Author: Mike

I've been interested in werewolves since the mid-1990's, when in short order I discovered the roleplaying game Werewolf: The Apocalypse and classic movies like An American Werewolf in London and The Howling. At art college, not too long after, I got my first reasonably consistent internet access, and found like-minded people (and artists) online. I also got into the live-action roleplaying version of Werewolf, which was less rubber swords and chainmail and more like improv theatre. To this day, our group getting thrown out of a pub for howling too loudly and disturbing other patrons remains the best reason I've ever been asked to leave. Nowadays I still love werewolves, and I've found that I can produce some pretty good renditions in 3D artwork, a skill which I've largely taught myself. I also like to make music, and you can find links to both of these below. I still enjoy roleplaying, but I don't often get the chance to play tabletop, so that impulse tends to get channelled into videogames. Sadly, werewolves are relatively uncommon in videogaming; even more so as playable characters.

TES V: Skyrim Werewolves – More Info

Dovahwolf by Tatsu-Wolfie

Dovahwolf by Tatsu-Wolfie About a week ago, we reported some information based on pre-release gameplay footage of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that it was possible to become a werewolf in the game. Skyrim was released on Friday, and I’ve spent all weekend playing it; I can happily report that this is indeed the case.

Unlike vampirism, which in the Elder Scrolls series is often not worth the power it grants due to the serious drawbacks and the difficulty in curing the condition, being a werewolf in Skyrim really doesn’t give you a hard time. You can transform at will (once per in-game day) and are never forced to do so, nor do you have to transform at a particular time or with certain regularity. The werewolf figure model is pretty great — although if I’m being picky I’d say the head is a bit too large — and the animation is superb.

Be warned: minor spoilers follow. But also a video of a werewolf fighting a dragon.

Howling at the Map

Via Frank Jacobs’ Strange Maps segment of Big Think comes this image of “a relatively rare poster for An American Werewolf in London, arguably the best horror/comic film ever made”. Arguably the best werewolf film ever made, Frank. He posted this under the title of ‘Lycanthropography‘, a very specific word which I nonetheless feel needs to be used more often.

Yet Another MMO, But This Time With Werewolves

Via VG247, there are reports of the Korean branch of Epic Games working on an MMORPG called Bless, to be powered by Unreal Engine 3 and published by Neowiz, who most recently brought the free-to-play Alliance of Valiant Arms to Steam. As yet, there’s no news on when it’ll be released, or whether it’ll be available in Korea-only or worldwide.

From the teaser trailer below, it seems to hit most of the generic fantasy buttons, with one notable exception: it’s got werewolves in it. Werewolves that you can play, and fight people with, and go around being awesome. We assume. Not many details have been released on the game, but if nothing else they can put together some pretty CGI.

Comics Review – “Thicker Than Blood”

A three-issue miniseries sporadically published between late 2007 and late 2008, Thicker Than Blood is written by Simon Reed, with pencils/inks by Mike Ploog (known for being the initial artist on Ghost Rider and Werewolf By Night) and paints by Simon Bisley, perhaps best known for his work on 2000AD.

Given the artists’ pedigree, I was expecting good things from this book, and it didn’t disappoint. The story’s reminiscent of old-school horror, a feel which is aided by the Victorian setting, and the artwork complements the writing well; an exaggerated style is used for the human characters, verging on caricature, which gives a good visual description of their traits. While the plot’s not complex, revolving around two brothers, one of whom has become a werewolf through circumstances unknown and the other trying to cure his condition, it’s pretty well-executed. The werewolf is particularly notable as being perhaps the best-drawn aspect; of the half-wolf big muscular type (with no tail!), it’s a fairly standard design but the way he’s drawn really brings attention to the strength and ferocity of the creature.

After a strong first issue, the second part of the miniseries stumbles a little with a plotline revolving around one of the main characters becoming some kind of were-monkey; the art doesn’t seem as strong in this issue and the story is advanced little except at the beginning and end of the issue.

By the time of the third and final instalment, however, the art has reached its peak and, as I’m sure readers will be pleased to know, features the most werewolf action of the series. Much of the issue is very visually striking and it’s certainly the most memorable part. The dialogue and writing in general are also notably sharper in this issue, with the story building to a crescendo and featuring a neat little twist at the end.

Overall it’s one that I’d recommend, chiefly for the artwork though the story itself is perfectly servicable. It’s available from Reed Comics for around £9 ($15) plus shipping, with each issue available in two different covers. It’s very much a genre piece, pretty much adhering to the tropes and conventions of the classic horror style, but that’s not to be counted against it. I’ve got a number of reviews lined up that to one extent or another break the stereotypical werewolf mould, so keep an eye out for those.

A Miraculous Way To Make ‘Twilight’ Not Suck

Simple: remove all the superfluous vampire crap and have three minutes of werewolves soundtracked by Radiohead.

Put together by a good friend of mine, Jeremy Leaird-Koch, also known as fledglyng, he’s also produced some pretty great video work under his real name on Vimeo. He also introduced me to Jon Macy, author/artist of Fearful Hunter (kinda NSFW-ish), “a Queer graphic novel with Druids and werewolves”, which I’ll be featuring on the site just as soon as I get out from this mountain of other comics. (Seriously. Send help. Maybe a sherpa.)

To quote Jeremy’s description of the video:

I like werewolves, not vampires, so I made a video edit of the only parts of Twilight : New Moon worth watching.

To be fair, though, they aren’t real werewolves. But it’s a pretty sweet video nonetheless.

Say “Hi” to the new Comic Book Guy

Greetings, wolf-fans. I’d like to introduce myself; I’m Mike, and I’ve been a fan of the site for some time, and a fan of werewolves for considerably longer — say around 15 or 16 years. I got talking to Andrew on Twitter, and approached him about doing some writing here. After some discussion, he recruited me — well, I say recruited, there was some biting involved — and here I am. For the time being, I’ve been assigned to review comics, and I plan to write features about the unfortunately-cancelled Willow Creek, along with the three-issue miniseries Thicker Than Blood. At the time of writing, we’re still awaiting a response from a couple of comics publishers regarding a Hellboy story featuring werewolves, and a series of issues based on the Werewolf: The Apocalypse RPG.

In the meantime, you can catch up with me on Twitter as @electricdog — with the help of a number of fellow lycanthropic connoisseurs, I instigated the #werewolfwednesday hashtag, which has become mildly popular — or you can take a look at my Tumblr, which features werewolfry on a regular basis. My most recent post was about werewolves in gaming, which drew some interest, so I figured I’d link it here for people to read.

Finally, I’m a creator of machinima, and I’ve discussed with Andrew the possibility of making a virtual video-blog for the site, though I’m still working on that. In the meantime, I made a short film based on a conversation I had about my new role writing for the site, which you can watch below.