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Hardcover Books

Black Ink and Big Creatures

A recent discovery from the Long Beach Comic Expo. Seung Woo Cha currently works as a director at Dreamworks TV… but he is also a fine artist, known for his imaginative depictions of wild life from around the world — especially gorillas and other apes. Often working in black ink, he paints in broad artistic strokes that nonetheless capture the essence and power of his subjects. Recently he collected several of his works together into a hardcover portfolio book, appropriately enough entitled The Art of Wild Life. You can purchase the book over at his web site, and see examples of his work as well.

image c. 2018 Draw 4 Life Studios

Son of Dragon: Save the World

New from Humanoids we have Dragonseed, a full-color fantasy graphic novel written by Kurt McClung (Might & Magic) and illustrated by the team of Jimenez and Mateo Guerrero (Warlands). “For centuries the men and creatures of Krath have prepared for a conflict that many hoped would never happen. A half-blood, Adam Serre Shadow, now has just two moons to find the thief of the teardrop stone, stolen from his fire-breathing father, before the Council of Elders trigger all-out war. The son of a Dragon will stop at nothing to find the magical relic and preserve the fragile peace that still exists between the two species.” It’s available now as a digital comic and as a deluxe hardcover.

image c. 2018 Humanoids

Crash: The Party

And more from Dark Horse… The Crash Bandicoot Files: How Willy The Wombat Sparked Marsupial Mania. (Woo, long title huh?) From their web site: “Take a rare glimpse into the making of a video game icon, and gain a first-hand taste of the creativity that brought Crash Bandicoot to millions of screens around the world! This deluxe hardcover reproduction of Naughty Dog’s original Crash Bandicoot developer’s bible is sure to please all who possess a curiosity surrounding the creation of games!” It’s available this March in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Dark Horse

Adventures Between Night and Day

The Lost Rainforest is a new fantasy novel series for young readers, written by Eliot Schrefer (author of the Spirit Animals book series). The first book in the series is called Mez’s Magic — and here’s what the publisher, Harper Collins, says it’s about: “Caldera has forever been divided into those animals who walk by night and those who walk by day. Nightwalker panthers, like young Mez and her beloved sister, have always feared daywalkers as creatures of myth and legend. Until the eclipse. Now Mez has discovered that she can cross the Veil and enter the daylight world. Her magical power has unknown depths, but she must rush to discover it after a mysterious stranger arrives at her family’s den, bearing warnings of a reawakened evil. Saving Caldera means Mez must leave her sister behind and unite an unlikely group of animal friends to unravel an ancient mystery and protect their rainforest home.” With interior illustrations by Emilia Dziubak, The Lost Rainforest: Mez’s Magic is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Harper Collins

She Makes A Big Splash

Benson Shum is an illustrator and animation artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation. (He worked on Moana, Zootopia, Big Hero 6, and other films.) As part of their Artist Showcase series, Disney-Hyperion published his illustrated children’s book, Holly’s Day at the Pool, which is available on Amazon. “Holly the hippo imagines the worst: Icebergs and icy water, penguins and seals! Her imagination bursts at every turn, making it harder and harder for her to step foot in the pool… Until she get the chance to be a hero. Holly may be scared, but she is a very brave girl.” Now on his web site Mr. Shum announced that he will be illustrating a new book, Go To Sheep, written by Jennifer Sattler. That one’s set to be published by Little Simon later this spring.

image c. 2018 Disney-Hyperion

A Passion for Toys

Wow, what have we been missing? Turns out there’s an internet sensation named Johnny Wu (aka Sgt Bananas) who has made quite a name for himself with photography and stop-motion animation, featuring his impressive toy and action figure collection put together in some truly imaginative comic book style adventures. Now Mr. Wu has hooked up with comic book publisher Dynamite to bring us Ten Frames Per Second: An Articulated Adventure, a new full-color hardcover book highlighting some of Sgt Bananas’ best Instagram work. Outright Geekery has an article about it as well.

image c. 2018 Dynamite

Jurassic Teens

Well this came out of nowhere… Manosaurs Volume 1: Walk Like A Manosaur is a new full-color graphic novel for kids that’s available now from Papercutz. “Leo ‘the Doc’ Jeffries is down on his luck with his run down Dynamic Dino Display until he unearths a box of bonafide dinosaur eggs! The eggs hatch four talking dinosaurs who rapidly adapt and grow into their new environment… the twenty-first century! Now, Tri, Rex, Ptor, and Pterry must navigate life after extinction and defend their new family from forces of the dreaded Armaggedon who would like to make sure these powerful reptiles stay extinct.” Got that? It’s written by Stefan Petrucha and available in trade paperback or hardcover editions.

image c. 2017 Papercutz

A Little Green Slab of Clay

[Belated, but: Merry Christmas and a Blessed Solstice to all of you!]

He may have dropped below the cultural radar as of late, but there was a time when Gumby was the superstar of stop-motion animation. Now Dynamite Entertainment have brought together the story of Gumby, his friends, and their truly unique creator, Art Clokey. Gumby Imagined: The Story of Art Clokey and His Creations is a new 300-page hardcover book compiled by Art’s son Joe Clokey and daughter-in-law Joan Rock Clokey. “Clay animated superstar Gumby has made an indelible impact on our culture and continues to enchant and entertain generations. Filmmaker Art Clokey’s personal story is one of mystical adventure, tragedy, triumph, art, and most of all, love. This lavish career-spanning retrospective explores the legendary creator’s life and complete works. All of his many creations, including Gumby and Davey & Goliath, are interwoven with a rich tapestry of rare photos and stories — the ingredients for a fascinating tale.” It’s available now from Dynamite, Amazon, and elsewhere.

image c. 2017 Dynamite Enertainment

Little Bird Lost

Pete Oswald is a very busy production designer and illustrator. Recently he and his team were responsible for lighting and set design on The Angry Birds Movie. And from his web site: “As a character designer and concept artist, Pete has helped to uplift many of the most successful animated franchises. Among other projects, Pete has worked on Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 1 & 2; Hotel Transylvania; and the Oscar® nominated ParaNorman, for which he earned an Annie Award nomination.” Even with all that going on, Mr. Oswald finds the time to illustrate books for children as well.  Recently he completed one called Mingo the Flamingo (written by Justin K. Thompson and published by Harper Collins). “A hilarious picture book about a flamingo named Mingo who is ready to fly but gets lost from the rest of the flock during a terrible storm. To make matters worse, when he crashes, he completely forgets who he is and where he belongs. With the help and training from some new friends, he must find the strength to make it back home and reunite with his family.” Pete also worked with writers Laura Lyn DeSiena and Hannah Eliot to create a series of “Did You Know?” books — Hippos Can’t Swim and Other Fun Facts being one of them. Also available at his web site.

image c. 2017 Harper Collins