InFurNation Rotating Header Image

Hardcover Books

Meow and Now

And speaking of web-based comics coming to book form… Cat & Cat Adventures is a series written and illustrated by Susie Yi from Orange County, California. (Hi neighbor!) “Cat & Cat comics is a cozy, funny, and relatable comic series about more than just cats. Set in a world where pets and humans co-exist in a symbiotic relationship (much like the world we live in today!), Suzy is a human that can understand the mysterious language of cat-speak! Cat & Cat comics dives into the every day interactions between Suzy and her cats, but also the mysterious and magical scenarios that the cats encounter as well. From pancakes growing fluffier upon command to dogs being summoned out of a magical book, these comics are sure to surprise and pull you in for a sweet treat!” Find it on line, and look for the graphic novel series as well.

image c. 2024 by Susie Yi

They Colored Their World

Leslie Stratton is a Hollywood actress who has appeared in several movies and TV episodes. During COVID lock-down she remembered her mother’s love of pandas, and sat down to write a book based on that. The result was Let’s Share, Panda Bear, illustrated by Zuzana Svobodova.Have you ever wondered why panda bears are black-and-white? Panda Pete, an incredibly kind panda, discovers a magical way to share colors with his animal friends. As the forest transforms into a vibrant rainbow, each creature joyously embraces their unique shades. Yet, in a touching twist, Pete and Jack learn that being black-and-white has its own special magic.” The web site has all the colorful details!

image c. 2024 Little Freckles Publications

Look Within for Beauty

At this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books we met Bill Herrin, who was showing off his brand new illustrated book. It seems that while his granddaughters were visiting one day, they noticed his pet peacock interacting with a large wooden bear statue he has in his back yard. They asked him why the bird would do that… and he came up with this story on the spot. “A proud Peacock with beautiful colorful feathers belittles Paws the Bear brown fur, but Paws soon discovers through the help of Father Owl, what real beauty is. The Peacock and the Bear picture book takes you on a journey with Peter the Peacock and Paws the Bear through generosity and understanding that each forest animal is a special beautiful creature.” Illustrated in a striking style (it looks like an animated film!) by Ilham Fatkurahman, the book is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2024 Safe Skies

Do You Speak Not You?

At WonderCon we met Josh Oaktree, the founder of Oak Tree Comics. Their mission is simple, and stated right on the front page of their web site: “A children’s book publisher where imagination meets environmentalism”. To that end they created the Art and Oakie Ask series of illustrated graphic novels for young readers, featuring the wordless adventures of young Art and their friend Oakie the ambulatory oak tree. In Do You Speak Tree?, Oakie tries to speak up for his forest home — but he only speaks “tree”, and no one understands. Perhaps Art and their crayon skills can help out? This was followed by Do You Speak Bear? and, most recently, Do You Speak Bee? Oak Tree also features a nature-themed fantasy comic series called Thorn the Unicorn, and a very unusual picture book called The Weird Animal Hour, which we’ll leave to them to explain.

image c. 2024 Oak Tree Comics

If You Build It…

Stuart Ng Books always have a fascinating booth at any number of fannish conventions. At WonderCon, they introduced us to Paisley Rabbit and the Treehouse Contest, an illustrated book for children that came out in 2018 from writer Steve Richardson and illustrator Chris Dunn. “Can a lone girl rabbit with all the odds stacked against her actually surprise boastful Jimmy Squirrel to win the big tree house construction contest? It is the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year, Jimmy Squirrel, whose dad owns the biggest construction company in the city, agrees to a tree house contest. To everyone”s surprise, Paisley Rabbit, who has never touched a hammer or a nail and has no one to help her, is a long shot to win. But the imaginative and determined Paisley, demonstrates her resourcefulness and strategic planning abilities that eventually amazes her friends and silences the smug Jimmy Squirrel.” The book is available now in hardcover. Check out the preview pictures — the artwork is gorgeous. Interesting note: Chris Dunn also illustrated an edition of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. We’ll have to look it up.

image c. 2024 Impossible Dreams

Two for Survival

Fresh back from WonderCon in Anaheim, and there was so much interesting stuff to see there! Like… Chuck Grieb is an art instructor at Azusa Pacific University, but he worked for years in animation production as well. Now he’s expanded his resume to include “author” with his illustrated fantasy novel The Goblin Twins — the first book in his Garden Clan series. It features more than 100 black & white and full-color illustrations. “Running for their lives from an evil shaman, The Goblin Twins Bela and Vuto flee to the far side of the enchanted Thicket. But the shaman has not given up, and the Goblin Twins’ escape to the Faerie Garden Clans sparks a confrontation which could lead to a Goblin-Faerie war.” Check out the official web site to find out more, including the author’s other projects.

image c. 2024 C and W Creative, Inc.

The Trickster Without Scruples

Sometimes, the publisher explains things perfectly well for us. Like this: “In this atmospheric tribute to the medieval folklore tradition of trickster tales starring Reynard the fox, beloved children’s cartoonist Ben Hatke turns his pen to a very special project for adult readers. Inspired by the 12th century tales of the indomitable trickster fox Reynard, this offbeat tribute to the archetypal rogue has a satisfyingly old-fashioned feeling to it. Although this Reynard adventure is entirely the creation of modern fairytale master Ben Hatke (Mighty Jack), it fits seamlessly into the body of Reynard tales still beloved in Europe to this day. Featuring evocative, charming black-and-white illustrations and a swiftly moving narrative, Reynard’s Tale follows our hero through a series of encounters with other classic figures from this body of folklore to piece together a headlong journey through a perilous landscape filled with murderers, kings, ex-lovers, mermaids, and even Death herself.” So there you have it. And it’s available now.

image c. 2024 First Second

Winking and Blinking

Wizkit is the name of a new graphic novel for young readers, written and illustrated by Tanya J. Scott. The publisher describes it as Hilda and the Troll meets The Okay Witch. “It’s a wild, enchanted, wonderful world out there, way beyond the fjord that a one-eyed cat named Wizkit calls home. But Wizkit wouldn’t know anything about that—as a Wizard’s apprentice, all her lessons are indoors, and she’s far too lazy to go out exploring. There’s no need to—she already knows enough spells to conjure up delicious snacks whenever she’s hungry! But when an overdue library book literally cries out to be returned, Wizkit’s Teacher decides she must be the one to take it back. Reluctantly (and rather accidentally), the journey to the Library begins. With the annoyingly optimistic Book in tow, Wizkit sets off on an adventure that is full of strange characters with even stranger problems. Wizkit will soon find out that, with a little support and a new friendship, her own magical talents can be part of the solution.” You can find out more from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2024 Simon & Schuster

We Did It Before…

Well here’s a team we’ve heard about previously. Sean Patrick O’Reilly is head of Arcana Studios, and David Alvarez is a popular comic artist. Their new creation is called Kotto Kotorra. The description is pretty darn simple: “The book follows Kotto, an average Puerto Rican who runs an empanadilla food truck. His daily life is always an adventure, thanks to his boisterous friends.” That hardly scratches the surface of this old-school “funny animal cartoon” comic. What’s more, it’s not just a graphic novel, but a game app as well!

image c. 2024 Arcana Studios