A. Quinton — Feb. 23rd 2018
Roald Dahl’s collection of delightfully messed-up fairy tales has been adapted from a book into two half-hour animated short films directed by Jakob Schuh Jan Lachauer and narrated by Dominic West. The meta-story surrounding the two short films stars a wolf (potentially Big and/or Bad), which is werewolf-adjacent enough to be posted here.
The characters designs are fantastic – a kind of mashup of Quentin Blake’s illustrations and Aardman-style 3D figurines. Lupine bias aside, I love the variety of depictions the wolf (or wolves) have.
Revolting Rhymes was produced by Magic Light Pictures (London), animated by Magic Light Pictures (Berlin) and Triggerfish Animation (Cape Town), and aired on PBS in the United States. The first episode, featuring a radical reinterpretation of Red Riding Hood and Snow White’s stories, is currently in the running for an Academy Award.
A. Quinton — Feb. 21st 2018
Earlier this week, digital sculptors Maria Panfilova and Rodion Vlasov fired up ZBrush to stage a “friendly sculpt battle”. The goal: to see who could better interpret an illustration of a feasting werewolf by Frank Cho. The results posted on their Instagram feeds seem to clear to me: everyone wins. Literally everyone on the planet, except for the owner of that gnawed-upon arm, who has lost a different, more fundamental battle.
Maria is a 3D character artist from Moscow. You can see more of her work, which ranges from fantasy creatures to lifelike realizations of scenes from Disney films, at ArtStation. Her interpretation of werewolf dinnertime is very animal, with an emphasis on the musculature and hunched posture. This is a creature that’s eating quickly, protecting its meal from potential attackers. The tension and the way it’s framed in the renders below makes me think of Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son.
Rodion is a CG artist and musician from Yaroslavl. He’s also on ArtStation, and his creations are more in the fantasy-horror vein. That’s reflected in his version of Werewolf Feasting, which depicts a lycanthrope with fur that’s matted, almost tentacle-like, and a more relaxed pose, as if to say “yeah, I ate this guy, and no matter how fast you run, you’re next.” Rodion also posted two time-lapse videos of his work on this that are available on his YouTube channel.
You can’t watch “Monster Family”, the animated film that was based on a ride that was based on a book
A. Quinton — Feb. 19th 2018
“Monster Family” is animated family film of the sort where the trailer features a lovingly-animated fart joke. As far as I can tell, there is no way to watch it.
When I saw the character art I was sure it was a spin-off from the Hotel Transylvania series, but nope – it’s based on David Safier’s book “Happy Family”, which was then somehow turned into the premise for a 4D cinema/ride at a cave-based theme park called Wookey Hole, which was then – because this is how these things work – expanded into a feature film. It follows the misadventures of a shitty family who get turned into monsters because Dracula hates them for some reason. I’m posting about it because the boy becomes a werewolf who looks like Rhea Butcher.
This British-German production features the voices of Emily Watson, Nick Frost, Jessica Brown Findlay, Celia Imrie, Catherine Tate, and Jason Isaacs. The trailer and the airport scene that follows it seem to contain dialogue animation matching a non-English script – German, maybe, or perhaps Brazilian Portuguese, for the sake of the film’s premiere, which was in Brazil. It arrived in American theatres on February 9th 2018, and now doesn’t seem to be playing anywhere, nor is it available for purchase. It does not exist. Did it ever exist? Or did Genndy Tartakovsky have a bad dream that we all shared?
Wookey Hole, if you’re looking for another attraction to turn into a feature film, I have a suggestion.
A. Quinton — Feb. 18th 2018
I like the werewolf design in this short animation by illustrator Canfeng Chen, completed as part of some coursework he was doing in 2016. But who is this werewolf? Well, I’ve included an image of one of the other two characters in the animation as a clue.
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.