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Fantasy

Furry Forest Adventures

Thanks to Twitter we found out about Wild Lands, a new fantasy role-playing game created by Steve Wood — an animation and game arts professor and fantasy illustrator, to quote him. “Wild Lands is a High Fantasy Critter TTRPG inspired by the stories I loved as a kid like Redwall, The Wind in the Willows, The Rats of Nymph, and Once Upon a Forest to name a few.” Over at the official web site it says “Scurry into adventure with Wild Lands, a cooperative storytelling RPG where players control squirrel knights, mouse mages,  badger barbarians, and more!” Free trial downloads are available now.

image c. 2020 by Steve Wood

A Herd-Boiled Detective

Wow! Recently we were contacted by Devon McBride-Wilson, creator of Firewake. Here’s what he had to say: “Rabbit Valley continues to expand its equine portfolio as the second issue of Firewake has gone up for preorder. This comic series follows the down-to-earth veteran detective Firewake and his cocky rookie partner Zaffa as they investigate and pursue the unstable criminal mastermind Sable Nox. Issue 2, Questions, sees Zaffa get closer to Firewake’s niece as he confronts mobsters at the restaurant she waitresses at, while Firewake himself meets the mysterious biomancer mare Fancyber, who says she has information for him.” We like what we’ve seen — and we’ll let the creator explain why. “While Firewake is safe for readers 10 and up, its gritty atmosphere, semi-procedural style and fantastic action break new ground for equine stories. Influences from My Little Pony are mixed with elements from CSI and Batman, and if you’re a fan of those, this is definitely worth checking out.” What he said!

image c. 2020 Rabbit Valley

Not Her Kind of Magical Land

There are some interesting graphic novels for young readers coming soon from Random House. First up is Pacey Packer: Unicorn Tracker, written and illustrated by J. C. Phillipps. They describe it like this: “Pacey’s little sister, Mina, has always said her stuffed unicorn, Slasher, is real – but seriously? He’s a stuffed toy! Then again, he does seem to be leading Mina outside her room and to . . . some kind of weird magical unicorn land? Pacey may not believe in unicorns, but she’s not about to let her little sister be kidnapped, so she does the only thing she can: Follows them to unicorn land (that she totally does not believe in). And for the record, it’s NOTHING like the stories. First off, what’s up with Slasher’s attitude? It’s not Pacey’s fault he’s trapped in a ridiculous stuffed body. And that Alpha Unicorn guy? Not. Nice. Pacey will just be grabbing Mina and taking her home, thankyouverymuch . . . that is, if she can work with the grumpiest unicorn stuffy ever to outsmart the Evil Alpha Unicorn and find the way out – preferably without stepping on any poisonous killer flowers.” Nothing complicated about that set-up, right? The book is out now.

image c. 2020 Random House

Call the Wolf Momma

Previews let us know about Lupina, the new full-color graphic novel from Legendary Comics, written by James F. Wright and illustrated by Liana Buszka. “In the coastal town of Kote, recently brought under the yoke of the Addalian Empire, four-year-old Lupa spends her days getting bullied by her older sister and hiding behind her mother’s skirts. But when tragedy strikes, Lupa finds herself alone in a new world… alone until she’s found by the she-wolf, Coras, and sets off on a journey of discovery… and revenge.” It’s been serialized, but now it’s collected together in one place. Bleeding Cool has a preview from last year.

image c. 2020 Legendary Comics

Find the Pig Wizard

Lightfall: The Girl and the Galdurian is the first graphic novel in the new Lightfall series, written and illustrated by Tim Probert. “Deep in the heart of the planet Irpa stands the Salty Pig’s House of Tonics & Tinctures, home of the wise Pig Wizard and his adopted granddaughter, Bea. As keepers of the Endless Flame, they live a quiet and peaceful life, crafting medicines and potions for the people of their once-prosperous world. All that changes one day when, while walking through the woods, Bea meets Cad, a member of the Galdurians, an ancient race thought to be long-extinct. Cad believes that if anyone can help him find his missing people, it’s the Pig Wizard. But when the two arrive home, the Pig Wizard is nowhere to be found—all that’s left is the Jar of Endless Flame and a mysterious note. Fearing for the Pig Wizard’s safety, Bea and Cad set out across Irpa to find him, while danger fights its way out of the shadows and into the light.” The book is available now in hardcover and softcover from Harper Collins.

image c. 2020 Harper Collins

One Handy Wise Panda

Animation World Network recently had an article about some new animated series coming to Apple TV+ later this year — and at least one of them is something that furry fans might notice. “Based on the Scholastic book series Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth, Stillwater centers on siblings Karl, Addy, and Michael, who are typical kids with typical kid challenges – meaning that sometimes even the smallest things can feel insurmountable. Fortunately for these three, they have Stillwater, a wise panda, as their next-door neighbor. Through his example, stories and gentle humor, Stillwater gives the children a deeper understanding of their feelings as well as tools that help them face their own day-to-day challenges. Stillwater also brings newfound fun and adventure for the three, opening their eyes to the quiet wonders of the world around them, and guiding them to their place within it.” Stillwater is set to premiere on December 4th.

image c. 2020 Gaumont and Scholastic

Off to Sea with Pi-Rats

Thanks to Furry.Today we found out about Curse of the Sea Rats — a new multi-player animated game currently in development. This “ratoidvania” (their word for it) adventure is interesting because the animation is actually hand drawn. Here’s what the web site says: “Curse of the Sea Rats is an epic hand-drawn ratoidvania starring a group of heroes transformed into rats by a pirate witch. Help Douglas, Buffalo, Akane, and Bussa to rescue the Admiral’s son, capture the evil pirate Flora Burn and break the magic spell. Curse of the Sea Rats packs all of the best features from the Metroidvania genre featuring beautiful 2D hand-drawn animation and 3D environments, combined with unique real-time combat mechanics, and of course, lots of rats!” The web site features a press kit, plus more information on the current Kickstarter campaign.

image c. 2020 Petoons Studio SL

Looking On In Awwww

And another “ridiculously cute” (to quote one critic) full-color graphic novel for young readers: Bunbun & Bonbon, Volume 1 — Fancy Friends, written and illustrated by Jess Keating. “Bunbun has it all: a delightful Bunbun nose, a winning Bunbun smile, a ridiculously cute Bunbun tail, and not one, but two adorable Bunbun ears. But Bunbun doesn’t have a friend — until Bunbun meets Bonbon. Learning how to be fancy and eating donuts for lunch are two of the duo’s many adventures in this irresistible young graphic novel by acclaimed author and illustrator Jess Keating. Hop hop hooray!” Previews has more.

image c. 2020 Scholastic

Dungeon Crawly Critters

And more new stuff from MacMillan Publishing. Dungeon Critters is a new full-color fantasy graphic novel written by Natalie Riess and illustrated by Sara Goetter. “Join the Dungeon Critters — a tight-knit squad of animal companions — on a wild adventure investigating a sinister botanical conspiracy among the furry nobility. As they risk their lives traveling through haunted dungeons, swamps, and high society balls — they also come closer together as friends. Motivated by rivalries, ideals, and a lust for adventure, these critters navigate not only perils and dangers of the natural world, but also perils and dangers…of the heart!” MacMillan has preview pages on line. Look for it later this month.

image c. 2020 First Second