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Saturday Morning on the Printed Page

Looks like we might have to wait a while for this one, but it might well be worth it. The Pink Panther Cartoon Hour Special is a one-shot full-color comic headed our way this June. Here’s what the publisher has to say: “Did you grow up watching The Pink Panther on Saturday morning cartoons?  We did!  This awesome new special brings back Pink and all his pals in brand new comics!  Welcome back the Texas Toads, Misterjaw & Catfish, The Ant and the Aardvark, and many more!  Now grab a bowl of cereal and rush to the comic shop to enjoy that nostalgic mix of hilarious hijinks again!” It’s brought to you by S.A. Check, Adrian Ropp, Bill Galvan, and the folks at American Mythology.

image c. 2017 American Mythology

In Between the Birdy Movies

In anticipation of the upcoming Rio 2 movie (coming to theaters this April), this month Papercutz Publishing begins a new series of Rio trade paperbacks, with Volume 1 filling in the gap between the first movie and this one. Rio: Snakes Alive is a 64-page full-color comic book written by Stefan Petrucha (Power Rangers) and illustrated by James Silvani (Darwing Duck). There’s a preview up at Bleeding Cool. “The first volume… catches up with Blu and Jewel, the last surviving Blue Spix Macaws, as they raise their kids in the Blu Bird Sanctuary near Rio de Janeiro. When the sanctuary is threatened by financial trouble, Blu and the gang embark on a quest deep into the jungle to find an ancient treasure that may save their home.”

image c. 2014 Papercutz

image c. 2014 Papercutz

Llama, Llama, Llama, No Duck

Somehow, another cultural meme has passed us by (we admit it), but evidently this is a Very Important Llama: “Polka Spot has traveled the world as a fashion model, pop superstar, movie star, magazine editor, diplomatic problem-solver, and general global icon. She goes where no llama has gone before. Her life in pictures is worth a million words. And every one is massively important.  In the rare moments that Polka Spot has any down time, she lives at home with Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, better known as The Beekman Boys, on their farm in Sharon Springs, NY. The Beekman Boys, who will be competing in the Amazing Race on CBS this season, wanted to feature their popular llama from their show that will start airing on the Cooking Channel later this month.  Bluewater Productions is giving this larger-than-life personality a brand new comic series titled Polka Spot: My Life in Pictures. The all-ages comic was co-written by Bluewater President Darren G. Davis, Michael Troy and the Beekman Boy himself, Brent Ridge. Polka Spot’s vibrant art was created by talented artist, Bernat.” Following all that?  We really didn’t either. But, you can find out more at 1st Comic News. Bluewater Productions will bring us Polka Spot #1 in full color this October.

image c. 2012 Bluewater Productions

Goodbye Gobo

Muppet fans around the world were recently saddened by another loss: Jerry Nelson, who had one of the longest careers of anyone in the world of Jim Henson’s Muppets, passed away on Thursday the 23rd at the age of 78. He was best known by legions of children around the world — including many who are now adults — as the voice and puppeteer of Count von Count, the beloved Sesame Street character who loved to count things as much as he loved to laugh maniacally. He was also the voice of the seldom-seen mammoth-like Mr. Snuffleupagus, Herry Monster, and Robin — Kermit the Frog’s young nephew.  More recently he was the voice and hands behind Floyd Pepper, bass player for The Electric Mayhem on The Muppet Show and subsequent movies. And after that, he brought to life Gobo Fraggle, the leader of the band of colorful characters on Fraggle Rock. So far, there’s no word on how Mr. Nelson’s passing might affect any plans that Jim Henson Productions (or their current owner, the Walt Disney Company) might have for a Fraggle Rock movie. As for Mr. Nelson… as Floyd Pepper might say, Rest in Peace my man.

image c. 2012 Jim Henson Productions

 

The 2010 Animation Pitch Party

The August 2010 issue of Animation magazine presented the results of the 2010 Pitch Party — where interested folk submit “pitches” for proposed animated series, consisting of a single illustrated panel. The “pitches” are judged by a group of industry experts, among them Kevin Gamble of Disney TV Animation, Brian Jones of Cartoon Network, and Kim Manning of Adult Swim. Among the submissions of note for furry fans were items like Dino-Might by Dom Voser (domvoser.blogspot.com), Pug & Cat by Brittany Langlois (brinnyart.com), Wolf Whiskers by Keith Krail, Backyard Dragon by Scotland D. Barnes, Monkey & Robot by Ken Gray and Mars Elliot (monkeyandrobotgo.com), The Monster Monkeys (www.atomicmonkeyltd.com), Samurai Chinchilla by Kristine Marsh (www.kristinemarsh.com), Rebel With Paws by Christopher Slaughter, Fireflyz Avengers by Don and Julie Farmer, Joe Chameleon by Dave Barton Thomas (www.seizethedave.ca), Franken-Cat by Simon Shocket (franken-cat.blogspot.com), and Eddie the Disgruntled Reindeer (eddiethedisgruntledreindeer.com). Gotta love that last one for the title alone. Visit the Animation Magazine web site to find out more about entering your own ideas in next year’s Pitch Party.

Missile Mouse

Missile Mouse is a full-color science fiction funny animal comic (whew!) created, written, and drawn by Jake Parker. His new creation is Missile Mouse Book 1: The Star Crusher, a 128-page adventure graphic novel.  “Missile Mouse, secret agent for the Galactic Security Agency, is a risk taker and a rule breaker, which is why he’s in hot water at GSA headquarters. Then RIP, the Rogue Imperium of Planets, kidnaps a scientist who knows about the Star Crusher, a doomsday machine capable of destroying the entire universe. Time to let loose the mouse! Missile Mouse battles giant space slugs, corrupt agents, killer bugs, and a pair of shark-headed thugs to save the day (and the scientist!). And when he’s sucked into the exploding Star Crusher, he becomes pure energy . . . energy that will consume him unless Missile Mouse can release it and destroy RIP’s spaceship fleet in time.” It’s available in hardcover and softcover editions, coming this December from Graphix. Jake has an extensive blog, showing step-by-step how he creates artwork for both the Missile Mouse comic and various publicity.

Missile Mouse, the postcard

Missile Mouse, the postcard

Johnny Monster

Speaking of Image Comics, check out the new three-issue full-color miniseries Johnny Monster (written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by J.C. Grande).  Johnny Monster is the world’s foremost giant-monster hunter, but what the world doesn’t know is that he was raised by the same monsters he’s “hunting”. Now, to save his adoptive family, he has to fight them!