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Badger

The Return of Inspector LeBrock

Steampunk and furry fans may both rejoice as writer/artist Brian Talbot brings us the latest edition of his anthropomorphic alternate history series in Grandville Noel, coming this November in hardcover from Dark Horse Press. “With his trusty adjunct, Detective Sergeant Ratzi, away for Christmas, there’s no holiday for Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard as he embarks on an investigation into the disappearance of his housekeeper’s niece, Bunty Spall.  The trail leads to a growing religious cult, where a charismatic unicorn messiah and his con men cronies, already responsible for mass murder in the United States, are about to lead a crusade for the ethnic cleansing of the French Empire’s doughfaces – the derogatory nickname for humans used by the majority, animal-headed population. Teaming up with Chance Lucas, a gun-slinging operative of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, and reigniting his steamy love affair with the voluptuous Parisian badger prostitute Billie, LeBrock clashes with both cult fanatics and doughface terrorists, uncovering in the process a centuries-old religious conspiracy that threatens to plunge the world into bloody civil war.” Find out more about this full-color series at Brian Talbot’s blog page.

image c. 2014 Dark Horse Press

image c. 2014 Dark Horse Press

Fox Hollow Tales

And another furry Kickstarter campaign of note: Fox Hollow Tales is the creation of Jennifer Carson (writer, designer) and Pat Ann Lewis (illustrator). It’s a series of full-color illustrated books for young readers, featuring the adventures of a multi-species cast of characters in late 19th Century New England. The first book in the series, Wojer and the Wizard of the Wood, is nearing completion — and the creators are seeking crowdfunding to get it there, as well as to get started on the second book in the series, Wojer and the Black Knight. Visit their Kickstarter page to find out more, and to see a video trailer for the series.

image c. 2013 by Pat Ann Lewis

The Return of Inspector LeBrock

Bryan Talbot from the UK has become quite well known among furry fans and comic book fans for his graphic novel series Grandville. Set in an an alternate steampunk universe of talking animals, where Britain is under the rule of France, the series follows the adventures of the deadly badger detective Inspector LeBrock.  Recently, Mr. Talbot announced the upcoming release of the third book in the series, Grandville: Bete Noir. “The baffling murder of a famed Parisian artist in his locked and guarded studio takes the tenacious Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard and his faithful adjunct, Detective Ratzi, into the cutthroat Grandville art scene to track the mysterious assassin. As the body count mounts and events spiral out of control, the investigation points to Toad Hall, where a cabal of industrialists and fat cats plot the overthrow of the French State . . . by use of steam-driven automaton soldiers!”  Dark Horse Press will release Grandville: Bete Noir in hardcover on December 12th. Check out The Fandom Post for a preview.

image c. 2012 by Bryan Talbot

Head Down the Mysterly River

Bill Willingham is best known as the creator of the Fables comic book series — which has, of course, taken more than a few furry turns itself. Now he’s trying his hand at a different sort of creation: A hardcover graphic novel for young readers called Down the Mysterly River, illustrated by Mark Buckingham. Here, we’ll let Amazon explain: “Max ‘the Wolf’ is a top-notch Boy Scout, an expert at orienteering and a master of being prepared. So it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat)—all of whom talk—and who are as clueless as Max. Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Armed with powerful blue swords and known as the Blue Cutters, these hunters capture and change the very essence of their prey. For what purpose, Max can’t guess. But unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he’s landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world… ” It’s available now from Starscape.

image c. 2011 Starscape

 

A Farewell to Redwall

News has come out that Brian Jacques, creator and writer of the wildly-popular Redwall series of anthropomorphic fantasy novels, died on February 5th. He was 71. First published in 1986 (initially by Beaver Books), the Redwall series tells the tale of Redwall Abbey, a medieval monastery run by mice, which also includes a host of other species common to England and much of Europe (such as rabbits, otters, squirrels, and badgers). The main story arc follows the adventures of a young mouse named Matthias, who discovers that he is in fact the descendant of a great mouse hero known as Martin the Warrior. This knowledge comes in handy when Matthias learns he must help defend Redwall against all manner of “evil” creatures, such as rats, ferrets, foxes, and so on. (Species tend to be either “good” or “bad” in the Redwall universe, with little or no individual exceptions).  From that first book, the series has gone on to achieve international acclaim and awards, with a new book coming out almost every year. Brian Jacques was famous for his background as a member of the working class in Liverpool, England. Among his many jobs was driving a milk delivery truck, and one of his stops included a boarding school for blind students. It was during his visits there that Mr. Jacques began to tell the stories that would become the Redwall series — making the details especially vivid to entertain his young, blind listeners. The Rogue Crew, which will be the last Redwall book written and published by Brian Jacques, will be on the shelves this May.

Grandville is back for more badgering!

The second hardcover, full-color graphic novel in the  Grandville series is due out this coming October 20th, once again written and illustrated by Bryan Talbot. We’ll let the publisher, Dark Horse Comics, describe it: “Convicted psychotic killer and extremist fanatic Edward ‘Mad Dog’ Mastock violently escapes the guillotine’s blade in the Tower of London to once again terrorize the Socialist Republic of Britain. But dogging Mastock’s bloody footsteps is his longtime adversary and nemesis, Detective Inspector Archie LeBrock, at odds with Scotland Yard and intent on bringing Mastock’s horrific murder spree to an end, once and for all. Aided by his friend and colleague Detective Roderick Ratzi, LeBrock follows the trail of carnage to Paris, otherwise known as Grandville, the largest city in a world dominated by the French Empire and the prime target of Mastock’s sadistic terrorism. Can LeBrock capture the Mad Dog before he can mete out his final vengeance, or will LeBrock’s own quest for redemption be dragged to ground by the demons of his past? The badger is back! Set three weeks after the finale of GrandvilleBryan Talbot’s critically acclaimed steampunk graphic novel–Grandville Mon Amour explores an alternate art-nouveau world populated by intelligent animals, a human underclass, robot automatons, and advanced steam technology that power everything from hansom cabs to iron flying machines.”

image c. 2010 Dark Horse Comics