From an article at Animation World Network we’ve learned that Radical Sheep Productions have hooked up with Teletoon in a deal to broadcast their new animated TV series The Bagel and Becky Show in Canada. “The animated series is based on the book Bagel’s Lucky Hat by Dave Cooper (creator of PigGoatBananaCricket). The Bagel and Becky Show is a bugged-out, offbeat comedy for kids 6-11 that follows mismatched siblings Bagel voiced by Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall, Phineas and Ferb), and his sister Becky voiced by Nikki Payne (Last Comic Standing, Satisfaction) as they explore their neighborhood of Awkward Hills and stumble into whack-loads of outlandish situations.” No word yet on when it might be distributed to other parts of North America. Also no word as to why the little doggie has a cat for a sister, but we should probably be used to that kind of thing by now…
Mengyao Zhang has been working mostly as a layout artist and lighting specialist while he completes his studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Most recently he and his team have been hard at work on his thesis film, Philip — and now they have a Kickstarter campaign up and running to get the film completed. “It tells a dystopian story about Philip who’s trying to free himself from the rules in his world. The story of this film is based on the black and white film Metropolis from 1927. The aesthetic of the film is influenced by German Expressionism and tells a story which is dark in appearance but warm in the heart.” Oh, did we mention that Philip and his world are all cat people?
This is from a couple of years ago, but we just found it recently at Comic Con in San Diego. Mouseheart is a fantasy adventure series for young readers, written by Lisa Fiedler and illustrated by Vivienne To. “Hopper is just an ordinary pet-shop mouse—until he escapes. Soon he finds himself below the bustling streets of Brooklyn, deep within the untamed tangles of transit tunnels, and in Atlantia, a glorious utopian rat civilization. But all is not as it seems. Hopper misses Pinkie and Pup, the siblings he lost in the escape attempt. Atlantia is constantly threatened by roving rebels who wish to bring the city to its knees. And there are cats everywhere, cats who would normally eat a rodent in a second, but leave the rats unharmed . . . and no one can seem to answer why. Soon Hopper is caught in the cross-hairs of an epic battle, one that spans generations and species. As the clashes rage, Hopper learns terrible, extraordinary secrets.” Mouseheart was published in 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. Since then there have been two more, Hopper’s Destiny and Return of the Forgotten. There’s lots more at the official Mouseheart web site.
Now back to France for Paprika, an animated series about a rambunctious pair of cats. “Olivia and Stan are about as close as a brother and sister can get because…they’re twins! They share pretty much everything and though they’re totally different, they balance out to perfection! Stan is a brave little daredevil who puts faith in his instinct and his motorized wheelchair. Olivia is creative, efficient and brainy. But when it comes to having a ton of fun they’re both world champions!” Paprika is unusual among TV shows for kids in that it features a lead character who is wheelchair-bound. Currently the show has been airing around the Mediterranean, but Xilam Animation is looking to break it out internationally.
From the Koyama Press web site we learn that “Steve Wolfhard… draws comics like Cat Rackham and Turtie Needs Work and works as a storyboard artist on the Emmy Award-winning animated television series Adventure Time.” Turns out that Cat Rackham has quite a following of its own. Not bad for “a deeply depressed cat”. Now Koyama brings us the new Cat Rackham full-color graphic novel. “The existential dread associated with getting out of bed terrifies Cat Rackham to his cat core. However, despite his efforts, he seems to consistently find himself dewclaw deep in trouble, often deeply strange trouble.” It’s available now in hardcover — featuring a poem by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward.
So we came across an add for a new plushie toy line called Feisty Pets from WMC Toys. Here’s what they say on their web site: “Feisty Pets go from cute to feisty with just a squeeze to the back of the head. Choose from 4 animals: bear, dog, cat, and monkey – and more animals are currently in production. Which one do you like most?” Actually, it’s more like they go from cute to nightmare fuel! Seriously, check out this introduction video on YouTube. But beware!
Our friends over at IDW put it best: “In 2015, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed began (without warning!) producing ALL-NEW Bloom County strips—for the first time in more than 25 years! Breathed released the new Bloom County strips exclusively through his Facebook page, to the cheers of devoted and delighted fans everywhere. These brand new strips have NEVER before been available in print—until now! All the wit, charm, and biting satire that are trademarks of Bloom County and Berkeley Breathed are clearly on display and evident in this handsome new volume. Featuring all your favorite characters: Opus, Milo, Bill the Cat, Steve Dallas, Cutter John, and many more. Bloom County has come home… and it’s about time!” Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope is available in trade paperback, and it’s on the shelves now.
Presented here, verbatim, from our friends over at Cartoon Brew: “Lionsgate has acquired the Chinese/American co-production Rock Dog for release through its Summit Premiere label. The film will debut in American theaters on February 24, 2017… In one of the first examples of reverse-outsourcing in American feature animation, the Chinese backers farmed out the entire production to Dallas-based Reel FX, the company that produced Free Birds and The Book of Life. Rock Dog was conceived by Chinese rockstar Zheng Jun, who wrote and illustrated a popular graphic novel upon which the film is based. The film follows the story of Bodi, a Tibetan Mastiff, who dreams of following in the footsteps of Angus Scattergood, a British cat musician. Directed by Toy Story 2 co-director Ash Brannon, the film was touted as an attempt by Chinese producers to create a culturally-Chinese animated film that would appeal to a worldwide audience. To increase its chances for success in the global marketplace, the film’s original production language was English, with a cast that includes J.K. Simmons, Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Matt Dillon, Sam Elliot, Lewis Black, and Kenan Thompson. In the U.S., Rock Dog will open one week after Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Batman Movie.” Ouch. Here’s a direct link to the new trailer.
Daniel de Sosa, creator of the very odd comic Kitty Jenkins: Purrvana (which we reviewed before) is back with another interesting full-color project proposal. This new one is called Kitty Jenkins: A Song of Mice and Fur [You’re a true fan if you get that pun…], and there’s currently a Kickstarter campaign to make it a reality. “A Song of Mice and Fur is an absurdist fantasy story set in the realm of Nyania where kitty lords and canine rulers lord over the rodent peasantry. After a surprise Meowgol attack, the fragile peace between the kingdoms of Nyania is broken, and the land descends in to chaos. Red panda mercenaries, authoritarian cats, a sad fat pug and many more all fight tooth, nail and claw to come out on top!” Visit the campaign page to find out more.