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Comedy

Too Much For Your Local Comic Shop?

Possibly the strangest “all ages” comic book you’ll find this year. Maybe we should let the publisher, American Mythology, explain The Filbert Factor: “It’s the kids’ comic that you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy, the comic that was too outrageous for Free Comic Book Day! We don’t like to brag, but this is one of the most ridiculous things you’ll see all year, with a cast that’s absolutely nuts. Filbert and his reluctant pals Hazel and Cashew find themselves the toast of the town after miraculously winning their middle school science fair competition, but the town itself is about to become toast when the swirling, yowling Meowstorm roars into the city of Turtleview. And wouldn’t you know it, only Filbert and his friends stand between salvation and certain cat scratches and allergic attacks.” It’s also written by Mike Wolfer, with art by Adrian Ropp and  Horacio Domingues. And it’s available now. [We’ll see you after Comic Con!]

image c. 2018 American Mythology

Close Encounters of the Furred Kind

We know, we know… Another item of interest at Animation World Network: It seems that Animal Planet will soon premier a new series with the rather straightforward title of Celebrity Animal Encounters. The premise is simple: Various celebrities sit down and talk about various encounters with various non-human animals, domesticated and otherwise… and their stories are then illustrated in a variety of mad animation styles. “Celebrity Animal Encounters began as a short-form digital series on Facebook Watch that drew in nearly four million views over the course of its four-episode run. It is being produced by Asylum Entertainment with the animation provided by Octopie Studios.” The new series starts up later this month, but you can check out the preview video now.

image c. 2018 Asylum Entertainment

Fabulous Werewolf

We haven’t heard of Flying Bark Productions before, but according to Animation World Network it sounds like we should start paying attention to them! The studio is hard at work on a CGI feature film called 100% Wolf, which they plan to follow with a TV series of the same name immediately after.  The plot? “Lovers of surreal, laugh-out-loud animation should enjoy this comedy series about Freddy Lupin, an 11-year-old boy set to turn into a werewolf, just like everyone else in his family. But things don’t go as planned when Freddy turns into an adorable poodle instead.” Got that? Interesting thing is the feature and series are based on a popular Australian children’s novel by Jayne Lyons. No word yet on distribution, but the film and series are scheduled to be complete in 2019.

image c. 2018 Flying Bark Productions

Birds of a Feather, Hiding Together

We learned about this through Cartoon Brew, though it’s been turning up in multiple places. It seems that the Disney Company has produced a new animated TV series based on the 1944 Donald Duck feature The Three Caballeros.  But here’s the strange thing: The new series, Legends of the Three Caballeros, is only available through the Disneylife app — and only in the Philippines to boot. From the CB article: “Frank Angones, a co-producer on the new Ducktales, further commented on his Tumblr that the show has been finished for a while, even before the new Ducktales reboot was produced. He added, ‘It feels sort of like an alternate universe rooted more in the old Donald shorts than anything Barks-related – there’s no sign of Scrooge, the nephews, Gyro, Duckburg, lots of humans everywhere, etc., with April, May, and June standing in for the kid protagonists.'” 2019 is the 75th anniversary of the original film, so folks are hoping Disney will be inspired to release this new series in other parts of the world. Would you look at that: For once, we’re not the only ones whining about cool animation we can’t see in this country!

image c. 2018 Disney Interactive

Stop That Snake

Here’s a new animated feature in the works we found out about through Animation World Network. “Timeless Films will begin selling worldwide rights to Rodrigo Pérez Castro’s upcoming animated feature Koati, created and produced by Anabella Sosa Dovarganes from Upstairs Productions and Los Hijos de Jack Productions, at the upcoming Cannes International Film Festival. Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy award-nominee Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), is attached to star and will executive produce… Koati is an animated comedy film starring three unlikely heroes: A free-spirited coati, a fearless monarch butterfly, and a hyperactive glass frog who embark on a glorious adventure to stop a wicked coral snake (Vergara) from destroying their homeland and friends. ‘Koati is an invitation to celebrate, for the first time in an animated film, the magical realism of the Latin American jungles, of the Amazonian rainforest, and the fun, exotic creatures that call it home,’ says Vergara, whose voice is heard in The Smurfs and Happy Feet 2. ‘It’s a coming-of-age comedy starring a cool and real family of animals the world needs to meet.'” The article tells us to look for it in 2019.

image c. 2018 Timeless Films

Helping The Ones You Don’t Even See

Another cool item we picked up from Animation World Network: “Newbery Honor-winning author Adam Gidwitz and Mixtape Club founders Jesse Casey and Chris Lenox Smith premiered online the animated debut of The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose adventures continue in a series of books for middle-grade readers from Penguin Random House.” The kids of the Unicorn Rescue Society (along with their companion Jersey, a friendly Jersey Devil) help with the needs of mythical creatures that adults don’t even believe in. “The Unicorn Rescue Society is a secret organization. Its mission is to keep the creatures of myth and legend safe. Dragons, Bigfoot, chupacabras — and maybe even unicorns. Every day, the threats to these rare and wonderful animals grow. They are hunted. Their habitats are destroyed. And the Unicorn Rescue Society is their only hope.” Rather than being adaptations of the books themselves, the animated shorts spread the word about the book series and take a behind-the-scenes look. The AWN article has a link to the first cartoon.

image c. 2018 Mixtape Club

I Read Them for the Plot!

You just know that anything from a publisher called Plotless Comics is going to be interesting, right? Well that’s the home of Walrus-Rabbit, created by Matt Marchetti (the actual title is much much longer but we’ll leave it at that), and SadoCat, created by Cory Patten. Needless to say things are not very serious but are very very strange in these funny animal superhero comics. Read all about these characters and more at their Plotless web site.

image c. 2018 Plotless Comics

They Get It Over There…

We stumbled across an interesting article about a new series of animated shorts coming to TV in South Africa. “NickToons in association with local animation studio, Sunrise Productions have proudly developed it’s first South African animation for the channel. Munki and Trunk is a dialogue-free 3D animated TV series for kids aged 4 to 7. Munki is a vine-swinging force of nature, hungry for bananas and adventure. Trunk is a big-hearted elephant who loves to nurture and play. These unlikely best friends explore their world together, facing fears and helping friends along the way. It’s the most fun you can have in the jungle.” The show is produced by Tim Keller, and it premiers this month. No word at all if anyone plans to distribute it to other parts of the world, unfortunately.

image c. 2018 Sunrise Productions

Shake Your Cosmic Thing

Another WonderCon discovery: Star Beasts is a science fiction funny animal comic written by Stephanie Young and illustrated by Allyson Lassiter. “The cosmic adventures of Star Beasts! Protectors of our planet, this secret order of creatures is sworn to guard our home. Keeping us safe from all Galactic Evil great and small. Want to know the real reason why Pluto isn’t a planet anymore? Find out in the first issue of Star Beasts, The Mighty Menace.” Well it’s nice to know that someone figured it out. Visit the Star Beasts home page or look for the creators at a comic convention near you.

image c. 2018 by Allyson Lassiter