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Crawling Into Your Heart

Hey, remember Tentacle Kitty?  The little plushie feline with 10 wiggly things?  Well she’s been growing in popularity, enough that now Dark Horse Press bring us the Tentacle Kitty Coloring Book. “Tentacle Kitty, or ‘Pink One’ as she was called in her tribe, is a kitty from another dimension, that happens to have tentacles. After a series of unfortunate event, she is trapped on Earth trying to find a way home. Armed with ten tentacles, an adventurous spirit, and new friends, what could go wrong?” Featuring 96 pages of art by the likes of John Merritt, Amy King, Yishan Li, Brittney Williams, Aubrey Aiese, and Rootis Tabootus, it wiggles its way onto book shelves this coming May.

image c. 2018 Dark Horse Press

They Say Stories Can Be Dangerous

Check out this bio: “Matt Laney is an ordained minister with a lifelong interest in world religion, wisdom traditions, martial arts, big cats and middle grade literature”. That might explain the spiritual slant behind Reverend Laney’s first fantasy series for young readers, Pride Wars. The first book, The Spinner Prince, is out now in hardcover from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “In the scientific realm of Singara, where feline humanoids rule, fiction is forbidden. Those caught telling stories lose their tongues before being exiled. Heir to the throne, thirteen-year-old Prince Leo, is cursed with the “fiction affliction,” the unpredictable, uncontrollable habit of telling stories. Worse, the stories carry a dangerous power, leaving creatures behind who cause trouble and threaten to expose Leo’s affliction. Meanwhile, Leo’s elder cousin is making his move to seize the throne and the enemy beyond the Great Wall, another feline race called Maguar, are rising up. Will Leo claim the throne from his rival (and keep his tongue) before his curse is revealed? Or will he embrace his ability as a gift and discover a far greater destiny among the Maguar?” Check it out over at Kirkus Reviews.

image c. 2018 Houghton Mifflin

But the Cat Came Back

Screen Daily has an article about 10 Lives, a new CGI feature film created by some familiar names. “The film is the second to be produced as part of a joint venture between Chinese animation outfit Original Force and GFM Animation. The first, Duck Duck Goose, will be distributed in China by Wanda Pictures and in the UK by Entertainment Film Distributors… 10 Lives is produced by Penney Finkelman Cox (Shrek) and Adam Zhang, senior vice president of Original Force. The story follows a once scrawny shelter kitten that now leads a pampered life after being adopted. Everything changes when he loses his ninth life. In the afterlife, he escapes and cheats his way into another cycle of nine lives, but he doesn’t realise that each of the nine lives will see him return as a different animal.” As you can see from the article, the film has already set up distribution throughout much of the world — but no word yet about North America. You can just bet, though, that a US or Canada deal is going to hinge on how well Duck Duck Goose does at the box office later this year.

image c. 2018 GFM Animation

Robo-Cop? No, Robo-Dog!

Two talented and award-winning creators who have worked on The Simpsons comics now turn their eyes to a funny animal science fiction adventure with Sparks!, a new full-color graphic novel. Written by Ian Boothby and illustrated by Nina Matsumoto, Sparks! goes like this: “August is a brilliant inventor who is afraid of the outside. Charlie is a crack pilot who isn’t afraid of anything. Together these pals save lives every day. They also happen to be cats who pilot a powerful, mechanical dog suit! Always eager to leap into danger, this feline duo have their work cut out for them as they try to thwart Princess, an evil alien bent on enslaving mankind. Don’t let the fact that Princess looks like a cute, diaper-wearing baby fool you. She’s clever, determined, and totally ruthless. So when Princess and the browbeaten fools she calls servants enact a brilliant and dastardly plan to conquer Earth, August and Charlie pull out all the stops to save the day.” Check out the preview video over on YouTube. The book is available now in hardcover and softcover from Graphix.

image c. 2018 Graphix

Life Imitates Art Imitates…

Ethan Young is an artist and comic-creator who has made a name for himself at Dark Horse Press with titles like Nanjing: The Burning City and The Battles of Bridget Lee. Before all that though, there was his semi-autobiographical comic Tails, based on his time working at an animal shelter — while trying to kick-start his comic career. Now Dark Horse have brought it all together in a new collection, Life Between Panels: The Complete Tails Omnibus. “Ethan’s life as one of the many cartoonists living in NYC might look mundane at first glance—living with his parents, working a day job, playing with cats. But things get crazy when he starts to draw his comic strip Crusader Cat! Soon, Ethan can’t tell the difference between real life and the comic panel!” Look for it in trade paperback this April.

image c. 2018 Dark Horse Press

Stand By the Five

Jessica Reilly and Patrick Reilly have both served in the U.S. military — she’s still in, while he recently left after nearly a decade of service. In their free time, they formed a company called Zonks Illustration as an outlet for their creative endeavors. Among other things they’ve been working on Five Realms, a multi-species fantasy comic adventure reminiscent of Mouse Guard. He writes it, she illustrates it. You can see examples of her works over at their Zonks Etsy store. They also have a Patreon to try and get Five Realms out to the world.

image c. 2018 by Jessica Reilly

Big Cats, Little Kitties

IDW Publishing have two new feline-themed games they recently released. Roar: King of the Pride is a board game for older kids and teens. It goes like this: “In the wilds of Africa, lion prides rule over all beasts, but only one pride can rule over all the lions! In Roar: King of the Pride, three to six players compete to become the dominant pride of Africa. Managing your food supply, while expanding your territory and growing your pride size with cubs, will take strategic planning and key wits. Even the best-laid plans, however, can be interrupted by other prides’ secret objectives, or worse…the encroachment of a new, and deadly, threat.” Meanwhile for younger kids (or folks who like smaller kitties!) there’s a new card game: “In Slap Cat!, you play as a mad scientist attempting to assemble the world’s most adorable cat! Draft cards to your Cat Construction area by quickly slapping them as they are revealed. Earn bonus points for kitty fedoras, bows, balls of yarn and more. But be careful, slap too slow and you could be left with a hand full of fish bones!” Got all that?

image c. 2018 IDW Publishing

He’s Red-Light. Pink Even!

And the strange mash-up of DC Comics and Hanna Barbera continues — and even expands. As you may recall, Snagglepuss made an appearance as a back-up story in the infamous Banana-Splitz-meet-the-Suicide-Squad comic. Well now the pink puma has his own new series all to himself, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles. “It’s 1953. While the United States is locked in a nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union, the gay Southern playwright known as Snagglepuss is the toast of Broadway. But success has made him a target. As he plans for his next hit play, Snagglepuss becomes the focus of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. And when powerful forces align to purge show business of its most subversive voices, no one is safe!” Written by Mark Russell and illustrated by Mike Feehan, the first issue is out now. Den of Geek has a review.

image c. 2018 DC Comics

Adventures Between Night and Day

The Lost Rainforest is a new fantasy novel series for young readers, written by Eliot Schrefer (author of the Spirit Animals book series). The first book in the series is called Mez’s Magic — and here’s what the publisher, Harper Collins, says it’s about: “Caldera has forever been divided into those animals who walk by night and those who walk by day. Nightwalker panthers, like young Mez and her beloved sister, have always feared daywalkers as creatures of myth and legend. Until the eclipse. Now Mez has discovered that she can cross the Veil and enter the daylight world. Her magical power has unknown depths, but she must rush to discover it after a mysterious stranger arrives at her family’s den, bearing warnings of a reawakened evil. Saving Caldera means Mez must leave her sister behind and unite an unlikely group of animal friends to unravel an ancient mystery and protect their rainforest home.” With interior illustrations by Emilia Dziubak, The Lost Rainforest: Mez’s Magic is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Harper Collins