Here’s a useful link we stumbled across: Lindsay Cibos (one of the creators of the Ursa Major Award winning book Draw Furries, along with Jared Hodges) has put together a list of 36 “Graphic Novels with Animal Protagonists” using Amazon.com’s “Listmania” service. Some of the items she listed are well-known already of course — Mice Templar, Blacksad, Gon, Mouse Guard, and so forth, but she also listed several that we haven’t heard of around here before, like Chi’s Sweet Home, My Cat Loki, and Seekers: Toklo’s Story. You can check out the list here, or visit Lindsay and Jared’s web site here. Here’s your homework assignment: What other cool furry-themed graphic novels can you think of?
For some time now, more and more furry fans have been learning about an annual art project: The Rare Anthros Calendar. Each year, a group of artists get together, each one creating a painting of a ‘rare’ animal, anthropomorphized. Now the definition of “rare” has changed each year. In 2011, the theme was extinct animals. For 2012, the theme is mythical creatures, and recently the roster of artists for the 2012 calendar was announced. It includes the artists known as: Ashalind, CentraDragon, Tiina Purin, Donna Quinn, Mike Love, BubbleWolf , AlectorFencer, Katmomma, Qzurr, Nimrais, Heather Bruton, Bloodhound Omega, Windfalcon, and Kaji. Yes, that’s 13 in all: It’s a baker’s dozen of mythical creatures! Including such legendary beasts as the unicorn, the dragon, the gryphon, and the jackalope, as well as more obscure (rare?) mythicals such as the tanuki and the peryton. You can visit the official Rare Anthro Calendars Deviant Art Page to find out more about ordering next year’s calendar. There you’ll also find links to the pages for the previous years’ calendars, some of which are still in print as portfolios.
Writer and artist Roger Langridge has previously earned a comic book Harvey Award for his work on The Muppet Show, published by Boom! Studios. Now he returns to Boom! with a completely new full-color original work called Snarked!, coming out this October. But first, Boom! is present a special “Issue 0” version this August, featuring a self-contained 8-page story and lots of background material for the upcoming series. In Snarked!, Mr. Langridge offers his own take on the world of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. Specifically, the crafty Walrus and the rather clueless Carpenter take a young prince and princess off on a wild goose-chase… or rather, a wild snark-chase.
Word is just starting to get out about the band The Studio Killers and their song “Ode to the Bouncer”. If you haven’t seen it, the video is up on YouTube, along with several re-mixes. Yes, the thought of a cartoon band making dance music does bring Gorillaz to mind. But that band doesn’t feature a fox and a mink performing the music, like the Studio Killers do! Several other “interview” and “behind the scenes” videos are up on YouTube as well, where we get to meet the mink and fox as well as the band’s human singer, Cherry. And of course, the Studio Killers have their own web site too. While we were researching that, we came across this interesting video by Swedish House Mafia called “Save the World”. We’ll let you see it for yourself, but suffice it to say: If you’re a “dog person”, you’ll love it.
Two newly-released trailers give us some further insight on a pair of films coming up later this year — films that furry fen might find interesting. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is directed by Rupert Wyatt, previously best known for his film The Escapist. Rise tells the story of a genetic scientist (played by current hot property James Franco) whose experiments with a brain-cell regenerating treatment lead to the creation of Caesar, a chimpanzee with the intelligence and will to lead his fellow apes in revolution against humans. Besides Mr. Franco and Andy Serkis (who plays the body-model for Caesar much as he did for Gollum in Lord of the Rings and King Kong in King Kong), Rise also stars Brian Cox, John Lithgow, Freida Pinto, and Tom Felton (Draco from the Harry Potter movies). The film is set for release on August 5th, and the latest trailer up on YouTube shows how Caesar is raised by hand by humans, coming to care for them — and later, to resent them. Okay, so… from chimpanzees on to kitties. The newest trailer for Puss in Boots is out, though the film won’t hit theaters until November 4th. Antonio Banderas (of course) plays Puss, who hooks up with Humpty Dumpty (yes, the egg) and a flirty filcher of a feline named Kitty Softpaws, voiced by Selma Hayek.
Archie Comics have announced they’re collecting together several popular adventure tales with Sonic the Hedgehog’s feisty associate, Knuckles the Echidna. The Knuckles the Echidna Archives Volume 1 is a new full-color digest-sized trade paperback by Ian Flynn and Patrick Spaziante, coming this August. It brings together issues #1 – #3 of Sonic’s Friendly Nemesis: Knuckles and issues #1 – #3 of Knuckles the Echidna. The red one tries to solve the mysteries of his origins, and comes face-to-muzzle with the Dark Legion.
Now here’s something different: A werewolf comic book with decidedly political overtones, taking on the current hot-button topic of illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States in a very unusual manner. Here’s Fangoria.com’s description of the first Feeding Ground hardcover graphic novel: “Pretending to be asleep, Flaca Busqueda watches her father leave just before going back to work. Dad, tired and poor, promises her that this will be his ‘one last cross’. Flaca sneakily gets up from her bed and spontaneously decides to follow him. She never expects to be cruelly kidnapped at the Mexican/American border, known to locals as ‘The Devil’s Highway’. In a race against time, Flaca’s parents, her brother and uncle are on a desperate search to find their missing girl before anything horrible happens to her. When the family finally locates their lost daughter, Flaca has become different and strangely odd. They find her scarred with bloody scratches and claw marks on her back, as if she were attacked by a wolf. Flaca’s body is changing at such a tender adolescent age. Her coming-of-age tale represents the werewolf’s ever-present transformation. In the backdrop of this horror story, there are political and social commentaries about the timely issue of illegal immigration. Creators Swifty Lang, Michael Lapinski, and Chris Mangun provide different perspectives on the subject, but never actually give a definite opinion on the topic, as if they are giving the readers a chance to discuss and choose for themselves. ” Feeding Ground is coming our way in full color, this August from Archaia Entertainment. Fittingly, it’s available in English and Spanish.
The International Licensing Expo, held every year in Las Vegas, is a great change to get a first look at cool upcoming new movies as various merchandise companies compete to get a chance to serve the movie studios with new character-themed lunchboxes, t-shirts, cel phone app’s and more. The folks at ComingSoon.net and Cartoon Brew recently presented a report on this year’s expo, with the latter of course mostly looking at animated films of note. Among them are two from Dreamworks, Madagasgar 3 and Rise of the Guardians, and one from Illumination, the Lorax. In Madagasgar 3, hitting theaters next June, Alex the Lion and his friends join a traveling circus in hopes of getting back to New York City. Rise of the Guardians (formerly The Guardians of Childhood) is based on an upcoming book by William Joyce (creator of Rolie Polie Olie and Meet the Robinsons). It tells the story of four childhood heroes — Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost — who join forces to prevent The Boogeyman from sending the world into eternal darkness. It’s scheduled for release in November of 2012. And of course The Lorax is based on the popular (and shamelessly controversial) children’s book by Dr. Seuss, telling the story of a forest spirit who attempts to save his home from destruction by industry. It’s coming to theaters next March from Universal Pictures.
Fans of the Twilight series and fans of animal transformation would do well to check out the novels of Colleen Houck. Her first book, Tiger’s Curse, introduces us to a teenage girl named Kelsey. She’s been given a very unusual assignment: Accompany a rare white tiger as he is shipped back to his native India. As soon as she lands though, things begin to get strange right away. Turns out that Ren, the former circus superstar, is not actually a tiger at all: He’s an Indian prince trapped under a bizarre magical curse which only allows him to assume his human form for 24 minutes a day. What’s more, Kelsey has been chosen by a powerful Indian goddess to be the girl who is destined to help Ren defeat the curse. Some assignment! Splinter released Tiger’s Curse in hardcover last January, and recently they released Tiger’s Quest, the second book in the series. In it, Kelsey must return to India to assist Ren’s less-than-savory brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the tiger’s curse. You can find out about these books and more in the series at Colleen Houck’s web site.