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Fantasy

Ponies… In… Spaaaaace!

Yes that trope gets used a lot, but anyway… Word has slipped out that Hasbro is hard at work on a sequel to the 2017 animated film My Little Pony: The Movie. According to the Idea Wiki, the plot goes like this: “A giant whirlwind sends Onyx Star, Adonis, the weasels, Nike, Discord and the ostriches to outer space and they need to get back home to Equestria. Along the way, they meet new friends who were also stuck in space years ago, space animals, and evil alien ponies who wanted to capture Onyx and his friends and destroy the Earth with a reliquary-cannon after Groff, Maxil, Zio and their minions sold all of their souls for it.” Got all that? They go on to say: “The film is produced by Allspark Pictures and DHX Media, with animation created once again using Toon Boom Harmony, and is scheduled to be released theatrically on October 2, 2020 in the United States by Lionsgate. It also marks the 10th Anniversary of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” Series favorite Jayson Thiessen is directing again.

image c. 2019 IDW Publishing

The World in Black and White?

A very… unusual anime feature is heading to our shores this spring. “Los Angeles-based Eleven Arts Anime Studio has set April 12 as the theatrical release date for the sci-fi coming-of-age animated feature, Penguin Highway, which it will be distributing in the U.S. and Canada. Directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, the film won the Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation award at the Fantasia International Film Festival for best animated feature and has also been nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The film will screen with the original Japanese dialogue with subtitles as well as the English dub. In the film, budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery. When he finds the source of the penguins is a woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure!” Got that? Read the article at Animation World Network for more, including the trailer.

image c. 2019 Eleven Arts

The World of the False Dawn

Also at Further Confusion we learned about Shard, a fantasy role-playing game with a considerably anthropomorphic bent. The creators, Shard Studios out of Austin, Texas, we running several games to introduce new players to the system. Here’s what they have to say on their home page for the game: “Shard Studios invites you to enter the fantastic world of Dardunah, the vast shard of a shattered realm, as presented in the colorful pages of the Shard RPG! Many years in the making, this system allows players to choose from a wide variety of animal people who are the main cast of the many adventures this otherworldly setting offers. Skyships glide through shimmering clouds past majestic crystal peaks. Giant insects prowl alien jungles or lurk in the sparkling emerald seas. Warriors with blades of diamond and amber duel across crimson sands. And mystics chant in shadowy chambers as their spirits wander abroad.” There are several books of game play and background available now.

image c. 2019 Shard Studios

Nikki from Dave!

Nikki M is an illustrator we met at Further Confusion this year. Here’s what she has to say about herself: “My name is Nichole (you can call me Nikki!) and I am an illustrator/general artist based in Los Angeles CA. I graduated in 2015 from The Dave School, with experience in 3D and visual effects. My focus and passion lies in design, illustration and digital painting. Working with colors and seeing a character come to life before my eyes is what brings me pure joy. I currently am working as a freelance artist, and am open to take on any challenge that’s thrown my way!” Check out her Gallery, and keep an eye on her web site — she’ll have a Storenvy store set up soon to sell prints, pins, and other art stuff.

image c. 2019 by Nikki M

In a Great Big Monster’s Garden… in the Shade

The artist known as AshG is an active-duty member of the U.S. Navy, often deployed on ships at sea. But somehow she still finds the time and energy to create Monster’s Garden, a full-color on-line comic. It tells the story of Kilo Monster, a championship fighter (and reptile) who is thrown out of his homeland.  Now he lives his life for the protection of his friends (human and otherwise) and the peace of his home garden. The official web site includes a link to AshG’s Society6 store of art prints and other items.

image c. 2019 by AshG

Your Furry Face

Hey there! Back from Further Confusion, and over several days of exhaustion that followed… we’re here with more furry news for you! Things like… Eirewolf Creations is the home of the artist Erin Metcalf. Her specialty is carved and painted leather masks in the style of many animals, both real and imagined. As you can see at her web site she also creates decorated eye patches, cuff bracelets and other goodies. Now she’s been showing her works at furry conventions also.

image c. 2019 Eirewolf Creations

Kitty and Monster Unite

Tiger vs. Nightmare is a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, created by Emily Tetri and published by First Second. “Tiger is a very lucky kid: She has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it’s time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger—that’s not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone…it’s a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. Thanks to her friend, Tiger has nothing but good dreams. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can’t fight it alone. Only teamwork and a lot of bravery can chase this nightmare away.” The book is available now in hardcover from Macmillan, and they’ve got a preview up as well.

image c. 2019 First Second

Devil-Proof Dog

And speaking of Mike Norton (which we were a couple days ago), he’s back as illustrator and collaborating once again with Rafer Roberts on Grumble, a new full-color comic series from Albatross Funnybooks. “When the forces of good and evil are hunting you down, the only logical thing to do is disguise yourself as a dog and go on the run! Eddie is a low-rent hustler who got magically turned into a pug during a con gone wrong. Tala is the part-demon daughter of one of Eddie’s many ex-girlfriends. When Tala finds herself the target of powerful inter-dimensional forces, she goes to Eddie for help–setting off a chain reaction of chaos and destruction that could threaten the very fabric of existence. Can Eddie and Tala put aside their differences long enough to survive the magical mayhem and madness that they started, or will they kill each other first? (It’s probably the second one!)” CBR has a preview with sample pages too.

image c. 2018 Albatross Funnybooks

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