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Dragons

What A Versatile Little Alien

Recently at Los Angeles Comic Con we came across the work of Jonathan Hallett. He’s a career storyboard artist for a living, but in the original art he creates on the side he has a very special affinity for the alien half of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch — so much so that he draws the little blue one (and the pink one, Angel) as just about every other character from every other story you can possibly think of. (With an occasional visit from Toothless of How To Train Your Dragon, as well.) Visit his Etsy store, Stitchtoons, and see what he has to offer.

image c. 2019 by Jonathan Hallett

Talk to the Dragons

And now a rather different take on Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon universe, this time in a new Netflix TV series for young viewers. Animation World Network gave us the scoop: “DreamWorks Animation has just unveiled the high-flying trailer and cast of its new animated preschool series, Dragons Rescue Riders. This all-new chapter in the Oscar-nominated How to Train Your Dragon franchise follows the adventures of twins, Dak and Leyla, raised by dragons, who share a unique ability to communicate with them. The brother and sister lead a team of five young dragons, Aggro, Winger, Summer, Cutter, and Burple, with whom they spend their days rescuing other dragons and helping people in their adopted town of Huttsgalor. All 14 episodes of the new series debut September 27 exclusively on Netflix.” Check out the preview trailer as well.

image c. 2019 Dreamworks Animation

They’re Not Toys

And another from the Festival of Books — in a similar vein, perhaps. This is the Isle of Misfits series of novels for young readers, written by Jamie May and illustrated by Freya Hartas. The first book, appropriately called First Class, goes like this: “Gibbon is a gargoyle who has been unable to sit still for hundreds of years. One day, he leaves his post from the castle he was meant to be guarding, and a person sees Gibbon, he panics and runs away. As Gibbon is sadly walking back, he meets three gargoyles who bring him to an island filled with other legendary creatures. There, he goes to a special academy that will train him to go on missions to protect all sorts of mythical creatures who are in trouble. Excited to go and happy that he won’t be lonely anymore, Gibbon is also nervous to go some place where he doesn’t know anyone. Will he be able to make friends in this new place? Find out in this new and exciting creature-filled series, complete with a hilarious cast of characters such as a clumsy dragon, an ill-tempered fairy, a griffin with poor flying skills, and a yeti with a manbun!” Four books in the series are available now from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2019 Simon & Schuster

More Than Socks

The Puppetry Institute of Santa Cruz is the impressive name of a California facility that believe in “…giving all who walk through the doors a chance to experience first hand the beauty and wonder of an art form that encompasses all the other arts into one.” No prizes for guessing: They’re located in Santa Cruz, at the Capitola Mall, “Just around the corner from the Santa Cruz Museum of Discovery”.  But they also get out and about to various conventions and fannish events — we found them at BLFC! According to their web site, they give adults, kids, and families a chance to “Explore puppetry through workshops, classes, and demonstrations. Puppetry is more then just a sock with googly eyes — it’s design, construction, movement, masks, sewing — the list goes on. We offer a wide variety of classes in puppetry, theater, and FX skills, that cannot only be counted as art credits but also math, science, and engineering. We have 1000 sq ft space where students can learn in a lively and creative environment; or, we can do 1 and 2 hr pop-up classes at a location of your choosing.” The sight includes a lot of photos of their projects past and present. (Be sure to ask them about the “Dragon Petting Zoo”!)

image c. 2019 The Puppetry Institute

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