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October, 2009:

Return of the Howl

Happy Halloween! And in that spirit…

That howling you hear just might be Benicio Del Toro in his new film The Wolfman… or, it might be the legion of fans who are dying to see the Oscar-winner’s new film! Universal’s big-budget remake of its classic horror film is directed by Joe Johnston (director of Jumanji, Jurassic Park III, and Hidalgo, among others) from a script by Andrew Kevin Walker (Sleepy Hollow) and David Self (Road to Perdition). Oscar-winner Rick Baker is handling the make-up effects — That’s right, it’s not all CGI! You can read an Entertainment Weekly interview with Mr. Baker here, and also see one of the first publicity photos of Mr. Del Toro in full wolf-face. The plot follows the sad story of an American named Lance Talbot (Del Toro, of course) who finds himself the victim of a savage curse when he returns home to the sleepy English village of Blackmoor… which is haunted by a ravenous werewolf! The film is set for release in February of 2010. Unpleasant dreams…

Dark Horse brings back Blacksad!

This is from The Beat at

“One of the most excellent comics announcements to come out of you-know-what [I think that means San Diego Comic Con — ye Ed-Otter ]was the news that Dark Horse will be reprinting all three volumes of Blacksad by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido in a deluxe oversized volume. The first two Blacksad books were published here by iBooks a while back, but with iBooks having gone into bankruptcy, these became highly sought after. Getting the full series reprinted was in limbo, but now Dark Horse has ridden in to fix that right up. Blacksad is best described as hardboiled detective tales with an anthropomorphic cast, but with a darker side and social criticism mixed in. The real star is Guarnido’s art, which is some of the best stuff out there (the series has won over a dozen European awards). He worked extensively on several Disney films, and his art has the best qualities of that brand: Indelible character designs, flawless storytelling and the attention to mood and place that is the hallmark of the great European comics. The series is hugely popular in France and Spain, and we can’t wait to read the whole thing in English.” This is especially good news since Blacksad Volume 3 was never published in English before iBooks went belly-up. No word yet on if Dark Horse will also be reprinting the Blacksad Sketchbook.

Blacksad, and a cat lady with lipstick...

Blacksad, and a cat lady with lipstick...

How Did We Miss This?

An older item, which we recently stumbled across: DC Goes Ape is a full-color trade paperback collection released in 2008 by — who else? — DC Comics. It features nearly a dozen excerpts from DC Comics over the decades involving monkey and ape characters in the worlds of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and more. Simian heroes, simian villains, and they’re not even all Gorilla Grond!  With writers ranging from Otto Binder to Elliot S! Maggin and E. Nelson Bridwell (and more), and art by the likes of Carmine Infantino, Jim Starlin, P. Craig Russell — and more. With a great front cover by Art Adams, too. Like we said, this is older now, so take a look around for it.

A Portrait of Jeff Smith

The Cartoonist is a new DVD documentary that brings us the life, times, and thoughts of Columbus-based cartoonist and Bone-creator Jeff Smith. The film survey’s Mr. Smith’s career during the run of Bone, and also captures the moment when he shifted focus from completing his popular epic to beginning new projects like Rasl. The film also includes interviews with many of Mr. Smith’s contemporaries in the world of cartooning: People like Harvey Pekar, Terry Moore, Paul Pope, Scott McCloud, and more. The Cartoonist is scheduled for release on DVD this coming January.

Want to Draw Furries?

Manga artists Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges (Peach Fuzz) have put together a new paperback art how-to book called Draw Furries: How to Create Anthropomorphic and Fantasy Animals. This is from Lindsay’s blog: “In a nutshell, Draw Furries: How to Create Anthropomorphic and Fantasy Animals is a how-to book that goes over drawing anthropomorphic and animal characters. We cover anatomy and poses, step-by-step, for feline, canine, equine, rodent and avian characters, plus coloring and backgrounds. The book is coming out around November 2009.” Meanwhile, lists the book as coming out in early December, from Impact. Here’s the description: “What do you get when you cross a human with a horse (or a hamster, or a hummingbird)? You get any one of a number of fun anthropomorphic animals, also known as “furries” to their friends. From facial expressions to creative coloring, this book contains all the know-how you need to create anthropomorphic cat, dog, horse, rodent and bird characters. Step by step, you’ll learn how to:

  • Draw species-appropriate tails, eyes, wings and other fun details
  • Give your characters clothes, poses and personalities
  • Create the perfect backgrounds for your furry antics – with two start-to-finish demonstrations showing how

Packed with tons of inspiration – from teeny-bopper bunnies and yorky glamour queens to Ninja squirrels and lion kings – Draw Furries will help you create a world of crazy, cool characters just waiting to burst out of your imagination.”

Missile Mouse

Missile Mouse is a full-color science fiction funny animal comic (whew!) created, written, and drawn by Jake Parker. His new creation is Missile Mouse Book 1: The Star Crusher, a 128-page adventure graphic novel.  “Missile Mouse, secret agent for the Galactic Security Agency, is a risk taker and a rule breaker, which is why he’s in hot water at GSA headquarters. Then RIP, the Rogue Imperium of Planets, kidnaps a scientist who knows about the Star Crusher, a doomsday machine capable of destroying the entire universe. Time to let loose the mouse! Missile Mouse battles giant space slugs, corrupt agents, killer bugs, and a pair of shark-headed thugs to save the day (and the scientist!). And when he’s sucked into the exploding Star Crusher, he becomes pure energy . . . energy that will consume him unless Missile Mouse can release it and destroy RIP’s spaceship fleet in time.” It’s available in hardcover and softcover editions, coming this December from Graphix. Jake has an extensive blog, showing step-by-step how he creates artwork for both the Missile Mouse comic and various publicity.

Missile Mouse, the postcard

Missile Mouse, the postcard

Earth Eternal

“A vast 3D world in a browser. Choose from 22 unique races. No humans, no elves, no dwarves.” Sounds like something we’d take notice of, yes? Earth Eternal is a brand new 3D MMO (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) that was created by Sparkplay Media and released this month. The game is currently in open beta testing for Windows, but (as of this writing) it is not set up for Mac OS yet. Currently the game is free, with additional features that can be activated for a fee. According to press releases from Sparkplay, this fantasy game is comparable to RuneScape and Achaea, and it shares many gameplay elements with those games. Needless to say, much more development (of both the system and the player interaction) is in the works for the future. To find out more about it, or to try out the game yourself, visit the Earth Eternal web site.

A "Bandicoon" in armor.

A "Bandicoon" in armor.

More Celebrations for the Turtles’ 25th

More items keep turning up in celebration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ 25th anniversary. First up, Mirage Studios present a special re-release of the original TMNT first issue by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, now rendered in full color by long-time Mirage Studios colorist Steve Lavigne.

And then, there’s this… Turtles Forever is a new direct-to-DVD animated feature film, directed by Roy Burdine and Lloyd Goldfine and produced by 4Kids Entertainment. It features a novel concept: What if the ‘new’, gritty, 2000’s animated Turtles (from the 2D animated series, not the 3D theatrical feature) met up with the more cartoony, silly 1980’s animated Turtles (from the original 2D animated TV series, not the live action feature films — stay with us here!). That’s what happens here, thanks to a handy dimensional rift. Not only that, but various other characters from both series show up in the tangle. (Two Aprils! Two Caseys! One each Rocksteady and Bebop!) Turtles Forever was originally scheduled to be released in late October, but as of this writing contractual disputes between Mirage and 4Kids have forced the release to be postponed.  Keep your eyes on InFurNation to find out when they work things out. Or, you could follow the film’s story and updates here.

More News From Boom! Studios

First up: It seems that the fans’ reaction to the various Farscape mini-series (plural!) put out by Boom! has been so positive that now it’s going to be an on-going full-color series.  What’s more, it’s a series written by the original creator of Farscape, Rockne S. O’Bannon. With art by Keith DeCandido and Will Sliney.

For something completely different, Boom! lets us return to Radiator Springs. The World of Cars: Radiator Springs is a new full-color trade paperback written by Alan J. Porter and illustrated by Magic Eye Studios. It takes place after the events of the Pixar movie. When he returns to Radiator Springs for good, racer Lightning McQueen realizes that everyone knows his story, but he doesn’t know anyone else’s! Tune in while he learns why his fellow anthropomorphic cars came to this little town — and why they stayed.