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…
image c. 2017 by John Hopkins
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.
image c. 2017 by Niall Westerfield
StupidFox is a fox. But is he stupid, or just misunderstood? Does he maybe have just a simple way of looking at a complex world? That’s the endless question pondered by creator E.Y. Chan in her full-color on-line comic strip called StupidFox — yes, spelled as one word. At her web site you’ll find not only the comic but a link to her shop full of prints, books, plush dolls, key-chains, and other cute items all graced by the simple fox and his friends.
image c. 2017 by E.Y. Chan
Monica Bruenjes specializes in animation, children’s book illustration, & comics. She is the founder of Subarashii, a creator-owned company designed for providing you with “Splendid artwork for a joyful life.” To that end she has created an on-line comic called Penguin & Peep. “Best friends and polar opposites, Penguin & Peep go on adventures in hopes of having the perfect day together. Penguin loves his home in the zoo, but Peep is always looking for something new.” Also on her web site you’ll find information about Moosebear, a TV series concept which Monica has been trying to pitch. “In the Alaskan woods behind her house, a relocated California girl determined to fit in becomes friends with a magical creature trying to help his no-nonsense neighbors.”
image c. 2017 by Monica Bruenjes
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.
image c. 2016 IDW Publishing
Once again, discoveries from the Long Beach Comic Con: A new weekly on-line comic. “Tales of Absurdity is the product of the strange and absurd thoughts of cartoonist Alex Hoffman. Topics range from pop culture parody to the bizarre limits of the human imagination. Sometimes they are funny.” And quite often they involve animals, funny and otherwise. Recently, Mr. Hoffman has released the first collection of Absurdity comics in a new trade paperback, The Dawn of Absurdity. “Watch the absurdity evolve over 100 strips with all the twists and turns, parodies and puns.” All of this and more can be found (and purchased) at Mr. Hoffman’s official Tales of Absurdity web site.
image c. 2016 by Alex Hoffman
For those who might have missed it, this is from Wikipedia: “Pearls Before Swine is an American comic strip written and illustrated by Stephan Pastis, a former San Francisco, California lawyer. It chronicles the daily lives of five anthropomorphic animals: A Pig, a Rat, a Zebra, a Goat, and a fraternity of crocodiles, as well as a number of supporting characters. Pastis has said each character represents an aspect of his own personality and world view.” The continuing comic strip can be found over at GoComics. Now, Andrews McMeel Publishing bring us the latest Pearls Before Swine collection in trade paperback. “In I’m Only in This for Me, the Pearls gang dares to tell the hard truths that the country needs to hear: The importance of prioritizing cheese over everything else, the sadly ignored capacity of bears to solve all of life’s problems, and the crucial Recognition Gap between women in bars and semi-obscure cartoonists with delusions of grandeur. But beneath all the selfishness, absurdity, bungling crocs, and bazooka-wielding ducks, Rat, Pig, Goat, and Zebra continue to find that friendship can make life warmer, humor can make stupidity less annoying, and cheese really does make everything way, way better.” Check it out over at Amazon. This new book also includes some special collaboration cartoons between Mr. Pastis and Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson.
image c. 2016 Andrews McMeel Publishing
Yes, still, it’s sometimes best to just let the creators explain their own work. So, here’s the tag for new graphic novel Little Dee and the Penguin: “When Little Dee meets a motley crew of animals deep in the forest, she knows she’s found the perfect set of new friends. Between the bossy vulture, the slightly dim dog, the nurturing bear, and the happy-go-lucky penguin, this mismatched group of big personalities doesn’t always get along—but they’re a family. And they’re on the run. A pair of hungry polar bears are after the penguin, and the rest of the team are determined to protect her. They’re not interested in adopting a tiny human. But Dee loves them—especially Ted the bear—and she won’t let them go. Instead, she hops on their getaway plane and joins them on an around-the-world adventure.” Written and illustrated by Christopher Baldwin, it’s based on his continuing web comic of the same name. And now it’s available in full-color from Dial Books, coming this April in hardcover and trade paperback.
image c. 2016 Dial Press
Another animator, another graphic novel: Bob Scott is well-known for having worked on projects as wide-ranging as Warner Brothers Bugs Bunny cartoons to Pixar films like The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Meanwhile, he’s been writing and illustrating an on-line comic strip, Molly and the Bear. “It can be tough on a family when someone new has moved in, especially if it’s a 900-pound scaredy-bear so terrified of wilderness life that he’s fled to the burbs. Fortunately Bear was found by Molly, a fearlessly optimistic 11-year-old can-doer who has taken him firmly in hand, devoted to seeing her hirsute BFF cope with modern life. Molly’s Mom is happy with the new sibling — Bear’s an excellent conversationalist and loves her homemade cookies. But Dad is having a harder time, his role as center of the universe now shared with an ursine behemoth who, unfortunately, adores him.” Now Cameron & Company have released the first collection of full-color Molly and the Bear comics in hardcover. It’s available over at Barnes & Noble.
image c. 2016 Cameron & Company