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
Here’s another find from the Long Beach Comic Con.”Adorkable” is how the artist Jeff Victor describes much of his own work, and indeed his cartoon creations tend toward the “chibi” side of things. A veteran of Warner Brothers TV Animation and Nickelodeon Games, Jeff now works as a freelance illustrator — and a quick glance at his web site will show you what he’s been up to lately. Cartoon characters and yes, funny animals abound.
image c. 2016 by Jeff Victor
RoboCatz vs. ThunderDogs. That’s an almost self-explanatory title, isn’t it? Certainly gets the furry fan’s attention! It’s a new independent full-color comic book series created by Justin Cermak, Donovan Goertzen, and Fabian Cobos. The premise is simple: Cats and dogs have been fighting for millennia, in front of humans and behind their backs. What humans don’t know is that both sides have employed war technology in their battles for some time — and in the not too distant future, both cats and dogs will have developed large anime-style robot fighters to carry out their planned destruction of the other side. Hmm… this maybe makes the whole comic sound a lot more serious than it is. Check out the much more detailed preview at Indie Comics Review.
image c. 2016 Data Red Comics
Allen Carter is a writer and comic artist from Hawaii, currently living in Southern California. Among his creations: After finding inspiration from Chuck Jones’ 1975 animated version of Rikki Tikki Tavi, Allen brought us the Figure of Speech Mongoose, who illustrates various well-known sayings (and awful puns) in particularly silly ways. (“Catching a bus” — with a fishing line…) After experimenting with animation, Allen turned the FOS Mongoose into an on-line single-panel comic. Later he collected those works in a series of one-shot comic books, which he sells from his web site along with prints and other works. Allen is another artist making the circuit of Southern California comic cons. Look for him.
image c. 2016 by Allen Carter
Decalzilla is an art project and on-line store created in 2010 by two artists named Jon and Courtney. No prizes for guessing: They create custom hand-made vinyl decals in a variety of designs and colors. Comic book stuff, anime, and yes lots of cartoons (including cartoon animals!) find there way into the works you find at Decalzilla.com. All of them original designs, mind you, not just copies of official artwork. Based out of Southern California, they travel to anime and comic conventions all around — and they’re hoping to expand their circle into other parts of the country and even internationally as well.
image c. 2016 Decalzilla
Out-of-nowhere department… and more of a curiosity than a recommendation. There’s a new DVD out this week: A direct-to-video animated film called Elephant Kingdom. Here’s the tag: “When brave elephant Rock (Cary Elwes) sees his wife, Melody (Alexa PenaVega), kidnapped by the powerful human king (Patrick Warburton), the mighty warrior will need some jumbo-sized help from his friends in order to rescue her. Coming to his aid is a quirky, courageous troop of young elephants, including Rally (Carlos PenaVega), and Pugsley (Mikey Bolts), plus the ever-trusty and wacky Wingman (Garrett Clayton) and the kindhearted human queen (Ambyr Childers)”. Interestingly, other than “Grindstone Entertainment” and Lionsgate (who released it) we know next to nothing about who made this. The IMDB entry does not list any director, writers, or other crew; only the English-language voice actors. It’s available and on the shelves now, but check out the trailer first.
image c. 2016 Lionsgate
Visiting the Long Beach Comic Con we stumbled across the works of Melissa Douglas, also known as the Kitty Kat Maniac. She majored in digital media at the Otis College of Art and Design, and since then she has worked for animation studios like The Three Legged Legs and Twistory Studios. At her web site (artchamacallit.com) you’ll find many examples of her work — both original stuff, and stuff saluting her favorite cartoons and games. And of course there are also links to her stores where you can find many of her illustrations available not only as prints and stickers, but also on t-shirts, blankets, key chains, and more.
image c. 2016 by Melissa Douglas
Mauricio Abril is an artist with an interesting background: For years he practiced molecular biology (his major at university), but discovered it just did not fit his soul the way he thought it would. So he took a whole new set of courses in “entertainment design”, and that fit much better — and so he has been working the past few years as a concept artist in the fields of animation, video games, theme park design, and illustration. Recently (with the help of Kickstarter) he completed his first illustrated book for children, called Small Dogs. On his web site he says: “It follows the story of Seth, a Chihuahua who mistakenly believes that he’s just overdue for a growth spurt to be as big as other dogs. It’s only when he discovers what it really means to be a small dog when he decides to prove to everyone, and especially himself, that small dogs are just as important as any other dog.” Yap Yap!
image c. 2016 by Mauricio Abril
Sheesh, where have we been? We missed Brickleberry! It’s a series of short comedy cartoons that Comedy Central had available as an app for download. Created by Roger Black and Waco O’Guin (and produced by Comedy Central’s Daniel Tosh), it followed the adventures of a bumbling crew of park rangers at Brickleberry National Park. It was decidedly adult-oriented in its content! Along with the human characters there was Malloy, a talking bear cub (voiced by Daniel Tosh) with a foul mouth and a mean attitude. (Many episodes are still available on YouTube. Warning: NSFW, without a doubt!) The series premiered in 2012, and ran for three seasons, only to be canceled in 2015 — when most of the cast were killed by an invading army of alien cows. But fear not! Now Dynamite Entertainment have brought us Brickleberry: Armoogeddon, a new full-color 4-issue comic miniseries (written by Black and O’Guin, and illustrated by Timothy Hopkins) that continues the story with a new science-fiction twist. Find out more over at ComicBook.com. It’s also on the shelves now.
image c. 2016 Comedy Central