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The Return of the Original Original Turtles

IDW Publishing have gotten really serious with their Artisan Edition line of comic book reprintings. The latest beneficiary? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as originally created (of course) by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. According to IDW, “This book reproduces all the original art to the first issue of one of the most important comic book phenomenons of the last 35 years — The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Scanned directly from the original art, mimicking the experience of the original hand drawn page, and also collecting all the layouts (also hand drawn) by the creators of what has been called this generation’s Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Rounding out the volume is an extensive gallery of other TMNT images, also scanned directly from the original art.” Look for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Artisan Edition, hitting the shelves this May.

image c. 2017 IDW Publishing

Animal Jam Comes To Comics

So how’d we go and let this phenomenon pass us by? Animal Jam is an on-line MMORPG gaming environment, launched in 2010 by the National Geographic Society. It was designed to use a fantasy setting to teach young children about zoology, natural history, and ecology. According to Wikipedia, “Animal Jam takes place in a fictional area known as Jamaa, containing various biomes and cartoon player-created animals. Players can create an animal with an anonymous 3-part name, such as ‘Crashing Magicshark’, dress it up with virtual clothing, and control it in the gameplay environment. The original six virtual animals that could be created were the panda, rabbit, tiger, wolf, koala, and monkey. Many more animals have been added following the six, letting players have the possibility of seeing one of their favorite animals in the game.” Now, after years on line, Dynamite Entertainment have announced the premier of the first Animal Jam comic book series, coming later in 2017. There’s an article about it over at News-a-rama. The first appearance of the new comic will be part of Dynamite’s contribution to this year’s Free Comic Book Day in May.

image c. 2017 National Geographic

He’s a Fox. Just a Fox.

StupidFox is a fox. But is he stupid, or just misunderstood? Does he maybe have just a simple way of looking at a complex world? That’s the endless question pondered by creator E.Y. Chan in her full-color on-line comic strip called StupidFox — yes, spelled as one word. At her web site you’ll find not only the comic but a link to her shop full of prints, books, plush dolls, key-chains, and other cute items all graced by the simple fox and his friends.

image c. 2017 by E.Y. Chan

Voolah Voo?

Another discovery from the recent Long Beach Comic Expo. On his web page, here’s how this artist describes himself: “Walter De Leon is an artist in the entertainment industry working on various video games and animated properties for clients such as Disney and Stan Lee. In his free time he would create and come up with various ideas for books in the hopes to inspire others to get out there with their own ideas.” To that end he started Voolah Voolah Press as a vehicle for his own illustrated stories and sketchbooks. He is also looking for other creative people to join the fold! His own books include titles like Bunny Chop!, Dear Mr. Bear, and drawing portfolios of birds, dragons, and monsters.

image c. 2017 Voolah Voolah Press

Hey, Your Dog Can Be Geeky Too!

Peachy Keen Pets is a Canadian craft service that specializes in “cute and quirky pet accessories and apparel”. That means fandom-themed collars, leashes, and other accessories for your pet; and pet-themed t-shirts for you. “Fun and functional, Peachy Keen Pets strives to provide the ultimate in quality, comfort and originality for your pet! Not only do we make stylish dog collars, harnesses, and leashes, but fabulous accessories like bowties, bandanas, leash pouches and more!  Your pet is an original and should stand out on your block, and we’ve got that covered!” Take a look at their web site to see what they currently offer. Woof!

image c. 2017 Peachy Keen Pets

Monster in the Mountains

Recently, Netflix released a teaser trailer for OKJA, an upcoming film that (we will admit) caught us by surprise! Directed by Bong Joon-Ho (Snowpiercer) and starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film tells the story of a young Korean girl named Mija who befriends a monstrous creature– the result of a genetic experiment that has produced a being “somewhere between human and animal”. We only catch a glimpse of OKJA from the trailer, but already horror and fantasy fans are buzzing. Look for OKJA this June on Netflix.

image c. 2017 Netflix

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And the Aardvark Shall Lead Them

Thanks to a recent YouTube post about upcoming animated films, we learned of a new feature in production called The Ark and the Aardvark. Here’s the ad blurb: “The story follows an outcast aardvark by the name of Gilbert [voiced by Miles Teller], who becomes the reluctant leader of a ragtag group of misfit animals that need to be led to the mighty ark before the impending flood. Along their journey, they band together to conquer unforeseen obstacles, and ultimately, Gilbert discovers within himself the inner strength and ingenuity to prove that in a world of ‘twos’, he was truly destined to be The One.” Currently in production at Unified Pictures, the film is being directed by John Stevenson — co-director of the original Kung Fu Panda. No word yet on a precise release date (or who is going to distribute it), but it’s supposed to come out this year.

image c. 2017 Unified Pictures

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Mews and Clues

This May, IDW will release a brand new card game for young mystery fans called Purrrlock Holmes — Furriarty’s Trail (created by Stephen Sauer and illustrated by Jacqui Davis). Here’s what they say: “Furriarty is terrorizing London and he must be stopped before he completes his plans and escapes! As a newly inducted Inspector at Scotland Pound, it’s up to you to bust members of Furriarty’s gang in order to get closer to the bewhiskered baddie that’s been bullying all of Baker Street. Get ready detective, this case is officially afoot (or a paw, if you will).” What they’re not saying is: What’s the connection (if any) between this and the Purrlock Holmes series of young-reader mystery novels by Betty Sleep? You’ll know when we do! Here’s more about the game from TGN.

image c. 2017 IDW Publishing

Steal Snacks and Look Good Doing It

That’s the official slogan of Trash Panda. They’re a new clothing company started by a pair of fans from Southern California. They state their philosophy like this: “Whether it’s rolling that critical hit, landing that hit on someone’s face, or simply eating that last slice of pizza, or sitting down for a long session of talking and video games you should enjoy what you look like. Live on the outside.” That’s fannish. To that end they have a growing line of nerdy-themed t-shirts, several of which feature anthropomorphic designs. Visit their shop on-line to see what they have so far. And of course they’ll be adding more.

image c. 2017 Trash Panda