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Werewolf Minds and Werewolf Hearts

Interlude Press is a boutique publisher specializing in fiction geared toward the LGBT crowd and their friends and allies. While visiting their booth at the LA Times Festival of Books we came across the works of Michelle Osgood.  Her talent is dark supernatural fantasies with more than a touch of romance — and her favorite subject seems to be werewolves. Here’s the press release for The Better To Kiss You With, the first book in her series of the same name: “In the rare moments when Deanna Scott isn’t working as the moderator for Wolf’s Run, an online werewolf role-playing game, she wanders the local forest trails with her golden retriever, Arthur, and daydreams about Jaime, the attractive, enigmatic woman who lives upstairs. As Wolf Run’s “den mother,” Deanna is accustomed to petty online drama. But when threats from an antagonistic player escalate, Deanna wonders if her awesome online job could be riskier than she’d ever imagined — and if her new girlfriend knows more about this community than she had realized.”  The next two books in the series are Huntsmen and Moon Illusion.

image c. 2018 Interlude Press

Let Your Art Take Flight

Now here’s someone we actually met at the LA Times Festival of Books: Michael Dante DiMartino, who told us about Rebel Genius, the first book in his new novel series. Here’s what they say over at Barnes & Noble — and why you should care. “A new fantasy-adventure series from the co-creator of the hit animated shows Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra! In twelve-year-old Giacomo’s Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. A few artists possess Geniuses, birdlike creatures that are the living embodiment of an artist’s creative spirit. Those caught with one face a punishment akin to death, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he’s in serious trouble. Luckily, he finds safety in a secret studio where young artists and their Geniuses train in sacred geometry to channel their creative energies as weapons. But when a murderous artist goes after the three Sacred Tools—objects that would allow him to destroy the world and everyone in his path—Giacomo and his friends must risk their lives to stop him.” Look for the other books in the series too, from Square Fish.

image c. 2018 Square Fish

Where Have All the Dragons Gone?

Here’s one we came across at the LA Times Festival of Books: The Erth Dragons, a new fantasy series by Chris d’Lacey. The first book is called The Wearle. “The Wearle came to Erth to find out what happened to their previous colony, who never returned. Gabrial, a young blue dragon, is desperate to prove his worth. But the dragons aren’t alone in the mountains. Out beyond the scorch line Ren, a young hom boy, is fascinated by the ‘skalers’. Little does he know that his fate and theirs are linked in ways he could never have imagined.” Read all about it (and the other two books so far in the series) over at Goodreads.

image c. 2018 Orchard Books

It’s Dangerous for a Pig to Dream

Here’s another one that Previews alerted us to: Unnatural is a hit full-color comic series in Italy, and now Image Comics is about to unleash it on North America. “Leslie is a simple pig girl. She loves sushi, she’s stuck with a job she hates, and she lives under a brutal totalitarian government – one that punishes transgressors for anything deemed ‘unnatural’. Leslie dreams of something different for herself. But those dreams are becoming dangerous…” Interestingly, writer and artist Mirka Andolfo says that none other than Omaha the Cat Dancer (by the great Reed Waller and the late Kate Worley) served as an inspiration for this series. Look for it soon in stores.

image c. 2018 Image Comics

Submitted for Your Approval: A Planet of Apes

Bit of trivia you might not be aware of: In the late 1960’s Rod Serling (creator of The Twilight Zone) was the first person picked to adapt a screenplay from Pierre Boulle’s science fiction novel Planet of the Apes. Which he did — unfortunately his version (closer to Boulle’s book, featuring apes in a modern high-tech world) was considered un-filmable at the time, and a new adaptation by Michael Wilson was used instead for the famous 1968 film starring Charlton Heston. Well now, Boom! Studios have created Planet of the Apes: Visionaries, a new full-color graphic novel of Serling’s original script. Put into comic book form by Dana Gould and illustrated by Chad Lewis, it arrives in stores this August. Previews has an interview with the Boom! Studios folk all about it.

image c. 2018 Boom! Studios

And More Dragons in Your Future

Meanwhile we got this from Moviefone.com: Turns out that we now have details about a new Disney animated film, Dragon Empire, scheduled for release in 2020 (they think). “Paul Briggs — head of story on Big Hero 6 and Frozen — will make his directorial debut… alongside Tangled animator Dean Wellins [as co-director]. Cars and Cars 3 writer Kiel Murray is said to be developing the script, with Moana producer Osnat Shurer back to produce.” Not a lot of details on the plot yet, but we know it involves dragons, a plucky female lead named Jan-Nin, and a male character named Bolin who is “said to be comic relief and a 900-year-old mentor to Jan-Nin.” The article also points out that Dreamworks is busy getting ready for the release of How To Train Your Dragon III in 2019, and we’ve already talked about Wish Dragon, Sony Picture’s dragon fantasy which is also slated for 2019. Looks like there are a lot of dragons flying our way!

image c. 2018 Walt Disney Animation

The Dragon Throne?

And more from AWN. (They’ve had lots of good stuff lately!) “Game of Thrones author and producer George R.R. Martin is bringing his fantasy game to animation, with Warner Animation Group set to adapt his 1980 children’s book The Ice Dragon into a feature. Though dealing with dragons, the book and the feature have no connection to either the A Song of Fire and Ice novels or the Game of Thrones TV series. According to Deadline, which reported the news first, the book tells the tale of a young girl who befriends a rare ice dragon, whose help proves decisive when an army of dragons invades her city.” No word yet on who’s directing or when it might be released.

image c. 2018 Tor Books

More Adventures with the Illiop from Rillonia

We’re going to lift this one wholesale from Animation World Network, because it’s cool! “Alchemy II has teamed up with The Jim Henson Company to develop an animated fantasy adventure series for kids ages 3-7 based on the popular Teddy Ruxpin property. The new Teddy Ruxpin series will have an all-star team, including showrunner John Tartaglia (Splash and Bubbles, Johnny and the Sprites); producer Russell Hicks, the original head illustrator for Alchemy II during Teddy Ruxpin’s initial launch; global master toy partner Wicked Cool Toys; and The Jim Henson Company led by executive producers Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford. World-renowned Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will bring the series to life with its Emmy Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio (Sid the Science Kid, Word Party), which allows performers to puppeteer animated characters in real time allowing for more organic and natural movement. The new series will focus on important themes and skills like fostering self-esteem, empathy, and individuality.” Good stuff all, that.

image c. 2018 Alchemy II

Play Is Serious Business

More illustrated books for young folks, this time from a well-known writer in Hollywood. Toy Academy is a new series from Scholastic Books, written by Brian Lynch and illustrated by Edwardian Taylor. “Welcome to Toy Academy: Where toys learn to play. This is where action figures train to battle, stuffed animals study the art of the hug, and collectibles practice standing very, very still. Though Grumbolt isn’t really any of those things, he’s determined to fit in. But when the Evil Toy Academy threatens to bring down his school, it’s up to Grumbolt to go where no good toy has gone before and prove he’s truly a great toy after all. This laugh-out-loud chapter book by the writer of Minions and a writer of The Secret Life of Pets is a classic in the making.” You heard it here!

image c. 2018 Scholastic Books