Is there no end to the mash-ups? (Probably not.) After last year’s well-received Planet of the Apes and Tarzan crossover comic, BOOM! Studios is at it again — teaming up with DC Comics this time to bring us… Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern. Yes. (Pretty straight-forward title, huh?) In this new full-color 6-issue miniseries, Cornelius the chimpanzee scientist investigates a disturbance in the Forbidden Zone… and discovers an ancient ring of power. Then, the rest of the Green Lantern Corps catches solar wind of it… According to the publishers, “BOOM! Studios, DC, and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products are excited to bring together two celebrated pop culture properties in a historic comics crossover event when the talking simians of the Planet of the Apes meet the Emerald Crusaders of the Green Lantern Corps. Written by Robbie Thompson (Silk) and Justin Jordan (Green Lantern), and illustrated by Barnaby Bagenda (The Omega Men), Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern debuts February 1st as a 6-issue monthly limited series.” So it’s there for you now! Blastr.com has more.
How did we miss this one? Alternative Comics bring us the collected Fancy Froglin: Uncensored, an on-line comic by James Kochalka (American Elf). Here’s what they say: “James Kochalka’s complete Fancy Froglin — the lovable story of a very dirty little frog who only sometimes wears pants. Fancy Froglin is an ineffably cute happy little frog… He’s highly sexual yet purely innocent. And he loves bunnies. Most important, he’s really funny.” Do we need to mention here that this comic is decidedly for adults? Their web site has more.
From an article at Animation World Network we’ve learned that Radical Sheep Productions have hooked up with Teletoon in a deal to broadcast their new animated TV series The Bagel and Becky Show in Canada. “The animated series is based on the book Bagel’s Lucky Hat by Dave Cooper (creator of PigGoatBananaCricket). The Bagel and Becky Show is a bugged-out, offbeat comedy for kids 6-11 that follows mismatched siblings Bagel voiced by Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall, Phineas and Ferb), and his sister Becky voiced by Nikki Payne (Last Comic Standing, Satisfaction) as they explore their neighborhood of Awkward Hills and stumble into whack-loads of outlandish situations.” No word yet on when it might be distributed to other parts of North America. Also no word as to why the little doggie has a cat for a sister, but we should probably be used to that kind of thing by now…
Recently we learned of a new Chinese/American co-production for television and the ‘nets called Valt the Wonder Deer. It’s produced by DreamEast Pictures, and late last year they inked a deal with Jetpack Distribution to bring the series out to the world. Valt is based on the Chinese myth of the nine-colored deer. According to an article at Animation magazine’s web site, “Valt the Wonder Deer follows Valt and his friends as they encounter funny moments, scary trials and plenty of adventure on their journey to obtain the power of the Five Magic Elements and rescue his trapped parents, the Deer King and Queen, from the comically evil overlords of the Land of Metal. The show uses the group’s journey and experiences to demonstrate themes of love, courage, friendship and responsibility to its young viewers.” Some of the American crew of Valt have previously worked on animation as diverse as Beavis & Butt-Head, Skylanders, Ben 10, Kung Fu Panda, and Dragons: Riders of Berk. Furry.Today has more, including the trailer up on Vimeo. [Again, thanks to Changa Lion for this!]
Netflix has a new stop-motion animated series hitting the digital byways soon. Here’s what the creators say: “From American Greetings Entertainment and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Buddy Thunderstruck is an action-comedy, stop-motion extravaganza that follows the adventures of a semi-truck racing dog named Buddy and his albino ferret mechanic. It all goes down in race-obsessed Greasepit, a place chock full of larger-than-life characters and nitro-burning, gear-slamming, tire-squealing, fish-tailing good times.” In case you didn’t know, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios are the house that animates Robot Chicken, and American Greetings Entertainment are the original creators of the Care Bears — as the trailer says, Yes Really. [Thanks to Changa Lion from Furry.Today for pointing this one out. Visit there to see new trailer!]
Boy, IDW Comics are jumping in with both feet (or is it all four?) with a new full-color comic called Animal Noir. “Anthropomorphic animals like you’ve never seen them before. It’s Chinatown meets Animal Farm, and just like the George Orwell classic, Lunacek and Juren’s animals are an allegory for today’s world. Private Investigator (and giraffe), Immanuel Diamond – Manny to his friends – has been asked by his uncle – an influential judge — to track down a prey fantasy movie. Adult films in this world are staged hunts where one animal eats another, and the judge’s wife starred in one that has been hidden (until now). Giraffe detectives, hippo mob members, prey-obsessed lions, street fighting elephants, and oppressed zebras are just part of this wild animal kingdom.” Should we mention that several critics noticed that Zootopia reminded them of Chinatown too? Nah, probably not. Created by Nejc Juren and Izar Lunacek, Animal Noir #1 is due on the comic book shelves this coming March.
Your humble ed-otter journeyed to UCLA for the 44th annual Annie Awards — the Oscars of animation, presented by ASIFA-Hollywood. As expected (or hoped by many furry fans!), Zootopia dominated the evening in the feature categories, taking home Annies for Storyboarding, Character Design, Writing, Directing, and Best Feature. It was not a sweep, however, and Kubo and the Two Strings was not far behind: It won awards in the feature categories for Editing, Character Animation, and Production Design. Voting for the Best Voice Acting in the feature category resulted in a tie, shared by Auli’i Cravalho for Moana and Jason Bateman for Zootopia. A new category, Best Independent Feature, was won by the subtly anthropomorphic film The Red Turtle. Disney’s film The Jungle Book won an Annie for Character Animation In A Live Action Production (though it’s still controversial if the film counts as that). Best Short was won by Pixar’s popular birdie film Piper, while Best Student Film went to a European short about dinosaurs called Citipati. Over in the TV broadcast categories the most popular winner of furry interest seemed to be Dreamworks’ Trollhunters, which won for Storyboarding, Character Design, and Character Animation. The Best Television Production for Preschool Children went to Tumble Leaf, while the Best TV Production for Children went to to Adventure Time. Visit the Annie Awards web site for a complete list of the nominees and winners. Congratulations to all!
Titan Books have released a new science fiction anthology called Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone. It features an impressive roster of authors presenting stories set in the world of the original five-movie Planet of the Apes series, or in the world of the 1974 live-action TV series (which is not exactly the same world, but close). “The 1968 film Planet of the Apes was a seminal work of science fiction that inspired generations of filmmakers and authors. Now a who’s who of modern writers — including Kevin J. Anderson, Nancy Collins, Jonathan Maberry, and John Jackson Miller [and many more] — produces sixteen brand-new, exclusive stories… Each writer will explore a different drama within the post-apocalyptic world, treating readers to their unique visions and non-stop adventure.” Edited by Rich Handley and Jim Beard, it’s available now in paperback at Amazon.
Whoops! How did we miss this one? A year ago Graphix brought us Bunny vs. Monkey, a full-color all-ages graphic novel by Jamie Smart. What’s it about? Look at the title! Well now, it’s time for Bunny vs. Monkey: Book 2, just hitting the shelves. “Welcome to the Woods! A peaceful home, until…ZAP! ZAAPPP! ZAAAPPPPP!!! It’s Monkey in a hovercraft that fires lasers! Science and nature fight again! With robotic worms! Trojan mooses! And lemony doomsday devices! It’s the continuing battle between good and evil…It’s Bunny vs Monkey: Book Two!” You heard it here. Now check it out over at Goodreads.