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Bushido Baboons

And then there’s Orange Blossom Monkey Clan, a new full-color comic written and illustrated by Erik Klaus (Ninjas & Robots). “These Samurai Monkeys were trained to guard the southern islands of Mount Kumo, but after generations of peace, many have abandoned the Way of the Warrior. Now that danger looms on the horizon, a small crew of counter-culture monkeys are ready to prove that they have kept their battle skills sharp!” Available now from Keenspot.

image c. 2022 Keenspot

Fly, My Pretties

There’s a new full-color science fiction series out now from Image Comics called Angelic. Here’s what they say: “Winged Monkeys! Techno-Dolphins! Quantum Alleycats! Humanity’s long gone. Its memory lingers only as misunderstood rituals among mankind’s leftovers: The genetically modified animals they used and abused for eons. But for one young flying monkey, QORA, the routines are unbearable. All she wants is to explore. Instead she’s expected to settle down, to become a mother…to lose her wings… Eisner nominee Simon Spurrier (The Spire, CRY HAVOC, X-Men Legacy) and rising-star Caspar Wijngaard (LIMBO, Dark Souls, Assassin’s Creed) present your new bittersweet adventure obsession: Teenage rebellion and animal antics amidst the ruins of civilization! Think WALL-E by way of Watership Down.” Whew! The official Image page features a video introduction by the creators, and there’s an extensive review over at Monkeys Fighting Robots. Funny that…

image c. 2017 Image Comics

Monsters at Play. Literally.

It’s time we checked in again with the artist Chet Phillips. Known for his fanciful anthro-primates (he even did a whole collector-card game based on evil monkeys!), now cats and even kaiju are turning up more and more in his works.  (Kaiju are giant monsters stomping all over Japan, in case you forgot!) Recently he created a collectible card set based on kaiju baseball players, as well as the usual prints and other artistic stuff. Go visit his Etsy store to see what we’re talking about, and hopefully this will all make a lot more sense!

image c. 2015 by Chet Phillips

image c. 2015 by Chet Phillips

Monkeys at the Mountains of Madness?

Chet Phillips is an artist and writer who has created something that combines aspects of steam-punk, pulp adventure novels, and H.P. Lovecraft… with monkeys. Here’s how he describes it: “The Society of Sinister Simians explores the mysterious world of an evil collection of vicious and power hungry primates that held sway over the land centuries ago. Thanks to the efforts of the ill-fated Sourcrust archeological dig of 1887, details of this foul organization have finally come to light. In this book you will learn of The Society’s immortal leader, his powerful and brutal cadre of ministers and advisors as well as a variety of assassins, spies, soldiers and frightful supernatural figures.” The Society of Sinister Simians is available as a 122-page full-color paperback book, and also as a trading card set with a poster puzzle on the reverse side. A signed, limited edition hand-bound hardback edition is currently out of print (as of this writing), but you can visit Mr. Phillips’ web site to find out when it might be reprinted. There’s also examples of Chet’s numerous other funny-animal art projects.

image c. 2010 Chet Phillips

The Return of Banana Tail

Mark McKenna’s strange (but nice) little monkey Banana Tail returns in Banana Tail’s Colorful Adventure, a new full-color hardcover book for young readers (coming in April from Image Comics).  Banana Tail, if you didn’t know, is a young monkey who is made fun of for his bright and shiny yellow tail. So, he spends his days hanging around with other unusual young animals in the jungle, including a checkerboard zebra and a rhino who changes colors with her mood. Mark McKenna, if you didn’t know, is a comic book artist who’s worked for both DC and Marvel for decades. Now he brings back his popular children’s book character in a new 3D CGI format with the help of Steve Akehurst and the artists at The Fourth Armada.

Hitman Monkey

And yet more titles to make furry fans stand up and take notice. Hitman Monkey is a new full-color comic book series from Marvel, created by Daniel Way and Dalibor Talijic. Issue #1 also features a kick-ass cover by Frank Cho (of Liberty Meadows fame. See below). Yes, the hero is a Japanese macaque who happens to be a hitman. It seems that folks at Marvel Comics have been following some Internet photo-memes… Series executive editor Alex Alonso describes Hitman as a “soulful, tortured, jazz-loving, 30-pound engine of destruction.” This new series introduces the character, who then gets to go bananas (sorry ^^ ) in an issue of Deadpool that also features Spiderman. Interestingly, in the same month there’s an issue of Deadpool Team-Up where the “Merc with a Mouth” battles an army of gun-toting giant raccoons!  What’s going on here??

Hitman Monkey by Frank Cho

Hitman Monkey by Frank Cho

How Did We Miss This?

An older item, which we recently stumbled across: DC Goes Ape is a full-color trade paperback collection released in 2008 by — who else? — DC Comics. It features nearly a dozen excerpts from DC Comics over the decades involving monkey and ape characters in the worlds of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and more. Simian heroes, simian villains, and they’re not even all Gorilla Grond!  With writers ranging from Otto Binder to Elliot S! Maggin and E. Nelson Bridwell (and more), and art by the likes of Carmine Infantino, Jim Starlin, P. Craig Russell — and more. With a great front cover by Art Adams, too. Like we said, this is older now, so take a look around for it.