More tie-in stuff coming our way as we get closer to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2. Now Marvel Press give us a new hardcover illustrated book called Rocket’s Rules. “Ever wonder how to navigate a quantum asteroid field? Escape a deep-space maximum-security prison? Insult a powerful adversary without anyone catching on? You’re in luck! In this ultimate intergalactic survival guide, Rocket covers everything you need to know – including what it takes to be a good member of a team. So pay attention and read up!” It hits the shelves (like a missile!) right before the movie comes out, but you can pre-order it now over at Simon & Schuster. [Tip #1: Don’t call him a raccoon!]
The creator of 100% Soft describes himself this way: “Truck Torrence lives in Los Angeles and makes kawaii pop art under the moniker 100% Soft. He is the designer of the official emoji for Star Wars and the creator of the Kaiju Kitties. His work has been shown at Gallery 1988, Bottleneck Gallery, Giant Robot, and Spoke Art. His clients have included Lucasfilm, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Fandango, Nickelodeon, and Marvel Studios.” And as you can see on his web site, he’s been busy making emoji, message stickers, plush kaiju kitties, and more for a while now — including an entire set of stickers for Disney’s Zootopia!
Jessica Chrysler is an artist who creates mostly fantasy works, with some occasional anthropomorphics. But when she goes anthro, she goes for it in a big way! First there was Cody the Coyote, a Native American folklore re-imagined as an illustrated book for children. It’s still available on-line. More recently she’s been writing and illustrating a science fiction novel called Monolithium. “After surviving torture for treason, Elara wakes to find herself transformed into a creature known as the enemy of the empire. While she must flee her home planet to stay alive, she soon discovers that Queen Varina had not only meant to take her life, but also her uncle’s throne and control of the realm.” That creature in question is the blue feathered reptile you see below. Jessica has been selling an illustrated teaser booklet for Monolithium at conventions, so look for her at one near you. And visit her web site to get updates on her progress.
Another one we missed last year, but caught up with this time: Lost Cactus is a full-color on-line comic strip written and illustrated by John Hopkins. Lost Cactus is also, it seems, a top-secret government facility hidden in the desert, where our leaders hide things they don’t want the general public to know about. Things like an irradiated, talking squirrel; a giant anthropomorphic bee; and a small-sized anthropomorphic dinosaur or two. Much silliness ensues when these and other denizens of the Lost Cactus facility interact with the human scientists and military there to run the show — supposedly. Many of the comic strips (and other goodies) have been collected in a new Lost Cactus book, Lost Cactus: The First Treasury. It’s available over at Amazon. You might find out more over at the Lost Cactus web site, but we can neither confirm nor deny that rumor…
Not to be out-done, this May Marvel will also bring us I Am Groot, the first solo comic featuring everyone’s favorite simple-talking anthropomorphic tree. It’s written by Christopher Hastings (Gwenpool, The Unbelievable) and illustrated by Flaviano. “When the Guardians of the Galaxy get caught in a wormhole, a smaller-than-normal Groot is separated billions of light-years away from the team. Falling to a planet below, Groot discovers he is on an entirely alien and unknown world full of strange creatures and societies. Seriously underdeveloped and with nobody who can understand him, Groot will need to make the journey to the center of this world and find the way back to his family!” Comicbook.com has an interview with Mr. Hastings talking all about it.
In what is perhaps a strange move (given his currently ever-growing popularity!) Marvel Comics have canceled their most recent Rocket Raccoon comic book series — only to replace it with a new one called Rocket, according to Bleeding Cool. “He thought his paws were clean, that they were on the up and up. But just when he thought he was out, they grabbed him by the fuzzy tail and pulled him back in. One day, and old flame (who happens to be an Otter) swims back into your life and just like that you’re back in the game…the heist game. From the dingy alleys of Knowhere to the far corners of deep space, they’ll speak in whispers that one of the best there ever was is back. If you need a safe cracked. If you need a vault busted. If you’ve got a big score that needs taking…you call Rocket. Just don’t call him a raccoon. It won’t end well for you.” Good Grief — the return of Lylla?? Look for it this May, written by by Al Ewing (The Ultimates, U.S.Avengers) and illustrated by Adam Gorham (The Violent).
From out of nowhere department, largely! Things are still ramping up for this summer’s release of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. According to our friends over at Animation Scoop, “Marvel and Disney XD announced today a 12-episode series of Rocket & Groot animated shorts. The shorts follow Rocket and Groot (from the Guardians Of The Galaxy) as they try to figure out how to get enough credits to buy a new ship after their old one breaks down. A compilation of all the shorts will premiere on Disney XD at 7:00am ET/PT on April 10th. Rocket is voiced by Trevor Devall (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Johnny Test) and Groot is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, The Cleveland Show). Featuring animation by Oscar-nominated Passion Pictures, the shorts are directed by Arnaud Delord and written by Chris ‘Doc’ Wyatt and Kevin Burke.” The Animation Scoop article has a preview.
And the winner for the longest comic book title we’ve found recently goes to… Space Parasaurolophus, a full-color science fiction comic written, illustrated, and self-published by Leonardo Pertuzzatti. That very hadrasaur was captured by an alien race called the Lev’rram and given both sentience and an arsenal of fancy gadgets. All of which our hero uses to try and defend the Earth from the Werthams: A much more evil alien race, who wiped out the dinosaurs and now have their eyes set on humanity. Visit the creator’s web site to find out more.
Is there no end to the mash-ups? (Probably not.) After last year’s well-received Planet of the Apes and Tarzan crossover comic, BOOM! Studios is at it again — teaming up with DC Comics this time to bring us… Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern. Yes. (Pretty straight-forward title, huh?) In this new full-color 6-issue miniseries, Cornelius the chimpanzee scientist investigates a disturbance in the Forbidden Zone… and discovers an ancient ring of power. Then, the rest of the Green Lantern Corps catches solar wind of it… According to the publishers, “BOOM! Studios, DC, and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products are excited to bring together two celebrated pop culture properties in a historic comics crossover event when the talking simians of the Planet of the Apes meet the Emerald Crusaders of the Green Lantern Corps. Written by Robbie Thompson (Silk) and Justin Jordan (Green Lantern), and illustrated by Barnaby Bagenda (The Omega Men), Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern debuts February 1st as a 6-issue monthly limited series.” So it’s there for you now! Blastr.com has more.