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Fantasy

Truly Independent Animation

Happy Halloween — and blessed Day of the Dead! At Lightbox this year we came across a new animated project called Stormfellers, created by professional character designer Brookes Eggleston. At their web site there’s a YouTube video detailing the genesis of the story, and the world, and most importantly the characters. Stormfellers are “A rough and tumble gang of misfits protect their island from the ravages of constant monster-like Storms. There’s Aecious the Storm Conduit, Quilver the Quilled Marksman, Glangor the Heavy, and Biko the Field-Medic.” Brookes has even created a plushie toy of Biko the healer. There’s also a whole gallery of character designs from this and other projects.

image c. 2022 by Brookes Eggleston

Furries and Fungus

Recently we made a trip to this year’s Lightbox animation industry trade-show in Pasadena, California. We met a lot of very cool and talented artists, including Shawn E. Russell. Here’s how her web site describes her: “Shawn is a wildlife and imaginative realism artist specializing in creating detailed depictions of animals melded with plants and fungi in symbiotic relationships… Shawn has worked with independent board game creators, food & beverage packaging, & private art collectors. She offers her personal work for sale online and at art fairs, comic/anime conventions across the US where she enjoys connecting with fans, collectors, and clients in person.” As you can see, the artist works a lot in highly detailed black-and-white. If you happen to find yourself in Terre Haute, Indiana, make sure to visit their personal gallery called Seek.

image c. 2022 by Shawn E. Russell

Same Canada?

The Oates & The Elphyne is the interesting title of a new full-color graphic novel written and illustrated by Michael Walsh (Comeback). The description goes like this: “The Oates family moves to their ancestral home in Newfoundland following a pair of tragedies.They arrive at their Grandmother’s house, where they reunite with their orphaned cousin. Shortly after arriving, Beth, the youngest sibling, is kidnapped by a dark creature. Her older siblings set out to find her and bring her back, finding themselves in the Elphyne—a magical world that exists between the ordinary world and the afterlife. In the Elphyne, the imagination of children has the power to shape everything around them. The children, along with some new allies, must travel through the Elphyne to confront The Dark King, a mysterious being whose arrival has started to corrupt the Elphyne in frightening and unexpected ways. It is up to Beth’s siblings to rescue her from his clutches.” Not mentioned in that description is the fact those “new allies” include an anthro bear and a winged fairy. It’s available now in hardcover from Humanoids.

image c. 2022 Humanoids

Be a Cat in Cat-Town

Over on Twitter we stumbled across a new interactive game project called Paw Borough. The creators were talking up the success of their recent Kickstarter campaign. We’ll let them explain it: “Hello everyone! We want to introduce Paw Borough, an online feline-themed roleplay game made by creatives for creatives! Paw Borough incorporates nostalgic elements of early internet pet simulators while introducing fresh mechanics and cultivating a unique player experience. The game will feature new, complex breeding mechanics, item collection, scene decoration, extensive roleplay tools with socialized gameplay, site-guided community storytelling, and immense creative freedom never before seen in a game of this genre!” You can check out their game demo online as well.

image c. 2022 The Paw Borough Team

First Nation Furries

In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Netflix recently premiered an interesting new animated TV series for young viewers. “Spirit Rangers explores the beauty of nature through the eyes and adventures of half-Chumash, half-Cowlitz siblings Kodi, Summer, and Eddy Skycedar, who all share a secret: They are ‘Spirit Rangers’ who help protect the land and spirits of the national park they call home in California. Taking on new perspectives as a grizzly bear cub, red-tailed hawk, and spunky turtle, the Skycedar kids face every challenge — from helping a lost thunderbird to waking a sleepy sun — with courage and compassion.” The series is created by Karissa Valencia, herself a member of the Samala Chumash tribe. Animation World Network has an extensive article.

image c. 2022 Netflix

Female Flame-Breathers to the Fore

The Sparkle Dragons is a new full-color graphic novel written by Emma Carlson Berne and illustrated by Luke Flowers. “Meet the Sparkle Dragons: The spunkiest crew in all of Princess Puff’s queendom! Trixie is fierce with brains and beauty. Rue is tough as nails with a heart of shimmering gold. And, last but not least, Glinda, who often has her head in the clouds, but her out-of-the-box problem-solving can be her strongest asset. With their unique powers combined, they are an unstoppable force! And let’s be honest: Fighting off bad guys with glitter beams can be pretty hilarious . . . and sticky!” Do tell. It’s available now in hardcover or trade paperback from Harper-Collins.

image c. Clarion Books

Cat-Maaaaaan…

This came around a little while ago, but it’s probably worth looking up: “Antarctic Press, in conjunction with P-Productions and Phase 6, is proud to announce Spectreman Heroes, a nostalgia-blast of retro Japanese live-action superbeings! Each issue of Spectreman Heroes will showcase a different character in their own full-length story, with art by luminaries such as Matt Frank (Godzilla Legends), Hiroshi Kanatani (Coaraptor), and Ben Dunn (Ninja High School). This issue [#3], private detective Kotaro Akizuki,, brought back from the brink of death by a miracle drug, perseveres against the subterranean Mantles with his skill, raw courage, and unique ability to become the half-leopard Hyoman!”

image c. 2022 Antarctic Press

Pony Progress

So Netflix brings us a new generation of My Little Pony? Then IDW is sure to bring us a new generation of My Little Pony comic book — with an easy title too: My Little Pony. “Join Sunny, Izzy, Zipp, Pipp, Hitch, and their trusty sidekick Cloudpuff as they explore a brand-new Equestria following the magical events of the hit Netflix movie! With magic returned to Equestria, the ponies are more united than ever — at least until one of the Unity Crystals is stolen! Can the Mane 5 find the culprit before magic is gone for good? And where’s Cloudpuff leading them, anyway? Is this . . . Canterlot?!” Written by Celeste Bronfman, and illustrated by fan-favorite artist Amy Mebberson.

image c. 2022 IDW Comics

Little Blue Something

Twig is a new and whimsical fantasy adventure comic from Image. “Eisner Award-winning I Hate Fairyland and Middlewest writer Skottie Young and artist Kyle Strahm (Spread Unearth) come together for an epic fantasy adventure miniseries! It’s the first day of Twig’s new job as a journeyer on a Jeff Smith’s Bone-esque quest to save a The Dark Crystal/Labyrinth-style world. Join our hesitant hero for an inspiring and imaginative tale of hope heartache and determination to overcome insurmountable odds!” In case you missed it, Image have released the first five issues in a single trade paperback.

image c. 2022 Image Comics