Jasper Vangas || Interview with a werewolf

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

I think what got me into werewolves, you know asides from them being big crazy wolf people, was my mother. She has always been really into supernatural things, and supernatural genre, I think that really rubbed off on me because I love anything to do with werewolves, vampires, shifters, just all sorts of classic supernatural beings and not so classic. I’m not sure how young I was when I discovered them but I know I’ve always been really into them!

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

 I share the same love with all the supernatural, even the creepy ones, the supernatural just kind captivates me in a way that somethings can’t. I am really in love with shapeshifters, especially ones that can just change into any form they want in general though. Recently one of my favorites are Native American skinwalkers though!

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

Giant badass powerhouses that could rip you apart but also could be very soft and gentle depending on the way a person portrays them. I love the idea that there can be large diversity between them in the fact that others may be really power orientated and others are really calm and docile, they can vary so much that it’s great and the fact that they can shift into this other form must be awesome. Despite the fact that it can be painful, they have their own world and rules, but they try to work together as a family unit which is pretty cool. At least that’s what I think of if people are going off the more ‘pack dynamic’ aspect of werefolk.

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

Both. Again I love the idea of diversity, I love how some can be really gorey and nitty gritty, while others are more serene nature loving folk. It gives it a sense of realism to portray both because you know everyone’s not going to stand on the same ground with one another. Not only that but it gives more of a variety to expand upon a character base and introduce a bunch of different personalities that while they’re all largely different they can get along and work together as a functioning family unit.

What does the ideal werewolf look like in your opinion?

Ideal werewolf? Ah jeez, that’s kinda a rough question. I really like the lycaons in Underworld, loved them actually, also Van Helsing werewolf(I know what the hell), I think my ideal werewolf would be one that could shift into a bipedal form as well as a four legged one. One that could blend in more normally in the four legged but also when enraged can shift into the much larger bipedal form and rip things apart, but also have the intelligence as their human side does. Not being a strictly mindless beast, I doubt they would of been around for long if they were completely unaware in that form.

What should a werewolf NOT look like in your opinion?

Pretty much entirely human with some fur stuck on them. Or a person who has ‘werewolf syndrome’ per say, I don’t really think that would count as a werewolf but then again it could possibly be a werewolf if said being was a disabled one that could shifter properly.

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

Van Helsing, lol. The werewolf was cool but didn’t play as much as of a part as I probably would of liked I think, at the moment there’s probably other movies but I can’t think of them currently.

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

I have not actually read a werewolf novel yet, which I am completely and utterly surprised by. I mean, there’s Harry Potter but that’s really not a werewolf novel! I actually plan to read the Primal Progeny series when I get the chance, I have some pretty high expectations though I am pretty damn sure I won’t be disappointed in the slightest!

Back to Cinema, what is your favourite werewolf film?

Underworld, mainly because it’s one of the films that stick out in my mind the most though I would really like to start watching Hemlock Grove and other movies. Get caught up on my werewolf game, I’m so behind!

Do you have any werewolf related songs to recommend? 

I have two that come to mind, Werewolf Gimmick by the Mountain Goats and Werewolf Heat by Dead Man’s Bones. Werewolf Gimmick is more upbeat and fast beat while Werewolf Heart is a lot slower paced and gets that kind of classic dramatic feel of watching your favorite werewolf character just falling apart probably.

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

Oh lord, the top two that come to my mind is maichomod.devaintart.com and mauli-art.deviantart.com I love both of their art like crazy, both of their realism styles make me insanely jealous! It gets me in the mood for drawing my own were critters for sure! Not to mention the way they can portray their werewolf characters at times. You didn’t hear it from me by I love Mod’s character Iericho, and Mauli’s Renn!

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

I honestly think it’s awesome, where stepping away from the more brainless brutes of the werewolves and giving them more personality and thought, I love the fact that people are putting in the fact that these werewolves are still incredibly intelligent and still experience emotion and thought just like any other being on Earth. It also gives a nice tip of the hat to the fact that they are still human under all that fur and fluff.

Tell me something that makes the werewolves in your works unique. What makes them special?

Oh jeez, I don’t know. I’ve always thought of my werewolves being relatively normal but I guess the fact I try to make them a lot more human in nature. They still do a lot of ‘natural’ instinctive things as any half man-half beast would but I really like to introduce the more human aspects into it. The fact they have human thought and emotion, they feel guilt and grieve. I also try really hard to introduce the fact that LGTB+ is a thing, and try to have PoCs as a big part of it. For example I have a werewolf X werewolf-vampire hybrid couple, named Roderick and Nathan Morrision. Roderick is an African American man, and Nathan is Japanese American who is a non-binary being who goes by he/him pronouns. I also try to incoperate not just werewolves but weretigers, shapeshifters, etc.

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

Anything and everything to deal with the supernatural and fantasy. I love werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters, wizards, witches, knights, dragons, you name it I probably like it in some way or form. Witches and shapeshifters currently take the cake right now, witches because I’m actually learning a lot more about the practices of witchcraft through the years, it’s interesting stuff!

Tell us about your most recent werewolf related work.

I haven’t been doing too much in the werewolf world though I do have a possible project coming up with Maichomod that I’m super excited about that will feature my werewolfied characters Tango and Jasper, and her character Iericho!

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

I have too many characters within my own work and world that I love for a variety of reasons, my current favorite to use is Jasper because of how relatable he is. He’s a very soft and gentle person who has a lot of heart but his anxiety and self doubt tend to really compromise the way he functions in every day life. Another favorite of mine would be my Decode who does deal with a lot of anxiety and self doubt as well but she can overcome it a lot easier than Jasper and has this strong will to do right by others. There’s also Tango but he’s another story!

Do you have any big upcoming plans relating to werewolves?

See above haha, that’s the only major werewolf related one I have, I do have a huge fantasy project on the way though that I’m sure is going to consume the rest of my living days without how big it’s going to be though!

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

Maybe! I tend to go to our local convention Nashicon every year but it’s more anime based then horror. I would definitely like to meet more werewolf lovers and fans in the near future for sure though!

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

I have many places you can contact me though the most active places are my deviantArt and my facebook, MisterMismatched!

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 really hope so, zombies are okay and I dig vampires but our furry terror creatures need some more love! They’ve been around just as long so getting them in the spot light again would be awesome.

Find Jasper Vangas here: