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July, 2011:

Housepets are Naked!

Housepets! is an on-line full-color comic strip by Rick Griffin. It’s well-known and well-loved… in fact it even won the Ursa Major Award for Best Comic Strip two years running. And now, it’s on dead trees! Housepets! Are Naked All The Time is the first collection of Housepets! strips available in softcover book format. In fact it’s available now from Createspace — and, of course, from Amazon. Follow the daily adventures of the pets of Babylon Gardens, USA. And now you don’t even need a computer!


image c. 2011 Rick Griffin

Bubbles & Gondola

More from Europe, this time from France. We really don’t know how to summarize this; even the title doesn’t exactly make sense. Probably better to let the publisher describe this new full-color hardcover graphic novel by artist and writer Renaud Dillies. Here’s what NBM Publishing put up on Amazon regarding Bubbles & Gondola: “Poetry, fantasy, and Django Reinhardt are woven into a fairy tale about solitude and awakening the creative spirit in this graphic novel. Charlie is a mouse who enjoys his solitude, staying up late nights indoors to listen to records and play his guitar; he experiences the outside world only through the windows of his house. As Charlie begins to stumble with writer’s block, a bluebird named Mr. Solitude arrives to encourage Charlie to search for inspiration outside of himself and his home. Told with a melancholic and heart-warming lyricism, this tender story combines pithy observations with whimsical illustrations to create a simple yet poignant tale for readers young and old.” The book is scheduled for release on October 1st.


image c. 2011 NBM Publishing

Spanish Cats come to America

Jose Fonollosa is a well-known comic book illustrator in Spain. For the past few year’s he’s also been working on an on-line black & white comic strip known simply as Meow, which follows that adventures of two domestic cats and their harried human companions. Cat fans, you can follow the strip at Mr. Fonollosa’s blogspot site. Meanwhile, Meow is being introduced to English-speaking audiences in a new hardcover collection from Kettledrum publishing, which is coming this August. You can order it at Westfield Comics, among other places.


image c. 2011 Jose Fonollosa



Magical Animals to the Rescue

Things do move quickly these days. The Familiars, a hardcover fantasy novel by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, was published by HarperCollins last September. Now, it’s already in development as an animated feature film for Sony Pictures. Here’s the story synopsis from and Booklist: “Aldwyn, a scruffy, quick-witted alley cat on the lam, poses as a magical animal when he ducks into a shop to avoid capture and ends up purchased as a boy wizard’s familiar. Despite needing to keep his mundane nature hidden, Aldwyn settles easily into his new role, bonding with his human loyal, Jack, and befriending two other children’s familiars: Gilbert, a tree frog, and Skylar, a blue jay. When an evil witch kidnaps the children and kills their mentor, only their familiars can save them.” The second book in the series, The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown, is heading for bookshelves this coming September. Meanwhile, here’s news about the movie from and Variety: “Doug Sweetland, a Pixar veteran of 16 years, has signed on to helm The Familiars for Sony Pictures Animation. Based on the novel by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, The Familiars is the story of the animals chosen to be familiars for young wizards in training. Sam Raimi and Josh Donen will exec produce.While at Pixar, Sweetland worked on animated features including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo.” You can also find out more by visiting The Familiars web site.


image c. HarperCollins

Punky Pets!

The newest cartoon band exploding on the scene is called Punky Pets, and this one is all funny animals! Well-connected funny animals it seems, as they not only have a whole line of t-shirts and plush dolls associated with them, but also sponsorship from the Vans Warped Tour and San Diego Comic Con. As you can see on their web site, they also have a whole set of Warped Tour bands promoting their stuff. The web site also features animated videos by the Punky Pets. Here’s what we can’t tell: Are they a “real” band, or just cartoons? Their web site is mum on that point. Stay tooned and you’ll find out more when we do!


image c. 2011 Punky Pets

A Fur-Suit Movie from Europe

The European furry fans known as EZ_Wolf and Shay have produced what they claim to be the first full-length feature film starring fur-suit characters. Bitter Lake is more than 60 minutes in length, and it’s scheduled to premier at Eurofurence in August. The fantasy adventure was written and directed by Shay, with production design by EZ_Wolf and original music by Fox Amoore. The fur-suits were created by Clockwork Creature Studios. The film’s web site features character studies, the story background, creator information, and a trailer for the film.