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September, 2020:

Find the Pig Wizard

Lightfall: The Girl and the Galdurian is the first graphic novel in the new Lightfall series, written and illustrated by Tim Probert. “Deep in the heart of the planet Irpa stands the Salty Pig’s House of Tonics & Tinctures, home of the wise Pig Wizard and his adopted granddaughter, Bea. As keepers of the Endless Flame, they live a quiet and peaceful life, crafting medicines and potions for the people of their once-prosperous world. All that changes one day when, while walking through the woods, Bea meets Cad, a member of the Galdurians, an ancient race thought to be long-extinct. Cad believes that if anyone can help him find his missing people, it’s the Pig Wizard. But when the two arrive home, the Pig Wizard is nowhere to be found—all that’s left is the Jar of Endless Flame and a mysterious note. Fearing for the Pig Wizard’s safety, Bea and Cad set out across Irpa to find him, while danger fights its way out of the shadows and into the light.” The book is available now in hardcover and softcover from Harper Collins.

image c. 2020 Harper Collins

One Handy Wise Panda

Animation World Network recently had an article about some new animated series coming to Apple TV+ later this year — and at least one of them is something that furry fans might notice. “Based on the Scholastic book series Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth, Stillwater centers on siblings Karl, Addy, and Michael, who are typical kids with typical kid challenges – meaning that sometimes even the smallest things can feel insurmountable. Fortunately for these three, they have Stillwater, a wise panda, as their next-door neighbor. Through his example, stories and gentle humor, Stillwater gives the children a deeper understanding of their feelings as well as tools that help them face their own day-to-day challenges. Stillwater also brings newfound fun and adventure for the three, opening their eyes to the quiet wonders of the world around them, and guiding them to their place within it.” Stillwater is set to premiere on December 4th.

image c. 2020 Gaumont and Scholastic

Wild Animals… in a Mall

So we found out about Wild Life, a new animated TV series coming to SYFY’s TZGZ lineup on September 26th. Animation Scoop put it like this: “It’s an adult, post-apocalyptic, talking animal, animated comedy… or as it’s been called by the creative team, “It’s like if The Walking Dead smoked a bunch of Adventure Time and binge-watched Friends.”” Wow, that’s a lot to take in. AS has an interview with series creator Adam Davies and his mates.

image c. 2020 SYFY

Off to Sea with Pi-Rats

Thanks to Furry.Today we found out about Curse of the Sea Rats — a new multi-player animated game currently in development. This “ratoidvania” (their word for it) adventure is interesting because the animation is actually hand drawn. Here’s what the web site says: “Curse of the Sea Rats is an epic hand-drawn ratoidvania starring a group of heroes transformed into rats by a pirate witch. Help Douglas, Buffalo, Akane, and Bussa to rescue the Admiral’s son, capture the evil pirate Flora Burn and break the magic spell. Curse of the Sea Rats packs all of the best features from the Metroidvania genre featuring beautiful 2D hand-drawn animation and 3D environments, combined with unique real-time combat mechanics, and of course, lots of rats!” The web site features a press kit, plus more information on the current Kickstarter campaign.

image c. 2020 Petoons Studio SL

Cold Reception

Arctic Dogs (2019) didn’t exactly blow up the box office or impress the critics much. (Ye EdOtter is still trying to figure out how the planned action-adventure film Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad morphed into this silly comedy…) Apparently though, Arctic Dogs has been very popular on Netflix — enough so that a spin-off series of animated shorts called Arctic Friends has been created. According to Animation Magazine: “Arctic Friends follows the exciting adventures of Swifty, the arctic fox who has finally achieved his dream job: Be the best delivery dog at Arctic Blast Delivery Service. With the help of his best friend PB the polar bear, Jade the red fox, and the ABDS team, this crew is ready to deliver at any cost! Constantly thwarted by the nefarious mastermind Otto Van Walrus and his mischievous puffins, Swifty must outsmart these villains to ensure that all packages are delivered to their rightful recipients.” The series recently premiered on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.

image c. 2020 Iervolino Entertainment

Spaghetti and a Nice Chianti?

Okay, this has us scared… We just came across this article at Slash Film: “Gary Dauberman is producing Stray Dogs, a movie based on an upcoming Image Comics title from Tony Fleecs [My Little Pony] and Trish Forstner. Plot details aren’t readily available, but the project is described as Silence of the Lambs meets Lady and the Tramp. [!] The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on the Stray Dogs movie, reporting that Paramount Animation and Gary Dauberman have picked up the rights, with Game Night writer Mark Perez tackling the script.” Image Comics is set to release the Stray Dogs comic in 2021, so we’ll know more of what we’re in for then.

image c. 2020 Image Comics

Looking On In Awwww

And another “ridiculously cute” (to quote one critic) full-color graphic novel for young readers: Bunbun & Bonbon, Volume 1 — Fancy Friends, written and illustrated by Jess Keating. “Bunbun has it all: a delightful Bunbun nose, a winning Bunbun smile, a ridiculously cute Bunbun tail, and not one, but two adorable Bunbun ears. But Bunbun doesn’t have a friend — until Bunbun meets Bonbon. Learning how to be fancy and eating donuts for lunch are two of the duo’s many adventures in this irresistible young graphic novel by acclaimed author and illustrator Jess Keating. Hop hop hooray!” Previews has more.

image c. 2020 Scholastic

Dungeon Crawly Critters

And more new stuff from MacMillan Publishing. Dungeon Critters is a new full-color fantasy graphic novel written by Natalie Riess and illustrated by Sara Goetter. “Join the Dungeon Critters — a tight-knit squad of animal companions — on a wild adventure investigating a sinister botanical conspiracy among the furry nobility. As they risk their lives traveling through haunted dungeons, swamps, and high society balls — they also come closer together as friends. Motivated by rivalries, ideals, and a lust for adventure, these critters navigate not only perils and dangers of the natural world, but also perils and dangers…of the heart!” MacMillan has preview pages on line. Look for it later this month.

image c. 2020 First Second

It’s Time to Walk Beneath the Moon

For a while now we’ve been hearing about the new film out of Tomm Moore and Cartoon Saloon, the folks who brought us Song of the Sea. Well now Wolfwalkers has a brand new trailer — and an upcoming release on Apple TV. “In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the Wolfwalkers and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.” Looks as if the release is going to be complicated. Furry.Today has the trailer and more info.

image c. 2020 Cartoon Saloon