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November, 2018:

Dino-Volve Again

Back in the 1980’s we had Dinosaucers, an animated TV series about warring tribes of anthro-dinosaurs who bring their battle to Planet Earth. (Not fooling anyone: The series is known these days mostly for its rather… rich dialogue writing…) Well now the original creator of Dinosaucers, Michael Uslan, has returned with a new Dinosaucers 5-issue comic book mini-series — illustrated by Andrew Pepoy and published by Lion Forge. “Reptilon has just found its sister planet-Earth-complete with water, fauna, and a billion pieces of meat. The Voyager has been peacefully traveling through space for years when, unexpectedly, it’s attacked by an alien, laser-shooting space shuttle. The attackers? Fully evolved, advanced humanoid dinosaurs who’ve destroyed their home planet and are now on the hunt to commandeer a new one to expand their empire.” Several issues are on the shelves already.

image c. 2018 Lion Forge

Nothing Spooky Here At All, Folks…

John Kerschbaum is a writer and illustrator we’re not familiar with, but evidently he’s quite well-known in the world of underground comics. Recently Fantagraphics published Petey & Pussy: Puppy Love, John’s second collection of black & white comic strips featuring the titular dog and cat… pets who have the heads of middle-aged men. Right… Here’s the official description: “John Kerschbaum’s Petey and Pussy, the stars of the cult classic 2008 book by the same name, return, and so does their unique brand of animal neuroses. Imagine a Secret Life of Pets where the animals hang out in dive bars. Petey is a compulsive dog that values his unchecked freedom and exemption from responsibility. Pussy is an irritable, self-absorbed cat, of course, with a gambling problem. They are joined by the obnoxious Bernie the bird, who has courted a new girlfriend (or is it just a mirror?) and their owner, a sexually frustrated geriatric who is more concerned with online shopping then her pets. Their darkly hilarious adventures include tracking down troublesome squirrels, barely taking care of a new litter of puppies, and avoiding the dreaded ‘snipsnip’ from the veterinarian.” Want to know more? Check out the review at The Comics Journal.

image c. 2018 Fantagraphics

Garfield Meets An Old Friend

You might well remember the name of Mark Dindal: He directed the films Cats Don’t Dance, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Chicken Little.  All films with more than a passing Furry Fandom interest, yes? Well Mr. Dindal largely disappeared after that trio of films… that is, until now. Check out this news from Animation Scoop: “Alcon Entertainment’s new Garfield animated feature has selected its director. The all-CG cartoon feature will be directed by Mark Dindal, it was announced today by Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. Writing team Paul Kaplan (George Lopez) and Mark Torgove (Raising Hope) penned the script. Pre-production it set to begin next month in Los Angeles.” So there you have it. More about a release date when we know!

image c. 2018 Alcon Entertainment

Aw, the Brits Get Everything!

This came out of nowhere, but we have an excuse: I appears to be a UK exclusive. Here’s what we got from Animation World Network: “Disney UK has announced that Paloma Faith, Miriam Margolyes, Ben Bailey Smith, Tameka Empson and Bethan Wright have signed up for a ‘spot’ on Disney Channel’s brand new animation series, 101 Dalmatian Street, and will be featured in the first season which is set to launch on Disney Channel UK early next year. Ahead of the season premiere, there will be a special episode, airing in December 2018, which will introduce audiences to the unique characters and world of 101 Dalmatian Street. The U.K. guest stars will be joining Josh Brener as Dylan (Silicon Valley, Star Wars Resistance, The Big Bang Theory), Michaela Dietz as Dolly (Steven Universe, Barney & Friends) who voice the eldest Dalmatian siblings… Aimed at girls and boys, the new series has been reimagined for the 21st Century and is set in modern day London in the borough of Camden. The series follows the adventures of eldest siblings Dylan and Dolly, their parents Doug and Delilah, and 97 younger puppies, whose names also begin with ‘D’, in an epic comedy about family life, multiplied one hundred and one.” The article has a whole bunch more about the voice actors and the production team. Who knows? Maybe Disney will let us folks in North America see this sometime.

image c. 2018 Disney Channel UK

Why the Crow is Black

Almost exactly a year ago we told you about a VR film in production called Rainbow Crow, based a Native American legend. Well now it seems that project has changed name and changed format. According to Animation Magazine, Crow: The Legend will premiere as a free-to-view animated feature on Facebook and YouTube later this month. “Written and directed by Eric Darnell [Antz, Madagascar] with input from Native American cultural experts and community leaders, the folklore-inspired tale arrives timed to Native American Heritage Month. The film features an all-star voice cast including John Legend as Crow, Oprah Winfrey as The One Who Creates Everything by Thinking, Sarah Eagle Heart (Native Americans in Philanthropy CEO) as Luna; 83-year-old tribal elder and lifelong Native rights crusader Randy Edmonds as the Narrator; Liza Koshy (Hulu’s Freakish) as Owl; Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Moth; Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One) as Turtle; and Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians, Fresh Off the Boat) as Skunk… Inspired by the classic Native American legend about the origins of the bird, Crow: The Legend respectfully illustrates the sacrifices the bird must make. As the most beautiful animal of the forest, Crow must risk everything to save those around him. With themes of diversity and self-sacrifice for the greater community, Crow demonstrates how one single act of sacrifice can have a profound impact to our world.” You can also check out the official trailer at Animation’s link.

image c. 2018 Baobab Studios

2019 Could Get Ugly

UPDATE: As we mentioned last summer, both a feature film and a new TV series based on the UglyDolls line of plush toys have been in development for some time. Well now thanks to Animation Scoop and the Hulu Network we have the first trailer for the UglyDolls animated feature. And as it turns out, the film includes quite a roster of singers and well-known actors giving voices to the characters, including Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Pitbull, Wanda Sykes, and Gabriel Iglesias. The film is directed by Kelly Asbury (of Shrek 2 and Gnomeo & Juliet).

image c. 2018 STX

It’s Not Fair Penguins Can’t Fly

An unusual new graphic novel from Fantagraphics Books: Penguins by Nick Thorburn. “Told almost entirely without words, Penguins is one of the most playfully original graphic novels in recent memory… relying on visual expression and the physical movement of his penguin characters, as well as the formal properties of sequential drawings (with penguins routinely moving within and without each page’s panel borders), Penguins is a series of interconnected short strips that, without words or human characters, does more to showcase the breadth of emotion we as humans experience than most prose novels.” It’s available now in hardcover from Amazon.

image c. 2018 Fantagraphics Books

Magics Best Left Hidden

You may recall we told you about Patrick and Jessica Reilly, a pair of U.S. military veterans who work together as a creative team. Well here’s an update: After some successful fundraising through Patreon the first issue their black & white fantasy comic Five Realms has been released. “Join Mehan, Ronin Prince of the Mallow Clan, his best friend Gellaze, and his student Iwain as they uncover the mysteries surrounding a ‘Golden King’ buried deep within a dust-chocked canyon.” The 1st issue is available at their Etsy store and a 2nd is due this winter.

image c. 2018 Zonks Illustration

Trapped in a World He Never Evolved For

Richard Fairgray is a well-known comic book artist and children’s book illustrator in his native New Zealand. (Interesting fact from his Wikipedia: Richard illustrates and animates his own works, even though he is legally blind.) His best-known work, Blastosaurus, created quite a sensation in his homeland. Now living in Southern California, Richard has re-launched his comic with the help of Paul Eiding and Golden Apple Books. From Previews: “Blastosaurus, a 6-foot-tall, mutant triceratops, aided by Tabitha Jones and Richard Green (the twelve-year-old sidekicks he never asked for) battles monsters, robots, sentient meatballs and whatever other weirdness Freak Out City can throw at him. This action/fantasy all-ages book is big, stupid fun, grounded by a real emotional core and the most human dinosaur you’ll ever meet!” And look, there’s a YouTube preview as well. Blastosaurus is out in comic shops now.

image c. 2018 Golden Apple Books