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August, 2017:

Toying With Magick

Tokidoki is a boutique toy and design company we encountered at Comic Con. Their web site describes them very well: “Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, tokidoki was founded in 2003 by designer Simone Legno and his partners Pooneh Mohajer and Ivan Arnold. An innovative line of apparel, handbags, cosmetics, accessories and more, tokidoki has built a worldwide following with its larger-than-life characters and designs. The brand’s cult status has fueled high-profile collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld, LeSportsac, Onitsuka Tiger, Marvel, New Era, Hello Kitty, Fujitsu, Levi’s, Smashbox cosmetics, Xbox, T-mobile, Fornarina, Skullcandy and Medicom Toy.” Whew! Those “larger than life characters” include unicorns, cute cows, and other chibi human and funny animal creations. Turns out they’re available at a large number of well-known retail stores worldwide too.

image c. 2017 tokidoki

Look At Th-Th-This!

We got this over at Animation Scoop: “Warner Archives has announced today the September 19th release for Porky Pig 101 – a unique 5-disc DVD set that collects 99 black-and-white Looney Tunes (and two Technicolor Merrie Melodies) starring Warner Bros. first cartoon superstar. The set includes cartoons dating from 1935 (with Porky’s first appearance in Friz Freleng’s I Haven’t Got A Hat) through 1943 (in Frank Tashlin’s Porky Pig’s Feat), presented in original release order. There is audio commentary on key cartoons from animation historians Greg Ford, Michael Barrier, Jerry Beck, and Mark Kausler, among others.” All these years, and still no pants…

image c. 2017 Warner Archives

Those Marked In White

Evan Dahm in an artist who has illustrated and published recent editions of classics like The Wizard of Oz and Moby Dick. In the meantime he keeps himself busy with a series of on-line comics and graphic novels. Among the most extensive is a fantasy comic called Vattu. According to him: “Vattu is a story following a member of a nomadic tribe caught in the midst of a massive clash of cultures. It was started in July 2010 and is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.” Visit his web site to see more, including an extensive character guide to Vattu — There are lots of non-human characters of various species.

image c. 2017 by Evan Dahm

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Golden Grow the Sirrushes, Oh

Wayward Raven is the name of a small press comic book publisher founded by Mark C. Frankel. More recently though, the company has branched out and published a new picture book for young readers. It’s called Percy, written by Mark and illustrated by Elke Reva Sudin. “Percy is a sirrush. Just what is a sirrush? In truth, even Percy himself doesn’t know, but he is determined to find out. Join the noble Percy as he goes on a quest across many lands and encounters interesting characters as he attempts to find others like himself.” Something to do with the gates of ancient Babylon. Read it, you’ll understand.

image c. 2017 Wayward Raven

Update on a Goose

We mentioned before about an upcoming animated film called Duck Duck Goose, one of several films being financed the Chinese firm Original Force with the intention of releasing in North America. Well now, according to an article at Cartoon Brew, Duck Duck Goose has a release date — April 20th, 2018 — and a teaser trailer up on YouTube. “Chris Jenkins, a veteran Disney effects animator who more recently shifted to the producing side (Dreamworks’ Home, Sony’s Surf’s Up), makes his feature directorial debut on Duck Duck Goose. Jenkins co-wrote the film with Rob Muir… The film follows the adventures of a ‘high-flying bachelor goose’ named Peng (voiced by Jim Gaffigan) who finds himself in charge of two ducklings (voiced by Zendaya and Lance Lim) that he must take along on a long journey south. Other voices are provided by Greg Proops, Natasha Leggero, Reggie Watts, Diedrich Bader, Jennifer Grey, Rick Overton, Craig Ferguson, Stephen Fry, and Carl Reiner.” Distribution is being handled by Open Road Films, the same outfit that released The Nut Job and its recent sequel here in the States.

image c. 2017 Original Force

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Just Out of Sight…

Yet another Comic Con discovery. The creators themselves explain this one best: “Thimblestump Hollow looks like any normal slice of the natural world – in fact, it may be in your own yard, at the end of your street, or in that forgotten corner by the grocery store where that patch of weeds is growing. The creatures of Thimblestump Hollow inhabit these places, asking us to pause for a second and consider what worlds could be just beyond our notice, if we would only stop and look. The Thimblestump Hollow vinyl blindboxed toy line is based on characters created by artists Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd, and produced by Cardboard Spaceship Toys.  Initially developed in 2014, it debuted at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con, and has since sold tens of thousands of pieces worldwide online, as well as through brick and mortar retailer outlets such as Hot Topic.” You can visit their web site to see the full line they’ have so far.

image c. 2017 Cardboard Spaceship Toys

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Animals On You

If you haven’t seen the works of Joe Weatherly, you should. Joe is well-known and well-respected illustrator who specializes in wild animals, portrayed in striking black & white and full color. His web site will show you what we mean. Joe has been hired as a drawing instructor by the likes of Nickelodeon Animation, Dreamworks Feature Animation, Universal Studios, Art Center, the Laguna College of Art and Design, and The Academy of Art in San Francisco. Now, Joe is offering several of his black & white sketches of various animals on a variety of t-shirts, through his new company called Fauna Shirts. The web site shows a limited number of the available designs, but you’ll see many more of them if you visit the Fauna Shirts booth — coming to a furry fandom or comic convention near you!

image c. 2017 by Joe Weatherly

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Cats Just Wanna Have Fun

Kelly Frances Rutherford is a writer who’s been working on a series of picture books for very young beginning readers. Her first completed work is a collaboration with artist Wattana Khonmarath called Annie Just Wants To Play. It goes like this: “Annie justs wants to play and Athena just wants to be left alone. Follow these two cats on a wild chase!” Visit Kelly’s web site to order this new book or keep track of more upcoming projects.

image c. 2017 KFR-Creative

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Funny Animal Housewares

More we found at Comic Con: Genkimix is an Internet store associated with the Gaia on-line roleplaying community. They specialize in household items and knick-knacks featuring a variety of cute chibi funny animal designs. Everything from toothbrush holders to purses to t-shirts to notepads and more. What more can we say? Check out their many forms of cuteness.

image c. 2017 GenkiMix

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