Pirate 101 (from Kings Isle, the same creators as Wizard 101) is an on-line multi-player role-playing system of pirate adventure and battle — in the sky, no less. Yep, flying pirate ships. It’s a decidedly family-friendly game throughout, though it has “adult” and “child” areas as part of it. The interesting thing is this: As you can see from the preview trailer, and in the picture below, there are plenty of anthropomorphic player characters to be had and played, as well as the more traditional human sort. Visit www.pirate101.com to find out how to get started with the game.
Back to our friends at Cartoon Brew again, swooping in on one of their scoops. Not long ago they reported about an in-development Hong Kong Phooey live action/CGI feature, starring the voice of Eddie Murphy. The film is being developed and directed by Alex Zamm (Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2) and Alcon Entertainment for Warner Brothers. Now, Mr. Zamm has posted a short test-film of the CGI lead character on line, and Cartoon Brew has the link. See what YOU think. (In case the footage gets taken down, Cartoon Brew were kind enough to embed it in their article).
First off: Merry Christmas! And thank you for making us part of your lives for another year ^^
Also over at Cartoon Brew there’s a teaser trailer for a new short animation project by world-famous animator Andreas Deja. Here’s what they say: “Andreas Deja is a modern-day animation legend. He worked for 30 years at Disney where he was responsible for classic characters such as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, Scar in The Lion King, and Lilo in Lilo and Stitch. He left the studio a couple years ago to focus on personal projects, including producing independent animated films. This morning, Andreas teased audiences with a preview from his short film Mushka, featuring a girl and tiger as the lead characters. The film, which will be animated in a colored pencil style, is ‘a story of love and sacrifice set in Russia.’ On his blog, which also includes development sketches of the characters, Deja pointed out that he still has a long road ahead of him. He’s been working on story and pre-production this year, and plans to animate the film in 2013.”
Disney and Pixar have announced an interesting change to their 2013 movie line-up. This is from Jerry Beck over at Cartoon Brew: “Disney has decided to chase after Dreamworks’ Turbo next summer with its new “Cars-inspired” movie: Planes. Disney has just announced it will release this film theatrically on August 9th, 2013. Originally designed to go direct-to-DVD, Planes will now play in theaters all over the U.S. Jon Cryer is voicing the lead plane, “Dusty”; Klay Hall (Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure), an aviator himself, is directing.” In the same article Cartoon Brew also re-posted the original trailer for Planes, in case you missed it before.
Here’s something new that Disney art and story collectors can look forward to this February: Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Tales, coming in hardcover from Random House. “Originally published in Good Housekeeping magazine, these legendary one-page features translated Disney’s newest releases into rollicking comic poems illustrated by master Disney painters Tom Wood and Hank Porter. This collection of 50 of the funniest and most fascinating features are presented in a hardcover family-friendly book to Disney fans of all ages. A trip back to Mickey and Minnie’s musical heyday, these beautifully illustrated and condensed re-tellings of some of Disney’s most delightful shorts will entrance fans young and old.” Check it out at Cheap Graphic Novels.
Jeff Smith, the multiple-award-winning creator of Bone, has returned with a new full-color softcover children’s book from Toon Books. In Little Mouse Gets Ready, “There’s lots to do before Little Mouse is ready to go visit the barn. Will he master all the intricacies of getting dressed, from snaps and buttons to Velcro and tail holes?” According to Amazon, this book has already been given the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award. So how the heck did we miss this one? It came out in 2009!
This February, Papercutz (home to the Geronimo Stilton series) presents a brand new full color graphic novel by multiple award-winning author Emmanuel Guibert and renowned illustrator Marc Boutavant — Ariol, Volume 1: Just a Donkey Like You and Me. “Ariol is your everyday tween donkey with blue glasses. He lives in the suburbs with his mom and dad. His best friend is a pig. He’s in love with a beautiful cow in his class. His teacher is a dog. His gym teacher is a huge rooster. In short, Ariol is just like you and me.” Pre-order this new softcover book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Graham Chaffee is an underground cartoonist who is best known for his recent work as a tattoo artist. But now he has returned to graphic storytelling with his new hardcover black & white book called Good Dog. He’s been previewing the artwork on his web site. “Ivan, who is plagued by terrible nightmares about chickens and rabbits, is a good dog—if only someone would notice. Readers accompany the stray as he navigates dog society, weathers pack politics, and surveys canine-human interactions. Good Dog’s story and pen-and-ink art are deceptively simple, but Chaffee uses the approachability of the subject matter as a device to explore topics such as independence, security, assimilation, loyalty, and violence. Preteen-and-up dog fanciers, especially, will warm to the well-meaning Ivan and his exploits with a motley assortment of Scotties, Bulldogs, and mutts. Chaffee combines illustrative gravitas with cartooning verve and creates a richly textured, dog’s-eye view of the world.” Good Dog is coming this April from Fantagraphics. Check it out at Amazon.
Kevin Frane, author of The Seventh Chakra (nominated for an Ursa Major Award in 2011) returns this January with a new novel called Summerhill. Fur Planet will release it in both hardcover and softcover, starting at Further Confusion in San Jose. “Summerhill is a dog with a problem: he isn’t exactly sure who he is. Living alone in a desolate world as its only inhabitant, he has no memories of his previous life—only the tantalizing clue that the answers he seeks may lie with a mysterious woman named Katherine, the hostess on a cruise ship that sails between dimensions. But Katherine has problems of her own, and if Summerhill wants her help in unlocking the secrets of his past, he’ll have to help Katherine deal with hers. Together, the two will travel to different worlds, different times, and different universes in a journey where each new stop has both fantastic discoveries and deadly threats in wait, and where the rules of reality can change as easily as weather.” Check out Fur Planet’s Live Journal to pre-order a copy.