Fans of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series of books (Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr), as well as fans of fantasy with talking dragons, might want to find Eragon’s Guide to Alagaesia, available now in hardcover from Knopf Books for Young Readers. This illustrated book was created by Christopher Paolini himself, with ample assistance from the creators of the bestselling books Dragonology, Egyptology, Piratelogy, and so forth. “From elves, dwarves, Urgals, humans, and dragons, to the natural landscape and the magic it contains, Eragon himself offers the reader an unsurpassed tour. This oversized, full-color book provides 15 spreads chock full of spectacular artwork, engaging novelty elements, and fascinating insights into Eragon’s home.” While you’re at it, you might also check out The Ultimate Unauthorized Eragon Guide: The Hidden Facts Behind the World of Alagaesia (whew, what a title!) by Lois H. Gresh, available in paperback from St. Martin’s Griffin Press.
Have you heard about Sands of Destruction? It’s a current video game and anime series that have become very popular in Japan in both formats. The game came first: World Destruction — Guided Wills (the original Japanese title) was developed by Imageepoch for the Nintendo DS and published by Sega. Later the anime series adaptation (World Destruction: The Six People That Will Destroy the World) was created by Production I.G. The plot of both is the same: The world has been taken over by various races of animal-people known collectively as “Ferals”, and humans have been reduced to slave labor. A group known as the World Destruction Committee/World Annihilation Front has decided that the only way to fix the world is to destroy it completely. Kyrie Illunis is a young man with mysterious destructive powers — and a teddy-bear-like feral for a friend and advisor. The former brings him to the attention of Morte Ashera, the young woman in charge of the WDC/WAF. Attentions both professional and romantic, that is. And then various ferals and humans get involved, and things become much more complicated for everyone, of course. Funimation will be releasing the complete 13-episode anime series on DVD this January.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Thank you for following us through our first year on-line. We’ll keep making your Internet interesting! — Rod O’Riley, your ed-otter
More on-line comics making their way into the world on dead trees! Kazu Kibuishi (well-known as the editor of the Flight series of fantasy anthologies) has brought out his full-color on-line comic Copper in book form, available this January in softcover or hardcover from Graphix. From the publisher’s notes at Amazon.com: “Copper is curious, Fred is fearful. And together boy and dog are off on a series of adventures through marvelous worlds, powered by Copper’s limitless enthusiasm and imagination. Each Copper and Fred story in this graphic novel collection is a complete vignette, filled with richly detailed settings and told with a wry sense of humor. These two enormously likable characters build ships and planes to travel to surprising destinations and have a knack for getting into all sorts of odd situations. Copper’s good cheer always smoothes the way—and Fred can usually be won over if there’s food involved.”
Every time we turn around, Boom! Studios has more interesting new product for furry fans. Following in the steps of The Muppet Robin Hood comes The Muppet King Arthur, telling the tale of the ancient king as only Kermit the Frog and his friends can — in full color, every month. It’s brought to you by Paul Benjamin, Patrick Storck, and David Alvarez. You should also check out Wizards of Mickey, yet another break-out full-color comic book series that started in the pages of Mickey Mouse and Friends. When Mickey Mouse, the sorcerer’s apprentice, loses a valuable magic talisman, he must assemble a team of fellow magic-learners to retrieve it from evil hands. But when your allies are Donald Duck and Goofy, what chance have you got? Find out! While you’re at it, look for Wizards of Mickey Volume 1: Mouse Magic in hardcover. It collects the original four-part series in one full-color book. Wizards of Mickey comes to us from Stefano Ambrosio and Lorenzo Pastrovicchio.
Happy Friday the 13th! The last one for 2009, in fact…
New for the holidays is The Dragon Book, edited by Jack Dan and Gardner Dozois and published in hardcover by Ace. This is from the publisher’s notes on Amazon.com: “Whether portrayed as fire-breathing reptilian beasts at war with humanity or as noble creatures capable of speech and mystically bonded to the warriors who ride them, dragons have been found in nearly every culture’s mythology. In modern times, they can be found far from their medieval settings in locales as mundane as suburbia or as barren as post-apocalyptic landscapes-and in The Dragon Book, today’s greatest fantasists reignite the fire with legendary tales that will consume readers’ imaginations. With original stories by New York Times bestselling authors Jonathan Stroud, Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Diana Gabaldon, Tamora Pierce, Harry Turtledove, Sean Williams, and Tad Williams as well as tales by Naomi Novik, Peter Beagle, Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, Cecelia Holland, Kage Baker, Samuel Sykes, Diana Wynne Jones, Mary Rosenblum, Tanith Lee, Andy Duncan, and Bruce Coville.” It’s on the shelves now.
This January, Boom! Studios brings us the new Disney’s Hero Squad full-color comic, from the minds of writer Riccardo Secchi and artist Stefano Turconi. From the pages of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories: Super Goof! The Duck Avenger! Eega Beeva! The Red Bat! And more — see Disney’s mightiest heroes in their own comic book title. Wonder where all this came from? Then make sure to check out the Disney’s Hero Squad Volume 1: Save The World hardcover collection. The greatest superheroes in the Disney universe come together when the world’s greatest super-villain sets his sights on Scrooge McDuck’s entire fortune!
Ape Entertainment is taking the unusual step of releasing all three issues of a three-issue mini-series at once, this coming January. The item in question is the new full-color comic mini-series Hairy Things, written by Jay Carvajal and illustrated by Marc Borstel. In the days of the Wild West, four companions stumble across a remote town hidden deep in the Colorado Rockies… a town that is under attack by a tribe of tall, furry sasquatch! What they don’t know is, the sasquatch are the least of their concerns — because the town is populated by hungry cannibals! This is not your grandparents’ western people…
Furry fans all know that the real break-out star of Disney-Pixar’s summer smash film, Up, was Dug the dog. For heaven’s sake, he’s got his own Facebook page! Now Dug and his pack of servant dogs, all fitted with their high-tech talking collars, find themselves starring in Dug’s Special Mission, a new CGI short film that will accompany Up on the new DVD and Blue-Ray release. Directed by Ronnie Del Carmen (who worked in the story department on Up), this new short tells the story of what happened right before Dug met Carl Fredricksen and intrepid explorer Russell… when Dug, on his birthday, is wishing for a new master who would be less cruel and maniacal than the one he had before. Dug himself, of course, is voiced again by Up co-director Bob Peterson. The new DVD/Blue-Ray will be available November 10th.
The directing team that brought you Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, now returns to bring us the new Dreamworks CGI animated film How to Train Your Dragon, set to be released to theaters (in 3D) this coming March, 2010. The script was written by Mr. DeBlois, based on a popular book by author Cressida Cowell. An extended preview trailer is up for viewing on YouTube and other places on-line.
The story follows a young viking named Hiccup — whom you can guess, with a name like that, isn’t the strongest or boldest of vikings. Determined to prove his worth and manhood, young Hiccup strives to find a solution to the plague of dragons that have besieged his homeland. What he ends up doing, however, is befriending a young injured dragon… and making a discovery that just may change his whole tribe forever.