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January, 2021:

A World for Girls. And Bunnies.

An interesting new graphic novel is on its way — interesting for furry fans, fantasy readers, and anyone exploring their own identity. Try this: “Three years ago, Ash’s mom, Kristin, left home and never came back. Now, Ash lives in the house where Kristin grew up. All of her things are there. Her old room, her old clothes, and the shed where she spent her childhood creating a fantasy world called Koretris. Ash knows all about Koretris: How it’s a haven for girls, with no men or boys allowed, and filled with fanciful landscapes and creatures. When Ash’s friends decide to try going to Koretris using one of Kristin’s spell books, Ash doesn’t think anything will happen. But the spell works, and Ash discovers that the world Kristin created is actually a real place with real inhabitants and very real danger. But if Koretris is real, why is Ash there? Everyone has always called Ash a boy. Ash uses he/him pronouns. Shouldn’t the spell have kept Ash out? And what does it mean if it let Ash in?” Girl Haven by Lilah Sturges and Meaghan Carter is coming this February. Check it out over at Comics Beat.

image c. 2021 Oni Press

Buck to the Future

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss even more new anthropomorphic TV series for kids coming out. Like Deer Squad, coming soon to Nickelodeon. “The adventure-rescue show follows four, lovable, enthusiastic, and heroic deer friends — Kai, Lola, Bobbi and Rammy — who protect the animals of Central Forest and the humans who inhabit Platinum City, a futuristic metropolis surrounding their woodland home. When there’s trouble, the Deer summon their special Planet Powers of Water (Kai), Wood (Lola), Earth (Bobbi) and Sun (Rammy) to solve problems.” The show has already had a successful run overseas, and now it’s set to premier in North America later this month. Animation World Network has a trailer.

image c. 2021 iQIYI

Take the First Steps. Please!

Dark comedy gets dark with Julian In Purgatory, a new black & white funny-animal graphic novel written and illustrated by Jon Allen. This is from Kirkus Reviews: “Julian (an anthropomorphized cat) is the son of a former two-term mayor, wearer of expensive shirts, and addict of his coffee-table drug buffet. After his levelheaded girlfriend kicks him out, Julian dredges his list of next-best friends hoping to find money, new digs, and someone who will understand why the world is against him. Though he hates his haters, he can’t help but think that maybe there’s some truth to what they’re saying. Julian’s interpretation of lemons to lemonade: steal a bag of drugs from his dealer and try to make a financial go of it without getting caught. Except he does.” Available this February in trade paperback from Iron Circus Comics.

image c. 2021 Iron Circus Comics

Cats… Saviors of the Universe

Another animated series for the young fans — and where-have-WE-been, it’s already getting into its second season! This from Animation World Network: “Nelvana and Discovery have greenlit a second season of redknot’s inaugural series, Agent Binky: Pets of The Universe… Based on the bestselling Kids Can Press graphic novels (written and illustrated by Ashley Spires), P.U.R.S.T. agents Binky, Gracie, Gordon, Loo, and Nola are back on the case and ready to protect their human families from even more aliens, robots, and interstellar threats. Certified and ready for action, the team is determined to go where no pet has gone before! Equipped with even more gadgets, the agents set off on exciting adventures, exploring new locations, and meeting new friends.” It’s scheduled for later this year in Canada, but no word on a date for the USA.

image c. 2021 Nelvana

Raptors on the Range

And more new TV series for the younger folk. This time it’s Dino Ranch, coming later this month to Disney Junior. “The animated series, produced by Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker Studios, follows the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical, ‘pre-westoric’ setting where dinosaurs roam. As the young explorers learn the ropes, they discover the thrill of ranch life while navigating the great outdoors through unpredictable challenges.” Seriously, sometimes all you need to do is take a look at one picture and it’ll tell you all you want to know about a series! For the rest, visit Animation World Network.

image c. 2020 Boat Rocker Studios

Learning Experiences

Dreamworks Animation has a new streaming show out there for the younger set. Here’s what we got from Animation World Network: “DreamWorks Animation’s Gabby’s Dollhouse, now streaming on Netflix, is a mixed-media preschool series that follows Gabby as she unboxes a surprise before jumping into a fantastical animated world full of adorable cat characters that live inside her dollhouse. The series emphasizes personal growth, inspiring kids to turn their missteps and mistakes into something creative and beautiful. True to Gabby’s signature phrase ‘we failed fantastically’, every episode encourages flexible thinking and imaginative problem-solving through resilience and resourcefulness. Through DIY crafting projects, baking recipes, and brain games, every room of Gabby’s Dollhouse is filled with fun activities and magical adventures to keep kids engaged and entertained.” At least for the moment, there are clips up on YouTube.

image c. 2021 Dreamworks Animation

The Ones Who DON’T Rock Out… as much

One of the things that makes the award-winning anime series Aggretsuko quite fascinating is all the interesting side characters our red-panda hero finds herself surrounded by. Wouldn’t you like to know more about them, too?  Well, Oni Press agrees! Aggretsuko — Meet Her Friends is a new full-color comic miniseries written by Cat Farris, with art by Lisa DuBois and Leonardo Ito. “Dive further into the world of Aggretsuko, the hit Netflix show, with these character-focused stories! Up first, meet the enigmatic YOGA TEACHER… Over drinks, Retsuko and her coworkers ponder his mysterious past.” Available now from Oni Press.

image c. 2021 Oni Press