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Fox

The Baker and the Painter

By now (hopefully!) you’ve heard of Brush: A Fox Tale, the award-winning CGI short film. It tells the story of an artistic fox who is too shy to tell the pretty vixen next door he has a crush on her — but, his paintings have ideas of their own. Well now, meet the creators: Willi Anton and Faustina Arriola, both graduates from the California College of the Arts. Brush was their joint graduation thesis. Over at Willi’s web page you’ll find his demo reel, showing bits from his work on Brush and other projects. Meanwhile at Faustina’s page you’ll find not only her demo reel of 3D and 2D work, but also examples of her illustrations, and even samples of her work as a voice-over artist.

image c. 2018 by Anton / Arriola

Furries from Central America

Here’s something interesting and unusual we came across at the the CTN Animation Expo this year. Fox and Chicken is an original animated film created by Space Rabbit Studios — in El Salvador. “Created by a talented team of local artist, with national and international awards, Fox & Chicken is aiming to be the first silent animated short movie done in El Salvador. The project has already seen some success through many events at a national level.” According to the web site, here’s who it’s about: “Fox & Chicken is the story of two inseparable friends and their many adventures in their quest for magic. Fox is a young wizard apprentice who has a dream of learning all the magic in the world and to discover the secrets of nature to become a master wizard. Chicken is an unconventional character for their species. She’s brave, curious and adventurous, she never doubts on accompanying Fox in his quest. Now we can see their adventures while we learn about nature and discover the hidden magic in all things.” The web site has a lot more about this and their other projects.

image c. 2018 Space Rabbit Studios

I Don’t Care If It Stunts My Growth

A Furry Fandom favorite moves further into the eye of the mainstream, thanks to AMP! Comics For Kids. Now they bring us the Ozy and Millie Graphic Novel Volume 1 — written and illustrated by Dana Simpson, of course. “From the creator of the enormously popular Phoebe and Her Unicorn series comes Ozy and Millie, a playful comic exploring the friendship between two foxes. Meet Ozy and Millie, two middle-grade students in Seattle who also happen to be foxes. This comic centers around these two best friends as they take on the everyday challenges all middle-graders face-bullies, tests, and the dread of going back to school after a surprise snow day. Ozy is a young male fox whose adoptive father happens to be a dragon and frequent presidential candidate. Ozy’s calm and thoughtful demeanor is constantly tested by Millie’s rambunctious and rebellious pursuits.” Find out more over at Previews. Available now from Andrews McMeel.

image c. 2018 Andrews McMeel Publishing

Little Fox went out with a Pig in tow…

Something that slipped by us last summer, but were happy to catch up with it now, thanks to Boom! Studios’ Kaboom! imprint: Ruinworld. “Writer/Artist Derek Laufman (Adventure Time Comics) brings his worldwide hit digital comics series to life at BOOM! Studios. Intrepid adventurers Pogo and Rex are on a quest for fame and fortune. Their discovery of a special map leads them on an epic journey through dangers, demons and old enemies. Just one problem-they’ve already lost the map.” Check out the preview and interviews over at Boom!

image c. 2018 Boom! Studios

Kitsune in kimonos

For a perhaps more traditional furry tale from Japan, look no further than Konohana Kitan. A manga series originally created by Sakuya Amano, it was adapted as a 12-episode anime series in 2017. It follows the adventures of Yuzu, a young “fox-youkai” spirit. Now TokyoPop have collected the original manga together in a new English translation. “Yuzu is a brand new employee at Konohanatei, the hot-springs inn that sits on the crossroads between worlds. A simple, clumsy but charmingly earnest girl, Yuzu must now figure out her new life working alongside all the other fox-spirits who run the inn under one cardinal rule — at Konohanatai, every guest is a god! Konohana Kitan follows Yuzu’s day to day life working at the inn, meeting the other employees and ever-eclectic guests, and learning to appreciate the beauty of the world around her.” Yip!

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Real Life Needs A Little Magic

Another illustrator we came across at San Diego Comic Con. Ash Evans is an artist and designer who refers to her work as “The Art of Happiness”. Steeped in fantasy, her paintings feature not just animals in general but special creatures like Fortuna the Cat, the Mewnicorns, the Zodicats, and the Kit-teas. (Yes, there’s a feline theme going here!) All of these are available as prints and a variety of other products you can find at her wet site.

image c. 2018 by Ash Evans

Too Much For Your Local Comic Shop?

Possibly the strangest “all ages” comic book you’ll find this year. Maybe we should let the publisher, American Mythology, explain The Filbert Factor: “It’s the kids’ comic that you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy, the comic that was too outrageous for Free Comic Book Day! We don’t like to brag, but this is one of the most ridiculous things you’ll see all year, with a cast that’s absolutely nuts. Filbert and his reluctant pals Hazel and Cashew find themselves the toast of the town after miraculously winning their middle school science fair competition, but the town itself is about to become toast when the swirling, yowling Meowstorm roars into the city of Turtleview. And wouldn’t you know it, only Filbert and his friends stand between salvation and certain cat scratches and allergic attacks.” It’s also written by Mike Wolfer, with art by Adrian Ropp and  Horacio Domingues. And it’s available now. [We’ll see you after Comic Con!]

image c. 2018 American Mythology

Keeping The Fog At Bay

Animation World Network recently published an article of interest to fans of traditional 2D animation — and funny animals. Tonko House has released a full episode of its new series Pig: The Dam Keeper Poems on-line for a limited time. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, here’s this: “Previously only available in Japan via production partner Hulu, The Dam Keeper Poems is based on the studio’s 2014 Oscar-nominated short film The Dam Keeper. Directed by former Pixar artists Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, The Dam Keeper tells the story of Pig, an introverted youth who lives in a windmill and keeps a dark fog from engulfing his town. Although socially rejected by his peers, he is befriended by the artistic Fox. The Dam Keeper Poems is a 10-episode series written and directed by Tonko House’s Erick Oh, who also served as Animation Supervisor of the original short film. Seen through Pig’s youthful perspective, with abstract and surreal visuals, the dialog-free series is centered around the friendship between Pig and Fox as Pig remembers how he became the Dam Keeper.” There’s a link in the article, but remember this is only available for a short while.

image c. 2018 Tonko House

Anyone Can Be Anything

And another self-published book we found through Xlibris, this one geared more toward young readers. What I Want to Be from A To Z is written and illustrated by Janis Arnold. We’ll let her describe it: “‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ At some point in their young lives, this question is heard by most children. My poetry book, What I Want to Be from A–Z, is a fun way to learn about a variety of careers. Each poem contains vocabulary that will help children learn about a career. When children become familiar with a rhyming book, they begin to make predictions, which is an important part of early reading skills. My two main characters are foxes—a female English red fox named Fiona and an American gray fox named Fernando. While reading through the book, the reader will view, on some of the poems, one of the foxes dressed up for that career.” It’s interesting (and rather heartening) to note that the pictures do not always conform to older ideals of what jobs are best for a man or a woman. Both these foxes seem equally capable of doing whatever they want!

image c. 2018 Xlibris