We got this direct from Anime News Network. Seven Seas Entertainment have licensed Spica Aoki’s fantasy manga series Beasts of Abigaile for distribution in North America. Here’s what the publishers say: “Beasts of Abigaile follows a young woman’s fantastical adventures in the mythical country of Ruberia—and all the trials, tribulations, and attractive half-beast people that come with it! In this exciting new series loosely inspired by the classic fable of Little Red Riding Hood, readers will embark on a beautifully-illustrated journey of magical adventure and romance. Tsukishiro Nina has just arrived in the beautiful country of Ruberia, and its charming denizens and lush scenery are like a fairy tale come true. That is until she’s beset by a mysterious young man with a steely gaze and furry wolf ears—who promptly bites her! Nina finds herself turning into one of these beasts of legend, and whisked away to the prison of Abigaile where all their kind are sent. Nina must keep her wits about her if she’s to learn the secrets of this magical world where everyone either makes her blood boil or her young heart race!” Look for it to be released in black & white this June.
Black & White
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.
Another recent black & white discovery is the first issue of The Thunder Frog, from the folks at (wait for it) Thunder Frog Studios. More specifically that would be writer Woody Arnold and illustrator Tayson Martindale. “Theo had his life all planned out. Everything made sense. He would grow up, get married, raise a family, inherit the family farm and grow old watching his grandchildren enjoy a good life. And then he found the most powerful weapon in history… A peaceful day in the country is shattered when a battle erupts in the back-fields of a farm. What happens next will change the world forever.” Of course you can read all about it at the Thunder Frog Comics web site.
Interesting discovery from the Long Beach Comic Expo: Doc Yeti Fuk’son — Yeti Detective. Yes that’s the title! It’s a black & white on-line comic that’s now available as a traditional comic too. “Doc Yeti Fuk’son, yeti detective, has the goddamn world at his feet. He’s taking down punks, cleaning up the streets, and making killer puns. The only thing hotter than his career is his wife. Or… it was. Two years later, Doc lives alone, punlessly powering through MacGyver, tapioca, and brown liquor. But his sister JD Yeti Fuk’son is on the case! She brings him a murder both gruesome and topical to drag Doc back into action. Something for him to take… personally.” Doc Yeti is written by Allison Solano and illustrated by Sean Morgan. The official web site will tell you all about it.
Yen Press have released a new black & white manga out called Reindeer Boy, written and illustrated by Cassandra Jean. According to the publishers: “The new boy is town is cute and friendly. The only problem is… he has antlers? Quincy has the same dream every year on Christmas Eve: Of finding a little boy holding a special gift for her under the tree – and every Christmas morning, she’s awoken to find a gift wrapped in tinfoil with her name on it… When school resumes after the winter break, Quincy’s class discovers they have an unusual new transfer student named Cupid. Ridiculously cute and friendly, the new boy has everyone both enamored and confused. Those antlers can’t be real…can they?? With Cupid having seemingly set his sights on Quincy, it seems she’ll be having a memorable year indeed!” [See you again after Further Confusion!]
The on-line comic Hunters of Salamanstra spent years on Keenspot building up a following. Now Keenspot has seen fit to finally bring out a black & white comic book version. “In the Kingdom of Salamanstra, monsters are real, and hunting them is the world’s greatest thrill. One famous hunter, The White Wolf, is not afraid to risk her life for a cause she believes in. Adrien wants to help her fight, but he has a promise to keep. A promise that could ensure the survival of The White Wolf’s fight, should she fail.” Look for issue #0 of this manga-style comic by John Joseco to arrive soon, followed by regular issues starting up in June.
Another giant monster comic — this time, a black & white classic returns. According to Previews: “The giant kaiju return to ravage the Earth in the first volume of cult genre legend Mike Wolfer’s War Monsters! Originally released in 1987-89, Wolfer’s Daikazu series was his first published work, and issues #1-5 of the giant monster rumble are collected here for the first time ever in one giant volume! On a remote Pacific island, a group of strangers accidentally stumble upon the secret, underground base of a mad geneticist responsible for the creation of two gigantic behemoths, and only the ancient ‘god’ Daikazu stands against them in an earth-shaking battle that climaxes in downtown Tokyo!” The first issue arrives with a Bang at the end of November.
Thanks to Animation News Network we found out about an article over at the Hollywood Reporter. It seems that Mark Osborne (director of Kung Fu Panda and the recent film The Little Prince) has been tapped to finally adapt Jeff Smith’s award-winning comic Bone for the cinema — not just as one animated movie, but an entire trilogy to be produced by Warner Brothers. “The comic told of three Bone cousins — Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone, all small, bald and human-like creatures with big noses — who are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert after being run out of Boneville. One by one they find their way into a deep forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures. The comics were published from 1991 to 2004 and then rediscovered by a new and more mainstream generation when Scholastic began releasing them in graphic novel form.” Adam Kline is writing the script for the first film, along with Mr. Osborne, and Animal Logic (Happy Feet) are involved as well, so expect some top-notch CGI. We’ll let you know when we find out a release date.
Study Group Comics is a very large collective of writers and artists creating a whole slew of mini-comics, zines, and webcomics. Among them is Magical Character Rabbit, an on-line comic story created by Evans Kinoko. “Magical Character Rabbit is the tale of a young Magi who lives in an enchanted city full of wizards, witches, and warlocks. When she’s entrusted with performing the big Winter Solstice Ritual in front of the whole town, she must go on a quest to find the perfect spell as well as the courage to go forward. An engaging, all ages fantasy for fans of Richard Scarry, Hilda, and Steven Universe!” You can check out the on-line comic at the Study Group web site, but recently they’ve also released a one-shot version on paper which you can find at their Shop.