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Hard to Miss His Smile

We can always depend on interestingly strange stuff to come at us from Silver Sprocket, and much of it rather furry-fannish. This is no exception:  I Think Our Friend Dan Might Be A Dolphin (yes that’s the title) by James Stanton (creator of Gnartoons). “He tried to pass it off as back sweat, but there’s no mistaking a blow hole stain on the back of a shirt. This is a very funny comic book for grown-ups (printed in fluorescent blue and black ink on thick matte cover stock). Check it out over at Previews.

image c. 2019 Silver Sprocket

Save the Hive — Save the World

We’ll admit we weren’t familiar with the works of comic creator Mary Fleener, but maybe we should have been: Check out her new graphic novel from Fantagraphics, Billie The Bee. “Meet Billie, an oversized honeybee with an even bigger personality! She’s bold, boisterous, and always singin’ up a storm. Billie lives a sweet life exploring the marshes of San Diego and making friends with Kay the kind Fox, Rayleen the rattlesnake, and Flo and Mo, the dirty joke-telling turtle sisters. But one day humans arrive and illegally release some rabid creatures into the marsh lands, upsetting the delicate ecological balance of the habitat. Can Billie and her woodland friends band together to repel these wild outsiders? And when a natural disaster strikes, does Billie have what it takes to lead the hive? Mary Fleener’s intricate crosshatching and signature mind-bending forays into cubist storytelling masterfully conjure up the world of her plucky honeybee protagonist. A deep dive into the secret life of bees, Billie’s story is by turns both charming and harrowing.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2019 Fantagraphics Books

Gold Is In Them Hills

One thing we like about visiting conventions is coming across “how did we miss this?” items. For instance: At BLFC we stumbled across The Tale of Jasper Gold, a black & white on-line comic written and illustrated by Jamil Gonzalez. “When settled rancher Jasper Gold’s bounty-hunting past catches up to him, Jasper must take up his gun once again to track down a gang of criminals as he searches for his lost daughter. The Tale of Jasper Gold is a tale of dastardly villains, gun-toting bounty hunters, and courageous heroes of the West.” Last year, Volume 1 of the Jasper Gold story arc was collected in a trade paperback graphic novel by Jarlidium Press. It’s available now from Rabbit Valley. [In other bunny news: If you didn’t hear, the Rabbit Valley crew are retiring from their appearances at furry conventions. Soon they’ll be moving to on-line sales only. We’ll miss you folks in our travels!]

image c. 2019 Jarlidium Press

Nothing Spooky Here At All, Folks…

John Kerschbaum is a writer and illustrator we’re not familiar with, but evidently he’s quite well-known in the world of underground comics. Recently Fantagraphics published Petey & Pussy: Puppy Love, John’s second collection of black & white comic strips featuring the titular dog and cat… pets who have the heads of middle-aged men. Right… Here’s the official description: “John Kerschbaum’s Petey and Pussy, the stars of the cult classic 2008 book by the same name, return, and so does their unique brand of animal neuroses. Imagine a Secret Life of Pets where the animals hang out in dive bars. Petey is a compulsive dog that values his unchecked freedom and exemption from responsibility. Pussy is an irritable, self-absorbed cat, of course, with a gambling problem. They are joined by the obnoxious Bernie the bird, who has courted a new girlfriend (or is it just a mirror?) and their owner, a sexually frustrated geriatric who is more concerned with online shopping then her pets. Their darkly hilarious adventures include tracking down troublesome squirrels, barely taking care of a new litter of puppies, and avoiding the dreaded ‘snipsnip’ from the veterinarian.” Want to know more? Check out the review at The Comics Journal.

image c. 2018 Fantagraphics

Magics Best Left Hidden

You may recall we told you about Patrick and Jessica Reilly, a pair of U.S. military veterans who work together as a creative team. Well here’s an update: After some successful fundraising through Patreon the first issue their black & white fantasy comic Five Realms has been released. “Join Mehan, Ronin Prince of the Mallow Clan, his best friend Gellaze, and his student Iwain as they uncover the mysteries surrounding a ‘Golden King’ buried deep within a dust-chocked canyon.” The 1st issue is available at their Etsy store and a 2nd is due this winter.

image c. 2018 Zonks Illustration

Stuffed with Fluff

Some of the most iconic funny animal illustrations in the entire world get the scholarly treatment in The Art of Winnie the Pooh by James Campbell, published by Harper Collins. “Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends have enthralled generations of children and have become some of the world’s most beloved characters. But before their adventures were captured in many millions of books published in nearly fifty languages, they started life in the 1920s as the product of a unique collaboration between author A. A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepard. They wove images and text together in a way that was utterly original for the time. It was a process that Shepard relished; he continued to create artwork for new editions until his death in 1976 at the age of ninety-six. This lovingly designed, full-color volume, which includes a foreword from Shepard’s granddaughter, tells the story behind this remarkable partnership, and traces the evolution of Shepard’s work, from his first tentative sketches to the illustrations we know and love, including the characters’ later incarnations by the artists at Walt Disney Studios.” The book is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Harper Collins

Kitsune in kimonos

For a perhaps more traditional furry tale from Japan, look no further than Konohana Kitan. A manga series originally created by Sakuya Amano, it was adapted as a 12-episode anime series in 2017. It follows the adventures of Yuzu, a young “fox-youkai” spirit. Now TokyoPop have collected the original manga together in a new English translation. “Yuzu is a brand new employee at Konohanatei, the hot-springs inn that sits on the crossroads between worlds. A simple, clumsy but charmingly earnest girl, Yuzu must now figure out her new life working alongside all the other fox-spirits who run the inn under one cardinal rule — at Konohanatai, every guest is a god! Konohana Kitan follows Yuzu’s day to day life working at the inn, meeting the other employees and ever-eclectic guests, and learning to appreciate the beauty of the world around her.” Yip!

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Because She’s A Lady, That’s Why

Okay, something different… How about a Disney kitten as a magical kitty? That’s what we get in Miriya & Marie, a new black & white manga from Maya and TokyoPop. “Even though the wealthy young girl Miriya has almost everything she could ever need, what she really wants is to find her missing parents. But this year, she gets an extra special birthday gift when Marie, a magical white kitten, appears and whisks her away to Paris! Learning the art of magic is one thing, but getting to eat the tastiest French pastries and wear the most beautiful fashion takes Miriya and Marie’s journey to a whole new level!” On the shelves now.

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Beauty and the Beast King

Now from Yen Press we find a new black & white manga series with the descriptive title of Sacrificial Princess & The King of Beasts, written and illustrated by Yu Tomofuji. “A young girl has resigned herself to being he next sacrificial meal for the Beast King…but the king is no mere monster! Love is more than skin-deep in this gorgeous fantasy manga.” Which is available at Amazon.

image c. 2018 Yen Press