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Comic Books

Working Your Meow-scles.

It seems like cats are getting into all sorts of business these days — in mangas at least. Check out Cat Massage Therapy by Haru Hisakawa. “Nekoyama, worn out after another long day at the office, stops at a therapeutic massage parlor — only to discover that it’s run by a cat! Not only that, but the cat actually does the massaging?! As the professional ‘meowsseur’ digs soft toe beans into Nekoyama’s aching muscles, his heart warms and his worries melt away. This is only the beginning, as he and other world-weary workers are about to meet the other feline professionals who have mastered pawfully cute techniques to reduce human stress.” Available now in full color from Seven Seas.

image c. 2022 Seven Seas Entertainment

What, We Worry?

We met Janie Stapleton at WonderCon this year. On her web site, she describes her art like this: “I find inspiration in nature and people watching, and I like my work to strike an awkward balance of gallows humor and bright colors. My work explores emotional intelligence, neurodivergence, and interpersonal connection through lighthearted drawings and comics.” And so she’s created various funny-animal-themed online comics like Animal Logic and The Adventures of Anxiety & Mouse. More recently, she’s run some successful Kickstarter campaigns to release her comics in paperback book form. See if they can help you relax.

image c. 2022 by Janie Stapleton

Purr-fect Little Scamp

Well here’s something we should have been covering for… quite a while now! In 2005, no less, Nick Bruel created the first Bad Kitty book — featuring the adventures of “…a housecat who wreaks havoc around her owner’s home when she is in a bad mood, hence the name,” according to Wikipedia. Turns out there have been Bad Kitty books and graphic novels ever since — the most recent including Bad Kitty Gets A Phone and Bad Kitty For President. All coming your way from Roaring Brook Press. So you’d better look out!

image c. 2022 Roaring Brook Press

Are All Animals Equal?

We just stumbled across Animal Castle, a new comic series from Ablaze Comics that takes a familiar fable… in a new direction. This is from Bleeding Cool: “On the Farm, all animals were equal. But in the Castle, some are more equal than others… Nestled in the heart of a farm forgotten by men, the Animal Castle is ruled with an iron hoof by President Silvio. The bull and his dog militia savor their power, while the other animals are exhausted by work until the arrival of the mysterious Azelard, a traveling rat who will teach them the secrets of civil disobedience.” Brought to us by Writer Xavier Dorison and artist Felix Dele.

image c. 2022 Ablaze Comics

Let’s Get Ready To Purrumble…!

He’s in L.A. County, we’re in the O.C., so of course we meet up at WonderCon this year — and made sure to pick up his comic book, Super Lucha Cats! Interestingly, we came across this in a local newspaper: “When vampires, demons, and all manner of things that go bump in the night threaten the town, who will be there to save it? The Super Lucha Cats will. Created by 33-year-old Bell Gardens native Javier Solorzano, Super Lucha Cats is a brand-new comic inspired by Latin folklore, a love of lucha libre, and a couple of feline friends. It follows the adventures of Coco, Pizza, Nopalito, and Fresa; four cats adopted off the street by a retired luchadora who – with the help of a magical lucha mask – raised and trained the four siblings to piledrive the forces of evil.” Check out the interview from our local NPR radio station too.

image c. 2022 Media Noche Comics

A Mind is a Terrible Thing

Seems like this has been out for a while, but it passed beneath our radar: Slow City Blues from Image Comics. “The story is focused on Detective John Loris, who gets trapped inside his imagination after accidentally killing a little girl in the line of duty. After trying to take his own life, John instead ends up in Slow City, a construct of his mind’s eye, a place where anything and everything is possible, except a way out… John Loris is both revered and reviled as The Creator, but in Slow City, even God is just another slob. So, he does the only thing he knows how: Be a cop. But times are changing and the wheels in his mind are in motion. And now, John and his partner, a six foot six, smart-ass skunk, must solve a double homicide and bring the killer to justice before a gang war between the Gorillas of the Devil’s Backbone and the Dragons of the Midnight Syndicate destroy Slow City.” To find out more, check out the Image press release.

image c. 2022 Image Comics

Werewolf Domesticus?

Recently visiting WonderCon we came across WereWoofs, a new YA graphic novel by screenwriter Joelle Sellner and illustrator Val Wise.In the small Midwestern town of Howlett, navigating high school is tough enough. But when a group of friends are inexplicably turned into weredogs, adapting to their new powers proves to be even tougher. This leads to an unlikely friendship with loner Mara, a werewolf whose father has mysteriously vanished. As the high schoolers team up to solve the disappearance, friendships are tested, and secrets are revealed as the Werewoofs prove themselves in an explosive showdown against a dangerous wolfpack and their vicious alpha.” It’s available now from New Paradigm. Check out the review over at Cemetery Dance.

image c. 2022 New Paradigm Studios

Do We Finally Get The Bunny?

For a long time, we’ve been talking about an animated TV series based on the award-winning comic series Usagi Yojimbo. For years. Nay, for decades! Well now, according to Netflix, it’s about to become a reality — and soon! “First announced in July 2020, the adaptation of Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo is coming to Netflix in April 2022 — specifically on April 28th, 2022… Candie Langdale and Doug Langdale are serving as the showrunners for the series. They’re best known for their work on Netflix’s Maya and the Three, [as well as] working on DreamWorks projects Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.” Now as to the plot: “Usagi is a young rabbit who doesn’t want much from life – just to be history’s greatest Samurai. When he comes to the futuristic city of Neo Edo to seek his destiny, he accidentally unleashes dozens of the bizarre, ancient monsters known as Yokai. Now, along with his new friends Chizu, Gen, and Kitsune, he must clean up the mess he’s made.” Stan Sakai himself is proudly involved with every step of the production.

image c. 2022 Gaumont Televison

Fast and Furry, Us

Right before the release of the second Sonic the Hedgehog movie next month, IDW Publishing have gathered together some fan-favorite comic book stories of Sonic and his pal Tails the double-bushy fox in a new compilation, Sonic & Tails: Best Buds Forever. “Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles ‘Tails’ Prower. Best friends through thick and thin, they’ve always got each other’s backs. Celebrate the terrific twosome with these three high-speed, high-flying tales full of action and adrenaline. First, Dr. Eggman is missing, but his rogue robots are still running amok, and only Sonic can stop them. But he can’t do it without Tails! Then, the best buds are trying to take a break, but something stinks. Looks like baddies can have best friends too! And finally, Tails and Sonic explore an abandoned Dr. Eggman base, but they’re not alone! Can they trust the intruder? No worries. If thirty years of friendship has proven anything, it’s that they’ll be fine as long as they’ve got each other!” Available now in trade paperback.

image c. 2022 IDW Publishing