Salem the cat is a fan-favorite character from the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV series and comic book line. Now the latest issue of Sabrina from Archie Comics begins a 4-issue series of Salem before he became a feline… back when he was a young boy wizard! Everything changes the day that Salem meets a talking frog who says that he was was a wizard, too. The series is brought to you in full color by Ian Flynn and Chad Thomas.
The first set of issues of The Gwaii by Sean O’Reilly and Pedro Del Gado have been released in a new full-color hardcover collection by Arcana Studio. Tanu is a young sasquatch lost in the great Canadian wilderness when his mother is captured by Fearsome Creatures. To get her back, he’ll have to use all his skills as he faces frightening mythological beings.
New from Image Comics: The Mice Templar Sketchbook by Bryan Glass and Michael Avon Oeming. This full-color trade paperback features “never before seen artwork by Michael Avon Oeming from all phases of the development of the acclaimed anthropomorphic series”. It also features a brand new short story that bridges the gap between the Mice Templar, Volume 1: The Prophecy hardcover collection and the upcoming Volume 2.
Kythera of Anevern is a fantasy artist who has become well-known in the world of Disney’s Gargoyles fandom. She also does anthropomorphic art from time to time — you can find her web site at http://www.furaffinity.net/user/kytheraoa. Now, she’s moved on to the fine art of… art instruction! Drawing Made Easy: Dragons and Fantasy is available in softcover from Walter Foster Publishing. It includes a brief summary of tools and materials, and tips on how to draw creature elements such as fur, horns, and scales, and 13 step-by-step “lesson”-style breakdowns of various fantasy creatures, including two types of dragons, centaur, gargoyle, mermaid, and minotaur. Visit her web site or http://anevern.artchicks.org/Images/Print/DME10/ to find out more about ordering the book.
Free Comic Book Day is an annual event where comic book publishers put out special full-color mini-comics for distribution free to the public at various specialty and comic book stores. This year the big day is Saturday, May 2nd, and once again there are anthropomorphic comics to be found if you go looking. Boom! Studios is offering Disney/Pixar’s Cars by Alan J. Porter and Albert Carreres, which gives us a sneak-peak at the premier issue of the new Cars comic book series — and tells us the origin of Lightning McQueen! Cartoonapalooza from Ape Entertainment brings us (among other things) the further adventures of Go-Go Gorilla and the Jungle Crew. Archie Comics present a special introduction to the world and history of Sonic the Hedgehog with Sonic the Hedgehog: Evolution of a Hero (by Ian Flynn and Tracy Yardley). From Gemstone Publishing comes a special double-issue, featuring an excerpt from Don Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck as well as selected pages from Mickey and the Gang: Classic Stories in Verse. Owly and Friends is a triple-treat from Top Shelf Productions, featuring new stories of Owly by Andy Runton, Johnny Boo by James Kochalka, and Korgi by Christian Slade. Th3rd World Studios presents a special preview of their new series The Stuff of Legend (by Mike Raicht, Brian Smith, and Charles Paul Wilson III). It’s “a dark fantasy adventure in which a group of toys fight an unseen war to save their human master from every child’s worst nightmare: The Boogeyman!” Whew. Wildcard Ink brings us new adventures in Toyland with the Gumby Two-in-One by Andrew Joseph, Shepherd Hendrix, and Ken Hooper. Perhaps the biggest news of the day: To celebrate its 25th anniversary (!), Mirage will be publishing a special free re-print of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue #1 from 1984 (by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, of course!). Look for all of these at your favorite comic book store on the first Saturday in May. But look quickly — you know they’re going to go fast!
Back where it all started: “Hey SHAG-gyyyyy!” Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Season One, Volume 1 is available now on DVD from Warner Home Video. Four of the very first episodes ever broadcast with Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy — and the dog himself, Scooby Doo, out in the world and solving mysteries. On the Disney side of things, Disney DVD has released the 20th Anniversary DVD edition of 1988’s Oliver and Company. If you didn’t know, it’s Oliver Twist set in modern day New York City — with a cast of dogs and cats! Not to mention a voice cast with the likes of Billy Joel, Cheech Marin, Joey Lawrence, and Bette Midler!
Also just found on Amazon: Edo Cats: Tails of Old Tokyo, written and illustrated by Ryuto Kanzaki. It’s available this May in hardcover and softcover from Japanime Company. “Acclaimed manga artist and historian Ryuto Kanzaki takes readers on a whimsical tour of Edo (Old Tokyo) as seen through the eyes of the local cats. Discover the costumes, customs, and color of bygone Japan. Teeming with history and nostalgia, Edo Cats: Tails of Old Tokyo will delight manga fans and feline-lovers alike!”
Fans of fantastic beasties from around the world might want to check out The Mythical Creatures Bible by Brenda Rosen (in softcover). This is from Amazon.com: “Fabulous animals, specters from the shadow world, nature spirits, and sacred beings: These are the monstrous, marvelous, and mythic creatures that have come down to us in folklore and legend. Some probably have their origins in reality; others spring completely from the imagination. And they are all here, in this stunningly illustrated bible. It’s rich in history and images, and international in scope, covering dragons and serpents; weird insects like the Aztec Itzpapalotl; zombies, golems, and banshees; the watery Undine; the Monkey King, Sun Wukong; and much, much more.”
Tokyo Pop takes a new step into full-color full-sized graphic novels with the premier of Luuna, Volume 1, from Europe (and available now in English). With a script by Nicolas Keramidas and art by Didier Crisse, Luuna tells the story of a young woman of the mystic Paumanok tribe, who enters the sacred forest to find her totem — her animal spirit that represents her inner self. Unfortunately for Luuna, the Evil One plays a trick on her. Now she’s cursed with not one but two totems: Wolves, white and black, representing her own good and evil sides… one capable of miracles, the other of great destruction. And so Luuna sets out to find the wise spirits of the Earth, hoping they can rid her of this curse… if the minions of the Evil One don’t get to her first!