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Fantasy

Step into the World of Crow

Recently, we learned about a new 3D virtual reality film in the works called Rainbow Crow from Baobab Studios. The idea is to make a short film where the viewer can step into a different world and interact with animal characters as they tell you a story. In this case, it’s a Native American legend about how the crow saved his fellow animals from a harsh winter frost — and in so doing, gained his famously black feathers. Directed by Eric Darnell from Dreamworks (Antz, Madagascar), Rainbow Crow stars the voices of singer John Legend, Diego Luna, Constance Wu, and Randy Edmonds. A short preview film (about 4 minutes of the final 40) made the rounds recently at Tribeca and other film festivals. Road To VR has an article about the production of the film.

image c. 2017 Baobab Studios

Animals to Cuddle

As we’ve noted, if you’re talking about Furry Fandom the word “cute” is never far away. And if you’re talking about cute, plush animals are probably going to come up too. Well at the L.A. Comic Con we came across an artist called Bellzi, who specializes in cute plush animals. In literally dozens of designs in fact. “Anything and Everything Cute” their web site says, and they live up to that ideal!

image c. 2017 by Bellzi

Rabbit, Take Me Home!

An interesting project we stumbled across at the LA. Comic Con, with the deceptively simple title of Bun. Brought to us by the writing and illustration team of Brian Silveira and Lisa Nguyen, Bun is a graphic novel fantasy/horror series the couple created and published themselves. Their web page describes it like this: “A boy. A girl. An unspeakable evil. A rabbit.” An interview in a local newspaper gave us a bit more description: Bun is “…an intricate tale that follows a young boy and his pet rabbit, the titular Bun. The book picks up after the boy, Milo, loses his mother to cancer. In the wake of her death, his father retreats into alcoholism and depression, essentially making the boy an orphan, alone and struggling with his grief. Milo suddenly disappears, transported to another world where his rabbit Bun serves as the only bridge back home.” The first and second installments of this black & white series are available now.

image c. 2017 by Silveira/Nguyen

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Awww. Weird, but Awww.

Every year we visit several comic book conventions, and every time we run across artists who specialize in cute. One of the latest is Rizzo Michelle. If you visit the official web site you’ll see artwork of little bunnies, little kittens, and sad little sharks (believe us, it works…), often in rather odd but fun settings. The art is available not only as prints but magnets, tote bags, and even plush toys.

image c. 2017 by Rizzo Michelle

This is the City… and He is a Cat

Spencer & Locke is a new full-color comic series that slipped on by last summer, but we finally caught up with it! Locke: He’s a hard-boiled police detective. Spencer: He’s Locke’s imaginary childhood friend, now grown up into a 6-foot tall panther. Together, they fight crime. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!) Writer David Pepose describes it as ‘Calvin & Hobbes meets Sin City‘, and that sums it up pretty well! Illustrated by Jorge Santiago, Jr. and Jasen Smith, it’s available now from Action Labs. And check out the spoiler-free review over at Pop Cult HQ.

image c. 2017 Action Lab

Quest of the Vegetables

Cucumber Quest is a popular on-line fantasy adventure comic for young readers, written and illustrated by Gigi D.G. Now it’s been assembled by First Second into a new full-color graphic novel, Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom. It goes like this: “What happens when an evil queen gets her hands on an ancient force of destruction? World domination, obviously. The seven kingdoms of Dreamside need a legendary hero. Instead, they’ll have to settle for Cucumber, a nerdy magician who just wants to go to school. As destiny would have it, he and his way more heroic sister, Almond, must now seek the Dream Sword, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Queen Cordelia’s Nightmare Knight. Can these bunny siblings really save the world in its darkest hour? Sure, why not?” The first volume is available now, in hardcover or trade paperback.

image c. 2017 First Second

North, But Not Alaska

And the Christmas comic flood continues, this time with a new title from Action Lab — Northstars Volume 1: Welcome to Snowville. “Holly, the daughter of Santa Claus, and Frostina, the Yeti Princess, must put their differences aside to save the town of Snowville before Christmas is lost forever. They travel through an exotic underground world to save Christmas from the devious Krampus and his oafish Straw Lads.” Krampus who looks like an evil reindeer, it seems. They also said this: “Northstars is what you get if you combine Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with Adventure Time. Like the classic Rankin/Bass specials, it’s a wonderful world where holiday characters such as Santa and his daughter, Holly, rub shoulders with winter warlocks, snow dragons and fall fairies. Like Adventure Time, there is a wry sense of humor and a colorful, quirky cast of characters that both kids and adults will enjoy.” The first ultra-sized hardcover issue is written by Jim Shelley and Haigen Shelley, with illustration by Anna Liisa Jones. Look for it later this month.

image c. 2017 Action Lab

Classic Christmas from Classic Artists

It’s not too early to be thinking about Christmas, is it? (Our local department store certainly doesn’t think so…) In that spirit (Ha Ha), IDW have once again compiled The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories, edited by Craig Yoe. What’s especially interesting about this collection is some of the artists represented: Among them are Walt Kelly (creator of Pogo), Richard Scarry (famous creator of funny animal books for kids), John Stanley (Little Lulu), and many others. It’s coming out in trade paperback this November, and there’s a review over at the Graphic Novel Reporter site.

image c. 2017 IDW

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How to Battle With Your Dragon

[Back in town again, your ed-otter is happy to get caught up with new furry stuff!] Looking ahead to the delayed-but-still-coming film How to Train Your Dragon 3, Dreamworks Animation have a new full-color graphic novel coming early next year from Dark Horse. “This second standalone graphic novel based on the film series is a new adventure that takes place shortly after the events in How to Train Your Dragon 2, during the period in which Hiccup is desperately trying to fill his father’s role as the chief of Berk. Created with the help of the film’s writer, director, and producer, Dean DeBlois; it bridges the gap between the second and third films. Hiccup, Toothless, and the rest of the dragon riders encounter two deadly yet mysteriously linked threats: One is an island consumed by Dragonvine, an uncontrollable force of nature that’s poisonous to humans and deadly to dragons. The other is an all-new, all-terrifying dragon species – the web-spitting Silkspanners!” As they noted in the press release, How to Train Your Dragon: Dragonvine is written by Dean Deblois and Richard Hamilton, with illustrations by Francisco de la Fuente and Doug Wheatley.

image c. 2017 Dark Horse