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May, 2012:

Return of a Truly Killer Chicken

Look, we just can’t make up some of this stuff, folks.  Here, this is from Image Comics: “Still kicking yourself for not ordering and/or passing by Chew #1, now that you see what it’s going for on eBay? Here’s your chance to get sweet, sweet, revenge, with an all-new Chew #1, a one-shot spinning off Chew‘s most popular supporting character, and comics’ most beloved homicidal cybernetic kung-fu rooster. Concentrated mayhem. Feathers, rage and hate! Plus: an all-star pin-up gallery from some of the most staggeringly talented artists in the industry!” The main artist for the Chew: Secret Agent Poyo full-color one-shot is Rob Guillory, and the writing is by John Layman. And the chicken is coming our way July 11th. has a background article, including interviews with the creators, if you want to try and figure this thing out.

image c. 2012 Image Comics

Battle Beasts Attack Again!

Here’s a phrase we haven’t heard for a while: Battle Beasts. A would-be toy tie-in / collectibles phenomenon / comic book series from the 1980’s, it never took off in the way that similar ideas did about that time. But now IDW have announced plans to bring forth a special 4-issue full-color Battle Beasts mini-series — with a wait-and-see attitude as to if it goes beyond that. “It’s just another average day for Bliss, an ignored linguist at the Department of Defense. However, when Bliss unlocks the secret translation of an ancient scroll, terror rains from the sky… in the form of the BATTLE BEASTS! Unstoppable creatures armed to the teeth, the Battle Beasts are determined to make Earth their own personal war zone. Nothing can stop their merciless carnage. Nothing except perhaps a gentle word from the one woman who can understand them—Bliss!” The new series is written by Bobby Curnow, with art by Valerio Schiti and Dan Brereton. The new series of comics and toys first hit during the recent C2E2 con in Chicago. Check out Comic Book Resources to find out more.

image c. 2012 IDW Publishing

Game Art from Japan

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter is an Ursa Major Award-nominated video game from Japan which (according to its Wikipedia page) is “a spiritual sequel to the Tail Concerto game”, which was also released by Namco Bandai. Now the anime/manga fan site has let us know that the Solatorobo Sketch Book is available for import, and you can order it on their site. It’s expensive (kind of), but it this softcover book features some striking anime-style furry art.

image c. 2012 Namco Bandai

Pandaria: The Graphic Novel

As if there weren’t already enough anticipation for the upcoming (When? WHEN??) Mists of Pandaria expansion pack for World of Warcraft, now Blizzard Entertainment and DC Comics have joined forces to bring us the World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria graphic novel in hardcover. It’s written by Micky Neilson, illustrated by Sean “Cheeks” Galloway, and set to go on sale September 5th. According to the WOW-Pedia, the graphic novel is “set before the Shattering and will give a look at Pandaria before the mists protecting the island were clear.” Check out the preview at too, which includes some interior pages from the book.

image c. 2012 Blizzard Entertainment

Po’s New Comic Book Series

There’s just no getting around the Kung Fu Panda.  (Of course not! He takes up too much room!). First off Ape Entertainment’s’ Kizoic imprint is releasing the popular Kung Fu Panda comic-book miniseries from last year as a collected trade paperback called Kung Fu Panda: Kung Fu Fighting. And then this July, Po and the Furious Five (and Master Shifu, of course!) return in a brand-new full-color monthly series, Kung Fu Panda: Tales of the Dragon Warrior (written by Quinn Johnson and illustrated by Massimo Asaro). Find out more about all of these at Things From Another World.

image c. 2012 Ape Entertainment

Unico comes to DVD

Unico is a well-known and well-loved anime and manga character created by the late great Osamu Tezuka in 1976. A baby unicorn with the magical ability to make people happy, he draws the wrath of jealous gods who think only they should have such powers. Tezuka was unsuccessful in turning his popular manga into a TV series, but Unico did find his way into a pair of feature films in the early 1980’s.  In The Fantastic Adventures of Unico (from 1981, directed by Toshio Hirata), the West Wind is charged with carrying Unico away to a far-off land when the gods banish him — but she takes pity on him and sets him free.  Now Unico and his friends are on the run, with the angry gods in hot pursuit! Then in 1883 came Unico in the Island of Magic (directed by Moribi Murano) where Unico and his friends join the fight against an evil wizard who plans to turn all living things into his zombie slaves. Both feature films (dubbed into English) were popular VHS tapes in the late 80’s but have long since gone out of print. Now comes the word that Discotek Media are releasing both Unico films on DVD this month, each with both the English and original Japanese soundtracks. You can find out more about all of this (including several Unico fan sites) by checking out Unico on Wikipedia.

image c. 2012 Tezuka Productions

Her High School Friends are Werewolves

Jiu Jiu is a new (at least on our shores) black & white manga “teenage action romance” by Touya Tobina. Here’s the run-down: “Born into a family of ‘Hunters’, Takamichi’s destiny is to pursue and slay demons. When her twin brother is killed, she is saved from despair by a pair of Jiu Jiu — shape-shifting familiars — in the form of two wolf pups named Snow and Night. Now Takamichi is in high school and an active Hunter. Snow and Night can’t wait to attend school in their human form to ‘protect’ her. But are they ready to go off leash…?” Viz Media will release Volume 1 in digest manga format this June.

image c. 2012 Viz Media

This Movie is for the Birds…

Sorry, sorry… sometimes you take the easy way out. This movie is actually for people who like birds! It’s called Zambezia, and according to an article at Cartoon Brew, it’s set to premier later this year in Africa — with a possible appearance in North America sometime in 2013. Zambezia is the first CGI feature film to come out of South Africa, produced by Triggerfish Animation. It tells the story of Kai (voiced by Jeremy Suarez), a young African falcon who sets off in hopes of finding a fabled City of Birds. No big shock, he finds it: But at first he has trouble fitting in, and then the entire city finds itself threatened by egg-hungry reptiles! Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonard Nimoy, and Abigail Breslin are among the voices you’ll hear as well. Check out the trailer on YouTube, or the official Zambezia page from Triggerfish, and keep your ear to the sky in 2013.

image c. 2012 Triggerfish Animation

Here Come the Hero Petz

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!

Suddenly there is much ado about Hero Petz, written by Dale Mettam and illustrated by Juan Fleites. First off, a quick recap from the original series: “Even as the evil Itachi Clan of ninja weasels tightens its grasp on Peludo City, six heroes — okay, five heroes and a crazy Monkey — stand ready to defend the innocent and fight for justice. El Conejito the Rabbit; Wonder Squirrel; Steel Shell the Turtle; Sensei Penguin-San; Kapitan Brüllaffe the Monkey; and Golden Hamster are the Hero Petz! Together, they take it upon themselves to keep watch over the city and protect the innocent!” First off, this June Stan Lee’s Kids Universe is re-releasing the original 80-page graphic novel (from 1821 Comics) in trade paperback. Also, there’s a video trailer for a new Hero Petz video game — as well as several fan reviews — up on YouTube.

image c. 2012 by Juan Fleites