On the shelves now from Oni Press you’ll find a new full-color comic book series called Space Battle Lunchtime, written and illustrated by Natalie Riess. The idea is simple: When a famous interplanetary chef has to drop out of a famous interplanetary cooking reality show, a young woman from Earth (with dreams of being a pastry chef) is given the opportunity of a lifetime… if she can survive the experience! As with many interplanetary science fiction comics, there are boat-loads of non-human characters… and more than a few of them look rather like Earth animals you probably know! Ms. Riess is also well-known for another funny animal comic: A web series called Snarlbear. Comic Book Resources has a review of Space Battle Lunchtime that includes a lot of sample pages.
A little while ago we made mention of Nelbert the Introvert, the first children’s book written and illustrated by Disney Animation lead character designer Shiyoon Kim (Zootopia, Big Hero 6). A recent article on Cartoon Brew said that the book is now available at Mr. Kim’s web site. In fact Mr. Kim actually went so far as to direct an animated ” teaser trailer” for the book. Inspired by the likes of Disney animator/illustrator Bill Peet, Nelbert tells the story of a shy dragon who likes to play chess. Mr. Kim created a set of custom “brushes” in Photoshop to use in the creation of his book. They’re also available for sale on his web site.
Uncivilized Books have a new imprint for younger readers called Odod Books. Their first release is a hardcover graphic novel by Kickly called Musnet: The Mouse of Monet. Here’s what they say about it: “A young boy mouse travels the country side looking for work and happens upon the Monet’s garden. He takes on a job and becomes inspired to learn to paint. Will he paint in the classical ways, or in the new style of the impressionist? Which way will his brush sway? Musnet is drawn and painted in a beautiful, lush and inky style popularized by Paul Pope and French comics masters such Blutch and Christophe Blain.” Really. A review in The Guardian goes further into the plot: “This new series revolves around a painting mouse found in Monet’s famous gardens in Giverny: The nameless, orphan mouse is befriended by Mya and her mouse family, who live inside the artist’s house. Introduced to painting after he begins working for Remy, an old squirrel painter, he is enchanted by Monet’s work.” It’s available now at Amazon.
According to the Human Comics web site, “Gabriel Smith is a screenwriter from Venice Beach, California. He is the founder of Human Comics, an independent comic book publisher, which was created as a platform for Smith to exhibit his writings for a cyberpunk sci-fi series entitled Human (aka Anthropocene: The Human Saga).” More recently though, Gabriel created a “children’s comedy comic” called Bacon & Sausage, illustrated in full color by Sara Varon. Well he describes it as a children’s comic — but it does seem to have a lotta harsh language and even, um, “body humor” for kids! Oh well, modern kids, it looks like!
(Hmm, lots of exclamation points this week. Must be more stuff from Comic Con!) Loter Studios is the creation of John Loter and his wife Shelley Loter, both of whom worked for years as Creative Directors at Disney Consumer Products. They continue to consult for Disney (and assorted animation companies) on t-shirts and other merchandising, but since 2005 they have also been creating their own line of original products based on original characters. Just this year, that expanded to include their very first full-color comic book: Supa-Rillas, created with the help of John’s brother, animation director Steve Loter (Kim Possible, American Dragon: Jake Long). Simian superheroes out to save the world — all for bananas. Check out the web site to see more of what they’ve worked on.
“A burnt-out boxer named ‘Knuckles’ is being tracked by the Mexican mafia, but when Thunder Monkey arrives, whose side will Knuckles choose? Everyone wants to know who Thunder Monkey is, and what is his original power!” After a a successful Kickstarter campaign, creator Lee Oaks presents the first black & white issue of Thunder Monkey, published by Dream Bug Productions. So who IS this super-powered simian and what does he seek in Summercity? Find out by checking out the latest issue over at Atomic Avenue.
The creators of Fat Rabbit Farm (which we reviewed here previously) have a new line of graphic products called Pandi the Panda. He started life as a Facebook Messenger sticker, but since then he’s expanded to much more — including t-shirts, prints, plushies, and other illustrated stuff. “Pandi the Panda is a lifestyle brand reminding us all to enjoy life, have fun, be adventurous, and to pursue what makes you happy. We are proud to share with you designer, comfy wearables and products that encourages you to embrace this lifestyle.” Visit the official web site to find out more and see the current designs.
While we were at San Diego Comic Con, one of the categories we saw (of course) was lots of fan stuff and official tie-in stuff for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. (Yes it’s still around and Yes it’s still popular!) One of the more interesting and unusual of the latter is The Wonderbolts Academy Handbook, compiled by Brandon T. Snider and published by Hachette / Little Brown Books. “Attention cadets! This Wonderbolts Academy Handbook once belonged to Rainbow Dash! Along with valuable information on how to become a Wonderbolt, our stellar Pegasus pony added her own notes to help you along. The lessons in here have been passed down for generations, with each generation refining these lessons to better serve you and the institution. You will have much to learn and all staff and senior members of the Wonderbolts are more than willing to guide you. Good luck, have fun, and stay focused!” You should focus on Barnes & Noble to order yourself a copy.
Frank Kozik is a world-famous graphic artist who has often been credited with single-handedly reviving the silk-screened rock’n’roll concert poster as an art form. A self-described “military brat”, after his honorable discharge from the air force he dedicated himself to art — completely self-taught as well. He has since become known not only for his posters and graphics but also for several lines of unique toys and action figures based on his designs. And yes, “funny animals” (and disturbing animals!) are often part of his work. Back in the day, he even started his own record label! Take a look at his web site to see more of what he’s been up to over the years and what’s coming next. Be prepared!