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Dragons

The Dragon is Ohana

Another artist we ran into at WonderCon: Denae Frazier. She does fine art and pin-ups on many subjects both fannish and “mundane”, but what really caught our eye right off the bat was her affinity for both Disney’s Stitch (of Lilo & Stitch) and Dreamworks’ Toothless (of How to Train Your Dragon)… individually, and together! (Has she met Chris Sanders? Probably!) In fact she’s complete so many pictures of those two together that she created a calendar for 2020 featuring those prints. Check out her web site to see those and more.

image c. 2019 by Denae Frazier

The Dragon Century

Katelyn McCaigue is an artist and illustrator we met at WonderCon last week. She describes herself as a “monster and character artist”, and a look at her web site seems to back that up. Recently, she’s been working on a project to illustrate 100 different dragons based on ideas submitted to her by her fans and subscribers. She’s still got a ways to go but she’s intent on finishing! Many of her current monster designs are also available as prints.

image c. 2019 by Katelyn McCaigue

Own the Whole Sky

And speaking of compilations… IDW has a big one for fans of Spyro the Dragon and the Skylanders crew in the new Skylanders Omnibus. “A collection of Skylanders adventures tying into some of their most popular games! From the world of Skylanders Trap Team! Discover the history of the Trap Masters and Kaos’ plot for Traptanium that ties right into the video game. Marvel as your favorite characters face grueling tests, outrageous challenges, and the vilest of villains to gain Champion status! Plus, one of Spyro’s most malevolent and powerful enemies makes his Skylanders debut! And nothing Spyro, Hex, Cynder, or the rest of the Skylanders can do will prepare them for the evil that is about the be unleashed—the return of the first purple dragon, Malefor!” At nearly 300 pages, it just hit the shelves too!

image c. 2019 IDW Publishing

Bear, Bear, Dragon

Animation Magazine recently let us know about two anthropomorphic animated TV series coming from Singapore’s August Media and South Korea’s Studio Gale. First up there’s Tish Tash. “The series centers on young and hugely imaginative Tish, her bear family, and her larger-than-life imaginary friend, Tash. No matter what troubles they face — be it the age-old terror of long, boring car trips or helping Tish’s baby brother not be sad about losing his favorite toy — these special friends can create new worlds around themselves, embarking on imaginative adventures and finding their own creative angle to help solve any problems that life throws at them.” Then there’s Journey of Long, a comedy that “… follows the adventures of a dragon with a dream of becoming the world’s top chef”. Check out the video clip over on YouTube. Both these shows premiered at MIPCOM, and they’re hoping for world-wide distribution in 2019.

image c. 2018 Studio Gale

I Don’t Care If It Stunts My Growth

A Furry Fandom favorite moves further into the eye of the mainstream, thanks to AMP! Comics For Kids. Now they bring us the Ozy and Millie Graphic Novel Volume 1 — written and illustrated by Dana Simpson, of course. “From the creator of the enormously popular Phoebe and Her Unicorn series comes Ozy and Millie, a playful comic exploring the friendship between two foxes. Meet Ozy and Millie, two middle-grade students in Seattle who also happen to be foxes. This comic centers around these two best friends as they take on the everyday challenges all middle-graders face-bullies, tests, and the dread of going back to school after a surprise snow day. Ozy is a young male fox whose adoptive father happens to be a dragon and frequent presidential candidate. Ozy’s calm and thoughtful demeanor is constantly tested by Millie’s rambunctious and rebellious pursuits.” Find out more over at Previews. Available now from Andrews McMeel.

image c. 2018 Andrews McMeel Publishing

A Vegetarian Dragon…?

Another cool thing from San Diego Comic Con. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the artist Brian Kesinger has released a new art portfolio book called Penned Dragons. “Brian Kesinger’s charming collection of pen-and-ink dragon portraits obliterates winged-serpent stereotypes with its fun and fantastic portrayal of these magnificent creatures at their informal best. There are no cookie-cutter fantasy clichés to be found here… just candid studies of dozens of the world’s most wonderful dragons with their individual personalities on display. An authentic and insightful glimpse into the little-known realities of being a dragon. Characters like Fynlar the Daring, Gorüng the Skittish, and So’kee the Vegetarian will delight readers of all ages.” It’s available now in hardcover from Baby Tattoo Books. (Oh by the way: Brian has a book of mermaid art too!)

image c. 2018 Baby Tattoo Books

Dragonkeeper

Now we find out a bit more about Dragonkeeper, a new CGI film in development which we talked about recently. Animation Magazine just gave us an update: “London-based sales company SC Films International has snapped up international rights to Dragonkeeper, an upcoming animated family feature from Spain & China, based on the first novel of Carole Wilkinson’s series. The author is adapting her own text with director Ignacio Ferreras (Wrinkles), Rosanna Cecchini, Pablo Castrillo, and Xiamping Wang. Jianping Li is co-directing with Ferreras. [The] synopsis: In ancient China, dragons were once friends of men, but men’s greed and lust for power ended their alliance, and these wise and magical creatures were hunted down by the Empire. Years later, in a remote fortress, a young slave girl named Ping strikes up an unlikely friendship with Long Danzi, the last of the imperial dragons. Learning the power of Qi, Ping helps the dragon escape from captivity and together they journey across the Empire in order to save his lineage, chased by the Emperor’s men and pursued by even darker powers… Ilion Animation Studios, the Spanish shop behind Planet 51 and Paramount’s forthcoming Wonder Park, will handle production alongside China Film Animation and Dragoia Media.” Still no word on a planned release date, but at least we know it’s coming along. Stay tuned.

image c. 2018 Dragoia Media

The Grump is Finally Here

You may recall that a couple years ago (!) we talked about a new animated feature based on the 1960’s Depatie-Freleng TV series called Here Comes The Grump. Well it seems that Anima Estudios just recently completed the film and released it in Mexico. What’s more, according to Cartoon Brew it’s apparently coming to the U.S. for a brief theatrical run, under the title A Wizard’s Tale. “The film is directed by Andres Couturier, who also helmed Anima’s 2015 feature Top Cat Begins. Some key American talent was involved in the development of the film, including writer Jim Hecht (Ice Age: The Meltdown) and character designer Craig Kellman (Madagascar, Samurai Jack, Hotel Transylvania). English voice cast includes Lily Collins, Toby Kebbell, and Ian McShane.” Cartoon Brew has a trailer for the film as well. Look for it!

image c. 2018 Anima Estudios

Not One But Two Dragon Films

We missed the announcements of these animated films last year, but now we’ve found them thanks to Animation Magazine. Both are adaptations of popular children’s literature, and both of them are international co-productions. Dragonkeeper (based on a series of books by Carole Wilkinson) comes to us from China Film Group and Spain’s Dragoia Media.  According to Variety, “Set during the Han Dynasty in a magic, epic and classic China… the first Dragonkeeper installment turns on the adventures of Ping, a slave girl so humble that she thinks she doesn’t deserve a name. Yet she finds the courage to become a true Dragonkeeper, helping the ancient last imperial dragon, Long Danzi, in its quest to transport a dragon egg across China to the coast, the only place it can hatch.” Then there’s Dragon Rider, based on the book by Cornelia Funke (Inkheart) and produced in cooperation between Germany and the UK. (It’s being adapted by Johnny Smith, writer for the original Gnomeo & Juliet.) Again, from Variety: “High-end by European standards, the 3D children’s fantasy adventure turns on Firedrake, a young silver dragon, Sorrel, a mountain brownie, and Ben, a human orphan who search among the highest Himalayas for the Rim of Heaven, which can offer sanctuary for Firedrake’s kin, whose valley is made uninhabitable by a dam.” No word yet on a planned release date for either film.

image c. 2018 Dragoia Media