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Cats

The Tiger and the Tale

[You know what? Lingering colds really really suck…] Buried in a recent article at Animation Magazine’s web site about some upcoming films (all of them furry, to some extent!) was this little tidbit: “Meanwhile, Paramount has confirmed that The Tiger’s Apprentice, an animated adaptation of Laurence Yep’s young adult fantasy trilogy series, will be released on February 11, 2022. The story centers on a young San Francisco boy who meets a mysterious talking tiger called Mr. Hu and realizes that he’s the appointed guardian who can protect everyone from an evil ancient phoenix. The screenplay has been adapted by David Magee (Life of Pi). The studio hasn’t announced a director or voice cast for the project. Feb. 11, 2022 sounds like a good spot for the animated pic as no other movie has been announced for that time period.” Really now? Hmm, let’s see… 2022 would be six years after the release of Zootopia. The same amount of time it took Disney Animation to make and release Frozen 2. Just saying…

image c. 2019 HarperCollins

See Him Again, If You Dare

Congratulations are of course in order for the creators of Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, following their Oscar win for Best Animated Feature of 2018. Now comes the word that one of the directors of that film is moving on to a project that’s got even more furry content — and he’s been there before. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-director Bob Persichetti has been signed to direct the sequel for DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots, according to a report by Deadline… Animation veteran Persichetti, who has worked in various roles in the industry in a career spanning more than two decades, served as the Head of Story and voiced a role in the original Puss in Boots. The follow-up to the 2011 hit film that garnered an Oscar nomination and grossed more than $550 million globally, Puss In Boots 2 is currently in development, with a release date yet to be announced… A spinoff of the studio’s blockbuster Shrek franchise, Puss in Boots received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature in 2012. Voiced by Antonio Banderas, the character, which first appeared in Shrek 2, was included in subsequent Shrek sequels and shorts.” We’ll keep our ears pointed.

image c. 2019 Dreamworks Animation

Are You Offended?

Look, we’re just going to quote this direct from the folks over at Cartoonbrew — no way we could explain it any better. “Four new animated series based on Marvel characters are in the works at Hulu. The shows will collectively lead up to a special event bringing them all together titled The Offenders. All of these projects will target mature audiences. Jordan Blum (American Dad!) and comedian/actor Patton Oswalt are writing M.O.D.O.K., about an evil mastermind with limited body mass and big plans. Hit Monkey, with Josh Gordon and Will Speck as writers, follows a Japanese snow monkey transformed into a vengeful assassin in Tokyo’s criminal underworld. Set in Los Angeles, Tigra & Dazzler Show follows a pair of ‘woke’ female heroes pushing to stand out in a city full talented people. Comedian Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) have been tasked with writing the project. Lastly, there is Howard the Duck, centered on the publisher’s notorious anthropomorphic bird trapped in the human world. Director Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Dave Willis (creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) are writing this dark comedy and will also executive produce. Comic writer Jeph Loeb (also a producer on Smallville and Lost) will act as executive producer on all four projects, as well as the crossover finale. No writers have been announced yet for the crossover finale, in which all of these characters will ‘form a team no one asked for’ to save the world.” Got all that? No word yet on a release date for these shows, but we’ll be watching!

image c. 2019 Hulu

Kitty and Monster Unite

Tiger vs. Nightmare is a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, created by Emily Tetri and published by First Second. “Tiger is a very lucky kid: She has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it’s time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger—that’s not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone…it’s a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. Thanks to her friend, Tiger has nothing but good dreams. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can’t fight it alone. Only teamwork and a lot of bravery can chase this nightmare away.” The book is available now in hardcover from Macmillan, and they’ve got a preview up as well.

image c. 2019 First Second

More Cats from Space

Another new full-color science fiction comic series, this time from Antarctic Press. It’s Stars End, created by Larry Spike Jarrell and Selena McDevitte. “6,000 years ago the Annunaki, visitors to Earth, departed with numerous animals as subjects for study and DNA experiments. Centuries in the future these evolved beasts, collectively known as N’Naki, have created vast civilizations in the Sirius system, with humans serving as their worker bees. One group of N’Naki are given a pre-graduation duty: Scan a mining world of human workers that’s fallen victim to a viral infection before the planet is demolished to stop the disease from spreading. But when a sixteen-year-old Annunaki girl turns up, the mission quickly becomes anything but routine.” If the description doesn’t make it obvious, the covers certainly do: The N’Naki are decidedly feline!

image c. 2019 Antarctic Press

Cats Leaving the Cradle in a Silver Ship

So how did this pass us by? It’s Captain Ginger, a new full-color series from Ahoy Comics. “When the human race died out, the cats inherited the Earth! Or at least one starship. Now the intrepid Captain Ginger struggles to keep his fellow felines united against a hostile universe. But there’s a rival for Ginger’s authority: His second-in-command, the savage Sergeant Mittens! Thirty-five pages of comic adventure — with a bite — created by writer Stuart Moore (Deadpool the Duck, Batman: Noir Alley) and artist June Brigman (Power Pack, Star Wars).” Also featuring extra back-up material by Animal Man creator Grant Morrison.

image c. 2019 Ahoy Comics

Don’t Let the Cat-Fish Bite

And found at a local bookstore: Snazzy Cat Capers, a new adventure novel series for middle-school readers written by Deanna Kent. “Life is short. Diamonds are fur-ever. Internationally famous cat burglar Ophelia von Hairball V adores jewels. The only thing she loves more is a challenge. She’s never met a safe she couldn’t crack. Now the Furry Feline Burglary Institute (FFBI) offers her the ultimate caper: Steal the giant Himalayan diamond and win their top award! There’s a catch! The FFBI sends an enthusiastic inventor to help Ophelia… but this cat works alone, and Oscar Fishgerald Gold smells fishy. Can the smartest, stealthiest, and snazziest of cats learn to work with a fintastic sidekick and prove she’s still the world’s most purr-fect burglar?” Check out the offical SCC web site for more, including a preview of the 2nd book, The Fast and the Furriest.

image c. 2018 Imprint

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

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