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Monsters

These Bones Won’t Stay Buried!

Okay, now here’s something very much different: Dead of Winter, a new full-color miniseries from Oni Press. According to Geek.com, it’s like this: “In the pantheon of heroes, none are more lovable and loyal than everyone’s beloved good ol’ dog, Sparky. Surviving in the wintery apocalypse of the undead, this former TV star 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 not yet undead? Oni Press brings us a new kind of zombie apocalypse with Dead of Winter #1, a comic adapted from the table top game, Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, designed by Isaac Vega and Jon Gilmour for Plaid Hat Games.” You heard it here. The comic is written by Kyle Starks and illustrated by Gabriel “Gabo” Bautista. Look for it now — before they get you!

image c. 2017 Oni Press

Creatures Both Strange and Fantastic

Shreya Shetty (try saying that three times fast!) is an illustrator and concept artist with a history in Hollywood productions. She has worked for companies like Rhythm & Hues, Wizards of the Coast, and Toon Studios on projects as diverse as Life of Pi, Dreamworks’ Home, and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. At her web site you’ll see many of her finished paintings of magical monsters and some cute familiar creatures, many of which she also sells as prints.

image c. 2017 by Shreya Shetty

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Werewolf in the Night, Exchanging Glances…

Lady writers, werewolves, hot and steamy romance… What can we say? It’s a thing. At Comic Con we discovered G.L. Carriger and her new work The Sumage Solution, the first book in the San Andreas Shifters series. “Max fails everything – magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing. Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.” Her official web site has more on how to order this book and the new prequel Marine Biology.

image c. 2017 Gail Carriger LLC

Boxing Monsters

At Comic Con we came across Marcus L. Lukusa, a martial arts champion and (nowadays) fantasy author from the Democratic Republic of Congo. His first work in his new Kazungul series has the quite-a-mouthful title of Kazungul: Blood Ties – Awakening of the Ancestral Curse. “My name is Raymond. Until recently I was just a normal boy. Well, besides the fact that I grew up wearing a copper bracelet and a malachite collar. When I moved to Johannesburg though, everything changed. I found out that I had a dark side and that I had enemies. Enemies that wanted to destroy me and others like me. I need to find a way to stop them. I need to get control of my dark side.” In so doing, Raymond takes up boxing — which leads to his transformation into Kazungul, a giant winged wolf-like creature. “In a universe filled with war and mystical creatures, Raymond embarks on a journey to discover his true identity and to tame his dark side. During his journey he meets a mermaid, gets tangled up in a love triangle, is taken prisoner, finds his ancestors, and is dragged into the worst war the universe has ever seen: The war of Gog and Magog.” Find out more at Amazon.

image c. 2017 PartridgeAfrica

 

Just Out of Sight…

Yet another Comic Con discovery. The creators themselves explain this one best: “Thimblestump Hollow looks like any normal slice of the natural world – in fact, it may be in your own yard, at the end of your street, or in that forgotten corner by the grocery store where that patch of weeds is growing. The creatures of Thimblestump Hollow inhabit these places, asking us to pause for a second and consider what worlds could be just beyond our notice, if we would only stop and look. The Thimblestump Hollow vinyl blindboxed toy line is based on characters created by artists Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd, and produced by Cardboard Spaceship Toys.  Initially developed in 2014, it debuted at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con, and has since sold tens of thousands of pieces worldwide online, as well as through brick and mortar retailer outlets such as Hot Topic.” You can visit their web site to see the full line they’ have so far.

image c. 2017 Cardboard Spaceship Toys

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Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Mexico’s Anima Estudio have been mentioned around here before, most recently for their upcoming animated feature based on the 1960’s TV animation oddity Here Comes the Grump. In the meantime, they’ve completed work on another CGI feature called Monster Island, set to be released soon direct to DVD. “When Lucas finds out he is not really a human, but actually a monster, the news changes his whole world! Embarking on a quest to Monster Island to discover his real roots, Lucas undergoes a journey he will never forget. He finds himself face to face with more tentacles, fangs and far-out situations than he can shake one of his new wings at. Ultimately Lucas learns that being a freak, isn’t freaky — it means you’re a member of a brand new type of family that you can proudly call your own.” The film is directed by Leopoldo Aguilar, and it features the voices of Fiona Hardingham, Katie Leigh (Gummi Bears), Jenifer Kaplan, Erik Larsen, and Michael Robles. Amazon says to look for it this September.

image c. 2017 Anima Estudio

It’s Time to Night the Nights

Back from Comic Con, with lots to talk about. So why not start off with something delightfully odd? This fall, the Muppets return in a new illustrated book, Muppets Meet The Classics: The Phantom Of The Opera. Seriously. “This classic tale of love, intrigue, and jealousy at the Paris Opera House, which has thrilled readers, musical lovers, and movie goers for more than a century, has now been reimagined with the cast of the Muppets. Readers will gasp, cry, laugh, and laugh again as Kermit (as Raoul), Miss Piggy (as Christine), Uncle Deadly (as the phantom), and the chickens (as the ballet corps) give a whole new meaning to the word classic.” You read it here. Gaston LeRoux’s famous work has been adapted for the Muppets by Erik Forrest Jackson, and it’s illustrated by Owen Richardson. Look for it in paperback this October.

image c. 2017 Penguin Workshop

Monsters Are Here To Save You

Whoops! Another one slipped under the radar we should mention. Marvel Comics have re-invented one of their classic titles with the return of Monsters Unleashed — new for 2017. “The first fantastic issue of Marvel’s newest heroes! From acclaimed writer Cullen Bunn, known for his work on Deadpool, Uncanny X-Men, and more, comes a high-action sci-fi series centered on a team of monstrous and monstrously massive do-gooders including Kid Kaiju, Aegis, Slizzik, Scragg, Hi-Vo, and Mekara. Now teaming up with vampire-hunter Elsa Bloodstone, the series unfolds as the team takes on gargantuan creatures and protects the planet from ruin and disaster. However, can they be accepted by the rest of the Marvel Universe and allowed to help, or will they be deemed dangerous as well?” With interior art by David Baldeon, they’re already up to issue #3. Marvel has a preview on line.

image c. 2017 Marvel Comics

Monsters of War

Whoops! Another, more-recent one that passed us by — and once again it’s about werewolves. Namwolf is a new full-color comic series from Albatross Funnybooks. “When scrawny Marty Spencer is drafted into the Vietnam War, he finds himself smack dab in the middle of the heart of darkness. But Marty has a secret. A secret even from himself. And Vietnam is a hell of a place to find out you’re a werewolf.” It’s written by Fabian Rangel Jr., with art by Logan Faerber. Three issues are out so far, and Comixology has a preview of each.

image c. 2017 Albatross