Years ago, underground cartoonist Hunt Emerson made a name for himself with a comic strip known as Calculus Cat which… well, let’s just say it’s not about a cat who’s good at math. “”Calculus Cat’s home life is locked in an intense, argumentative relationship with his TV set, which bedevils him with commercials for Skweeky Weets – the world’s most asinine breakfast cereal. His ‘job’ is no better. He is forced to run thought the streets sporting his famous grin as The Public shout abuse and throw rubbish. His world is graphic, black and white, jagged, full in, weird, speedy and loud – everything a comic should be.” You heard it here. Long ago there was a compilation of Calculus Cat comics published, but it has long since gone out of print. Now after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Knockabout Comics have released a brand new expanded collection in trade paperback, featuring brand new pages and a collection of Calculus Cat art by the likes of Dave McKean, Gilbert Shelton, John McCrea, Kevin O’Neill, Kate Charlesworth, and Rian Hughes. Find out more over at Previews. The collection is in stores now.
A Disney Afternoon favorite returns to comics as Joe Books (a new publisher out of Canada) presents the continuing adventures of Darkwing Duck — as written by Aaron Sparrow and illustrated by James Silvani, who previously illustrated the Terror That Flaps In The Night for Boom! Studios. This new series picks up where the Boom! series left off — but first, they’re bringing together the complete Boom! adventures of the hero of St. Canard (all 16 issues) in one massive, 400-page full-color trade paperback, Disney’s Darkwing Duck: Definitively Dangerous Edition. Read all about it over at Comic Book Resources, including an interview with James Silvani. Look for the book this January.
AMP! Comics For Kids presents a new full-color all-ages graphic novel written and illustrated by Paige Braddock. “Cecil is a toad. A toad busy doing what any other toad does with its days–judging the pond splashing contest (Reggie the fly is usually the honorary winner by dint of his five-day lifespan), or visiting his friends, Jeff the free-range hamster, Rayray the lizard, Jeremy the worm, or Sprout the frog. And, of course, trying to keep clear of the local hawk. But when Cecil discovers a freeway construction project aimed right at the pond, he knows he has to come up with a plan to save his home. But what can a small group of amphibians and a reincarnating fly do against construction vehicles and a steady onslaught of hot asphalt? Cecil isn’t sure, but he knows they have to try. [This is] the hilarious tale of a group of amphibians (and one free-range hamster) who set out to save their tiny pond home from one very large steamroller. Sometimes big stories happen in small places. Sometimes big things happen to small creatures. This is one of those stories.” Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue comes to stores in softcover this February. Find out more at AMP!s big daddy, Andrews McMeel Publishing.
Discotek Media have released all 26 episodes of the original anime series Sherlock Hound in a special 6-DVD box set. “Written and Directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) during his time at Japans largest animation studio, TMS. Before he went on to create Totoro and Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki captured a whole generation of children’s imaginations with his retelling of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries using a loveable cast of canines. Sherlock Hound, released as either Famous Detective Holmes or Detective Holmes in Japan, is an anime based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series where all the characters are depicted as anthropomorphic animals, the majority dogs, though Holmes is a fox and his enemy Professor Moriarty is a wolf. The show featured regular appearances of Jules Verne steampunk-style technology, adding a 19th-century science-fiction atmosphere to the series.” You can order the new box set over at Discotek’s web site.
Have yourself some full-color science fiction adventure with Doug TenNapel, creator of Earthworm Jim, Tommysaurus Rex, and so much more. Now with his new graphic novel Nnewts (based on the web comic) he brings us the story of Herk, “… a lovable Nnewt who longs for stronger legs, something his mother and father wish they could give him. When his quaint village is attacked by the reptile Lizzarks, he’s forced to flee his home and leave behind the only life he’s ever known. Now, all alone and on the run, Herk navigates a dangerous world filled with strange creatures and mysterious wonders, where friends are few and an evil lord is in hot pursuit.” Nnewts, Volume 1: Escape from Lizzarks will be available from Graphix this January, both in hardcover and trade paperback. Check out the official Nnewts Facebook page too.
Anouk Ricard is a cartoonist from Europe known for his satirical, surreal creations — usually involving animal characters. In his new graphic novel Benson’s Cuckoos we meet a hapless new office worker named Richard — who’s about to discover that his boss and his co-workers are more than just strange, they’re outright dangerous. Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say: “Originally published in French as Coucous Bouzon, this comic is like a fever dream of workplace anxiety drawn by Richard Scarry for those worn down by the business grind. Richard has just started a new job at a company that makes cuckoo clocks. That’s apropos, since the boss seems at best distracted, at worse insane. He’s been hired to replace a man named George, who disappeared suddenly. As Richard tries to cope with being asked to bring his own computer and prepare presentations without supporting files, he finds himself enveloped in the growing mystery of just what happened to George. It’s silly, with much of the humor coming from what look like children’s toys shooting or propositioning each other. The art is childlike, flat and colorful, but the content is distinctly adult.” Published in full color by Drawn & Quarterly in trade paperback, Benson’s Cuckoos is available now from Barnes & Noble.
In another vein entirely, check out the Little Ty Cooney series of illustrated books from writer and artist Steven Riley. He took his love of the great outdoors, art, and children’s books and mashed them all together into three hardcover adventures, Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite Race, Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yellowstone Mystery, and Little Ty Cooney and the Grand Canyon Tour Company — so far. In each, a young raccoon and his friends explore these famous National Parks to learn and, of course, to find danger and escape it. Each of the books can be purchased at the official Ty Cooney web site, which also features art how-to videos and other projects that Mr. Riley is currently working on.
In anticipation of the upcoming Penguins of Madagascar animated film, we present… a tie-in comic book miniseries! (Bet that shocked ya, huh?) “DreamWorks Animations’ Penguins of Madagascar are getting their own brand new 4-issue comic series! Yep, Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private are jumping from the big screen to the comic page! Written by comedy genius Alex Matthews (Phoenix, Dandy) with eye-popping art from Lucas Fereyra, feathers are set to fly in this unique and exciting – and very funny – new series.” You might recall there was previously a Penguins tie-in comic based on their Nickelodeon TV series, but that was published by Kizoic Comics and featured a completely different creative team. This one is published by Titan Comics, and it’s coming to stores this November.
“Award-winning artist Jeff Matsuda returns to hand-drawn storytelling with this new, original work! A wakeboarding teenage rabbit enters the Animal Winter Games in hopes of winning Gold!” That’s about all we know about Gold Medal Rabbit — besides the fact this hardcover illustrated story was written by Blake Leibel and Nicholas Brandt, and published by Fantasy Prone. Right now you can order it over at Mile High Comics.