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Would You Turn Back?

We really don’t know how to properly summarize this “modern fairy tale” by Shelley Moore Thomas — so we’ll let the publisher do it for us. “Off the coast of Ireland, on the island of Hybrasil, lives a Magician and four enchanted rabbit sisters. One by one, the rabbits have been leaving the island, accompanied by a Boy and his boat. When the rabbits leave, they can turn back into girls. The last rabbit, Albie, remains. She doesn’t want to leave, but the island is sinking. Before deciding where she wants to go, Albie visits each of her sisters. Caragh has joined a circus. Isolde is the captain of a pirate ship. And Rory wants to go home to the family’s house in Cork. Through many furry twists and hoppity turns, we learn how one mistake can lead to many consequences, and that forgiveness and family are always within reach.” The Last Rabbit is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2022 Penguin Random House

Snout for Justice

Recently Penguin Books published When Pigs Fly, a new full color graphic novel by Rob Harrell. We’ve mention Mr. Harrel before, as he’s the creator of Monster on the Hill — which of course was the basis for the recent animated film Rumble. Now we have this: “Gary Yorkshire was your perfectly average, fuzzy pink pig who loved tasty sandwiches, video games, mud baths, and hanging out with his friends Carl the fish and Brooklyn the bat. Until one day . . .  a radioactive bat bite gives him powers he never would have dreamed of! Inspired by his old Crimson Swine comics, Gary decides that he’ll use his powers for good and becomes (drumroll) Batpig! Now he just needs a good zinger of a Batpig slogan, a spandex costume that flatters his rear end . . .  and maybe a little advice about how in the world to defeat supervillains?” Order it now and find out.

image c. 2022 Penguin Books

They’re Big — and They’re On TV?

John Scalzi’s next science fiction novel The Kaiju Preservation Society hasn’t even been released yet — it comes out in March — but word is out that Fox Entertainment have already optioned the book for a possible TV series adaptation. What’s it about? After New York City is devastated by a COVID outbreak, a bored food delivery driver who’s looking for a change meets up with an old school acquaintance. Turns out that his friend has a very special job — visiting a parallel dimension where giant monsters live and thrive, and seeing to their needs. Soon both these folks find themselves fighting to preserve the delicate balance between the monster’s dimension and our own… while unscrupulous forces work to bring about the destruction of both worlds.

image c. 2022 MacMillan Publishers

Bunny Go Bang

Whoa! We missed this last fall — but now we can tell you all about Billy the Kit, a new full-color series from Blue Juice Comics. “The Wild West has never been wilder! Introducing Billy the Kit, a gun-slinging rabbit seeking revenge against the Tornado God that killed his family. Why was this sickly, skinny rabbit spared such a gruesome fate? What makes him so special? With the help of Luther the Goat, a profanity-spewing martial arts master, Billy relies on faith, magical firearms, and Kung Fu to wage war against the pagan gods and monsters of a bygone era.” Written by Justin Gray and illustrated by Barry McClain, it’s available now.

image c. 2021 Blue Juice Comics

Special Agent Sniffers

Okay, so where did this come from? A new comic book series discovered in a recent Previews magalog: “He’s a TSA Agent, he’s a super party animal, and his name is Buddy McGill! He is on the trail of a ruthless terrorist and will not stop until justice is served. With a case of suds and some brand new duds, he will give you something you can feel!” Oh, and by the way: He’s a dog. Buddy McGill is written by Mike Baron, illustrated by Fernando Calvi, and it’s available now.

image c. 2022 Advent Comics

Wish We Had Summer Camp Like That!

Another book series we came across: Dragon Mountain by Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang. “When 12-year-old Billy Chan finds out his parents are sending him to a summer camp in middle-of-nowhere China, he doesn’t know what to expect. There he meets fellow campers Dylan, Charlotte, and Ling-Fei, and together they stumble upon an age-old secret: Four powerful warrior dragons, hidden deep within the mountain behind the camp. They have been trapped since an epic battle with the Dragon of Death and need the children’s help to set them free before terrible evil is unleashed on the earth. Billy and his friends must set off on a dangerous adventure that will take them to the heart of the Dragon Realm. But can they save the dragon and human worlds from destruction?” Several titles in the series are out now, available in hardcover and paperback.

image c. 2022 Simon & Schuster

Hard Times for Humans

While we were exploring the LA Comic Con we met John J. Perez, a prolific comic book writer. Among his projects is a comic called Archon, illustrated by Monika Maccagni and Bobby Hernandez and published by Action Lab. “Gareth Thompson, a Vietnam veteran and single father, has just accepted a Security Job at the new fantasy-themed Hotel and Casino, The Archon. On his first day he discovers his co­-workers are not simply people in costumes but actual creatures of Myth and Legend hiding in plain sight.” More recently though, Mr. Perez has been running a Kickstarter campaign for his new comic series — Social Fiends, illustrated by Javier Martin Caba. “Forty years after the collapse of human civilization vampires and werewolves have crawled out of the shadows to reclaim the day. Fallout blocks out the the sun and sea level rise has made all coastal cities diseased swamps. Hell for humans. Paradise for fiends. In New York City, renamed ‘Neoropa’, an alliance of fiends have banded together to create a quasi Anarcho-Syndicalist commune. Unfortunately, power corrupts and the vampire elite have placed themselves at the top of the City State’s power structure – relegating werewolves to government serfs.” John’s official web site has information on these and other projects too.

image c. 2022 John J. Perez

Street Smart Art

At Los Angeles Comic Con we came across Street Rebirth and its enterprising creator, who goes by Smurf. Here’s what their web site says: “Blending contemporary trends with old school vibes, we specialize in producing nostalgic pixel art, eye-catching collages & art prints, cartoon caricatures and a signature line of apparel, bringing together a lineup of products for the next generation of conscientious consumers.” Their specialty is colorful vinyl stickers featuring lots (and we mean lots) of different well-known cartoon and pop-culture characters re-imagined from a contemporary street-smart perspective. Many of their designs are available as pins, t-shirts, and other nick-knacks too.

image c. 2022 by shopstreetrebirth.com

Your Pet and You

Happy New Year! And here’s some more cool stuff we found last year at the Los Angeles Comic Con. Cloris is an artist from Southern California who’s been making the convention scene for just a few years now. She specializes in custom pet portraits, but lately she’s branched out into creating knick-knacks (key chains, stickers, and more) based on all (and we mean all!) of the various dog and cat breeds out there, as well as lots of birds. Her web site (cloriscreates) explains it all, and includes a link to her Etsy store too.

image c. 2022 by cloriscreates.com