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Funny Animal

It’s Time to Night the Nights

Back from Comic Con, with lots to talk about. So why not start off with something delightfully odd? This fall, the Muppets return in a new illustrated book, Muppets Meet The Classics: The Phantom Of The Opera. Seriously. “This classic tale of love, intrigue, and jealousy at the Paris Opera House, which has thrilled readers, musical lovers, and movie goers for more than a century, has now been reimagined with the cast of the Muppets. Readers will gasp, cry, laugh, and laugh again as Kermit (as Raoul), Miss Piggy (as Christine), Uncle Deadly (as the phantom), and the chickens (as the ballet corps) give a whole new meaning to the word classic.” You read it here. Gaston LeRoux’s famous work has been adapted for the Muppets by Erik Forrest Jackson, and it’s illustrated by Owen Richardson. Look for it in paperback this October.

image c. 2017 Penguin Workshop

Another Shaggy Dog Story

Now there’s a new full-color graphic novel for young readers with the interesting title of Dog Night at the Story Zoo. It’s written by Dan Bar-El and illustrated by Vicki Nerino. Here’s how the publisher says it: “It’s Open Mic Night at the Story Zoo and the dogs are up to tell their tales in this hilarious graphic novel for young readers. At the Story Zoo, you get to tell any story you want in front of the live audience, as long as it’s about you. And tonight is dog night. So sit back, relax, and let these dogs tell their tales. We’ve got some hilarious but quite touching stories from dogs of all kinds, including a bulldog who doesn’t wanted to be judged by his looks; a bloodhound who loses her power of scent and turns to a dog called Surelick Holmes for help; an energetic poodle who saves the day with her yapping; and a stray who takes fetching to a whole new level.” Got all that? It’s available now in hardcover. [And we’ll see YOU all after a quick trip to San Diego Comic Con!]

image c. 2017 Tundra Books

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Disney Like You Haven’t Seen Before

Cyclops Print Works is the home of the Disney Fine Art Collectors Editions. On their web site you’ll find a collection of limited edition serigraph prints (in large sizes) from various Disney animated works — many of them anthropomorphic, including the already-famous print below by Zootopia co-director Byron Howard. All of them are for sale, but some of them (such as an amazing print by Tom Whalen of characters from The Great Mouse Detective) have already sold out and may not be printed again. Sign up on their mailing list to find out when they’ll be introducing new prints to the line.

image c. 2017 by Byron Howard

Talk About Pigs on the Wing…!

Nick Abadzis (Laika) has returned. He’s written a new full-color graphic novel, illustrated by Jerel Dye, called Pigs Might Fly. “All the sensible hogfolk in Pigdom Plains know that if pigs were meant to fly, they’d have been born with wings―but there’s no convincing Lily Leanchops. The daughter of renowned inventor Hercules Fatchops, Lily has watched her father’s flying machines fail time and time again. Working in secret, Lily is trying to build what her father couldn’t: an aircraft that actually works. And of course, she’s following his example and employing scientific principals alone―not magic. (Well, a protection spell or two doesn’t count, right?) Lily’s secret project takes on a new sense of urgency when a mysterious enemy emerges from beyond the mountains. The Warthogs are coming, and they’re piloting flying machines powered by dangerous magic spells. To save Pigdom Plains, Lily must take to the skies in her own experimental aircraft ― and there’s no time for a test run.” It’s available now from First Second. There’s an extensive preview over at Bleeding Cool.

image c. 2017 First Second

Here He Comes…

Everything old really is new again! Usually with a new and different spin, of course. Now the latest is a new Mighty Mouse comic book series, brought to us in full color by Dynamite Entertainment. “You’re the world’s greatest hero, exiled to another dimension with no way back. Trapped in an alien world, where not even the laws of physics work the way they should. The only person who even believes you exist is a young kid whom no one will listen to. Yet, you’re the shining light that this drab, cynical world needs to restore its color and life. Oh — and you’re a cartoon mouse. Here comes Mighty Mouse to save the day, in his most unexpected adventure yet… right here, in the real world!” Written by Sholly Fisch and drawn by Igor Lima, Mighty Mouse #1 is on the shelves now. Check out the preview pages (and the variant covers) over at Dynamite’s web site.

image c. 2017 Dynamite Ent.

Make Him Green!

A well-known space-hero-bunny returns thanks to Continuity Comics. According to Previews, “For the first time ever, Michael Golden’s original pages of the Bucky O’Hare graphic novel in its original form is printed in black and white and ready to color! Unaltered and pure Golden! Green Rabbits, Orange Ducks, White Cats and Willy’s Reddish-Brown hair! Oh, and Green Toads! Also included, for the first time in decades, is an all-new story featuring all-new characters from the second year toyline. Characters like Pitstoppete and the Betelguesian Banana Runners and Toad Bombers! Learn how Pitstoppete became one the greatest and fiercest mechanic in the entire Aniverse…and color the entire adventure!” Look for the Bucky O’Hare Graphic Novel Coloring Book at the end of this month.

image c. 2017 Continuity Comics

Gosh, The Future Has Arrived!

With all this talk about the ducks lately, let’s remember the mouse… IDW have collected issues #16 through #18 of their Mickey Mouse full-color comic as a new single-story-arc graphic novel called Mickey Mouse: Darkenblot. “The future is now! The high-tech city of Avantgarde has a cutting-edge robot police force – but it’s just become the Phantom Blot’s deadly private army! Can Mickey brave high-tech horrors to stop his old foe? Or will Avantgarde decide Mickey is part of the problem?” Created by Andrea Castellan, Jonathan Gray, and Lorenzo Pastrovicchio, it’s available exclusively at comic book retailers in July.

image c. 2017 IDW

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The Cat and the Lasagna

For those with an interest in one of the longest-running (and best-known) funny animal comic strips, Hermes Press have a new Garfield compilation that sure to cat(ch) your eye. According to the publisher: “Hermes Press is proud to announce their second major collaboration with Paws, Incorporated producing another unique title featuring everyone’s favorite orange cat, Garfield! Hermes and Paws have come together to treat the world to a compendium of the greatest examples of original artwork from classic Garfield daily and Sunday comic strips in their original size, including rare unpublished material, that has never been seen before… This historic archival reprint will feature hundreds of pieces of original production art from the comic strip, with an introductory essay from Jim Davis himself! If you love Garfield and want to experience the strips as they were originally drawn, this is the book for you! From the very beginning in 1979 to the last non-digital strip in 2011, this purrfect book shows you Garfield like you’ve never seen him before!” Jim Davis’ Garfield: The Original Daily and Sunday Art Archive is coming in hardcover later this summer.

image c. 2017 Hermes Press

Kitty Defenders on TV!

We found this recently on Animation World Network: “Malaysian animation studio Animasia and U.S. prodco Pilla-Scheetz Productions have entered into a co- production agreement to develop 2D animated concept Nine Lives of Claw into a multi- platform brand covering animated series, mobile games, and toy line merchandise. Development work has started with the appointment of Jay Lender (SpongeBob SquarePants, Phineas & Ferb) and the producers plan to showcase the pilot episode in MIP Junior 2017. The Nine Lives of Claw follows the hilarious adventures of the sarcastic superhero cat Claw; his genius (albeit high-strung) mouse sidekick Edison, and the always ambitious kitty Purrfessor Purrnelope as they battle the sinister MUTT (Malicious Unleashed Thugs and Thieves) and a slew of other villains to keep things in order in the fair city of Anonymous.” Long live 2D! We’ll let you know if this gets picked up.

image c. 2017 Animasia Studios

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