Stumbled across this: It’s a new Disney coloring book, decidedly “with a difference”, called Art of Coloring: Disney Animals. It’s part of the Art of Coloring series, designed to “inspire creativity and relaxation”, where familiar images are split up into many small segments designed to be filled up quickly with small dabs of color. In this case, images of Disney animal characters from several decades. “Relax, and let the creativity flow through you. Whether a skilled artist or an everyday dabbler of drawings and doodles, fans of all ages will enjoy these stunning pen-and-ink illustrations of beautiful landscapes, elaborate patterns, and memorable characters from Disney’s hit animated feature films themed to cute and cuddly animals.” It’s published in hardcover by the Disney Book Group, and it’s available now over at Barnes & Noble.
And once again, a young lady who finds herself in over her head — in the kitchen! This time it’s Malice in Ovenland, published by Rosarium, written and illustrated in full color by Micheline Hess. “Lily Brown is a bright, curious, energetic young girl from Queens, New York. When her mom forces her to stay home for the summer and do chores, Lily fumes. Little did she know that the greasy oven in the kitchen was going to give her more excitement and adventure than she could possibly handle.” Apparently that involves a visit to a land of giant lizards and other fantastic creatures. Now Rosarium have released the Malice in Overland graphic novel, collecting the first four issues of the comic in hardcover. Check out the new trailer on YouTube.
On the shelves now from Oni Press you’ll find a new full-color comic book series called Space Battle Lunchtime, written and illustrated by Natalie Riess. The idea is simple: When a famous interplanetary chef has to drop out of a famous interplanetary cooking reality show, a young woman from Earth (with dreams of being a pastry chef) is given the opportunity of a lifetime… if she can survive the experience! As with many interplanetary science fiction comics, there are boat-loads of non-human characters… and more than a few of them look rather like Earth animals you probably know! Ms. Riess is also well-known for another funny animal comic: A web series called Snarlbear. Comic Book Resources has a review of Space Battle Lunchtime that includes a lot of sample pages.
A little while ago we made mention of Nelbert the Introvert, the first children’s book written and illustrated by Disney Animation lead character designer Shiyoon Kim (Zootopia, Big Hero 6). A recent article on Cartoon Brew said that the book is now available at Mr. Kim’s web site. In fact Mr. Kim actually went so far as to direct an animated ” teaser trailer” for the book. Inspired by the likes of Disney animator/illustrator Bill Peet, Nelbert tells the story of a shy dragon who likes to play chess. Mr. Kim created a set of custom “brushes” in Photoshop to use in the creation of his book. They’re also available for sale on his web site.
Uncivilized Books have a new imprint for younger readers called Odod Books. Their first release is a hardcover graphic novel by Kickly called Musnet: The Mouse of Monet. Here’s what they say about it: “A young boy mouse travels the country side looking for work and happens upon the Monet’s garden. He takes on a job and becomes inspired to learn to paint. Will he paint in the classical ways, or in the new style of the impressionist? Which way will his brush sway? Musnet is drawn and painted in a beautiful, lush and inky style popularized by Paul Pope and French comics masters such Blutch and Christophe Blain.” Really. A review in The Guardian goes further into the plot: “This new series revolves around a painting mouse found in Monet’s famous gardens in Giverny: The nameless, orphan mouse is befriended by Mya and her mouse family, who live inside the artist’s house. Introduced to painting after he begins working for Remy, an old squirrel painter, he is enchanted by Monet’s work.” It’s available now at Amazon.
According to the Human Comics web site, “Gabriel Smith is a screenwriter from Venice Beach, California. He is the founder of Human Comics, an independent comic book publisher, which was created as a platform for Smith to exhibit his writings for a cyberpunk sci-fi series entitled Human (aka Anthropocene: The Human Saga).” More recently though, Gabriel created a “children’s comedy comic” called Bacon & Sausage, illustrated in full color by Sara Varon. Well he describes it as a children’s comic — but it does seem to have a lotta harsh language and even, um, “body humor” for kids! Oh well, modern kids, it looks like!
Recently at Comic Con we came across a new comic book company, Contraband Comics. Among the titles (or rather covers!) that caught our eyes was a new full-color one called Pugly, “A new comic book misadventure from writer Jon Goff (Destiny, Spawn) and artist Jim Hanna (Jack Rabbit)”. Meet Frank, a pug-dog whose only goal is to enjoy life in his huge palatial home with his loving elder mistress, Mother. Unfortunately that’s complicated when she passes away — and it only gets more complicated when she wills her entire vast fortune to him! As he explains, that’s just the beginning of Frank’s adventures in a much larger world. Take a look over at Contraband’s web site to learn more about him.
(Hmm, lots of exclamation points this week. Must be more stuff from Comic Con!) Loter Studios is the creation of John Loter and his wife Shelley Loter, both of whom worked for years as Creative Directors at Disney Consumer Products. They continue to consult for Disney (and assorted animation companies) on t-shirts and other merchandising, but since 2005 they have also been creating their own line of original products based on original characters. Just this year, that expanded to include their very first full-color comic book: Supa-Rillas, created with the help of John’s brother, animation director Steve Loter (Kim Possible, American Dragon: Jake Long). Simian superheroes out to save the world — all for bananas. Check out the web site to see more of what they’ve worked on.
In the past we’ve talked about the Kulipari series of fantasy novels for young readers, created by former NFL star Trevor Pryce. We’ve also mentioned that earlier this year the books were adapted into an 2D animated TV series running on Netflix. Well now the amphibian evolution continues as Red 5 Comics bring us the Kulipari: Heritage full-color miniseries (written by Mr. Pryce and Joshua Starnes, illustrated by Sonia Liao and Ronda Pattison). “Where the first season of Kulipari [the TV series] ends, Kulipari: Heritage immediately begins. Burnu, leader of the poison frogs, the protectors of the outback, has been sent on a secret mission to find the original source of the frog’s power and return it to their new homeland.” You can find the current issues at your local comic book shop, or else over at Atomic Empire.