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Watch, Out!

In the about-time department, perhaps, IDW have published a new Yo-Kai Watch full-color comic book series this spring. According to them: “The hit anime, manga and toy sensation from Japan comes to North American comics! Join Nate and his Yo-Kai, Whisper, as they battle against ill-intentioned Yo-Kai causing terrible trouble in their hometown!” Previously, Viz Media licensed the original Yo-Kai Watch manga by Noriyuki Konishi for release in North America. This new comic, however, is completely home grown: Eric M. Esquivel (Bravest Warriors) is the writer, with art by Tina Franscisco (Strawberry Shortcake) and Dono Sanchez Almara (Turbo Defiant). It’s available now. And, of course, the Yo-Kai Watch anime series is running on Disney XD, if you didn’t know. (Our thanks to Anime News Network for help with this article).

image c. 2017 IDW Publishing

 

The Wolf of Winter. Almost.

Dreamspinner Press is a publishing house that specializes in romantic LGBT fiction in a number of genres, including science fiction and fantasy. One of particular note caught our eye: Dog Days, written by T.A. Moore. According to the publisher’s web site, it goes like this: “The world ends not with a bang, but with a downpour. Tornadoes spin through the heart of London, New York cooks in a heat wave that melts tarmac, and Russia freezes under an ever-thickening layer of permafrost. People rally at first—organizing aid drops and evacuating populations—but the weather is only getting worse. In Durham, mild-mannered academic Danny Fennick has battened down to sit out the storm. He grew up in the Scottish Highlands, so he’s seen harsh winters before. Besides, he has an advantage. He’s a werewolf. Or, to be precise, a weredog. Less impressive, but still useful. Except the other werewolves don’t believe this is any ordinary winter, and they’re coming down over the Wall to mark their new territory. Including Danny’s ex, Jack — the Crown Prince Pup of the Numitor’s pack — and the prince’s brother, who wants to kill him. A wolf winter isn’t white. It’s red as blood.” And it’s available now in paperback.

image c. 2017 Dreamspinner Press

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B-E-A-RRRRR!

Patch the Steampunk Pirate Bear. Now how are you not gonna notice a title like that? Written, illustrated, and published by Matt Dean, Patch the Steampunk Pirate Bear and the Lost City of Gold is a brand new paperback book for young readers. According to Horror House Party, “Patch the Steampunk Pirate Bear and his friend, Sprocket the Mechanical Bird, sail a steam-powered airship on a great adventure sparked by a rescue mission.  Chased by his nemesis Captain Caroline, the great teddy-bear hero Patch risks everything to find the Lost City of Gold and save his friend Nikola.  But time is running out and Captain Caroline is hot on his tail!  Will Patch find Nikola and get his crew home safely before they are shipwrecked and trapped forever?” The official web site is also brand new, but it’s quickly filling up as the author travels the country promoting his book.

image c. 2017 by Matt Dean

This One You Can Call A Raccoon

Cameron Ferweda is a young author who wrote (and published!) his first book for young readers at the age of 10. Now in his teen years, he has continued to write The Great Adventures of Rocky Raccoon in three more books (so far), all of them skillfully illustrated by his dad, Michael Ferweda. According to the Rocky web site, “The Great Adventures of Rocky Raccoon is a series of spellbinding story tales of the two most unlikely of friends. Rocky and his sidekick, Buff [a frog], run into trouble at every turn of the page. Encountering pirates, monsters, and an evil duo, Rocky and Buff outwit them all. In this [first] tale, The Fight for Fang, Rocky becomes lost in a terrible storm and finds himself face to face with his worst nightmare – Fang!” The stories are also at Amazon.

image c. 2017 Zinger Digital

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Beware of the Penguin Conspiracy…

Some new discoveries from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books… including some things that maybe Man Was Not Meant To Know!  We met author Steve Hammond, who introduced us to his new science fiction saga Rise of the Penguins. “The War of the Species has begun. An ancient race of penguin has reemerged. From this race a powerful leader declares himself Overlord and unites the penguin clans of the world. His goal: to drive the human presence away from Antarctica and to exact revenge for the atrocities of the past against penguinkind. Through shadowy alliances and manipulation the Overlord launches a full scale war against the humans. The Overlord’s tactics are ruthless even against penguins under his command. Those who don’t conform to the Overlord’s ideals are pressed into obedience or worse. In the midst of bloody conflict against the humans a small Chinstrap penguin, Lavour, begins to see the folly of war and questions the motives of the Overlord. But can one penguin bring an end to the bloodshed and change their course of the war and restore peace?” No less than six books in the series are available now from Rockhopper Books, and a seventh volume is on the way soon. Visit the author’s web site to keep up to date. And remember to treat birds nicely!

image c. 2017 Rockhopper Books

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Help Restore An Animation Treasure

Once again we have Animation Scoop to thank for this bit of news: David Hale Hand, the son of Disney Legend David Dodd Hand, has a new new Kickstarter campaign up and running to restore his father’s Musical Paintbox series of animated shorts, as well as to update and enhance the Animaland series of shorts (which have previously been released on DVD). If you are not familiar with the elder Hand, check this out: “David Dodd Hand was an Animator and Director, and best known as Supervising Director of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Bambi (1942). He was also Studio Production Supervisor while he was at the Disney Studios from 1930 – 1944… Leaving Disney, he was creator and Managing Director of Gaumont British Animation (GBA), a J. Arthur Rank Studio, where he created the 19 films about which are the focus of this project.” Those 9 Animaland shorts introduced us to new characters like Ginger Nutt (and his girlfriend Hazel), Oswald Ostrich, and Digger the Platypus. Anthropomorphic characters made their presence known in Musical Paintbox too — a series about the quirky British countryside and its many legends. The Kickstarter campaign has only a couple of weeks left (as of this writing), and contributors will receive digital copies of the restored films, so visit soon.

image c. 2017 GB Animation

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The Horse Returns

Took ’em a while, but Dreamworks have finally brought us more adventures with Spirit, star of the 2002 2D animated feature Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Animation Scoop has a recent article introducing us to Spirit Riding Free, a new DreamworksTV animated series coming to NetFlix on May 5th. The story and characters are considerably different from the animated feature this time around: “When city-turned-country girl Lucky meets a wild mustang named Spirit, she feels an instant connection to the untamable horse. A courageous and natural-born leader, Lucky navigates this new world with her two new best friends, Pru and Abigail by her side. The trio embark on thrilling adventures, find genuine friendship, and discover what it means to be free!” No sign of Matt Damon to be found. Anyway, visit the article to see a trailer for the series.

image c. 2017 DreamworksTV

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Listen to the Masked One!

More tie-in stuff coming our way as we get closer to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2. Now Marvel Press give us a new hardcover illustrated book called Rocket’s Rules. “Ever wonder how to navigate a quantum asteroid field? Escape a deep-space maximum-security prison? Insult a powerful adversary without anyone catching on? You’re in luck! In this ultimate intergalactic survival guide, Rocket covers everything you need to know – including what it takes to be a good member of a team. So pay attention and read up!” It hits the shelves (like a missile!) right before the movie comes out, but you can pre-order it now over at Simon & Schuster. [Tip #1: Don’t call him a raccoon!]

image c. 2017 Marvel Press

Tiger Like A Tank

Later this month, Magnetic Press will be releasing the next installment of the Klaw series entitled Klaw: The Second Cycle. Once again it’s a hardcover graphic novel written by Antoine Ozanam and illustrated by Joël Jurion. As you may recall, in the first issue of Klaw we met young Angel Tomassini, who discovers several scary things at once: When he’s angry he turns into an anthro-tiger, and his father is a vicious crime boss, and there is a whole society of were-creatures who do not always have each others’ best interests at heart. And now: “The second volume in the series follows Angel and his girlfriend Lisa as they flee across the globe from the many dangerous forces that would steal their were-animal spirit for their own nefarious, criminal use.  As if spotting and defending themselves from these hidden enemies isn’t hard enough, they also have to keep their own delicate control of their powers in check… innocent lives can get caught in the crossfire, and all the power in the world is useless if you can’t protect your friends and loved ones…” Check out the preview pages.

image c. 2017 Magnetic Press

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