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More Monkeys in Spandex!

(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.

image c. 2016 Loter Studios

image c. 2016 Loter Studios

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Don’t Kiss This One

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 ind the current issues at your local comic book shop, or else over at Atomic Empire.

image c. 2016 Red 5 Comics

image c. 2016 Red 5 Comics

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Oh Look! Hasbro is Making Toys…

Earlier this year our Friends at Equestria Daily quoted an article from USA Today regarding Hasbro’s new “fan series” of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic toys, called Guardians of Harmony. This line of full-sized action figures stands out because the designs are not only expansions of what we’ve seen in the TV series, but they were also inspired by many of the stories and characters in IDW’s popular comic book tie-in series. In fact, some of the designs are based on ideas that Bronies have been discussing only in whispers! Besides some of the well-known characters, Guardians of Harmony includes figures of popular characters like Discord, a grown-up armored version of Spike the dragon, and even Weird Al Yankovic himself in pony form as Cheese Sandwich! Word is out that IDW may be creating a new line of comic books to include the Guardians of Harmony story situations, but we’ve yet to see that come about. Most of the new designs are available now at Amazon and other top toy destinations.

image c. 2016 Hasbro Toys

image c. 2016 Hasbro Toys

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Hop On The Trail

Disney Animation recently decided to release the first new Zootopia-themed merchandise that we’ve seen in a while. It’s a new “hidden object” phone-app game called Zootopia: Crime Files. According to a write-up at Adweek.com, “The hidden object game asks players to help Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde solve cases by completing hidden object scenes. In each normal scene, players are asked to find items on a list, which may include pieces of evidence or clues for the current case. Users can access hints if they need help finding objects.” The article goes on to describe the types of game play in much more detail. Lots of new Zootopia characters are introduced in the game — most (but not all) of them quite nefarious! The game has been available as a download for the Apple platform for a while, but now with the official launch it’s also available for Google Play, PC format, and Amazon Underground as well.

image c. 2016 Disney Animation

image c. 2016 Disney Animation

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Wonderbolt Powers: Activate!

While we were at San Diego Comic Con, one of the categories we saw (of course) was lots of fan stuff and official tie-in stuff for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. (Yes it’s still around and Yes it’s still popular!) One of the more interesting and unusual of the latter is The Wonderbolts Academy Handbook, compiled by Brandon T. Snider and published by Hachette / Little Brown Books. “Attention cadets! This Wonderbolts Academy Handbook once belonged to Rainbow Dash! Along with valuable information on how to become a Wonderbolt, our stellar Pegasus pony added her own notes to help you along. The lessons in here have been passed down for generations, with each generation refining these lessons to better serve you and the institution. You will have much to learn and all staff and senior members of the Wonderbolts are more than willing to guide you. Good luck, have fun, and stay focused!” You should focus on Barnes & Noble to order yourself a copy.

image c. 2016 by Citron Vert

image c. 2016 by Citron Vert

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Housework Becomes Fun With Furries

Chortopia is the name of a new educational game and phone app created by Aurasync. It has one basic goal: To help parents motivate their young children to make a habit of completing their household chores by turning those chores into “advenchores”. Kids visit the magical land of Chortopia, where they meet a variety of anthropomorphic and mythical creatures who need the children’s help setting things right in the land — by the kids completing various household tasks, of course. After the advenchores are done, kids can “collect” the various characters they have helped out as friends who will help the kids win various games that are also part of the app. Chortopia is available now at the Apple App Store, but you can also visit the Chortopia web site to find out more about it and see some introductory videos from YouTube as well.

image c. 2016 Aurasync

image c. 2016 Aurasync

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Fighting Like…

Space Cats In Space! is the name of a new animated computer game, currently under development. They have a Kickstarter campaign in place to try and finance the next step in the process. “An advanced twin-stick shooter space epic, SpaceCats In Space! Follows the kingdom of Meowfyre’s rebellion against the dogs of the Grolich Empire. Bomber strikes, wingman assistance and RPG-like leveling are all tools at your disposal in the battle to stop Oberluft Kommandant Arnuld Von Schloss and the vast Grolich war machine. Featuring animated cutscenes and full voiceover to immerse you in a World War II inspired space battle of cats versus dogs!” This is not the most “serious-minded” of fighting games out there… if the title wasn’t a giveaway, check out the intro video at the Kickstarter page! (Also this is obviously more for “cat people”!) As we write this there is just over a month left in their current crowd-funding campaign.

image c. 2016 Robotic Potato

image c. 2016 Robotic Potato

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One Flew Over Florida…

The Adventures of Pelican Pete: A Bird is Born is the title of a 1999 book for kids by Frances and Hugh Keiser. (She wrote it, he illustrated it.) “A story in rhyme about a pelican egg which hatches into curious young pete. To protect his head from the sun, his parents find a child’s cap for him to wear. The Adventures of Pelican Pete is an entertaining, educational resource with appropriate environmental values that is expressed visually with detailed art work in vivid coloring.” Much more recently, animator Dani Bowman hooked up with a young film-maker named Keaton Bicknell to create a live action/animated short film based on the book. Now it’s making the rounds at various film festivals, but you can also view this 2015 film on Vimeo.

image c. 2016 Sagaponack Books

image c. 2016 Sagaponack Books

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Spooky Little Boy Hangs With Monsters

“Well before he becomes the famed horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, young Howard Lovecraft is a curious and imaginative boy living with his mother while his father is locked away in Arkham Sanitarium. But after his mother unwittingly gives Howard the legendary Necronomicon, he is transported to a dangerous and frozen world populated by horrifying creatures. After saving and befriending one such creature – Spot – Howard and his new friend set off on a perilous quest to save the kingdom and get Howard home. But Howard soon finds out that not everything is as it seems and not everyone is to be trusted.” That’s the idea behind Howard Lovecraft and the Three Kingdoms, a series of graphic novels written by Bruce Brown — based on the actual life of Lovecraft himself — and illustrated by Renzo Podesta. Now the first of the three stores, Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, has been adapted into a CGI animated film (directed by Sean O’Reilly and featuring the voices of Ron Perlman, Christopher Plummer, and Jane Curtin, among others) which is coming this September on DVD from Shout Factory. You can find the graphic novels at Amazon, and learn more about the movie at the official site.

image c. 2016 Shout Factory

image c. 2016 Shout Factory

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