vs. Dinosaurs is a real thing – a 32-page one-shot comic from American Mythology that you can buy with less than four dollars of your money and read on your screen. It’s written by mystery author Eric Dobson and painted by artist Chris Scalf (Star Wars, Godzilla). And it actually did originate from a story that started as a goof between a kid and his father.

Scalf explains in the press release posted by Horror Society’s Comic Crypt:

My son is a big rail fan and loves going on trips to distant towns to visit rail lines. I myself am a comic/sci-fi fan, I would always wonder out loud if there were in any comic shops in any of these towns… We kidded around about the need for my sci fi/monster interests to coincide with his train hobby in a comic book— something like “Werewolves in a train.” This led me to doing a mock pulp cover for said comic. Eric Dobson, a friend who is also a great writer, saw it, and wanted to write a story around it.

The story is not complicated, nor does it use the titular creatures to any particular effect – any two fearsome monsters would do, I think – but to expect more from it is to overlook its whimsical origins. Werewolves Vs. Dinosaurs is the ultimate “let’s pretend” bed time story for kids: the bad guys are literal men in black, the deaths are scary but bloodless, the Saturday morning cartoon mythology tops itself on every page, and the monsters are rendered in twice the details of their human prey.

Look. In this comic a werewolf puts a velociraptor in a headlock. If you can’t meet something like this halfway, you’re probably reading the wrong web site.

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

A. Quinton — Sep. 21st 2016

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

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.