It might seem like an age ago, but earlier this year the animated sensation of the moment was Rio 2. Now that we’ve moved on to the summer, Paperkutz have announced a new tie-in graphic novel, carrying on after the events of that film. “While recording bird calls, Linda loses her new digital recorder, but when Blu finds it, it’s full of strange and horrifying growls! Is some sort of new predator on the loose in the sanctuary? Before the gang can solve the mystery themselves, monster-hunters and reality shows invade, turning their quiet jungle home into pandemonium. ” Rio 2: The Creature from Blu’s Lagoon is written by Arie Kaplan and illustrated by James Silvani. The full-color trade paperback is available for pre-ordering; otherwise look for it in stores this fall.
Word is spreading fast that the creators of the Ursa-Major-nominated film Ted are facing a lawsuit. “The creators of web series about a foul-mouthed teddy bear with a penchant for drinking, smoking and prostitutes have filed a copyright infringement suit against Seth MacFarlane, Universal Pictures and the producers of Ted, the 2012 film about a foul-mouthed teddy bear with a penchant for drinking, smoking and prostitutes. Bengal Mangle Productions claims that Ted ‘is an unlawful copy’ of its own animated teddy, who was featured in two different web series, Charlie The Abusive Teddy and Acting School Academy. The suit, filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, states that those web series aired in 2009 and 2010 on You Tube, FunnyOrDie.com and other streaming websites.” Any merit to this? So far the targets of the lawsuit haven’t responded, but you can visit Charlie’s official web site and check things out for yourself.
More 80′s furry comic nostalgia! Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew was, of course, DC Comics jumping head-first into the growing funny animal scene with a Warner Brothers meets Superheroes pastiche created by Scott Shaw! and Roy Thomas. Now DC have brought together the original full-color issue #1 through #20 of CC in a new trade paperback, Showcase Presents: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew. The collection also features a team-up with the original Teen Titans, as well as the special and little-seen 3-issue Oz/Wonderland War mini-series (which the Super Rabbit and his cohorts had a large part in). It’s available for order now, and hits the shelves this August.
Lauri and Jaakko Ahonen created an Indiegogo campaign for their darkly comic full-color graphic novel Jaybird. Evidently it was quite successful, as now it’s been published! “Little Jaybird lives in a very large house alone with his bedridden mother. Portraits of dignified ancestors look down upon him from dusty walls. At times also a curious spider peeks from between the cobwebs. Even though it’s safe inside the house, with its doors barred and windows boarded up, reality can’t be shut outside forever.” It’s available now for download (complete with original soundtrack music), and this September Dark Horse Press will release it in a hardcover book edition.
Happy Fourth of July! Hope it finds you all safe.
Celebrating 30 years of the bunny with brawn (and a very sharp sword), creator Stan Sakai brings us the Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist, a new one-shot coming this month from Dark Horse Press. “The artist of 47 Ronin returns to his signature creation in a new one-shot collecting four Usagi Yojimbo tales in full color, from the pages of Dark Horse Presents and MySpace DHP! In this issue, Usagi encounters ghosts, thugs, pumpkins(?!), and a foreign artist with a price on his head!” You’ll find it at the Dark Horse web site and of course many other places.
More animation coming to comics! The Amazing World of Gumball is of course a popular Cartoon Network series created by Ben Bocquelet. It brings us the adventures of Gumball, a young blue cat, along with his younger sister Anais, a pink rabbit, and his younger brother Darwin, a goldfish. (Hey look, it’s cartoons! It make sense, okay? Trust us!). Now Boom! Studios have brought Gumball to the world of comics through their Kaboom! imprint. The new series is written by Frank Gibson (Adventure Time) with full-color multi-media art by Tyson Hesse (Bravest Warriors). Of course Kaboom! has a write up on the whole thing.
The unstoppable international phenomenon known as Rovio Studio’s Angry Birds continues with the new Angry Birds full-color comic book series from IDW Publishing. It’s written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Paco Rodriques. “Angry Birds is based on the wildly popular mobile game by Rovio in which less-than-pleased birds launch all-out attacks on nefarious porkers. IDW’s series is just the latest feather in the cap for Rovio’s monster franchise, which has already spawned countless toys, shirts, games and more, including a film set to land in 2016.” Now you know. Check out the interview with Jeff Parker over at Comic Book Resources.
As part of the build up for the (somewhat controversial, ahem ahem…) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming this summer, comic book non-fiction author Andrew Farago brings us Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History (in hardcover from Insight Editions). As you can see from the cover, it does indeed cover several different iterations of our favorite heroes in a half-shell. “Discover the complete story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the first time–from their humble beginnings in black-and-white comics created in a home studio in Dover, New Hampshire, to their multimillion-dollar breakout success, and their position as four of the best-loved characters of all time. Featuring interviews with every key figure in the Turtles’ evolution, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History presents the tale straight from the mouths of those who were there, including co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, animation legend Fred Wolf, creature effects maestro Brian Henson, and even the man behind the Ninja Rap, Vanilla Ice.” Ooo, now there’s a plus… O_o Anyway, check it out at Amazon.
Perhaps it was inevitable that someone would turn Lego toys’ popular anthropomorphic fantasy series Legends of Chima into a comic book — and Papercutz were the ones to do it. No less than three volumes of Lego: Legends of Chima have hit the stands now, in both hardcover and trade paperback editions. They’re written by Yannick Grotholt with full-color art by Comicon (yes, that’s the name). “Chima— a world reigned by animal tribes, divided by the battle of the noble lions against the evil crocodiles. In High Risk [Volume 1] Laval, prince of the Lions and his friend Eris, a warrior of the Eagle Tribe, engage in a training race on their Speedorz. As the two speed through the jungle, they stumble upon a Gorilla convoy transporting CHI that is being attacked by the Crocodiles. Will Laval and Eris save their Gorilla friends? Or will they become Crocodile Meat?” Papercutz has a web site dedicated to the series.