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July, 2018:

Too Much For Your Local Comic Shop?

Possibly the strangest “all ages” comic book you’ll find this year. Maybe we should let the publisher, American Mythology, explain The Filbert Factor: “It’s the kids’ comic that you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy, the comic that was too outrageous for Free Comic Book Day! We don’t like to brag, but this is one of the most ridiculous things you’ll see all year, with a cast that’s absolutely nuts. Filbert and his reluctant pals Hazel and Cashew find themselves the toast of the town after miraculously winning their middle school science fair competition, but the town itself is about to become toast when the swirling, yowling Meowstorm roars into the city of Turtleview. And wouldn’t you know it, only Filbert and his friends stand between salvation and certain cat scratches and allergic attacks.” It’s also written by Mike Wolfer, with art by Adrian Ropp and  Horacio Domingues. And it’s available now. [We’ll see you after Comic Con!]

image c. 2018 American Mythology

Delivering Fun to Kids

And yet more from Animation World Network. (Sheesh, there’s a lot coming down the pipe!) Guru Studios (home of the popular PAW Patrol) have a new animated series in production called Pikwik, aimed at the preschool set. “In the town of Pikwik, every day is a new surprise as thoughtful Suki the Hedgehog leads her team, Trevor the Racoon, Hazel the cat, and Tibor the hippo to help deliver surprise-filled parcels to the colorful residents. The 11-minute stories are packed with silly hijinks, big adventure, and heartfelt charm that will entertain preschoolers while underscoring the value of team work, responsibility, and critical thinking.” For once, there are actually plans to release this new series in the US — on Disney Junior, in fact, starting in 2019.

image c. 2018 Guru Studios

Close Encounters of the Furred Kind

We know, we know… Another item of interest at Animation World Network: It seems that Animal Planet will soon premier a new series with the rather straightforward title of Celebrity Animal Encounters. The premise is simple: Various celebrities sit down and talk about various encounters with various non-human animals, domesticated and otherwise… and their stories are then illustrated in a variety of mad animation styles. “Celebrity Animal Encounters began as a short-form digital series on Facebook Watch that drew in nearly four million views over the course of its four-episode run. It is being produced by Asylum Entertainment with the animation provided by Octopie Studios.” The new series starts up later this month, but you can check out the preview video now.

image c. 2018 Asylum Entertainment

Fabulous Werewolf

We haven’t heard of Flying Bark Productions before, but according to Animation World Network it sounds like we should start paying attention to them! The studio is hard at work on a CGI feature film called 100% Wolf, which they plan to follow with a TV series of the same name immediately after.  The plot? “Lovers of surreal, laugh-out-loud animation should enjoy this comedy series about Freddy Lupin, an 11-year-old boy set to turn into a werewolf, just like everyone else in his family. But things don’t go as planned when Freddy turns into an adorable poodle instead.” Got that? Interesting thing is the feature and series are based on a popular Australian children’s novel by Jayne Lyons. No word yet on distribution, but the film and series are scheduled to be complete in 2019.

image c. 2018 Flying Bark Productions

Keeping The Fog At Bay

Animation World Network recently published an article of interest to fans of traditional 2D animation — and funny animals. Tonko House has released a full episode of its new series Pig: The Dam Keeper Poems on-line for a limited time. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, here’s this: “Previously only available in Japan via production partner Hulu, The Dam Keeper Poems is based on the studio’s 2014 Oscar-nominated short film The Dam Keeper. Directed by former Pixar artists Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, The Dam Keeper tells the story of Pig, an introverted youth who lives in a windmill and keeps a dark fog from engulfing his town. Although socially rejected by his peers, he is befriended by the artistic Fox. The Dam Keeper Poems is a 10-episode series written and directed by Tonko House’s Erick Oh, who also served as Animation Supervisor of the original short film. Seen through Pig’s youthful perspective, with abstract and surreal visuals, the dialog-free series is centered around the friendship between Pig and Fox as Pig remembers how he became the Dam Keeper.” There’s a link in the article, but remember this is only available for a short while.

image c. 2018 Tonko House

What’s the Price of Admission?

For a while we’ve been hearing about a new animated film called Wonder Park. Well now Paramount Pictures have released the first teaser trailer, and Animation Scoop has more information. What’s it about? “One magical day, June is running through the woods to find her way home where she discovers an old rollercoaster car and climbs inside. She suddenly finds herself in Wonderland, an amusement park she had created in her mind and put aside. All of her rides and characters are brought to life but are falling into disarray without her. Now, with the help of her fun and lovable park characters, June will have to put the wonder back in Wonderland before it is lost forever.”  Ooo… The voice cast includes Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, John Oliver, Mila Kunis, and Kenan Thompson. Directed by Dylan Brown, Wonder Park is set to be released in March of 2019.

image c. 2018 Paramount Pictures

Cat and Kitty

More new and interesting stuff coming out of China. (By the way, did you miss Duck Duck Goose back in April? So did we.) Animation World Network has an article about the latest animated feature from Light Chaser Animation (home of the critically-acclaimed Little Door Gods). The new film is called Cats & Peachtopia, and once again it was written and directed by company founder Gary Wang. It goes like this:  “Cats & Peachtopia tells the story of father and son cats, Blanket and Cape, living a carefree life in a tower block in the southwestern Chinese megacity of Chongqing. Curious about the outside world and longing for his deceased mother, Cape sets off in search of the cat heaven Peachtopia. Blanket goes after his son and adventures ensue.” The article goes into more detail, as well as discussing the financial difficulties faced by an animation company that produces films primarily (though not exclusively) for the Chinese market. No word yet if Cats & Peachtopia will reach North America anytime soon (DVD or otherwise), but the film did show at this year’s Annecy animation festival.

image c. 2018 Light Chaser Animation

Plushies to the Rescue!

Here’s a new one-shot full-color comic book from Alterna Comics: The Fear Diaries.A dangerous threat to children across the world has returned. In the depths of The Nightmare Realm, The Dark Mistress has bode her time, waiting for the right moment to strike. Theodore Bearsly and his ragtag team of stuffed heroes face the greatest battle yet as they encounter The Dark Mistress’ army of evil toys who will stop at nothing to collect the fear of every child on earth.” Written by Garrett Gunn and illustrated by Jim Callahan, Ulises Grostieta, and Nicolas Touris, this new compilation brings together issues #1 – #3 of the original comic from last year. Check out the reviews over at Comic Book Round Up.

image c. 2018 Alterna Comics

Guys, Leave These Ladies ALONE!

Previews made us aware of a new comic series from Image called Maneaters, written by Chelsea Cain. In an interview, here’s how she describes it: “Maneaters is a monster story about women who turn into ferocious killer wildcats when they get their periods. They are very scary and dangerous and extremely grumpy. Naturally their unprovoked attacks cause a great deal of societal consternation, and measures are taken to help the women control themselves.” Got that? With art by Kate Niemczyk and Rachelle Rosenberg, the first issue pounces on the shelves in September.

image c. 2018 Image Comics