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Bear-ing Witness to Evil

Getting in on the ground floor here… At Long Beach Comic Con we came across Not Teddy Bears, a new art project created by Robert Ly. Is it a line of toys? A new on-line comic? A graphic novel? We don’t know! And the official web site isn’t very clear about that. But still, there is a story to be told here: It seems that teddy bears as we know them are not just cuddly little fuzzy friends for children, but physical representations we have created from our memory of small bear-like creatures who defend us from monsters. When our world is invaded by violent, evil forces, those creatures suddenly become very, very important once again.

image c. 2017 8vs8 Entertainment

Return of the Dark Rodent

This one passed beneath our radar (perhaps naturally!) but we managed to catch it at Long Beach Comic Con. Nathaniel Osollo is an underground cartoonist who specializes in black & white… and funny animal noir. His most famous creation is Dark Mouse, “a disgruntled mouse with drinking and violence problems and a penchant for lady mice”. Whew. His first collection on paper is called I Used To Know Dark Mouse, but you can read it entirely on line at issuu.com. His web site, Eye Draugh (get it?) has more of Dark Mouse and other creations.

image c. 2017 by Nathaniel Osollo

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Creatures Both Strange and Fantastic

Shreya Shetty (try saying that three times fast!) is an illustrator and concept artist with a history in Hollywood productions. She has worked for companies like Rhythm & Hues, Wizards of the Coast, and Toon Studios on projects as diverse as Life of Pi, Dreamworks’ Home, and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. At her web site you’ll see many of her finished paintings of magical monsters and some cute familiar creatures, many of which she also sells as prints.

image c. 2017 by Shreya Shetty

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The Art of Hoo

This year at the Long Beach Comic Con we found a crafter named Dana Duncan who creates and sells art under the name The Pink Owlette. Yes, owls figure prominently in her designs, but so do cats (in space, or in cactus — go figure!) and foxes and unicorns, among other animals. She works those designs into enamel pinks, iron-on patches, and various fashion items and accessories. Check out her web site to see the latest of what she’s been up to.

image c. 2017 by Dana Duncan

And Speaking of Friends…

Also from Silver Sprocket… The (human) star of Benji Nate’s web comic CatBoy says this about herself: “Hi, I’m Olive. My cat Henry is my best friend. I saw a shooting star and wished he could hang out with me like a person. I think I should have been more careful with my wording.” Now Silver Sprocket have assembled a 140-page trade paperback of CatBoy that includes the comics from Vice.com as well as unreleased new material and bonus artwork.

image c. 2017 Silver Sprocket

Friends With Benefits — and Fur

Also at San Diego Comic Con we came across Silver Sprocket, a publishing house with several funny-animal titles under their banner. Among them is Please Keep Warm, a funny animal web-comic written and illustrated by Michael Sweater. Here’s what he says: “Please Keep Warm is a comic about friendship, overcoming depression, finding your place in the world, and also sometimes black metal. Please Keep Warm covers exciting subjects like not having an idea for a novel, showing a child how to play DOOM II, and not knowing what day of the week Silicon Valley comes on. Please Keep Warm is essentially the television show Friends but with references to The Cure.” What he said. The first paperback collection of Please Keep Warm is called This Must Be The Place, and it’s available now through Silver Sprocket.

image c. 2017 Silver Sprocket

Block-Heads

You may recall we previously mentioned Jed Henry and Dave Bull and their proposed video game Edo Superstar, with an art style based on the ancient art of Japanese wood-block prints. Well now their web site tells us they got the game completed, and they’re also making and selling their own line of wood-block prints (copied as giclees). A close look at many of the prints will reveal some subtle (or not-so-subtle) comic book, animation, and video game subjects depicted in a new and stylized manner.

image c. 2017 Ukiyo-e Heroes

Those Marked In White

Evan Dahm in an artist who has illustrated and published recent editions of classics like The Wizard of Oz and Moby Dick. In the meantime he keeps himself busy with a series of on-line comics and graphic novels. Among the most extensive is a fantasy comic called Vattu. According to him: “Vattu is a story following a member of a nomadic tribe caught in the midst of a massive clash of cultures. It was started in July 2010 and is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.” Visit his web site to see more, including an extensive character guide to Vattu — There are lots of non-human characters of various species.

image c. 2017 by Evan Dahm

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Animals On You

If you haven’t seen the works of Joe Weatherly, you should. Joe is well-known and well-respected illustrator who specializes in wild animals, portrayed in striking black & white and full color. His web site will show you what we mean. Joe has been hired as a drawing instructor by the likes of Nickelodeon Animation, Dreamworks Feature Animation, Universal Studios, Art Center, the Laguna College of Art and Design, and The Academy of Art in San Francisco. Now, Joe is offering several of his black & white sketches of various animals on a variety of t-shirts, through his new company called Fauna Shirts. The web site shows a limited number of the available designs, but you’ll see many more of them if you visit the Fauna Shirts booth — coming to a furry fandom or comic convention near you!

image c. 2017 by Joe Weatherly

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