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Graphic Novel

Just a Little Frog… Well, Mostly.

How did we miss this one? Alternative Comics bring us the collected Fancy Froglin: Uncensored, an on-line comic by James Kochalka (American Elf). Here’s what they say: “James Kochalka’s complete Fancy Froglin — the lovable story of a very dirty little frog who only sometimes wears pants. Fancy Froglin is an ineffably cute happy little frog… He’s highly sexual yet purely innocent. And he loves bunnies. Most important, he’s really funny.” Do we need to mention here that this comic is decidedly for adults? Their web site has more.

image c. 2017 Alternative Comics

Don’t Mess with the Monkey, Fluffbutt!

Whoops! How did we miss this one? A year ago Graphix brought us Bunny vs. Monkey, a full-color all-ages graphic novel by Jamie Smart. What’s it about? Look at the title! Well now, it’s time for Bunny vs. Monkey: Book 2, just hitting the shelves. “Welcome to the Woods! A peaceful home, until…ZAP! ZAAPPP! ZAAAPPPPP!!! It’s Monkey in a hovercraft that fires lasers! Science and nature fight again! With robotic worms! Trojan mooses! And lemony doomsday devices! It’s the continuing battle between good and evil…It’s Bunny vs Monkey: Book Two!” You heard it here. Now check it out over at Goodreads.

image c. 2017 Graphix

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Oh He’s Such A Deer

Yen Press have released a new black & white manga out called Reindeer Boy, written and illustrated by Cassandra Jean. According to the publishers: “The new boy is town is cute and friendly. The only problem is… he has antlers? Quincy has the same dream every year on Christmas Eve: Of finding a little boy holding a special gift for her under the tree – and every Christmas morning, she’s awoken to find a gift wrapped in tinfoil with her name on it… When school resumes after the winter break, Quincy’s class discovers they have an unusual new transfer student named Cupid. Ridiculously cute and friendly, the new boy has everyone both enamored and confused. Those antlers can’t be real…can they?? With Cupid having seemingly set his sights on Quincy, it seems she’ll be having a memorable year indeed!” [See you again after Further Confusion!]

image c. 2017 Yen Press

Mickey Mouse in Hell? Seriously?

We could not make this stuff up if we wanted to, folks. Mickey’s Inferno. Yes: The scary portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy as re-told in full-color graphic novel format by Mickey and his friends. And Papercutz got Disney’s okay with this! It’s written by Guido Martina (who is a well-known creator of Disney material in Italy), illustrated by Angelo Bioletta, and available in softcover and hardcover editions — on the shelves right now. Gosh, is Purgatory next?

image c. 2017 Papercutz

It’s About Magic… It’s About Wonder…

There’s a new full-color trade paperback on its way from IDW publishing, one that brings together comics from several celebrated Disney comic artists — all of them presenting stories set at the Disney Parks! Here’s what they say: “Sixty years of Disney Parks—who knew? Now IDW is celebrating with decades of Disney’s classic Park-themed adventure comics! Carl Barks‘ Scrooge McDuck and Donald travel from the Mark Twain Riverboat to the top of the Matterhorn… then Mickey investigates the strange disappearance of the Country Bear Jamboree. And is that the real Pegleg Pete standing in for the Cast Member who plays him?” Featuring stories and art from Carl Barks, Giorgio Cavazzano, Massimo Fecchi, and Victor “Vicar” Arriagada Rios, Donald and Mickey: The Magic Kingdom Collection comes to comic book stores this January.

image c. 2016 IDW Publishing

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Dragons To The Rescue

Like many other fans, we were disappointed to recently be informed that Dreamworks Animation has pushed back the release date of How To Train Your Dragon 3 again — this time to the spring of 2019. But in the meantime came some good news: Early next year Dark Horse Press is releasing a new full-color graphic novel, How To Train Your Dragon — The Serpent’s Heir. “Picking up just after the events in How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup, Astrid, and company are called upon to assist the people of an earthquake-plagued island. But their lives are imperiled by a madman and an incredible new dragon who even Toothless—the alpha dragon—may not be able to control!” The big news is that Dean Deblois, who has worked on the Dragons movie series as both writer and director, is one of the co-scripters of this new graphic novel (along with Richard Hamilton). Hollywood Reporter has an interview with the creative team.

image c. 2016 Dark Horse Press

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Still There Are Cities To Stomp

Another giant monster comic — this time, a black & white classic returns. According to Previews: “The giant kaiju return to ravage the Earth in the first volume of cult genre legend Mike Wolfer’s War Monsters! Originally released in 1987-89, Wolfer’s Daikazu series was his first published work, and issues #1-5 of the giant monster rumble are collected here for the first time ever in one giant volume! On a remote Pacific island, a group of strangers accidentally stumble upon the secret, underground base of a mad geneticist responsible for the creation of two gigantic behemoths, and only the ancient ‘god’ Daikazu stands against them in an earth-shaking battle that climaxes in downtown Tokyo!” The first issue arrives with a Bang at the end of November.

image c. 2016 by Mike Wolfer

image c. 2016 by Mike Wolfer

Better Than “Chicken of the Sea”…

Tundra Books (an imprint of Penguin/Random House) bring us Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea. It’s the first book in a new series of graphic novels for the younger set, written and illustrated by Ben Clanton. “Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.” It’s available now at Penguin’s web site, in hardcover and trade paperback editions.

image c. 2016 Tundra Books

image c. 2016 Tundra Books

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The Hog Returns — A New Man

This is an odd one — but what about the world of Jim Woodring isn’t? Back in 2010 the creator of the iconic/weird-and-wordless funny animal comic Frank brought us his first graphic novel, Weathercraft. Now Fantagraphics Books have re-released in a new hardcover format with some additional new artwork. “As it happens, Frank has only a brief supporting appearance in Weathercraft, which actually stars Manhog, Woodring’s pathetic, brutish everyman (or everyhog), who had previously made several appearances in Frank stories (as well as a stunning solo turn in the short story “Gentlemanhog”). After enduring 32 pages of almost incomprehensible suffering, Manhog embarks upon a transformative journey and attains enlightenment. He wants to go to celestial realms but instead altruistically returns to the Unifactor to undo a wrong he has inadvertently brought about: The transformation of the evil politician Whim into a mind-destroying plant-demon who distorts and enslaves Frank and his friends. The new and metaphysically expanded Manhog sets out for a final battle with Whim…” It may or may not make more sense if you pick it up, but it will be very interesting. Check it out over at Fantagraphics.

image c. 2016 Fantagraphics

image c. 2016 Fantagraphics

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