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Animation

Where’s The Pigeon?

The strange meeting of Hanna-Barbera pushed sideways through DC Comics continues with the recent release of Dastardly & Muttley #1. According to them, it’s like this: “It’s a red-letter day for the good folk of Unliklistan as they start to power up their first atomic reactor. But after pushing the wrong button, the ultra-rare radioactive element, unstabilium, has been released into the atmosphere! Now it’s up to pilot Lt. Col. Richard ‘Dick’ Atcherly and his navigator Captain Dudley ‘Mutt’ Muller to save the day. Will they safely complete their mission? Or are things about to get a little…wacky?” Written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Mauricet, it’s available now.

image c. 2017 DC Comics

Crackers, Gromit!

It’s a given that everyone does an “Art of…” book for their new animated features these days. Sometimes there are even retrospective “Art of…” books for various studios. Aardman Animation, however, had not jumped on that bandwagon — until now! The Art of Aardman is a new hardcover (available now from Simon & Schuster) that celebrates 40 years (!) of the house that brought us Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep and so much more. Featuring a forward by founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton, it takes a behind-the-scenes look at Aardman through the sketchbooks of such famous directors as Nick Park, Richard Starzak, and others.

image c. 2017 Simon & Schuster

Flipper Bird with Stripes

Another item we somehow passed over — and it’s been around a while! According to Wikipedia, The Jungle Bunch is a French / American / British animated TV series developed by David Alaux and Eric Tosti in 2013. It’s been airing in North America on the Universal Kids network. More recently a selection of episodes were edited together into a DVD release: The Jungle Bunch — The Movie, featuring the voice of John Lithgow. “The Jungle Bunch is the exciting tale of Maurice, a penguin who was raised in the jungle and thinks he’s a tiger! When two penguins from his Antarctic homeland come in search of ‘The Great Tiger Warrior’ to defend their colony from an invading herd of walruses, Maurice assembles a misfit team of jungle friends to save the day!” It’s available now at Amazon, and the trailer is up on YouTube.

image c. 2017 Universal

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Sourpusses

And speaking of crossovers (when will they stop?), Dynamite Entertainment and Boom! Studios’ Kaboom! imprint have joined forces to join up a classic well-known sassy cat with a currently well-known sassy cat. Yes, it’s the Grumpy Cat / Garfield 3-issue miniseries. There’s a preview over at Previews: “It’s the inevitable meeting of the sourpusses! Garfield, the reigning cynical cat of newspapers and TV crosses paths with Grumpy Cat, the internet sensation whose scowl endeared herself to the world. Who’s the most sarcastic? Well, he likes lasagna and not much else… and she doesn’t even like lasagna. Can these two inhabit the same comic book mini-series, let alone the same planet? You’ll find out in a trio of issues written by Mark Evanier and illustrated by Steve Uy. We’d say it’s the cat’s meow but neither of these cats meow.” The second issue of this full-color series is already out in stores.

image c. 2017 Dynamite

Cartoon Collision Course!

Crossovers are all the rage these days, of course — so why not combine two cult favorite cartoon shows? That’s the thought behind the Adventure Time / Regular Show comic mini-series, recently unleashed by Boom! Studios. Here’s what they said: “It’s a crossover for the ages in this mash-up of two of our favorite Cartoon Network shows! When a powerful new villain threatens to conquer Adventure Time’s Ooo, Princess Bubblegum sends Finn and Jake on a desperate quest to find The Power that can save the land – a power that Skips from Regular Show just happens to be hiding! Finn and Jake’s arrival only exacerbates an existing tension between Mordecai and Rigby, and the trip back to Ooo threatens to tear two sets of bros apart … forever.” Written by Conor McCreery and illustrated by Mattia Di Meo, the first issue is out now.

image c. 2017 Boom! Studios

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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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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

Battling the Elements

Came across this new game at San Diego Comic Con. It’s called Rivals of Aether, and it was created by Dan Fornace. From the official web site, here’s what they say: “Rivals of Aether is an indie fighting game set in a world where warring civilizations summon the power of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Choose a Rival to bring into the battlefield and manipulate the powers of the classical elements and animal movement. Untangle the mysterious conflicts of the planet Aether in Story Mode or take your combat skills online and challenge your friends across the world.” The site also includes an animated preview video. The game is available now through Steam for various platforms.

image c. 2017 Dan Fornace

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The Bunny Before Bugs

Before he (and his wife!) created a world-famous mouse, Walt Disney was already well-known for his Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons (co-created with the great Ub Iwerks, of course). Now in celebration of Oswald’s 90th birthday Animation Scoop let us know about a new hardcover book dedicated to his legacy. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons (whew!) is coming out this week from Disney Editions. From editor David Bossert’s press release: “For the first time ever, all the known material and information relevant to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit has been aggregated into one book, including never-before-seen images, photographs, development art, production artwork, scripts, as well as gag and situation notes are all inclusive. This handsome volume contains a variety of color posters, many of which were found at auction houses and with collectors. This deluxe hardcover edition features an embossed cloth spine and is profusely illustrated with many rare images that reconstruct many of the still lost cartoons in the series.”

image c. 2017 Disney Editions

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