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Ecology

Save the Hive — Save the World

We’ll admit we weren’t familiar with the works of comic creator Mary Fleener, but maybe we should have been: Check out her new graphic novel from Fantagraphics, Billie The Bee. “Meet Billie, an oversized honeybee with an even bigger personality! She’s bold, boisterous, and always singin’ up a storm. Billie lives a sweet life exploring the marshes of San Diego and making friends with Kay the kind Fox, Rayleen the rattlesnake, and Flo and Mo, the dirty joke-telling turtle sisters. But one day humans arrive and illegally release some rabid creatures into the marsh lands, upsetting the delicate ecological balance of the habitat. Can Billie and her woodland friends band together to repel these wild outsiders? And when a natural disaster strikes, does Billie have what it takes to lead the hive? Mary Fleener’s intricate crosshatching and signature mind-bending forays into cubist storytelling masterfully conjure up the world of her plucky honeybee protagonist. A deep dive into the secret life of bees, Billie’s story is by turns both charming and harrowing.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2019 Fantagraphics Books

The Lorax

By now you’ve probably seen the trailers, the billboards, or the general buzz letting you know that a new version of Dr. Seuss’ 1971 parable The Lorax is coming to the big screen. The last time The Lorax was animated was 1972, in a TV special created by DePatie-Freleng (well known for The Pink Panther cartoon show). This time, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment (who most recently brought us Despicable Me) will be releasing the CGI film version on March 2nd. It’s directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda, and stars the voice of Danny DeVito (as the Lorax) as well as Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Betty White, and Taylor Swift. The original story, if you didn’t know, tells of a young boy who meets up with an unseen creature known as the Once-ler, who tells a story of his youth… when he destroyed a tranquil forest in the name of industrialization and commercialism, despite the pleas and warnings of the Lorax, a sort of spirit of the forest. As with the big screen adaptation of Horton Hears A Who, a lot has been added to the basic plot for this new version of The Lorax. It remains to be seen if the new movie will maintain not only the original’s important message, but also the power of its hopeful yet rather bleak ending. You can decide for yourself when the film comes out, or by visiting Unversal’s Lorax Movie Site.

image c. 2012 Universal Studios

 

The Last of the Polar Bears

Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges, creators of Draw Furries, are currently working on a new graphic novel, The Last of the Polar Bears. According to Jared, “It’s one part fable, one part coming-of-age adventure epic. The story takes place in the near future, told through the perspective of a mother polar bear and her two cubs as they struggle to survive in a rapidly changing world. Work on this project started back in March 2009, almost immediately after we finished up Draw Furries. It’s only now (almost a year later) that we are at the point where we can share our story with the public. While the developmental work is finished, the long grueling task of drawing the comic is just beginning. Around the first of the year, Lindsay started roughing out the first chapter of the tale. And although the finished book is still a long way off, we want to start getting the word out about this new story. As part of our efforts, we put together a promotional postcard featuring Lindsay’s art of the polar bear family. Here’s the link to sign up for one! Just enter an address on the form and hit the send button to received the card in the mail. I have a stack of 500 of these postcards and I want to give every one of them out to people, so please participate!” Meanwhile, we at In-Fur-Nation will keep you informed when we hear word of a release date for the new graphic novel.