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.
image c. 2016 Koyama Press
Things get decidedly more anthropomorphic in issue #18 of Scooby Doo Team Up from DC Comics: “Can it be? The entire universe threatened by the spectral spirit of Canis Major, the dog star? To get to the bottom of the space-spanning mystery, canine crimebuster Scooby will have to team up with some of DC’s greatest dog heroes, including old friends Krypto and Ace the Bat-Hound, plus G’Nort, Wonder Dog, and the Space Canine Patrol Agency!” Woof. Have a look at it on-line over at Read Comics.
image c. 2016 DC Comics
Skylanders Academy is a new CGI animated series set to premier this month on Netflix. According to the Skylanders Wiki (yes there is one), the series is being produced by Activision Blizzard Studios under the guidance of Eric Rogers (writer on Futurama). Spyro the dragon, Eruptor, and Stealth Elf study to use their diverse powers to protect their world from the evil forces of Kaos and the Doom Raiders. Look for it October 28th, and check out the trailer on YouTube.
image c. 2016 Activision Blizzard
You may recall that there was an anime series in Japan that was based off of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch movies and TV series. In it, Stitch has left Hawaii and moved to an island off Okinawa in Japan. There, he meets (and moves in with) a young girl named Yuna who is skillful in karate. (Where Lilo is in all of this is a spoiler that we will not give away.) Also notable is the fact that Angel, the pink alien “counterpart” to Stitch, made frequent visits to the Japanese series as well. So now, Tokyo Pop have adapted Stitch! into a new digest-sized black & white manga series written and illustrated by Yumi Tsukirino. Take a look over at Amazon to find out more and order your copy.
image c. 2016 Tokyo Pop
Presented here, verbatim, from our friends over at Cartoon Brew: “Lionsgate has acquired the Chinese/American co-production Rock Dog for release through its Summit Premiere label. The film will debut in American theaters on February 24, 2017… In one of the first examples of reverse-outsourcing in American feature animation, the Chinese backers farmed out the entire production to Dallas-based Reel FX, the company that produced Free Birds and The Book of Life. Rock Dog was conceived by Chinese rockstar Zheng Jun, who wrote and illustrated a popular graphic novel upon which the film is based. The film follows the story of Bodi, a Tibetan Mastiff, who dreams of following in the footsteps of Angus Scattergood, a British cat musician. Directed by Toy Story 2 co-director Ash Brannon, the film was touted as an attempt by Chinese producers to create a culturally-Chinese animated film that would appeal to a worldwide audience. To increase its chances for success in the global marketplace, the film’s original production language was English, with a cast that includes J.K. Simmons, Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Matt Dillon, Sam Elliot, Lewis Black, and Kenan Thompson. In the U.S., Rock Dog will open one week after Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Batman Movie.” Ouch. Here’s a direct link to the new trailer.
image c. 2016 Lionsgate
Ah, the joys of nerdy people playing mix-and-match with their favorite media. Such is the origin of Godzilactus, a new animation project created by the team of Bryce Abood (a writer and musician) and Jeff Fuller (an artist), collectively known as Sick Bird. In essence, the mighty Godzilla discovers the helmet of Galactus while venturing through space… and he returns to Earth in search of the only thing which can fill his ravenous hunger: Hip hop beats! Unfortunately, the ultimate beat was stolen by a robot known as Ernest Cyborg-Nine, and now Godzilactus will destroy whole cities and even whole planets in his quest to get his beat back! Any of this making any sense? No? Good. It’s all good fun created as a throw-back to the Marvel Comics motion-comics of the late 1960’s, with a lot of other fannish references tossed in. The Sick Bird guys got a lot of help from some animations veterans who worked on shows like SeaLab 2021, Saturday Night Live, and Metalocalypse. Check out the first short over on YouTube, and be prepared for more! The beat has only begun…
image c. 2016 Sick Bird
Here’s another find from the Long Beach Comic Con.”Adorkable” is how the artist Jeff Victor describes much of his own work, and indeed his cartoon creations tend toward the “chibi” side of things. A veteran of Warner Brothers TV Animation and Nickelodeon Games, Jeff now works as a freelance illustrator — and a quick glance at his web site will show you what he’s been up to lately. Cartoon characters and yes, funny animals abound.
image c. 2016 by Jeff Victor
Allen Carter is a writer and comic artist from Hawaii, currently living in Southern California. Among his creations: After finding inspiration from Chuck Jones’ 1975 animated version of Rikki Tikki Tavi, Allen brought us the Figure of Speech Mongoose, who illustrates various well-known sayings (and awful puns) in particularly silly ways. (“Catching a bus” — with a fishing line…) After experimenting with animation, Allen turned the FOS Mongoose into an on-line single-panel comic. Later he collected those works in a series of one-shot comic books, which he sells from his web site along with prints and other works. Allen is another artist making the circuit of Southern California comic cons. Look for him.
image c. 2016 by Allen Carter
Decalzilla is an art project and on-line store created in 2010 by two artists named Jon and Courtney. No prizes for guessing: They create custom hand-made vinyl decals in a variety of designs and colors. Comic book stuff, anime, and yes lots of cartoons (including cartoon animals!) find there way into the works you find at Decalzilla.com. All of them original designs, mind you, not just copies of official artwork. Based out of Southern California, they travel to anime and comic conventions all around — and they’re hoping to expand their circle into other parts of the country and even internationally as well.
image c. 2016 Decalzilla