InFurNation Rotating Header Image

December, 2011:

When Mice Do More Than Point and Click

We can’t make this stuff up folks (if we could we’d be out there doing it!). Here’s the publisher’s description of Mousenet,  the first novel by Prudence Breitrose: “When ten-year-old Megan helps her uncle invent the Thumbtop, the world’s smallest computer, mice are overjoyed, and they want one for every mouse hole. The Big Cheese, leader of the Mouse Nation, has orders: follow that girl—even if it means high-tailing it to Megan’s new home on the other side of the country. While Megan struggles as the new girl, the mice watch, waiting for their chance. But when they tell Megan the biggest secret in the history of the world—mice have evolved, and they need her help—she isn’t sure anyone will believe her. With all of Mouse Nation behind her, Megan could become the most powerful girl alive, but just how will she create a Thumptop for every mouse?” It’s illustrated throughout by Stephanie Yue, and it’s available in hardcover (at Amazon and everywhere else) from Hyperion Books.

image c. 2011 Hyperion Books

The Werewolves are Coming — Next Year!

The 2012 Werewolf Calendar is available for order now, with delivery available before Christmas. This year’s roster of 13 artists includes Balaa, Blotch, BlackPassion777, Goldenwolf, Kyoht, Wolf-Nymph, Khaosdog, Johis, Myenia, Thornwolf, Synnabar, Vantid, and Kyndir. “The werewolf is often seen as a dangerous man beast, a man corrupted by the temptation of his primitive unsecured urges, let loose to prey on his fellow man. This is the werewolf that undoubtedly dominated today’s popular media and while we here at the Werewolf Calendar embrace this vision with an open eager heart, this is not the Werewolf we wish to bring to you our audience. We wish to bring to you instead the inner animal, an animal that is not unlike the human, harboring the same emotions and sensibility that man has coveted as being alone in having for millenia on end. Here is the werewolf that is regal, or that is bedraggled from his trials of survival, or adorned in ceremonial garb to celebrate his being, or that is wandering alone in search of something, or surrounded by loving packmates, or is engaged in a teeth gnashing territorial dispute, or at last howling fiercely at the moon beneath which both man and wolf were born together.” Visit the Werewolf Calendar web site to find out more about the calendar project, preview the artwork, and order your copy.

image c. 2011 by Goldenwolf (from a previous calendar, not 2012)

The Annie Awards Are Announced

On December 5th nominations were announced for the annual Annie Awards, presented by the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA). These are the Oscar Awards of animated cartoons, people, and every year their prestige in Hollywood circles seems to increase. As usual the nominations for 2011 included several films and TV series of interest to furry fandom — as well as a few of what are likely to be considered glaring omissions. Taking their cue from the Oscars themselves perhaps, this year the Annie Awards have no less than 10 nominees for Best Animated Feature Film, up from the usual 5 of years past. Notable anthropomorphic films up for the honor include A Cat in Paris, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, Rango, and Rio.  Nominees for Best Animated Special Production (i.e., direct-to-video or DVD) include Adventure Time: Thank You, Ice Age: Mammoth Christmas, Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters, and Prey 2 — but not, interestingly, Dreamworks’ Gift of the Night Fury. Among the nominees for Best Animated Television Production for Children are Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and Penguins of Madagascar. Conspicuous in their absence perhaps: My Little Pony — Friendship is Magic and the reboot of Thundercats. What’s up with that? The Annie Awards will be presented at a gala Hollywood ceremony on February 4th, 2012, at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, California. You can find out more about the Annie Awards, including the full list of nominated productions and people, at the Annie Awards web site.

A Future of Many Deadly Species

Our thanks to Fred Patten for pointing this out to us: “Death Drop is a science fiction novel by Sean Allen. The last known human was exterminated over 400,000 years ago and the known universe is ruled by the savage race known as the Durax, keeping control with their compelling mind powers. War rages against this vehement race and the free people have two choices: either join the Dissension Army and fight against the Durax or struggle to survive in the cutthroat world of outlaws the war has created. Dezmara Strykar can’t remember anything before the moment 8 years ago when she woke up in a space freighter, abandoned and alone. Since that date she has come to realize three things: she’s the best pilot and smuggler in the universe, she can handle herself in a fight, and she’s Human.” The other notable thing about Mr. Allen’s self-published science fiction novel is the number of anthropomorphic species and characters that make an appearance in it! You can check out the web site for his D-Evolution series to find out more. Also check out the review of his first book at The book is available in several downloadable formats and also on dead trees.

image c. 2011 by Sean Allen

Stately Mice at Sea

Richard Peck is a prolific author of fiction for adult and young readers. His latest book would likely be considered for the latter, but his style includes a lot of sly winks at human society that grown-ups are likely to pick up on too. Secrets at Sea is available now in hardcover from Dial Books. It’s illustrated throughout by Kelly Murphy. Here’s the publisher’s description: “In the beloved tradition of The Borrowers, The Tale of Desperaux, and The Cricket in Times Square, here is an irresistible adventure story of the tiny individuals who secretly live among us humans. Helena is the oldest of four mouse siblings who live in the walls of the Cranston estate. It is 1887 when the nouveau riche Cranstons decide to take a cruise ship to England in search of a husband for their awkward older daughter. The Cranston mice stow away in the luggage . . . and so begins the time of their lives, as they meet intriguing, cosmopolitan mice onboard and take it upon themselves to help the human Cranston daughters find love.” There are more reviews available at Amazon.

image c. 2011 by Kelly Murphy

When Animation Took Over

So how’d we miss this? Well, it finally turned up in the Previews magalog, so now it can be told.  Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, animated cartoons (both feature and on TV — remember this was pre-web) were in a sorry stage, and worthwhile projects were few and far between. After the doors were kicked open (and the bar raised — very much!) by movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in the late 80’s, animation really exploded in the 1990’s… culminating, of course, in the highest-grossing 2D animated film of all time — The Lion King — and the beginnings of the empire we now know as Pixar. Back in 2007, author G. Michael Dobbs (a former editor for the magazines Animato and Animation Planet) published a book that details this late-century explosion of animation called Escape! How Animation Broke into the Mainstream in the 1990’s. Through extensive reviews and interviews with with animation professionals, the book not only examines how animation became the box-office powerhouse we now know it as, but also how the cartoons of the 1990’s and after forever put to rest the notion (long-held in western civilization) that cartoons are not a medium that grown-ups should think about much. The book is still available in paperback at Amazon, from Bear Manor Media.

image c. 2007 Bear Manor Media

Comics Against Cancer

What do you do when you find out you’ve been struck by a rare form of bone cancer? Well, if you’re a woman like Kaylin Andres, you go on the warpath — inside your own body, microscopically, hunting down Nazi cancer cells and alien infections with high-caliber weaponry! At least, that’s the subject of Terminally Illin’, Kaylin’s brand new black & white comic book series illustrated by Jon Solo. Of course, the smart girl who’s heading off to battle inner demons (literally!) is also going to bring along a ferocious and well-armed battle-cat like Iceman. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the new comic will finally hit the shelves this January from Last Gasp. Why survive when you can thrive… and kick butt! Make sure to check out the Terminally Illin’ Facebook page too.

image c. 2011 by Jon Solo