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June, 2013:

Rocket Raccoon Remembered

With the recent success of Marvel Comics’ Guardians of the Galaxy title (and much anticipation for the upcoming film version), lots of folks are suddenly becoming interested in the character of Rocket Raccoon — in fact, he’s considered to be the breakout star of the series, along with his friend Groot the tree-man. Well now, Marvel is finally revisiting the origins of Rocket Raccoon with a new full-color trade paperback due this August, Rocket Raccoon: Tales from Half-World. As written by Bill Mantlo and illustrated by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola (with a new cover by Steve McNiven), this collection brings together issues 1 – 4 of the original Rocket Raccoon series, highlighting his adventures (with his walrus pal and his otter girlfriend) as the guardian of the Keystone Quadrant. At one point, Bucky O’Hare even makes a guest appearance! Marvel has more on their web site. Also, the rocket-booted procyonid plays a big part in the new Nova: Origins Premiere Hardcover — also in full color, and also coming in August. Rocket Raccoon and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy teach young Sam Alexander the art of being a super-powered guardian of space and time! Check it out at Forbidden Planet.

image c. 2013 Marvel Comics

Prepare for the Battle of the Endor Moon

Love them or loathe them, the Ewoks became a big part of the lore of the Star Wars universe, both during and after the original movie trilogy. Now this October comes a brand-new full-color trade paperback from Dark Horse Press, looking to tie up some loose ends. “Until now, the Ewoks had been able to ignore the arrival of the Empire’s stormtroopers on Endor. But when they discover their rivals, the Duloks, have been enslaved and a legendary beast has been awakened, the Ewoks realize they may have to prepare for war—as soon as they figure out how to survive the beast!” Written and illustrated by Zack Giallongo (with art help by Braden Lamb), Star Wars: Ewoks — Shadows of Endor links up events and characters from the Ewoks animated TV series with the events in Return of the Jedi.

image c. 2013 Dark Horse Press

Pogo’s First Appearance

Well now, you learn something new every day… This is from the publisher’s press release: “Walt Kelly’s Pogo, acknowledged as one of the most important and influential comic strips of all time, first appeared not in newspapers but as a feature in the Dell comic book anthology Animal Comics, in its first issue, in 1942. The complex, multi-layered, character rich world of Pogo and the Okefenokee Swamp started in these early stories. Now, fans of Pogo can experience it all from the beginning with Hermes Press’ reprint of the complete Dell Comics Pogo. Volume 1 features all of the Animal Comics Pogo stories together with complete reprints of Pogo’s appearances in Dell’s Four Color comics. With Hermes Press’ complete reprint of the Dell Comics Pogo, admirers of this ground-breaking comic feature can now witness the strip’s evolution, in an archival hardcover, digitally reconstructed to perfection.” Unfortunately you’ll need to wait for October to see Walt Kelly’s Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics, Volume 1 (in hardcover) but you can pre-order it at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2013 Hermes Press

Overture, Hit the Lights

Warner Brother Studios are celebrating their 90th anniversary, and in honor of that are releasing a series of DVD collections known simply as The Best of Warner Brothers. Around here, the collection most folks are likely to find interesting is The Best of Warner Brothers: 50 Cartoon Collection — Looney Tunes. This 2-DVD set is coming out this week. Here’s the skinny, from CD Universe: “It’s always ‘wabbit’ season now that the best Looney tunes Cartoons from the Warner Bros. vault are available in this wild two-disc collection! Reunite with Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, Daffy Duck and all the Looney Tunes gang in an animated assortment of hits that have tickled the funny bones of cartoon lovers for generations. There’s something for everyone in this must-own collection of 50 Looney Tunes classics that helped contribute to 90 years of Warner Bros. cartoon magic. ” There are bigger box-set collections out there, but this best-of collection brings together many well-known favorites like Rabbit of Seville, One Froggy Evening, Duck Amuck, and more, all in one set.

image c. 2013 Warner Brothers

A Bird and a Racoon Walk into a Bar…

It’s one of the most popular and well-known creations of Cartoon Network, and it’s been nominated several times for an Ursa Major Award. Now, fans of CN’s The Regular Show will be happy to hear that two full seasons — that’s 40 episodes — will be coming this July with the release of  Regular Show — The Complete First and Second Seasons on DVD and Blue-ray. From the preview at “This release marks the first time the Emmy Award-winning animated series created by J.G. Quintel (The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Camp Lazlo) and produced by Cartoon Network Studios will be available as a full season set and the show’s first Blu-ray release. If that’s not enough of a draw, both the DVD and Blu-ray will also include more than two hours of bonus features, highlighted by: Audio commentary for every single episode from Quintel and the show’s storyboard artists; the un-aired pilot episode from the series and an animatic for it; a video of Quintel pitching the series’ first episode, The Power complete with animatic; an interview with Quintel about the series; and his student short, The Naïve Man from Lolliland.” More Rigby and Mordecai than you can shake a gumball at.

image c. 2013 Cartoon Network


Well sort of… and face it, you knew it was coming! First up is Monopoly: The My Little Pony edition — by which they mean My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic of course. It’s available for pre-order at Comics Infinity. “Welcome to Ponyville! A big adventure and tons of fun await you in this playful My Little Pony edition of Monopoly! Favorite locations in Ponyville are up for grabs including Cutie Mark Clubhouse, Sweet Apple Acres, Manehattan, and the Crystal Empire. ” The six game tokens are, of course, the “mane six” characters from the series.  What, not into the MLP phenomenon? All right, head on over to Coin-Op.TV and check out the Monopoly: Skylanders edition, also in pre-orders now. They’ve got just about everyone covered!

image c. 2013 Hasbro / The Hub

For Those Who Like the Furry Ladies

Early in July (at AnthroCon, in fact), Fur Planet will release a new full-color furry portfolio/magazine simply titled Women of Fur, edited by Marilyn Cole (also known as Sheppymomma). Here’s the idea: “Women of Fur is an collaboration between 12 different artists. Each artist chose to illustrate an empowering word that any woman can stand for. This collection of work is out to showcase the female form, anthro art as fine art, and the problem solving process involved in illustration.” Got that? Various of the artists involved have put up links to their pieces on their Fur Affinity pages, and the portfolio is available for pre-order at Fur Planet’s shop site.

image c. 2013 Fur Planet

The Local Monster Needs An Upgrade

Monster on the Hill is a different sort of all-ages graphic novel, coming this July from Top Shelf Productions. “In a fantastical 1860s England, every quiet little township is terrorized by a ferocious monster — much to the townsfolk’s delight! Each town’s unique monster is a source of local pride, not to mention tourism. Each town, that is… except for one. Unfortunately for the people of Stoker-on-Avon, their monster isn’t quite as impressive. In fact, he’s a little down in the dumps. Can the morose Rayburn get a monstrous makeover and become a proper horror? It’s up to the eccentric Dr. Charles Wilkie and plucky street urchin Timothy to get him up to snuff, before a greater threat turns the whole town to kindling.” All of this brought to you in full color by artist and storyteller Rob Harrell. There’s a pretty good preview of it at Whatcha Readin’.

image c. 2013 Top Shelf Productions

New Books for Young Readers

Stan Lee’s Kids Universe imprint continues to be a good source for new books aimed at kids — and kids at heart of course. Which, often enough, include furries! Dani Jones has been reviewed here previously for her book Monsters vs. Kittens (check it out here). Now her latest work is called Once Upon A Time, and it’s simple: A young pig is trying to tell a fanciful tale, but on each page his various animal friends keep cutting in with their own take on the story. Visit Dani’s web site to find out more about these and other current projects. Also from Kids Universe, look for Reggie the Veggie, written by Dale Mettam and illustrated by Ivan Escalante. It chronicles the adventures of a young, vegetarian crocodile trying to get through his first day at school — and, word is that Reggie might have a game in development as well. Look for both of these new books to come out this July.

image c. 2013 Stan Lee’s Kids Universe