Not new so much, but we just came across it: The Moon Minis is a series of full-color books for children written and illustrated by Niall Westerfield. The story is based on the folklore (common to many cultures, especially in Asia) that the dark spots on the moon represent a rabbit making and baking moon cakes for the Moon Princess to allow her to live forever. Well here we find an entire community of little rabbits, The Moon Minis, and they have many comical adventures while they go about their baking duties. All of the books (and a collection of short comic strips) are available at the Moon Minis web site.
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.
Study Group Comics is a very large collective of writers and artists creating a whole slew of mini-comics, zines, and webcomics. Among them is Magical Character Rabbit, an on-line comic story created by Evans Kinoko. “Magical Character Rabbit is the tale of a young Magi who lives in an enchanted city full of wizards, witches, and warlocks. When she’s entrusted with performing the big Winter Solstice Ritual in front of the whole town, she must go on a quest to find the perfect spell as well as the courage to go forward. An engaging, all ages fantasy for fans of Richard Scarry, Hilda, and Steven Universe!” You can check out the on-line comic at the Study Group web site, but recently they’ve also released a one-shot version on paper which you can find at their Shop.
Invention Story is a new CGI animated series created by Trad Animation (that’s the name!) from China. Commissioned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the show is intended to spark in young people an interest in science and engineering. “This series of stories take place in a forest surrounding a town called Carrot Town, full of joyful and magic air. The main character is an intelligent, thoughtful, and creative fox, who in each episode makes a new invention. These inventions associate various fields of production in our daily life, which children see, or use everyday, everywhere. In the process of carrying out each invention, our young audience will be thinking and understanding the science, knowledge, and principle behind them, arousing their interest in creating new devises.” That’s what they say. Interestingly, the story editor behind this new series is an American: None other than Jymn Magon, creator of Disney’s Gummi Bears and TaleSpin. The series began with a pilot movie, Agent F.O.X., which is available in English. Currently episodes of Invention Story are posted on YouTube in the original Chinese. No word yet on an English version!
Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy. Look, a title like that’s gonna grab your attention, and you know it. Here’s what they say about this new full-color graphic novel, over at AMP! Comics For Kids: “Batman and Robin meet Rocky and Bullwinkle. The forest is full of danger . . . but help is here. Meet Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy, improbable pals who use their powers—laser vision and an unrelenting sense of optimism—to fight the forces of evil. Join the dynamic duo as they battle aliens, a mutant fish-bear, a cyborg porcupine, and a mechanical squirrel, learning along the way that looking on the bright side might be just as powerful as shooting a laser. Get ready for hilarious, action-packed, laser-powered adventures written and drawn by Doug Savage, creator of the popular comic Savage Chickens.” It’s available and on the shelves now.
Here’s one we definitely missed the first time around, but now it’s back thanks to the folks at IDW: “Finally, Spiral-Bound is coming back in print! With an ensemble cast straight from a box of Animal Crackers, this delightful tale of ambition, morality, and self-discovery is an all-ages classic. Drawn in a decidedly beautiful fashion, reminiscent of Richard Scary and Lewis Trondheim, Aaron Renier gives us a fully-realized and compellingly adventurous narrative, at once both achingly naive and profoundly worldly. This tightly crafted graphic novel is the real deal, and will charm your socks off.” Here’s a little bit more about the plot, courtesy of Booklist: “In this [black & white] graphic novel about the young animal characters who live in the Town, Turnip the elephant is using the summer to find his artistic voice through sculpture, his friend Stucky the dog is building a submarine, and Ana the rabbit is working on the town’s underground newspaper. Their stories all wind around the town’s deep, dark secret about the monster that lives in the pond.” Got all that?
Humanoids is a well-known publisher of hardcover graphic novels in Europe. Now they have brought Brussli: Way of the Dragon Boy to North America. “Beak-faced Brussli is bullied by the village children. Curious about his true origins, the dauntless ‘Dragon Boy’ sets off on a quest of adventure and discovery. What he finds, however, turns his world upside down and puts him face-to-face with a unique cast of fantastical fairies, talking rabbits, wily wolves, battle-hardened nuns, demonic beings, and much much more, in this hysterical and heartwarming comedy adventure. ” It’s written by Jean-Louis Fonteneau and illustrated in full color by J. Etienne. Over at Doom Rocket they have a much more detailed preview to look at.
There’s a temptation to say “Only in manga, folks…” Check this out: “Kokuryuu Kaguya was only a little boy when he witnessed his father murdered by demons. He spent years trying to convince people about what he witnessed, but was dismissed as a traumatized child with an over-active imagination. Now a teenager, Kaguya still remembers what happened. One day, Kaguya is struck by a mysterious light and meets a young woman named Mao—a skillful warrior wearing bunny ears—who rescues him from a demons’ attack, then demands to know what planet he’s from! Kaguya finds himself inducted into a secret organization of other-worldly individuals whose goal is to defend Earth from monstrous invaders. Reborn as a Battle Rabbit, strange powers awaken within Kaguya which allow him to fight these creatures and seek vengeance for his father’s death.” Battle Rabbits is written by Yuki Amemiya and illustrated in black & white by Ichihara Yukino. Now it’s been released as a trade paperback in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment.
The Harry & Bunny Show is a series of slapstick comedy short cartoons running on The Disney Channel (and several on-line video channels for young viewers). It’s produced by Animasia in Malaysia. “Introducing Harry the magician, Bunny the stage rabbit and Madam Penny, a Gypsy fortune teller. Harry and Bunny have a very close relationship, but yet they dislike each other sometimes. Every episode features the conflict between Harry and Bunny in their daily life, where Harry always construct a new plan trying to get his magic wand back, while Bunny sabotages Harry with the magic wand.” Seems straightforward enough. Watch the showreel over on YouTube and you’ll get the idea.