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July, 2013:

Absurd Animals

Rose Tursi is an illustrator and craft-maker. Recently she (successfully) completed an Indiegogo campaign to fund her latest project, called Absurd Animal Illustrations. It’s a line of greeting cards and charm jewelry all illustrated by Rose, featuring, like the title says, absurd single-panel jokes and references with animals (like “flying fish” or a polar bear sunning in the tropics). Having completed the financial part of things, she now plans to expand the line and complete new pictures before releasing the first set of cards. Check out the campaign web site, or visit her personal site to see more of the illustrations she’s been working on, animal and otherwise.

image c. 2013 by Rose Tursi

Some… Familiar Ponies?

So, there’s this TV series, produced with young girls in mind, about talking ponies living in a magical land.  No, it’s not that one. “The Filly animated series brings to life the charming adventures of Rose and her friends as they attend the Magic Royal Academy of Funtasia. The Wizard of the Dark Mirror, and his comical minion Battiwigs, try to steal all the magic in the kingdom. Despite their wacky attempts, the Fillys enjoy everyday school life, studying and discovering their unique, and magical, crystal powers in these coming of age stories.” That’s from the producers and distributors. According to some sources, Filly is already a bigger toy product in Europe than My Little Pony. And then there’s this, from the Animation Magazine web site: “BRB and Dracco’s upcoming new animated series Filly Funtasia has put together a top-notch writing team: Dean Stefan (The Penguins of Madagascar, The Octonauts, Jake & The Never Land Pirates), Noelle Wright (Doc McStuffins, Sofia The First), Jymn Magon (Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures), Johnny Hartmann (Monster High), and Sean Derek (The Smurfs, ZhuZhu Pets, Strawberry Shortcake, Sabrina, Hello Kitty) are busy putting together episodes for the 26 x 30″ high-def series.” No kidding. Where have we been?

image c. 2013 BRB Internacional

Fresh and Salt Water Meet

Orky the Porky Orca (say THAT fast!) is a new full-color web comic written and illustrated by Brett DeWall. The premise is quite simple really: Orky the killer whale is accused of a murder he didn’t commit, and now he is forced to hide out among human kind. To this end he puts on a trench coat and fedora, and no one ever notices he’s an orca. Simple, yes? Oh, and helping him to adjust is a smoking, drinking frog named Pierre, with a French accent and (supposedly) refined tastes. Got all that?  Good. Check out Orky at his web site when it updates every Tuesday.

image c. 2013 Brett DeWall

Another Boy, Another Dinosaur

MIPCOM, if you need to be reminded, is an annual event held in Cannes, France, where would-be television producers from all over the world attempt to sell their entertainment products to distributors — all over the world. Held every year in October, it’s a great place to find interesting and unusual TV shows — many of them furry, especially in children’s TV of course.  Among the new crop is a show called Boy and the Dinosaur, produced in the UK by 1461 Productions. Based on an original idea by Jason Harding, the show is overseen by Davey Moore, David Bunting, Paul Couvela, and Russell Dever. The idea is quite simple: A 4-year old boy (called simply “Boy”) loves dinosaurs, and one wishes very hard that he could have one for a friend. Lo and behold, one shows up — a big orange saurid simply named “Dinosaur”. The two get along swimmingly, and have many adventures. The show was picked up for international distribution by Foothill Entertainment, and season one is currently in production with a hopeful release date of 2014. According to the official web site, the show has also been profiled in Variety magazine.

image c. 2013 by 1461 Productions

The Pitch Party 2013

Another San Diego Comic Con, and that means it’s time once again for Animation Magazine to hold their annual Pitch Party competition. For the past 12 years the Animation folks have asked would-be show-runners to purchase a 1/6-page ad in the magazine, wherein those creators can show off their idea for a new animated series as a one-panel poster. The ideas are judged by a panel of animation industry experts (including executives from The Hub, Cartoon Network, PBS, and more), as well as the Animation staff and the magazine’s readers, all of whom picked their favorites for a show to actually bring into development. As usual, there were several furry-themed titles among the entries, including: Mob Dogs by Paul Trineer, Across the Universe by Daron Orange, Master Karate Todd & the Power Squad (web site), Night Watch Dog by Chris Gruszka (web site), Fast Sloths by Stephanie Komure and Joseph Medina (web site), Shell & Paddy by Thomas Spettel (web site), and The Tinies of Raglan Shire by Michael Kushner (web site). So who won? Well the highest-scoring entry with a furry bent was Night Watch Dog, which took 2nd place from the industry panel and 1st place from the magazine staff. 1st place from the magazine readers went to The Tinies, while Fast Sloths took 2nd place from the readers and 3rd place from the staff.  Check out the July 2013 issue of Animation to see the rest of the entries, or visit their web site.

image c. 2013 Michael Kushner

The Moose of Might — or Vice Versa

Back from San Diego Comic Con, and we have SO much to tell you about! First up is Moos Miht, a black & white independent comic book series written and illustrated by Joshua Warner (and published by Hanging Chad Entertainment). It follows the adventures of a young adult moose living in Detroit who discovers that he is the son of a famous superhero, Mighty Moose — and several international crime organizations are after his hide because of it! According to Mr. Warner it’s less of a “spandex adventure” than a “noir crime drama” with animal characters. Decide for yourself: Visit the preview page at Comic Book Trailers. Recently, the first five-issue story arc has been collected into a trade paperback graphic novel.

image c. 2013 Joshua Warner

All the Mightiest Pets

After a successful run of the DC Super Pets comic book series, now DC comics bring us the DC Super Pets Character Encyclopedia, coming later this month as a full-color trade paperback.  This is from the pre-order page at Amazon: “Every super hero needs a Super-Pet! This illustrated encyclopedia features in-depth profiles, stats, and history about the DC Super-Pets and their owners. From Superman’s loyal dog, Krypto, to Batman’s heroic hound, Ace the Bat-Dog, this guide to the Worlds Greatest Pets has more than 200 DC characters, including many never-before-seen pets, all illustrated in Art Baltazar’s Eisner Award-winning style! With an introduction by legendary creator Geoff Johns, the DC Super-Pets Character Encyclopedia is sure to please comic book lovers young and old.” Not to forget, the text is written by Steve Korte. Take a closer look at the cover and you get an idea just how many animal characters are included here! [And with that, we’ll see you all after San Diego Comic Con!]

image c. 2013 DC Comics

That New Rabbit is Strange…

Cantrip The Magic Rabbit is an on-line “anthropomorphic comedy” black & white comic created by “the popular Furrlough duo of Shon Howell and Phil Gibson” (according to the publishers). Here’s the description: “Strange things are happening in Templarsville, Oklahoma. The students at Julius Schwartz Memorial High are abuzz about the new girl, Candice Tripp. They say there’s something unusual about her, possibly unnatural. Of course, the fact that she was discovered in an abandoned house outside of town with complete amnesia lends itself well to these types of fanciful imagination. With her new friends, Candice will learn what it’s like to live in a normal town, until her very un-normal past comes back to haunt her!” Now Radio Comix are releasing the collected Cantrip The Magic Rabbit as a softcover graphic novel next month. You can find out more about it at Second Ed.

image c. 2013 Radio Comix

Say Hello to Toothless — Again

Recently on YouTube, Dreamworks Animation released the official trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2, coming to theaters in June of 2014. Absolutely nothing about the plot is revealed, but it’s easy to see that both Toothless the night fury and his rider Hiccup have grown up considerably — and learned a lot about aerial acrobatics.  The new film is both written and directed by Dean Deblois, half of the team that directed the first film.

image c. 2013 Dreamworks Animation