Another recent black & white discovery is the first issue of The Thunder Frog, from the folks at (wait for it) Thunder Frog Studios. More specifically that would be writer Woody Arnold and illustrator Tayson Martindale. “Theo had his life all planned out. Everything made sense. He would grow up, get married, raise a family, inherit the family farm and grow old watching his grandchildren enjoy a good life. And then he found the most powerful weapon in history… A peaceful day in the country is shattered when a battle erupts in the back-fields of a farm. What happens next will change the world forever.” Of course you can read all about it at the Thunder Frog Comics web site.
image c. 2017 Thunder Frog Studios
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.
image c. 2017 Alternative Comics
More new stuff from Dark Horse Press: “Dark Horse Comics announces Tree Mail, a forthcoming all-ages graphic novel from the New York Times best-selling The Stuff of Legend creators Mike Raicht and Brian Smith. Rudy—a determined, optimistic frog—hopes to overcome the odds and land his dream job delivering mail to the other animals on Popomoko Island!” This full-color trade paperback hits the shelves in early November. Dark Horse also has an interview with the creators on their main web site.
image c. 2016 Dark Horse Press
AMP! Comics For Kids presents a new full-color all-ages graphic novel written and illustrated by Paige Braddock. “Cecil is a toad. A toad busy doing what any other toad does with its days–judging the pond splashing contest (Reggie the fly is usually the honorary winner by dint of his five-day lifespan), or visiting his friends, Jeff the free-range hamster, Rayray the lizard, Jeremy the worm, or Sprout the frog. And, of course, trying to keep clear of the local hawk. But when Cecil discovers a freeway construction project aimed right at the pond, he knows he has to come up with a plan to save his home. But what can a small group of amphibians and a reincarnating fly do against construction vehicles and a steady onslaught of hot asphalt? Cecil isn’t sure, but he knows they have to try. [This is] the hilarious tale of a group of amphibians (and one free-range hamster) who set out to save their tiny pond home from one very large steamroller. Sometimes big stories happen in small places. Sometimes big things happen to small creatures. This is one of those stories.” Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue comes to stores in softcover this February. Find out more at AMP!s big daddy, Andrews McMeel Publishing.
image c. 2014 AMP! Comics
Sometimes, you just gotta let the thing speak for itself: “Miri and Luey have a dilemma. Their dad’s been turned into a cat and their closet is a garden full of goblins. There is only one thing for them to do — grab their friend Phil the frog and dive headfirst into a wild, woolly and wacky adventure.” Cat Dad, King of the Goblins was written and illustrated by Canadian artist Britt Wilson. This full-color short graphic novel is available now from Koyama Press. Check out the preview over at Publishers Weekly.
image c. 2014 Koyama Press
Canadian artist and writer Eric Orchard makes quite a big splash with his first graphic novel, Maddy Kettle: The Adventures of the Thimblewitch. This is from Previews: “Maddy is an eleven year old girl with a pet toad named Ralph. And they’re on a rather big adventure right now, as her parents are currently kangaroo rats – having been put under a spell. On their way to find the Thimblewitch to sort everything out, they battle Spider Goblins and befriend two endearing Cloud Mappers, Harry the bear and Silvio the raccoon, who help them get where they’re going. We won’t tell you what happens next, but we can assure you that it’s a beautiful and magical ride.” Top Shelf Productions will release this full-color all-ages fantasy in trade paperback this October.
image c. 2014 Top Shelf Productions
Orky the Porky Orca (say THAT fast!) is a new full-color web comic written and illustrated by Brett DeWall. The premise is quite simple really: Orky the killer whale is accused of a murder he didn’t commit, and now he is forced to hide out among human kind. To this end he puts on a trench coat and fedora, and no one ever notices he’s an orca. Simple, yes? Oh, and helping him to adjust is a smoking, drinking frog named Pierre, with a French accent and (supposedly) refined tastes. Got all that? Good. Check out Orky at his web site when it updates every Tuesday.
image c. 2013 Brett DeWall
Trevor Pryce is a 14-year veteran of the NFL who played defensive end for the Denver Broncos, the Baltimore Ravens, and the New York Jets. Now, he’s taken on a completely new career: Fantasy author. In the first book of the new Kulipari series, Mr. Pryce (aided by Joel Naftali) tells the story of An Army of Frogs. “It’s frogs versus scorpions in this new series by professional football player Trevor Pryce. For years, the frogs of the Amphibilands have lived in safety—protected by an elite group of poisonous frogs named the Kulipari and by the dreamcasting spell of the turtle king that cloaks their lands in mystery. Now the spell is threatened by the Spider Queen, a talented spellcaster, and Lord Marmoo, leader of the scorpions. With the Kulipari off training in secret, the Amphibilands have never been so vulnerable. Enter Darel, a young frog who dreams of joining the Kulipari, despite his utter lack of poison and limited fighting skills. With the help of a motley crew of friends, Darel has the chance to become the warrior of his dreams.” This new series of hardcover fantasy novels is illustrated by Sanford Greene. According to Amazon, it’s due to hit the shelves this May from Amulet Books.
image c. 2013 Amulet Books
David Nytra is a relative newcomer to the world of fantasy graphic novels. Still The Secret of the Stone Frog, his first work as a writer and illustrator, is drawing a lot of interest from fantasy collectors just prior to its release. “When Leah and Alan awaken in an enchanted forest, they have only each other and their wits to guide them. In a world of pet bees and giant rabbits, they befriend foppish lions and stone frogs, learning to confront danger as they find both their own independence and the way home. Newcomer David Nytra’s breathtaking pictures break the boundaries of imagination, sending the reader on a wild flight of fantasy while experiencing the most universal of stories: Growing up.” According to the pre-order site at Amazon, Toon Books will publish this hardcover black & white graphic novel in early September.
image c. 2012 Toon Books