Sep 12 2011

#135 “Waspwolf”

From a stranger in Ann Arbor, Michigan

The human imagination is very powerful. In fact, Albert Einstein himself is often credited with saying that imagination is more important than knowledge. To be honest, I’m not sure if I totally agree with this statement, but I do believe that imagination often gives knowledge a run for its money; and generally speaking, the two seem to go hand in hand. Based upon these ideas, I can only assume that the imaginative stranger in Ann Arbor, Michigan who submitted this illustration is clever as well as creative.

While it may seem that the wolf and the wasp are two creatures that have very little in common, a deeper examination of the qualities of each reveal that both are accomplished predators. In many ways, the wasp is the wolf of the insect world, often preying upon other pest insects. But it is not simply the predatory nature of these animals that make them suitable for such an astounding combination. This unifying of insect and lobo serves to make this resulting creature one that is equally deadly at both ends. The wolf has long been feared because of its deadly jaws lined with razor sharp teeth, but now the back end of this crazy creature is just as dangerous. So watch out, there’s no sneaking up on this treacherous bastard of evolution.

Ultimately, when I look at this illustration, I can’t help but be reminded of a book that I once saw as a child. The title of the book was “Man After Man: An Anthropology of the Future,” and it really caused my adolescent mind to reel with wonder, horror, and the insane possibilities of the future. The book speculated (largely through illustrations) about a number of strange ways that man might evolve in the coming eons. And although “Man after Man” largely focused on humanoid evolution, I can’t help but to gaze upon the beautiful horror of the waspwolf and wonder, “Will you ever truly exist? Are you the next level of adaptation?” It’s sad but true, but I don’t think that anyone alive today will ever know…

 


Aug 31 2011

#123 “Ignis Lupis”


From “Iginis Lupis” in Monterrey, Mexico

Proud. Stern. Fair.

Ignis Lupis: The Wolf of Fire.

The beauty of this breathtaking illustration is not lost on me, but what intrigues me even more is the choice of pen name of the artist. I obviously love the fact that the name reflects the passion and spirit of wolf, but what about the fact that the phrase is in Latin? What connections can be made here?

There are some, in their naivete, who might claim that since Latin is a dead language, it is an inappropriate language to serve as a moniker for a wolf-related artist who is supposed to represent the vitality and virility of the lobo. I, however, would beg to differ. Latin is not dead, but very much alive. It flows through ancient texts and works of art like a beautifully artistic river of history. It is aesthetically pleasing both in its sound and in its lines on the page. It is regal. It is stately. It embodies everything the wolf stands for in a lexical form.

“Ignis Lupis.” The name rolls off the tongue like honey and tastes just as sweet in your mouth. Say it with me. Say it aloud: “Ignis Lupis,” The Wolf of Fire.

 


Aug 4 2011

#96 “Oh, Bailey, where have you gone?”

From Bailey in Chattanooga, TN (I think…)

As many of you know, I always like to show my appreciation for submissions to WBS by sending a free “Wolves by Strangers” sticker to any contributor who supplies a valid return address. This particular picture by Bailey may be simplistic, but she did indeed supply a return address, and since she held up her end of the bargain, I saw no reason why I should not hold up mine. Somewhere along the way, however, wires were apparently crossed, confusion erupted, and simply put, the envelope containing the sticker was returned with a note that stated “Invalid Address.”

So… Bailey, if you are out there and you still want your sticker, please let me know.

I swear this before all: No wolf illustration will go unrewarded while I’m on the job. If you have contributed a picture and supplied a return address but did not receive your sticker within a couple of weeks, please contact me. Oversights will not be tolerated!

WBS stickers for all!


Jul 31 2011

#92 “The Doctor is in”

From Dr. Clyde Grouser, Jr.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The doctor is in…

Even though my lupine knowledge realistically approaches only a level of green-horned apprenticeship at best, I have always prided myself on being a “wolf expert” of sorts. This probably comes as no surprise, seeing as how the wonderful world of lupine wonder is one that I spent a good deal of time wandering through. Yes, I have explored a variety of dark dens and mountain canyons of wolf wisdom and have collected trophies of lobos knowledge and keepsakes as I went, snatching up these beauteous jewels of knowledge and wisdom like so many piles of wolf droppings serendipitously found on the forest floor. As time passed and I delved deeper into lupine lore and wolfly scholarship, my pride somehow surpassed my knowledge, and I became puffed up and arrogant without reason. I say this with a fair amount of embarrassment, but this is a vice that I have struggled with fairly recently. Yet this is also why I am so pleased to offer you the amazing artwork and commentary which is on display today. For the illustration that makes up today’s post and the commentary that accompanies are provided courtesy of a man who has truly put me in my place. He is the leader of the pack, the alpha-male, and I must submit to his dominance. The man behind the artwork calls himself Dr. Clyde Grouser Jr., and I can truly say that the force of the lupine is strong with this one. Examine his picture above and his commentary below and see if you do not agree.

Greetings,

Canadian wolves are of a special breed. They are much stronger, faster, handsomer, and-dare I say!-awesomer than american wolves.

There are a few key differences between American and Canadian wolves. Canadian wolves, for instance, have powerful razor sharp claws made from adamantium due to a series of experiments in the 1920s. Also, Canadian wolves are much like hydras. If you cut off a Canadian wolf’s head, three more grow in its place (in this way, Canadian wolves are also better than hydras). Canadian wolves are also capable of breathing fire, and some accounts state that some can also fly (I have yet to personally witness this myself.) Most Canadian wolves grow to be ten feet tall at the shoulder.

Some people ask how it is we live day to day in the shadow of such fearsome beasts. The answer is actually rather surprising in its simplicity. Most Canadian wolves do not have opposable thumbs, and thus we have decided to serve them as slaves. In return, most Canadian wolves maintain strict vegetarian diets.

Yours Truly,
Dr. Clyde Grouser Jr.


May 29 2011

#29 “Big Brother is Watching You.”

 

From Michael and Paula

The speedy pace of our society’s technological development is one that frightens as well as excites me. In general, when I look around and notice cameras on street corners, or type my name into various search engines, or when I really start to think about consumer profiling, I become concerned that we are possibly racing towards a not-too-distant Orwellian future. While some may argue that modern technological advancements are the very things that safeguard us from this unfortunate scenario, my fears are just the opposite. I believe that a steep decline in personal privacy paired with a sharp increase in global technological voyeurism could possibly be very dangerous. While the ease of finding information may increase, so may also the ease of disseminating propaganda.

On the other hand, it is thrilling to ponder the multitude of communication options and growing speed and ease of connecting with others from all over the world. Surely, if it were not for the technological advancements made in fairly recent history, I would not be in possession of the thriving wolf collection that I own today, nor would I be able to share it with you so freely and effectively.

This brings us to the pictures that are on display today from Michael and Paula. Contained in both the subject line and the body of the email that these wonderful artists sent to me were references to the fact that these illustrations were created on iPads. Now, I do not own an iPad, myself, but I would certainly love to have one, especially if it means that I would be able to create masterpieces such as these. But there is something about that notebook-sized magical tablet that gives me the willies. There’s just something about it that creeps me out. I wonder… will microchips crawl out of some hidden portal and wriggle up my arm and into my ear like something out of The Wrath of Khan? Will it fuse itself to my hand and become simply another appendage that I could not live without? Will it exert some sort of radio-frequencied mind control and order me to murder my family?

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of this line of questioning is that I may not know the answers until it’s too late….

 


May 17 2011

#17 “Lupine Rights!”

From Svante in Lund, Sweden

Wolves have stood in the darkening shadow of human politics long enough. This is why I am particularly enamored with this illustration that was contributed by Svante on March 11, 2011. As you can see, Svante was not content to draw a simple rendering of the majestic creature of the wolf. He took a stand. He longed for his illustration to portray a deeper meaning; he yearned for it to deliver a message, and thus we have here before us the anthropomorphic wolf picketing for equal rights on May 1, International Workers’ Day.

This wolf may not be particularly talented in the fields of spelling and grammar, but he certainly makes up for it in enthusiasm. Yes, you may argue that the look in his eyes is one of half-heartedness, perhaps even ambivalence, but ask yourself this question: How would you feel if you were a wolf, trying to make your way in a world domineered by brutal, pink, furless bipedals? I suspect you would feel beaten down as well. But what is important here is not whether this wolf displays physical strength or weakness. No, it is the determination and fortitude of his soul that makes this wolf so beautiful and places him head and shoulders above all others.

Thank you, Svante.