Walt Disney referred to Marc Davis as his “Renaissance Man” because Marc could seemingly do anything… He could do storyboards, design characters, animate, and he could even help to design new attractions for Walt’s theme parks. And now professionals from each of those departments and more have gathered together to celebrate Marc’s life and legacy in a massive new hardcover book, Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man, coming this October from Disney Editions. It’s filled with Marc’s original sketches and designs, as well as background information from his friends and co-workers. Need a furry tie-in for all this? Look no further than his character designs for The Country Bears and America Sings attractions at Disneyland. But there’s more.
This October Viz Media will release Princess Mononoke: The First Story, “An oversized, lavishly illustrated storybook featuring original watercolor art by legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. This is the original Princess Mononoke story created by Miyazaki in 1980 while he was first conceptualizing the landmark animated film that would later be released to universal acclaim seventeen years later. As an initial version of the tale, it offers a new and different perspective from the final version presented in the film: After a long, exhausting war, a samurai lost in a forest encounters a giant wildcat – a ‘mononoke’. The beast saves his life, but at the price of his daughter’s hand in marriage… ” Read more about this new hardcover book over at Crunchyroll.
Here it is, straight from Previews: “From the bestselling video games, leading cartoon on Nickelodeon, hot toys from McFarlane Toys, now bursting into comics: playful, clueless, curious, mischievous, and completely unpredictable, the Rabbids find fun everywhere and with everything, creating havoc wherever they go! In their first graphic novel, the Rabbids invade museums, horse races, and even play golf on the moon with a series of non-stop gags that showcase their charmingly surreal stupidity out amongst the rest of the world. ” Watch out! They’re coming next week from Papercutz. Rabbids Volume 1: Bwaaaaaaah! was written by Thitaume with artwork by Romain Pujol.
And now for something completely different: Anthropomorphic… amusement park rides. Yes. “What happens to amusement park rides once they are put into storage or destroyed? They are magically transported to a place only known as ‘Amusement Park Between’, a park that co-exist within any other and is only accessible by those who are of its blood. There are no limits and no humans. The only residents are the rides. However, they are much different from our own. Amusement Park Between’s rides are ALIVE, having both the characteristics of man and beast. Amusement Park Between was once merry and joyous, but for the past several years it has spiraled into turmoil. An evil tyrant known as Ironwheel has taken control, casting a dark shadow over Amusement Park Between, and whose evil intentions endanger both their world and our own. The rides only hope is the key to their prophecy; the red will defeat the black. That particular key is the only ride that was created differently. The red roller coaster, Railrunner. And this is his story.” Got all that? It’s all there in Twisted, a new illustrated novel from the artist and writer Miranda Leek. You can read more about it and see all of her illustrations for Twisted over at her personal web site. The book is available now.
Dynamite Entertainment have announced the first English language release of In Search of Lost Dragons, “a gorgeous illustrated storybook that captures glimpses of the majestic flying reptiles hiding throughout our world. For the first time ever, the sensational French art book by celebrated storytellers Elian Black’Mor and Carine-M is adapted to English in a luscious, full-color, and oversized hardcover, presenting over 200 pages of dragon illustrations and Victorian-style sketches with a captivating accompanying narrative. Originally published in France as Sur La Piste Des Dragons Oublies, this fantastic adventure follows an intrepid illustrator and reporter’s journeys from Europe through the Middle East and finally to Saigon in search of the dark caverns and mountaintop perches where the elusive winged serpents dwell. With the gift of seeing the invisible, our explorer friend records each encounter in a journal of gorgeous, fully painted artwork, capturing every majestic and fearsome visual detail of the scaly behemoths, and accompanies his findings with snippets of local lore as evidence that these hidden beasts continue to shape the world in ways we may never expect.” In Search of Lost Dragons makes an appearance this October. Take a look at the preview over at Bleeding Cool.
Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s the late Jim Henson and his associate Jerry Juhl wrote many interesting screenplays for development as projects for The Muppets, and many of them were never produced. Among the latter was a story called The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow, which went like this: “Turkey Hollow is a picturesque town where hundreds of years ago, unbeknownst to the citizens, a meteorite landed nearby a small brook on the outskirts of town. One Thanksgiving, while young Timmy Henderson practices his guitar, he’s accompanied by strange, unearthly, musical sounds. That meteorite wasn’t a rock at all but an egg holding seven furry, goofy monsters, each with a unique musical sound. After the initial shock, Timmy befriends the lovable creatures following him all around Turkey Hollow. Not everyone takes a liking to the visitors though and it’s up to Timmy to protect his new friends and save Thanksgiving!” Now Archaia Comics have partnered once again with illustrator Roger Langridge (Snarked, The Muppet Show) to bring these Musical Monsters to life in a brand new full-color graphic novel coming in hardcover this October. What’s more, according to an article in USA Today, Lisa Henson (Jim’s daughter and CEO of Henson Company) has confirmed that the original script is being developed into a holiday TV special — possibly for release as early as this Thanksgiving!
Some of you may remember Banana Tail, an illustrated children’s book created by animator Mark McKenna. It told the story of Banana Tail, a poor young brown monkey born with a shiny yellow tail. He feels like an outcast among his troupe, until he finds two equally unusual friends: Reena the pink rhinoceros and Tic Tac the checkerboard zebra. Well now Mark McKenna, Jim Calafiore, and several artistic friends bring us The Boonanna Tail Halloween Special, a one-shot full-color comic with Banana Tail and his friends celebrating the season in high style. Find out more about it at Bleeding Cool. Of course it comes out in October, with several variant covers available.
Celebrating the release of the new game Skylanders Trap Team, IDW have brought Spyro the Dragon and his friends to comic books for the first time ever. Skylanders #1 will premier this October. It’s written by Ron Marz and David A. Rodriguez, with full-color art by Mike Bowden, David Baldeon, and others. At the same time IDW will release Skylanders: The Kaos Trap, which will collect the first three issues of the comic together with the special issue #0 that was only available at San Diego Comic Con — all in a single hardcover collection. Take a look at the IDW web site for more.
Over the past 15 years Blue Sky Studios have made a name for themselves with wildly successful animated features like Ice Age and Rio and their sequels. Now The Art of Blue Sky Studios: Ice Age to the Digital Age (edited by Jake S. Friedman) brings together numerous never-before concept art pieces and early sketches from all those years into one deluxe hardcover coffee-table book. “With exclusive access to Blue Sky’s archives and the exceptional artists who have made characters like Ice Age’s Scrat and Rio’s Blu and Jewel household names, this book takes an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at one of animation’s greatest success stories.” It’s available to order on Amazon, and coming to stores this October from Insight Editions.