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Comic Books

Bunny and Bird. Of Course! Why Not?

Young beginning readers can check out the Ollie and Bea series of graphic novels, written and illustrated by Renee Tremi. The set up is as simple as can be: “Ollie is an owl who wears glasses. And Bea is a bunny with very big feet. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to be best friends. Can they help each other to find their otter-ly awesome inner superhero?” It’s Owl Good and other books in the series are available now from Allen & Unwin Book Publishers.

image c. 2022 Allen & Unwin

Dog and Pony Show

Don’t blame us — that’s their joke. Here’s another phenomenon we somehow missed — brought back to us now by Acme Ink. “Here comes the first exciting issue of Charley & Humphrey — with cover art by Darick Robertson! When a motley crew of fleas stow away on Charley — it’s up to accident-prone Humphrey to save the day before the itchy interlopers ruin an important ceremony down at the Sea Horse Docks. Based upon the popular puppet characters created by Pat McCormick — which have delighted audiences for over 60 year! Get in on the adventures of America’s favorite Dog and Pony show!” Told you. It’s written by Justin Sane (!), with interior art by John Hageman.

image c. 2022 Acme Ink

Paw the Left Button Twice

Apparently this is a thing we missed — but now it’s available over here. Cat + Gamer is a black & white manga written and illustrated by Wataru Nadatani, now translated and distributed by Dark Horse. “Riko’s coworkers can’t quite figure her out — she never talks about her personal life, she never works overtime, and she never joins them for happy hour. Is she antisocial? Nope, she’s rushing home to play video games! One day, a stray cat is found in the office parking lot, and before Riko knows it, the cat has moved in with her! Having no experience with pets, Riko uses lessons drawn from video games to guide her in cat care, while her cute companion tries to understand her behavior through a cat’s worldview.”

image c. 2022 Dark Horse Press

Seal The Connection

Some time ago, writer and illustrator Molly Knox Ostertag gave us The Witch Boy, a coming-of-age graphic novel about a young werewolf boy with… different preferences. We’ll tell you all about that one soon. Right now we want to point you at her latest comic work, The Girl From The Sea. “This sweet graphic novel follows Morgan, a 15-year-old girl living on a small island in Canada, who one day meets a mysterious selkie named Keltie. At first, Morgan is annoyed by Keltie, but as they spend more time together, she realizes her feelings may be stronger than she anticipated.” It’s available now in paperback from Scholastic.

image c. 2022 Scholastic

The Bard and the Barnyard

The things we find. Ham-Let: A Shakespearean Mash-Up is a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, brought to us in hardcover by Dark Horse Press. “The eponymous Pig Prince himself returns home from college to find that his uncle Claude betrayed and murdered his father to seize the throne! But this familiar fable veers into the zany and adventurous when Ham-let calls upon his best friend Horatio and a troupe of rowdy, self-centered actors to aid him in halting his uncle’s evil plans.” Ham-Let is written by Jim Burnstein, Garrett Schiff, and Andrew Cosby, with illustrations by Elisa Ferrari. Go check out the preview pages over at the Dark Horse web site.

image c. 2022 Dark Horse Press

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