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.
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!”
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.
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.]
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.
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.
More from the folks at Cartoon Brew: Dreamworks Animation have announced three new CGI animated series they will be producing as part of their mega-distribution-deal with Netflix — and guess what? All three of them are anthropomorphic, in one way or another. King Julian of course follows the adventures of the crazy lemur from the Madagascar movies and the Penguins of Madagascar TV series; Puss in Boots, who needs no introduction; and Veggie Tales in the House, a new iteration of the well-known faith-based animated TV show. All of this follows the 2D animated series Turbo F.A.S.T., which Dreamworks premiered on Netflix last December. The three new series will be available before the end of 2014.
Head out to the movies lately and you’re likely to see the teaser trailer for the new live-action film Paddington — featuring a world-famous little bear in a blue overcoat and a floppy brown hat. For those not familiar with the star of Michael Bond’s beloved series of children’s books (started in 1958), Paddington is a small, human-speaking bear who travels from the wilds of Peru to England — where he hooks up with a nurturing human family, who name him after the train station where they found him. Paddington has appeared in TV series before (both animated and puppetry), but this is his first feature film. It’s produced by David Heyman (who produced all eight Harry Potter films), and written and directed by Paul King, best known for Britain’s The Mighty Boosh (which, you may recall, had its own fair share of furry content). The movie adaptation stars Colin Firth as the voice of the CGI little ursine star. Check out the article at Yahoo Movies to find out more — and see the trailer. The film comes to theaters in North America this December.
Our friends over at Cartoon Brew have a new article up about Cartoon Network’s new series (that’s plural!) they have announced for their upcoming 2014/2015 fall season. And, notably, there are several new series in the group with more than a passing Furry interest. Featured in the article is the new series Over the Garden Wall. “Cartoon Network’s first event mini-series, an animated comedy/fantasy story about two brothers, Wirt and Greg, who are trapped in a mysterious world. In this ten-part mini-series, Wirt and Greg must travel across this strange land until they find their way home, aided by a wise old Woodsman who gives them directions and a bluebird named Beatrice.” Next up is We Bare Bears, “…a comedy about three bear siblings, named Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear. Each episode follows their awkward attempts at assimilating into human society, whether they’re looking for food, trying to make human friends, or scheming to become internet famous.” In Numb Chucks, “Woodchuck brothers Dilweed and Fungus didn’t always see themselves as mystical Kung Fu saviors until they stumbled upon an infomercial featuring mega legend Woodchuck Morris’ mullet-fueled motivational kung-fu video”. More familiar characters returning to TV include The Tom & Jerry Show (a new series of cartoon shorts from Warner Brothers), Be Cool Scooby Doo, Bugs Bunny returning with “new friends” Bigfoot and Squeaks the squirrel in Wabbit, and Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic Boom. Check out the article for more detailed information on each of these and others.