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Mice

The Monster at the Back of This Barn

A new reprint of something we seem to have missed the first time around: A coloring book adventure comic called The Unlikley Trio — Last Barn On The Left. Here’s what we found in Previews: “Lil’Bit the mouse, Mrs. Butters the cat, and Abby the Collie dog join together to confront a scary monster that lives in the barn of their small town. Can the three friends overcome their fears and get through this adventure? Kids can be the colorist in this black and white adventure that features fun activities in the back of the book. Alterna will be donating all proceeds to the ASPCA foundation to help protect animals in need!” It’s written and illustrated by Scott West, with writing help from Callie West. On-line there’s all kinds of contradictory information about when this was published, but hopefully Alterna Comics should have it back in stores soon.

image c. 2017 Alterna Comics

 

He Can Talk. Will You Listen?

World-famous author James Patterson (Zoo) has returned with a new novel for young readers: Word of Mouse, written with the help of Chris Grabenstein and illustrated by Joe Sutphin. It’s the story of a very special mouse. “What makes Isaiah so unique? First, his fur is as blue as the sky–which until recently was something he’d never seen, but had read all about. That’s right–Isaiah can read, and write. He can also talk to humans…if any of them are willing to listen! After a dramatic escape from a mysterious laboratory, Isaiah is separated from his ‘mischief’ (which is the word for a mouse family), and has to use his special skills to survive in the dangerous outdoors, and hopefully find his missing family. But in a world of cruel cats, hungry owls, and terrified people, it’s hard for a young, lone mouse to make it alone. When he meets an equally unusual and lonely human girl named Hailey, the two soon learn that true friendship can transcend all barriers.” Word of Mouse will be available in hardcover this December.

image c. 2016 Jimmy Patterson

image c. 2016 Jimmy Patterson

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… What A Girl’s Gotta Do

Mickey Mouse’s lifetime companion (literally!) gets her artistic due in The Art of Minnie Mouse, new from Disney Book Group. “Minnie Mouse embodies a constant reminder to girls of all ages-including grown-ups!-to live confidently and express themselves. In The Art of Minnie Mouse, Disney artists, designers, illustrators, and animators from around the world re-imagine their favorite Minnie styles and portray them in a variety of mediums. Minnie’s earliest incarnation, her classic red polka-dot look, and trendy modern styles are all newly incarnated in water color, pastel, oil paint, colored pencil, mixed media, and computer graphics pieces that range from the traditional to the unconventional. The book also features a never-before-published comprehensive filmography of Minnie’s animated appearances as well as a visual timeline of her career milestones.” And it’s also available now in hardcover from Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2016 Disney Book Group

image c. 2016 Disney Book Group

Helping Children Cope

More from Toon Books, this time on a much more serious subject. It’s a full-color comic-style book called Benny and Penny in How to Say Goodbye. “Why won’t Benny care? Penny finds a dead salamander, but her brother Benny doesn’t want anything to do with it. Is it silly to have a ceremony for Little Red, or could the loss of this tiny animal mean much more to the lovable siblings? With his unique knack for portraying children’s emotional turmoil, Geisel Award-winner Geoffrey Hayes shares this gentle tale of an early encounter with death.” The latest Benny and Penny book is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2016 Toon Books

image c. 2016 Toon Books

Modern Art Mouse

Uncivilized Books have a new imprint for younger readers called Odod Books. Their first release is a hardcover graphic novel by Kickly called Musnet: The Mouse of Monet. Here’s what they say about it: “A young boy mouse travels the country side looking for work and happens upon the Monet’s garden. He takes on a job and becomes inspired to learn to paint. Will he paint in the classical ways, or in the new style of the impressionist? Which way will his brush sway? Musnet is drawn and painted in a beautiful, lush and inky style popularized by Paul Pope and French comics masters such Blutch and Christophe Blain.” Really. A review in The Guardian goes further into the plot: “This new series revolves around a painting mouse found in Monet’s famous gardens in Giverny: The nameless, orphan mouse is befriended by Mya and her mouse family, who live inside the artist’s house. Introduced to painting after he begins working for Remy, an old squirrel painter, he is enchanted by Monet’s work.” It’s available now at Amazon.

image c. 2016 Odod Books

image c. 2016 Odod Books

Cats, Dragons… and now Mice!

Alan F. Beck is an artist who created a series called The Mousopolitan Museum of Art — “classical portraits by the mice masters”. In other words, world-famous works of art re-imagined as anthropomorphic mice. He has also written a children’s book (available through Create Space) called The Adventures of Nogard and Jackpot, which details what happens when a young kitten hears a noise within the closet and discovers a baby dragon. Both of these (and many other items) are on display at the artist’s web site.

image c. 2016 b y Alan F. Beck

image c. 2016 b y Alan F. Beck

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More Weird Art. Good Weird Art!

Tabitha Ladin describes what she does as “fantasy, science fiction, creepy, and nature art”. We couldn’t describe it better. She has a particular affinity for mice — winged mice (especially that!), robot mice, zombie mice… but gryphons, dragons, and other fantastic animals work their way into her paintings as well. And of course, many of them are available as prints at her web site also. She’s another artist you’re likely to see displaying at fannish conventions as well, in the dealer room or at the art show.

image c. 2016 by Tabitha Ladin

image c. 2016 by Tabitha Ladin

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They’re Back for Blood. Again.

Devil’s Due Entertainment have announced that their most successful comic book, Squarriors (written by Ash Maczko and illustrated by Ashley Witter) will soon return with a new full-color 4-issue miniseries entitled Volume 2: Summer. One comic book reviewer described the original series as “Watership Down meets The Walking Dead“. If cute rodents with swords and lots and lots of blood are your thing, it’s all here with top-notch art. Watch for it next week, and visit the Devil’s Due web site to learn more.

image c. 2016 Devil's Due

image c. 2016 Devil’s Due

She Built A Brick… Mouse…

No better way to explain Mouse Guard: The Art of Bricks than this article over at Comics Alliance: “Last year at Emerald City Comic Con, toy brick artisan Alice Finch and her incredibly detail-oriented team put together an awe-inspiring display of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard dioramas built entirely out of toy bricks. At the time, we referred to it as one of the standouts of ECCC, and now Archaia is releasing a full-color hardcover packed with photos of the team’s incredible work. Finch, a member of the Seattle-based toy brick builder club ArchLUG, has already drawn acclaim for her recreations of Hogwarts and Rivendell alongside fellow ArchLUG member David Frank, but her team’s work on these Mouse Guard dioramas are a cut above.”

image c. 2016 Archaia

image c. 2016 Archaia