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Monsters

Helping The Ones You Don’t Even See

Another cool item we picked up from Animation World Network: “Newbery Honor-winning author Adam Gidwitz and Mixtape Club founders Jesse Casey and Chris Lenox Smith premiered online the animated debut of The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose adventures continue in a series of books for middle-grade readers from Penguin Random House.” The kids of the Unicorn Rescue Society (along with their companion Jersey, a friendly Jersey Devil) help with the needs of mythical creatures that adults don’t even believe in. “The Unicorn Rescue Society is a secret organization. Its mission is to keep the creatures of myth and legend safe. Dragons, Bigfoot, chupacabras — and maybe even unicorns. Every day, the threats to these rare and wonderful animals grow. They are hunted. Their habitats are destroyed. And the Unicorn Rescue Society is their only hope.” Rather than being adaptations of the books themselves, the animated shorts spread the word about the book series and take a behind-the-scenes look. The AWN article has a link to the first cartoon.

image c. 2018 Mixtape Club

Dog of the Dead

Okay, how about a furry story from a horror comic based on a tabletop game? You got it! Oni Press brings us Dead of Winter: Good Good Dog. “From the tabletop smash hit comes this new comic series starring your favorite characters from Plaid Hat Games’ Dead of Winter, written by Kyle Starks (the Eisner Award-nominated Sexcastle), and illustrated by Gabo (The Life After). In the pantheon of superheroes, none are more loveable and loyal than everyone’s favorite good ol’ dog, Sparky. Surviving in the wintery apocalypse of the undead, this former TV show stunt dog turned zombie killing machine just wants to make friends and be a good boy. As his fellow survivors scavenge for supplies in the frigid wasteland, will Sparky be able to protect his companions from threats both undead and otherwise?” Check out this new trade paperback at DCB Service.

image c. 2018 Oni Press

Before He Danced the Magic Dance

Boom! Studios (through their Archaia imprint) are returning to the world of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth in a new series called Labyrinth: Coronation. It sounds like this: “Before Sarah braved the Labyrinth to save her brother, another young woman sought to save a young boy named Jareth from the clutches of the Goblins. Set in 18th-century Venice, Italy, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is a striking look into the history of the Labyrinth itself, and what happens to the little boys who don’t get rescued. This is the untold history of the Goblin King.” Written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Daniel Bayliss, the first issue is on the shelves now. Mr. Bayliss, you may recall, was the illustrator of that marvelously weird anthropomorphic comic Kennel Block Blues.

image c. 2018 Archaia

Teenage Girls and Their Friends

Over at Cartoon Brew there’s an article about two new animated TV series coming to The Disney Channel in 2019. They have some interesting things in common: Both feature teenage human females transported to an unearthly other realm, and both have been created by storyboard artists who worked on the wildly-popular series Gravity Falls. One is a bit anthro, and one is very anthro! The former would be Owl House, created by Dana Terrace. “The show follows Luz, a self-assured teenager who accidentally enters a portal to the Demon Realm where she befriends a rebellious witch, Eda, and a tiny warrrior, King. Though she lacks any magical abilities, Luz pursues her dream of becoming a witch by apprenticing with Eda, and ultimately finds a new family in an unlikely setting.” On the other paw (flipper?) there’s Amphibia, from Matt Braly. “The show tells the story of Anne Boonchuy, a self-centered teenager who is magically transported to the world of Amphibia, a rural marshland populated by frog-people. There she meets a young frog named Sprig, who will become Anne’s first true friend and help transform her into a hero.” Keep your ear-holes open for some more precise debut dates when we get them.

image c. 2018 Disney TV Animation

Two Brothers Make Comics

Bobby Timony (art) and his twin brother Peter Timony (writing) are the creators of Night Owls, an award-winning series from DC Comics that’s been available in print and on line since 2009. This Roaring-20’s-style adventure tells the story of two humans and a gargoyle who team up to solve supernatural mysteries. It features more than its fair share of non-human characters too, mind you. If you visit their web site (called, appropriately enough, Twin Comics) you’ll see much more of Bobby’s art and the brothers’ work on other comic series they offer on-line now. Among them Goblin Hood, Widdershins Wilderness Scouts, and (furriest of them all) McCool: Sheriff of Dogwood.

image c. 2018 twincomics.com

The Cop What Lurks

We can see how the pitch for this probably went: “HE is a hard-boiled New England cop… IT is a Cthullu-spawned horror… Together, they fight crime!” Actually, here’s what we got from Previews: “Artie Buckle is a grade ‘A’ schmuck. His excessive fondness for booze compliments his flash temper, but hold their feet to the fire, his fellow officers would agree: Artie is one helluva cop. He’s gonna need that scrap of goodwill because Brick City is under siege from its citizenry… and to top it off Artie’s been saddled with the city’s newest hero as his partner: A hideous, monstrous, but completely likable, extra-dimensional being named Vinegar Teeth. Can Artie pull his head out long enough to work together with a Lovecraftian monster with a heart of gold and set Brick City back on its feet?” Vinegar Teeth is a new 4-issue comic miniseries created by Damon Gentry and Troy Nixey. The first issue is out now from Dark Horse.

image c. 2018 Dark Horse Comics

Flora and Fauna, Mystery and Macabre

That’s how the artist known as Kiriska says it. On their web site they describe themselves as a “… Seattle-based artist specializing in surreal and macabre wildlife art, as well as monsters, creatures, and anime-inspired illustrations.” To that end they have t-shirts, prints, stickers, and other materials for sale through a variety of outlets like Redbubble, Inprnt, and Society 6.

image c. 2018 by Kiriska

Beware of the Werewolf Queen

From Previews: “Collected for the first time, The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen Vol. 1 picks up where the cult-classic 1981 film left off: Three weeks have passed since Chris Halloran revealed on national TV that werewolves walk among us. No one believed him. Now Marsha Quist has returned for revenge–and now there is no colony to hold back her blood lust. This collection includes The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen issues 1-4, and a cover gallery— featuring Bill Sienkiewicz’s supreme cover!” Written by Micky Neilson and with art by Jason Johnson and Milen Parvanov, it’s available now as a full-color trade paperback from Space Goat Publishing. [And with that, we’ll see you all after we get back from Further Confusion!]

image c. 2018 Space Goat

Share Your Sweets!

Sometimes you just gotta admit when other people say it better. This is direct from Comics Alliance: “Over the past few years Zac Gorman has made a name for himself paying tribute to his favorite video games with his comic Magical Game Time. This October the cartoonist will be spreading that same magic into his first graphic novel, Costume Quest: Invasion of the Candy Snatchers, a companion narrative to Double Fine’s 2010 Costume Quest RPG. While Costume Quest followed a human kid and their friends as they battled candy-stealing monsters called Grubbins to recover their kidnapped sibling from another dimension, Invasion of the Candy Snatchers will flip the script and see what the non-evil Grubbin Klem got up to that Halloween.” What he got up to, it seems, is joining up with some of his fellow young Grubbins to sneak into the human world and try and steal candy — for their own sugar-starved world. Costume Quest: Invasion of the Candy Snatchers is out now in trade paperback from Oni Press.

image c. 2018 Oni Press