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Kitsune in kimonos

For a perhaps more traditional furry tale from Japan, look no further than Konohana Kitan. A manga series originally created by Sakuya Amano, it was adapted as a 12-episode anime series in 2017. It follows the adventures of Yuzu, a young “fox-youkai” spirit. Now TokyoPop have collected the original manga together in a new English translation. “Yuzu is a brand new employee at Konohanatei, the hot-springs inn that sits on the crossroads between worlds. A simple, clumsy but charmingly earnest girl, Yuzu must now figure out her new life working alongside all the other fox-spirits who run the inn under one cardinal rule — at Konohanatai, every guest is a god! Konohana Kitan follows Yuzu’s day to day life working at the inn, meeting the other employees and ever-eclectic guests, and learning to appreciate the beauty of the world around her.” Yip!

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Because She’s A Lady, That’s Why

Okay, something different… How about a Disney kitten as a magical kitty? That’s what we get in Miriya & Marie, a new black & white manga from Maya and TokyoPop. “Even though the wealthy young girl Miriya has almost everything she could ever need, what she really wants is to find her missing parents. But this year, she gets an extra special birthday gift when Marie, a magical white kitten, appears and whisks her away to Paris! Learning the art of magic is one thing, but getting to eat the tastiest French pastries and wear the most beautiful fashion takes Miriya and Marie’s journey to a whole new level!” On the shelves now.

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Under D Sea

And yet more animation heading to MIPCOM, looking for distribution. From Animation World Network: “Ken Faier’s independent production company, Epic Story Media (ESM), has signed major co-production agreements for two new animated series, Dolph-N-Fince and Haley & The Hero Heart, which both make their international debut at MIPCOM.” So let’s talk about the furrier, or rather, finnier of the two… “Dolph-N-Fince is a co-production with Canadian independent Neptoon Studios, headed by award-winning Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton (Looped, Grojband, Sidekick) and Paris-based Samka Animation (Jamie’s Got Tentacles, The Marsupilami, The Sisters). Aimed at children aged 5-12, Dolph-N-Fince is a ‘fish out of water’ comedy about dolphin brothers who leave the ocean forever to live on land as guardians of Ocean King’s rebellious teenage daughter. The boys’ over-the-top personalities lead to crazy misadventures that always put Coral in the danger zone. If they blow this, their freedom and dolphin souls are on the line.” Shouldn’t that be cetacean out of water…?

image c. 2018 Epic Story Media

Three To Dream

Thanks to our friends at Animation Scoop, we found out about three new animated TV series that Dreamworks Animation is producing for Netflix. And guess what?  All three of them are anthropomorphic! First up is Archibald’s Next Big Thing, coming in 2019. “Inspired by the critically acclaimed children’s book from Tony Hale, Tony Biaggne, and Victor Huckabee, Archibald’s Next Big Thing follows the adventures of Archibald Strutter, a chicken who ‘yes-ands’ his way thru life. Though living in the moment often leads him astray, Archibald always finds his way back home.” Then in 2020 look for this: “Welcome to Gabby’s Dollhouse, the preschool show with a surprise inside! Created and executive produced by Traci Paige Johnson (Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) and Jennifer Twomey (Blue’s Clues, Team Umizoomi), Gabby’s Dollhouse is a mixed media series that unboxes a surprise before jumping into a fantastical animated world full of adorable cat characters that live inside Gabby’s dollhouse.” And finally in 2020: “All aboard to DreamWorks Rhyme Time Town, where Daisy the Puppy and Cole the Kitten are ready to guide young children through a colorful and adventurous world filled with nursery rhymes and imaginative play.” Stay tooned!

image c. 2018 Dreamworks Animation

Ghost Dog. No not the samurai.

New from Tokyo Pop we have the first full-color comic follow-up to Nightmare Before Christmas — and just in time for Halloween, too. In Zero’s Journey, “When Jack Skellington’s faithful pet Zero gets lost, the ghost pup must get the help of the residents of Christmas Town to find his way back. With Halloween plans on hold while Jack mounts a search, will they be reunited in time to save both holidays?” Written by D.J. Milky, this new series features art by Kei Ishiyama, Kiyoshi Arai, David Hutchison, and Dan Conner. Check it out.

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

A Man About the House

Quite frankly, the publisher explains this better than we ever could! “In this hilarious graphic novel, the roles of cats and humans are reversed, putting humanoid felines in charge of tiny, dimwitted little man-pets. Manfried is a stray taken in by Steve Catson, a slacker with a dead-end job and nonexistent love life. Soon Manfried becomes the Garfield to Steve’s Jon Arbuckle: Lazy, selfish, and sometimes maddening in his weird human behavior. Yet the pair depends on each other to get through life’s troubles. When Manfried runs away, Steve musters his meager resources to find his best man-friend and bring him home safe.” Manfried the Man (written by Caitlin Major and illustrated by Kelly Bastow) is out now.

image c. 2018 Quirk Books

My Not-So-Little Unicorn

New from Papercutz, the folks who bring us the Geronimo Stilton series of books. Melowy is a graphic novel digest series for young readers, written by Cortney Powell and illustrated by Ryan Jampole. “When flying unicorns called Melowies turn fourteen they go to school at Destiny, a legendary castle hidden somewhere in the clouds. Here they develop their special power, which lies dormant in them until they finish school and discover their place in the world. What lies ahead for the impressive group of Electra, Selene, Cora, Maya, and Cleo, each destined for their own paths? Dreams, adventure, and friendship around every corner!” Yep, sounds familiar — but hey, even Equestria Daily gave it a review. The series is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Papercutz

Space and Time, Dog and Cat

Catching up with something we had not heard about before. Kids Can Press describe Gordon: Bark To The Future like this: “It’s all up to Gordon now. His partner has been captured. His superior officer has been neutralized. And his distress calls to P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) have gone unanswered. That means he must fight the aliens alone! But Gordon’s not a fighter — his deadliest weapon is his mind. So what’s a genius dog to do? Time travel, of course!” The publisher goes on to say, “This laugh-out-loud junior graphic novel is part of Ashley Spires’s hugely popular P.U.R.S.T. Adventure series. Gordon the dog is a favorite character from Spires’s companion series about Binky the cat.” Got all that? Good!

image c. 2018 Kids Can Press

Classic Mickey Collected

Here’s a bit of comic and Disney history we picked up from Fantagraphics Books. “When Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson stopped creating new Mickey Mouse adventures in 1955, Italian Disney maestro Romano Scarpa (1927–2005) picked up the Mickey mantle — and he quickly proved himself a worthy successor, spinning out decades’ worth of new Mickey action epics — most of which have never been available in English! Now Fantagraphics is translating and anthologizing Scarpa’s best! This volume also reunites Mickey, Atomo, and Pete for Scarpa’s ‘The Bleep-Bleep 15’ and ‘The Fabulous Kingdom of Shan-Grilla,’ two internationally famous tales making their North American debut!” Disney Masters Vol. 1 Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: The Delta Dimension is available now.

image c. 2018 Fantagraphics Books