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Funny Animal

The Chicken Go Book Book Book

And yet more animated book adaptations. We got this from Animation World Network: “Apple TV+ just released a trailer for its newest animated series, Interrupting Chicken, based on the 2011 Caldecott Honor-winning book series written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. The preschool series introduces children to the joy of creative writing – starting with a little young chicken named Piper, who has a habit of interrupting story time! Every time Piper hears a story, she can’t help but jump in, ask questions, and let her imagination run wild.” The new series premiers on November 18th, and the trailer is up on line.

image c. 2022 Apple TV+

Truly Independent Animation

Happy Halloween — and blessed Day of the Dead! At Lightbox this year we came across a new animated project called Stormfellers, created by professional character designer Brookes Eggleston. At their web site there’s a YouTube video detailing the genesis of the story, and the world, and most importantly the characters. Stormfellers are “A rough and tumble gang of misfits protect their island from the ravages of constant monster-like Storms. There’s Aecious the Storm Conduit, Quilver the Quilled Marksman, Glangor the Heavy, and Biko the Field-Medic.” Brookes has even created a plushie toy of Biko the healer. There’s also a whole gallery of character designs from this and other projects.

image c. 2022 by Brookes Eggleston

African Adventures

More from the latest Animation Magazine: Zizi and Hannibal is a South African animated series that’s been picked up for distribution by Monster Entertainment from Ireland. “Zizi is an adventurous and curious five-year-old girl. Her best friend, Hannibal, is a bumbling, fun-loving Hippo. Together they explore the beautiful places of Africa and meet all the wonderful animals that live there. Hannibal loves singing songs, rhymes and having fun and Zizi is always keen to learn more about the animals they meet.” Now we’ll see where it gets shown!

image c. 2022 Pixcomm

Guinea Pig Gullible

Recently in Animation Magazine they talked about a new kids’ TV series in production called Olga Da Polga. We got this from Beyond Rights, the production company in the U.K.: “Created by the legendary children’s writer Michael Bond (Paddington Bear), Olga Da Polga is a charming new pre-school title about a lovable and highly imaginative guinea pig who loves telling tales. Joining guinea pig Olga in her adventures in the garden are tortoise Graham, hedgehog Fangio, and Noel the know-it-all cat – alongside ‘The Sawdust Family’. Currently in production by Maramedia (Hushabye Lullabye), Bond’s delightful and amusing stories are being brought to TV screens for the first time in a live-action drama with wonderful talking animals and gorgeous animation.” No word yet on when it’s coming out — or where in the world, either! Stay tooned.

image c. 2022 Puffin Books

Ewe Gotta Admit…

It’s MIPCOM season, and that means a host of animation production companies are gearing up to plug new cartoon series they hope to sell in their homelands and (hopefully!) all around the world. Shows like Karate Sheep, from the French animation company Xilam (home of Zig & Sharko and the current Mr. Magoo). “Trico is an enthusiastic sheep who loves to share new objects and ideas with the rest of the flock. This causes ruckus in the mountain pastures, which all inevitably end up at Wanda’s expense. [Wanda is] a tough ewe whose job is to keep the sheep safe. Not a small feat, especially when Wolf is always lurking, waiting to make the most of this newfound chaos.” Xilam have a preview trailer for the show (and many others) at their web site.

image c. 2022 Xilam

What Did YOU Do During COVID?

One thing that definitely happened during the COVID lock-downs was that on-line comic artists got real busy. Among them was Alex Graham, creator of Dog Biscuits, a slice-of-life underground funny animal comic. Now Fantagraphics have brought together many the on-line black & white pages in a single hardcover graphic novel. “It’s July 2020 in Seattle. Gussy struggles to keep his dog biscuit boutique afloat while a global pandemic rages unchecked. The loneliness of lockdown and social distancing drives his employee Rosie to betray her principles. Rosie’s roommate Hissy is at a personal crossroads. A love triangle emerges as they find themselves tangled in a web of police brutality, protests, drugs, dating apps and COVID chaos. Taking place over the course of just a few days, this is a snapshot of humanity — okay, animals — in crisis.” The Observer has a detailed review with lots of sample artwork as well.

image c. 2022 Fantagraphics

First Nation Furries

In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Netflix recently premiered an interesting new animated TV series for young viewers. “Spirit Rangers explores the beauty of nature through the eyes and adventures of half-Chumash, half-Cowlitz siblings Kodi, Summer, and Eddy Skycedar, who all share a secret: They are ‘Spirit Rangers’ who help protect the land and spirits of the national park they call home in California. Taking on new perspectives as a grizzly bear cub, red-tailed hawk, and spunky turtle, the Skycedar kids face every challenge — from helping a lost thunderbird to waking a sleepy sun — with courage and compassion.” The series is created by Karissa Valencia, herself a member of the Samala Chumash tribe. Animation World Network has an extensive article.

image c. 2022 Netflix

Female Flame-Breathers to the Fore

The Sparkle Dragons is a new full-color graphic novel written by Emma Carlson Berne and illustrated by Luke Flowers. “Meet the Sparkle Dragons: The spunkiest crew in all of Princess Puff’s queendom! Trixie is fierce with brains and beauty. Rue is tough as nails with a heart of shimmering gold. And, last but not least, Glinda, who often has her head in the clouds, but her out-of-the-box problem-solving can be her strongest asset. With their unique powers combined, they are an unstoppable force! And let’s be honest: Fighting off bad guys with glitter beams can be pretty hilarious . . . and sticky!” Do tell. It’s available now in hardcover or trade paperback from Harper-Collins.

image c. Clarion Books

Pony Progress

So Netflix brings us a new generation of My Little Pony? Then IDW is sure to bring us a new generation of My Little Pony comic book — with an easy title too: My Little Pony. “Join Sunny, Izzy, Zipp, Pipp, Hitch, and their trusty sidekick Cloudpuff as they explore a brand-new Equestria following the magical events of the hit Netflix movie! With magic returned to Equestria, the ponies are more united than ever — at least until one of the Unity Crystals is stolen! Can the Mane 5 find the culprit before magic is gone for good? And where’s Cloudpuff leading them, anyway? Is this . . . Canterlot?!” Written by Celeste Bronfman, and illustrated by fan-favorite artist Amy Mebberson.

image c. 2022 IDW Comics