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November, 2011:

Beware the Moon over Cypress

A return to a more traditional werewolf story, with a few nasty twists and lots of gore thrown in of course. Ferals is a new full-color horror comic written by David Lapham (famous for his horror comic The Crossed) and illustrated by Gabriel Andrade. It’s due this January from Avatar Press.  *Sigh* Always the bad guys… has a nice write-up of the new series.

image c. 2011 by Gabriel Andrade

Honey Badger Don’t Give A…

Have you caught wind of the YouTube phenomenon known alternately as “Honey Badger don’t care” or (more profanely) as “Honey Badger don’t give a sh*t“? (Warning — the video has crude language to say the least!) It sprung up after the Guinness Book of World Records named the honey badger (also known as a ratel) as The Most Fearless Animal On Earth. Well now, besides spawning a popular line of t-shirts, the meme is inspiring comic books! Fred Perry (Gold Digger) and Joe Wight (Planet of the Living Dead) have teamed up to bring us the Honey Badger Adventures 1-shot, coming in black & white this January from Antarctic Press. “Honey badgers are just crazy. Now, see the honey badger in action! The most fearless critter on Earth will face off against…EVERYTHING! Birds, snakes, small childrenz, velociraptors, whatever! It’ll fight anybody and anything and just smack the hell out of it. You should read this comic, ’cause it’s badass, just like the honey badger.” You have been warned.

image c. 2011 by Joe Wight

Avoid the Yak-Nog…

And speaking of dragons, this one managed to sneak on by us… They’re fast critters sometimes! Following the current trend of releasing holiday-themed specials, Dreamworks Animation has released Dragons: The Gift of the Night Fury direct to Blu-Ray and DVD. Directed by Tom Owens, this short film introduces us to holiday traditions in the viking village of Berk, where folk are now living in peace with dragons. But, when the dragons mysteriously all fly off one day, the kids try to think up new traditions to cheer up the devastated village-folk. Some work… some, not so much. Also on the DVD is the short film Book of Dragons (directed by Steve Hickner), a sort of dragon encyclopedia overview guided by Hiccup and his friends. Of note to furry fans: Unlike Legend of the Boneknapper, these two shorts feature Toothless the Night Fury — a lot.

image c. 2011 Dreamworks Animation

The Dragons are sad…

Word has come out of Ireland that Anne McCaffrey, one of the grande dames of science fiction writing, passed away on November 21st after suffering a stroke at her home. She was 85. Ms. McCaffrey was of course best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series, likely the first science fiction stories to treat dragons as serious characters. Not to mention telepathic dragons who shared everything, even their love lives, with their human riders! But furry fans should also know Ms. McCaffrey for her Decision at Doona series, which featured humans interacting with the cat-like Hrubban species. On a personal note, your humble ed-otter had the honor of visiting Ms. McCaffrey at her home in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1996. One of the great ones has left us. Read her obituary here from the Los Angeles Times.

image c. 2011 by Michael Whelan

Pixar Scripts in Color

Folks who’d like to learn more about how animation is made — especially award-winning, box-0ffice conquering animation — might want to check out The Art of Pixar: Complete Color Scripts from 25 Years of Animation, written by Pixar Studio’s own John Lasseter and edited by Cartoon Brew’s own Amid Amidi. It’s available now in hardcover from Chronicle Books. Here’s the write-up from Amazon: “Over the past 25 years, Pixar s team of artists, writers, and directors have shaped the world of contemporary animation with their feature films and shorts. From classics such as Toy Story and A Bug s Life to recent masterpieces such as Up, Toy Story 3, and Cars 2, this comprehensive collection offers a behind-the-scenes tour of every Pixar film to date. Featuring a foreword by Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, the complete color scripts for every film published in full for the first time as well as stunning visual development art, The Art of Pixar is a treasure trove of rare artwork and an essential addition to the library of animation fans and Pixar enthusiasts.”

He was the Ace, he was Fantastic

News out of the UK: Mark Hall, one half of the production team Cosgrove/Hall, passed away from cancer this week at the age of 75. From 1971 until their retirement in 2000, Mark Hall (the quiet business-oriented one) and his partner Brian Cosgrove (the crazy artistic one) created numerous award-winning, world-famous, and financially successful animated programs and productions. Chief among them: Danger Mouse, the super-hero/super-spy spoof that’s still in repeats around the world. The pair were also well-known for The Wind in the Willows, a stop-motion animated series based on the books and stories of Kenneth Grahame. Furry fans might also want to seek out the company’s adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s fantasy novel The Talking Parcel from 1978. The Guardian UK has an obituary for Mr. Hall up on line, which discusses many of the shows that Cosgrove/Hall produced.

Mark Hall (left), Brian Cosgrove (right), and Mr. Toad

Woody Woodpecker on the Big Screen

We swiped this bit from Cartoon Brew, since they put it so well: “The Hollywood Reporter is reporting about Universal Pictures new plans to revive Walter Lantz’ classic cartoon star Woody Woodpecker in a CG feature film.  Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Hop, and The Lorax) is now developing the film with Blades of Glory co-writers John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, who are planning to ‘modernize the character for contemporary audiences’. Altschuler and Krinsky were exec producers and writers on Fox’s King of the Hill and currently on MTV’s Beavis and Butt-head.” Should classic cartoon fans rejoice or shudder? Stay tooned and we’ll find out!

image c. 2011 Cartoon Brew

He is Monkey!

One of the most popular and well-known furries in history (no, really, we mean it!) is Sun Wu Kong, the Monkey King of Chinese legend. His story, Journey to the West, has been covered in movies, TV, plays, and of course comic books many times. And now here we go again with the latter, in Monkey King Volume 1: Birth of the Stone Monkey, a new full-color graphic novel from JR Comics. “Cited as one of China’s greatest novels, Monkey King follows the adventures of Sun Wu Kong, born from a stone on Spring Mountain and given the title of Handsome Monkey King, who seeks to learn the secret of eternal life. Under the tutelage of Master Puti, Sun Wu Kong becomes incredibly powerful, but his hubris grows until he has run afoul of the gods, who dispatch an army to subdue the Monkey King.” Here’s a write-up from Sci Fi Genre. Monkey King is coming to stores at the end of November.

image c. 2011 JR Comics

Sled Dogs with Issues

There’s simply no way we could top the publisher’s description of Mush! Sled Dogs with Issues, a new hardcover graphic novel, so we’ll not try. “Venus wants Buddy to quit asking her to ‘make puppies’. Buddy wants Winston’s help wooing Venus. Winston wants Guy’s respect. Guy wants Dolly’s job. Dolly wants to know the meaning of it all. Nobody knows what Fiddler really wants, not even Fiddler. But mostly . . . these sled dogs just want to run. Sounds simple? It should be, but even dogs have their office politics. Office politics with sharp, sharp teeth. From Colbert Report writer Glenn Eichler and dog-channeling artist Joe ‘Fur’ Infurnari comes a postmodern tale of heroism on the tundra, epic romance, and yellow snow. (Hint: don’t eat it.) Mush! is Arrested Development meets Call of the Wild — two great tastes that taste pretty funny together.” There’s more about this silliness on Amazon, of course, and it’s mushing our way this December in full color from First Second.

image c. 2011 First Second