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Before He Stormed Heaven

Grace Kum is a visual development artist and illustrator whom we met at the CTN Animation Expo. Recently she’s worked on Disney TV’s Big Hero 6 series, and various series for Dreamworks TV too. We’re spotlighting her because in her free time she’s been working with Dahyeu Celine Kim on a project called Higher Than The Sky, which they describe as “a prequel to Journey To The West” — which is, of course, the most famous story of the legendary Monkey King. According to Grace’s web site, this project is ready to get up and running again.

image c. 2017 by Grace Kum

Fruit of the Looney Tunes

Um, we’ll let the folks at Kechal Comics explain it: “Placed in men’s tightie whitie underwear on a whim by the scientist who captures him, Baxter the monkey does the only logical thing possible – he instantly develops consciousness and the ability to speak. Because… SCIENCE!!! Excited by his discovery, the scientist decides to see if other animals react as well as Baxter. Gaining intelligence, rational thought and an innate understanding of justice and fairnesss. Let’s just say further experiments do not go as well. Join Baxter as he navigates a world he’s just starting to understand, a world full of fearful humans, zany animals, and one seriously deranged bunny rabbit.” See? We told you they’d say it better! Underwars #1 was written by Kevin Joseph and illustrated in black & white by C.M. Brennan, based on a series of paintings he did.

image c. 2017 Kechal Comics

That Spaceship Looks Like A Banana!

Here’s another one that somehow flew over the moon yet under our radar for some time. Rocket Monkeys was a 2D animated series from Canada (they get SO many interesting shows up there!) created by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson. According to Wikipedia, “Brothers Gus and Wally are monkey astronauts. They’re not the brightest or coolest astronauts, but since they’re the only ones around, they are called upon to go into space and carry out different kinds of important missions—including battling rogue black holes and vengeful aliens. Other members of the brothers’ crew include bossy astrophysicist Dr. Chimpsky, who gives the monkeys their assignments; YAY-OK, a devoted robot that is slightly outdated and is the brothers’ only hope to help keep them on course; and Inky, a space octopus and artist who communicates through his ink drawings.” Looks as if the show ended it’s run in the US back in 2016. Fortunately, lots of episodes are still up and about on YouTube.

image c. 2017 Atomic Cartoons

Gimmee My Apple!

A new full-color one-shot comic from Antartic Press: “A chill dude washes up on a totally radical island: Majestic waterfalls, rainbow apples, and crazily great swimming holes. But when a hilarious monkey steals this mellow (but starving) dudes’s rainbow apple, a chase through a jungle results in an radder discovery. Welcome to Rad Island!” What more do you need to know? Well, maybe that it’s written and illustrated by Javier Fox. And it’s available now.

image c. 2017 Antarctic Press


Don’t Mess with the Monkey, Fluffbutt!

Whoops! How did we miss this one? A year ago Graphix brought us Bunny vs. Monkey, a full-color all-ages graphic novel by Jamie Smart. What’s it about? Look at the title! Well now, it’s time for Bunny vs. Monkey: Book 2, just hitting the shelves. “Welcome to the Woods! A peaceful home, until…ZAP! ZAAPPP! ZAAAPPPPP!!! It’s Monkey in a hovercraft that fires lasers! Science and nature fight again! With robotic worms! Trojan mooses! And lemony doomsday devices! It’s the continuing battle between good and evil…It’s Bunny vs Monkey: Book Two!” You heard it here. Now check it out over at Goodreads.

image c. 2017 Graphix


One, Two! Monkey Punch Through!

“A burnt-out boxer named ‘Knuckles’ is being tracked by the Mexican mafia, but when Thunder Monkey arrives, whose side will Knuckles choose? Everyone wants to know who Thunder Monkey is, and what is his original power!” After a a successful Kickstarter campaign, creator Lee Oaks presents the first black & white issue of Thunder Monkey, published by Dream Bug Productions. So who IS this super-powered simian and what does he seek in Summercity? Find out by checking out the latest issue over at Atomic Avenue.

image c. 2016 Dream Bug Productions

image c. 2016 Dream Bug Prod.



Not Crazy, Just Proud

Most nerdy people out there (you know who you are!) who are also fans of music are familiar with the works of Jonathan Coulton. Well now after a successful Kickstarter campaign, several of Mr. Coulton’s most famous songs have been mashed together into a brand new full-color comic book series, Code Monkey Save World — written by Greg Pak and illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa. “A put-upon coding monkey teams up with a seething, lovelorn super-villain to fight robots, office worker zombies, and maybe even each other as they struggle to impress the amazing women for whom they fruitlessly long.” It’s available now and you can find out more over at Monkey Brain Comics.

image c. 2016 Pak Man Productions

image c. 2016 Pak Man Productions

Are You a Good Wish, or a Bad Wish?

Over at Cartoon Brew there’s an article about Wish Police, the next big film project to come out of Reel FX (home of Free Birds and The Book of Life). “Based on a novella of the same name by Daniel Nayer, Wish Police takes place in a world where children’s bad wishes come to life as mayhem-making villains, and a secret organization called The Wish Police must work full-time to apprehend the evildoers. The Wish Police are led by Saul, an ex-genie determined to atone for centuries of granting his masters’ evil wishes, and Kong, a wise-cracking monkey and royal pain in the leg. In the film, Saul and Kong must break their personal rules and team up with a 12-year-old boy named Randy who has made a particularly bad wish and unleashed the most powerful wish villain ever seen.” The film is to be directed by three young filmmakers from Spain, Adrian Garcia, Alfredo Torres, and Victor Maldonado, “who are collectively known as Headless”. The CGI film is being produced by Kirk Bodyfelt (Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs 2) and written by some folks who worked on Kung Fu Panda. The film is scheduled for release in late 2017.

image c. 2015 Reel FX

image c. 2015 Reel FX

The Boy and the Beast

Can’t think of a better title than that, so why try? Several places on the Net (including Flayrah) have already made note recently of The Boy and the Beast. It’s the latest anime feature from Hosoda Mamoru, the man who brought us Summer Wars and The Wolf Children. As you can tell from those works, the man has an interest in anthropomorphic characters — and this new one just may be his most furry feature yet! The Boy and the Beast “… tells the story of a lonely young boy who strays into a parallel world inhabited by supernatural creatures, where a bear-like beastman becomes his companion and mentor.” It’s set to premier in Japan this July. No word yet on any planned release in North America, but most of director Mamoru’s works have made it over here eventually. Check out the article over at Twitch Film — it includes a trailer with subtitles.

image c. 2015 Toho Studios

image c. 2015 Toho Studios