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on-line comics

What Did YOU Do During COVID?

One thing that definitely happened during the COVID lock-downs was that on-line comic artists got real busy. Among them was Alex Graham, creator of Dog Biscuits, a slice-of-life underground funny animal comic. Now Fantagraphics have brought together many the on-line black & white pages in a single hardcover graphic novel. “It’s July 2020 in Seattle. Gussy struggles to keep his dog biscuit boutique afloat while a global pandemic rages unchecked. The loneliness of lockdown and social distancing drives his employee Rosie to betray her principles. Rosie’s roommate Hissy is at a personal crossroads. A love triangle emerges as they find themselves tangled in a web of police brutality, protests, drugs, dating apps and COVID chaos. Taking place over the course of just a few days, this is a snapshot of humanity — okay, animals — in crisis.” The Observer has a detailed review with lots of sample artwork as well.

image c. 2022 Fantagraphics

The Fox of the Case

More recent news from Animation World Network: “King Features Syndicate announced development of a new animated film inspired by interactive children’s comic strip, Slylock Fox… The film will follow the Sherlock-Holmes-esque detective Slylock Fox and his devoted sidekick, Max Mouse, as they match wits against a cast of eccentric villains. Evan Daugherty, writer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, and Snow White and the Huntsman, has signed on to write and produce the film, with art direction provided by Chromosphere design and animation studio… The popular interactive comic strip Slylock Fox teaches young readers about interesting topics, encouraging them to use facts, logic, attention to visual detail, lateral thinking, and other cognitive thinking skills to solve fun, puzzling mysteries.” You may recall that King Features recently gave us The Cuphead Show!, which has been streaming on Netflix.

image c. 2022 King Features Syndicate

Feline Fluency

We had not heard of the on-line comic How To Speak Cat, but now it’s available in a new book, How To Speak Cat: Fake Mews. “Not sure what your cat is trying to tell you? Learn To Speak Cat is the book for you. Have a friend who’s potty about their moggy? Learn To Speak Cat is the perfect book for them. Anthony Smith has been translating cat-speak for years, both as a long-running cartoon in The Metro and as a webcomic. Read, laugh and wonder no more what Tiddles has been trying to tell you!” Meow. From Soaring Penguin Press.

image c. 2022 Soaring Penguin Press

The Skate Blade Cuts Both Ways

The things we find at conventions! Things like Blades of Furry, a web toon available on line right now. It’s brought to us by Deya Muniz and Emily Erdos. “Emile is an up-and-coming skater in the beloved sport of Skate Battles, a high-stakes combo of figure skating and martial arts. Radu is a well-known senior skater and several time champ with the world at his feet. However, during an ill-fated match between the two, Emile discovers Radu’s secret, which could threaten to destroy him. Will Emile keep his secret? Or could this rivalry turn into something more…?” Check out the official web site, check out the trailer on YouTube, and check out the review over at Bookstr.

image c. 2021 Muniz/Erdos

Not Actually A Cat At All

No, honestly, we’re not off on a feline kick! It just that a lot of the stuff we’re finding is… Like most any serious Marvel fan will tell you, a flerken is not a cat — even if they look very much like one. Well thanks to Nao Fuji, everyone’s favorite flerken has her own comic strip, Marvel Meow. “Join Captain Marvel’s pet, Chewie, as she wreaks havoc in the lives of Marvel’s most popular characters! Gain a new perspective on beloved favorites such as Spider-Man and Iron Man, formidable villains including Thanos and Galactus, and antiheroes like Deadpool, as they all become the playthings of this capricious ‘cat’ creature. Originally shared on Marvel’s official Instagram, these comic strips have been collected with all-new content into a gift book that will delight Marvel and cat enthusiasts alike!” Look (out) for it now from Viz Media.

image c. 2021 Viz Media

Princess Kitty in Motion

We just got this in from the creator himself, Charles Brubaker: He recently released Katrina The Fuzzy Princess, an 18-minute animated short based on his web comic The Fuzzy Princess. It’s available to see up on YouTube now. “The short focuses on Katrina, a feline princess of St. Paws, who goes on a diplomatic mission to gain alliance with the humans, only to get into misadventures along the way.” Vocal talent includes Emi Koch, Aimee Smith, Ty Konzak, Nyla C., Brittany Ann Phillips, and Michael Malconian.

image c. 2021 by Charles Brubaker

For Anyone Who’s Been Had by a Dog

Another popular web comic gets put together on dead trees for you! This time it’s Living With Mochi. “When architect-turned-cartoonist Gemma Gené first met her pet pug, Mochi, she felt as if time stopped. This dramatic moment and her adoring relationship with the rambunctious pug led her to begin chronicling her adventures with Mochi in a series of incredibly cute web comics that have gained a social media following of half a million loyal readers. The comics chronicle Mochi’s life from puppyhood to adulthood, featuring Mochi’s unrequited dog friendships, his jealousy of his two dog-brothers, and his love of food. Readers and dog parents will love this humorous tale of a sincerely loyal friendship between one grumpy pug and his adoring owner.” Full color, it’s available now in paperback from Andrews McMeel.

image c. 2021 Andrews McMeel

Dogs of the West

No North is a brand new web comic that’s just getting started. It’s written and illustrated by the animator Raquel Simoso, also known as Skailla. There’s a preview video over on YouTube, along with several of Skailla’s other projects. No North is Old West adventure, mystery, and magic — with dogs! “Inspired by classic animal fables, traditionally animated movies, and every old west adventure you can imagine, this story came to life with the support of fans from around the world.” Take a look over at the official web site.

image c. 2021 by Raquel Simoso

Bearing Arms

We’re sorry we didn’t hear about Rudek and the Bear before — but now creator Peter Donahue has a Kickstarter campaign running to get the second collection volume out, and it looks very interesting. “Rudek and the Bear is a webcomic featuring anthropomorphic soldiers and smugglers and their shenanigans along the Polish-Soviet border in 1929… Since Volume I came out, the story and characters have evolved so much. Rudek the fox faces his PTSD from the Polish-Ukrainian War; Masha the bear grapples with the moral consequences of smuggling stolen goods; and Malutki (the big bear) chooses which side he’s on.” The campaign has already reached its initial goal, so stay tuned to find out what stretches get added between now and the finish.

image c. 2021 by Peter Donahue