It might seem like an age ago, but earlier this year the animated sensation of the moment was Rio 2. Now that we’ve moved on to the summer, Paperkutz have announced a new tie-in graphic novel, carrying on after the events of that film. “While recording bird calls, Linda loses her new digital recorder, but when Blu finds it, it’s full of strange and horrifying growls! Is some sort of new predator on the loose in the sanctuary? Before the gang can solve the mystery themselves, monster-hunters and reality shows invade, turning their quiet jungle home into pandemonium. ” Rio 2: The Creature from Blu’s Lagoon is written by Arie Kaplan and illustrated by James Silvani. The full-color trade paperback is available for pre-ordering; otherwise look for it in stores this fall.
Ten years ago furry fandom — and animation fandom in general — saw an amazing new event with the premier of Kaze: Ghost Warrior. A multi-species fantasy adventure, it was most astounding for having been financed, designed, voiced, animated, and rendered by one person. Now creator Amadhia Albee — having spent the interim as a professional effects animator — has decided the time is right for a resurrection of the warrior tiger. Kaze: Winds of Change is to be a new series of audio dramas following Kaze and his world, this time with a full crew of voice actors, musicians, and singers involved. The project has a Kickstarter campaign going — and as of this writing they have already exceeded their goal, but you can still contribute to get involved and be kept up to date.
More animation coming to comics! The Amazing World of Gumball is of course a popular Cartoon Network series created by Ben Bocquelet. It brings us the adventures of Gumball, a young blue cat, along with his younger sister Anais, a pink rabbit, and his younger brother Darwin, a goldfish. (Hey look, it’s cartoons! It make sense, okay? Trust us!). Now Boom! Studios have brought Gumball to the world of comics through their Kaboom! imprint. The new series is written by Frank Gibson (Adventure Time) with full-color multi-media art by Tyson Hesse (Bravest Warriors). Of course Kaboom! has a write up on the whole thing.
The unstoppable international phenomenon known as Rovio Studio’s Angry Birds continues with the new Angry Birds full-color comic book series from IDW Publishing. It’s written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Paco Rodriques. “Angry Birds is based on the wildly popular mobile game by Rovio in which less-than-pleased birds launch all-out attacks on nefarious porkers. IDW’s series is just the latest feather in the cap for Rovio’s monster franchise, which has already spawned countless toys, shirts, games and more, including a film set to land in 2016.” Now you know. Check out the interview with Jeff Parker over at Comic Book Resources.
As part of the build up for the (somewhat controversial, ahem ahem…) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming this summer, comic book non-fiction author Andrew Farago brings us Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History (in hardcover from Insight Editions). As you can see from the cover, it does indeed cover several different iterations of our favorite heroes in a half-shell. “Discover the complete story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the first time–from their humble beginnings in black-and-white comics created in a home studio in Dover, New Hampshire, to their multimillion-dollar breakout success, and their position as four of the best-loved characters of all time. Featuring interviews with every key figure in the Turtles’ evolution, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History presents the tale straight from the mouths of those who were there, including co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, animation legend Fred Wolf, creature effects maestro Brian Henson, and even the man behind the Ninja Rap, Vanilla Ice.” Ooo, now there’s a plus… O_o Anyway, check it out at Amazon.
Who knew that Natasha Allegri, creator of Bee & Puppcat, was the one who came up with the idea of gender-swapping the main characters of Adventure Time to create Fiona and Cake? And who knew that her Kickstarter campaign for Bee & Puppycat would become the highest-funded web series in Kickstarter history? (Well, okay, if you’re a fan of hers you probably knew those things!) All of this was more than enough inspiration for Boom! Studios to launch their own full-color Bee & Puppycat comic book mini-series under their Kaboom! imprint. It’s out there now (written and illustrated by Natasha Allegri with help from Garrett Jackson), and you can read more about it at the Kaboom! web site.
Word has gotten around that Dreamworks Animation has pulled a switch: The aliens-land-on-Earth comedy Home, originally scheduled for release this winter, has been pushed back to 2015, while the Penguins of Madagascar movie has been moved up to this coming November. To that end Dreamworks has just released the first trailer for the penguin movie. It seems that our military-style black and white team meets up with a secret agency known as The North Wind, a collective of high-tech armed animals from the arctic. The film is directed by Eric Darnell, who of course directed all three of the Madagascar movies. Fine, fine, but what we wanna know is: Will Marlene the otter be in the movie too??
“Jerome Lu was born in Mountain View and raised in the Bay Area by a family of wild monkeys. Even when he was a small chimp, they could see that he believed every crayon in the box had magical powers, and he would transform blank pages into colorful, fantastic worlds filled with monkeys, ninjas, robots and all his craziest dreams. His wild monkey relations soon recognized his artistic talent and nurtured it with a diet of Skittles and Corn Nuts. They made sure his art education included Saturday morning cartoons and ABC After School Specials. Now that Jerome has grown up to be a big monkey, they are quite proud that his childhood creativity has never diminished. In fact, it has grown, and he is working on his biggest art project to date: Constructing a 20-story ultimate monkey ninja robot.” Got all that? It’s all come together at Hyperactive Monkey, Jerome Lu’s web site of crazy colorful artwork, books, t-shirts, animation, and a whole lot more.
Here it is, straight from Variety this morning: “Disney is looking to get new mileage out of its Lion King franchise with a new animated series and TV movie planned for its Disney Channel and Disney Junior cablers. Disney Television Animation is producing The Lion Guard, a series that continues the storyline of the Mouse’s boffo 1994 hit feature. Lion Guard will bow next fall with a TV movie and transition to a regular series in early 2016. ‘We look forward to introducing a whole new generation of kids to both the Disney legacy characters and to new friends and heroes,’ said Nancy Kanter, exec VP of original programming and G.M. of Disney Junior Worldwide. The series incorporates strong environmental and conservation messages as it revolves around lion cub Kion’s role as a member of the Lion Guard group tasked with preserving his family’s natural habitat. Series will revive Lion King characters including Simba, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa. Ford Riley developed Lion Guard and is exec producer.” Keep watching this space for news of the premier!