Recently on Animation Scoop came the announcement of a new feature-length 2-D animation project called Unstable, which is being developed by “the star studded animation team of Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh (Phineas & Ferb), David Freedman (Groove High) and top BBC Comedy Producer, Gareth Edwards (Mitchell & Webb). The three have been looking for the right project to collaborate on since they all worked on the adult animated animated series The Mr. Hell Show (BBC2 and Showtime) back in 2000. ” Unstable tells the story of a police horse who is accused of a crime he did not commit (“un-stable”, get it?), and of the little girl whom he turns to for help. One of the producers describes the film as “Witness meets Oceans 11 bumps into Madagascar“. The film is being brought to the screen by Peafur Productions.
In that same article at Broken Frontier in which we found out about the new Dragons comic they announced another new comic book of some interest to Furry Fans. The Weirding Willows, created by Dave Elliot, has previously run only in the comic anthologies A1 and Heavy Metal. Now Titan Comics have gathered together the first story arc — along with a brand new chapter — in hardcover. “When she was nine, Alice wandered into the Wild Woods and discovered a portal to another world. A world called Wonderland! Now a young woman, she has spent her childhood discovering just some of the wonders the dimensional nexus of the Weir has to offer – a place where the worlds of Earth, Wonderland, OZ, Neverland, Mars, Pelucidar and Elysium collide, and where anything, and anyone, could turn up when least expected!” The first story tells what happens when Alice’s father, Dr. Moreau, makes a dubious deal with the Wicked Witch of the West. Not to mention having Mr. Toad and his associates show up. This full-color collection is available later this month.
Later this month Titan Comics premiers not one but two volumes of their new digest-sized full-color comic based on the hit TV series Dragons: Riders of Berk. From the preview at Broken Frontier: “Titan Comics proudly presents all-new original adventures of Hiccup and Toothless! A thrilling all-ages publication and a broadening of the How To Train Your Dragon universe. Featuring gorgeous animation-inspired artwork by Iwan Nazif, and written by Simon Furman (Transformers, Doctor Who Magazine, Thundercats).”
In anticipation of the upcoming Rio 2 movie (coming to theaters this April), this month Papercutz Publishing begins a new series of Rio trade paperbacks, with Volume 1 filling in the gap between the first movie and this one. Rio: Snakes Alive is a 64-page full-color comic book written by Stefan Petrucha (Power Rangers) and illustrated by James Silvani (Darwing Duck). There’s a preview up at Bleeding Cool. “The first volume… catches up with Blu and Jewel, the last surviving Blue Spix Macaws, as they raise their kids in the Blu Bird Sanctuary near Rio de Janeiro. When the sanctuary is threatened by financial trouble, Blu and the gang embark on a quest deep into the jungle to find an ancient treasure that may save their home.”
There have been one-piece pull-over pajama-style “animal costumes” for a while now — but this is the first time we’ve seen them advertised on kids’ TV! That’s just what Janimals did, advertising their “wearable stuffed animals” on the Hub Network. What’s more, they say they have sizes to fit “ages five to one-hundred-and-five!”. Check out the Janimals web site to see their full commercial and all of their available models. As seen on TV!
Recently comic book writer and artist Simon Roy has made quite a name for himself with his science fiction series Prophet. Before that though, he was known for his shorter works — seven of which have now been collected in Jan’s Atomic Heart and Other Stories, coming late this March in trade paperback from Image Comics. In stories like “Jan’s Atomic Heart” and “Shipwrecked with Dan the Gorilla,”, Roy often shows humans interacting with aliens and other species in a very slice-of-life and social way. Check it out at Digital Spy.
The pride of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota return to comics as IDW Publishing brings us Rocky & Bullwinkle #1 this March. It’s the first issue of a 4-issue full-color miniseries written by Mark Evanier and illustrated by Roger Langridge. SEE Rocky and Bullwinkle try to stop Boris and Natasha from duping a wealthy philanthropist in The Psychic Sidekick! The issue also features a back-up story with the dashing Dudley Do-Right battling the the nefarious Snidely Whiplash. Meanwhile, also in March IDW will premiere Rocky & Bullwinkle Classics Volume 1: Star Billing. This 122-page trade paperback gathers together issues 1 – 4 of the original Gold Key Rocky & Bullwinkle comics from the 1970′s, written and illustrated by Al Kilgore. Dudley and his cohorts, as well as Mr. Peabody and Sherman, appear in back-up stories.
With all of the attention that Rocket Raccoon and his fellow Guardians of the Galaxy have been getting, some attention has also begun to shine on a nearly forgotten name: Bill Mantlo. Back in 1976, Bill teamed up with Keith Giffen to introduce the original Rocket Raccoon in the pages of Marvel Preview #7. Not long after Rocket would team up with the Incredible Hulk, of all things, before moving on to his own comic book miniseries. In 1992, Bill Mantlo was struck by a car while he was out roller-blading, and he remained in a coma for many years after the accident. He has since regained consciousness, but he suffered brain damage from the accident and now requires full-time medical attention. Many Marvel fans and comic book professionals are urging Marvel (and Disney, Marvel’s parent company now) to contribute part of the likely sky-high profits from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie towards Bill’s medical needs. Comic book writer Greg Pak has a web-site devoted to the cause of raising money for Bill’s care. Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen it: Marvel has released a new mini-preview of Guardians that includes a bit of Rocket’s voice, Bradley Cooper. It’s interesting to hear the film’s director James Gunn describe Rocket as “the heart of the movie in a lot of ways”.
In 2005 Evan Dorkin (writer) and Jill Thompson (artist) won an Eisner Award for their original comic book series Beasts of Burden, about a haunted small town and the local dogs and cats who do nightly battle with the deadly forces of evil trying to invade. Now comes the brand-new Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, a one-shot full-color comic designed to introduce new readers to the animals of Burden Hill and their struggles. This time around, our furry heroes discover that a friendly half-werewolf might just be more help than they bargained for. Hunters and Gatherers will be available at comic book stores this March, from Dark Horse Press.