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Funny Animal

An Inspirational Fore-bearer

For those who thought that Furry Art got its start in the 1980’s…  meet T.S. Sullivant, who was doing this when Walt Disney was still in school. Now Fantagraphics Books have compiled many of his well-known black & white cartoons — along with words of appreciation — into a new book called A Cockeyed Menagerie. “Welcome to the cockeyed menagerie of Thomas Starling Sullivant. From the 1880s to the Roaring Twenties, Sullivant conjured up a whimsical world in pen and ink — riotous gag cartoons featuring anthropomorphic animals of all stripes; perennial American ‘types’ like hobos, hayseeds, and urban hucksters; and familiar characters from ancient myths and biblical tales. Imbued with infectious joy, his drawings have inspired generations of artists and countless Disney films.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2021 Fantagraphics Books

They’ll Be Bok

Back when we first talked about  The Chicken Squad book series, we made a silly crack about how one day they might be made into a “chick flick”.  Well… maybe a TV series is a good halfway point? “The Chicken Squad, Disney Junior’s new cg animated comedy adventure hits the airways on Disney Junior and DisneyNOW on Friday May 14. The series, which was inspired by the popular kids’ book series of the same name by Doreen Cronin, follows a trio of young chicken siblings—Coop, Sweetie and Little Boo—and their retired search and rescue dog mentor, Captain Tully. Together, they team up on problem-solving adventures in their backyard to help their animal friends, while modeling what it means to be good community helpers and finding the joy in assisting others.” Animation World Network has more information, and a preview trailer too.

image c. 2021 Disney Junior

Mommy is Always Watching. Thank Goodness.

So here we are in April — Let’s talk about rabbits! Specifically The Runaway Bunny. We got this from Animation World Network: “First published in 1942, The Runaway Bunny is one of the many iconic children’s books by famous Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown; its poetry tells the story of a young bunny anxious to leave home and adventure out into the world beyond his rabbit hole, while also discovering the unending reach of his mother’s protection and love… Amy Schatz, documentary and short film producer and director, has spent the last year working with animator Maciek Albrecht to reimagine the classic 48-page tale into a 25-minute, 2D-animated musical, which premiered yesterday, March 25, on HBO Max.” Read the article to find out more.

image c. 2021 HBO Max

A Glorious Return

How did we not even know this was being made — let alone that it’s about to come out?? Well, here it is — The sequel to 2016’s Rock Dog, which furry fandom adored… even if the box office wasn’t so kind. Rock Dog 2 is scheduled for release in April, directed by Mark Baldo. “One year after the original Rock Dog: Bodi and his band, True Blue, have become locally famous in the village of Snow Mountain — they even have devoted fans! But when a music mogul named Lang gives them the opportunity to tour with pop sensation, Lil’ Foxy— Bodi and his friends learn that fame comes at a price, and ultimately discover that only by staying true to yourself can you unleash the power of Rock n’ Roll!” ReDefine is one of  the companies that worked on the film, and they have a lot of good info.

image c. Splash Entertainment

Hang On To Your Hats…

… because things are about to get weird-er… Digital Lizards of Doom is a new full-color graphic novel written by Gabriel Valentin and illustrated by Ernie Najera. “In a world where science and sorcery have brought peace to the galaxy, a young warrior’s belief system is shattered when an evil robot and an ancient witch attack his kingdom, forcing him into a quest for justice. As revelations about his world are exposed, Dizzy’s faith is shaken, and he must now make an unlikely alliance with a mysterious ninja and a cyborg cat pirate. Together they’ll search for a fabled weapon that could destroy evil forever and bring the universe into an unending era of peace!” Did we mention that Dizzy is a reptile? And that’s just a hint of how odd this all gets, as the graphic novel itself is written and presented in a unique new geometric manner. Visit their web site and it might all make more sense. Maybe. Oh, and there’s a soundtrack too!

image c. 2021 Clover Press

Let’s-a Go Sailing!

Look what they’re getting over in Italy! It’s a new 2D animated series designed to teach kids about ocean conservation (while they’re busy being entertained). “Based on an original concept by exec producer Federico Fiecconi (Founder & CEO, Graffiti Creative), AquaTeam-Sea Adventure follows world-famous marine biologist Marysun as she sets out with her friends Otty the Octopus (a whole rap group on eight legs) and teenage diving enthusiast Desy to explore the beautiful Mediterranean sea. As well as befriending dolphins, turtles and other sea creatures, the adventurers discover a deposit of plastic garbage which threatens a pod of sperm whales.” Animation magazine has all the details.

image c. 2021 Graffiti Creative

Big Birthday for the Little Blue Blur

We got this announcement directly from IDW Publishing: It’s a big birthday celebration for Sonic the Hedgehog! “Timed to the speedster’s 30th trip around the sun this June, IDW will release the Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special, a super-sized 80-page comic book featuring three tales of colorful heroes and dastardly villains, sure to tug at the heartstrings of fans of all ages! For this spectacular tribute comic, IDW has tapped Gale Galligan, known for her illustration work on The Babysitters Club, along with Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy, podcasters recognizable from The Adventure Zone and the wildly popular My Brother, My Brother, and Me. This group of newcomers will be contributing their first-ever Sonic adventures alongside fan-favorite and longtime scribe Ian Flynn and artists Mauro Fonseca, Reggie Graham, Aaron Hammerstrom, and Thomas Rothlisberger.” Find out more at the web site — and look for the special trade paperback in stores this summer. Shop safely!

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Snugglers of Many Species

One of the more celebrated (if difficult to find) anime series in recent years as been Interspecies Reviewers — a high fantasy intended for a decidedly adult audience! Well now we’ve discovered that Yen Press has released an artistic tribute manga for the series, Interspecies Reviewers Comic Anthology: Darkness. “Haven’t had enough succu-girls? In this collection of art and short comics, talented Japanese artists such as Okayado (Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls), Ganmarei (Monster Wrestling: Interspecies Combat Girls), and coolkyousinnja (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid) come together for a loving tribute to the monster brothel adventurers of Interspecies Reviewers! Whether it’s new species or old favorites, this anthology has enough hot and steamy action to satisfy any fan!” Well there you go. If you’re old enough to order it you can find all this and more over at Amazon.

image c. 2021 Yen Press

House Flies. Science is amazed.

Recently Aardman Animations tweeted about their new CGI TV series: “Lloyd of the Flies follows the adventures of Lloyd B Fly, a housefly and the middle child of 453. Lloyd lives with his parents, his little sister PB and their 225 maggot siblings inside a compost bin they call home. In the series, Lloyd and PB are often accompanied by Lloyd’s best friend, Abacus Woodlouse, and eccentric tag-along, Cornea Butterfly. Together they explore the strange world beyond the compost bin, where there is no shortage of lessons for Lloyd to very nearly learn.” Visit the Aardman web site for a whole lot more information. Bzzz!

image c. 2021 Aardman Animations