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May, 2012:

Off to Meet the Wild Things

Your ever-lovin’ ed-otter was taking a work-related trip to Nashville, TN for a few days. Now it’s time to get caught up…

The literary world (heck, the world in general) was saddened recently by the death of Maurice Sendak on May 8th at the age of 83. By far he was best known as the writer and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are, which revolutionized what a “children’s book” could be — and gave us all some cool monsters to befriend — when it was first published in 1963. But that is far from Mr. Sendak’s only legacy to Furry Fandom. Prior to Wild Things he was the illustrator of the Little Bear books by Else Holmelund Minarik. (Nelvana used his Little Bear designs when they created the animated Little Bear TV series and feature film in the late 1990’s.) In the 1980’s Mr. Sendak was often hired to be a production, costume, and art designer for East Coast opera productions, including the 1981 production of The Cunning Little Vixen by Leos Janacek — possibly the most anthropomorphic opera ever, and certainly the most anthropomorphic thing on stage before Cats came along. Most recently, Maurice Sendak had his works translated for the big and little screen: Where the Wild Things Are was adapted into a feature film by Spike Jonze in 2009, and that same year Sendak’s short story Higglety Pigglety Pop was adapted into a short film (starring the voice of Meryl Streep) using  a combination of live-action and puppetry. If you want to find out more about Mr. Sendak’s wide body of work, check out his Wikipedia page. But be warned: There are Wild Things there.

image c. 2009 Warner Brothers Pictures

The My Little Pony Project

Don’t look now, but My Little Pony has invaded the world of cool urban art. Actually, they did a long time ago, but with the phenomenal success of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, people’s awareness of ponies as fine art has grown by leaps and bounds. So folks are expecting quite a turn-out for this month’s My Little Pony Project  in Los Angeles, California. Headquartered at the Toy Art Gallery (7571 Melrose Avenue), My Little Pony Project 2012 features 2D and 3D high art from a variety of artists, all dedicated to their interpretations of My Little Pony — the current show and previous incarnations. This year, the gallery is hooking up with several local retail stores in the Melrose high fashion district (including Munky King, Japan L.A., and Joyrich) to display pony art and pony materials. Two of the sponsors of the month-long event (which started today and ends May 26th) include t-shirt maker We Love Fine and DVD maker Shout Factory. Juxtapoz Magazine has a good write-up on their site explaining it all.

image c. 2012 Toy Art Gallery

Dragons on your i-Phone

Dreamworks Animation have announced the release of a new video game for the iPad and iPhone called Dragons: Tap Dragon Drop (get it?).  Players take on the role of Hiccup and Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon movie series. As a terrible storm approaches the village of Berk, the vikings hurry to move their sheep to safety. But the sheep are scattered all over the island! Hiccup needs to train his dragon Toothless to herd (and in many cases, air-lift) the sheep away from danger while losing as few of them as possible. Dreamworks has a YouTube video preview of the game up now.

image c. 2012 Dreamworks Animation

The Return of Pantha

No, not the semi-cat Teen Titan, this is Pantha from Harris Comics — home to the famed Vampirella. Now Dynamite Entertainment has revived Pantha in a brand-new full-color comic book series written by Brandon Jerwa with art by Pow Rodix. Pantha is a shape-shifting cat-woman, an embodiment of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. “She stalks the night, driving the forces of Chaos from the shadows and hunting them down like prey! Much more than a feral shapeshifter, Pantha is also an avatar for the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet – and she’s going to learn that history can repeat in a violent, terrifying way! Featuring the  return of several heroes and villains from the pages of Pantha and Vampirella, ‘Dangerous Game’ will be an important cornerstone for the future of  Dynamite’s epic Vampirella universe!” That’s the official word from the publisher. Look for it this June.

image c. 2012 Dynamite Entertainment