Stop asking already

So apparently knowing my position on zombies and unicorns is not enough for you people. You need to know my stance on all the other important issues. Here you go then:

Werewolves versus vampires

Gotta be werewolves. There’s the whole monthly cycle thing. What could be worse1 than menstruating? Turning into a wolf! The whole metaphor for adolescence: “Ew! My body is changing in hairy and grotesque ways!” Plus wolves! What is not unbelievably awesome and fascinating and wondrous about wolves? Nothing!

Best examples: “Boobs” by Suzy McKee Charnas which is possibly the best short story ever written2 and Ginger Snaps, a most excellent Canadian movie.3

Vampires do not do it for me. The thought of getting intimate with someone who’s not only walking dead, but has (usually) been dead for centuries. Ewww! Call me old fashioned but that does not spell romance to me; it spells necrophilia. (I know that seems to contradict my stance on zombies, but no one’s talking zombie boyfriends.)

Superman versus Batman

Batman. Please! Where is the interest in someone who can do everything and can only be defeated with a really lame plot coupon? Kryptonite can kiss my left eyeball. Plus Batman is campy goodness. I am less fond of his darker incarnations. Plus Eartha Kitt! Julie Newmar!

Best examples: the TV show! Kapow! Zap! Biff! Zonk!

Saiyuki versus Scott Pilgrim

No! Don’t make me choose! I can’t. My brain will explode. The world will break into tiny pieces. I loves them both. I do! A jeep that’s a dragon versus dance fights with evil ex-boyfriends? They’re both so wonderfully cracktastically heavenly. If you haven’t gotten into either you really really really should.

I can give you no more answers. I’m too busy clutching my copies of Saiyuki and Scott Pilgrim to my chest and sobbing over their perfection. (Plus gotta go pack for Houston.)

But feel free to ask more curly quessies and supply your own answers. Though not if they’re the wrong answers, obviously. That’s right, unicorn lovers, I mean you.

  1. Some would say better. There are times when I would rather be a wolf than menstruating . . . []
  2. Except for all the other great short stories. []
  3. I quite like the sequel, but on no account see the third one. In fact, let us just pretend there is no third movie. []


  1. Dawn on #

    I think I may just have to disagree with you about the werewolves/vampires thing. I absolutely would choose vampires over werewolves any day…but I apparently see vampires in a whole different light than you do. I think I have to thank Stephenie Meyer for that one, as well as all the other vampire novelists I’ve read. Oh yeah, and writing about vampires is fun too. 🙂 I’m thinking about seeing you and Scott in Houston, but its kind of a far drive from Olathe, KS. Oh well. We’ll see. 🙂

  2. Veronica on #

    Ugh, I hate Batman. Really. I hate him. Yeah, yeah, you’re so fucking dark, you’re so tragic, boo hoo. Climb down off the fucking cross and go to therapy like everyone else.

    The hell with Batman. The hell with Superman. Wonder Woman is where it’s at.

  3. Sherwood Smith on #

    Mmmmmm Saiyuki

  4. A.R.Yngve on #

    Funny, that the Western vampire is this supposedly romantic “Dracula” type… yesterday I watched the Hong Kong movie MR. VAMPIRE, which is based on Chinese (Taoist) folklore.

    The Chinese vampire is very different from the Western (or Central European) variety. He is a hideous blood-drinking ghoul, who hops about because he’s too stiff to walk (“Stiff”… get it? ;-)).

    He uses either his teeth or his long fingernails to get at the blood, and can only be stopped by magic ink or letters (or “sticky rice”).

    Chinese vampires can’t speak, so there’s no romantic possibilities. (Trust me ladies, you wouldn’t want to kiss one. They not only look like corpses, they smell like corpses too.)

    But: Werewolves. Yes. (By the way, Jack Williamson’s novel DARKER THAN YOU THINK gives a science-fiction rationalization of werewolves… check it out.)

  5. Sir Tessa on #

    I dunno….I think vampires are more appealing just due to the lack of raging body hair. I’m not all that keen on stubble, you know?

  6. Hannah on #

    I’ve heard about the hopping vampires before. I think they’re the most hilarious. monster. ever.

    And few things please me more than the idea of a whole generation of fantasy and horror writers who have seen Ginger Snaps.

  7. David Moles on #

    Sir Tessa: werekhalas, were-sand-terriers, were-chinese-cresteds? And what if the vampire used to be a professional bicycle racer or a weightlifter or, you know, just very metro and fastidious, and was bitten at the end of a couple of busy days when he didn’t have time to shave, and now there’s stubble everywhere, and it’ll never grow out?

  8. marrije on #

    I’m not very well versed in all this vampire etc. lore, but yes! the batman tv show!
    brilliant stuff. cue me and my sister singing dadadadadadadada batman (repeat)

  9. Rebecca on #

    Okay: vampires, batman, and…. uh, what? so i get points for batman, which are cancelled out by the vampires, and probably minus points for not knowing what on earth the last two are. Crap, I’m in negatives now.

    Have you ever seen Underworld? Best vampires vs. werewolves movie ever. do not under any circumstances, see the sequel. Or Blood and Chocolate for that matter. B & C is the most wonderful werewolf book by Annette Curtis Klause, but the movie makes my eyes (and ears, and pretty much every fiber of my being) bleed. Oooh, also, have you read Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde? (Or any of her other books, for that matter.) It is a fantastic vampires book that even vampire-haters can appreciate. 😉 One of the best I’ve ever ever read.

  10. jaida jones on #

    I didn’t know you were a Saiyuki fan!

    This is going to require some serious thinking. Thinking so much more serious than I can acheive until at least noon.

  11. Libba on #

    I’m a sick puppy because I want both–BOTH, I tell you! I want werewolves AND vampires, perhaps because two of my first crushes were Barnabas Collins in “Dark Shadows” and Lon Chaney as the Wolf Man…”De way you walk is funny…” (If you haven’t seen the movie, this makes no sense.)

    But as for Batman and Superman? Puh-leeeze. Batman, wings down. And I like him dark and broody. I mean, I wouldn’t want to go for Atomic Wings with dark ‘n’ broody, but in my superheroes, I’m good with it.

    xo L.

  12. Margaret on #

    Let’s put it this way: Oz vs. Angel. Okay, then I’d say Oz. But in general, chinese vampires aside, you’re faced with a choice between a man who’s had possibly hundreds of years to refine his charm, intellect, and lovemaking skills. He may even want to give you eternal life! On the other hand, you’ve got a teenager with a hairy back that you have to chain up once a month. Kinky, but I dunno.

    Happy Houston! — m

  13. Diana on #

    Probably vamps, but just because I haven’t yet met the wolf story which does it for me.

    I used to say Batman, hands down, but I’ve gotten a bit tired of the whole angst thing (another reason to hate the new Superman movie, because they turn him into yet *another* angsty superhero). And, in addition, I’ve looked at Superman in a totally new way ever since hearing Bill’s impression of him in kill Bill vol. 2, and ever since then, I’ve been a big Superman girl.

    And as for the third, I have no idea what you’re talking about, sadly.

  14. pixelfish on #

    I too am a Batman girl and genera. I did like Kingdom Come, but it actually had doses of Batman as Superman’s ally. And I recommend Red Son, which posits a Red Communist Superman that lands in Russia instead of farmland America. He is the opposition….which makes for a more interesting story, I think.

  15. Kevin Wignall on #

    well, naturally i’m hoping to change your mind on the vampire front. and not by having my main character support Australia at cricket.

    superman and batman (or spiderman) – sorry, none of them. these are grown men who, having discovered that they possess amazing powers, immediately go out and put together a wrestling outfit to wear on their missions. seriously, what’s that all about.

    i have no idea what the final choice is – you’ll have to excuse me, i’ve been in a crypt for four hundred years.

  16. Ben Payne on #

    In general I hate vampires (pretentious) and werewolves (oversimplistic back-to-nature shite) equally, but I’m open to the fact they could be done well…

    I’m with you on Batman… Superman is just bland, man… and campy seventies sixties Batman is *by far* the best version of Batman!

    Blog overlord says get it right!

  17. lenna on #

    -vampires. vampires. vampires!
    how can you POSSIBLY say that werewolves are better! especially after your husband has written amazing books on the fawesomeness of vampires! wowwwwwww. just wow.
    -superman. he can fly. he has ACTUAL powers, batman just uses mechanisms…psh.
    -saywhat and who?
    so THATS where i stand.

  18. Little Willow on #

    Werewolves versus vampires

    PROWLERS by Christopher Golden. Oh. My. Goodness.

    Superman versus Batman

    Batman. No contest.

  19. kris on #

    Wow. I rarely see a Ginger Snaps reference. The third one is a bit,.. could do without, but otherwise they are SO brilliant. I love the begining with all the fake death photos. Greatness!

  20. Sir Tessa on #

    David, I was speaking in general terms. Because, you know as soon as you turn into a vampire, you become pale, slim, and terribly good looking, right?

    (And a were-chinese-crested is just wrong. Wrong, I tell you. That’s one giant mark against werewolves, right there.)

  21. John H on #

    What about Scott’s Peeps? They’re kinda-sorta vampires, right?

  22. mimosa on #

    Hey Justine,
    Remember me from way back when in Salamanca?
    Who knew we’d meet again in cyberspace!
    I tried emailing you, but your jl AT justinelarbelestier DOT com thing doesn’t work. I see that you’re in Houston now, but when you get a chance, send a line.

  23. jenny d on #

    i am with libba, i want werewolves and vampires both: but if it was a question of going out on a date, i would take the werewolf over the vampire any day (but i wish more people who write animal shape-changer novels would actually, like, go and read mid-century ethology and think about the particular animals they were writing about). i here officially confess, moreover, that i love laurell k hamilton’s anita blake novels! more vampires, more werewolves! more zombies (did you read charlie huston’s books btw?)!

  24. Colleen on #

    Batman, no contest. He kicks ass without super powers – he solves crimes because he’s smart!

    I think of Batman as the first major geek and yes, I know he’s dark and depressed and all that but his parents were murdered right in front of him. I think that gives you a free pass for life on the cheerfulness monitor.

    Also, werewolves first, vamps second (See Fables for an awesome wolf character), yes to LKH – Jenny and I share that guilty pleasure and yes to Scott Pilgrim. He’s crazy but who can resist?

  25. simmone on #

    weighing in late on the unicorns/zombies debate I feel I must say zombies because they have a PAST … Also – I’m for werewolves for their potential “beast” poignancy … batman for gadgetry (but superman for curses)and margot kidder for “inspired” knitwear (!)

  26. simmone on #

    or is that karen allen? you girls!

  27. Stephanie on #

    I love both vampire and werewolves, but vamps win the contest for me. Buffy is my favorite TV show, and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight is one of my favorite books. I love those little bloodsuckers, which is odd, since I’m hemophobic (fear of blood). Despite this phobia, I have uber-amounts of vampire novels. Yay for contradictions?

    However, this in no way lessens the coolness of werewolves. Oz was pretty much my favorite character on Buffy, and werewolf novels are equally enthralling. I just finished Charles de Lint’s Wolf Moon yesterday, which was really good; I recommend it to all werewolf lovers.

    I totally agree with the Batman thing though. Superman is way too perfect, and it annoys me. Characters need flaws to make them interesting, which makes Superman really dull in my opinion. I’m more interested in the idea that a regular guy without super powers is kicking some tail.

  28. Ez on #

    Suggestion for a post on your stance:

    Graphic sex scenes in YA novels – yay or nay?

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  29. Diana on #

    I know he’s dark and depressed and all that but his parents were murdered right in front of him. I think that gives you a free pass for life on the cheerfulness monitor.

    then how about double props to superman for sucking it up when not only were his parents killed, but his species, his civilization, his entire planet? that would definitely get me down…

    just sayin’.

  30. David Cake on #

    I am just going to add, in support of your werewolfy preferences, the Alan Moore comics story (a Swamp Thing story) The Curse, which makes the werewolf/menstruation connectly eloquently.

    Also, hooray for Chinese hopping vampires. Mr Vampire is a fine film in the genre.

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