Tag Archive for the wolfman

Smoke Blog: The Last Stick

Down to the last cigar in the humidor last night, so I made it a good one: Tatuaje’s The Wolfman.

Making the Magic Happen

The only way to write

I took my time and enjoyed it while working on rewrites for a short story. As expected, a great cigar right down to the knuckles. Excellent flavor, easy draw, lots of smoke… just a good, all-around experience.

I’ve emptied the humidor to re-season it, but now that the grocery getter’s transmission needs an overhaul, I won’t be able to restock for a bit. It’s going to feel very different sitting out there tonight without a cigar in hand.

Sad panda.

Sad Panda

How will Mikey make the magic happen now?

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: Tatuaje Wolfman

I had too much going on to make it up to C2E2 over the weekend, but I did manage to find the time to sit down for a cigar. I visited a friend with two of the limited edition Tatuaje Wolfman sticks I purchased last Halloween, and we discussed some business over a good smoke.

This is the second Halloween release I tried from Tatuaje, the follow-up to 2010’s The Face, which I thoroughly enjoyed. That memory gave me high expectations for the Wolfman, and after my usual winter difficulties with the humidor, I worried I’d ruined the three Wolfman smokes I purchased. Undeterred by the brisk Spring winds coming off the Illinois River, I touched my lighter to the rough, beard-like foot of The Wolfman and braced myself for the worst.

The Wolfman

"Smoke up, lady!"

Wow. Spicy dark chocolate comes to mind with this bad boy. A very bold, full-bodied flavor, harsh on light but quickly settling into a robust, pleasant smoke. I botched the light in the wind and fought an uneven burn though much of the smoke, but it never went out. It had a richer profile than I recall from The Face, which I felt was the right way to handle it: new year, new blend/flavor.

I wish I knew what filler and wrapper they used, but the Tatuaje website doesn’t list The Wolfman in the Limited Release section. I feel like there was a Cameroon leaf in there somewhere, which is not normally a favorite of mine. If I’m correct, it worked in this blend. Once again I find myself thinking I need to seek out the Tatuaje brand in a cigar shop or online.

I’m going to save the third Wolfman for a celebratory occasion, probably the turning in of the final draft of Lie with the Dead. I plan to take it indoors, too, to see how much more enjoyable it may be without the wind to tangle with.

I’m already looking forward to what Tatuaje does for Halloween this year.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

It'll Put Hair On Your Chest

The big talk of the werewolf fan communities is whether or not there will be a surge of popularity in werewolf media following the release of The Wolfman. I saw the flick Friday night, and you know, it’s really hard to say.

The movie itself is good. It’s feel is very faithful to the original, and there’s a great gothic horror flavor to it, yet enough action and violence to satisfy modern horror fans. The plot seems a bit rushed at points, but overall, I enjoyed it. It’s tough to say, though, that it’s going to excite anyone but existing werewolf fans. There’s nothing there for broader appeal: no love story, no catchy music, no hot young actors or actresses for folks to latch on to. (Emily Blunt is no certainly no slouch, but she spends all but a few frames in a stuffy Victorian dress.) It also doesn’t help that reviews seem to go either way, with critics either loving or hating it.

It’s too bad, as I’d love to capitalize on a werewolf craze. With it’s crime/thriller edge, my book The Pack: Winter Kill has a very different feel from The Wolfman (as well as just about any other werewolf flick), but I think that can help it appeal to a broader audience than just the werewolf fans. After all, let’s be honest: werewolf fans are my bread & butter and I love ’em, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to make the book a hit.

How about turning readers into werewolves? That do anything for ya?

The Pack: Winter Kill -- It'll put hair on your chest!

The Pack: Winter Kill -- It'll put hair on your chest!

Evileye wanted to institute a recall, but I talked them out of it. I have no money to give you if you sue me, so I say get out there and tear shit up! Fight the power! Stick it to The Man! Arrrooooo!!

Meanwhile, the folks over at Comics Bulletin have interviewed the man behind Evileye Books, Mr Aaron Ommus. Shoot on over and check out his thoughts on the comics market, digital comics, Evileye’s new releases, and the upcoming Evileye Reader for webcomics. I truly believe Ommus and Evileye are going to surprise a lot of people this year, whether or not my little wedge of dead paper (or collection of bits) does anything for them.

That wedge of dead paper has been jumping up and down in the Amazon sales ranks the last few days. I haven’t decoded how the sales rank works, but I’m guessing the jumps mean at least a few more people have picked up copies. If that includes any of you reading this, thanks! I hope you dug it.

If you want to pick up the book but aren’t a fan of Amazon, we’ll have you covered soon. We’re working on getting the book into the main distribution channels so it can be ordered through Borders, Barnes & Noble, and hopefully your favorite indie shop as well. Or, if you do have a favorite indie shop, have them contact Evileye Books directly. Ommus and his team will be happy to help any independents get copies.

Now I best get back to work on Book 2.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Werewolves on Film

It’s tough to make werewolves look good on screen. It’s hard to find two movies who take the same approach, and their appearance can range from cute & cuddly to mean & scary. Personally, I much prefer the make-up effects over CGI, especially when the latter makes them look like cartoons or teddy bears.

There’s a tangible quality to the makeup effects that CGI just can’t capture. It’s not always done well (I think the Underworld werewolves always look a bit ugly, almost unfinished), but even then they come across as scarier. Especially when they include blood effects, which always seems to be lacking in the CGI versions.

I poked around on YouTube a bit this evening, and I found this compilation video that has several examples:

I recognize most of them, but there are several unaccounted for.

I’m also a fan of the slower transformation scenes versus the instant wolf-out we see in movies like Van Helsing. The transformation scenes are a big part of the genre, and there’s just something visceral about them compared to the changes occurring in the blink of an eye. Sure, a werewolf can’t exactly break off from a fight to get his wolf on, and on the other side of the coin we get artificial suspense when there’s another character standing there and screaming in disbelief as they watch a werewolf slowly change shape, but it comes with the territory.

I’m not all that excited about the next Twilight flick, but I’m glad to see the werewolves are making the commercials (even if they are CGI). The new The Wolfman trailer, on the other hand, looks fantastic. Between the two, we get both styles of transformation (instant and progressive), and we get two styles of werewolf (straight wolf and what appears to be an upgrade to the hairy guy with teeth). I hope both of the movies do well, because I dig werewolves and I’d like to see them become the next big thing, trumping vampires and zombies as the monster of the moment.

Sure, I’m pimping a werewolf series, but at the same time, I think werewolves are due. There’s plenty of room for all the werewolves out there.

Now that I’m in the mood, I think I’m going to go crack open the new John Farris book, High Bloods. The simple cover design caught my eye on Borders, and it’s been a long time since I’ve read a werewolf book. I just wish he didn’t call them Lycans…

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.