InFurNation Rotating Header Image

February, 2011:

Brer Warrior Returns

A creative outfit known as Graffiti on the Sun sent us a press release: “Graffiti On The Sun returns with its long-awaited second issue of the comic book series Brer Warrior. Not only does the hopping hot comic series return after a hiatus, it returns at the low price of $1.99. In the second issue of Brer Warrior (the [black & white] comic series that’s loosely based on the folktale character Brer Rabbit with kung-fu packed, sci-fi seasoned, urban twist), Brer returns to his childhood home to restart his kung-fu training. But well his fellow student and former friend Ebunny let him, or will something from his past prevent her from doing so?

Brer Warrior issue 2 can be purchased at Indyplanet. For more info about Brer Warrior and Graffiti on the Sun, check out our main site.”

image c. 2011 Graffiti on the Sun

A Farewell to Redwall

News has come out that Brian Jacques, creator and writer of the wildly-popular Redwall series of anthropomorphic fantasy novels, died on February 5th. He was 71. First published in 1986 (initially by Beaver Books), the Redwall series tells the tale of Redwall Abbey, a medieval monastery run by mice, which also includes a host of other species common to England and much of Europe (such as rabbits, otters, squirrels, and badgers). The main story arc follows the adventures of a young mouse named Matthias, who discovers that he is in fact the descendant of a great mouse hero known as Martin the Warrior. This knowledge comes in handy when Matthias learns he must help defend Redwall against all manner of “evil” creatures, such as rats, ferrets, foxes, and so on. (Species tend to be either “good” or “bad” in the Redwall universe, with little or no individual exceptions).  From that first book, the series has gone on to achieve international acclaim and awards, with a new book coming out almost every year. Brian Jacques was famous for his background as a member of the working class in Liverpool, England. Among his many jobs was driving a milk delivery truck, and one of his stops included a boarding school for blind students. It was during his visits there that Mr. Jacques began to tell the stories that would become the Redwall series — making the details especially vivid to entertain his young, blind listeners. The Rogue Crew, which will be the last Redwall book written and published by Brian Jacques, will be on the shelves this May.

And Speaking of Awards…

Saturday the 5th of February it was time once again for the annual Annie Awards, presented by the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA) for the best in animation. This year, of course, was the year of controversy for the Annies, now that Disney/Pixar have pulled their sponsorship and official participation in the awards due to what they feel are flawed and lop-sided voting practices. Specifically, they’ve accused the Annies of being overly weighted toward Dreamworks Animation productions. Probably because there is a very large percentage of ASIFA that includes Dreamworks employees as members. Probably because at one point Dreamworks was offering to subsidize its employees’ membership in ASIFA, while Disney and Pixar were not. So, it probably didn’t sit well at all with Disney and Pixar that Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon swept the Annie Awards this year, much like Kung Fu Panda did a couple of years ago. In fact, this year, the Kung Fu Panda Holiday TV special also swept the Annie Awards in the television categories. Here’s a recap from Variety: “DreamWorks Animation ended up with 15 Annie Awards, 10 for How to Train Your Dragon and five for its television production Kung Fu Panda Holiday. In addition to best picture, Dragon picked up nods for helmers Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, animated effects, character animation, character design, music, production design, storyboarding, voice acting for Jay Baruchel [Hiccup], and writing. Kung Fu Panda Holiday was named the top TV production and racked up trophies for character animation, direction, production design, and voice acting for James Hong [Mr. Ping].” Other awards from the evening  (ones that Furry Fans might notice) included T.U.F.F. Puppy winning two awards for storyboards and character design (in a TV production). Ryan Page won the first ever Annie Award for “Character Animation in a Live Action Production” for his work on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The evening also featured lifetime achievement awards (the Windsor McCay Award) for director Brad Bird (who joked in a video clip about his move from directing animation to live action), veteran animator Eric Goldberg, and creator Matt Groening (who joked live about the fact he’s spent 23 years in animation and only done two things: The Simpsons and Futurama). You can read more about the Annie Awards — and soon, see pictures from the show — on their web site.

Ursa Major Nominations Open!

Here we are in a new year, and once again it’s time for all the Furry Fans out there to nominate their favorite movies, books, comics, TV shows and more from the previous year for the annual Ursa Major Awards — Furry Fandom’s answer to the Hugo Awards ™ from Science Fiction Fandom, the Anthony Awards from Mystery Fandom, and so forth. In other words, these are the people’s choice awards, where the fans themselves get to pick out the best from all the material released in the previous year — in this case, January to December, 2010. Last year, more than 1,000 fans around the world voted on the best anthropomorphic media from 2009, and the Ursa Majors hope to top that record this year. Get involved! Visit the Ursa Major Awards web site to find out about how to nominate your favorites. Don’t remember all the great movies, books, video games, art, or whatever that came out in 2010? Fear not! The Ursa Major web site provides a handy Recommended Reading and Viewing List to help jog your memory. (Just keep in mind: Things don’t have to be on the Rec List to be nominated. It’s just there to help you think of things). Nominations are open now in each of 10 categories, and they close at the end of February. Then the actual voting will begin in March. The awards themselves will be handed out at a lucky Furry Fandom convention this summer.

Hats Off To Them

Among the many strange, strange live-action TV series brought into the world by the brother team of Sid and Marty Kroft, certainly one of the stranger was a 1973 show called Lidsville. For those not from that era, or who might have forgotten it (or thought it was a funky dream brought on by bad pizza): A young boy named Mark (played by Butch Patrick, better known as Eddie Munster on The Munsters) visits an amusement park and winds up falling into an enchanted magician’s hat (don’t ask) where he plummets into a land of living, walking, talking hats! He also meets a male genie (played by a woman) and an evil magician played by a very loud Charles Nelson Reilly. Told you it was strange.  Well, now comes the word that Conrad Vernon (director of Monsters vs. Aliens) will be directing a new animated Lidsville feature for Dreamworks animation. Cartoon Brew has excerpts of an interview that the New York Times did with Conrad about the project. No word yet on a release date.  They’re keeping it under their hats.  [Sorry…]

A Lidsville lunch-box from the 70's