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I Want A Monster To Be My Playmate

Something delightful from Clarion Books: The Pebble and Wren graphic novel. “A little girl and her live-in monster learn about what makes them different — and what unites them. This graphic novel is a silly, sweet, and sometimes gross tribute to friendship, and to the wacky world we live in. Based on his webcomic of the same name, Pebble and Wren by Chris Hallbeck follows human girl Wren and her live-in monster, Pebble, as she teaches them all about how the human world works — from why the moon changes shape to why we don’t eat candy wrappers — while trying to unlock special abilities without which Pebble will have to return to the monster forest.” Find out what happens next.

image c. 2024 Clarion Books

New Adventures in Redwall

Thanks to Animation Magazine we learned about some new games coming to Steam, based on Brian Jacques’ world-famous Redawall series of anthropomorphic fantasy books. “The Scout Anthology, available now for PC, PS5 and X|S on Steam, is a narrative puzzle-driven action-adventure in three acts following young mouse recruits in Mossflower on a mission to save their home from pirates. For the cute and cozy casual gaming crowd, Feasts & Friends (for the PC, coming soon) savors the peaceful town of Lilygrove as players forage for ingredients, craft recipes, and meet charming characters.” Both of them were created by Forthright Entertainment and Soma Games.

image c. 2024 Forthright Entertainment

Not-Planet of the Apes

Here’s a science fiction limited-series comic that came to us from CEX last year: Josif 1957. “You know about Laika, the Cosmonaut dog sent into orbit on Sputnik 2. But no one knows about Josif, the first gorilla in space! Born on Josif Stalin’s birthday and subjected to terrible genetic experiments, Josif soon grew far too powerful. The leadership of the Soviet Union did all they could to stop him. But not everything went as planned!” It’s written by Davide Barzi, and illustrated by a talented young Italian artist, Fabiano Ambu.

image c. 2024 CEX Publishing

Winking and Blinking

Wizkit is the name of a new graphic novel for young readers, written and illustrated by Tanya J. Scott. The publisher describes it as Hilda and the Troll meets The Okay Witch. “It’s a wild, enchanted, wonderful world out there, way beyond the fjord that a one-eyed cat named Wizkit calls home. But Wizkit wouldn’t know anything about that—as a Wizard’s apprentice, all her lessons are indoors, and she’s far too lazy to go out exploring. There’s no need to—she already knows enough spells to conjure up delicious snacks whenever she’s hungry! But when an overdue library book literally cries out to be returned, Wizkit’s Teacher decides she must be the one to take it back. Reluctantly (and rather accidentally), the journey to the Library begins. With the annoyingly optimistic Book in tow, Wizkit sets off on an adventure that is full of strange characters with even stranger problems. Wizkit will soon find out that, with a little support and a new friendship, her own magical talents can be part of the solution.” You can find out more from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2024 Simon & Schuster

We Did It Before…

Well here’s a team we’ve heard about previously. Sean Patrick O’Reilly is head of Arcana Studios, and David Alvarez is a popular comic artist. Their new creation is called Kotto Kotorra. The description is pretty darn simple: “The book follows Kotto, an average Puerto Rican who runs an empanadilla food truck. His daily life is always an adventure, thanks to his boisterous friends.” That hardly scratches the surface of this old-school “funny animal cartoon” comic. What’s more, it’s not just a graphic novel, but a game app as well!

image c. 2024 Arcana Studios

All Hale the Weirdness

Look, we couldn’t even hope to give you a better description of The Mighty Bite than this: “What happens when a couple of prehistoric creatures want to become Internet stars? Trilobite and Amber (a walking whale) dream of fame and fortune. They don’t realize that most of the world thinks that they’re extinct. When a wandering paleo-newscaster introduces them to the world of internet videos, they hop at the chance to get behind the camera. The competition for internet fame will be fierce—Trilobite and Amber will face off against ancient sea creatures, talking cacti, floating cat heads, and more! Friendships will be tested, allies will be made, and cameras will be smashed! Our heroes will have to use all of their newfound skills when they find themselves competing in an all-out video-making battle royale!” All of this thanks to popular cartoonist Nathan Hale. The Mighty Bite is available in hardcover from Amulet Books.

image c. 2024 Amulet Books

Cats. Do You Trust’em?

We missed the Hairball horror mini-series last year, but now Dark Horse have released issues #1 – #4 in a very special single-volume collection. “A young girl with a black cat begins to suspect the innocuous beast is behind all her troubles: Her parents’ fighting, family plagues, and innumerable supernatural horrors. As she tries her best to rid herself of this creature, she discovers that maybe the cat is not evil after all and a greater terror may be behind these horrific events harming her life. Collects Hairball #1-#4 in a deluxe, hardcover die-cut format featuring faux cat fur.” Seriously, they did that. It’s written by Matt Kindt, with artwork by Tyler Jenkins and Hilary Jenkins.

image c. 2024 Dark Horse Press

Yagi? Or Yaoi?

And more interesting and odd mangas we found… like Yagi the Bookshop Goat, written and illustrated by Fumi Furukawa. “In this tranquil world where all animals live in peace, carnivores and herbivores have an agreement to live amicably. Yagi is a goat who loves reading (and eating!) books; his dream is to become a bookstore clerk, but goats who eat paper aren’t exactly welcomed at places that sell books! But maybe he can charm Ookami, the scary wolf store manager into giving him a job…” That rather cute description doesn’t point out there are some (gentle) mature themes at play here, so be aware! This black & white graphic novel is available now from Tokyo Pop.

image c. 2024 Tokyo Pop

Meow Look What You’ve Done

More manga we’ve stumbled across: My New Life As A Cat by Konomi Wagata. “Nao Kazushiro is a normal high school student — until he gets in a traffic accident and winds up in the body of a cat! At first, it’s all fun and games as he gets used to his new feline form, but then the novelty wears off and hunger sets in. Luckily, he’s picked up by Chika, a cute girl his age who gives him food and a home off the streets. Will Nao (now Nyao) develop feelings for her? Or will he wake up in his human body once and for all?” This new graphic novel series is available now from Seven Seas Entertainment.

image c. 2024 Seven Seas Entertainment