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Comic Books

Rivals Land on Paper

Remember when we talked about Rivals of Aether, a very furry video game? Well now Dan Fornace and his creative team are exploring a new medium as they bring us Tales of Aether — Future Imperfect, a full-color comic book series slated to come out later this year. Over on YouTube they have a preview video that introduces a lot of the new characters and situations. Be on the lookout!

image c. 2021 Aether Studios

Bearing Arms

We’re sorry we didn’t hear about Rudek and the Bear before — but now creator Peter Donahue has a Kickstarter campaign running to get the second collection volume out, and it looks very interesting. “Rudek and the Bear is a webcomic featuring anthropomorphic soldiers and smugglers and their shenanigans along the Polish-Soviet border in 1929… Since Volume I came out, the story and characters have evolved so much. Rudek the fox faces his PTSD from the Polish-Ukrainian War; Masha the bear grapples with the moral consequences of smuggling stolen goods; and Malutki (the big bear) chooses which side he’s on.” The campaign has already reached its initial goal, so stay tuned to find out what stretches get added between now and the finish.

image c. 2021 by Peter Donahue

It’s A Lost Art

For those who remember the early days of CGI animated TV series… IDW brings us a brand new Transformers: Beast Wars comic series. “Celebrating 25 years of Beast Wars! In the future, the planet Cybertron belongs to the scientific-minded Maximals and the action-oriented Predacons! When a crew of Predacons, led by the successor to the Megatron name, steal a golden disk and a ship capable of traveling through time, it’s up to Optimus Primal and his Maximal crew—Rattrap, Rhinox, Cheetor, and new character Nyx—to catch them! A brand-new Beast era begins in an oversized first issue by Erik Burnham (Ghostbusters) and Josh Burcham (Transformers Galaxies).” Issues are available now.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Big Birthday for the Little Blue Blur

We got this announcement directly from IDW Publishing: It’s a big birthday celebration for Sonic the Hedgehog! “Timed to the speedster’s 30th trip around the sun this June, IDW will release the Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special, a super-sized 80-page comic book featuring three tales of colorful heroes and dastardly villains, sure to tug at the heartstrings of fans of all ages! For this spectacular tribute comic, IDW has tapped Gale Galligan, known for her illustration work on The Babysitters Club, along with Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy, podcasters recognizable from The Adventure Zone and the wildly popular My Brother, My Brother, and Me. This group of newcomers will be contributing their first-ever Sonic adventures alongside fan-favorite and longtime scribe Ian Flynn and artists Mauro Fonseca, Reggie Graham, Aaron Hammerstrom, and Thomas Rothlisberger.” Find out more at the web site — and look for the special trade paperback in stores this summer. Shop safely!

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Snugglers of Many Species

One of the more celebrated (if difficult to find) anime series in recent years as been Interspecies Reviewers — a high fantasy intended for a decidedly adult audience! Well now we’ve discovered that Yen Press has released an artistic tribute manga for the series, Interspecies Reviewers Comic Anthology: Darkness. “Haven’t had enough succu-girls? In this collection of art and short comics, talented Japanese artists such as Okayado (Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls), Ganmarei (Monster Wrestling: Interspecies Combat Girls), and coolkyousinnja (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid) come together for a loving tribute to the monster brothel adventurers of Interspecies Reviewers! Whether it’s new species or old favorites, this anthology has enough hot and steamy action to satisfy any fan!” Well there you go. If you’re old enough to order it you can find all this and more over at Amazon.

image c. 2021 Yen Press

Aesop It Ain’t

Stone Arch Books have a new line of graphic novels for young readers called Far Out Fables. And like all the best fables, they involve animal characters! With names like Chicken Little Saves The Moon Base (by Benjamin Harper and Omar Lozano), Punk Rock Mouse and Country Mouse (Brandon Terrell and Alex Lopez), and The Wolf in Unicorn’s Clothing (Katie Schenkel and Jimena Sanchez), you can kind of see how this is going. Visit their web site to see all their new titles. They’re published by Capstone.

image c. 2021 Capstone

Ally and Her Allies

Another graphic novel for young readers, this one written and illustrated by Norm Feuti. “Ally the alligator is perfectly happy being alone . . . until one day a noisy bird named Beak lands on her snout. Beak thinks Ally is lonely and needs a friend. He has all sorts of friendship goals in mind, like riding bikes together, going to the movies together, and even solving mysteries together! But when a Long-Billed Party Pooper crashes Beak’s nest-warming party, Ally decides to show Beak something important to her: Sticking up for what’s right.” Beak & Ally Volume 1: Unlikely Friends is available now in hardcover from Harper Collins.

image c. 2021 Harper Collins

Dogged Determination

Hound Heroes is a new superhero graphic novel series for some of the youngest readers, available now from Scholastic. “Meet the Hound Heroes: Fearless Captain Chihuahua, the big-hearted Great, Great Dane, super-speedy Poodle Girl, cyborg pup Power Pug, and the loveable yet irritating Super Sheep Dog. Together they make up earth’s furriest heroes! In this first adventure, the Hound Heroes’ origin story is revealed when a spaceship crashes in their backyard, giving them super powers! But they aren’t the only ones who benefit — neighborhood alleycat The Claw also gains powers, and she only wants one thing: To destory the Hound Heroes!” Okay, so it’s more for “dog people” than it is for “cat people” — unless you’re into super-villains perhaps! Hound Heroes Volume 1: Beware The Claw is written and illustrated by Todd Goldman.

image c. 2021 Scholastic

Yip Yip, Yip Yip, Yip Yip Yip

It’s nice to see James Kochalka back around — though perhaps in a bit less of an adult vein than the last time we heard from him! Banana Fox #1: The Secret Sour Society is a new full-color graphic novel from Scholastic: “The great detective Banana Fox is called back to duty to find a missing turtle. But the deeper he digs, the more he discovers, and it’s worse than he thought! The Secret Sour Society is back, and they’re mixing up a bunch of trouble. Can Banana Fox and his sidekick, Flashlight, put an end to the Secret Sour Society once and for all?” Find out in hardcover or paperback.

image c. 2021 Scholastic