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Funny Animal

Buck to the Future

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss even more new anthropomorphic TV series for kids coming out. Like Deer Squad, coming soon to Nickelodeon. “The adventure-rescue show follows four, lovable, enthusiastic, and heroic deer friends — Kai, Lola, Bobbi and Rammy — who protect the animals of Central Forest and the humans who inhabit Platinum City, a futuristic metropolis surrounding their woodland home. When there’s trouble, the Deer summon their special Planet Powers of Water (Kai), Wood (Lola), Earth (Bobbi) and Sun (Rammy) to solve problems.” The show has already had a successful run overseas, and now it’s set to premier in North America later this month. Animation World Network has a trailer.

image c. 2021 iQIYI

Take the First Steps. Please!

Dark comedy gets dark with Julian In Purgatory, a new black & white funny-animal graphic novel written and illustrated by Jon Allen. This is from Kirkus Reviews: “Julian (an anthropomorphized cat) is the son of a former two-term mayor, wearer of expensive shirts, and addict of his coffee-table drug buffet. After his levelheaded girlfriend kicks him out, Julian dredges his list of next-best friends hoping to find money, new digs, and someone who will understand why the world is against him. Though he hates his haters, he can’t help but think that maybe there’s some truth to what they’re saying. Julian’s interpretation of lemons to lemonade: steal a bag of drugs from his dealer and try to make a financial go of it without getting caught. Except he does.” Available this February in trade paperback from Iron Circus Comics.

image c. 2021 Iron Circus Comics

Raptors on the Range

And more new TV series for the younger folk. This time it’s Dino Ranch, coming later this month to Disney Junior. “The animated series, produced by Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker Studios, follows the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical, ‘pre-westoric’ setting where dinosaurs roam. As the young explorers learn the ropes, they discover the thrill of ranch life while navigating the great outdoors through unpredictable challenges.” Seriously, sometimes all you need to do is take a look at one picture and it’ll tell you all you want to know about a series! For the rest, visit Animation World Network.

image c. 2020 Boat Rocker Studios

The Ones Who DON’T Rock Out… as much

One of the things that makes the award-winning anime series Aggretsuko quite fascinating is all the interesting side characters our red-panda hero finds herself surrounded by. Wouldn’t you like to know more about them, too?  Well, Oni Press agrees! Aggretsuko — Meet Her Friends is a new full-color comic miniseries written by Cat Farris, with art by Lisa DuBois and Leonardo Ito. “Dive further into the world of Aggretsuko, the hit Netflix show, with these character-focused stories! Up first, meet the enigmatic YOGA TEACHER… Over drinks, Retsuko and her coworkers ponder his mysterious past.” Available now from Oni Press.

image c. 2021 Oni Press

The Wizard of Dis-e-ney Place?

So let’s end the year with… more of The Mouse. They keep bringing it! Wizards of Mickey: Origins, Volume 1 is a new full-color graphic novel that just came out. “When a sorcerer steals a powerful magic crystal from the ancient wizard Nereus, apprentice Mickey Mouse travels to the capital of Grandhaven to reclaim it before Nereus realizes it’s gone. His search leads him to the Grand Sorcerers Tournament, which he enters with two young wizards he meets along the way – Goofy and Donald Duck. Little does he know, a far more sinister plot is unfolding in the shadows of the competition…” Look for it in paperback from Yen Press. [And with that, we wish you all a happier and healthier 2021. Be There With Fur On!]

image c. 2020 Yen Press

Everyone’s After Mickey

Once again, it’s probably better if we just let the publishers describe what Mickey’s All-Stars is all about… “Star artists from around the globe each draw a chapter of Mickey’s wildest adventure — from Giorgio Cavazzano (Disney Masters) to Mike Peraza (Mickey’s Christmas Carol) to Marco Rota, plus dozens more! While celebrating his birthday at a carnival, Mickey crosses the threshold of a fortune-teller’s mystic portal and finds himself flung headlong into an amazing journey. He encounters one phantasmagorical dimension after another — a fractured fairy tale kingdom, a cubist realm, and outer space — with plenty of dragons, mummies, and giant mouse-eating plants along the way. (Not to mention alternate versions of Goofy, Peg Leg Pete, and the Phantom Blot!) Can Mickey get back? How deep does this rabbit hole — er, mouse hole — go?” The answer is available now in hardcover from Fantagraphics.

image c. 2020 Fantagraphics Books

Sing 2 Me

As we celebrate the 4-year anniversary of the original film’s release, thanks to Animation World Network we’re learning more about the plot of Sing 2, coming to us next December from Illumination. “In Sing 2, can-do koala Buster Moon and his all-star cast of animal performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage extravaganza yet… in the glittering entertainment capital of the world. There’s just one hitch: They first must to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star — played by legendary music icon Bono, making his animated film debut — to join them. Buster and his cast have turned the New Moon Theater into a local hit, but Buster has his eyes on a bigger prize: Debuting a new show at the Crystal Tower Theater in glamorous Redshore City.” Check out the article for more details. [And of course, have a Safe and Merry Christmas, everyone!]

image c. 2020 Illumination

Monsters of Love Tour

Animation World Network let us know about Love Monster, a new animated series for the young set that’s coming soon to HBO Max. It’s based on a series of picture books by Rachel Bright.Love Monster follows the colorful and funny exploits of one-of-a-kind, huggable hero Love Monster as he navigates the challenges involved in being a bit funny looking in a world of cute fluffy things. Every day provides Love Monster the opportunity to embark on all kinds of big adventures with his friends in Fluffytown, where, together, they learn all kinds of little life lessons. Full of heart and helping preschoolers understand and manage different emotions, Love Monster showcases the importance of kindness, empathy, connection, and instinct.” The AWN article includes an official trailer.

image c. 2020 Boat Rocker Studios

Feathers Gonna Fly

Okay, don’t ask us how we missed a graphic novel series with a title like Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken. But now we’ve found it, thanks to IDW Publishing. “Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken are friends. Or maybe they’re enemies. Heck, if they can’t keep track, then how can we!? Whatever they are, they’re definitely hilarious. We think you’ll like this book: there are about a bajillion jokes inside, and it’s filled with action, adventure and arguments. Sometimes the stories are really teeny, about stuff like ice cream smoothies or making fun of your friends (just like real life!), and sometimes the story gets really epic-tastic, filled with spaceships and giant monsters and evil koalas and stuff (just like real life!). Plus, since it’s about pirates, there are at least 17 sword-fights (that’s the rule with pirates).” Written and illustrated by Ray Friesen, PPvsNC has two volumes out in hardcover with a third one due next summer.

image c. 2020 Penguin Random House