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Sneak Pika

The Internet has been going crazy now that the news has been released that a new Pokemon live action TV series is in early development at Netflix. Here’s what Variety had to say: “As the project is still in its early days, no details are available about the plot. However, sources say that Joe Henderson is attached to write and executive produce. Henderson currently serves as co-showrunner and executive producer on the popular Netflix series Lucifer… Sources also say that the project would be a live-action series akin to the Detective Pikachu film starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith that was released in 2019… The move to develop an original Netflix Pokemon series comes as the streamer has made itself the home to multiple existing Pokemon shows, including Pokemon: Indigo League and Pokemon Journeys among others… Netflix has been moving into more live-action adaptations of anime titles as well, including the upcoming Cowboy Bebop and One Piece live-action shows.” Hope we find out more soon!

image c. 2021 Warner Brothers

He’s Busting Out All Over

An inspiring, humorous full-color graphic novel for young readers, with some cool facts to learn about insects thrown in for good measure! It’s Burt The Beetle Doesn’t Bite, written and illustrated by Ashley Spires. “Meet Burt, a ten-lined june beetle. He’s sure he belongs in the category of bugs with superpower-like abilities. No, he can’t carry 50 times his weight, like ants. No, he’s not able to spray paralyzing venom, like some termites. No, he can’t release a bad smell to repel predators, like stink bugs. What june beetles are known for is chasing porch lights and flailing their legs in the air — does that count? Hmm … Maybe Burt will just have to accept the truth. June beetles don’t have any special abilities. But when some other bugs find themselves in perilous trouble that even their superpowers can’t get them out of, Burt suddenly realizes there is one thing that he can do to save his friends — and it’s something that only a june beetle can do!” Available now in trade paperback from Kids Can Press.

image c. 2021 Kids Can Press

He Ain’t Heavy

Chunky is a new full-color graphic novel, written and illustrated by Yehudi Mercado. The publisher says this: “In this full-color middle grade graphic memoir… Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working class Mexican-Jewish family.” So what’s it about? “Hudi needs to lose weight, according to his doctors. Concerned about the serious medical issue Hudi had when he was younger, his parents push him to try out for sports. Hudi would rather do anything else, but then he meets Chunky, his imaginary friend and mascot. Together, they decide to give baseball a shot.” From there, things get more complicated. Take a look at the web site to find out just how much! It’s available in hardcover or trade paperback.

image c. 2021 Harper Collins

We Take In Strays

Animal Rescue Friends is a new full-color graphic novel miniseries for young readers, written by Gina Loveless and Meika Hashimoto, with art by Genevieve Kote. “Welcome to Animal Rescue Friends, where any stray can find a friendly face—furry or otherwise. This first collection of middle-grade comics includes five tales of found family: A lonely girl living in the suburbs finds happiness with a stray pit bull; a protective mama ferret and her six kits learn to trust a shelter volunteer; a shy boy stands up for himself with the help of a strong-willed bunny; a cantankerous cat helps to mend a troubled relationship; and the shelter’s unofficial mascot eventually finds a home.” Check it out now.

image c. 2021 Andrews McMeel

London Calling

The Tale of the Outcasts is a new black & white manga series written and illustrated by Makoto Hoshino. The publishers describe it like this: “An engrossing new fantasy manga series in which a downtrodden orphan girl develops an unexpected friendship with a beastly immortal… This is the story of Wisteria, an orphaned girl lost in darkness, and Marbas, an immortal being who shares her loneliness. The unlikely companions met on a quiet, uneventful night, and they set off together in search of the light. What begins as a chance meeting on the edge of the late nineteenth-century British Empire soon becomes a full-fledged journey to find their place in the world.” The first two volumes are available now from Seven Seas Entertainment, with more on the way.

image c. 2021 Seven Seas Entertainment

When Your Spirit Animal Hates You…

Look, we’re just gonna let the folks at Source Point Press explain THIS one… “Ten years after a freak incident at the zoo, Yuki finds herself attending a prestigious college on the road to success, unaware that a panda bear from that fateful day has been hunting her down to exact bloody revenge. Nothing can prepare you for this outrageous comedy filled with epic fights, awkward romance, supernatural powers, and plenty of zigs and zags. Put up your pigtails! Sharpen your claws!” Written by Graham Misiurak and illustrated by A. L. Jones, Yuki vs. Panda is available now as either a physical comic or a free PDF. And, you have GOT to see the trailer for the animated series as well…

image c. 2021 Source Point Press

Friendship is Monstrous

A new full-color graphic novel for young folks, written and illustrated by Kaeti Vandorn: It’s called Monster Friends. “Two friends: one big, one little. One old, one young. One grumpy, one cheerful. Both: Monsters! Reggie’s plan is to spend the whole summer brooding over his latest adventure gone wrong. But his friendly and curious neighbor, Emily, won’t let him sit alone and unhappy in his house forever! Despite their differences, these two monsters make the perfect pair of explorers. And with a map to make, a beach party to plan, and a sea monster to find, Reggie will have to learn to talk about his feelings and let new friends in!” Find out how, now, in hardcover from Random House.

image c. 2021 Random House

On to a Larger Universe

A couple years ago we told you about Star Beasts, an independent comic series written by Stephanie Young and illustrated by Allyson Lassiter. Well now Oni Press have picked up the series and compiled it together into a new softcover graphic novel. “Bandit is a pup on Earth who leaves his family to join the secret order of the Star Beasts – cosmic creatures sworn to protect Earth and spread goodness throughout the universe. Only thing is, he’s having trouble fitting in. But when powerful relics are suddenly stolen, the Star Beasts must band together to find the deadly galactic fossils before Pluto’s evil emperor, Khaos Krill – he wants to build the Novataur, an ancient monster that could wipe out all of Earth’s species!” Look for it on shelves later this month.

image c. 2021 Oni Press

Lonely Girl meets Helpful Dog

Sometimes the simplest and most true-to-life stories are the most interesting and educational. Such might well be the case with the new graphic novel from Remy Lai called Pawcasso. (Gotta love that title.) “Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town with a basket, a shopping list, and cash in paw to buy groceries for his family. One day, he passes eleven-year-old Jo, peering out the window of her house, bored and lonely. Astonished by the sight of an adorable basket-toting dog on his own, Jo follows Pawcasso, and when she’s seen alongside him by a group of kids from her school, they mistake her for Pawcasso’s owner. Excited to make new friends, Jo reluctantly hides the truth and agrees to let “her” dog model for an art class the kids attend. What could go wrong? But what starts as a Chihuahua-sized lie quickly grows Great Dane-sized when animal control receives complaints about a dog roaming the streets off-leash. With Pawcasso’s freedom at stake, is Jo willing to spill the truth and risk her new friendships?” There are preview pages over at the publisher’s web site.

image c. 2021 Henry Holt & Company