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Trashcan Symphony

We haven’t heard of NoBrow Press before, but here now they’ve brought us a new full-color graphic novel called Garbage Night. It’s written and illustrated by Jen Lee. Here’s what they say: “In a barren and ransacked backyard, a dog named Simon lives with his two best friends: a raccoon and a deer. The unlikely gang spends their days looting the desolate supermarket and waiting for the return of the hallowed ‘garbage night’ – but week after week, the bins remain empty. While scavenging one day, the trio meet Barnaby – another abandoned dog who tells them about the ‘other town’ where humans are still rumored to live. Spurred on by hunger and the promise of food, the trio joins up with Barnaby and set off into the unknown…” It’s available now in hardcover. The Comics Journal has an extensive preview too.

image c. 2017 NoBrow Press

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The Pig of Destiny

And more stuff from Kingpin Books — this time something much much stranger called Ultra Pig Nipponic Roulette. It’s written by Mario Freitas and illustrated by Osvaldo Medina and Marta Lebre. Here’s what the publishers say, verbatim: “October 10, 1978. During the twinning cerimony between the Portuguese city of Aveiro and the Japanese city of Oita, the young Ultra Pig is kidnapped by three local businessmen and used as currency in a nefarious partnership with high-ranking officers of the Yakuza. Fearing for his son’s life, the illustrious Calouste Pig risks to face alone the bizarre joint-venture, but ends up getting caught in a very unusual sort of roulette. A very bizarre and very deadly game of roulette, like something out of a Tintin book, but on a cocktail of Manga influences and a ton of crazy.” It’s also coming this December in hardcover, says Previews.

image c. 2017 Kingpin Books

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Little Fox Went Out On A Chilly Night

A new talent we’ve discovered thanks to Previews: Writer and illustrator Gustavo Borges, with his new full-color graphic novel Petals. (Fun fact: Mr. Borges used to compete for Brazil in several Olympic Games as a swimmer!) “During a long winter, a family of foxes struggles to survive the merciless cold. One day, one of the cubs leaves his house looking for much-needed firewood and crosses his path with a tall and peculiar bird wearing a singular top hat. A beautifully illustrated and deeply touching story of friendship and selflessness by young Brazilian prodigy Gustavo Borges and Eisner Award-nominee colorist Cris Peter.” According to Previews, Petals should be out in hardcover this December.

image c. 2017 Kingpin Books

Prime Pet Pictures

Looks like the school pets have been busy again. Now the publisher Henry Holt has brought us The Great Art Caper, once again written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. “A follow-up to The Great Pet Escape [which we talked about last year]. This time, our favorite class pets have to save the school art show! Things at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary School have been quiet-too quiet. Cuddly yet calculating class hamster GW spends his days in second grade and his nights poetry slamming and jigsaw puzzling with his friends, Sunflower and Barry. GW has even started warming up to the second-grade students, a girl named Carina in particular. Could he be making a human friend? After Carina is selected to participate in the school art show, GW decides to make her a gift in a show of support. But he soon learns of a dastardly plot – Harriet and her many mouse minions are planning to ruin the art show! Once again, it’s up to GW, Sunflower, and Barry to put a stop to Harriet’s mousey madness. ” It’s available now in hardcover or softcover. Check out the preview at (where else?) Previews.

image c. 2017 Henry Holt

Monsters Are Here To Save You

Whoops! Another one slipped under the radar we should mention. Marvel Comics have re-invented one of their classic titles with the return of Monsters Unleashed — new for 2017. “The first fantastic issue of Marvel’s newest heroes! From acclaimed writer Cullen Bunn, known for his work on Deadpool, Uncanny X-Men, and more, comes a high-action sci-fi series centered on a team of monstrous and monstrously massive do-gooders including Kid Kaiju, Aegis, Slizzik, Scragg, Hi-Vo, and Mekara. Now teaming up with vampire-hunter Elsa Bloodstone, the series unfolds as the team takes on gargantuan creatures and protects the planet from ruin and disaster. However, can they be accepted by the rest of the Marvel Universe and allowed to help, or will they be deemed dangerous as well?” With interior art by David Baldeon, they’re already up to issue #3. Marvel has a preview on line.

image c. 2017 Marvel Comics

The Thief Returns — We Hope

Looks like you just can’t keep a good raccoon down. After word came down that the Sly Cooper animated feature was not to be (many presume due to the less-than-stellar box office performance of Ratchet & Clank last year), now Animation World Network has informed us that an animated Sly Cooper series is in the works. “Paris-based Technicolor Animation Productions and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) have joined forces to produce a computer generated, animated Sly Cooper series to audiences around the world… The series is based on the best-selling PlayStation video game series introduced to the market in 2002, which has sold millions of copies globally and spanned four editions across generations of PlayStation. Sly Cooper follows the adventures of the irresistibly charismatic raccoon, a modern-day Robin Hood who restores justice to his city one theft at a time. Sly is aided by his two best friends, a muscular hippo named Murray and a brainy turtle named Bentley. Hot on Sly’s trail is Inspector Carmelita Fox, a morally upright cop with an unfortunate crush on the charming bandit, as well as a band of villains, each one more strange and colorful than the last. The series will mix humor, action, and a remarkable cast of characters.” No word yet on when the series is set to premier or what parts of the world will get to see it first, but we’ll let you know when we do!

image c. 2017 Technicolor Animation

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Island of Lost Bunnies

Recently the artist A.M. Scharf (who creates under the name Acidpluvia) put up a link to an interesting Kickstarter campaign. Acidpluvia has been asked to be the official illustrator for Rabbit Island, a card-and-tile game created by Leslie and Samantha Et Alia of Infinite Heart Games. “Play as one of the four Tribal Leaders and explore a new island every game in this light 4x game for 2-4 players. Build up your civilization using your Carrot Tokens and special Action Cards – can you conquer your opponents in 20 rounds?” The campaign page has much more in the way of artwork and descriptions of the game play. The Kickstarter campaign runs through mid-July.

Image c. 2017 by Acidpluvia

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He Ain’t Canine, He’s My Brother

And here’s another, perhaps much stranger work coming soon from First Second: Making Scents, a new full-color graphic novel written by Arthur Yorinks. Here’s what they say over at Kirkus Reviews: “In this thoughtful graphic novel, a human boy who believes himself to be part dog seeks acceptance for who he is. Mickey’s brothers and sisters all have four legs. His ardently dog-loving parents are professional bloodhound breeders who never planned on having a child. His parents encourage Mickey to develop his own sense of smell, which becomes just as acute as his hound siblings’. However, when his parents suddenly die, he goes to stay with his estranged aunt and uncle, a much older couple who hate dogs and demand that Mickey start acting like a boy. Now in the throes of grief, Mickey must also struggle with having to conform to someone else’s idea of whom he should be.” Illustrated by Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline, Making Scents is coming in hardcover at the end of June.

image c. 2017 First Second

A Fox Raising A Hen House

We’ve been hearing for a while about Le Grand Mechant Renard, a European animated TV special directed by Benjamin Renner (co-director of Ernest & Celestine) based on his graphic novel. Well now First Second Books have released that graphic novel as a new full-color trade paperback, translated into English as The Big Bad Fox. The creator describes it like this: “[It’s] about a fox who isn’t strong enough to catch and eat chickens. Instead, he gets beaten by the chickens. So, he has this weird idea where he’s going to steal eggs and he’s going to raise the small chickens, pretending he’s the mother, but one day, he’s going to eat them.” Got that? There’s an extensive review over at the School Library Journal. Look for the graphic novel this month.

image c. 2017 First Second