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.
[We won’t go over this year’s nominees for the Ursa Major Awards — there are other sites that have done that better already — but we will say we are more than honored to once again be nominated in the category of Best Anthropomorphic Magazine for 2016. Our humble thanks to all of you, our readers!]
Author Douglas Wood’s most famous creation is Old Turtle, an elderly reptile who guides those with philosophical and religious questions towards enlightenment… in ways that help to heal our species and our planet. Now celebrating 25 years since the release of the original Old Turtle picture book, Mr. Wood and artist Greg Ruth have brought us Old Turtle: Questions of the Heart, a new and larger hardcover book from Scholastic Press. “Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? How do we find happiness? Once again, Old Turtle’s wise answers offer readers of all ages inspiration, solace, and the most important gift of all — hope.” Pre-order it now, or look for it at the end of March.
Here’s what publisher First Second have to say about their new prequel book Animal Crackers — Circus Mayhem: “The wacky, high-action graphic novel companion to Animal Crackers, Scott Christian Sava’s highly-anticipated animated feature film. Buffalo Bob’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Animal Circus is famous for its jump-roping giraffe, tangoing lion, and knife-throwing elephant. But they have to be fakes, right? Owen is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. When he visits the circus he discovers that his uncle and, coincidentally, all of the animals, are missing. It can only be the work of Buffalo Bob’s sideshow rival: Contorto. Owen stumbles upon the one thing that can save the day: Buffalo Bob’s box of animal crackers. But these aren’t any ordinary cookies: One bite and you’re transformed into a circus animal!” Look for it in hardcover later this month, or you can read all about it over on Goodreads.
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.
How did we miss this one? Alternative Comics bring us the collected Fancy Froglin: Uncensored, an on-line comic by James Kochalka (American Elf). Here’s what they say: “James Kochalka’s complete Fancy Froglin — the lovable story of a very dirty little frog who only sometimes wears pants. Fancy Froglin is an ineffably cute happy little frog… He’s highly sexual yet purely innocent. And he loves bunnies. Most important, he’s really funny.” Do we need to mention here that this comic is decidedly for adults? Their web site has more.
Titan Books have released a new science fiction anthology called Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone. It features an impressive roster of authors presenting stories set in the world of the original five-movie Planet of the Apes series, or in the world of the 1974 live-action TV series (which is not exactly the same world, but close). “The 1968 film Planet of the Apes was a seminal work of science fiction that inspired generations of filmmakers and authors. Now a who’s who of modern writers — including Kevin J. Anderson, Nancy Collins, Jonathan Maberry, and John Jackson Miller [and many more] — produces sixteen brand-new, exclusive stories… Each writer will explore a different drama within the post-apocalyptic world, treating readers to their unique visions and non-stop adventure.” Edited by Rich Handley and Jim Beard, it’s available now in paperback at Amazon.
Whoops! How did we miss this one? A year ago Graphix brought us Bunny vs. Monkey, a full-color all-ages graphic novel by Jamie Smart. What’s it about? Look at the title! Well now, it’s time for Bunny vs. Monkey: Book 2, just hitting the shelves. “Welcome to the Woods! A peaceful home, until…ZAP! ZAAPPP! ZAAAPPPPP!!! It’s Monkey in a hovercraft that fires lasers! Science and nature fight again! With robotic worms! Trojan mooses! And lemony doomsday devices! It’s the continuing battle between good and evil…It’s Bunny vs Monkey: Book Two!” You heard it here. Now check it out over at Goodreads.
He’s the furry little member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, known for his foul language, more foul temper, and love of big guns that go BOOM. And now, your children can read all about him in a new Little Golden Book called Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket to the Rescue. “Star Lord, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and the other Guardians of the Galaxy race through the universe on another rollicking adventure. Boys and girls ages 2 to 5 will love this action-packed Little Golden Book featuring some of their favorite Marvel superheroes and villains.” We’re sure they will. Written by John Sazaklis and illustrated by Michael Atiyeh and Michael Borkowski, it’s available now over at Barnes & Noble.
We’ve previously mentioned the works of fiction writer Brandon Blankenburg. Recently we came across a new book of his from 2016: Jesse’s Conveyence moves a bit away from the author’s usual “natural history horror” works… or does it? “Terry is writing a book about a schizophrenic whose hallucinations of Jesse, a talking kangaroo, forces the protagonist to change his life. For Terry, the book is to be his greatest achievement. However, the more he writes, the more his own life and outlook changes. The line between reality and fiction blur when Terry begins thinking of Jesse as more than a character in his book.” Jesse’s Conveyence is available now for the Kindle reader.