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August, 2011:

Cartoon Chickens from Korea

Leafie, A Hen into the Wild is a new 2D animated film from Korea. It’s based on a very popular series of illustrated children’s books by Hwang Sun-mi. It was directed by Oh Seong-yoon, and co-produced by Myung Film and Odoltogi Studio. Released in Korea last month, the story of a young hen who leaves her chicken farm with a dream of raising her own egg has made more at the Korean box office than any home-grown animated film has in decades. Now there’s plans to release the film widely in mainland China. Unfortunately, no one (that we know of) is talking about distributing the film to North America. Looks like our loss. You can see a trailer for the film on YouTube though.

image c. 2011 Myung Film

Hong Kong Phooey: The Movie

Forgive yourself if you don’t recall Hong Kong Phooey… The 1970’s Hanna Barbera cartoon seems to have developed a cultural fame that transcends its ratings or its running time (16 episodes total). The show regained some fame back in the mid-1990s when the band Sublime (just prior to singer Bradley Nowell’s untimely death) re-recorded the Hong Kong Phooey opening theme song, which had originally been recorded by Scatman Crothers. (Crothers was also the voice of the character). In the original series, the rather slow-witted funny animal dog named Penry worked as a janitor at a police station… but then in secret he would change to become Hong Kong Phooey, a rather slow-witted kung fu crimefighter. So why bring this all up now? Well it seems that Hollywood is at it again: A brand new Hong Kong Phooey live-action/animation movie is in the works. And taking over for the late Scatman Crothers? None other than the Donkey himself, Eddie Murphy. Cinemablend has a write-up that includes this: “The comedian will voice Hong Kong Phooey for Alcon Entertainment’s upcoming production, a live-action/animation hybrid (much like The Smurfs or Garfield) that will take its cues from the Saturday morning cartoon of our childhoods. Variety reports Murphy will lend his voice to Penry, a mild-mannered dog who stumbles into a secret ceremony and is accidentally granted mystical powers, including the ability to walk, talk and do kung fu.” Actually, it sounds more like the recent Underdog movies to us. Stay tooned for more.

image c. 2011 Hanna Barbera Productions

Snuggling Like Cats and Dogs

You’ve seen Feed the Kitty, right? The well-known Warner Brothers cartoon short (directed by Chuck Jones) starring Marc Antony (the big, burly, barking dog) and Pussyfoot (the ridiculously adorable kitten)? Well if somehow you haven’t, get your paws on any number of Warner Brothers cartoon collection, because this cartoon is a must for any and all furry fans! Marc Antony starts off trying to frighten the tiny kitten, but overcome by a wave of cuteness, the dog ends up falling in love with… him. Yes, him. Though the Wikipedia entry refers to Pussyfoot as a female, in the cartoon Marc Antony’s human owner distinctly refers to Pussyfoot as “he” and “him”. So, why bring all this up now? Because the Looney Tunes comic book (published by DC Comics) is featuring our smitten canine and feline pair in issue #202, on the shelves right now. It’s written by Bill Matheny, with cover art by Dave Santana.

image c. 2011 DC Comics

Bunnies and Bats Out West

Sixes Wild is a new anthropomorphic adventure series written by Tempe O’Kun. Sofawolf Press describes it as “a straight western cross-dressing romance”. Probably because the lead characters in this wild west adventure include a male fruit bat (who’s the sheriff of the town of White Rock, Arizona) and a rabbit — who besides being a lady who dresses the part of a male gunslinger, also happens to be the sheriff’s love interest.  Yes, things do get complicated. The first novel of the series, Sixes Wild: Manifest Destiny, was published by Sofawolf Press with illustrations by the artist ShinigamiGirl. Now the second story arc in the series — Sixes Wild: The Bluff — is being serialized on the SoFurry site in comic book format.  It’s illustrated by the artist known as Sidian. [Note: The comic does contain adult-oriented material, so some folks might find their access restricted.]


image c. 2011 by ShinigamiGirl


Furry Androids

Rick Griffin is, of course, the author and artist of Housepets!, winner of the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip in 2009 and 2010. Now he’s recently published a new science fiction novella called Argo in e-book form on Smashwords. The story is sort of sneaky-furry: Many of the main characters are from a group of furry robots called “ani-droids”. Here’s the description: “In the distant future, the easy paths to artificial intelligence have been outlawed. Mira McAllister, dismayed at the lack of progress the engineering community has made in recent years, determines to find the answers for herself when she comes across a strange, discarded android. Repairing her to full function, she discovers the android is unlike any she’s ever dealt with before–and the answers she was searching for only lead to more questions, and more secrets.” Argo is available for download from Smashwords and Amazon.

image c. 2011 Rick Griffin

Wool Buddies

Recently discovered at Comic Con: Jackie Huang is a 3D story artist and art teacher. In 2009, he took up the art of needle felting and created Wool Buddies, a collection of fuzzy animal dolls, sea creatures, and various friendly monsters. You can check out his various designs at the Wool Buddy web site, or else his work is available at several stores and art galleries in California. His work is also available in several “do it yourself” kits that teach you the art of needle felting.

image c. 2011 Jackie Huang