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.
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.
A. Quinton — Jun. 7th 2017
Werewolf depictions fall on a spectrum ranging from “murder monster” to “fluffy friend”. I tend to prefer the former, but every now and then something comes along – a children’s book or a plush toy – that makes me say “aw, how sweet”, followed by “aw, shit, I definitely have to post about this”.
Kel McDonald and Molly Muldoon are co-editing an anthology of “cute or goofy” werewolf stories (predominantly or maybe exclusively in comic format) called Can I Pet Your Werewolf? It’ll be available as a PDF and as a physical book, funded by a Kickstarter campaign that’s currently on pace to be 100% funded in less than two weeks.
Can I Pet Your Werewolf? is a light-hearted anthology featuring tales of friendship, family, and romance shared between those who get hairy under a full moon. Just because they have sharp teeth and claws doesn’t mean they have to be a monster out for blood. It is organized by Kel McDonald (Sorcery 101 and Misfits of Avalon) and co-edited by Kel McDonald and Molly Muldoon.
It contains 160 black and white pages of stories by Alina Pete, Aud Koch, Kendra Wells, Mariah McCourt, Aliz Fernández, Meredith McClaren, Monica Gallagher, Rashad Doucet, Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein, Cat Farris, Seanan McGuire, Caitlin Like, Shauna Grant, Sophie Goldstein, and Zach Lehner. Stretch goals include radical concepts like “paying our contributors more”, plus goodies for you in the form of art prints by additional artists like Abby Howard and Nina Matsumoto.
One of the backer reward levels includes a print by Melanie Ujimori and I really hope it’s the “werewolf pile” cover art she did. It takes a lot to make me post a “tfw” or “this is me” tweet, but folks, this is me.
Indie werewolf horror comic “WereWolf Run” shows why putting “werewolf attack” on your auto insurance is a good idea
A. Quinton — Jun. 5th 2017
WereWolf Run is a four-issue indie horror comic written and drawn by Daniel Leister, an artist who’s turned his dream of a self-created “good and bloody werewolf story” into 100 pages of werewolf horror, gunfire and lovingly-rendered entrails.
As a comic book artist for the past 10 years, I’ve worked on such books as Hack/Slash, Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Ash, the Wonderland series, and the recently funded Lord of Gore. WereWolf Run isn’t the first comic book that I’ve done, but it is the first comic that I’ve completely written and illustrated myself.
Last year Leister ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the title’s production, with the primary reward being print and digital copies of the completed graphic novel. Production is a little behind schedule, (owing to the happy arrival of a second child and a colourist who acquired a day job) but I don’t think that’s a big problem. Lots of solo or small-staffed Kickstarter projects miss their deadlines, but as long as communication’s good and the backer community is kept informed, the end result is usually worth the wait. Judging by the steady stream of updates and art he’s posting on the campaign update page and Twitter, Leister’s working his ass off.
I’ve read the first issue and it reminds me of something Stephen King would’ve written in the early 1980s. Sometimes bad things happen to people for no reason, or through a series of coincidences, or because a government transport truck does a Mario Kart banana peel wipeout on the body of a (disturbingly graphic) injured deer. The werewolf doesn’t make an appearance in that issue, but from the sketches and additional pages Leister’s shared, I can tell I’m really going to like the design.
So where can you get WereWolf Run if you missed the Kickstarter?
- Head over here to read the first half (or so) of the first issue,
- visit Leister’s Patreon to get a PDF of the whole first issue for free (no money required), plus lots of behind-the-scene sketches and ongoing updates as pages are finished (money required, but come on, it’s two dollars), or
- pre-order the completed graphic novel and forget about it until the whole thing arrives in your inbox (or mailbox).
A. Quinton — Jun. 1st 2017
Fresh off last week’s Star Wars werewolf / Shistavanen reprise, Rick Baker is back at it with the werewolf creature effects. Yesterday he posted this 2008 photo of himself as a werewolf, about to get strung up by the ladies he’s menacing (his wife and daughters). This scene was remarkable enough that it served as their family Christmas card that year, but let’s be honest – they’re probably doing stuff like this every weekend.
Baker didn’t share any details about the werewolf makeup’s provenance, but it has a very (Beauty and the) “Beast”-ly design that looks great in this fairy tale tableau. I also see a resemblance to the Wolfman design that would go on to win he and Dave Elsey the Academy Award for Best Makeup three years later.
It makes me inordinately happy that Rick Baker knows #WerewolfWednesday is a thing.
A. Quinton — May. 25th 2017
The Star Wars werewolf connection hinges entirely on special effects legend Rick Baker deciding to use some of his off-the-shelf creature masks during re-shoots of the Episode IV cantina scene in 1977. Among those masks was a werewolf Baker had created on his own in 1973. As with seemingly everyone else in that cantina, the werewolf extra gained an official name – Lak Sivrak – and an elaborate backstory full of intrigue, romance, tragedy, sacrifice, most of which was told through Star Wars comic books.
Then in 2012, Disney consigned everything about the character except his name and species to Legends, the phantom zone for all retroactively non-canonical Star Wars artifacts. And that was it for poor Lak until earlier this week, when Baker set about re-casting a new mask from that original 1973 mold.
He posted four photos of his work – which I’ve embedded below – on his Instagram feed. The quality of his design and work is astonishing, and consider that he did all of this in three days.
The hashtags and reminiscences in Baker’s comments make this seem like an observance of the film’s release anniversary – Star Wars hit theatres 40 years ago today –but it could also be a coincidence. Baker seems like the kind of person who’d resurrect a 43-year-old mold and then and pour, pull, paint, hair and trim a new mask on a lark – simply because he loves doing this sort of thing (and happens to be really, really, really fucking good at it).
A. Quinton — May. 24th 2017
How do you write a worthy sequel to a (cult) classic werewolf movie that spawned a rogues gallery of generally putrid follow-ups? In the first issue of the officially licensed The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen comic series from Space Goat, writer Micky Neilson (no stranger to werewolf stories) doubles down on all the things that made The Howling a werewolf icon: creeping dread, brutal gore, characters making implausible but entertaining decisions, and multiple full-frontal werewolf transformations. The result is an experience so satisfying that it simultaneously redeems and obviates the seven other films in the series. This is the new Howling canon.
Werewolf Queen picks up just a few weeks after TV reporter Karen White’s dramatic revelation at the conclusion of The Howling. The first issue divides its time between Karen’s colleague Chris Halloran, who’s charged with murder, out on bail and having a hard time sleeping – and the titular werewolf queen Marsha Quist, who escaped the Colony with at least a few of her werewolf “brothers” and is now on the hunt for a valuable artifact.
Neilson’s script cleverly recaps the film’s conclusion for newcomers (and the forgetful) by serving it as part of Chris’s sweaty apartment-bound paranoia and confusion. The general public is either skeptical of or indifferent to the newly-revealed existence of werewolves, but Chris knows they’re dangerously real. He’d be happy to discuss the subject with the police or his KDHB co-workers, if only they would stop dying mysteriously.
Marsha, meanwhile, pays a visit to Vera, an antiques dealer whose stodgy outfit and shitty attitude made her my instant Comic Book Avatar of 2017. Vera deals in more than just antiques, and Marsha has some uncomfortable questions about one of these illicit transactions. This leads to a chase scene, a lovingly-rendered werewolf transformation and an accompanying monologue that all add up to pure horror cheese.
It’s good, the cheese. It’s very good. The last few pages of the issue would border on satirical nonsense both in setting and in content if it weren’t for the fact that it’s all so fucking fun. Any horror fan could look at the setup and predict the conclusion, right down to the jump scares, and what makes that such a delight is that Neilson and artist Jason Johnson know you know what’s going on.
They’ve been given a chance to revive a languishing franchise, and they’re already laying the groundwork for a direction that doesn’t involve Christopher Lee selling bad dialogue or werewolf castle orgies, but first they’re going to take a little detour through a literal horror funhouse. That’s what you came for, isn’t it? Arcane McGuffins, dress-shredding wolf-outs, snub-nosed revolvers, rotary telephones, gratuitous beheadings and all the best fashion of 1981? This stuff is a blast, and it’s this sense of smirking dangerous fun that makes this issue (and hopefully the rest of the series) work so well.
Available through comiXology right now (edit: as of June 16 2017 the issue is missing from Comixology. I’ve asked Space Goat to update me on its availability and will revise this post when I hear back) and in print on May 31st.
THE HOWLING: REVENGE OF THE WEREWOLF QUEEN #1 (of 4)
UPC: 711099797381 00111 (Covers A & B)
UPC: 711099797381 00121 (Cover C)
UPC: 711099797381 00131 (Cover D)
Writer: Micky Neilson
Art: Jason Johnson (A), Milen Parvanov (C)
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Kevin West (A), Yvel Guichet (A, C), Carlos Eduardo (A), Chris Summers (B), Anton Kokarev (B), Bill Sienkeiwicz (D)
A. Quinton — May. 20th 2017
The weather’s nice now, and the sudden increase in hollering kids in the park behind my house has got me thinking about the kind of nurturing and instruction required to keep children from turning into actual, literal monsters. Illustrator Amethyst Tagney has created a book on that very subject, beautifully illustrated and perfect for the tiny demon in your life.
It’s Tough Being a Werewolf
The first day of school evokes an array of emotions depending on the person. Some feel excited, some feel nervous, some may feel nothing at all. However, if you are a werewolf, it can be downright tough. It’s Tough Being a Werewolf is centered on a young werewolf named Wally during his first day of Monster School. Although excited, Wally’s nerves soon get the best of him as he focuses more and more on the other monster children’s abilities rather than his own. Through my story, I want to communicate to children and to the people reading to them that each one of us has our own abilities and strengths we can lean on. These abilities do not make us any better or worse, but gives us the uniqueness that make us special in our on way. It can be hard to realize our potential when surrounded by people we think are more talented than us. However, it is through our differences that we complement one another and build each other up as well as ourselves, making life easier and less scary to navigate. So, no matter if you are a werewolf, a vampire, a ghost, or a yeti, there is something in all of us that make us awooooo-some!
A. Quinton — May. 19th 2017
Good: Funko made a vinyl Pop! werewolf figure that isn’t based on a dull or safe-for-network-TV design. The Fruit Brute Pop combines three of my favourite things: an excellent werewolf design, a retro mascot, and nostalgia for the weirdly-branded food of the early 1980s. The fangs, the spoon, the stripy complementary colour coveralls – this one would sit front and center on my desk.
Bad: Funko boxed the Fruit Brute in with another cereal mascot, Yummy Mummy, then deigned to make only 2,500 of the sets. They sold out pretty much instantly. If you want one you’ll have to scour eBay and pay some “””collector””” a massive markup.
Details and photo via Bloody Disgusting since the Funko product page is now just a 404. You did it bad, Funko. You did a bad job.
A. Quinton — May. 18th 2017
Thanks to JD for (retweeting?) the link (I think?)!