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Feline Foundations

New from First Second: “All Marmalade wants to do is build things. She is, after all, a trained architect. She’s also a distractingly adorable kitten. Fed up with not being taken seriously because she’s so cute, Marmalade bands together with a handful of other aspiring builders—all of them kittens. But in a world where humans call the shots, can the Kitten Construction Company prove their worth… without giving up the very things that make them kittens?” Meet The House Kittens is the first volume of the Kitten Construction Company, a new full-color graphic novel series for young readers written and illustrated by John Patrick Green (creator of Hippopotamister, which we’ve talked about before). It’s out now in hardcover, distributed by Macmillan & Company.

image c. 2018 First Second

E-Books for Kids — and Art Collectors

And more from CTN Expo (it’s always cool!). According to their web site, “Mighty Yeti is an independent storytelling studio creating stories for the current generation of kids who enjoy their media and entertainment in exciting new ways. Founders Jennie Book and Josh Book have taken their many years of experience in the traditional entertainment industry and created products which children can interact with in a truly active way.” To that end they’ve created a series of interactive e-books for young readers — and some of those books have decidedly anthro content. Especially the one called A Shark Knocked On The Door. “Gutter races with Grandma are the best! But when a beloved toy boat is lost down the sewer, all seems lost until a friendly shark returns it and takes the boy and his grandma on a fantastical underseas adventure.” The publishers have built up enough material designing and creating these books that they’ve actually released The Art of Mighty Yeti Storybooks collection, featuring art by Eddie Betancourt, Roman Laney, Justin Rodrigues, and Nick Swift.

image c. 2018 Mighty Yeti

Bunny Bound by Magic

Found this thanks to Animation World Network: “Netflix has announced that it will produce the animated feature film, Escape From Hat, from two-time Academy Award-nominated director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The Little Prince) together with writer Adam Kline (Artemis Fowl, The Clockwork War)… The screenplay is by Kline and Osborne, based on the book of the same name by Kline [illustrated by Brian Taylorye ed-otter], a new middle-grade novel that will be published by HarperCollins in Winter 2020… Escape From Hat brings light to the ancient mysteries of magic. In a fairy tale where black cats are bad and magic rabbits are good, balance is threatened when one such rabbit is cast into a mysterious realm of danger and shadow. There, our desperate hero rallies an unexpected band of allies and undertakes an impossible quest to escape from inside a magician’s hat – and return to the human boy he dearly loves.” Netflix say they plan to release the film in 2022.

image c. 2018 HarperCollins

He’s Unda Da Sea

Paptercutz brings us a new full-color mini-comic series for young readers: Gillbert the Little Merman, Volume 1 by Art Baltazar (writer and illustrator of Tiny Titans and Captain Action Cat). Here’s the preview over at their web site: “In the deepest part of the ocean, unexplored by man and too deep for humans to swim, lives a little sea creature named Gillbert. Gillbert the Sea Creature is the son of King Nauticus, king of all the oceans. One day, Gillbert will be king. But in the meantime, his playful curiosity takes him away from the kingdom on a journey of discovery.Gillbert meets an amphibious mermaid and follows her into unknown parts of the ocean. Where he meets many unknown and undiscovered species of underwater creatures. He didn’t know these things existed so close to home. Gillbert’s world just got a whole lot bigger!” It’s available at comic book stores in paperback and hardcover editions.

image c. 2018 Papercutz

They Made a Monkey out of Her

Sorry, so sorry… Banana Sunday is a well-know black & white comic created by writer Paul Tobin and his wife, the artist Colleen Coover. Now, Oni Press have re-released the full series as a graphic novel — this time in full color thanks to Rian Sygh. Here’s the press release: “Kirby Steinberg is having a bit of trouble fitting into her new school. Sure, there’s the usual problems associated with being from “somewhere else,” but this time the new kid also happens to be the guardian for three talking primates. Chuck, the professorial orangutan. Knobby, the love-stricken spider monkey. Go-Go, the befuddled golden gorilla. These primates have learned to speak, thanks to the scientific processes of Kirby’s father. Or have they? What’s their real story? That’s what Nickels—Kirby’s new best friend and unfortunately dedicated school reporter—would like to discover. Can Kirby find time to develop a relationship with Martin, the dashing nerd? Steer clear of Skye, the high school’s #1 pillar of arrogance? Keep Knobby, Chuck and Go-Go from causing untold catastrophes? And, above all, will Kirby be able to hide the real origin of these three simians from Nickels? Oh, probably not.” Bleeding Cool has an interview with the creators as well as lots of sample pages.

image c. 2018 Oni Press

The Power of the Sea — To Hurt and To Heal

Katie O’Neill is well-known among comic collectors as the creator of Princess Princess Ever After and The Tea Dragon Society. Now comes her latest work, Aquicorn Cove, out now from Oni Press. “When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a big storm, Lana remembers how much she’s missed the ocean—and the strong, reassuring presence of her aunt. As Lana explores the familiar beach, she discovers something incredible: a colony of Aquicorns, small magical seahorse-like creatures that live in the coral reef. Lana rescues an injured Aquicorn and cares for it with the help of her aunt, who may know more about these strange creatures than she’s willing to admit. But when a second storm threatens to reach the town, choices made many years ago about how to coexist with the sea start to rise to the surface.” This full-color graphic novel is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Oni 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

It’s Not Fair Penguins Can’t Fly

An unusual new graphic novel from Fantagraphics Books: Penguins by Nick Thorburn. “Told almost entirely without words, Penguins is one of the most playfully original graphic novels in recent memory… relying on visual expression and the physical movement of his penguin characters, as well as the formal properties of sequential drawings (with penguins routinely moving within and without each page’s panel borders), Penguins is a series of interconnected short strips that, without words or human characters, does more to showcase the breadth of emotion we as humans experience than most prose novels.” It’s available now in hardcover from Amazon.

image c. 2018 Fantagraphics Books

Friends In Spite Of Everything

We had not heard of this, but evidently it’s a thing — and now it’s collected all together. “Anouk Ricard’s bold and colorful comics of this quirky, grumpy gang of pals are delightfully weird yet thoroughly realistic in their honest and hilarious portrayal of friendship. Anna, Froga, Christopher the worm, Ron the cat, and Bubu the dog continue their non-adventures with bickering, needling, cajoling, and honest friendship. No white lie goes unexposed, no small embarrassment goes unrevealed, no secret is kept, everyone’s foibles are fodder for jokes. Anna and Froga: Completely Bubu collects all five issues of the acclaimed Anna & Froga series into an accessible paperback.” It’s out now from Drawn & Quarterly.

image c. 2018 Drawn & Quarterly