Author: Mike Roukas

Mike Roukas holds an MFA in Creative Writing from a swingin’ San Francisco university, and a BA in English from a little Bible-belt college. On, he unites these powers like Voltron to engage the productive, insightful activity of reviewing and mocking stupid werewolf paraphernalia. He has a few literary black projects too, but when he’s not working on them, he’s grappling with the bitter truth that being an adjunct professor in America is about as lucrative as owning an Amish-run computer repair shop. Mike also likes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Thai noodles, old school videogames, ferrets, hyenas, guns, and lava lamps. He also likes to write during early, rainy mornings like he’s straight out of a Folgers commercial or some shit.

The Five Stupidest Werewolf Action Figures Ever

“He picked a damn lonely place to live, didn’t he?” Police Sergeant Jack McBain finished the last of his coffee – straight black – and tossed the paper cup out the squad car window. He cursed as the vehicle bumped down the stony rural road. “Not exactly the brownstone district. The crazy bastard.”

Major Andrew Quinton, steering with two fingers, was composed on the outskirts of this quiet Montana town just as he was when busting through Manhattan gridlock or weaving through the Lincoln Tunnel. “Can it, McBain.”

A small, halfway-camouflaged house came into view. It was colored with brown and green tones like the earth and the forest around it.

McBain snorted laughter. “Where the hell does this guy live anyway?”

Quinton himself had almost missed the house, but he felt as calm and observant in nature as he did taking the path train and navigating puke-scented concrete terminals. “If you upstate boys learned to pull your heads out of your own asses, maybe you’d see what’s hidden in front of you. Stay in the car.”

McBain’s eyes widened – now he saw the house. “Shit, how do you know he lives here?”

Quinton cut the engine and got out of the car. The subtle breeze tossed his loose tie, and the morning sun glinted off his aviator glasses. “Because I know Roukas.”

A lone figure stood in the shallows of the river, fishing. He casted his fly rod and line forward and backward, methodical as a Tai Chi master, easeful as a Japanese monk using an ink brush to write haiku upon a worn palimpsest. Without turning, he spoke. “Caught up with me at last. Looks like your satellites are useful for something.”

Quinton stood on dry ground not far away. “It’s been a long time, Roukas.”

“Maybe not long enough.”

A whippoorwill coo’d somewhere in the swaying evergreens. It made the silence poignant, earning itself a paragraph of its own.

Quinton swiped off his aviators as quick as he had opened his switchblade when Chico had blown his cover during the sting op of the Corazón gang. “Damn it, Roukas, the force wants you writing for Werewolf News again, but you’ve got to pull it together!”

Roukas shook his head sullenly, the shadow of a nearby tree halfway hiding his face in a mysterious duality. “Reminds me too much of ‘Nam.”

“Damn it, Roukas, you were never in ‘Nam. You’re thinking of the conflict and hardship that arose when you conned me into uploading that feature of yours that had less to do with actual werewolf news than it had to do with Mohammed and his cute sidekick Explodey the Bomb. Since then, I’ve been fighting off angry political bullshit as if I was Roberto Luongo back on Vancouver ice. And then there was the time you went to the secret library basement of Eton where you did research and exposed the fact that the true origin of vampires lies in the ancient Sumerian game of penisball. Vampires United Inc. hacked my site and did a Carrie prom-scene reenactment on it. Took me a week to make the interweb netcode something less than fubar. And then there was the time…”

Roukas raised a hand calmly like a true boss. “I get it. I understand.”

“Roukas, the fact is that sometimes in order to fight monsters, we have to become monsters ourselves. You’re good at that. Maybe too good. But in these mind-splittingly retarded times we live in, ‘too good’ is what we need. There’s a lot of stupid in the world, and it needs to be more than exposed – just like cockroaches or shady politicians. It needs to be mocked and degraded, slammed hard, verbal’d, PWN3D boss-style.” Quinton put his aviators on again – put them on slowly and casually, looking so much like a bad-ass grizzled veteran that this music started playing. “There comes a time when a man’s gotta’ stop running and face what he is. When a man’s gotta’ stand strong and not go afk like a little bitch for once. I offer you that chance.”

The wind swayed the branches overhead, and the shadow departed from Roukas’s brow. He faced the shore of the river and walked, emerging from the waters as if newly baptized. He felt reborn, cleansed, raised out of the horseshit of the world, hosed-down and clean of it all, purified, Videl Sassoon’d the hell up, and Old Spice’d to the max. “What’s the job?”


#5. Oz the Werewolf, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

OzA good werewolf figurine should meet two basic requirements: it should be ferocious and bad-ass, and it should show the werewolf as misunderstood and conflictedly bad-ass, thus creating an infinitely looping synergy of bad-ass. This figure does not attain that synergy. It’s marketed as a werewolf, but the designers could have pulled a brilliant marketing tactic by labeling it exactly what it appears to be: Jihadist Seth Green, complete with vacant stare, scraggly beard, and Durkastanian scowl. This could be more frightening than werewolves and vampires combined. I figure that if I had to fight a werewolf, I’d at least stand a decent chance of slapping on a guillotine choke while being only half-mauled. And if I had to fight a vampire, well, let’s just say that I know my way around a little place called Castlevania, and I know that shouting “HYDRO-STORM!” is all the quasi-Catholicism I need to beat their pale asses. Weirdly enough, that works far better than screaming things like “The power of Christ compels thee!” That’s because “HYDRO-STORM!” is a reference to that part in the Bible where Jesus and the disciples unite their house-sized robotic cats to form Armored Zeitgeist Seraphim Leozord X before facing Satan in the final desert-level. Regardless, if I had to fight the Durkastan version of Seth Green, and if I wasn’t able to quickly hide behind Captain America’s shield or Michael Moore’s fatness, then I’ll say that I’d karmically learn why I shouldn’t have lobbed M80s at anthills when I was a kid.

Anyway, the reason why this figure sucks is because it’s simply not a werewolf. I determined this by employing the following esoteric lycanthropic knowledge: slapping a beard and pointy ears on a person makes them a werewolf just as much as slapping Fig Newton decals on your car makes you a NASCAR driver. You may have seen this sort of phenomenon happen to meatheads in the mall who buy TapOut and Affliction clothing and suddenly think they’re UFC fighters. Or maybe you’ve seen it happen to hipsters who think that uploading political commentary onto their Facebook pages is equivalent to blogging, and that blogging is an art form equivalent to the novel. Or maybe you’ve seen it happen in the example of upper middle class raver kids who rev their souped-up Volkswagens, roar out of the parking lot, and then fart down the slow lane on the interstate. Back in the day, TLC would describe these kinds of people as “scrubs.” Call me opinionated, but I don’t think werewolves were meant to be always talkin’ about what they want while sitting on their broke asses. Hell, we all have moments where we do that, but those aren’t the moments that should be taken and used to make unflattering action figures of ourselves. That’s why the makers of this figure should have instead showcased Seth Green in a more wolfed-out form. But in that case the figure would have zero Seth Green marketing appeal, and this point leads me to…

#4. Jacob, from Twilight: New Moon

Jacob…this crazy shit. No, they couldn’t even give Jacob a bit of pointy ear-tippage or a grinning flash of Colgate-white canine teeth. Instead, this is just a little statue of Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob the werewolf in the Twilight movies. What the hell does it matter if you make a werewolf figurine of a person who shows no signs of being a werewolf? At least the makers of the Oz figurine kinda-sorta lifted their little fingers to make him look kinda-sorta beastly. But selling this Jacob figurine is like Mattel selling an action figure of a businessman, but charging an arm and a leg because supposedly they’re actually selling Bruce Wayne without his Batman-suit on. All of this isn’t really false advertising as much as it is deceptive advertising. Because after all Jacob is a werewolf – it’s just that he’s packaged (hur hurr) in a way so that fangirls can take home an idol of masturbatory fantasy while telling their parents: “Oh, it’s just that werewolf character from the movie! Get with it, dad, lol!”

The problem is that by this logic, you and I are both purveyors of Twilightisms when we buy something from Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister, then continue our walk through the mall while holding our purchases in those gigantic paper bags that showcase enormous photographs of shirtless young men giving Quagmire-grins to all who pass us by. Now some people are cool with that, but when it’s unavoidable to write about Jacob in this list, or when I have to walk around the mall feeling like a peddler of beefcake porn-in-a-bag, I tend to get a little antsy. Yes, I’ve tried to turn the bag inside out, but Abercrombie & Fitch has constructed their bags with self-destruct mechanisms that rip the paper if you try to do that. Yes, I’ve tried to con myself into thinking that Jacob is just Dirk Diggler 2.0 and thus something for werewolf aficionados to dismiss with a wave of the hand, but sadly this cannot be done.

Just like black-on-black crime has tainted rap music, Jacob’s douchy studliness has tainted werewolf fandom, and frankly we just have to live with that. This is the same moment of truth that moral Republicans faced when they pulled their heads out of their asses long enough to see that their leaders are corrupt oilmen, and the same moment of truth that moral Democrats faced when they pulled their heads out of their asses long enough to see that Obama was haxoring ur pronz for teh American securities lol. Thus the overwhelming presence of Jacob within the werewolf subculture, while being exposed as being monumentally retarded, is nevertheless dishonoring enough to warrant us drawing our katanas and slicing off our topknots in dishonor. And what else can we do as the iconic and enduring lycanthrope travels in time from its glorious Ming Dynasty into its Abercrombie Dynasty? So let us devote this one moment of silence to lament the beefcake corruption that has associated itself with us all.

#3. Colonel Zol the Werewolf, from Kamen Rider

ZolSpecial guest review by Benny Moto, videogame ad icon of the early 2000’s! Get ready to go kicky fast!

Benny MotoWith its owning of so many design problems, what would this figure deserve? Benny will rip a new ass in it! Put your seatbelt buckled as I rev up the high octane, you feel the freedom of the speed and the scent of burned rubber with my cologne. It’s time to go kicky fast okay?

But first there was a necessity for the figure’s backstory: it was morning, this calm and crusty morning, dry earth’s hopelessness. The terrorist organization SHOCKER (Sacred Hegemony Of Cycle Kindred Evolutional Realm) aimed hard to take over the world through terrorist activities, but never had ever they expected one of their own bio-cyber-humanioid animal-man test subjects escaped the facility to turn against them and fight for the justice. His name is Kamen Rider …no no no you silly American, not Power Rangers. Whats up homeboy, you can not tell apart a Power Ranger from Neo Gouken X: Schoolgirl Borderworld Defenders? Wake up and smell coffee, get with a program!

But anyway, take your look at Colonel Zol, a strong werewolf colonel enemy of Kamen Rider. I think he has inspiration for Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” song:

Whatcha know bout rockin the wolf on your nogin
Whatcha knowin about wearin a fur fox skin

The point is obvious: he fails at being the werewolf just as much as Elvis Presley failed at being truly sexually large when he put the thick rubber hose in his crotch pants before his concert. Do you know why he did that? Because to make it seem like he had a huge penis! This was a deception, just as Colonel Zol with a fail of werewolf-swag. What are you trying for us to believe, Zol? That you are a werewolf, or more like Cookie Monster’s rapist uncle? I am glad I drive my moped through Tokyo and not your Sesame Street, OH SNAP! OH SNAP CRACKLE POP! ONCE BENNY STARTS THE PARTY YOU CANT STOP THE BODY-ROCK!

By-the-way Zol, your moms frustrated she cannot find her blue tights, I know this as she lights up her cigarettes across from me like the suave “California dreamin’” hooker and asks where her leotard and tights could be. I tell her you stole them to terrorist the world. We laugh, you are only the knockoff version of Osama bin Laden. You penis is like the bud of a cherry blossom, you are a Unabomber with no bomb. You are Sodom Husaine without a WMD, “son,” your insane in the membrane and like Scarface without piles of cocaine. Benny makes it rain like Little Wayne and the girls throwing up their Hennessey in the air like they really don’t care. Isn’t that a “SHOCKER” to you? See how I learned American puns hard like Babe Ruth’s fist pounding down on the bar to order wine? How is it like to be troll-slammed free of a charge from Benny Moto? Blow me!

Benny! Moto!But I digress. Buy the Colonel Zol action figure if you need to prove your virginity to the Supreme Court. I know I sure don’t, but don’t take my words for it, ask my woman. Theres only one action figure in my house and it is Sakura. The stars allined in a portent on the internet when we met in the Sailor Moon chatroom (im a moderator). I tell her to be dressed as Sailor Moon by the time I roll my moped to the garage, revving and swinging down the kickstand like a smooth jazzman in the misty smoke and dusk. When I enter the foyer she is ready for me. Will we even make it to the bedroom? There is the mystery!

#2. Fangster, from the 80s Ghost Busters cartoon

FangsterAside from the producers of Japanese children’s programming, what kind of people would design an action figure of a werewolf in a leotard? American cartoon animators from the 1980s, of course. Now some of you may be unfamiliar with the alternate dimension of aesthetics and politics that constituted the 80s, so to make a long story short, you are equal parts culturally deprived and fortunate to have escaped an era where this sort of madness happened on a regular basis. Just like contemporary scholars don’t know exactly how Shakespeare’s plays panned out, or what exactly the traditional Greek dramatic chorus sounded like, people today are still trying to figure out just what the fuck happened during that singular decade that produced such awesome retardedness.

In the 80s, you could always feel better about yourself by watching Madonna whore herself out to anything that walked. You could be cool with only a minimal effort, and there was actually a point at which everyone was cool by default. Movies sucked less because there were less of them, and your neighborhood was your internet. It was a simpler time, but even if you could do a perfect ollie on your skateboard while wearing Blues Brothers sunglasses, you still wouldn’t be as cool as a werewolf in a Flash Gordon leotard. Don’t ask me how this magical era worked – I’m not Ronald Reagan, and I only have vague recollections of how he Master Splinter’d the living shit out of my now-out-of-shape American homeland. What I do know is that bad-asses like Fangster could only be born out of the 80s …and only the 80s could paradoxically make such a shitty action figure out of him.

Even today, There’s a strange disconnect between the quality of a fictional character and his or her action figure incarnation. In the case of Fangster, we’ve got 2 kool 4 school lycanthrope that somehow got action-figurized by Hurk-A-Durk Inc., who made him top-heavy and gave him the ability to count to potato. Nowadays, Mattel could have upped the production value to make Fangster like this or this while simultaneously preserving his distinctive vibe which asserts that Billie Jean was not his lover; she was just a girl who claimed he was the one (but the kid was not his son). However, this was just not meant to be. But chin up – I’d rather have Fangster standing sentinel on my post-it notes than any of the previously reviewed atrocities.

#1. Dick Satisfaction: Transdimensional Werewolf Bounty-Hunter with Nipple-Grenades

dick-satisfactionMark Twain said that truth is stranger than fiction, but he never met Dick Satisfaction. Part Bruce Willis, part Austin Powers, part Patrick Swayze from Roadhouse, and part Deadpool, Dick Satisfaction is a pipe-smoking, crime-stopping lycanthrope from the future. He can even be hired via his own website.

The increasing craziness and diversity of comic book and videogame culture has been paving the way for Dick Satisfaction, but even that wasn’t enough. Many of us are nerdcore enough to look at the progression from the Mickey Mouse Show to Adult Swim and take it all in stride. But even though our aesthetics are evolved and more tolerant of all things batshit crazy, we still don’t even have the proper scale or vocabulary to analyze Dick Satisfaction. Watching this episode of his adventures made one half of my brain howl in the throes of hilarity. However, the other half grew confused like it did when I tried to discuss eschatology with Harold Camping’s automoton-followers on the streets of San Francisco while grown men in Hello Kitty underpants walked past and tried to hit on us.

In all honesty, Dick Satisfaction almost didn’t make the list because, unlike the other werewolf figures, he was designed to be stupid. But the reason he’s here is because he has the courage to plumb the depths of pop-culture stupidity with the audacity of Lieutenant Ripley taking the elevator down to the core of an evil alien hive to rescue a little lost girl. Just how courageous does a non-combatant woman have to be to single-handedly fight the queen of a legion of aliens that had just decimated an entire unit of space marines? Answer: Courageous enough to border on stupid. Just how stupid does Dick Satisfaction have to be just to keep being Dick Satisfaction? Answer: Stupid enough to border on courageous. Therefore Dick Satisfaction earns the #1 spot my list as the Georges St. Pierre of stupid werewolf action figures. And like St. Pierre, he will probably defend his title for 300 more years.

Kindle & Shitty Werewolf Book Covers Get Equipped With: A New Asshole, Ripped Into Place By Roukas

One of the worst English papers I’ve ever graded stated that “technoligy makes people smarter.” I shit you not: That same paper went on to become a letter to President Obama, asking him to invent a device that would revolutionize the recycling process of cardboard and plastic. I know that Obama can MacGyverize anything, but this retardedness alone is a great argument to smash your laptop and become Robinson Caruso. However, even if Bill Gates himself had the self-analysis to blow up his HAL computer and churn Amish butter for the rest of his life, not even that would be enough to stop the inevitable tide of collective stupidity brought about by convenience-based technology. Sure, people don’t need technology to be stupid, but when shit like Kindle comes on the scene, I’d be naïve to think that people would use it to become less stupid and less pinky-raising pseudo-European. I don’t look at the Kindle phenomenon and think that it’ll cause a revival in reading. That would be like looking at a giant cucumber with cooking oil on the float of a gay pride parade, but saying “huh, I wonder what vegetarian recipe they’re advertising?” But what does this mean for shitty werewolf book covers? It means that Kindle is a technological Pandora’s Box that has ushered in a new era of shittiness for literary lycanthropy. That is because Kindle, not being dependent on traditional manufacturing demands, allows more stuff to be published, thus allowing more idiots to shit all over the English language. Lycanthropic literature has therefore become more Michael Bay than ever before.

The following are the most prominent pinnacles of lycanthropic literary retardedness that Kindle has unleashed on the world. And while Obama’s Macgyverness can’t alchemize these turds into gold, mine can.

Mated to a Wolf by Marisa Chernery

If by mated to a “wolf” you mean mated to a Facebook asshole, then yeah, Chernery, you nailed it. Let’s say that I was a conflicted and misunderstood Rastafarian with a propeller growing out of my head, and that I was in competition with a regular Rastafarian to win the heart of a beautiful woman. How the hell would I be more complex, mysterious and sexy than this other guy? If I was an emo asshole who could turn into a wolf, how would that sexify me more than being a regular old amaretto-sipping blogger who plays bass guitar and gets perfect grades while being 2 cool 4 school?

I’m not sure how to solve such mysteries, but I do know that contemporary readers of romances that involve supernatural creatures don’t even ask them. I’m also not sure why contemporary monster-makers have to make their monsters conform to everything that makes contemporary humanity worth yawning at. After all, I thought one of the reasons you’d have your heroine bang a monster to begin with would be to escape the suck-ass reality that readers ironically revel in. Hell, we’ve already seen this happen in Twilight (at least those of us who actually read some of the book or sat through the movie). I was able to make it through the book’s first fifty or so pages, and I regard that as more of an accomplishment than beating The Legend of Zelda without whoring myself out to the Nintendo Power strategy guide.

Janna’s Werewolf by Fawn Lowery

I think that one of my deepest character flaws is my inability to resist arousal when the thing that’s trying to turn me on is hot yet unintentionally retarded. I mean, the hot foreground characters here are basically lifted from a Victoria’s Secret catalog, but what’s up with the mummy with Warcraft-nerd hair? I can’t help but giggle while feeling a bit uncomfortable in my pants, especially after my third glass of sake. However, I doubt that was what Lowery intended my reaction to be as a reader.

And then there’s another problem. The book’s synopsis from runs thus: “Janna Marlow doesn’t know anything about tennis-but she knows about men. And werewolves. She’s one. And tennis great Rick Sawyer has scented her. He’s a werewolf too. She wants an interview. He wants sex. They trade.”

I’ve never met an actual werewolf, but I think that if a werewolf ever became a tennis pro, then he would be a cross between Hannibal Lechter and John MacInroe. Not a computer-generated image of a dehydrated Rob Zombie lost in Ethiopia. Not a jacked Calvin Klein model that’s a cross between Timothy Dalton and Vanilla Ice. To prove this, I’ll re-write some of the book myself.

Janna’s Werewolf by Mike Roukas

“Through the mesh of the court’s net, Rick Sawyer eyed his opponent with feral concentration. The dark hair on his calf bristled as he tensed, and time slowed as his opponent (prey?) launched the shimmering green orb skyward and blasted it with a powerful serve. Fight or flight? No, Rick had never run from anything in his life, and damned if he would now.

“Like the tide dancing its war dance against its ancient Lunar master, Sawyer growled. He and his opponent smashed the ball back and forth across the net, Sawyer eyeing the verdant sphere like he eyed a far more important ball: the moon, every month when it waxed full . . . when he became his true self, when the beast within became the beast without, and then . . . . Rick could not contain himself any longer. With a feral cry he backhanded the green orb, smashing it over the net.

“The human on the other side, the pitiful human had lost touch with its primal roots; its reflexes could not catch the ball in time, and Sawyer joined the crowd’s roar with his own howl of victory that drowned out the announcer’s ‘15-0!’ that resounded throughout the stadium like the cry of an eagle.”

There. If you were able to actually read through that without cringing, then you have my congratulations, Jerry Bruckheimer.

Moonburn by Alisa Sheckley

“Hey Irwin, do you have any sunblock?”

“Why’s that, Simon?”

“I have to go outside for a while. My interwebs are running low, and I need to run to RadioShack to recharge them so I can get back on Warcraft.”

“Ok, but it’s nighttime out. Sunblock?”

“Yeah, I don’t want to get moonburn!”

Moon Illusion by Amy O’Connor

Taking a break from his busy schedule of building killer bike ramps in the woods and playing apple-baseball (basically, where you play baseball using apples instead of a baseball), 16 year-old Trevor Greco of Highland Lakes, New Jersey has agreed to write this book-cover review.

Lol you see how the guy’s pec looks like a mini-boob? LOL!!! Lol nice I realy want to be a werewolf more then a vampire now because werewolves look like plastic dolls and the guy has a boob. People say I look like Edward a bit at least in some light, like an Italian Edward maybe (my familys Italian). At least Twilight vampire didn’t have that (the Boob Illusion I mean, lol), and its like you couldn’t hire actors to do this and had to use your computer? Lol yeah Ive seen turds with more life, like im so turned on. I mean I jacked it to Mistique in XMen and she’s animated by computer but that dosent count. Take THAT if you thought I was gay from the pic’s pink background. So if you thought I was gay cuz the pink background than FUCK YOU, I had that pic taken for my gf. She wanted it taken so she could see me when I rang on her iPhone so I had it done for her. Anyway these people on the cover SUCK, and like oh the author just slapped a wolf in the corner, it’s like when everything fails just google images search for national geographic wolfs and oh I’ll swoon like that girl YEAH RIGHT. And theres a lot more celtic-gay wrong with this pic, but the microwave went off and my Salisbury steak is rdy so i’ll write more about it in a bit.

Black Werewolf by Doctor T

Well my name be Dr. T, I’m not a licensed practitioner
But I’ll write lycanthropic hotness like shampoo vs. conditioner;
One cleans the hair, one makes it silky and smooth,
And like Young MC and Billy Madison I’m gonna bust a move so CHECK IT:

Werewolves always getting’ bit, howlin’ and talkin’ shit,
But this brotha’s silver lyrics always get my shorty WORKIN’ IT WORKIN’ IT,
Oh snap son, looks like it’s ova fo da full moon,
And yo shaggy-ass hair need some Vidal Sassoon,

So come get served on tha mic, you ain’t no Peter Stumpp,
You just an east-side relic and a flea-bitten chump,
No more European east son, yo’ ass be in Detroit,
And when I cap yo furry ass, like Steve Irwin I say “roit!”

I said a Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn,
If yo’ werewolf’s actin’, up, then you bring his friends!

Werewolves and Vampires Duke It Out In New York Magazine – Roukas Dissects the Radness and Ramifications

Werewolf Vs. Vampire by Bryan Baugh.

This month’s New York magazine features a short article on werewolves by Jeff Vandam. While the “article” is only a page long, and while I would sooner expect The New Yorker to run a feature on Rambo, I was nevertheless happy to see some lycanthropic goodness in a mainstream magazine. Unfortunately, the article quickly becomes a classic werewolves vs. vampires retro-drama. Guess what? Count Chocula wins, and Edward Cullen wins the mark of cultural favor over David Naughton’s David Kessler and Jack Nicholson’s Will Randall. And while everyone is allowed to have a personal preference when it comes to monsters, I believe that the hairy-handed gents are made out of culturally richer and more enduring stuff than vampires are.

The Best Werewolf Shirts Out There: A Guide to Lycanthropic Fashion

So you’ve got a thing for wolves and you’ve got some Zoolander in your blood. But do you feel like the loser you are when you succumb to buying the latest nerdcore Hot Topic Worgen shirt? Do you feel like you have KICK ME, I’M A FUR-FAG written on your forehead when you rock your shitty “Team Jacob” Twilight-themed pawprint shirt around the mall foodcourt or local combat-breakdancing arena? Fear not – Roukas is here to help with this quick guide to some of the most unique, eye-catching lupine apparel out there. My only caveat is that you should do your own ebay checking in addition to the shirts featured here. Ebay listings fluctuate rapidly, and you never know when some obscure member will auction off the most awesomely retro holy grail of werewolf shirts, baseball caps, or whatever.

With that said and done, let’s move on to the goods!

Yellow Full-moon Werewolf Logo shirt

Yellow Full-moon Werewolf LogoForget all those Spencer Gifts and TapOut shirts with pseudo-tough designs of tangled thorns, tribal tattoos, thunder, and wolves screaming and flipping out for no reason. Throughout my years of rocking the Adidas track jackets with boot-cut jeans, I’ve learned that simplicity is usually best. This werewolf shirt not only fits that criteria, but it also comes in a hoodie, a long-sleeve shirt, and even on a nifty messenger bag! I suggest ordering it half a size down; that way you can border on the sexy-beast emo thing without looking like you have a complex.

Pink ‘Werewolf Girl’ Shirt

Pink Werewolf Girl ShirtI’m no authority on women’s fashion, but I will say that this is practically the only shirt that would put me in the shoes of that ‘Jizzed in my Pants’ fellow if I saw a young lady wearing it (provided she wasn’t 300lbs or anything). Careful though — shirts like these are easy to wear wrong because the success of you manifesting your wolfy awesomeness is directly proportionate to your attitude. So the bottom line is that if you’re a 17 year-old female who gets moist whenever the weatherman says anything like “…in the mid to low 50’s by TWILIGHT tonight,” then I’d recommend passing on this shirt. However, if you’re a nanometer more mature than that, then you may be able to get away with sporting this baby on the train, at the mall, or on campus. For maximum style and aesthetic trail-blazing, I recommend pairing this up with one of those short-billed Fidel Castro caps you can get at The Gap.

ClipArt-Esque ‘Party Werewolf’ Shirt

The Party WerewolfRemember how I said that simplicity is usually best? Well, with this juxtaposed image of a werewolf with party balloons, that principle comes back into play with a sexy vengeance. It’s one thing to be a douche bag and wear shirt featuring a grinning wolf with a PARTY ANIMAL logo, but it’s quite another to rock something indirect and suggestive while bringing the lycanthropic factor to the forefront at the same time. I mean, the people who rock werewolf shirts are normally rolling dice and arguing over magic missiles, and the people who rock the Abercrombie shirts are normally out partying. This shirt bridges that seemingly unbridgeable gap. Few shirts wed nerdcore, beastly, and street-wise so well.

Devil’s Breath Chile Company Werewolf Shirt

Devil's Breath Werewolf ShirtSporting a good werewolf shirt is a delicate art. You can’t express your affiliation with all things lupine too strongly, otherwise people will avoid you at worst or roll their eyes at you at best. Therefore it’s often best to be retro and indirect when you’re preaching the lycanthropic gospel. This baby here can pass for a shirt that just about anyone would wear. Hey, on one level, it’s just a shirt with a werewolf on it as an advertising kicker. But therein lies its charm: the damn shirt is beastly-beautiful without it knowing that it’s beastly-beautiful, and the same can be true for you, its wearer. As usual, order half a size down and act nonchalant and a little surprised when people comment you on it.

Werewolf Running From Ravens Shirt

Werewolf Running from RavensThis shirt not only obeys the simplicity rule, but it’s also Celtic and enigmatically beautiful as a misty nightfall on the dew-damp moors of some small British village I know nothing about. Like the Devil’s Breath Chile Company shirt, this baby is lycanthropicly indirect, although I’d recommend wearing it during your low-key moods or occasions. Few things are more literary and soul-stirring than a subtle Celtic art werewolf booking it across the plains with his corvine brethren behind him. Moreover, the people who comment you on this shirt will likely be the same people who are chilled and introspective enough to see shit like this. Rock this at study group or during late-night videogame sessions with friends as you sip an obscure wine or designer-beer.

Werewolves vs. Ninja in “Vox Populi, Vox Dei”

vox populi, vox-dei

I’m not sure what this old axiom (The voice of the people is the voice of God) has to do with this contemporary throwback videogame. Nevertheless, the game is awesome enough to feature here… in spite of the fact that the werewolves are the ones getting the beat-down.

Vox Populi, Vox Dei” is part Metal Gear Solid and part Super Mario Bros. You play a bad-ass little 8-bit ninja sent to infiltrate a werewolf-guarded base and rescue a weeping naked child. So I guess you could say the game is part Michael Jackson as well.

Surprisingly addictive and fun. Begin your venture into Real Ultimate Power now!

Tim Hope’s Short Film, “The Wolfman”

While cartoony and childish on the surface, this short feature is a frightening venture into the subconscious of the animal that is man. And please, be honest; there are likely a few people here who have thought something along the lines of: “I was sitting in my huge leather armchair watching telly, and thinking how marvelous it would be to be a werewolf.” Savor and enjoy!

2010 Werewolf Calendar

It looks like artists like Dark Natasha, Goldenwolf, and Synnabar have joined forces to become a lycanthropic strikeforce of pure awesome… and create a werewolf-themed calendar for 2010. Check out their well-drawn and nuanced images at

Ultra Super Lycanthropic Travesty II: Werewolf Book Covers of Stupid X: The Reckoning

The art of making a good werewolf book cover must be tough shit. For reasons that modern Roukasian science has yet to discover, most monster-fans shun lycanthropes in favor of books featuring thin pale guys who sip blood, sparkle, and languish in a dark existential tardzone. Of course, this may prompt me to smoothly remove my box-frame emo glasses as I lounge in my Panera booth-seat and say something like: “Well then what, dear reader, constitutes a monster to begin with? Perhaps his multifacetedness is all too eager to transgress our subjective demarcations of criticism and culture?”

While that’s a legitimate question, fuck it for now. There are tons, tons of werewolf book covers out there that suck royal truckloads of ass, and I have some ideas why. Perhaps it’s because the awesomeness of snarly animal-humans is just too hard for people to capture. Perhaps it’s because the human mind, when it gets its hands on the demonic cauldron of Photoshop, goes 100% more bat-shit crazy than it already is. Perhaps because, dear reader, a populace that exalts its own divorce from Thoreauvian nature will, by implication, fail to capture the energy of predation, especially if it fails to even remember that the Grande Columbian Dark-Roast Almond Latte always comes with soy, not SKIM milk.

Anyway, here are some more shitty werewolf book covers. A while ago, Werewolf News ran a feature of mine called “The Top Five Worst Werewolf Book Covers Ever,” and now I’m back to do it again.

French Lycanthropic Hip-Hop

Although I can’t tell exactly what DIALOKOLECTIV is rapping about here, it appears to be something bristly, snarly, lycanthropic and cool. And while that’ll be my Abercrombie & Fitch logic for the day, I promise to make up for it with a new feature / review that I have in the works.

Five Great Werewolf Stories – Alternatives to “Twilight” and The Anita Blake Series

Most people, if they read, get off on books that incarnate into movies, video games, Fruit Roll-Ups, and toothpaste. Of course, the little demon of intellectual affirmative action sits on my shoulder and says “Don’t over-generalize; they’re not all as bad as you’re implying!” Sure, I want to let my South Park conservativism kick into gear by shoving his pitchfork up his ass. However, I really can’t help the camera from dramatically zooming up to my eyes as I whisper, “Such is true. Touche, my dear man.” After all, the bad-assity of Indiana Jones will never be tainted by all the cereal toys they’ve made of him. But in spite of this, I’m still pretty pissed off at humanity’s tendency to read cheap things and then cheapen them further. And to me, “At least they’re reading” has lost its power as an excuse.

Don’t worry; I have indeed chilled out and have gotten off my literary high horse. However, I’m not going any lower than the pony I’m on now. While I’ll always be an Indy fan, I’m also a fan of D.H. Lawrence and Jorge Luis Borges. And although those two gentlemen cannot steal Sankara Stones and liberate all the children of an entire third world country, they also have produced great writing that is booby-trapped against being incarnated into Saturday morning cartoons or granola bars. This is commendable, although I can’t help but ask, “Why can’t there be some kind of balance between Indiana Jones and John mother-fucking Milton? Between Teen Wolf and… you know… something that’s kind of not stupid?”

Well, you’re in luck if you’re reading this, because I’m going to introduce you to some werewolf / monster stories that have not only achieved this balance, but have done so while avoiding anything remotely Twilight-esque in nature. This means that the protagonists won’t sparkle inexplicably, faint or fall down when aroused, or generally act like Hot Topic employees.