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Hardcover Books

Hoo Goes There?

Here’s a very unusual graphic novel which comes to us courtesy of Action Lab, called The Ghost, The Owl. “On a cool evening on the swamp, a figure appears dancing across the water. A human figure, but far from a human form. A Ghost, a young girl spirit that seems to have lost its way. A good Samaritan owl decides to help against the wishes of his animal brethren. What mysteries does the ghost girl hold the secrets to and what will happen when she and the owl unlock them together? Will they find out what happened to her? Will she find her way to where she needs to be? What will happen to the animals in the swamp and surrounding forest?” Written by Franco and illustrated by Sara Richard, it’s available now at Barnes & Noble. Meanwhile there’s a preview over at Comicsverse.

image c. 2018 Action Lab

 

Massive Book of Mouse

We got this from Cartoon Brew too: Taschen, well-known for their collection books of art and photography, will soon be releasing Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: The Ultimate History, an enormous book created to celebrate the mouse’s 90th birthday. “The 480-page book by Daniel Kothenschulte, like the earlier Taschen volume on Disney [animated features], will be extremely heavy, shipping in its own cardboard box with handle. It will retail for $200. The book will include 1,400 images covering all of Mickey’s 122 cartoons, his comic adventures, and the world of Mickey merchandise and memorabilia.” The Cartoon Brew article includes several preview images. Look for the book this November.

image c. 2018 Taschen

For Your Fashionable Feet

Sara Varon is a comic creator whom we’ve talked about before several times as both a writer and an artist. (Seriously: Look her up!) Now she’s back as both again with her latest hardcover book, New Shoes, published by First Second. They describe it as “… a heartwarming graphic novel about a donkey on a quest to make the perfect pair of shoes.” Really now? “Francis the donkey is the best shoemaker in the village. He uses only the finest materials: coconut wood for the soles, goat’s wool for the insoles, and wild tiger grass for the uppers. One day he receives a special order from his favorite singer: Miss Manatee, the queen of calypso. But he’s all out of tiger grass! To make the perfect pair of shoes, Francis must journey deep into the jungle . . . and that means leaving his village for the first time.” Find it now over at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2018 First Second

Is She The Last Dog?

Now there’s a brand new fantasy series for young readers from Katherine Applegate, well-known author of the Animorphs series and books like The One And Only Ivan. Her new series is called Endling, and the first book is Endling: The Last. Here’s what the publisher says: “Byx is the youngest member of her dairne pack. Believed to possess remarkable abilities, her mythical doglike species has been hunted to near extinction in the war-torn kingdom of Nedarra. After her pack is hunted down and killed, Byx fears she may be the last of her species. The Endling. So Byx sets out to find safe haven, and to see if the legends of other hidden dairnes are true. Along the way, she meets new allies—both animals and humans alike—who each have their own motivations for joining her quest. And although they begin as strangers, they become their own kind of family—one that will ultimately uncover a secret that may threaten every creature in their world.” The Last is available now in hardcover, and the publisher’s web site features a book trailer and an interview with the author.

image c. 2018 Harper Collins

Let Your Art Take Flight

Now here’s someone we actually met at the LA Times Festival of Books: Michael Dante DiMartino, who told us about Rebel Genius, the first book in his new novel series. Here’s what they say over at Barnes & Noble — and why you should care. “A new fantasy-adventure series from the co-creator of the hit animated shows Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra! In twelve-year-old Giacomo’s Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. A few artists possess Geniuses, birdlike creatures that are the living embodiment of an artist’s creative spirit. Those caught with one face a punishment akin to death, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he’s in serious trouble. Luckily, he finds safety in a secret studio where young artists and their Geniuses train in sacred geometry to channel their creative energies as weapons. But when a murderous artist goes after the three Sacred Tools—objects that would allow him to destroy the world and everyone in his path—Giacomo and his friends must risk their lives to stop him.” Look for the other books in the series too, from Square Fish.

image c. 2018 Square Fish

Play Is Serious Business

More illustrated books for young folks, this time from a well-known writer in Hollywood. Toy Academy is a new series from Scholastic Books, written by Brian Lynch and illustrated by Edwardian Taylor. “Welcome to Toy Academy: Where toys learn to play. This is where action figures train to battle, stuffed animals study the art of the hug, and collectibles practice standing very, very still. Though Grumbolt isn’t really any of those things, he’s determined to fit in. But when the Evil Toy Academy threatens to bring down his school, it’s up to Grumbolt to go where no good toy has gone before and prove he’s truly a great toy after all. This laugh-out-loud chapter book by the writer of Minions and a writer of The Secret Life of Pets is a classic in the making.” You heard it here!

image c. 2018 Scholastic Books

A Flying Ape with a Beak. Yes.

One of the things that was almost impossible to miss at WonderCon this year was a huge display booth for Genesis II, a full color graphic novel by Allen Ling and Christian Boe. It’s a science fiction story about genetic experiments gone very, very strange, but that barely scratches the surface. The booth display featured three of the principle weird creations from the story in larger than life size, sculpted by none other than Stan Winston Studios. The graphic novel is available now as a hardcover book, and also as a download for purchase. The creators plan to release a softcover version later this year. Visit their web site to see what we’re talking about — and to order your copy.

image c. 2018 genesisiicomics.com

Hopping Around the Issue

Things do get strange in the world of politics, and likely many people would agree that things have gotten even more strange than usual of late. And now, we can add furries to the mix! Follow us here: Vice President Mike Pence and his family wrote a book, Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President, which details that very thing — from the point of view of the Pence family’s new pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo. (The text is actually by daughter Charlotte Pence, with illustrations by Second Lady Karen Pence, who is a watercolor artist.) Not to be outdone, upon hearing news of this political comedian John Oliver and his crew at Last Week Tonight created A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by E.G. Keller. Marlon Bundo is bored with his life as a vice-presidential pet, until one day he falls in love with another male rabbit named Wesley. Marlon offers Wesley his paw in marriage, but their same-sex union is loudly opposed by a stink bug — with a suspiciously familiar crop of white hair. Upon its release, the Marlon Bundo book instantly became a #1 best-seller on Amazon. It’s available now from Chronicle Books.

image c. 2018 Chronicle Books

They Say Stories Can Be Dangerous

Check out this bio: “Matt Laney is an ordained minister with a lifelong interest in world religion, wisdom traditions, martial arts, big cats and middle grade literature”. That might explain the spiritual slant behind Reverend Laney’s first fantasy series for young readers, Pride Wars. The first book, The Spinner Prince, is out now in hardcover from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “In the scientific realm of Singara, where feline humanoids rule, fiction is forbidden. Those caught telling stories lose their tongues before being exiled. Heir to the throne, thirteen-year-old Prince Leo, is cursed with the “fiction affliction,” the unpredictable, uncontrollable habit of telling stories. Worse, the stories carry a dangerous power, leaving creatures behind who cause trouble and threaten to expose Leo’s affliction. Meanwhile, Leo’s elder cousin is making his move to seize the throne and the enemy beyond the Great Wall, another feline race called Maguar, are rising up. Will Leo claim the throne from his rival (and keep his tongue) before his curse is revealed? Or will he embrace his ability as a gift and discover a far greater destiny among the Maguar?” Check it out over at Kirkus Reviews.

image c. 2018 Houghton Mifflin