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Fantasy

Eh? Sorry? What Was That?

Dragon Whisperer is a new full-color comic miniseries from Red 5 Comics. “In a world of clockwork and steam, cursed airship captain, Alexander Faulk, endures his centuries-long quest for an end to his torment: A Dragon! His ceaseless pursuit bears scarce reward, that is until Faulk discovers the bridge between the world of man, and the world of monsters. Her name is Rosalinda Eberhardt, and she is the Dragon Whisperer.” Written by Alex Deluca and illustrated Glen Fernandez, issues should be available now as comic stores slowly re-open.

image c. 2020 Red 5 Comics

 

Dragons. And They’re French.

First Second brings us a popular fantasy comic from France, collected now in one hardcover graphic novel. Kairos is written and illustrated by Ulysse Malassagne. “Nills and Anaelle are looking forward to their first night in their rustic cabin in the woods. But the couple’s idyllic vacation is suddenly thrown into turmoil when a strange flash of light bursts from the fireplace. A portal appears, and out of it spill dragon-like creatures that are armed to the teeth. They grab Anaelle and flee back through the portal, leaving a distraught Nills with a sudden decision: Stay behind, or leap through after her? He leaps. And that’s when things get really weird.” This new English translation is available now.

image c. 2020 First Second

Keep Your Spirits Up!

Oh dear… Is this much cuteness legal? Well, here it is: The Fox & The Little Tanuki, a new black & white manga by Mi Tagawa. “After 300 years, the gods that imprisoned Senzou the Fox Spirit for his arrogance finally set him free. There is only one condition — he can’t have any of his supernatural abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become one of their magical assistants. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!” It’s out there now in paperback from Tokyo Pop.

image c. 2020 Tokyo Pop

Study Them Closely. Very Closely.

And speaking of monsters… It’s time to switch gears and take a look at something that’s decidedly not for young readers. That would be Creature Girls, a new black & white manga series written and illustrated by Kakeru. “Whether they’re part cat, part horse, or part spider, Daisuke has always been fascinated with the uniquely exotic beauty of monster girls. When he finds himself whisked away to a fantastic world full of all manner of demihuman life, he swiftly gets to work meeting (and analyzing!) as many as he can. There’s really only one logical thing for this stranded scientist to do: He’s going to become the creature girl harem king!!” The full title is Creature Girls: A Hands-On Field Journal In Another World (whew!) and it’s available now from Ghost Ship.

image c. 2020 Ghost Ship Manga

The Cat and the Conquerors

We missed this somehow before — but now Dark Horse has collected it together and brought it back! What you ask? Strayed, a fantasy comic miniseries written by Carlos Giffoni and illustrated by Juan Doe. “In the far future, a military-industrial complex reigns over all humanity and actively destroys distant alien worlds. The galaxy’s only hope can be found through an unlikely pair: An astral-projecting cat named Lou and his loving owner Kiara. Trading nine lives for the well-being of billions, their revolt is a battle for love, friendship, compassion, and the soul of humanity. [This paperback] collects the five-issue miniseries.” Here’s a preview of the original series from last year. Take note: According to Dark Horse, the current pandemic situation may push back the publication date for the paperback edition. Stay tuned.

image c. 2020 Dark Horse Press

Oh, You Know, Girls and Horses…

Boom! Studios (through their Kaboom! imprint) recently released a new full-color graphic novel called Wonder Pony, written and illustrated by Marie Spénale. “For Louison, going back to school for sixth grade looks set to be eventful to say the least . . . not only is it time to face the terrifying world of boarding school and making friends, but it turns out she has superpowers! Thanks to her friend Jean-Pierre – who happens to be a pink pony – Louison gains the ability to transform herself into a superheroine: Wonder Pony. Her mission? To watch over the school, and protect her classmates and friends from any dangers that might arise . . .” Boom! have an extensive preview at their web site. (Interesting how the ad says “Discover the Magical Power of Friendship…” Hee hee hee.)

image c. Boom! Studios

Back to Fraggle Rock

While we’re all huddled in our caves — why not visit with some friendly creatures who dance in theirs? Apple TV+ and the Jim Henson Company have brought back the stars of the beloved series Fraggle Rock in a new collection of shorts called Fraggle Rock: Rock On! “The Fraggles might be apart in separate caves, but they can still find ways to have fun together! Join Gobo, Red, Boober, Mokey, Wembley, and Uncle Traveling Matt for stories and songs that show everyone how we’re all connected.” Fun fact: How do you produce a new show when everyone is still in lock-down? Simple — the entire show is filmed on iPhones from the production staff’s homes and garages. Modern technology! Here’s a review over at Slashfilm, which includes the trailer.

image c. 2020 The Jim Henson Company

You Want the Big Guy with Spots on Your Side…

For some time now well-known illustrator Rod Espinosa has been giving us the latest story arch of his Adventure Finders fantasy comic series, called The Edge of Empire. It features, among many other characters, a friendly and helpful gnoll — basically a hyena on steroids. Well now Action Lab Entertainment have gathered this story arch together into a new full-color trade paperback. Take a look over at Graphic Policy for some preview pages.

image c. 2020 Action Lab Entertainment

Games By Hand. Egad!

Something interesting has just hit the shelves (so to speak). The award-winning (and Ursa Major Award nominated) game Cuphead has a new tie-in book from Dark Horse Press called — wait for it — The Art of Cuphead. “Get transported back to the golden age of 1930s animation with an art book celebrating the acclaimed run & gun platformer Cuphead! Each page of this curated collection of artwork is designed to capture the vintage look and feel of the Thirties. Take a gander at the game’s traditional hand-drawn, frame-by-frame animation. Peek at the early concepts, production work, and early ideas that went into the making of Cuphead’s characters, bosses, stages, and more! And relive the most cherished and challenging moments of Cuphead and Mugman’s adventure to reclaim their souls from the Devil! Guided by personal insights from game directors Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, take a trip through the Inkwell Isles and discover a new appreciation for Cuphead’s animation style and challenging retro game-play.” It’s available now in hardcover from the Dark Horse web site.

image c. 2020 Dark Horse Press