J D Laclede || Interview with a werewolf

What got you into werewolves and how old were you when you discovered them?

When I was in high school, probably 15 or 16 years old, I ran away from home with a werewolf who was passing through town. Got bitten a few weeks later, and haven’t really been the same since. Ever since I got on the internet in earnest, I’ve connected with a lot more werewolves than I ever anticipated, so that was a warm surprise. Now I’m a werewolf for a living. It rules.

Do you share the same love of other types of shapeshifters?

Can’t say I do, but then, I’ve never met any others. Though there was this kid on the local college campus who might have been a wereskunk or something like that? Or maybe he was just a pothead, I never found out.

What do you think it is that attracts you to werewolves?

Werewolves fit into this sweet spot between monstrous and cuddly, between predator and lapdog, that I don’t see any other monster species fit. As such, you see us in a big wide spectrum. I’m partial to the lapdog side myself – you see a lot of werewolves do the whole “alpha males, raah, raah, must fight for dominance, grrr” thing, which is just toxic masculinity, that they get from seeing bad representations of werewolves across decades of media. Also, you see werewolves hunting for human flesh, somehow? Still, in 2017 AD? I don’t get that. They could get a comparable amount of pork every other week, if they just held down jobs.

Do you prefer a gory werewolf tale or a more serene, nature loving version?

I like a werewolf story where we get wasted and drive to Jack In The Box.

What does the ideal werewolf look like in your opinion?

The accurate depiction of a werewolf is tall, and large-bodied, but more about friendly licks than bites, and extremely furry – fluff and buff, if you will. Van Helsing’s werewolf looked pretty close to reality, for example. The bit about transforming with the phases of the moon is just an old myth, too – the moon affects tides, not wolves. We can change whenever we want.

What should a werewolf NOT look like in your opinion?

I’m kinda forgiving on how people depict werewolves – there aren’t many of us, after all, we can’t expect perfect accuracy – but we absolutely do not look like rats. Underworld’s werewolves, did you ever see those movies? Those werewolves looked like mole rats. Also, if your movie’s werewolf is clearly just a hairier human, like – come on. You didn’t even try.

Give a cinematic example of a werewolf that didn’t quite meet your expectations.

As in the previous answer – the 2010 Wolfman remake with Benecio del Toro. That looked like something out of Planet Of The Apes. Also – spoiler warning – Anthony Hopkins is the villain, because of course he is, he’s Anthony Hopkins.

Stepping away from the cinema side of things, what is your favourite werewolf novel and why?

I don’t read.

Back to Cinema, what is your favourite werewolf film?

Probably American Werewolf In London. Even if the final design is kind of underwhelming and rodentlike for my taste, the transformation sequence is still the best I’ve seen.

Do you have any werewolf related songs to recommend?

It’s not overtly lycanthropic but I’m partial to Lunatic by Electric Moon.

Do you have a particular favourite werewolf artist? What is it about their work that you love?

A bunch, actually – Jubilations, Skyemachine, and Sketchchump have all drawn werewolves in the true-to-life, fluff-and-buff stripe.

What do you think of the way representation of werewolves has changed over the years?

I haven’t seen enough werewolf media to make a call on this, I don’t think. I’m more of an in-the-now kind of wolf.

Tell me something that makes the werewolves in your works unique, what makes them special?

My two friends Blackbird and Duran are in a healthy, loving relationship. How many times do you see that in werewolf media?

What are you other passions within the horror genre or out of it?

Not a fan of horror, actually. I’m more into synthwave music and strategy games.

Tell us about your most recent werewolf related work.

I’m probably best known as the manager of Ask The Werewolves, a Tumblr blog where you can ask a couple of werewolves, named Blackbird and Duran, all kinds of questions about werewolves. Blackbird’s a hyperactive and exuberant veteran, and Duran is her recently-turned boyfriend who means well but – in my opinion – is in over his head.

Who is your favourite character within your own work and why?

It’s unrelated, but I also write comic called El Indon, and that story features a girl named Ashley who’s probably my favorite out of all my characters. She’s shy and kind, but she has this inexplicable hard edge that I don’t know if I’ll adequately explain in the story – it’s on hiatus and needs a lot more rewriting. We’ll see.

Do you have any big upcoming plans relating to werewolves?

Once I clear another funding goal on Patreon, Ask The Werewolves will get an issued comic in addition to its usual updates, so that’ll be a blast. And a lot more work. But a blast! Also there’ll be more shirt designs relating to it, people love those. And I’ll probably have stories for a few more issues of Werewolves Versus, if anyone out there doesn’t know that zine already. Lots of stuff in the pipeline.

Where will you be available to meet other werewolf lovers and fans in the near future, if you are doing any outings or signings?

I pop into furry conventions 2 or 3 times a year. Most people never notice.

Do you have any online places where other werewolf fans can contact you to discuss your work or anything lycanthropy related?

You can follow Ask The Werewolves dot Tumblr dot com, and ask whatever you like, or check me on Twitter at jdl_werewolf.

Vampires and zombies have both become seriously popular within the horror genre in movies, do you think that as technology continues to improve werewolves will eventually reach the same kind of status?

I hope so! I’m so sick of vampires and zombies. I really, really want werewolves to have a turn.