A. Quinton — Feb. 28th 2018
I only read a handful of comics anymore, and Pure of Heart is at the top of that list.
Human-werewolf relationships are always tricky, especially when the werewolf is heir to the throne. After years married to the prince, Penelope falls for another human – shame he’s a bit of a loser. Things get messy when they find themselves embroiled in the midst of royal intrigue, and dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Can they overcome danger and their own issues to give the baby a chance? Pure of Heart is a comic about aristocratic werewolves, human weakness and scheming siblings.
Pure of Heart is free to read, but $1+ Patrons get the full experience; with color pages several weeks before everyone else, high-res PDFs, plus a shedload of other perks, there’s no better way to support the comic. I’m halfway to my first goal, at which point Pure of Heart will become twice weekly, so every dollar helps!
The comic’s creator, HamsterToybox, has been drawing great werewolves (and other things) for years. Just look at this big jerk! It’s wonderful to see her idiosyncratic lycanthropes coupled with captivating serialized storytelling.
She’s not kidding about the shedload of Patreon perks, either. I jumped in at the “get a cameo in the strip” level and was very pleased with the result (here I am getting my coffee knocked out of my hands) and the behind-the-scenes art and coloured pages are such a pleasure to see. Patreon support, though recommended, is not a requirement to enjoy Pure of Heart – just visit pureofheartcomic.com.
My thanks to Pure of Heart for sponsoring Werewolf News for the month of March!
A. Quinton — Oct. 24th 2017
I’d like to express my gratitude and deep admiration for Nodnash The Ugly Werewolf, host of a podcast that’s not afraid to confront the reality of murder clowns, toilet vipers or that scene at the end of Teen Wolf where the guy in the bleachers maybe pulls his pants down.
He’s also sponsoring Werewolf News for the entire month of October, so in a fiduciary sense I’m obligated to tell you again that he hosts a very enjoyable podcast that streams live on Youtube every Friday at 8PM Pacific and that is also on iTunes and Podbean for your subscribing convenience. However! No amount of money could compel me to say that Nodnash is a stylish, funny, kind boon to the werewolf fan community, and the only person I would trust to organize a successful werewolf pizza bash at the last moment on Super Bowl weekend. Nope – I’m saying those things because I think they’re true, and I’m glad to know him.
Now come and join the Snak Pak!
A. Quinton — May. 15th 2017
It’s always a pleasure to write about a Werewolf News sponsor, and never more than when the sponsorship concerns a new publication by someone whose work I already enjoy. In this case, I’d like to thank Fox Spirit Books for sponsoring Werewolf News with Joyce Chng‘s marvellous sci-fi werewolf space opera novel Starfang: Rise of the Clan.
Is a clan captain going to sacrifice everything for her clan? Tasked to kill Yeung Leung by her parents, powerful rival clan leader of the Amber Eyes, Captain Francesca Min Yue sets out across the galaxy to hunt her prey, only to be thrown into a web of political intrigue spreading across the stars. Is Yeung Leung collaborating with the reptilian shishini and playing a bigger game with the galaxy as a price? Is Francesca’s clan at stake? Welcome to Starfang: Rise of the Clan, where merchants and starship captains are also wolves.
“Wolves should not be in space, but here we were, a clan of wolves and merchants. Instead of the preserved forests of New Earth and Noah’s Ark, we were in ships of steel and armor, reading data scans and commanding officers on the bridge. Wolves within the uniform of merchants and mercenaries, human seeming, claws and teeth sheathed.”
– Captain Francesca Ming Yue, of the warship Starfang.
Starfang: Rise of the Clan is available for purchase in a variety of formats through the following channels:
Once you’ve read Rise of the Clan, I recommend you check out Homecoming, an excerpt from the second book in the Starfang series (so yes, it contains spoilers for Rise of the Clan). You can read it on her web site or as a stand-alone story in the “space” issue of zine I edit, WEREWOLVES VERSUS. It was my introduction to Joyce’s wonderful prose and the elegant, sombre world of the Starfang series.
A. Quinton — Jul. 8th 2016
I’d like to give you something great to listen to. Quit iTunes, close Spotify, and throw your boombox out a window (unless you live in Southwest Oklahoma, in which case, flip that little source toggle thing to “FM”).
KHOWL 98.7 FM is the werewolfiest radio station on the planet, and I’m proud to say they’re sponsoring Werewolf News through 2016. If you live in southern Oklahoma or northern Texas, you can get them at 98.7 on the FM dial – otherwise, you can listen online through their web site or via streaming radio apps like TuneIn.
“But,” you may ask, clutching your pearls and eyeing your carefully curated playlists, “what kind of music do they play? Will I like it?” Well, I’ve checked the logs and it appears that KHOWL’s DJs only play music that fits one or more of the following criteria:
- rocks extremely hard
- excellent background audio for various Werewolf Activities
- makes your average mother angry
- makes your typical father pretend to scowl but then secretly flash you a thumbs-up
- Otto from The Simpsons likes it
- I like it, and you will like it
Listen for yourself, and make a request if there’s something specific you’d like to hear. They even have the new Paul Simon track “The Werewolf”, which I think they first learned about through a certain web site you may know.
KHOWL broadcasts from Altus, Oklahoma, via a mountaintop radio transmitter that might also be the geographical epicentre of the Rad Rock / Metal Music chart. Snarl, the general manager & founder, has invited me to hike up to that tower the next time I’m in the area. If and when that happens, I will report back with details on any flaming obelisks or cackling onyx skulls I see in the area.
A personal anecdote in closing: before KHOWL, the last time I voluntarily listened to terrestrial radio for longer than 60 seconds was November 19, 2003 (rest in peace, 104.9 XFM). I just assumed I was done with radio, since my musical tastes were too rowdy for Top 40, and too Millennial for classic rock stations. I didn’t think I’d ever find another radio station that would play Nine Inch Nails, Six Feet Under and Depeche Mode in the same 30-minute block, but as I learned when I tuned in to KHOWL for the first time – and was still listening two hours later – I was wrong.
A. Quinton — Oct. 6th 2015
I’d like to thank Todd McCullough for sponsoring Werewolf News for the entire month of October with his incredible book Who Needs The Moon?, a devastating horror graphic novel about werewolves and vampires, obsession and revenge, and what it takes to really be a monster.
I’ve been raving about WNTM since I read the first two issues back in 2013.
The atmosphere in this book is dense and cold, but it’s alive. The main character, Ethan, is endearing, haunted and terrifying all at the same time. He’s likeable, but it’s also clear that he’s capable of monstrous things. Kingford, the small town setting, feels like a brooding Everytown, and also like a half-dead incarnation of places I have called home. This mournful malevolence is achieved through a combination of effective writing and phenomenal colours on the page.
By the third issue I was calling it the best werewolf comic I’d ever read.
[WNTM] is the work of a truly gifted storyteller and artist, made even more singular by the fact that it’s self-produced and self-published. Honestly, I don’t know what else I can say right now, except please go buy it for whatever price you deem fair, and read it.
Through the ensuing tragedy, carnage and betrayals, Who Needs The Moon? remains the best werewolf graphic novel I’ve come across. The artwork is both painterly and animated, its themes are uncomfortable and sometimes terrifying but never without human connection, and the storytelling is clever enough to warm your heart on one page before tearing it out on the next. If Kingford really existed, it’d be a town known internationally (as readers will come to understand), and it’d be a place I would avoid as adamantly as Silent Hill.
Who Needs The Moon? is available as a name-your-price download on Gumroad. If you’re over 17 and you want to start the scariest month of the year with a truly excellent horror comic experience, I suggest you download it immediately. I’d like to thank Todd again for sponsoring Werewolf News for the month of October!
A. Quinton — Apr. 19th 2015
My thanks to Fox Spirit for sponsoring Werewolf News with Jo Thomas’s novel 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf – a provocative title for a site as pro-werewolf as this, but rest assured, there’s more to this wonderful story than laundry list of grisly demises for lycanthropes.
‘My name is Elkie Bernstein. I live in North Wales and I kill werewolves.’
When Elkie finds herself fighting for her life against something that shouldn’t exist she is faced with the grim reality that werewolves are real and she just killed one. Part diary, part instruction manual Elkie guides the reader through 25 ways you can kill a werewolf, without any super powers, and how she did it.
Jo Thomas writes speculative fiction, tending towards dark fantasy. She has taken the advice “write what you know” to heart and, as a result, werewolves now turn up in the strangest places. (None were harmed in the writing of “25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf” but friendly vets were pumped for advice.)
To find out more about Jo, her pack of Hellhounds and her interest in swords along with the odd piece of fiction that doesn’t contain werewolves, have a look at http://www.journeymouse.net/
A. Quinton — Mar. 22nd 2015
Thanks to Hic Dragones for being our first sponsor of the season with K. Bannerman’s acclaimed novel The Tattooed Wolf. As of this post I’ve only just started reading it, and I’m hooked!
Morris Caufield thought he’d seen it all…
Until the moment Dan Sullivan walked into his office. Dan needs a divorce lawyer he can trust, and he thinks Morris is the man for the job. The thing is, Dan wants Morris to represent his wife. Who tried to kill him. Twice. And as if that wasn’t enough, Dan expects Morris to buy some crazy story about werewolves…
As Dan reveals the truth about his life and his marriage, Morris listens to a captivating tale of lycanthropy, love and betrayal. It’s lunacy, he’s sure of that, but there’s something about Dan Sullivan that makes it all very easy to believe.
The Tattooed Wolf is available from Hic Dragones in paperback, Kindle and ePub formats. Thanks again to Hic Dragones for sponsoring Werewolf News, and to K. Bannerman for writing the most interesting opening to a story ever to take place in a divorce lawyer’s office!
A. Quinton — Feb. 9th 2015
My thanks to Adrian Lilly for sponsoring Werewolf News this week with The Wolf At His Door, the first book in his trilogy of werewolf novels. Adrian and I have similar tastes in werewolves, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about building a werewolf mythology, the power of literature, and practical jokes.
Without revealing any details that might spoil the plot or prematurely reveal themes, can you talk a little about why you chose to make werewolves the featured supernatural creatures of the Runes Trilogy? Did you start off wanting to write something about werewolves, or did something about the trilogy’s story suggest lycanthropes as the right monsters for the job?
I have loved werewolves–the traditional, rip-you-to-shreds kind–since I was a kid. And, so I wrote a werewolf novel with the monstrous, half-human beasts that walk on two legs. I built the themes around the idea of that type of monster. In my werewolf world, people have varying levels of control over the werewolf: some are completely at its mercy; others control it; and others are turned just as monstrous while human. Werewolves, to me, represent that struggle, both within and without, against evil and brutality.
Do you prefer to work within the traditionally accepted canon of supernatural creature “rules” (vampires and holy water, werewolves and the full moon, etc), or do you like to invent new traits, habits and weaknesses for your monsters?
Readers have declared the trilogy a “new take” on werewolves. But, many elements are traditional: fire, decapitation, and silver remain weaknesses. The full moon plays a dominant role although not all werewolves are bound by it. I keep the traditional horror associated with werewolves, but I also give them an intellect, making them more dangerous. A werewolf virus and genetic engineering play important roles, adding to the elements that readers enjoyed as a new take, because of how I explore them. The novel is also as much mystery as horror, so I think that adds a twist as well.
You’ve written about demons, ghosts, now werewolves, and you said in a recent interview that your upcoming series The BlackBird Mysteries “will involve all manner of fantastical creatures”. Are there any creatures you’re particularly looking forward to writing about, or any that you intend to avoid?
I am a folklore and mythology nut, so nothing is off limits. In The BlackBird Mysteries (the first book is written and in editing), the main characters will face “all manner of fantastical creatures.” The fun, I hope, for the reader, will be figuring out what they are up against along with them. I’m really looking forward to visiting the gamut of mythological creatures and trying to breathe fresh life into them. I really love the concepts of Hydra and Proteus, and I think those could work well in updated versions.
Your novels and poems touch on weighty topics such as the importance of family, the ramifications of death, and the search for personal identity. Literature can help people work through these topics in their own lives. What’s something you’ve read that had a big impact on your own development as a person?
Books like Brave New World speak to me more than most books. I have this fear that we’re heading into–or may already be in the first stages of–a dystopian future. When I was a young kid, I read Kavik the Wolf Dog dozens of times. I loved that the main character was a dog and not a human at all. More often than not, poetry is what makes me stop and ponder. The Duino Elegies remains a collection of poetry I pick up time and again. I do enjoy Joyce Carol Oates’ fiction. I also really enjoy fiction like Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis. It’s so unlike what I write. I think that’s why I enjoy it.
You mention on your web site that you’re a fan of practical jokes (among other things) as the source of a good scare. What’s the most memorable practical joke you’ve perpetrated or been on the receiving end of?
I can’t recall anyone pulling a good practical joke over on me. I’m too suspicious of everyone. I’ve always been a good one to get a “jump” out of people–not the well planned out practical jokes. Once, I lived in a high-rise building, and my apartment was at the end of a long hall. Guests had to call and you could buzz them in on your phone–so I always knew when someone was coming. My friend had just seen a zombie movie, it’s important to note. Anyway, the apartment next door was empty, I knew, so I waited in the apartment with the door cracked. Just as she was about to knock on my door, I came out, moaning, “Brains.” Her scream and stream of expletives echoed up and down the long corridor, followed by my uproarious laughter. I’ve made children cry with a well-played scare during storytelling, not that I should be proud of that. I also have a niece who is petrified by clowns—my fault. On the non-scary side, I’m a jokester who can go a little overboard with things like balloons and tape from time-to-time.
Thanks again to Adrian and his novel The Wolf At His Door for sponsoring Werewolf News!
A. Quinton — Jan. 5th 2015
The horror/fantasy convention for werewolf lovers is back, and taking over the Red Lion at the Quay, in Vancouver, WA over the weekend of February 7th & 8th. That’s literally across the river from Portland, and just a 3-hour drive from Seattle.
In attendance you’ll find a plentiful pack of werewolf enthusiasts and creative professionals, including:
- Kitty Norville series urban fantasy bestseller Carrie Vaughn
- “Pure American Werewolf Metal” band GrimWolf
- presenters & staff from HOWL CON official charity, Wolf Haven International
- Underworld franchise SFX alumn and Laika prop wizard George Willis
- werewolf/anthropomorphics fine artist Goldenwolf
- shapeshifter folklorist Rev. Dr. Phillip A. Bernhardt-House
- Werewolf: the Apocalypse writer/designer Satyros Phil Brucato
- 20th Anniversary Werewolf LARP prime-mover Jason Andrew
- beast/monster costumer & author Mordrude
- monster artist Tandye Rowe
- esoteric artist & natural history curatrix Lupa
- recreational paranoia & obfuscation led by Al Partridge of Portland Werewolf
- Werewolf News writer & Supernatural Registration Authority perpetrator Andrew Quinton
and more writers, artists, podcasters, gamers, filmmakers, haunters, & every other stripe of lycanthropic luminary. To add your movie to the short film showcase, email here; to apply for a dealer room spot, click here; to inquire about the art show, email Kigai Holt.
PLUS: the Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver is showing a night of werewolf films on Friday, February 6th, and HOWL CON passholders get a great discount on an already affordable ticket!
Weekend passes to HOWL CON are yours for the unbelievably low pre-reg price of $40, but we’ve cooked up two special deals for you:
- Use the coupon code “earlybird” to grab the first 20 registrations for only $30/weekend!
- Select the Patron-level registration to lend extra support to HOWL CON and receive a package of perks including free admission to the Kiggins movie night, priority check-in, recognition in the program booklet, early dealer room access, and a special reception with featured guests. Only twelve Patron registrations are available for 2015!
- Don’t forget to reserve your discounted hotel stay, including shoulder dates, by calling (360) 694-8341 and asking for the HOWL CON rate, or reserve nights of Feb. 7th & 8th ONLY online by clicking here.
So what are you waiting for, a blue moon? Register for HOWL CON today, and stay tuned to twitter.com/howlconpdx for updates about guests and activities.
HOWL CON sounds like it’s gonna be an amazing experience, and I’m honoured to be attending! Many thanks to them for sponsoring Werewolf News.