In what is perhaps a strange move (given his currently ever-growing popularity!) Marvel Comics have canceled their most recent Rocket Raccoon comic book series — only to replace it with a new one called Rocket, according to Bleeding Cool. “He thought his paws were clean, that they were on the up and up. But just when he thought he was out, they grabbed him by the fuzzy tail and pulled him back in. One day, and old flame (who happens to be an Otter) swims back into your life and just like that you’re back in the game…the heist game. From the dingy alleys of Knowhere to the far corners of deep space, they’ll speak in whispers that one of the best there ever was is back. If you need a safe cracked. If you need a vault busted. If you’ve got a big score that needs taking…you call Rocket. Just don’t call him a raccoon. It won’t end well for you.” Good Grief — the return of Lylla?? Look for it this May, written by by Al Ewing (The Ultimates, U.S.Avengers) and illustrated by Adam Gorham (The Violent).
image c. 2017 Marvel Comics
From out of nowhere department, largely! Things are still ramping up for this summer’s release of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. According to our friends over at Animation Scoop, “Marvel and Disney XD announced today a 12-episode series of Rocket & Groot animated shorts. The shorts follow Rocket and Groot (from the Guardians Of The Galaxy) as they try to figure out how to get enough credits to buy a new ship after their old one breaks down. A compilation of all the shorts will premiere on Disney XD at 7:00am ET/PT on April 10th. Rocket is voiced by Trevor Devall (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Johnny Test) and Groot is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, The Cleveland Show). Featuring animation by Oscar-nominated Passion Pictures, the shorts are directed by Arnaud Delord and written by Chris ‘Doc’ Wyatt and Kevin Burke.” The Animation Scoop article has a preview.
Image c. 2017 Marvel/Disney XD
IDW Publishing have gotten really serious with their Artisan Edition line of comic book reprintings. The latest beneficiary? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as originally created (of course) by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. According to IDW, “This book reproduces all the original art to the first issue of one of the most important comic book phenomenons of the last 35 years — The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Scanned directly from the original art, mimicking the experience of the original hand drawn page, and also collecting all the layouts (also hand drawn) by the creators of what has been called this generation’s Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Rounding out the volume is an extensive gallery of other TMNT images, also scanned directly from the original art.” Look for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Artisan Edition, hitting the shelves this May.
image c. 2017 IDW Publishing
So how’d we go and let this phenomenon pass us by? Animal Jam is an on-line MMORPG gaming environment, launched in 2010 by the National Geographic Society. It was designed to use a fantasy setting to teach young children about zoology, natural history, and ecology. According to Wikipedia, “Animal Jam takes place in a fictional area known as Jamaa, containing various biomes and cartoon player-created animals. Players can create an animal with an anonymous 3-part name, such as ‘Crashing Magicshark’, dress it up with virtual clothing, and control it in the gameplay environment. The original six virtual animals that could be created were the panda, rabbit, tiger, wolf, koala, and monkey. Many more animals have been added following the six, letting players have the possibility of seeing one of their favorite animals in the game.” Now, after years on line, Dynamite Entertainment have announced the premier of the first Animal Jam comic book series, coming later in 2017. There’s an article about it over at News-a-rama. The first appearance of the new comic will be part of Dynamite’s contribution to this year’s Free Comic Book Day in May.
image c. 2017 National Geographic
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.
image c. 2017 by E.Y. Chan
Another discovery from the recent Long Beach Comic Expo. On his web page, here’s how this artist describes himself: “Walter De Leon is an artist in the entertainment industry working on various video games and animated properties for clients such as Disney and Stan Lee. In his free time he would create and come up with various ideas for books in the hopes to inspire others to get out there with their own ideas.” To that end he started Voolah Voolah Press as a vehicle for his own illustrated stories and sketchbooks. He is also looking for other creative people to join the fold! His own books include titles like Bunny Chop!, Dear Mr. Bear, and drawing portfolios of birds, dragons, and monsters.
image c. 2017 Voolah Voolah Press
Peachy Keen Pets is a Canadian craft service that specializes in “cute and quirky pet accessories and apparel”. That means fandom-themed collars, leashes, and other accessories for your pet; and pet-themed t-shirts for you. “Fun and functional, Peachy Keen Pets strives to provide the ultimate in quality, comfort and originality for your pet! Not only do we make stylish dog collars, harnesses, and leashes, but fabulous accessories like bowties, bandanas, leash pouches and more! Your pet is an original and should stand out on your block, and we’ve got that covered!” Take a look at their web site to see what they currently offer. Woof!
image c. 2017 Peachy Keen Pets
That’s the official slogan of Trash Panda. They’re a new clothing company started by a pair of fans from Southern California. They state their philosophy like this: “Whether it’s rolling that critical hit, landing that hit on someone’s face, or simply eating that last slice of pizza, or sitting down for a long session of talking and video games you should enjoy what you look like. Live on the outside.” That’s fannish. To that end they have a growing line of nerdy-themed t-shirts, several of which feature anthropomorphic designs. Visit their shop on-line to see what they have so far. And of course they’ll be adding more.
image c. 2017 Trash Panda
The artist Cielo Pinawin is crafter who chrochets fuzzy character dolls, and she sells them on line as CrochetGiftsbyCielo. She specializes in Pokemon characters, but lately she’s branched out into other anime critters and even the Ninja Turtles. All of her creations are hand-made and customized when you order them. Visit her Etsy Store to see what she’s done so far.
image c. 2017 by Cielo Pinawin