InFurNation Rotating Header Image

September, 2009:

Arigato, Tezuka Sensei

This October, Abrams Comic Arts will release a new hardcover book, The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga. The press release at says it best: “Osamu Tezuka has often been called ‘the god of manga’ and ‘the Walt Disney of Japan,’ but he was far more than that. Tezuka was Walt Disney, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Tim Burton, and Carl Sagan all rolled into one incredibly prolific creator, changing the face of Japanese culture forever. Best known for Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion, Tezuka was instrumental in developing Japanese animation and modern manga comics. The Art of Osamu Tezuka is the first authorized biography celebrating his work and life and featuring over 300 images—many of which have never been seen outside of Japan. With text by respected manga expert Helen McCarthy, The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga pays tribute to the work of an artist, writer, animator, doctor, entrepreneur, and traveler whose curious mind spawned dozens of animated films, and over 170,000 pages of comics art in one astonishingly creative lifetime. The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga also includes an exclusive 45-minute DVD documentary covering Tezuka’s prolific career, from his early manga characters to his later animation work.”

The Werewolf’s Guide to Life

You’re going to notice a title like that, now aren’t you? Subtitled “A Manual for the Newly Bitten”, this new softcover book by Ritch Duncan and Bob Powers (with illustrations by Emily Flake) cuts through the fiction and offers you a helping paw.

Here’s the description from “Have you been attacked by a wolf-like creature in the last 30 days? Was it after the sun had set and under a full moon? If you answered, “yes” to both these questions, there’s a very good chance that you were bitten by a werewolf. You now have less than a month before the full moon returns and with it your first transformation into a savage, bloodthirsty beast.
Survival is an option, but first, know this:
* Werewolves are real.
* The majority of lycanthropes who do not have access to this book die during or shortly after their first transformations, generally due to heart failure, gunshot wounds, exposure, drowning or suicide.
* Hollywood horror movies are NOT to be used as guides to living as a werewolf. Their goal is not to educate, but to entertain. As a result, they are largely ignorant of the realities of the condition.
* Ignorance creates monsters; lycanthropy does not.
* You are not a monster.
The Werewolf’s Guide to Life cuts through the fiction and guides you through your first transformation and beyond, offering indispensable advice on how to tell if you’re really a werewolf, post-attack etiquette, breaking the news to your spouse, avoiding government abduction, and how to not just survive, but thrive. You cannot afford to not read this book. Your very life depends on it.”

We like the creator background descriptions: “Ritch Duncan and Bob Powers have devoted their lives to aiding and serving the lycanthrope community. They live in New York City. Illustrator Emily Flake is a New York based cartoonist and illustrator who is grateful to have gotten close enough to study her subjects for this book without being torn limb from limb.” The Werewolf’s Guide to Life is out this month from Broadway Publishers.

Berke Breathed’s First Illustrated Novel

Berkeley Breathed, Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of Bloom County and Outland, has given us his first illustrated novel. Flawed Dogs — The Shocking Raid on Westminster is “a heartwarming and humorous ode to the unconditional and lasting love that we and our pets share”. This is from the publisher: “Sam the Lion is actually a priceless dachshund, bred to be a show dog. More important, he is Heidy’s best friend—and she needs one like never before. Living with her reclusive uncle is hard, but Sam has a way of making her feel soft and whole. Until the day Sam is framed by the jealous poodle Cassius, and is cast out by Heidy’s uncle, alone on the wild streets, where he is roughed up by a world he was not bred for. Sporting a soup ladle for a leg, Sam befriends other abandoned dogs and journeys all the way to the Westminster Dog Show, where his plan for revenge on Cassius takes an unexpected turn when he and Heidy spot each other after years of being apart.” The book is available in hardcover this September from Philomel.

Imaginative Realism

James Gurney, creator and artist of the world-famous Dinotopia series of books, has written and illustrated a new art how-to book called Imaginative Realism. It’s coming this October in paperback from Andrews McMeel Publishing. Subtitled “How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist”, it features step-by-step lessons in the practical aspects of creating believable full-color pictures of fantasy creatures and settings — like talking dinosaurs, alien creatures, and distant worlds.

Stoners and their Cats… or vice versa

Fat Freddy’s Cat began his life as an extra the that popular underground comic book, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Soon, though, his popularity grew until he had his own comic title, also written and drawn by FFFB-creator Gilbert Shelton. Now Knockabout Comics brings us the Fat Freddy’s Cat Omnibus in trade paperback. Watch as the big stoner boy’s cat fights the never-ending army of roaches bent on world domination, travels through Mexico, saves the Earth from an alien invasion, and works as a government agent to save the world from the “Hee Hee Hee” drug. Nearly all of the Fat Freddy’s Cat adventures are collected in this softcover book that’s nearly 400 pages.

Return to The Pound!

Antarctic Press presents the return of writer/artist Richard Moore’s The Pound, now graduated from a black & white one-shot to a full-color one-shot! Here’s the press release: “The fur flies in FULL COLOR for Antarctic’s latest release by fan favorite Richard Moore! Chimeras: Genetically-engineered creatures, part human, part animal; faster, stronger and deadlier than both. Kat and Caleb are ‘chims’ scraping out a living in the prison-city known as The Pound, where survival of the fittest is the only law. Created for combat in off-world environments, they are now thieves — the best in the city. There’s no score they won’t take down. But being the best means making enemies, and Kat and Caleb have more than their share. When one of the biggest, Darius Blackeye, hires them to hijack a shipment of high-tech arms, the pair has to wonder what he wants more — the weapons, or to eliminate the competition?” The Pound comes to comic book stores at the end of September.

Sweet Tooth

This September, Vertico Comics premiers Sweet Tooth, a brand new full-color comic series written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire. Gus is a young boy with deer-like features and ears… and antlers growing out of his head. It seems that Gus is one of a number of hybrid children who have appeared in the wake of a devastating plague that swept the world. Mysteriously, Gus and the other “hybrids” are immune to the effects of the disease. Gus lives out in the wilderness with his father, nervous but happy — until the day his father dies. Now Gus is alone and frightened in the big world… until he meets Jeppard. A ruthless, violent drifter, Jeppard nonetheless offers to take Gus to “The Preserve”, a hidden sanctuary for hybrid children.  Can Jeppard be trusted? Can anyone in this strange new world?

Werewolves Out West

Zuda Comics has been holding a monthly contest where creators submit on-line comics, and readers vote on the ones they consider most worthy of being made into print comics. (Visit the Zuda web site to find out more about the contest.) Now, with the help of WildStorm Comics, Zuda has released the first winner, High Moon, as a full-color trade paperback coming to stores this October (appropriate, no?). Created by David Gallaher (story) and Steve Ellis (art), High Moon Volume 1 tells the story of cowboys and werewolves in the old west… lives are lost, secrets are revealed, and the future of the whole frontier is at stake.

Beasts of Burden

We can’t top this, so we’ll just reprint it (from the official Dark Horse Comics press release): “When supernatural occurrences sweep the community of Burden Hill, it’s up to a heroic gang of cats and dogs to keep the residents safe from harm. A bizarre disturbance leads these four-legged neighbors on a wild goose chase into the depths of the nearby forest, where loyalties are tested and lives come to an abrupt end”. Beasts of Burden is a new full-color four-issue comic book miniseries brought to us by the award-winning creators Evan Dorkin (Milk & Cheese) and Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) and released, of course, by Dark Horse this September.