Here’s a sneak peak: Hermes press will soon be releasing a brand-new hardcover book, The Life and Times of Walt Kelly (edited by Thomas Andrae and Carsten Laqua). From the official press release: “This first comprehensive monograph of Pogo creator Walt Kelly details all of his work from its beginning with Walt Disney through his long creative work on his signature character, Pogo. This full-color art book is profusely illustrated with original artwork and never-before-seen documentary materials.” The book is scheduled to begin shipping in October.
Mirage Studios has two new black & white trade paperbacks of interest to the many fans of TMNT. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Collected Book Volume 1 celebrates the 25th anniversary of Mirage by reprinting the first 11 issues of this ground-breaking comic along with four micro-series by the creators of the Turtles, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Meanwhile, Future Tense (by Dean Clarrain, Chris Allen, and Jon D’Agostino) collects the Archie Comics TMNT Adventures issues #42 through #66, featuring the “Future Shark” and “Dreamland” story arcs. All the stories feature the “future Turtles”, and act as a lead-in to the upcoming Future War mini-series.
Joe Ledbetter is not a name well-known in Furry Fandom, but his graphic art style, influenced in equal parts by both classic animation and (perhaps) M.C. Escher is highly sought-after among collectors of artistic illustration. And now Last Gasp has collected Joe’s works from 2003 through 2008 in a new hardcover portfolio book, Creatures of Habit. The curious (you should be) can check out more about the book (and Joe) at Joe Ledbetter’s web site.
In honor of the Daytona 500, Fox Sports and IDW Publishing recently teamed up to give everyone’s favorite animated NASCAR mascot his own full-color comic book mini-series. Digger and Friends #1 (by Jack Brigio and Diego Jourdan) finds the race-loving gopher, his family, and friends in high adventure at high speed… trying to out-race speeding tickets! You can find the comic book and a whole lot more Digger merchandise at the official NASCAR Store.
About Comics brings us the first graphic-novel complilation of the original black & white Weasel Patrol comics by Ken Macklin and Lela Dowling. Premiering as a back-up comic in the science fiction comic Fusion (itself very popular with furry fans) back in the 1980’s, The Weasel Patrol follows the insane adventures of “Willie, Leroy, and the other genetically altered weasels who work as an amazingly incompetent yet surprisingly effective force against the criminal elements among us”. Eventually the weasels graduated to their own (short-lived) comic title, before they finally rode off forever into the universe. Now all of their original adventures (long and short tales, as it were) are collected here in one soft-cover book. Never forget: Protect! Serve! Run away!
Image Comics bring us a brand new story arc for Michael Avon Oeming’s popular mouse-knight series. Mice Templar: Destiny follows the adventures of the newly-knighted mouse Karic. With the Templar fallen and the natural world in the grip of tyrants and ever-increasing chaos, Karic is desperate to complete his training and save his family from slavery. This new full-color monthly series is brought to us by Michael Avon Oeming, Bryan Glass, and Victor Santos.
The internationally famous fantasy artist known as Ciruelo has released a new hardcover illustrated storybook called Faries and Dragons — Art is Magic. It’s available from DAC Editions. Weaving together Native American legends and European fantasy traditions, the book tells the tale of two young children — one fond of dragons, the other fond of faeries — who meet plenty of both as they travel far to help a sorceress thwart a forthcoming catastrophe. A review of the book from Amazon.com can be found here.
The Disney Sketchbook 1928 – 2008 is a new 144-page hardcover book from Disney Editions, where current and retired Disney animators are given a chance to both show and reflect upon some of the artwork that has inspired them over the years as they worked on the latest animated film projects. This is from Amazon.com: “The Disney Sketchbook 1928-2008 is a glorious, collectible coffee-table book showcasing the rich visual development art by Disney animators over the more than eighty-year history of the Walt Disney Animation Studios (originally Disney Feature Animation). The sketchbook appears as if Disney’s animation artists have passed it among each other through the years, from the early beginnings of the Studios’ work, through the present day. Frequently, current artists have drawn their concepts alongside earlier characters that have influenced their work. In brief but potent text, the current Disney animators will reflect on the inspiration of the artists who have preceded them, going back to the “first generation” of animators who created the Silly Symphonies and early cartoons, to the first Golden Age of Disney animation (Snow White to The Black Cauldron) to the present second Golden Age (The Little Mermaid onwards).” The book will be available in August.
The July 2009 issue of Animation Magazine presents the results of the 8th annual Pitch Party, where readers and fans are invited to submit one-panel illustrations as “pitches” for possible new animated TV series. The submissions were judged by a panel of animation industry executives from the likes of Cartoon Network, Walt Disney Television Animation, Comedy Central, and more. This years winner was Clerence by Chelsea Gordon-Ratzlaff, the story of a young dragon who’s pushed out of his own world into ours. You can find out more about Clerence at www.notquitenormal.ca. Other submissions of note to furry fans include Khepri by Erin Prazan (kheprifilm.wordpress.com), 9 x 9 Lives (www.tangycat.com), Fish’n’Chumps (www.cartoonivore.com), Bitter Little Raccoon by Tom Ramirez (bitterlittleraccoon.deviantart.com), Monkey & Robot’s Flying Circus (MonkeyAndRobotGO.com), Harold and the Walrus by Daniel Contois (www.danielcontois.com), Fireflyz Avengerz by Don Farmer and Julie Farmer, Iggy Igloo & Friends by Frank Italiano Jr. (www.fitalinc.com), Xtinctables by the Scribble Design Group (www.scribblefx.com), Blue Thunder & Cozmik Kitty by Sergio Armendariz, and Ugly Dawg Kennel by Christopher Slaughter.