Sorry, sorry… It’s called The Chicken Squad, a series of light-hearted mystery stories written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Kevin Cornell. “Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs. No sir, they’re too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime.” In The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure, “… when Squirrel comes barreling into the chicken coop, the chicks know they’re about to get a case. But with his poor knowledge of shapes (‘Big’ is not a shape, Squirrel!) and utter fear of whatever it is that’s out there, the panicky Squirrel is NO HELP. Good thing these chicks are professionals”. Following all this? Check out this new book series from Atheneum Books for Young Readers over at Amazon, in one of several formats.
[Hey, don't forget! You only have one week left to vote for the Ursa Major Awards -- the Hugo Awards (tm) of anthropomorphic fandom! Visit www.ursamajorawards.org to find out how.]
Image c. 2014 Atheneum Books
Daniel and Dawna Davis, known collectively as Steam Crow, refer to themselves as “a husband and wife team based in Phoenix, Arizona, who make friendly monster-inspired art, prints, books, and other oddities”. With a weird sense of humor and an extreme graphic-arts style to boot. Their books include Caught Creatures, a book of “monster haiku”. You can find that and much more at the Steam Crow web site, as well as a blog updating the latest of what they’re working on — and what’s the next convention or festival they’ll be appearing at.
image c. 2014 Steam Crow
Michael Vash is a fine artist, illustrator, and former Disney employee with a wicked sense of humor. Mostly (but not exclusively) it’s directed at our canine companions. His first hardcover book is called Doggy Styles: The Poop and the Scoop — An Irreverent Guide to Man’s Best Friend, and it’s available at Amazon right now. Fair warning: These are not illustrations meant for kids! Also, check out Michael’s personal web site for sample pages from the book, as well as more of his illustrations both silly and not.
image c. 2014 by Michael Vash
This year Dreamworks is celebrating 20 years of animation on TV and the big screen. Among the signs of the celebration is The Art of Dreamworks Animation, a new hardcover book edited by Ramin Zahed. It’s available later this month from Abrams Publishing. “Brimming with concept art, preproduction designs, and character sketches, DreamWorks Animation marks the studio’s 20th anniversary and offers unprecedented behind-the-scenes access into its archives. An introduction by DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg provides insider perspective on the studio’s most popular films, as does running commentary from artists and directors on all of DreamWorks’ 30 films to date.” By which they mean films like Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and How to Train Your Dragon. Order it now at Amazon.
image c. 2014 Dreamworks Animation
The creator of Tiny Titans is branching out in a funny animal direction now, as Art Baltazar and his friends bring us Captain Action Cat: The Timestream CATastrophe, a new full-color 4-issue comic miniseries starting this month from Dynamite Entertainment. Check out this promo from Comic Book Resources: “From the Eisner and Harvey award-winning, New York Times bestselling famous cartoonists Art Baltazar and Franco comes the crossover epic event of a lifetime! Finally, Captain Action Cat meets Action Cat and the characters from Aw Yeah Comics! Also crossing over with Dark Horse Comics characters such as Ghost, X, Captain Midnight, and The Occultist, this series promises the typical zaniness that the creators of Tiny Titans are known for. True story! In Captain Action Cat: The Timestream CATastrophe #1, there is something evil out there and Evil Cat is determined to find it… even if it means searching throughout the Silver Age to do it!”
image c. 2014 Dynamite Entertainment
Animator Mike Kunkel returns to comics in a big way with the first new Herobear & The Kid series in over ten years. Young boy Tyler and his large flying friend are back in Herobear & The Kid: Saving Time, a new full-color 5-issue mini-series coming this month from Boom! Studios’ Kaboom! imprint. “Henry, the family’s magical butler, is missing!! It’s up to Tyler and Herobear to figure out what happened to their friend…only they might learn a lot more about Henry than they initially thought…and be forced to get help from an unsuspected source.” Check out the interview with creator Mike over at Comic Book Resources.
Image c. 2014 Kaboom!
Sounds like the set-up for a bad joke, but it’s actually a new full-color comic book miniseries based on a real-life dog. After a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, conservationist Tod Emko (Whale Wars) has created A Piggy’s Tale, a 4-issue series (illustrated by Ethan Young) coming next month from Bohemian Press. Based on a real-life dog that Tod rescued from near death, Piggy tells the story of a street dog who loses a leg when he’s struck by a car… but who soon discovers that the accident has given him super-powers! Besides the ability to fly and super strength, it’s also given him the ability to detect suffering, anywhere in the world… which leaves him with the determination to help animals in need where-ever he may find them. There’s a preview of the comic at Ecorazzi, and an interview with Tod about the real Piggy and more at Comics Beat.
[Oh, and by the way: Thank you to everyone who nominated us for an Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Magazine! We are truly honored.]
image c. 2014 Bohemian Press
And now for something… pretty darn different. Part of the Vamplets line of “cute horror” comics from Action Lab Entertainment, this time with a funny animal twist in Vamplets: Undead Pet Society. “The Legend of the Ghost Pony begins here in this terrifyingly sweet installment from Hasbro designer/illustrator of My Little Pony, Gayle Middleton! Ghost Ponies have been the harbingers of the weird for years. Whenever they appear, creatures near have disappeared, never to return. Where do they come from? What is their terrible secret? And what is the Ghost Pony’s connection to a vampyre baby named Lily Rose Shadowlyn?” You can head out to your local comic book shop right now and find out.
image c. 2014 Action Lab
New news for the upcoming Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 3rd at comic book stores all over. This time, from the Viz Media imprint Perfect Square: “Hello Kitty and her friends star in all-new comic book adventures, and this time they’re letting their imaginations run wild! Plus: Don’t miss the sneak peek of Perfect Square’s upcoming tribute book celebrating Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary. Bonus feature! Perfect Square introduces exciting Bravest Warriors adventures featuring the irrepressible Catbug!” More on this and other Free Comic Book Day offerings can be found at the official web site.
image c. 2014 Perfect Square