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Meet the Beetles

[Sorry! Couldn’t resist…] “Nestled in the grass under the big palm tree by the edge of the desert there is an entire civilization–a civilization of beetles. In this bug’s paradise, beetles write books, run restaurants, and even do scientific research. But not too much scientific research is allowed by the powerful elders, who guard a terrible secret about the world outside the shadow of the palm tree. Lucy is not one to quietly cooperate, however. This tiny field scientist defies the law of her safe but authoritarian home and leads a team of researchers out into the desert. Their mission is to discover something about the greater world…but what lies in wait for them is going to change everything Lucy thought she knew.” That’s the official word from the publisher for Last of the Sandwalkers, a new black & white graphic novel written and illustrated by Jay Hosler. It’s available now from First Second Books. You should check out the extensive review over at Bleeding Cool also.

image c. 2015 First Second Books

image c. 2015 First Second Books

All This For A Six-Pack…

On the shelves now at your local comic shop (and of course available on-line as well) look for issue #5 of Guardians Team-Up. As in Guardians of the Galaxy, you bet. When Cosmo the psychic space-dog absconds with a six-pack of Rocket Raccoon’s favorite brew, the shortest and loudest Guardian takes off in hot pursuit — and ends up running into the re-united Pet Avengers. Just in time too, as the Pet Avengers find themselves locked in a battle with the newly-formed Pets of Evil Masters and their self-styled leader, Vulture Von Doom! Super-powered animals abound! This issue was written by Andy Lanning and Andy Schmidt, illustrated by Gustavo Duarte and Marcelo Maiolo, with a painted cover by Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgado.

image c. 2015 Marvel Comics

image c. 2015 Marvel Comics

Furries Help Kids Learn

But you knew that, yes? Now the latest in a long tradition… Robert Wayne Hickey is not only a comic book writer and artist, he is also the father of two boys with “learning differences”.  So he and his wife set out of find a way to use comics to help their boys and other kids with ADHD, dyslexia, and other differences learn the best that they can. The result of that is Clay’s Way, a continuing on-line comic strip that Robert created with artist Jackie Hernandez. Clay is a young boy who, with the help of a friendly panda named Pan and a set of other interesting furry characters, has adventures and learns as he goes. The comic is regularly updated at the Clay’s Way web site. Now, Afterburn have collected the first 150 Clay’s Way comics into a trade paperback which you can check out over at Previews.

image c. 2015 Afterburn

image c. 2015 Afterburn

Dinos from Space Help Monkeys

Evidently, the dinosaurs didn’t go extinct. Instead, as Earth’s climate began to change, they migrated to a far-off planet… and now they’re a thriving space-faring culture. At least that’s the idea behind Rexodus, a new full-color graphic novel written by James Farr and illustrated by Jon Summariva. It’s coming this June from Dark Horse Press. “The Black Blood is unleashed upon the earth again, and Amber must save her father—and the world—with the aid of the only other Black Blood survivor, Kelvin Sauridon, a dinosaur from the past. In this high-stakes adventure, can they put aside their differences long enough to save the planet they both called home?” The official Rexodus home page explains it all better.  Interestingly, there’s also an on-line newspaper article from Tulsa, Oklahoma talking about the comic. Turns out the original idea for Rexodus came from Steelehouse Productions, a Tulsa-based multi-media creation company. Announcing the launch of Rexodus, Steelehouse actually created life-sized walk-around versions of the space-dino main characters.

image c. 2015 Dark Horse Press

image c. 2015 Dark Horse Press

Save King Mickey!

After what seems like a long long time, this past March Yen Press finally released Kingdom Hearts: The Novel as a single black & white collected manga. Just one that happens to be over 300 pages long! “On the Destiny Islands, three children–Sora, Riku, and Kairi–are living out their peaceful, carefree lives while yearning for whatever lies beyond the great ocean. But one night, an unexpected disaster takes place, and the three are torn from each other and their island home. Meanwhile, at Disney Castle, Donald Duck and the other castle residents are in an uproar upon discovering King Mickey has suddenly gone missing. When fate brings them together, Sora, Donald, and Goofy set out on a grand Disney adventure to find their friends!” Find it over at the Yen Press web site. It’s written by Tomoco Kanemaki and illustrated by Shiro Amano, based on the original game concept by Tetsuya Nomura.

image c. 2015 Yen Press

image c. 2015 Yen Press

Ratchet That Much Closer to the Big Screen

Today at Cartoon Brew there was an announcement about new developments for the much-anticipated upcoming Ratchet & Clank feature film. (Based on the popular Playstation video game series.  Do we even need to say that?) Now the film has a distributor (Focus Features, also the home of Laika films) and a planned release date: April 29, 2016. Which is close to the time that Insomniac Games plan to release a new Ratchet & Clank adventure for the PS4. “The movie will be directed by Kevin Munroe (TMNT) and co-directed by Jericca Cleland. The film’s voice cast, also announced this week, includes Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Rosario Dawson, and Sylvester Stallone, with Ratchet, Clank, Nefarious, and Captain Qwark voiced by the same actors as in the games. The script was developed with former Insomniac Games and Ratchet & Clank senior writer T.J. Fixman, with original Ratchet & Clank character designer Dave Guertin and weapon/vehicle designer Greg Baldwin also working on designs.” In other words, they’re putting a lot of effort into this thing!

image c. 2015 Insomniac Games

image c. 2015 Insomniac Games

One Lost Teddy Bear. One Big Adventure.

Robert Goodin is an animator who’s worked on TV shows like Rugrats and American Dad. Now he’s taken some time out from that the craft his first hardcover graphic novel, The Kurdles. “In the spirit of Hergé’s Tintin or Carl Barks’ Uncle ScroogeThe Kurdles is an all-ages comic spiced up with a teaspoon of strange. Sally is a teddy bear who gets separated from her owner while on a drive in the country. Desperate to find her way home, she stumbles upon Kurdleton, home to a most peculiar group of characters in the midst of a crisis; their forest house has grown hair, eyes, and a mouth! The creatures work with their new friend to keep Kurdleton from growing legs and running away!” Check it out over at the publisher, Fantagraphics Books.

image c. 2015 by Robert Goodin

image c. 2015 by Robert Goodin

… and They Can Talk to Her

“Kira is a young woman with a secret. She can psychically communicate with animals. She is also on the run from her abusive mate Toril, the hero turned warlord, who led the country’s forces to victory against the outland raiders. Only that was before his love of power consumed him. Now, his only focus is on tracking down Kira and making her punishment an example of his power.” So goes the story of The Healer’s Legacy, the first book in a new young-adult fantasy series by Sharon Skinner. She’s also the author of The Nelig Stones, a fantasy for younger readers featuring villainous talking dragons — and other magical folk. All of this and more can be found at Brick Cave Books. Turns out they also published The Last Incarnation by J.A. Giunta, which was previously reviewed here at In-Fur-Nation.

Image c. 2015 Brick Cave Books

Image c. 2015 Brick Cave Books

Snakes and Leaders

Michelle B. Assor is unlike many people out there: She’s fond of snakes. She actually likes them enough that she made them the star of her own fantasy novel series. The first book is called Snaygill: Slithery Temptations. “At birth, princes Ophis and Neddris barely escape death from a feathered earruda.  They survive, and are destined to inherit the crown of Snaygill, a reptile-driven kingdom that has never before seen the presence of mankind – and is instead inhabited by crafty, mischievous snakes. As the brothers set off on the often bumpy road toward adulthood, they abandon the regal rules and find themselves confronted by temptations that lurk around every corner. Along their extraordinary quest, they attend a deceptive school, engage in forbidden journeys and meet alluring characters who contradict everything they thought they knew about the world. They even fall in love…” Her web site has more on this and other books that she’s working on.

image c. 2015 Michelle B. Assor

image c. 2015 Michelle B. Assor