The only way that Samuel Lopez De Victoria can think to describe _Howler_ is in comparison to a Magic 8-Ball. You give it a poke and it’ll tell your fortune.
And so I do. I touch the wolf silhouetted on my iPad. It gives a terrifying screech as a wolf’s wide eyes whip across the screen (a nod to the super moves in Capcom’s older fighting games). There’s a crack of lightning that illuminates a frazzling webbing of digital rain. The wolf then appears, howling into the night sky, standing on a craggy rock with its fur electric and brightly polychromatic. It’s at once mythical and futuristic.
“Do not the let the tree touch you,” reads the text. That’s it. This is my fortune. I can keep touching the wolf silhouette for more if I wish. Let’s see. “Don’t fear the gator.” Okay. “Two sweaters said you were manipulative at fighting.” Right. “If you tell, you tell.” Mmhmm.
Is it mysterious? Ridiculous? Insightful? I don’t know. But _Howler_ is certainly open to all of these readings. As with any horoscope it’s there for you to apply to your thoughts and actions as you wish. Should I avoid all the trees I see as I go outside today? If I’m superstitious enough then sure. Who knows what could happen if I don’t?
The story behind how _Howler_ came to be is less baffling. Samuel has discussed with friends over the years ideas of “wisdom” and “truth.” It’s an epistemological discourse that investigated how each friend had arrived at notions of what is true and what isn’t. Typically, it came from a source deemed trustworthy, and these varied between each individual: a book, a video, or a powerful item like a crystal or totem.
“These discussions all felt very valid and things I even believe myself,” Samuel says, “but hearing about so many different interpretations of wisdom I started questioning if there was any real human discernible way to distinguish the silly mumbo jumbo from whole-hearted truth.”
Rather than seeking any proper answer to this query, Samuel decided, instead, to experiment with this idea. He wanted to create something that would be both serious and silly. As such, _Howler_ exists to generate wisdom for those who seek it, but also works as a satire of fortune-tellers. “Words in _Howler_ can have meaning or none at all, and I love that,” Samuel says.