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March, 2013:

The Adventures of Mickey Mouse — In Color

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, the daily comic strip, was initially written by Walt Disney himself and illustrated by Ub Iwerks when the strip began in 1930. When those two men found themselves too busy with animation to handle the strip, Floyd Gottfredson took over as both writer and artist — from late 1930 until 1975! Now Fantagraphics Books have brought together a special collection of full-color Sunday strips created by Mr. Gottfredson and put them in a paperback book, Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Color Sundays, Volume 1: Call of the Wild (*whew!*). Here’s the description from Westfield Comics: “Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse series makes the jump from black and white to vibrant color. Many of these classic Sunday strips from 1932-1935 have never before been reprinted and have been restored from Disney’s archives and enhanced with a meticulous recreation of the strips’ original color. Call of the Wild also brings you more than 30 pages of supplementary features such as rare behind-the-scenes art, vintage publicity material, and fascinating commentary by a prismatic pack of Disney scholars. This is a collection that fans have been seeking for a lifetime!” Edited by David Gerstein and Gary Groth, this softcover collection hits the stores in May.

image c. 2013 Fantagraphics Books

Robot Cat to the Rescue

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, DMP Digital Manga will be releasing a translated version of Osamu Tezuka’s A-Tomcat this April. Tezuka, as if you didn’t know, was the creator of Kimba the White Lion — and many many other world-famous titles, including of course Astro-Boy. This one-shot black & white paperback is an off-shoot of the Astro-Boy Series. Try to follow this: ” Tsugio is a young Japanese boy who is very fond of reading the Astro-Boy manga series. One day he finds a stray kitten and persuades his family to keep it. But then, after an encounter with two aliens honeymooning on Earth (!),  suddenly the little cat not only looks like Astro-Boy, but has Astro-Boy’s Powers! Check out more at DMP’s order site.

image c. 2013 DMP Digital Manga

Beware the Easter Bunny!

Following in the footsteps of Rise of the Guardians (sorry, we’re just sayin’…) comes Holiday Wars, a new full-color graphic novel coming this April from Th3rd World Studios. Based on the on-line continuing graphic story (written by Scott King and illustrated by Michael Odom), once again we have story where holidays are represented as living, breathing beings. “Holidays reflect the current culture of a society and like a shifting tide they change. Realizing this, The Easter Bunny declared war on the other Holidays in the hopes of gaining the one thing that can guarantee his immortality: The Holiday Spirit. Foreseeing The Bunny’s betrayal, Santa hid The Holiday Spirit and marked Tegan Cassidy, a human infant, granting her the ability to find it. After sixteen years of war, nearly all the Holidays have been killed or have joined The Bunny. Led by Earth Day, the rag tag group of observances still fighting, turn to a now teenage Tegan in the hopes that she can lead them to The Holiday Spirit.” Pre-order information for the trade paperback is up on Amazon.

image c. 2013 Th3rd World Studios

Working Here is like a Zoo…

Zoo Dot Com is a full-color on-line comic strip written and drawn by Matt McCray. The concept is simple: “In order to cut costs, the Zoo decided it would be a good idea to have the animals run their IT department and website.” You can check out the archives at (where else?) It’s been on hiatus for a while now as Matt works on other projects, but now Arcana Studio have announced that the first softcover paper collection of Zoo Dot Com will be released this April. Comix Zone has pre-order information.

image c. 2013 Matt McCray

The Air We Breathe

Breather is a new full-color graphic novel, coming soon. It’s conceived by Graeme Base (creator of Animalia), written by Sean Patrick O’Reilly, and illustrated by Asta Gunn. “On the distant planet of Otarius, invaders from the Birshh Dynasty have captured and enslaved the native Otarans. Pushed on by the ruthless Governor, timid Dr. Bjrork conducts horrific experiments to create a superior breed of slave. Years later, Birshh-Otaran hybrids are raised in captivity, dependent on ‘breathers’ – life-saving gas-masks that filter the Otarian air they, as hybrids, cannot tolerate. Two siblings, Dhrmmn and Lilli, strive to prove worthy of the Dynasty, to earn privileges for their half-breed kind.” No political allegory here, nope nope. Breather is coming in softcover from Arcana Studio this April, and you can check out a preview over at Graphic Policy.

image c. 2013 Arcana Studio

Sweeping the Clouds Away

Oddly enough for an international institution like Sesame Street, it has never had its own comic book — Until Now! Ape Entertainment’s Kizoic imprint presents the first regular Sesame Street full-color comic, written by Jason M. Burns and illustrated by Amy Mebberson. The first issue hits stores this April, and features one of five full-color covers that interlock into an ultra-wide poster.  “From television to the comic panel, Ape Entertainment will portray the characters that millions of parents and children have come to know and love in a comic series that will be produced in full color and available in stores this fall in standard comic sized printed editions for $3.99 and digest sized hardcover comic book editions for $7.99. They will also be available as a digital comic book that will be available through Apple’s App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.”

image c. 2013 Ape Entertainment

Gina and her Friends Turn 200

For 22 years, more than 5000 pages, and now 200 issues, Gold Digger has been written, drawn, colored, and lettered by one person: Fred Perry. Now Antarctic Press is celebrating the 200th issue of Gold Digger with the Gold Digger 200 Series Special. “Gina heads off on a dangerous expedition to a lost Mayan temple on Monster Island, and this one time, everyone’s available to come help out. For the first time, Gina embarks on an expedition with an army of experts to assist, and she’s going to need every one of them to help with what she faces!” Among the extras included in this issue is the location of a special web site where the previous 199 issues are available for free. Watch an interview with Fred Perry on YouTube discussing the issue, or you can pre-order it at Things From Another World. Everyone else can look for the issue in late April.

image c. 2013 by Fred Perry (of course)