Life is a scary adventure on board Space Base 8. At least from the point of view of Cargo, the base’s resident Rocketship Crash Test Monkey. Cargo, along with a menagerie of aliens and robots, are the “stars” (that’s a joke) of Space Base 8, an on-line comic strip created and illustrated by David Scott Smith. Check out the Space Base 8 web site to see the latest comic and find out about picking up the first compilation book, Blast Off! It’s available as an e-book, in print, and as a special “artist’s edition” which includes a free personalized sketch.
image c. 2015 by David Scott Smith
If you haven’t caught it yet, word is spreading fast that Disney TV Animation plans to bring back 90’s cartoon favorite Duck Tales in a whole new series on Disney XD, starting in 2017. We first heard about it over at Oh My Disney: “When Marc Buhaj—Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD—made the announcement, he said, ‘DuckTales has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history, it drew its inspiration from Disney Legend Carl Barks’ comic books and through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment that connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.’ The new series will star the same beloved characters as the old: Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Launchpad McQuack, Donald Duck, Duckworth, Gyro Gearloose, Flintheart Glomgold, Magica DeSpell, Poe, Ma Beagle, the Beagle Boys, Mrs. Beakley, and Webbigail Vanderquack.” Nothing more precise from Disney regarding a premier date yet, but Disney XD is starting to sound more and more interesting for animation.
image c. 2015 Disney TV Animation
In other words, dogs and cats living together… in one book! Let us explain… Graphic Classics (from Eureka Productions) is a series of graphic novels based on, yes, classic literature. Now for Volume 25 of this full-color series they present a special double issue with two books back-to-back: Canine Classics — Stories for Dog Lovers, and Feline Classics — Stories for Cat Lovers. ” Featured are “The Emissary” by Ray Bradbury, “Ancient Sorceries” by Algernon Blackwood, “The Beast from the Abyss” by Robert E. Howard, and 17 more great stories and poems, including two from the volume’s co-editor, John Lehman.” Check it out over at the Eureka web site for a full list of stories.
images c, 2015 Eureka Productions
Back in 1997, Antarctic Press decided to move away from funny animal comics (a move which brought about the birth of Radio Comix) and instead concentrate on “American Manga”. Well now, to celebrate their 30th anniversary Antarctic are back in the furry herd with a new full-color one-shot called Furry Tails. “As a special event for our 30th-anniversary year, Antarctic Press is going back to one of its (hairy) roots-anthropomorphic comics! Includes work from Sonic the Hedgehog artist David Hutchison, plus an all-new, all-furry fun-fest from Fred Perry! Fast and Furriest: When the world order makes every aspect of life miserable for the poor multitudes, Turbo Ninjas take to the highways to rob from the rich and give to the poor!” Check it out over at Bleeding Cool.
Image c. 2015 Antarctic Press
If you hadn’t heard, one of Sweden’s most popular funny animals came to European movie screens in 2014. “Sweden’s most popular comic book character – the bear Bamse – now gets his first feature film. In Bamse Och Tjuvstaden (Bamse and the City of Thieves) the strongest bear in the world and his two friends Little Hopp and Shellman show that the best weapon against evil is -friendship (and a few drops of Grandma’s Thunder Honey of course).” After a popular animated TV series and several TV movies you can check out the feature film’s trailer over on YouTube. As usual, of course, there’s little chance we’ll be able to see this stuff anytime soon in North America — at least not translated!
image c. 2015 Tre Vanner Prod.
We simply can’t describe Amity Blamity any better than the publishers do: “Meet Gretchen & Chester. Gretchen is a shy 4 year old and Chester is a potbellied pig. They live with Gretchen’s Grandma and listless Uncle Downey in rural America. Mistaking their afternoon activity of playing office for entrepreneurial gusto, Downey recruits the duo to assist in his deluded aspirations of running moonshine (echoing his boyhood heroes Bo & Luke Duke). Unbeknownst to the outlandish family and their activities, strange forest critters begin to lurk in the woods nearby, disrupting their quirky daily life and sending them on an adventure to save their degenerate Uncle from a strange genetic mutation!” Got that? Now Slave Labor Graphics have published Mike White’s black & white on-line comic strip story (so far) as a single soft-cover trade paperback. Check it out (including a YouTube trailer) at SLG’s web site, and see the comic itself (including more full-color “Sundays”) at the official Blogspot.
image c. 2015 by Mike White
Making quite a buzz at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was a series of animated shorts made for television and the web, of all things. Animals is a black & white, minimally-animated series which “follows various New York City creatures as they get into awkward (and sometimes deadly) encounters with one another.” The series was created by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano, two employees at a commercial production house who took some time off to make little animals talk to each other. Check out the Animals web site to see what the fuss is about. (Here’s a hint: Click on the clouds!)
image c. 2015 by Phil Matarese / Mike Luciano
We stumbled across a new on-line graphic story created by Rose Morgan. “Nails & Teeth follows the story of a detective on Earth, who is tasked with solving a number of apparent murders- the perpetrators appear to be wild animals, but the mystery lies in which species. The damage is far greater than she or humanity realizes, however; Two worlds have collided, and they must now work together to inhibit the destruction.” The brand-new official web page features profiles of the characters and a link to Patreon page — where subscribers can see the newest comic pages before anyone else.
image c. 2014 by Rose Morgan
The film adaptation of Paddington has become, world-wide, one of the biggest box office successes of all time for a “family film”. Now come the word (thanks to Cartoon Brew again) that Studio Canal (the French film creators who brought Paddington to CGI life) are fast-tracking a sequel to the 2014 film — once again to be produced by David Heyman from the UK. In the meantime, the studio is busy distributing another oh-so-English property: Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep Movie, which premiered in Britain last week. No word yet on a release date for Paddington 2, but you can bet it will be sooner rather than later.
image c. 2015 Studio Canal