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.
Another recent discovery from Further Confusion and the My Dreamy Star web site: Anaria, written and illustrated in full color by Jayelle Anderson. “What was once a pastoral world is quickly changing with the rise of the technomages and the decline of the old elven regimes. New threats are rising and the races of Anaria must unite to defeat them or fall to the dark illness spreading throughout the nations. Kaylee Laturell is a kind healer and sun witch who has to confront the enemies of her past in an unexpected way to save their future. ‘The Witch’s Dream’ is the first chapter in a bittersweet tale of friendship, loss, and love.” As you can see from the cover of the first on-paper edition, anthropomorphic characters are very much a part of the magic in this world! Anaria is also published as an on-line comic at My Dreamy Star.
Karen Krajenbrink describes her job quite succinctly: “I do art.” Going into perhaps a bit more detail, she elaborates: “Associate Art Director at a mobile gaming company by day, freelancer by night. I’ve worked in games, film, and TV for art direction, visual development, character design, story, pipeline creation, BG paint, prop design, and technical pitches.” Add to that one more achievement: In 2015 she completed her first illustrated children’s book called Fox & Boots, “… a 24 page story about friendship, love, and loss, illustrated in full color.” It’s available at her store, along with her sketchbook and several art prints. [Let us wish you all a Happy and Safe New Year in 2017!]
Invention Story is a new CGI animated series created by Trad Animation (that’s the name!) from China. Commissioned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the show is intended to spark in young people an interest in science and engineering. “This series of stories take place in a forest surrounding a town called Carrot Town, full of joyful and magic air. The main character is an intelligent, thoughtful, and creative fox, who in each episode makes a new invention. These inventions associate various fields of production in our daily life, which children see, or use everyday, everywhere. In the process of carrying out each invention, our young audience will be thinking and understanding the science, knowledge, and principle behind them, arousing their interest in creating new devises.” That’s what they say. Interestingly, the story editor behind this new series is an American: None other than Jymn Magon, creator of Disney’s Gummi Bears and TaleSpin. The series began with a pilot movie, Agent F.O.X., which is available in English. Currently episodes of Invention Story are posted on YouTube in the original Chinese. No word yet on an English version!
In Fox’s Forest is a new hardcover graphic novel published by Fantagraphics. According to them, here’s how it goes: “After a successful hunt with his mate, a male fox is captured by the ‘two leggers’ and thrust into captivity. There, he faces dangers more insidious than the simple eat-or-be-eaten laws of the forest: Complacency, fear of the unknown, pack mentality, and loss of identity. Fox’s struggle to remain unbroken and return to his home and his love makes this standalone graphic novel an all-ages fable in the tradition of Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Gorgeously rendered in a classic pen and ink style, the drawing is reminiscent of the Golden Age of children’s book illustration, and its delicacy is in contrast to the characters’ (a friendly blue jay, a philosophical chimp, and a gas-lighting dog) streetwise patter. Created by underground cartoonist and fine artist Guy Colwell (Inner City Romance), this instant classic is a metaphor for incarceration, and a meditation on masculinity.” And it’s on the shelves now.
More recent news about Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad, a new animated feature we have mentioned before. Straight from Variety: “Jeremy Renner [The Avengers] has signed on to voice the lead character in 3D animated family film Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad from AMBI Group. Renner joins previously announced Alec Baldwin, James Franco, Anjelica Huston, and Omar Sy in a rag-tag group of inexperienced heroes combining to thwart the evil Doc Walrus, voiced by John Cleese, and save the Arctic. Renner will be voicing a fox named Swifty. The movie is fully financed and produced by AMBI principals Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, with animation work being done out of their AIC Toronto studio by Dimos Vrysellas (Shark Tale). Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen (Escape From Planet Earth) co-wrote the screenplay.” Still no word on a planned release date, but you’ll know when we do!
Disney Animation recently decided to release the first new Zootopia-themed merchandise that we’ve seen in a while. It’s a new “hidden object” phone-app game called Zootopia: Crime Files. According to a write-up at Adweek.com, “The hidden object game asks players to help Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde solve cases by completing hidden object scenes. In each normal scene, players are asked to find items on a list, which may include pieces of evidence or clues for the current case. Users can access hints if they need help finding objects.” The article goes on to describe the types of game play in much more detail. Lots of new Zootopia characters are introduced in the game — most (but not all) of them quite nefarious! The game has been available as a download for the Apple platform for a while, but now with the official launch it’s also available for Google Play, PC format, and Amazon Underground as well.
As of this writing, Disney Animation’s Zootopia remains number one at the box office in the USA and several other countries, breaking records left and right for an animated film — Disney or otherwise. Now Joe Books (no, we don’t know who they are either) bring Zootopia to their Cinestory series of comic book adaptation. Telling the story of plucky bunny cop Judy Hopps and “articulate” fox Nick Wilde in the all-mammal city of Zootopia, using full-color stills from the movie in comic form. Diamond Distributors have more information about it.
And yet another new animal fantasy series for young readers, this one starring (let’s face it) one of Furry Fandom’s favorite animals. Here’s what the publisher says: “The first book in a thrilling fantasy trilogy starring one of the animal kingdom’s most hunted heroes. Foxcraft is full of excitement and heart, and a touch of magic. Isla and her brother are two young foxes living just outside the lands of the furless — humans. The life of a fox is filled with dangers, but Isla has begun to learn mysterious skills meant to help her survive. Then the unthinkable happens. Returning to her den, Isla finds it set ablaze and surrounded by strange foxes, and her family is nowhere in sight. Forced to flee, she escapes into the cold, gray world of the furless. Now Isla must navigate this bewildering and deadly terrain, all while being hunted by a ruthless enemy. In order to survive, she will need to master the ancient arts of her kind — magical gifts of cunning known only to foxes. She must unravel the secrets of foxcraft.” Created by Inbali Iserles (also the author of The Tygrine Cat), Foxcraft: The Taken is available now at Amazon.