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Funny Animal

Under D Sea

And yet more animation heading to MIPCOM, looking for distribution. From Animation World Network: “Ken Faier’s independent production company, Epic Story Media (ESM), has signed major co-production agreements for two new animated series, Dolph-N-Fince and Haley & The Hero Heart, which both make their international debut at MIPCOM.” So let’s talk about the furrier, or rather, finnier of the two… “Dolph-N-Fince is a co-production with Canadian independent Neptoon Studios, headed by award-winning Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton (Looped, Grojband, Sidekick) and Paris-based Samka Animation (Jamie’s Got Tentacles, The Marsupilami, The Sisters). Aimed at children aged 5-12, Dolph-N-Fince is a ‘fish out of water’ comedy about dolphin brothers who leave the ocean forever to live on land as guardians of Ocean King’s rebellious teenage daughter. The boys’ over-the-top personalities lead to crazy misadventures that always put Coral in the danger zone. If they blow this, their freedom and dolphin souls are on the line.” Shouldn’t that be cetacean out of water…?

image c. 2018 Epic Story Media

Three To Dream

Thanks to our friends at Animation Scoop, we found out about three new animated TV series that Dreamworks Animation is producing for Netflix. And guess what?  All three of them are anthropomorphic! First up is Archibald’s Next Big Thing, coming in 2019. “Inspired by the critically acclaimed children’s book from Tony Hale, Tony Biaggne, and Victor Huckabee, Archibald’s Next Big Thing follows the adventures of Archibald Strutter, a chicken who ‘yes-ands’ his way thru life. Though living in the moment often leads him astray, Archibald always finds his way back home.” Then in 2020 look for this: “Welcome to Gabby’s Dollhouse, the preschool show with a surprise inside! Created and executive produced by Traci Paige Johnson (Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) and Jennifer Twomey (Blue’s Clues, Team Umizoomi), Gabby’s Dollhouse is a mixed media series that unboxes a surprise before jumping into a fantastical animated world full of adorable cat characters that live inside Gabby’s dollhouse.” And finally in 2020: “All aboard to DreamWorks Rhyme Time Town, where Daisy the Puppy and Cole the Kitten are ready to guide young children through a colorful and adventurous world filled with nursery rhymes and imaginative play.” Stay tooned!

image c. 2018 Dreamworks Animation

Ghost Dog. No not the samurai.

New from Tokyo Pop we have the first full-color comic follow-up to Nightmare Before Christmas — and just in time for Halloween, too. In Zero’s Journey, “When Jack Skellington’s faithful pet Zero gets lost, the ghost pup must get the help of the residents of Christmas Town to find his way back. With Halloween plans on hold while Jack mounts a search, will they be reunited in time to save both holidays?” Written by D.J. Milky, this new series features art by Kei Ishiyama, Kiyoshi Arai, David Hutchison, and Dan Conner. Check it out.

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

A Man About the House

Quite frankly, the publisher explains this better than we ever could! “In this hilarious graphic novel, the roles of cats and humans are reversed, putting humanoid felines in charge of tiny, dimwitted little man-pets. Manfried is a stray taken in by Steve Catson, a slacker with a dead-end job and nonexistent love life. Soon Manfried becomes the Garfield to Steve’s Jon Arbuckle: Lazy, selfish, and sometimes maddening in his weird human behavior. Yet the pair depends on each other to get through life’s troubles. When Manfried runs away, Steve musters his meager resources to find his best man-friend and bring him home safe.” Manfried the Man (written by Caitlin Major and illustrated by Kelly Bastow) is out now.

image c. 2018 Quirk Books

Space and Time, Dog and Cat

Catching up with something we had not heard about before. Kids Can Press describe Gordon: Bark To The Future like this: “It’s all up to Gordon now. His partner has been captured. His superior officer has been neutralized. And his distress calls to P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) have gone unanswered. That means he must fight the aliens alone! But Gordon’s not a fighter — his deadliest weapon is his mind. So what’s a genius dog to do? Time travel, of course!” The publisher goes on to say, “This laugh-out-loud junior graphic novel is part of Ashley Spires’s hugely popular P.U.R.S.T. Adventure series. Gordon the dog is a favorite character from Spires’s companion series about Binky the cat.” Got all that? Good!

image c. 2018 Kids Can Press

Classic Mickey Collected

Here’s a bit of comic and Disney history we picked up from Fantagraphics Books. “When Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson stopped creating new Mickey Mouse adventures in 1955, Italian Disney maestro Romano Scarpa (1927–2005) picked up the Mickey mantle — and he quickly proved himself a worthy successor, spinning out decades’ worth of new Mickey action epics — most of which have never been available in English! Now Fantagraphics is translating and anthologizing Scarpa’s best! This volume also reunites Mickey, Atomo, and Pete for Scarpa’s ‘The Bleep-Bleep 15’ and ‘The Fabulous Kingdom of Shan-Grilla,’ two internationally famous tales making their North American debut!” Disney Masters Vol. 1 Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: The Delta Dimension is available now.

image c. 2018 Fantagraphics Books

Junior Sleuths of Equestria

Whoa Nelly! We missed a new My Little Pony tie-in? Yes we did — Naughty us! Well here it is: IDW have a new comic miniseries. My Little Pony: Ponyville Mysteries is written by Christina Rice, with art from Agnes Garbowska and Heather Breckel (all of them MLP veterans). “Welcome to a new series of mystery and intrigue! The Cutie Mark Crusaders discover their inner detectives and solve crimes nopony else can! Will they be able to discover who is stealing supplies from Ponyville hospital and get their schoolwork done at the same time?” Turns out this all fits in with the Ponyville Mysteries series of books as well.

image c. 2018 IDW Publishing

Golden Boy of the Water World

Here’s something else we missed.  Goldfisch is a new-ish black & white manga from TokyoPop. “Say hi to Morrey Gibbs! A fisher-boy in a flooded world overrun with mutated animals known as “anomals”, he’s got more problems than just giant fish to deal with. Namely, how everything he touches turns to gold! Sure it sounds great, but gold underpants aren’t exactly stylish… or comfortable. Together with his otter buddy Otta and new inventor friend Shelly, Morrey’s on a quest to rid himself of his blessing-turned-curse, and try to find a solution for the tragedy he unwittingly caused…” Hardly a complicated plot is it?  Here’s an interesting fact: The artist and writer, Nana Yaa, is from Germany.

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Don’t Let The General Get You!

Lo and behold, it looks as if one of the original anthropomorphic role-playing games is digging into making a come-back. Frog God Games have opened a new Kickstarter campaign to try and bring about the 3rd Edition of the venerable game Bunnies & Burrows. We’ll let them tell you about it: “It’s not easy being a rabbit. Dangers abound in a hostile world of forests, fields, and farms. You and your woodland companions — rabbits and friends of rabbits — are a tough band of protectors and explorers, ready to take on the challenge. This tactical role-playing game views the world from a unique angle, with different goals and approaches than any kind of traditional role-playing game. Rich and complex mechanisms allow you to cover any angle of rabbit life — including war-gaming — if you choose to expand the game beyond the basics of role-playing woodland animals in a world where nature is red in tooth and claw. Frog God Games has partnered with Dr. B. Dennis Sustare and Dr. Scott R. Robinson to return a venerable and influential piece of tabletop role-playing games to print. This tactical role-playing game weighs in at approximately 200 pages of full color adventure in the style of Redwall and Watership Down.” With just under a month to go (as of this writing), they’ve nearly reached their funding goal.

image c. 2018 Frog God Games