Ultimum is another new electronic game system of more than passing furry fandom interest which is seeking development funds through a Kickstarter campaign. Created by Christian Muckler and his associates, Ultimum seeks to recreate the playing environment of a traditional tabletop fantasy role playing game — not only in a paper tabletop setting, but also as a virtual on-line “sandbox”. We should also note, of course, that the game includes several non-human playable races it its science fiction setting — Including humanoid bears, wolves, lizards, and gorillas. The Ultimum Kickstarter page includes several development videos as well as an animatic “game trailer”.
In another vein entirely, check out the Little Ty Cooney series of illustrated books from writer and artist Steven Riley. He took his love of the great outdoors, art, and children’s books and mashed them all together into three hardcover adventures, Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite Race, Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yellowstone Mystery, and Little Ty Cooney and the Grand Canyon Tour Company — so far. In each, a young raccoon and his friends explore these famous National Parks to learn and, of course, to find danger and escape it. Each of the books can be purchased at the official Ty Cooney web site, which also features art how-to videos and other projects that Mr. Riley is currently working on.
It’s time we caught up with The Humans. Which is to say Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely’s new full-color comic book series from Image. Take the violent biker culture of the early 1970’s. Set it in dusty Bakersfield, California. And make the protagonists all walking, talking, humanoid apes. In leather. On big bikes. There you go. “The Humans is one long and twisted ride through biker gang warfare, drug running, corrupt cops, semi-truck hijackings, Vietnam flashbacks, Skin Fights (homosapien cockfighting), major ultra-violence, a strip club called The Forbidden Zone, and bloody vengeance.” Sounds like quite a party. Check out the interview with the creators over at The Nerdist, and look for the first issue to come out this November.
According to an article over at Comics Beat, IDW Comics have managed to strike a deal with the infamous Dave Sim, president of Aardvark-Vanaheim Publishers. Now they’re working to bring together more than 300 covers from the Mr. Sim the artist and writer’s famous creation, Cerebrus the Aardvark, together in one full-color hardcover collection. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the earth pig, so look for this new book from IDW this coming January.
Next year, the pigs come to power! Or at least, they take a crack at it… again. “In a dark, oppressive future, pig-men work tirelessly as the slaves of human masters, feeding a society they cannot fathom. When Oink realizes that the dogma being forced on them is all lies, he undertakes a path of revenge and revelation.” Written and illustrated by John Mueller, OINK: Heaven’s Butcher is celebrating its 20th anniversary with new sequences and a new paint job in this new trade paperback from Dark Horse Press. Over at Comic Book Resources they have more: “Influenced by George Orwell, Pink Floyd, and Simon Bisley, among others, OINK debuted in 1995 from Kitchen Sink Press, telling the dystopian story of pig-men who work as slaves to feed their human masters. But when Oink witnesses the execution of one of his comrades, he violently rebels and sets out on a quest for the truth about the creation of his race and revenge against its oppressors.” Check out the preview images too — and look for the graphic novel in February.
The illustrated hardcover children’s books published by Golden Books are indeed as valuable as gold among collectors — and none more so than the Disney tie-in Golden Books. Now a new hardcover collected edited by animation historian Charles Solomon, The Art of the Disney Golden Books, celebrates these historical treasures — and their lasting value and influence over the past 80 years. “A remarkable lineup of talent, many of whom were Disney Studio artists – including Mary Blair, Alice and Martin Provensen, Gustaf Tenggren, Al Dempster, Retta Scott Worcester, and Bill Peet – created the illustrations for the early Disney Golden Books. The bold and incredibly detailed artwork was painstakingly executed in gouache and watercolor-media that required a steady hand and immense patience and precision. The resulting publications became favorite selections in the libraries of many children, among them, future generations of Disney and Pixar artists who were inspired to draw, dream, and later, create their own films and Golden Books. The Art of the Disney Golden Books celebrates a legacy that has now thrived for more than eighty years and continues to influence new generations of artists and filmmakers. Through interviews with contemporary animators who recall tracing the characters in their childhood Disney Golden Books, paintings by artists who influenced and inspired the Disney Golden Book illustrations, and a generous complement of Golden Book artwork-much of which was thought to have been lost until very recently-the rich tradition of the series is explored in this vibrant volume.” Published by Disney Editions, The Art of the Disney Golden Books is available now from Barnes & Noble.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Disney/Pixar have announced that the CGI animated feature The Good Dinosaur is back in production — and back on track for release in the winter of 2015, according to an article over at Cartoon Brew. After Disney removed director Bob Petersen from the project (he had co-directed Up and played the voice of Dug the dog) we didn’t hear much about Good Dinosaur for a while, as Disney/Pixar began advertising their next big project Inside Out. Now Disney/Pixar have announced that the new director of The Good Dinosaur will be Peter Sohn. He’s well known behind the scenes at Pixar, having worked in the art and story departments on several projects and directed the short film Partly Cloudy. He’s also known for his voice acting (he was Emile in Ratatouille and Squishy in Monsters University) and for being the body model for the character Russell in Up. Yes, really. With this announcement it now seems that Disney/Pixar will actually have two releases in 2015: Inside Out in June and The Good Dinosaur in November. Which puts the latter film right up against Kung Fu Panda 3, by the way. If you haven’t heard, The Good Dinosaur follows the adventures of a talking dinosaur family in modern times — on an alternate Earth where the great beasts never died out.
No, that’s not a little human girl in a cat-suit. Evidently that’s what people look like in the world of Henni, a new black & white graphic novel by indie comic book star Miss Lasko Gross. “In a fantastical world, where old traditions and religion dominate every aspect of life, lives a girl named Henni. Unlike most in her village, Henni questions and wonders what the world is like as she comes of age. Striking out on her own, Henni goes out in search of truth, adventure, and more! Written and drawn my Miss Lasko Gross (A Mess of Everything and Escape From Special), Henni is a commentary on, religion, coming of age, and being yourself.” It’s also coming in softcover this January from Z2 Comics, but you can check out the preview pages over at Comics Beat.
Next month, Yen Press will premier a new hardcover black & white graphic novel based on The Wolf Gift, author Anne Rice’s new take on werewolves in the modern world. “When reporter Reuben Golding arrives at a secluded mansion at the request of the home’s mysterious female owner, he doesn’t expect this assignment will lead to him being inexplicably attacked-bitten-by a beast shadowed in darkness. This single event prompts a terrifying but seductive transformation that both opens Reuben’s eyes to what was previously unseen and unknown, and leads to even more questions. Why was he given this wolf gift? Is its nature good or evil? And is he now all alone in this mysterious new world?” The Wolf Gift was adapted and illustrated by Ashley Marie Witter. You can order it over at Barnes & Noble.