We got this from the Animation Magazine web site: “A new Amazon Video pilot season kicks off on June 17 in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. And this year’s crop includes five new kids’ animation series to keep an eye on: Little Big Awesome, Morris and the Cow, Toasty Tales, The Curious Kitty and Friends and Jazz Duck. (There’s also a live-action project from Sid & Marty Krofft: Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.)” Yes that’s right: They’re re-making the 1970’s live-action series about two young boys who live by the ocean and their secret friendship with an outcast tentacled sea-monster. Turns out that the whole slate of six features some anthropomorphic content, even if all of them aren’t necessarily anthropomorphic animals! Check out the article to learn more.
Here’s what it says: “On Loving Women is a new collection of stories about coming out, first love, and sexual identity by the animator Diane Obomsawin. With this work, Obomsawin brings her gaze to bear on subjects closer to home—her friends’ and lovers’ personal accounts of realizing they’re gay or first finding love with another woman. Each story is a master class in reaching the emotional truth of a situation with the simplest means possible. Her stripped-down pages use the bare minimum of linework to expressively reveal heartbreak, joy, irritation, and fear.” What it does not say is that Obomsawin tells these stories through simply drawn but very anthropomorphic characters. Now this 2014 trade paperback has been re-released by Drawn & Quarterly.
You gotta notice a story with an introduction like this: “Catland Empire is a graphic novel melding of a Phillip K. Dick story with a Saturday morning cartoon.” That’s how Drawn & Quarterly describe this new hardcover graphic novel by pop artist Keith Jones. “There will exist a future world where ‘human beings have become empty husks stripped of all memory when it comes to things like how to have fun and play games,’ or so says Mr. Space to his associate Mr. Time. The solution? Get the cats to teach humans how to have fun again. This is all the Cat People do with their lives. They are the fun and game masters. What follows is a tangled web of psychedelic science fiction blending anti-consumerism politics and intergalactic liaisons between cats and dogs, bitter enemies kept secret from each other to avoid a planetary race war.” Look for this new book to hit the shelves in early June.
Over the years there have been many, many illustrated editions of Kenneth Grahame’s seminal anthropomorphic work, The Wind in the Willows. Now IDW Publishing have brought forth a new edition — this time, illustrated by an artist who is himself well-known in the world of anthropomorphics. “Experience the timeless story of Toad, Rat, Mole, and Badger in a beautiful new hardcover designed and illustrated by New York Times Bestselling author and Eisner Award-winning creator David Petersen (Mouse Guard). Painstakingly illustrated over three years, this special edition features both color and pen and ink illustrations throughout and Petersen will be hand-signing each copy of the 1st printing.” Find out more over at IDW’s web site, and look for this new hardcover edition galloping your way this coming October.
We came across this announcement from Screen Daily: “Kaleidoscope Film Distribution (KFD) is handling world sales on animated feature Danny Diamondback, which Aardman Animation alumni Darren Walsh (Shaun The Sheep TV series) will direct. It’s the story of a young rattlesnake with a musical talent in his tail. The film is based on the children’s novella of the same name, first published by Harper Collins and written by illustrator and production designer Barry Jackson (How The Grinch Stole Christmas). Jackson has written the script and will be heading up production design on the project. Siege Train Studios’ Curtis Augspurger (Valiant), Matthew Hampton, and Cora Palfrey will produce the film alongside Jackson. Bibo Bergeron (Shark Tale) will serve as executive producer.” That’s one heck of a lotta veteran anthropomorphic talent on one project. No word yet on if the film is to be CGI or claymation. Guess we’ll find out after they give us a projected release date!
Devil’s Due Entertainment have announced that their most successful comic book, Squarriors (written by Ash Maczko and illustrated by Ashley Witter) will soon return with a new full-color 4-issue miniseries entitled Volume 2: Summer. One comic book reviewer described the original series as “Watership Down meets The Walking Dead“. If cute rodents with swords and lots and lots of blood are your thing, it’s all here with top-notch art. Watch for it next week, and visit the Devil’s Due web site to learn more.
This June, Boom! Studios will release Cheat Code, the latest Original Graphic Novel based on the popular animated series The Amazing World of Gumball from Cartoon Network. “Cheaters never prosper. But Gumball and Darwin don’t know that! While the Watterson boys are grounded, their classmates advance ahead of them in the new, super-popular video game Monster Fight Friends. A mysterious and forbidden cheat code is just what they need. Too bad it unleashes a gigantic, tech-crazy kaiju onto the streets of Elmore! Written by Megan Brennan (Pencil Pup) and illustrated by Katy Farina, The Amazing World of Gumball: Cheat Code takes adventure in Elmore to a whole new level.” Find out more about this new trade paperback over at Simon & Schuster.
This may have passed beneath your radar: It’s a new dark comedy dystopian film called The Lobster, and it’s the first English-language film by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. It’s been winning rave reviews and lots of awards on the art-film circuit. Here’s the summary from Wikipedia: “According to the rules of the City, single people are taken to the Hotel where they are given 45 days to find a partner. Those who fail are turned into an animal of their choice and released into the forest. The guests attend dances and watch propaganda extolling the virtues of partnership. They can extend their stay by hunting escapees, the Loners, with tranquilizer guns in the woods. After his wife leaves him for another man, David arrives at the Hotel with his brother, who has been turned into a dog.” David, by the way, is played by Colin Farrell. This may or may not all make more sense when you go to see it. The Lobster has been doing very well in platform release, and it’s likely to expand to more theaters soon.
No better way to explain Mouse Guard: The Art of Bricks than this article over at Comics Alliance: “Last year at Emerald City Comic Con, toy brick artisan Alice Finch and her incredibly detail-oriented team put together an awe-inspiring display of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard dioramas built entirely out of toy bricks. At the time, we referred to it as one of the standouts of ECCC, and now Archaia is releasing a full-color hardcover packed with photos of the team’s incredible work. Finch, a member of the Seattle-based toy brick builder club ArchLUG, has already drawn acclaim for her recreations of Hogwarts and Rivendell alongside fellow ArchLUG member David Frank, but her team’s work on these Mouse Guard dioramas are a cut above.”