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Monsters

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

Tiger Like A Tank

Later this month, Magnetic Press will be releasing the next installment of the Klaw series entitled Klaw: The Second Cycle. Once again it’s a hardcover graphic novel written by Antoine Ozanam and illustrated by Joël Jurion. As you may recall, in the first issue of Klaw we met young Angel Tomassini, who discovers several scary things at once: When he’s angry he turns into an anthro-tiger, and his father is a vicious crime boss, and there is a whole society of were-creatures who do not always have each others’ best interests at heart. And now: “The second volume in the series follows Angel and his girlfriend Lisa as they flee across the globe from the many dangerous forces that would steal their were-animal spirit for their own nefarious, criminal use.  As if spotting and defending themselves from these hidden enemies isn’t hard enough, they also have to keep their own delicate control of their powers in check… innocent lives can get caught in the crossfire, and all the power in the world is useless if you can’t protect your friends and loved ones…” Check out the preview pages.

image c. 2017 Magnetic Press

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And Speaking of Wolves…

We got this direct from Anime News Network. Seven Seas Entertainment have licensed Spica Aoki’s fantasy manga series Beasts of Abigaile for distribution in North America. Here’s what the publishers say: “Beasts of Abigaile follows a young woman’s fantastical adventures in the mythical country of Ruberia—and all the trials, tribulations, and attractive half-beast people that come with it! In this exciting new series loosely inspired by the classic fable of Little Red Riding Hood, readers will embark on a beautifully-illustrated journey of magical adventure and romance. Tsukishiro Nina has just arrived in the beautiful country of Ruberia, and its charming denizens and lush scenery are like a fairy tale come true. That is until she’s beset by a mysterious young man with a steely gaze and furry wolf ears—who promptly bites her! Nina finds herself turning into one of these beasts of legend, and whisked away to the prison of Abigaile where all their kind are sent. Nina must keep her wits about her if she’s to learn the secrets of this magical world where everyone either makes her blood boil or her young heart race!” Look for it to be released in black & white this June.

image c. 2017 Seven Seas Entertainment

Monster in the Mountains

Recently, Netflix released a teaser trailer for OKJA, an upcoming film that (we will admit) caught us by surprise! Directed by Bong Joon-Ho (Snowpiercer) and starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film tells the story of a young Korean girl named Mija who befriends a monstrous creature– the result of a genetic experiment that has produced a being “somewhere between human and animal”. We only catch a glimpse of OKJA from the trailer, but already horror and fantasy fans are buzzing. Look for OKJA this June on Netflix.

image c. 2017 Netflix

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Wolf vs. Monsters. Bet on the Wolf.

The on-line comic Hunters of Salamanstra spent years on Keenspot building up a following. Now Keenspot has seen fit to finally bring out a black & white comic book version. “In the Kingdom of Salamanstra, monsters are real, and hunting them is the world’s greatest thrill. One famous hunter, The White Wolf, is not afraid to risk her life for a cause she believes in. Adrien wants to help her fight, but he has a promise to keep. A promise that could ensure the survival of The White Wolf’s fight, should she fail.” Look for issue #0 of this manga-style comic by John Joseco to arrive soon, followed by regular issues starting up in June.

image c. 2016 Keenspot Entertainment

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