We knew Disney and Marvel were drawing closer together but… this? Wow! Following in the scaly footsteps of Figment, now Marvel brings us The Enchanted Tiki Room 5-issue comic book miniseries. “Welcome to the Enchanted Tiki Room, a place of legend…of fantasy…and mystery! Here, on an isolated and mysterious island, almost anything can happen. And often does! Inside the island’s Enchanted Tiki Room – an astonishing cast of birds, plants and ancient Tiki gods spring to life. As the next boat arrives carrying new visitors, what stories will unfold, what mysteries will be revealed and how are they all connected?” Written by Jon Adams and illustrated by Horacio Domingues, issue #1 is out now. Comics Beat has more. Ole’!
Mickey Mouse’s lifetime companion (literally!) gets her artistic due in The Art of Minnie Mouse, new from Disney Book Group. “Minnie Mouse embodies a constant reminder to girls of all ages-including grown-ups!-to live confidently and express themselves. In The Art of Minnie Mouse, Disney artists, designers, illustrators, and animators from around the world re-imagine their favorite Minnie styles and portray them in a variety of mediums. Minnie’s earliest incarnation, her classic red polka-dot look, and trendy modern styles are all newly incarnated in water color, pastel, oil paint, colored pencil, mixed media, and computer graphics pieces that range from the traditional to the unconventional. The book also features a never-before-published comprehensive filmography of Minnie’s animated appearances as well as a visual timeline of her career milestones.” And it’s also available now in hardcover from Barnes & Noble.
The mighty machine that is Pokemon carries on — and no, we don’t mean Pokemon Go either. Pokemon Adventures: Ruby & Sapphire is the latest black & white manga to hit North America; coming to us thanks to Viz Media. “Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald face a new crisis of epic proportions: a giant meteor hurtling toward the planet! Don’t miss these awesome new adventures inspired by the best-selling Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire video games and picking up where the Pokémon Adventures Ruby and Sapphire saga left off!” Illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto and written by Hedenori Kusaka, this new digest-sized manga is available now. Anime News Network has this and a whole lot more brand-new Pokemon stuff as well.
More from Toon Books, this time on a much more serious subject. It’s a full-color comic-style book called Benny and Penny in How to Say Goodbye. “Why won’t Benny care? Penny finds a dead salamander, but her brother Benny doesn’t want anything to do with it. Is it silly to have a ceremony for Little Red, or could the loss of this tiny animal mean much more to the lovable siblings? With his unique knack for portraying children’s emotional turmoil, Geisel Award-winner Geoffrey Hayes shares this gentle tale of an early encounter with death.” The latest Benny and Penny book is available now in hardcover.
Ape and Armadillo Take Over the World is a new hardcover Toon Book for young readers, written and illustrated (in full color) by James Sturm. “How much fun would it be to take over the world? Armadillo is trying to come up with a plan for global domination…but with every new idea, being a bad guy seems a little less fun. Young readers will delight in star cartoonist James Sturm ‘s tender depiction of how far a true friendship can take you.” Order it over at the Toon Books site.
Here’s one from Japan we almost missed. Kuma Miko: Girl Meets Bear is a black & white manga series by Masume Yoshimoto, originally published by Media Factory. Now One Peace Books are bringing the collected first series to North America in digest form. It’s the story of a young teenage girl named Machi who lives in a remote mountain village. She’s a Miko (a shinto shrine maiden) and she has never left her idyllic native home. But now she’s thinking about moving to the big city to attend high school. That doesn’t sit well with her best friend: Natsu Kumai, a talking bear. A tie-in anime series of Kuma Miko premiered in Japan this year; maybe we’ll get to see that our way soon too!
We’ve mentioned Magnetic Press before: The international distributors of the Love series of wordless wildlife graphic novels scripted by Frederic Brremaud and illustrated by Federico Bertolucci. Well now the same creative team have a new series of full-color hardcover graphic novels for young readers called Little Tails, and once again Magnetic Press has brought them to us here in North America. Here’s what the publisher says: “Chipper and Squizzo are a precocious puppy and squirrel who love to explore new and exciting environments, flying their cardboard box airplane to wondrous worlds full of fascinating animals and creatures. In each volume of this fun, educational series, they tour a different location, encountering the real-world animals found there in beautiful illustration and fun cartoon strip antics! In each volume of Little Tails Chipper & Squizzo set out on a journey to explore new and interesting environments full of fascinating animals and curious creatures. The first volume in the series is Little Tails In The Forest, which finds Chipper & Squizzo venturing into a lush forest to visit Squizzo’s family. On their journey, the two animal pals discover and discuss a fantastic variety of bugs, birds, bears, & more! The second volume, Little Tails In The Jungle, takes them around the world to the jungles of South America, Africa, and Asia, where they encounter tigers, elephants, snakes, and sloths!”
From the Koyama Press web site we learn that “Steve Wolfhard… draws comics like Cat Rackham and Turtie Needs Work and works as a storyboard artist on the Emmy Award-winning animated television series Adventure Time.” Turns out that Cat Rackham has quite a following of its own. Not bad for “a deeply depressed cat”. Now Koyama brings us the new Cat Rackham full-color graphic novel. “The existential dread associated with getting out of bed terrifies Cat Rackham to his cat core. However, despite his efforts, he seems to consistently find himself dewclaw deep in trouble, often deeply strange trouble.” It’s available now in hardcover — featuring a poem by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward.
Rob Cohen (director of The Fast and The Furious and (yay!) Dragonheart) has a new comic book project out from 4five1 Comics called Red Dog. Here’s what they say: “Some say there’s no greater love in the universe than the love a boy has for his dog. For Kyle, the only kid living amongst 200 grownups on a distant mining colony light-years away from Earth, that saying is a given. Welcome to Kirawan, a planet that Kyle calls, ‘the worst place you could ever imagine’. Kyle stumbles through his days doing his chores hoping to live up to the steep demands of his father, the head of the planet’s mining operation. Still, it’s not all bad: There’s Q, Kyle’s robotic K-9, basically the greatest pet in the known universe. However, during an upload of resources bound for earth, the alien natives of Kirawan launch a full scale attack on the human miners. The events that follow thrust Kyle and Q into the middle of a mysterious civil war; a war in which the fate of the planet will hang.” This bi-monthly limited series is written by Mr. Cohen and Andi Ewington, with full-color art by Rob Atkins. Comic Bastards has an extensive review. The first issue is due later this month.