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And More Dogs — In Space!

Voyage of the Dogs is the very straight-forward title for a juvenile fiction novel from last year, written by Greg Van Eekhout. The publisher describes it like this: “Lopside is a Barkonaut, a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet. When the mission takes a disastrous turn, the Barkonauts on board suddenly find themselves completely alone on their severely damaged ship. Survival seems impossible. But these dogs are Barkonauts — and Barkonauts always complete their mission.” Look for it now (and hear an audio clip) from Harper Collins.

image c. 2019 Harper Collins

Doggies in Disguise

The things that people will come up with to write… You have to wonder about that when you see a book series called Two Dogs In A Trench Coat. It’s written by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Colin Jack. “Sassy and Waldo are good dogs. They spend the day keeping their house safe. Has a squirrel ever gotten inside? No! But every day their boy, Stewart, comes home from this terrible place called school smelling like anxiety and looseleaf paper. Sassy and Waldo decide to save Stewart. But they don’t let dogs into school. So Sassy and Waldo decide to get creative. They put on an old trench coat, and now everyone at Bea Arthur Elementary thinks they are a new student named Salty from Liver, Ohio. Well, everyone except Stewart.” The first book in the series, appropriately called Two Dogs In A Trench Coat Go To School, is available now in softcover from Scholastic. Two more volumes are out already as well. Woof!

image c. 2019 Scholastic

You Knew It All Along, Didn’t You?

Tell us: Do you trust your housecat? Well along comes another book series looking to make you look askance perhaps. How can you miss a title like Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat? Well that’s the new series of science fiction novels by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth (featuring art by Robb Mommaerts). It starts like this: “Klawde had everything. Sharp claws. Fine fur. And, being the High Commander of the planet Lyttyrboks, an entire world of warlike cats at his command. But when he is stripped of his feline throne, he is sentenced to the worst possible punishment: exile to a small planet in a quiet corner of the universe… named Earth… Raj had everything. A cool apartment in Brooklyn. Three friends who lived in his building. And pizza and comics within walking distance. But when his mom gets a job in Elba, Oregon, and he is forced to move, all of that changes. It’s now the beginning of summer, he has no friends, and because of his mother’s urgings, he has joined a nature camp. It’s only when his doorbell rings and he meets a furball of a cat that Raj begins to think maybe his luck is turning around… ” Three books in the series are available now from Penguin Random House. Fft Fft!

image c. 2019 Penguin Random House

 

Enter the World of Cerulean

We literally came across this book on the shelf at a local coffee house! Never heard of it, but wow… Sunborn Rising is a new fantasy series for young folks by Aaron Safronoff, lavishly illustrated in both black & white and full color. “The Great Trees of Cerulean are dying. Infected with a mysterious blight, time is running out. Join Barra, a willful, resourceful and adventurous young Arboreal and her two friends, Plicks and Tory, as they journey down into the forgotten heart of their world in a desperate attempt to save it.” The first book in the series, Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall, is available now in several formats. The official web site has lots of background information and several videos about the making of the series. (Honestly, this looks like an animated movie waiting to happen!)

image c. 2019 Neoglyphic Entertainment Inc

They’re Not Toys

And another from the Festival of Books — in a similar vein, perhaps. This is the Isle of Misfits series of novels for young readers, written by Jamie May and illustrated by Freya Hartas. The first book, appropriately called First Class, goes like this: “Gibbon is a gargoyle who has been unable to sit still for hundreds of years. One day, he leaves his post from the castle he was meant to be guarding, and a person sees Gibbon, he panics and runs away. As Gibbon is sadly walking back, he meets three gargoyles who bring him to an island filled with other legendary creatures. There, he goes to a special academy that will train him to go on missions to protect all sorts of mythical creatures who are in trouble. Excited to go and happy that he won’t be lonely anymore, Gibbon is also nervous to go some place where he doesn’t know anyone. Will he be able to make friends in this new place? Find out in this new and exciting creature-filled series, complete with a hilarious cast of characters such as a clumsy dragon, an ill-tempered fairy, a griffin with poor flying skills, and a yeti with a manbun!” Four books in the series are available now from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2019 Simon & Schuster

Be Careful What You Wish For

At this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books we came across an illustrated children’s book called If I Had A Gryphon, written by Vikki Vansickle — and our eyes were caught by the colorful illustrations of Cale Atkinson. “Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring … he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet … or is he?” You can find out more at Penguin Random House.

image c. 2019 Penguin Random House

New Adventures Brought Together

Boom! Studios recently collected two different comic book series of furry note (both of which we’ve talked about before!) into trade paperbacks. Ruinworld: Eye For An Eye brings together issues 1 through 5 of this funny animal fantasy series by Derek Laufman. “Join Pogo and Rex as they set out on a quest to hunt for valuable artifacts and magical weapons across the land. Along with plenty of not-always faithful companions, our heroes must battle dangerous tribes of Toadies, survive giant stone Golems, and stop a catastrophic world-ending disaster, all while evading a cunning gang of thieves as they race towards the biggest treasure of all time.” And then there’s Midas, a truly strange 8-issue science fiction series by Ryan North, Braden Lamb, and Shelli Paroline. “Space captain Joey, navigator Fatima, and scientist (and dinosaur) Cooper are headed to Earth—a planet completely sectioned off, abandoned, and covered in gold—and are confronted by the most powerful weapon in the universe: Some ancient dead guy’s body?! Now they gotta keep King Midas’s body from being dropped on planets across the universe, and figure out exactly what to do with a gross dead dude with one truly ridiculous superpower.” Yes, and a talking dinosaur too. Both collections are available now.

image c. 2019 Boom! Studios

A Disney… Classic?

Okay, how did we miss this one? Disney Hamlet, Starring Donald Duck, a new full-color graphic novel written by Giorgio Salati and illustrated by Paolo De Lorenzi. “The ghost of a betrayed king appoints Prince Ducklet to restore peace to his kingdom in this adaptation of the classic tragic play by William Shakespeare. Huey, Dewey and Louie, along with Uncle Scrooge, head on a road trip to Denmark, passing by the famous landmark–the phantom castle of Ducksinore! The triplets recall the story of Ducklet, written by the celebrated playwright William Duckspeare. Scrooge’s interest is piqued and the story of tragedy, betrayal, and corruption unfolds.”  Published by Dark Horse Books in trade paperback, it’s available now from Penguin Random House.

image c. 2019 Dark Horse Books

Dig The Rock

Non-human adventures on a far-0ff planet. Sounds right up our alley. Glint is a new full-color graphic novel series for middle readers, written by Samuel Sattin and illustrated by Ian McGinty (Adventure Time). “On tiny Mora ― hurtling through space trying to find a star bright enough to sustain its fading life―everyone must do their part to keep the planet alive. Workers work. Leaders lead. Fighters fight. But Loon Ozoa, confined to the life of a pit worker but born with the heart and passion of a warrior, dreams of enlisting in the Temple of Sacred Defense and fighting the monstrous Feeders that threaten his people’s existence. When his friend Val Mol, second in command of the Rightful Blade, promises Loon a place in his ranks, Loon hopes to finally serve a higher purpose. But his hoverhog-riding, glint-slinging, mine-master grandma and her motley crew―the Cloud Raiders―are none too pleased about Loon trading in his drill rig for a shift sword. Determined to serve Mora, Val and Loon’s place in the military soon gets them lurched right into the murky waters of a conspiracy, one that holds dark secrets at the hands of their supreme regent. Will Val and Loon remain loyal to their commander, or will the secrets they uncover change everything they thought they knew about the purpose of their fight and fate of their planet?” The Hollywood Reporter actually did a write-up on this one. Glint Book One: The Cloud Raiders came out earlier this year from Lion Forge, and more volumes are on the way.

[Side note: We at InFurNation would like to extend our thoughts, prayers, and a good share of tears to the staff of Kyoto Animation — those who lost their lives and those who did not. Bright Blessings in this time of tragedy.]

image c. 2019 Lion Forge