Curt at The Groovy Age of Horror has a terrific post on depictions of werewolves throughout history. There's several images from the historical to movies presenting the different variations of the metamorphosis -- the two-legged wolf man as depicted by Lon Chaney Jr. and Werewolf By Night (left), the four-legged, more beast like version and the beast-like version that walks on hind legs. My own favorite, if you will, is the two-legged wolf man. My introduction to werewolves came through the Werewolf By Night comic. However, in my novel, The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire, the werewolves are the traditional four-legged variety. Go figure. It is Curt's best post yet for Werewolf Month. He also reveals a bit from his own novel in progress that I find intriguing and hopefully will get the chance to read when he completes it. Not only does Curt know his werewolf and wolf man legends well, he knows how to build on them to present something we can readily recognize at an instant yet make it his own.
What dreams and animation have in common is precisely this: imagery unconstrained by physicality. There is a certain logic, then, in emphasizing the rough, jerky physicality of transformation--but I think it runs in entirely the wrong direction. I conceptualize the werewolf in my own novel as transforming in a much more fantastic, fluid manner... snip Besides tapping more closely into the original experience that gave birth to folk-beliefs about metamorphosis, another advantage of this conception is flexibility in the forms available to the werewolf. Rather than changing into one form or another and being stuck there, my werewolf will be much more protean and physically unstable when he shifts out of human form. In a series of comic book panels, for example, he would look a bit different every time. When he needs to run, he "melts" down to all fours, and when he wants to stand upright (to fight with his claws), he simply does so and his body morphs to accomodate his wishes. In moments of extreme intensity, he even radiates metamorphic power. Thus, in one scene, he charges through a graveyard, and his passage is marked by a subtle pattern of warping and distortion in the inscriptions on the headstones and other monuments.So I look forward to the metamorphosis of Curt from blogger to novelist and back again.