More tie-in stuff coming our way as we get closer to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2. Now Marvel Press give us a new hardcover illustrated book called Rocket’s Rules. “Ever wonder how to navigate a quantum asteroid field? Escape a deep-space maximum-security prison? Insult a powerful adversary without anyone catching on? You’re in luck! In this ultimate intergalactic survival guide, Rocket covers everything you need to know – including what it takes to be a good member of a team. So pay attention and read up!” It hits the shelves (like a missile!) right before the movie comes out, but you can pre-order it now over at Simon & Schuster. [Tip #1: Don’t call him a raccoon!]
Later this month, Magnetic Press will be releasing the next installment of the Klaw series entitled Klaw: The Second Cycle. Once again it’s a hardcover graphic novel written by Antoine Ozanam and illustrated by Joël Jurion. As you may recall, in the first issue of Klaw we met young Angel Tomassini, who discovers several scary things at once: When he’s angry he turns into an anthro-tiger, and his father is a vicious crime boss, and there is a whole society of were-creatures who do not always have each others’ best interests at heart. And now: “The second volume in the series follows Angel and his girlfriend Lisa as they flee across the globe from the many dangerous forces that would steal their were-animal spirit for their own nefarious, criminal use. As if spotting and defending themselves from these hidden enemies isn’t hard enough, they also have to keep their own delicate control of their powers in check… innocent lives can get caught in the crossfire, and all the power in the world is useless if you can’t protect your friends and loved ones…” Check out the preview pages.
Jessica Chrysler is an artist who creates mostly fantasy works, with some occasional anthropomorphics. But when she goes anthro, she goes for it in a big way! First there was Cody the Coyote, a Native American folklore re-imagined as an illustrated book for children. It’s still available on-line. More recently she’s been writing and illustrating a science fiction novel called Monolithium. “After surviving torture for treason, Elara wakes to find herself transformed into a creature known as the enemy of the empire. While she must flee her home planet to stay alive, she soon discovers that Queen Varina had not only meant to take her life, but also her uncle’s throne and control of the realm.” That creature in question is the blue feathered reptile you see below. Jessica has been selling an illustrated teaser booklet for Monolithium at conventions, so look for her at one near you. And visit her web site to get updates on her progress.
Ben Byrd has been a professional web designer and creative director for a long time. When he lost his then-current job a couple years ago, he made the decision to dive head-first into his artwork. And so he began displaying his colorful pictures of fantasy characters and comic book icons at art shows and fannish conventions all over. A quick look at his web site will show you just how prolific he has been. Now, he’s self-published his very first illustrated book for children, simply titled Dragons. Written by Tatiana Topyrik and illustrated by Mr. Byrd, it’s a rhyming bedtime story ostensibly for young kids, but older fantasy fans should enjoy it too. It’s available now on Amazon.
“When I was a kid, I had a pet weasel. I think that’s a rather unusual pet for a kid to have. But I was a rather unusual kid.” That’s the opening of Once Upon A Weasel, a new picture book for young readers. It’s written by Salvo Lavis and James Munn, with full-color illustrations by Dave Leonard. According to the creators it’s “…the story of a misfit boy who, in a spontaneous moment, buys a secret pet that sparks a series of fantasy adventures where the two travel through space and dream of living on the moon. Back on planet Earth, trouble arises when the boy’s pet escapes during a class field trip and turns an entire science museum upside down.” You can find out more (and order the book) at their web site, appropriately enough called World of the Weasel.
Another one we missed last year, but caught up with this time: Lost Cactus is a full-color on-line comic strip written and illustrated by John Hopkins. Lost Cactus is also, it seems, a top-secret government facility hidden in the desert, where our leaders hide things they don’t want the general public to know about. Things like an irradiated, talking squirrel; a giant anthropomorphic bee; and a small-sized anthropomorphic dinosaur or two. Much silliness ensues when these and other denizens of the Lost Cactus facility interact with the human scientists and military there to run the show — supposedly. Many of the comic strips (and other goodies) have been collected in a new Lost Cactus book, Lost Cactus: The First Treasury. It’s available over at Amazon. You might find out more over at the Lost Cactus web site, but we can neither confirm nor deny that rumor…
Not new so much, but we just came across it: The Moon Minis is a series of full-color books for children written and illustrated by Niall Westerfield. The story is based on the folklore (common to many cultures, especially in Asia) that the dark spots on the moon represent a rabbit making and baking moon cakes for the Moon Princess to allow her to live forever. Well here we find an entire community of little rabbits, The Moon Minis, and they have many comical adventures while they go about their baking duties. All of the books (and a collection of short comic strips) are available at the Moon Minis web site.
Slipped by at first, but we found this over at Cartoon Brew: “Conrad Vernon is reuniting with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna, producer of last year’s hit Sausage Party, for another adult-oriented animation project, Amberville. The project is an adaptation of Tim Davys’ ‘Mollisan Town’ novel series set in a gritty world of stuffed animals. Amberville is being developed as a cgi series for Amazon Studios by Vernon and Chris McCoy, who wrote and directed last year’s Good Kids. McCoy wrote the pilot and Vernon will direct it. If the project makes it to series, it would be available on Amazon Prime Video. Amberville’s story revolves around a reformed Teddy Bear who is pulled back in to the criminal underworld when his former boss enlists him for an impossible new job.” Conrad Vernon, of course, is well-known as co-director of Shrek 2, Madagascar 3, and Monsters vs. Aliens.
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.