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Funny Animal

All the Cute Little Billionaires

Here’s an interesting art and comic project we came across at CTN Expo: Sillycan Vale, created by Lewei Wang. Current there’s a Kickstarter Campaign for the project, that explains it like this… “Sillycan Vale is a town where each animal villager is the personification of a tech company from the real world. The goal of this project is to develop the whole concept into a comic series. The characters & story-lines are inspired by what’s happening between the real tech communities especially in Silicon Valley, California.” Currently the plan is to release the comic in three separate volumes, introducing new characters and development art in each, and then release the actual complete comic in September of 2019. As of this writing they have already exceeded their initial funding goal, so go check them out and see what’s coming next.

image c. 2018 by Lewei Wang

Art, Chocolate, and Sweaters

Another artist we met at CTN Expo: Stacey Sleight from Provo, Utah, who creates under the name of Stillustrated. Besides her original illustrations, animation character designs, and fan art, she has also created an original on-line comic based on the Ursa Major Award-winning game Undertale. According to her web site, “She is also a lover of hot chocolate, comics, and animals in sweaters.”

image c. 2018 by Stacey Sleight

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

Not Moose. Dog. And Squirrel.

Chances are you’ve seen (or at least heard about) Dog and Squirrel, part of Nickelodeon’s Animated Shorts Program. But have you met the creator, Andrea Gerstmann? Over at her web site you can see examples of her other works in character design, background painting, layout, and fine-art painting. Lots of animal stuff to see, plus a few humans thrown in for good measure.

image c. 2018 by Andrea Gerstmann

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

They Made a Monkey out of Her

Sorry, so sorry… Banana Sunday is a well-know black & white comic created by writer Paul Tobin and his wife, the artist Colleen Coover. Now, Oni Press have re-released the full series as a graphic novel — this time in full color thanks to Rian Sygh. Here’s the press release: “Kirby Steinberg is having a bit of trouble fitting into her new school. Sure, there’s the usual problems associated with being from “somewhere else,” but this time the new kid also happens to be the guardian for three talking primates. Chuck, the professorial orangutan. Knobby, the love-stricken spider monkey. Go-Go, the befuddled golden gorilla. These primates have learned to speak, thanks to the scientific processes of Kirby’s father. Or have they? What’s their real story? That’s what Nickels—Kirby’s new best friend and unfortunately dedicated school reporter—would like to discover. Can Kirby find time to develop a relationship with Martin, the dashing nerd? Steer clear of Skye, the high school’s #1 pillar of arrogance? Keep Knobby, Chuck and Go-Go from causing untold catastrophes? And, above all, will Kirby be able to hide the real origin of these three simians from Nickels? Oh, probably not.” Bleeding Cool has an interview with the creators as well as lots of sample pages.

image c. 2018 Oni Press

Nothing Spooky Here At All, Folks…

John Kerschbaum is a writer and illustrator we’re not familiar with, but evidently he’s quite well-known in the world of underground comics. Recently Fantagraphics published Petey & Pussy: Puppy Love, John’s second collection of black & white comic strips featuring the titular dog and cat… pets who have the heads of middle-aged men. Right… Here’s the official description: “John Kerschbaum’s Petey and Pussy, the stars of the cult classic 2008 book by the same name, return, and so does their unique brand of animal neuroses. Imagine a Secret Life of Pets where the animals hang out in dive bars. Petey is a compulsive dog that values his unchecked freedom and exemption from responsibility. Pussy is an irritable, self-absorbed cat, of course, with a gambling problem. They are joined by the obnoxious Bernie the bird, who has courted a new girlfriend (or is it just a mirror?) and their owner, a sexually frustrated geriatric who is more concerned with online shopping then her pets. Their darkly hilarious adventures include tracking down troublesome squirrels, barely taking care of a new litter of puppies, and avoiding the dreaded ‘snipsnip’ from the veterinarian.” Want to know more? Check out the review at The Comics Journal.

image c. 2018 Fantagraphics

Garfield Meets An Old Friend

You might well remember the name of Mark Dindal: He directed the films Cats Don’t Dance, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Chicken Little.  All films with more than a passing Furry Fandom interest, yes? Well Mr. Dindal largely disappeared after that trio of films… that is, until now. Check out this news from Animation Scoop: “Alcon Entertainment’s new Garfield animated feature has selected its director. The all-CG cartoon feature will be directed by Mark Dindal, it was announced today by Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. Writing team Paul Kaplan (George Lopez) and Mark Torgove (Raising Hope) penned the script. Pre-production it set to begin next month in Los Angeles.” So there you have it. More about a release date when we know!

image c. 2018 Alcon Entertainment

Aw, the Brits Get Everything!

This came out of nowhere, but we have an excuse: I appears to be a UK exclusive. Here’s what we got from Animation World Network: “Disney UK has announced that Paloma Faith, Miriam Margolyes, Ben Bailey Smith, Tameka Empson and Bethan Wright have signed up for a ‘spot’ on Disney Channel’s brand new animation series, 101 Dalmatian Street, and will be featured in the first season which is set to launch on Disney Channel UK early next year. Ahead of the season premiere, there will be a special episode, airing in December 2018, which will introduce audiences to the unique characters and world of 101 Dalmatian Street. The U.K. guest stars will be joining Josh Brener as Dylan (Silicon Valley, Star Wars Resistance, The Big Bang Theory), Michaela Dietz as Dolly (Steven Universe, Barney & Friends) who voice the eldest Dalmatian siblings… Aimed at girls and boys, the new series has been reimagined for the 21st Century and is set in modern day London in the borough of Camden. The series follows the adventures of eldest siblings Dylan and Dolly, their parents Doug and Delilah, and 97 younger puppies, whose names also begin with ‘D’, in an epic comedy about family life, multiplied one hundred and one.” The article has a whole bunch more about the voice actors and the production team. Who knows? Maybe Disney will let us folks in North America see this sometime.

image c. 2018 Disney Channel UK