A. Quinton — Feb. 17th 2018
Zoe Delahunty-Light of Games Radar recently spoke to Julien Desourteaux and Guillaume Blanchard of White Wolf about the status of the upcoming and widely-anticipated Werewolf: The Apocalypse video game.
The interview was conducted as part of publisher Focus Home Interactive’s yearly press event, “Le What’s Next De Focus Home Interactive”. Delahunty-Light explains the concepts and mechanics of the W:tA universe (Wyrm, Weaver, Pantex, rage, it’s all in the game) and outlines what the game proposes to do with those ingredients.
This action RPG has you step into the shoes – or paws – of a member of the Fianna tribe, an Irish group of werewolves who prize family over everything. Yet you’re an outcast, a veteran of battle that has turned into a lone wolf (literally). After spending some time alone in the wild, you’ll be called back to help your ex-pack out of a spot of bother, as something’s happened to your son, which probably doesn’t bode well. At its heart Werewolf: The Apocalypse is a story of the bond between a father and son, but you’d be forgiven for forgetting about your son thanks to all the general devastation in the world around you.
The franchise’s tagline “when will you rage?” is a literal game mechanic. Environmental elements and plot points will max out your rage meter, which you can ameliorate through anger management techniques or through the less stealthy (but more fun-sounding) practice of killing everyone around you… including, if you take it too far and wind up in a Frenzy, your allies.
“You have to kill your allies as well,” [Desourteaux] says, “because you see them as a threat. When you go into Frenzy, you’re not able to recognise everybody – everyone looks like a threat”. Like an awkward family reunion, the game will remember that you massacred your friends. Your brutality will affect future quests, the ways NPCs behave towards you, and even what kind of enemies you face.
Everything about the game seems designed to satisfy the Wt:A super-fans out there. I, for better or worse, am not among those folks, being a reprehensible “casual” gamer and, frankly, increasingly disenchanted by Wt:A as a property and a delivery mechanism for the werewolf content I crave. That said, I’m happy on behalf of folks who have been waiting for the franchise to receive a proper video game adaptation – it’s long overdue.
No screenshots or gameplay footage have been shared – maybe a tiny bit worrisome, since the game’s been in development for a year. No release date has been announced, either, but with expectations high, I think it’s wise for Focus and the developers to take a “when it’s finished” approach.
A. Quinton — Feb. 13th 2018
The werewolf often appears in art as a representation of inner turmoil – animal ferocity channeled into a fight-or-flight response to an attacker metaphorical or physical. Howlitzer‘s werewolves capture this struggle without relying on the extremes of cartoonish horror or cringing animal fear. His werewolves, with their boxy muzzles, spiked pelts and black claws, are clearly deadly creatures, but as with this week’s feature, the practically-titled “2018.5“, that mortal danger is at a simmer. Preoccupied by some unknowable ennui, his werewolves seethe, always on the precipice of lashing out, seemingly struggling to maintain control, or perhaps a coherent shape.
Howlitzer’s werewolves are never happy. At best, they’re contemplative, perhaps self-soothing with a bloody snack, and at worst they’re drowning in (or perhaps coalescing from) grey goo, or externalizing their divided mind with overlapping Cerberus-style heads. Whenever I see a Howlitzer werewolf, I feel like my headphones have gone silent and I’m two seconds from unmuting them with the volume accidentally cranked to ear-splitting maximum. That’s a kind of danger I like.
You can find more of Howlitzer’s work on FurAffinity, Weasyl and DeviantArt. If you’re a werewolf fan on Twitter, his account there is a mandatory follow – he’s almost singlehandedly responsible for the “werewolf shitposting” phenomenon that makes that terrible web site bearable.
A. Quinton — Feb. 12th 2018
“There is simply no place on our streets for ammunition with the destructive capability to blow off a werewolf’s entire head in one blast,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who was moved to champion the bill after the brutal December slaying of beloved physical education teacher and nightwalking loup-garou Davis Johnstone.
The short article is great satire and refreshingly pro-werewolf, but the accompanying image (rather graphic, despite being a stock composite) is funny and weirdly heartbreaking in a way The Onion has mastered.
A. Quinton — Feb. 6th 2018
In May of year artist Kris Starlein made available a gorgeous 1.75″ enamel pin of a (mostly) human skull, ensconced in a ferocious werewolf silhouette. I purchased one as a gift for my wife, and have envied it ever since. Now Kris (who goes by KingGuro) has started accepting pre-orders for a new pin that serves as a sequel to the original one and re-contextualizes the set as an ongoing transformation.
You can pre-order “The Spread” – depicting a human hand transforming into a furred claw – for $10 USD plus shipping.
If you missed the original pin when it came out, you can snag both as “The Infected Set” for $20 USD plus shipping.
Just fill out this Google form with your choice and details and you’ll be sent a PayPal invoice when the time comes. You’ll also get updates on the pin’s manufacturing progress and shipping dates (currently estimated as mid-April). If you live outside the United States you can still place a pre-order, but be aware that you’ll pay more for shipping.
I love the design so much (and was so impressed with the quality of last year’s pin) that I’ve asked to order both options – The Spread, to complete my wife’s set, and The Infected, so I can add both to my own pin & badge-laden vest. If you’re interested, act fast – the pre-order is likely to close in the next week or two.
A. Quinton — Feb. 5th 2018
If you’ve ever looked up werewolf art online, you’ve probably seen Natalie Hall’s art. Her smokey, long-limbed werewolves prowl her Instagram and Tumblr accounts, looking like the last thing you see in a nightmare before you wake up screaming (or possibly die in your sleep). Werewolves aren’t the only creatures she draws, but they show up frequently, often as women contorted or posed with eerie grace in mid-transformation.
This week’s featured werewolf art is one of Natalie’s recent posts on Tumblr. She doesn’t often title her pieces there, generally leaving a comment referencing a mood or event. This one is accompanied by just two words: “It’s back.” This perfectly captures what I love about her art: it’s stark, moody, almost clinical in its composition; but the werewolf itself, while not posed with menace, clearly represents a threat, and is most obviously and absolutely back, whether you wanted it or not.
A graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, Natalie is a professional illustrator who works at Purple Panther Tattoos in Los Angeles. You can purchase products featuring her art on Society6 and contribute directly to her cash flow (which in turn enables her art flow) on Patreon. If you’d like to contact her directly to ask about visdev, illustration work, or tattoos, you can find details on her site.
Thanks to Werewolf News reader Gerson Corrêa for suggesting Natalie’s art as this week’s feature.
A. Quinton — Feb. 5th 2018
Want to help bring a new werewolf web series to life? Starting today and running through Friday the 9th, werewolf fans can visit the Storyhive campaign page for “Timber” to cast one vote per day (no registration required). Those votes will comprise a large part of the decision-making process that will award 15 projects $50,000 each to fund a full series.
“Timber” is being pitched as “Lumberjacks Vs Werewolves” by its creative team. Here’s the synopsis:
In 1920’s Canada a doctor visits her estranged brother while he is working at a lumber camp. When she gets there she is shocked to learn that the lumberjacks are hiding the dark secret that werewolves are real, and she must discover who is and isn’t infected before it’s too late.
I’m writing this post on the 4th, before the big push for votes starts, and there’s already a ton of video and production stills on Timber’s Storyhive page and Facebook page. Watch the pilot episode below!
I asked Peter Kominek, one of the experienced filmmakers behind the project, about their plans for the werewolf design. I’m always interested to hear how the werewolf for a given project is going to be built, and here’s what he wrote me:
Our werewolf is going to walk on all fours, it is going to be a ferocious beast/hell hound rather than a wolfman type werewolf. Our intention is to make it hairy, and if possible have the face be completely hairy/flocked, unlike a lot of other movies. We are going to have arm extensions and make an animatronic head. There will probably also be a separate puppet head for maximum chomping. Our instagram has a couple sketches from our designer up on it, and there is also a short video about the history of our project.
“Maximum chomping”. Those two words alone are worth the 10 seconds it’ll take you to cast a vote.
Update 12:27: this post previously incorrectly stated that Timber was in the running for a $10k prize to fund a pilot; in fact, it has already won that prize and is now in the final phase of the competition.
Craig J. Clark — Jan. 30th 2018
Further proof that the most creative and inventive werewolf movies are being made outside the U.S. right now, Brazil’s Good Manners isn’t the first werewolf film to come out of that country — 1972’s O Homem Lobo has it beat by 45 years — but it’s the first one I’ve seen. (The second will be coming to Full Moon Features in the not-too-distant future.) Written and directed by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra, Good Manners (original title: As Boas Maneiras) is a bit of a shapeshifter itself since its story cycles through a number of different genres, beginning with a social-realist drama about a financially strapped woman with no references and no work experience who gets hired as a live-in nanny for a single mother-to-be who’s still months away from giving birth. She just needs somebody to help with the cooking and cleaning and shopping and everything else she’s never had to do for herself.
The novice nanny, who trained as a nurse but had to abandon her studies to take care of an ailing grandmother, is Clara (Isabél Zuaa), and her employer, who moved into a spacious condo in downtown Säo Paulo after being cut off by her family and dumped by her fiancé, is Ana (Marjorie Estiano). At first, things are a bit bumpy between then, but Clara puts up with Ana’s spoiled and sometimes erratic behavior because, well, she needs the job. Then she figures out (which the help of a nifty lunar-themed calendar) that Ana’s behavior becomes especially erratic around the full moon, culminating in the scene where Ana goes out sleepwalking one night and eats a stray cat. (This is after her doctor has told her to cut out meat, a directive the baby growing inside her is clearly not on board with.)
Slowly but surely, Good Manners edges into horror territory (while also taking detours into lesbian romance and, strangely enough, the musical) in scenes like this and the one where Ana comes on to Clara, only to bite her lip and leave deep scratches in her shoulder. As for the identity of the baby’s father, which presumably would explain a lot, this is revealed through a series of drawings as Ana recounts the night she was seduced by a stranger who subsequently turned into a beast and fled when she shot it with her gun. His progeny, meanwhile, prematurely claws its way out of Ana’s belly one full moon and is, I must confess, cute as the dickens. The newborn pup is brought to life by a sophisticated puppet, but when the story jumps forward seven years, the transformed Joel (Miguel Lobo — yes, that’s the kid’s name) is entirely a CGI creation. Rojas and Dutra withhold his feral form until the film’s final act, but before that they do show the aftermaths of his nights in the “little bedroom” adjoining his own where Clara chains him to the wall. (Instead of reverting completely to human form, he still retains a coat of thick hairs that have to be shaved off and sharp fingernails that must be trimmed before he can return to school.) And it’s not until after Joel has killed one of his classmates (and makes the news) that the word “werewolf” is even spoken, but there’s never any doubt about what he is — or his father was.
The thing is, it ultimately doesn’t matter who Joel’s father is because he was never in the picture to begin with — much like Rojas and Dutra radically frame their story’s first half so no men are ever seen (although some are heard, chiefly Ana’s doctor). This way, the first clear sighting of one — the father of one of Joel’s classmates — is as much a shock to the viewer as it is to the young boy who has more questions about his parentage than Clara is prepared to answer. This is why it’s so easy to believe her when she tells him, “Everything I do, I do it to protect you.” Right or wrong, she’s only doing what she thinks is best for him, but let’s be honest. Keeping the kid on a strict vegetarian diet was always destined to fail.
A. Quinton — Jan. 26th 2018
Here’s a strange new graphic novel from Dark Horse Books to get your claws or tentacles on: a deluxe re-lease of Neil Gaiman’s “Only the End of the World Again”. Originally published in the late 1990s as a serialized story, Gaiman’s homage to Lovecraft and Roger Zelazny was adapted into a comic by P. Craig Russell, with art by Troy Nixey and colours by Matthew Hollingsworth. This 154-page hardcover edition contains the original comic and a ton of supplemental material.
From the Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning, and New York Times bestselling writer Neil Gaiman (American Gods), this fantasy story blends the worlds of H.P. Lovecraft and Roger Zelazny. This new edition of Only the End of the World Again features a brand new cover, in a new deluxe hardcover format; with bonus material including high res scans of the inks and layouts.
The story features an adjustor, Lawrence Talbot who recently sets up shop in Innsmouth only to discover that the world may be ending and that the instrument of destruction is a werewolf.
100 pages of bonus content for a 54-page comic seems like a fair bit of padding to me, but I can’t deny the appeal of a werewolf + Innsmouth mashup. This review from Adventures in Poor Taste makes it sound like a worthy investment for fans of lycanthropes or the Deep Ones alike. You can pre-order it on Amazon for an early February delivery, or find it in your local comics shop right now!
Here’s the cover again, plus the first five pages:
A. Quinton — Jan. 22nd 2018
This stark depiction of a pierced, struggling, half-transformed werewolf lacks a title through which one might understand Bragg’s exact intent, freeing you, the viewer, to have it represent anything you like: your struggle against a cruel world, the strength to change yourself against all odds, the blood you’ve shed for others, or your modest collection of arrows and spears.
A. Quinton — Jan. 22nd 2018
This self-published comic by Tatum Howlett contains gratuitous murders, two counts of reckless driving (drunk; werewolf transformation) and some very cool werewolf designs. You can download a PDF for any price you want, including free, but I recommend that you pay at least a dollar for it because c’mon. C’mon.
a full, black & white, 31-page comic about werewolves and subtle nihilism!
you can download the .pdf for $0 or as many as u think it deserves, i’m not worried about it. just read it bro!!!!
Nice work, Tatum. You definitely captured my experience as an aspiring novelist – I too constantly check the fridge instead of working on the manuscript.