Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Something About Werewolves

It's turning into a werewolf kind of month for me, so I'm just going with it. I started with last week's steampunk werewolf tale, Dead Iron, then moved on to Gail Carriger's fourth Alexia Tarabotti novel, Heartless. The werewolves in the Parasol Protectorate series are some of my favorites right now, and in case you missed my fangirl squealing last month, I'm really excited about the forthcoming graphic novels. You can imagine my delight when new character sketches were posted last week on Ms. Carriger's blog, which include images of the surly but lovable Lord Maccon.

Weres and other sundry shifters are definitely making a good showing throughout genre fiction, but it still seems like they take a backseat to the prevalent vampire. A common scenario even before the Twilight craze hit was the heroine's dilemma of making her romantic choice between these two supernatural species. I haven’t personally spent a lot of time debating this issue, but it still surprises me a little that vampires often come out on top here. What’s up with that?

I have to say, the influx of female werewolves in the market has been an enjoyable turn for what has historically been a male-dominated figure. Kelley Armstrong’s Elena Michaels and Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville are two of my favorite urban fantasy characters and it’s just great to see more women getting in touch with their wild side. Here’s hoping we see this trend grow because were-chicks kick ass.

In the meantime, today’s release of The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan will have to hold me over. From the looks of it, this dark tale will be a wonderfully terrifying addition to the genre. Check out the trailer:




Here's a few must-haves for werewolf fans:

Dog Soldiers - Described by the film’s makers as a soldier movie that happens to have werewolves, this one is the best showing scary weres have made in a long time, IMO.

Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter - This graphic novels rocks and Sylvester James is totally awesome. That is all.

She-Wolf Website - A go-to for unique and informative perspectives. Hannah is also fun to stalk on Twitter.

Six Moon Summer  - An indie treat from April that will not disappoint.

So let’s here it - who’s your favorite werewolf? Any resources you’d like to share?

18 comments:

Rachel Firasek said...

I can't wait for the cast of Teen Wolf to bring on a female wolf. Need it, want it! :) Great post!

Fiona said...

I adore the movie Dog Soldiers, and love Kelley Armstrong's Elena character (finally, a well written female werewolf).

I have to admit I am biased since my hubby, Nic Brown, has just self-published his second werewolf novel (www.werewolfforhire.com). We're also in the process of writing a book about werewolves in cinema.

Have you read Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar? Great reading with some wonderfully quirky characters.

Ella Gray said...

You are so right, Rachel. I'd love to see more positive female shifters of any kind on TV these days. I love me some True Blood, but the were-ladies do not come out looking too good, LOL.

Ella Gray said...

Hi Fiona - I couldn't agree more about Elena - I hope we get more of her story soon. I haven't seen Martin Millar before, so I'll have to check it out.

Conratz to Nic! Thanks for the link and I'll be looking for the werewolves in cinema book too :-)

Author Guy said...

My own werewolf novel, St. Martin's Moon, was released in May. It's a very different sort of story, which paradoxically treats werewolves as they were originally conceived: as monsters. The story is about curses, the people who are cursed to become monsters and the people who are cursed to hunt monsters knowing that they're people. The two heroines make a kick-ass werewolf, too.
As to why vamps win over lupes, I would think it's because they stay human-looking at all times.
I've discussed a lot of these sorts of issues over on my blog at http://authorguy.wordpress.com

There is a movie called Cursed, with Christina Ricci. Can't say too much without spoiling it but there are some female werewolves in that one. Can't think of any others offhand.

Ella Gray said...

Woo-hoo for more awesome werewolf heroines, Author Guy. Will certainly check out your blog and book, too.

I had totally forgotten about Cursed, LOL. If I recall, it wasn't one of Wes Craven's best efforts, but still entertaining.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hannah said...

Thanks for the link to my blog, Ella! And thanks for a great post.

Despite the fact that I'm currently working on two books on female werewolves, my favourite werewolf is male, and probably not that well-known. His name is Alphons, and he is a character in a 14th-century medieval poem called William of Palerne (also known as William and the Werewolf). He is a Spanish prince, transformed into a werewolf by his necromantic stepmother. It's definitely one of my favourite pieces of medieval fiction, and well worth checking out for something a bit different (if you're not used to medieval werewolves that is!).

Hannah

Ella Gray said...

A Spanish prince werewolf, you say? Sounds like a great time, Hannah. It's interesting how evil women were so often to blame in early werewolf tales. With Bisclavret it was his wife who took his clothes so he would be stuck in wolf form and she could marry another man. (Insert 'bitch' joke here) LOL. Thanks for stopping by, and your blog is awesome.

Shelley Munro said...

I've always liked shifters more than vampires. I prefer feline shifters but will take a werewolf if I must *g*

I'm reading River Marked by Patricia Briggs at present. I really like this series, although the heroine is a coyote rather than a wolf.

Ella Gray said...

I'm with you, Shelley - give me something warm and furry to cuddle with. I also enjoy Patricia Briggs, but I have fallen woefully behind with her series. Need less sleep so I can read more...

Nic Brown said...

@Authorguy- You're take on werewolves sounds interesting. I like the monster aspect of them. For my werewolves (and other "were" creatures) I conceive of it as a curse for a few, but for most it is just another aspect of who they are. Most of them can control when they change and retain their Conscious minds. However, the more they change the more like the animal they become. Wolves aren't moral creatures, if somethings bad you kill it. That can create some real conflict for the human side... unless you're a serial killer...

On the Movie subject-
Katja von Garnier's 2007 film BLOOD & CHOCOLATE is not your typical werewolf film and the female characters in it are very strong. Especially the film's lead character- Vivian (Agnes Bruckner), a werewolf in love with a human

Ella Gray said...

That movie looks really cool, Nic. It's now in my queue :-)

Best of luck with your new release!

Andronica Llewellyn said...

My favourite female werewolf is Ginger, at least until she loses control and dies an ignominious death at the end. Best scene is her appearance at school, when she walks down the corridor and turns all heads. Best line, "I'm a goddamn force of nature!" Too bad they didn't stick with the self-confident Ginger instead of allowing the film to degenerate in the last fifteen minutes into B-movie horror.

EW Gibson said...

Ella,

Great post! I like the power of the werewolf, but it looks awfully painful to turn into one. Ouch!

Werewolves are more soulful than vampires. What can be more haunting than a wolf howling at the moon.

Elizabeth

Ella Gray said...

You're so right, Andronica. I like campy horror as much as the next gal, but Ginger didn't deserve to devolve so thoroughly by the end. Maybe what we really need is a female werewolf with a little more self-control, LOL.

Ella Gray said...

Good point, Elizabeth! In some cases, they literally have more soul than their undead counterparts, heh. And I imagine shapeshifting is totally unpleasant - they probably go through a lot of aspirin :-)

tfwalsh said...

Ohh I love Dog Soliders.. scares me, but that's what I love about it... another werewolf movie I love, and is probably not for everyone since it has a bit of gore is Ginger Snaps.. very gothic.

Ella Gray said...

Tania - yes, Dog Soldiers is rather scary. And it impresses me even more that they didn't use CGI werewolves. Thanks for following!

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