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The Pony Century

IDW Publishing is about to hit quite a milestone in the world of My Little Pony… “This July, IDW invites readers of all ages to enjoy a centennial celebration with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #100, the sensational super-sized anniversary issue full of frolicking fillies and mysterious menace! The monumental 100th issue of Friendship is Magic features the work of longtime, fan-favorite contributors, writer Jeremy Whitley and artists Andy Price and Brenda Hickey, and includes a special back-up story by Katie Cook. Set officially within the Season 10 continuity following the series finale of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated series, the story will be a thrill for longtime fans while remaining accessible to new and returning readers. In this landmark issue, Rainbow Dash and her companions Spitfire, Celaeno, Lyra, and Bon Bon find themselves in the Bird Kingdom, where old friendships are tested and a new, enigmatic enemy lurks in the shadows. Together, the ponies will unravel the mystery of the Knights of Harmony!” You herd it here folks.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Are You Ready?

The movie Rumble has been pushed back to next year (February, according to IMDB), but already you can start ordering the tie-in material. Rumble: The Art and Making of the Movie is coming soon from Titan Publishing, edited by Noela Hueso. “In a world where monster wrestling is a global sport and monsters are superstar athletes, teenage Winnie seeks to follow in her father’s footsteps by becoming a coach and turning a loveable underdog monster into a champion. From Paramount Animation, Rumble is a larger-than-life animated coming of age comedy. With ringside seats to the production, Rumble: The Art and Making of the Movie contains sketches, concept art, storyboards, and final stills. Featuring exclusive commentary from the creative team, plus a foreword written by [actor] Terry Crews, this extraordinary collection of art will give you captivating insights into the creative process.” Look for it at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2021 Titan Publishing

Righteous Rodent

And one more from Simon & Schuster and the Glass House Graphics people, before we get away from that. Super Turbo is a new full-color graphic novel series written by Edgar Powers. Volume 1 is Super Turbo Saves The Day! “Turbo the hamster is the official classroom pet of Classroom C at Sunnyview Elementary… and he has a top secret identity as Super Turbo, crime-fighting superhero! He can’t believe it when he finds out he’s not the only superpet in town (or in school)! As he meets fellow superpets, such as Angelina the guinea pig (a.k.a. Wonder Pig) and Frank the rabbit (a.k.a. Boss Bunny), he also encounters a super villain: A rat who goes by the name of Whiskerface. Can Turbo and the Superpet Superhero League save the school from Whiskerface and his rat pack?”

image c. 2021 Simon & Schuster

The 2021 Annie Awards

The Annie Awards for 2020 were presented on April 15th — in an on-line virtual ceremony, of course. Presented each year by the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA), the Annie Awards are considered to be the Oscars of animation. Surprising no one, Disney/Pixar’s Soul was the big winner of the night, taking home seven Annies including Best Feature Film. (And hey, it’s got some anthro elements to it as well!). Wolfwalkers did quite well also, taking the award for Best Independent Feature back to Ireland, as well as honors for Production Design, Character Design, Directing, and Voice Acting (for Eva Whittaker as Mebh the wolf-girl). Cartoon Saloon, which created Wolfwalkers, also took home the award for Best Sponsored Production (eg “best commercial”) for their environmental PSA There’s A Monster In My Kitchen. Magic Light Pictures won the Best Special Production award for The Snail and the Whale. Over in the TV awards it was a good night for furry stuff, as Primal won for Best General Audience TV Series, Adventures of Paddington won for Best TV Production For Preschool, and Hilda won for Best TV Production For Children — as well as two other awards. Some single awards of note for furry fans include Looney Tunes for Best Storyboarding, Shooom’s Odyssey for Best TV Production Design, and Amphibia for Best TV Character Design.  All in all it was another good night for furries in the world of animation. Visit the Annie web site to see all the winners.

image c. 2021 Disney/Pixar

It’s Elementary. Literally.

Also new from Simon & Schuster, the Pup Detective graphic novels are written by Felix Gumpaw and, once again, illustrated by Glass House Graphics. Volume 1 is called The First Case, sensibly enough. “Puppy PI Rider Woofson thought he was the only detective at Pawston Elementary, but while bringing down a pencil theft ring, he finds out that there are other super sleuths at school. Fortunately (or not!) there’s plenty of pet-ty crime happening at Pawston, so Rider joins forces with the other puppy PIs to form the PI Pack—the best (and only!) detective group at school. Their first case is high stakes because it hits every student in the belly…a lunchtime bandit is stealing the best food from the cafeteria! Will the Pup Detectives bring the noodle nabber to justice, or will the hungry students of Pawston be left to endure Soup Surprise for lunch every day?” Check out the rest of the series as well, in paperback or hardcover.

image c. 2021 Simon & Schuster

Keeper of the Flame

Out now from Simon & Schuster, there’s a new graphic novel series for young readers: The Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly, written by Jordan Quinn and illustrated by the team at Glass House Graphics. Volume 1, The Coldfire Curse, goes like this: “As the pampered pet dragon of the Prince of Wrenly, Ruskin has never known life beyond the walls of the palace. Until the day a young dragon from Crestwood comes to the palace to plead for help. An evil curse has been unleashed in Crestwood and threatens to destroy all of Wrenly. Ruskin has a choice to make: Stay safe at home in the palace, or try to help save his kingdom. For Ruskin, there is no choice. He knows he has to try and help if he can.” Several volumes are available now, in hardcover and paperback.

image c. 2021 Simon & Schuster

An Inspirational Fore-bearer

For those who thought that Furry Art got its start in the 1980’s…  meet T.S. Sullivant, who was doing this when Walt Disney was still in school. Now Fantagraphics Books have compiled many of his well-known black & white cartoons — along with words of appreciation — into a new book called A Cockeyed Menagerie. “Welcome to the cockeyed menagerie of Thomas Starling Sullivant. From the 1880s to the Roaring Twenties, Sullivant conjured up a whimsical world in pen and ink — riotous gag cartoons featuring anthropomorphic animals of all stripes; perennial American ‘types’ like hobos, hayseeds, and urban hucksters; and familiar characters from ancient myths and biblical tales. Imbued with infectious joy, his drawings have inspired generations of artists and countless Disney films.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2021 Fantagraphics Books

They’ll Be Bok

Back when we first talked about  The Chicken Squad book series, we made a silly crack about how one day they might be made into a “chick flick”.  Well… maybe a TV series is a good halfway point? “The Chicken Squad, Disney Junior’s new cg animated comedy adventure hits the airways on Disney Junior and DisneyNOW on Friday May 14. The series, which was inspired by the popular kids’ book series of the same name by Doreen Cronin, follows a trio of young chicken siblings—Coop, Sweetie and Little Boo—and their retired search and rescue dog mentor, Captain Tully. Together, they team up on problem-solving adventures in their backyard to help their animal friends, while modeling what it means to be good community helpers and finding the joy in assisting others.” Animation World Network has more information, and a preview trailer too.

image c. 2021 Disney Junior

Rivals Land on Paper

Remember when we talked about Rivals of Aether, a very furry video game? Well now Dan Fornace and his creative team are exploring a new medium as they bring us Tales of Aether — Future Imperfect, a full-color comic book series slated to come out later this year. Over on YouTube they have a preview video that introduces a lot of the new characters and situations. Be on the lookout!

image c. 2021 Aether Studios