JD Laclede, the West Coast vibe, and “Ask The Werewolves – Memory”

A. Quinton — Jun. 24th 2017

Having lived near the Pacific Ocean for most of my life, there’s a particular “west coast” vibe that strikes a chord with me whenever I detect it in a story or piece of writing. It’s in the music of Loscil and Tycho, the writing of Douglas Coupland and Kim Stanley Robinson, and as I am increasingly delighted to discover, the work of JD Laclede.

JD writes and draws Ask The Werewolves and he also wrote the outstanding story “Broken Colors” for Werewolves Versus Fascism. He does a lot more than that – see for yourself on his Patreon and at his site – but anything he creates that depicts his vision of California comports especially strongly with my own tough-to-articulate feelings about the land between Alaska and the Baja. There’s love, hope, sweet melancholy, and that distinctly Pacific mashup of glittering new cities and ancient coastal forest.

All of that is encapsulated wonderfully in the animation he posted recently in response to an Ask The Werewolves question. You don’t even need to be familiar with Blackbird (the werewolf depicted), the city of Midnight, CA or the conceit of ATW to get that vibe. I’m grateful that JD and so many other artists, writers and musicians are able to express what I can’t about this place… and I’m particularly thankful that JD can do it with wry humour and werewolves.

The Turtles face werewolves & other monsters in TMNT season 5

A. Quinton — Jun. 23rd 2017

I would be doing my 10-year-old self a grave disservice by not posting about the fact that the current season of Nickelodeon’s animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series will contain a four-episode storyline involving zombies, vampires and werewolves.

I haven’t watched a TMNT show since the original 1987 – 1996 series so I have no idea what’s going on in this CG version that started in 2012, but I’m pleased to see in the season 5 trailer below that Usagi Yojimbo is still around, Donatello (the best turtle) is still a nerd, and that the Turtles are still somehow effectively disguising their 4-foot-tall mutant reptile bodies with trench coats and hats.

This four-episode run starts on August 13, 2017 with episode 8 (The Curse of Savanti Romero). I don’t know what level of werewolf content will be present, other than “there is one in the trailer” and “it’s mad at Donatello”, but 35-year-old me will be observing this conjunction of two of 10-year-old me’s formative fandom obsessions with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Parting thought: apparently Raphael becomes a vampire for a little while during these episodes. That’s not great, but at least it’s not Leonardo, for whom vampirism would mean a downgrade from “the worst Turtle” to “supermassive black hole of lameness”.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson rumoured to play The Wolfman in Universal’s Dark Universe

A. Quinton — Jun. 23rd 2017

Wrestler, movie star, singer, Instagram darling, potential US presidential candidate – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can do anything he wants. Now he might want to be a werewolf, which is fine by me! According to The Hollywood Reporter, rumours are circulating that Johnson may be under consideration for the title role in the upcoming “Wolfman” reboot that comprises one of the pillars of Universal’s “Dark Universe” franchise. There’s been no new information about the reboot itself since the initial rumours in 2015, but the possibility of that big charming beastly man portraying Larry Talbot is the first thing I’ve heard about the Wolfman reboot that’s made me interested.

Thanks to Tandye for the image accompanying this post!

WV05 – “Werewolves Versus: Hollywood” call for entries

A. Quinton — Jun. 22nd 2017

Werewolves Versus, the zine I edit, has a new issue coming out this summer, and you could be in it!

Less than a month to go before submission cut-off for WEREWOLVES VERSUS: HOLLYWOOD!

We want comicsillustrationspoems and short stories about werewolves in film, on film, involved in filmmaking, movie criticism, special effects or anything else related to movies. Everyone is welcome!

Your submission doesn’t need to involve Hollywood specifically. For instance, I’m in Vancouver, where many of your favourite shows and films are made. Then there’s the world of indie filmmaking, student films, educational filmstrips…

We’ve been accepting completed original submissions since spring, with a deadline of July 16th 2017. If you’re interested in submitting something, please have a look at the WV termsand submission guidelines.

15 submissions will be selected by the editor (that’s me) and published in the issue. Each accepted submission will be paid 6% of the issue’s net profits through 2023. Go here for more info on compensation.

If you have questions, please ask @werewolves_vs on Twitter.

You can read the four previous issues of Werewolves Versus here for whatever price you like – including free!

Indulge your bloodlust for hippies in “Beast Mode: Night of the Werewolf”

A. Quinton — Jun. 20th 2017

Beast Mode: Night of the Werewolf is a “goofy, fun, over the top Arcade Beat ‘Em Up” from Apeirogon Games in which you play a werewolf whose “sole purpose in life is to decimate a group of hapless hippies as they party in the woods, the desert or even on the moon”.

Flex your paws, sharpen your claws and lay those hippies to rest! String together the highest kill combo and compete against the clock to earn the highest score and submit it to our online leader boards!

The game is Windows-only and is available for $4.99 at IndieGameStand. (It’s also on Steam, but doesn’t drop until July 14th for some reason.) It sounds like the kind of thing you could drop into to kill 10 minutes. Try it for yourself with the demo, which includes one of the game’s five maps, plus online leaderboards.

The story in the game’s press kit really doubles down on the hippy hate – “You breathe in, the scent of your enemies floating on the air; patchouli oil, how you loathe the smell of patchouli!” – but without having even played the demo, I get the feeling that the narrow range of (apparently harmless) victims could get stale fast. It would be nice to see additional victim/enemy types in a future update.

Hit up the Apeirogon Games site for more details, including media and purchase links. Thanks to @NicholasUnder for the link!

The soon-to-be-retired Werewolf Attack Puppet from VFX Creates

A. Quinton — Jun. 19th 2017

While at the West Coast Haunters convention last month we met Doug Schaefer, artist and one of the monster-makers at VFX Creates. I bought a Slaughtered Lamb sticker from him and we got to see a frenetic and very enjoyable demo of the wearable attack zombie puppet that VFX Creates makes.

They also make a werewolf attack puppet! Doug said they’re planning to replace it with a new model, and it looks like the single one they have left in stock is over 40% off. Edit: looks like someone snapped it up!

Here are the details:

The puppet comes with a harness and is light weight (around 12 lbs.) so it can be worn comfortably for long periods of time. The harness is disguised by a 2X black hoodie and a fake arm allows you to control the puppet while giving the illusion that your arm has been pinned to your chest by the hungry werewolf.

It was a pleasure to meet Doug and see him perform with “Sally”. I look forward to seeing the new werewolf he and VFX create.

Dušan Marković’s “Night Legion” album cover art features amazing werewolves

A. Quinton — Jun. 18th 2017

Serbian artist Dušan Marković recently posted his amazing cover art for Australian power metal band Night Legion‘s debut album. The cover of “Blood Wolf Coven” depicts lead vocalist Vo Simpson leading the rest of the band, who have turned into a squad of incredibly bad-ass werewolves. Below are some detail shots from the Night Legion Facebook page. Click any of them for the full piece on Dušan’s DeviantArt page.

Friend of Werewolf News (and amazing artist in his own right) Viergacht called it “the most epic werewolf metal album cover”, and I agree! These beasts perfectly embody my ideal werewolf aesthetic. That seems to be Dušan’s style – he’s painted at least one other group of werewolves in this style and I think I’m in love.

I wish I could tell you more about Night Legion and Blood Wolf Coven, but their online presence is kind of weird – there’s no release date other than “2017” for the album on their Facebook page or web site, and you can only hear their music in sample videos for the spring tour that just ended. If you’re into melodic power metal, check them out!

“The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen” #2 / #3 covers & pre-orders

A. Quinton — Jun. 17th 2017

If you enjoyed issue #1 of Space Goat’s canonical direct sequel to The Howling (my review, pre-order physically here), you can also pre-order issues number 2 and number 3 right now. Here are the covers and release details. Don’t forget that you can walk into most local comic shops and pre-order a physical copy with the SKU. Aside from guaranteeing you’ll get a copy, pre-orders are a great way to demonstrate to publishers that a series is worth renewing. You know, in case you want more werewolf comics.

THE HOWLING: REVENGE OF THE WEREWOLF QUEEN #2

SKU: HWLG0102
ISBN: 978-1-64017-095-7
UPC: 711099797381 00211
Price: $3.99
Rating: Teen+
Writer: Micky Neilson
Art: Jason Johnson (A), Milan Parvanov (C)
Cover: Yvel Guichet (A)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Horror
Publication Date: August 2017

Chris Halloran is forced to take matters into his own hands as his redemption is threatened by a growing conspiracy, but a possible light appears at the end of the tunnel. Meanwhile, Marsha Quist embarks on a bloody campaign to claim the mysterious Hand of Akkara.

THE HOWLING: REVENGE OF THE WEREWOLF QUEEN #3

SKU: HWLG0103
UPC: 711099797381 00311
Price: $3.99
Rating: Teen+
Writer: Micky Neilson
Art: Jason Johnson (A), Milan Parvanov (C)
Cover: Yvel Guichet (A) Carlos Eduardo (I) Chris Summers (C)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Horror
Publication Date: September 2017

Chris Halloran faces demons both past and present, and soon learns that the hunter can easily become the hunted. Unexpected twists and turns in Marsha Quist’s schemes to exact retribution lead to the most shocking revelation yet.

Manny Aguilera’s “Bite Me” t-shirt design

A. Quinton — Jun. 8th 2017

Manny Aguilera (mannycartoon on Twitter and Instagram) has designed a new shirt that I have absolutely purchased because I am complete sucker for tank tops with late-80s motifs. Add aviators to a snarling werewolf and my credit card magically appears on the desk. If you get one of these shirts (or any other product with this design on it) by end-of-day Friday, you’ll get an automatic discount, too!

I wanted to design something fun with bold colors. I grew up in the 80s and 90s and I still remember all those bold Ocean Pacific t-shirts and the cool tees my skater buddies used to wear. This design is a take off on that, and a little tribute to #werewolfwednesday and the culture that spawned it. I grew up obsessed with werewolves (Scott Howard is the man) so I wanted to create something 10-year-old me would lose his mind over.

Full Moon Features: Bubba the Redneck Werewolf (2014)

Craig J. Clark — Jun. 8th 2017

Long in the works and nearly as long making it to home video after its first public screening three years ago, the big-screen adaptation of Mitch Hyman’s cult comic book Bubba the Redneck Werewolf is finally available to be seen by all manner of lycanthrope lovers. It must be said, however, that it will be most appreciated by those with a high tolerance for bad jokes, puns, and sight gags. In fact, viewers will know right away whether Bubba is the werewolf for them based on its bouncy, countrified theme song, which plays over the opening credits.

“His teeth are long, his claws are sharp, he’s a beast in moon and sun,” goes one lyric. “If this defies your precious science, well, you might wanna cut and run.” Science aside, Bubba is not your traditional werewolf since his transformation is one-way only with no return to his human form in sight. He’s even played by two actors — Chris Stephens when he’s human, which only lasts for about 15 minutes, and Fred Lass after he wolfs out (a transition that disappointingly happens off-screen). This comes about when the hapless Bubba, in an effort to win back his one-time high-school sweetheart Bobbie Jo (Malone Thomas), makes a deal with The Devil (gleefully played by Hyman), who arrives in the hick town of Broken Taint (in Cracker County, Florida) in all his red-skinned, horned glory. “I wanna be strong and powerful,” Bubba confides in him. “I wanna be a macho man with hair on my chest and hair on my head.” And that is precisely what The Devil delivers — along with a four-slice toaster and smokeless ashtray as a bonus for signing away his soul.

When Bubba awakens the next morning and sees himself in the mirror, his response isn’t far from how many werewolf aficionados would probably react. “Holy shit,” he says, admiring his fangs, claws, and fur. “I’m a werewolf. I’m a fucking werewolf,” pausing before adding, “Awesome!” Unfortunately, just about everybody else in town makes spectacularly bad deals with The Devil, who has a lawyer’s knack for finding loopholes in contracts and taking full advantage of them. Accordingly, they take up residence in Bubba’s favorite watering hole and petition him to kill the fiend and release them from their self-inflicted torments. The trouble is Bubba likes his new identity, especially since it causes Bobbie Jo to toss her new beau aside and swoon for him in a big way, so he’ll need to have all his wits about him when he finally confronts the horned one, and he doesn’t have too many to start with. “I made you and I can destroy you just as easily,” says The Devil, a line given extra weight since it’s spoken by Bubba’s actual creator.

Befitting its comic-book origins, the action in Bubba is frequently cartoonish and over-the-top. Director Brendan Jackson Rogers (who also appears as Bubba’s idiot cousin Clovis in addition to producing, operating the camera, and being one of the film’s editors) embraces this with his reliance on digital effects for a lot of the signage, explosions, blood sprays, and projectile vomit. Meanwhile, screenwriter Stephen Biro wallows in all manner of verbal humor, much of it of the cornball variety. This reaches its nadir in the interminable “Where Is Hu?” routine, which won’t be causing Abbott and Costello fans to lose any sleep. And the less said about the montage in which Bubba goes fishing and bowling, plays video games, and catches a Frisbee in his mouth (a moment that recalls a similar sequence in Teen Wolf Too), the better.

It would be a mistake to judge this film too harshly, though. Bubba the Redneck Werewolf — at least in its cinematic form — was always meant to be lowbrow entertainment, so as long as one approaches it on that level, it’s possible to find things to enjoy about it. Plus, it’s barely 80 minutes long, so it doesn’t have enough time to wear out its welcome. That counts for a lot.