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Hardcover Books

Crackers, Gromit!

It’s a given that everyone does an “Art of…” book for their new animated features these days. Sometimes there are even retrospective “Art of…” books for various studios. Aardman Animation, however, had not jumped on that bandwagon — until now! The Art of Aardman is a new hardcover (available now from Simon & Schuster) that celebrates 40 years (!) of the house that brought us Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep and so much more. Featuring a forward by founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton, it takes a behind-the-scenes look at Aardman through the sketchbooks of such famous directors as Nick Park, Richard Starzak, and others.

image c. 2017 Simon & Schuster

Stone in Paris

Humanoids (the publisher!) have imported a new hardcover graphic novel series for young readers called Gregory and the Gargoyles. We got this from Previews: “Young Gregory is unhappy and restless when his family moves to a new neighborhood, opposite a cathedral. Bullied by other kids, and left to his own devices at home, he discovers a strange medallion with a drawing of the church on it, and sets out explore the great building and the giant stone statues that rest on top. Before he knows it, Gregory is hurled back to 17th-century France, smack-dab in the middle of gargoyles, dragons, and sorcerers locked in an ongoing battle against dark forces. A hilarious, magical tale from master storyteller Denis-Pierre Filippi (Muse, Marshals) and artists J. Etienne (Brussli: Way of the Dragon Boy) and Silvio Camboni.” It’s in stores now.

image c. 2017 Humanoids

5-4-3-2-1-Meow!

Somehow we missed the book Catstronauts: Mission Moon, written and illustrated by Drew Brockington. But now he’s back with a brand new hardcover graphic novel for young readers called Catstronauts: Race to Mars. “Fresh off of their heroic mission to save the world, the CatStronauts — Major Meowser, Pom Pom, Blanket and Waffles — are taking a well deserved victory lap. Parades and fancy awards dinners are the new norm! But around the world, other cat space programs are watching–in particular the CosmoCats, the first cats to go to space! With national pride and scientific research on the line, the world’s space programs rush to be the first cats to Mars, and the CatStronauts are starting months behind! Can they catch up and prove their first mission was no fluke?” It’s available now in full color from Little, Brown Books.

image c. 2017 Little, Brown

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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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

M is for Mouse Guard

More from BOOM! Studios. Mouse Guard creator David Petersen has a new project: The Mouse Guard Alphabet Book. It’s coming soon in hardcover, written by Mr. Petersen and illustrated by Serena Malyon. Comic Book Resources has a preview. “Learn the ABCs in the world of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard where brave mice protect one another from predators large and small, explore the expansive nature around them, and thrive in harsh conditions. Hand-painted by Serena Malyon (Magic in the City, Button Hill), this is a look into a beautiful world with rich culture and stalwart friendships, worth exploring one letter at a time.” Look for it at book and comic stores in September.

image c. 2017 BOOM! Studios

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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

Trashcan Symphony

We haven’t heard of NoBrow Press before, but here now they’ve brought us a new full-color graphic novel called Garbage Night. It’s written and illustrated by Jen Lee. Here’s what they say: “In a barren and ransacked backyard, a dog named Simon lives with his two best friends: a raccoon and a deer. The unlikely gang spends their days looting the desolate supermarket and waiting for the return of the hallowed ‘garbage night’ – but week after week, the bins remain empty. While scavenging one day, the trio meet Barnaby – another abandoned dog who tells them about the ‘other town’ where humans are still rumored to live. Spurred on by hunger and the promise of food, the trio joins up with Barnaby and set off into the unknown…” It’s available now in hardcover. The Comics Journal has an extensive preview too.

image c. 2017 NoBrow Press

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The Pig of Destiny

And more stuff from Kingpin Books — this time something much much stranger called Ultra Pig Nipponic Roulette. It’s written by Mario Freitas and illustrated by Osvaldo Medina and Marta Lebre. Here’s what the publishers say, verbatim: “October 10, 1978. During the twinning cerimony between the Portuguese city of Aveiro and the Japanese city of Oita, the young Ultra Pig is kidnapped by three local businessmen and used as currency in a nefarious partnership with high-ranking officers of the Yakuza. Fearing for his son’s life, the illustrious Calouste Pig risks to face alone the bizarre joint-venture, but ends up getting caught in a very unusual sort of roulette. A very bizarre and very deadly game of roulette, like something out of a Tintin book, but on a cocktail of Manga influences and a ton of crazy.” It’s also coming this December in hardcover, says Previews.

image c. 2017 Kingpin Books

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