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January, 2012:

Flight for Young Readers

The popular Flight comic book anthology series now has a companion, Flight Explorer, coming this March from Villard Press. Like its big brother, this new full-color collection is edited by Kazu Kibuishi, and features stories loosely based around a theme of flight. Explorer is designed to help young readers get into the swing of reading for themselves — while at the same time entertaining older readers who might be helping them through it. As you can see from the cover, this first volume features several anthropomorphic characters, some of whom have been covered in InFurNation before. The stories include Kean Soo’s Jellaby, Johane Matte’s Egyptian cat, and Jake Parker’s Missile Mouse, among others. Flight Explorer Volume 1 is available for ordering on Amazon, with a special discount offer for libraries.

image c. 2012 Villard Press

The Wolf Children

More from Cartoon Brew: They have a first look at Okami kodomo no ame to yuki, a new 2D anime feature directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The title translates as The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki. Here’s the basic press release: “From the director of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, the story of a college student named Hana who marries a ‘wolf man’ and gives birth to two wolf children. When the wolf man dies, Hana and the children move from the city to a quiet rural town.” The film is being distributed by TOHO Studios, and it’s set for release (at least in Japan) this July. There’s not much yet on the film’s web site (and what’s there is in Japanese), but they’ll add to it as the year goes along.

image c. 2012 TOHO Studios

Mammoth versus… Pirates?

We swear, we can not make this stuff up on our own… Here’s the basic description of Ice Age: Continental Drift, coming this July from Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox: “Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.” Pirates. Okay.  Well, if they can do Santa Claus B.C., why not pirates? Of course Ray Romano, Denis Leary, and John Leguizamo return as mammoth, sabertooth, and sloth respectively, along with new voices including Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Lopez, and Aziz Ansari. The fourth Ice Age go-round is directed by Mike Thurmeier (co-director of Ice Age 3) and Steve Martino (Horton Hears A Who!). If you go to the film’s web site there’s a short Scrat cartoon that also serves as a trailer for the new movie.

image c. 2012 Blue Sky Studios & 20th Century Fox

Invasion of the Super-Pets

Capstone Publishing is starting 2012 off in a big way with their DC Super-Pets series of full-color graphic novels, which start to hit the shelves this month. Here’s part of their promo advertisement: “The DC Super-Pets series features the crime-fighting adventures of the pets of favorite super heroes from beloved DC Comics: Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Green Lantern. These intrepid Super-Pets—Krypto the Super-Dog, Ace the Bat-Hound, Streaky the Super-Cat, Beppo the Super-Monkey, Jumpa the Super-Kangaroo, and their friends—save the day and foil the evil plans of the universe’s most dastardly super villains.  The books have been specially designed for children just learning to read independently. Included in the endpapers are illustrations of all the Super-Pets in the series (both heroes and villains), jokes, and a guide to the meaning and pronunciation for each book’s most challenging words.” Look at this series and you’ll realize you never knew there were so many super pets! Each of these 56-page trade paperbacks features the art of Eisner Award-winning DC Comics artist Art Baltazar, with scripts by Scott Sonneborn, Sarah Stephens, Jane B. Mason, John Sazaklis, and Donald Lemke. Capstone also has an interactive web site for the entire series.

image c. 2012 Capstone Publishing

Adventure Time: The Comic

If you haven’t gotten the word yet, Adventure Time with Finn and Jake is one of the most popular animated TV series out there — not only on Cartoon Network, but on TV in general and the Internet all over the place. Now Boom Studios’ KABOOM imprint is presenting the brand new Adventure Time full-color comic book series, premiering this February. Join the adventure as Finn the human, Jake the Dog (with amazing powers of transformation), and Princess Bubblegum explore the amazing Land of Ooo. The premier issue was written by North Ryan, with illustrations by Shelli Paroline and Branden Lamb. Check out the Boom! Studios ordering page for more information on the series.

image c. 2011 Boom! Studios