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Monsters

It’s Good To Have A Friend

And more, this time from both Animation Magazine and Variety: “Russia’s animation powerhouse Riki Group has teamed up with New York’s 3 Beep to work on the upcoming CG-animated feature My Friend Finnick. The comedy, which was presented at Cartoon Movie this year, follows the adventures of a ten-year-old American girl who moves with her family to Scotland and befriends a Finn, a magical and mischievous spirit who lives in her new house. When the young girl goes missing. the Finn sets out to rescue her, but in doing so he puts himself in danger. The movie, which is budgeted at $7 million, is in development, and is due to be released in 2020. It is being directed by Riki’s Denis Chernov (Kikoriki movies) and written by Chernov, Tatyana Belova and 3 Beep’s Tim Werenko (Pokemon, The Winx Club, Snow Queen 3).” Fortunately for us, Riki Group has been getting better at securing distribution in North America.

image c. 2018 Riki Group

Life is Hard and Then You Die

Thanks to a friend we came across The Gnoll Credo, a novel by J. Stanton. Here’s what the author has to say about it: “There are no such things as gnolls, they never kill and eat people, and they can’t read or write — much less write something so stark, so raw, so beautifully bleak. Right? Because if there were, someone might have risked a violent and painful death to find them, study them, and bring back this book. Then you might read it.” So here is a story about someone from the outside world visiting these famously ruthless giant hyena-like warriors… and learning more about them they either side ever thought possible. You can find the book in paperback over at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2018 Forgotten Realms

The Little Creatures Don’t Know They’re Ugly

Looks like the popularity of the Uglydolls plush toy line continues to grow. After a graphic novel series several years ago, now there’s a new TV series in production for the Hulu network. According to an article at Deadline, STX will be producing the TV series and also has exclusive rights to the feature film which is also in production (and has been for some time). “Created as a plush toy line by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, the Uglydoll brand quickly gained a cult following around the world and was named Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association in 2006. Uglydoll characters are distinct for their endearing ‘ugliness’, in a wonderful ‘uglyverse’ where differences are celebrated and embraced.” Look for both the feature and the series in 2019.

image c. 2018 STX

All the Sweet Little Monsters

Back from San Diego Comic Con, and of course there’s a lot to talk about. We came across Hazy Dell Press, the home of Kyle and Derek Sullivan and their illustrated children’s books all about famous monsters — featuring titles like Get Dressed, Sasquatch!, Good Night Krampus, and their latest, Don’t Eat Me, Chupacabra! Their colorful and whimsical monster designs are also available on greeting cards, t-shirts, and various other goodies.  Find it all at their web site.

image c. 2018 Hazy Dell Press

Fabulous Werewolf

We haven’t heard of Flying Bark Productions before, but according to Animation World Network it sounds like we should start paying attention to them! The studio is hard at work on a CGI feature film called 100% Wolf, which they plan to follow with a TV series of the same name immediately after.  The plot? “Lovers of surreal, laugh-out-loud animation should enjoy this comedy series about Freddy Lupin, an 11-year-old boy set to turn into a werewolf, just like everyone else in his family. But things don’t go as planned when Freddy turns into an adorable poodle instead.” Got that? Interesting thing is the feature and series are based on a popular Australian children’s novel by Jayne Lyons. No word yet on distribution, but the film and series are scheduled to be complete in 2019.

image c. 2018 Flying Bark Productions

Plushies to the Rescue!

Here’s a new one-shot full-color comic book from Alterna Comics: The Fear Diaries.A dangerous threat to children across the world has returned. In the depths of The Nightmare Realm, The Dark Mistress has bode her time, waiting for the right moment to strike. Theodore Bearsly and his ragtag team of stuffed heroes face the greatest battle yet as they encounter The Dark Mistress’ army of evil toys who will stop at nothing to collect the fear of every child on earth.” Written by Garrett Gunn and illustrated by Jim Callahan, Ulises Grostieta, and Nicolas Touris, this new compilation brings together issues #1 – #3 of the original comic from last year. Check out the reviews over at Comic Book Round Up.

image c. 2018 Alterna Comics

Guys, Leave These Ladies ALONE!

Previews made us aware of a new comic series from Image called Maneaters, written by Chelsea Cain. In an interview, here’s how she describes it: “Maneaters is a monster story about women who turn into ferocious killer wildcats when they get their periods. They are very scary and dangerous and extremely grumpy. Naturally their unprovoked attacks cause a great deal of societal consternation, and measures are taken to help the women control themselves.” Got that? With art by Kate Niemczyk and Rachelle Rosenberg, the first issue pounces on the shelves in September.

image c. 2018 Image Comics

The Pearl of Animation

There’s a lengthy article over at Animation World Network about a presentation at this year’s Annecy Festival by Pearl Studios from China. Formerly known as Oriental Dreamworks (they helped to finish the animation on Kung Fu Panda 3), the newly-christened Pearl Studios have struck out on their own with several animated feature films in production — and some of them of note to Furry Fans. First up is Abominable (formerly Everest), a co-production with Dreamworks that’s directed by Jill Culton. According to Pearl, “Abominable stars Everest, a 2,000-pound yeti who is curious and playful.” And who communicates without words, it seems. (Yes, it does sound like a more serious version of Warner Bros’ upcoming yeti film Smallfoot.) Also on board is director Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) who is hard at work on an animated feature about the legendary Monkey King — a subject that he’s visited before in live action fantasy films. And further back in the pipeline are films like Tiger Empress (“… the story of a young tigress who grows from the obedient daughter of a Tiger Mom into a transformational leader when a prophecy convinces her that she’s the only one who can save their kingdom”) and Illumikitty (“… an irreverent comedy about the ultimate cat-astrophe: A feline plot for world domination”). You heard it here first.

image c. 2018 by Mochi

Werewolf Minds and Werewolf Hearts

Interlude Press is a boutique publisher specializing in fiction geared toward the LGBT crowd and their friends and allies. While visiting their booth at the LA Times Festival of Books we came across the works of Michelle Osgood.  Her talent is dark supernatural fantasies with more than a touch of romance — and her favorite subject seems to be werewolves. Here’s the press release for The Better To Kiss You With, the first book in her series of the same name: “In the rare moments when Deanna Scott isn’t working as the moderator for Wolf’s Run, an online werewolf role-playing game, she wanders the local forest trails with her golden retriever, Arthur, and daydreams about Jaime, the attractive, enigmatic woman who lives upstairs. As Wolf Run’s “den mother,” Deanna is accustomed to petty online drama. But when threats from an antagonistic player escalate, Deanna wonders if her awesome online job could be riskier than she’d ever imagined — and if her new girlfriend knows more about this community than she had realized.”  The next two books in the series are Huntsmen and Moon Illusion.

image c. 2018 Interlude Press