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Pig

Little Fox went out with a Pig in tow…

Something that slipped by us last summer, but were happy to catch up with it now, thanks to Boom! Studios’ Kaboom! imprint: Ruinworld. “Writer/Artist Derek Laufman (Adventure Time Comics) brings his worldwide hit digital comics series to life at BOOM! Studios. Intrepid adventurers Pogo and Rex are on a quest for fame and fortune. Their discovery of a special map leads them on an epic journey through dangers, demons and old enemies. Just one problem-they’ve already lost the map.” Check out the preview and interviews over at Boom!

image c. 2018 Boom! Studios

Keeping The Fog At Bay

Animation World Network recently published an article of interest to fans of traditional 2D animation — and funny animals. Tonko House has released a full episode of its new series Pig: The Dam Keeper Poems on-line for a limited time. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, here’s this: “Previously only available in Japan via production partner Hulu, The Dam Keeper Poems is based on the studio’s 2014 Oscar-nominated short film The Dam Keeper. Directed by former Pixar artists Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, The Dam Keeper tells the story of Pig, an introverted youth who lives in a windmill and keeps a dark fog from engulfing his town. Although socially rejected by his peers, he is befriended by the artistic Fox. The Dam Keeper Poems is a 10-episode series written and directed by Tonko House’s Erick Oh, who also served as Animation Supervisor of the original short film. Seen through Pig’s youthful perspective, with abstract and surreal visuals, the dialog-free series is centered around the friendship between Pig and Fox as Pig remembers how he became the Dam Keeper.” There’s a link in the article, but remember this is only available for a short while.

image c. 2018 Tonko House

It’s Dangerous for a Pig to Dream

Here’s another one that Previews alerted us to: Unnatural is a hit full-color comic series in Italy, and now Image Comics is about to unleash it on North America. “Leslie is a simple pig girl. She loves sushi, she’s stuck with a job she hates, and she lives under a brutal totalitarian government – one that punishes transgressors for anything deemed ‘unnatural’. Leslie dreams of something different for herself. But those dreams are becoming dangerous…” Interestingly, writer and artist Mirka Andolfo says that none other than Omaha the Cat Dancer (by the great Reed Waller and the late Kate Worley) served as an inspiration for this series. Look for it soon in stores.

image c. 2018 Image Comics

Look At Th-Th-This!

We got this over at Animation Scoop: “Warner Archives has announced today the September 19th release for Porky Pig 101 – a unique 5-disc DVD set that collects 99 black-and-white Looney Tunes (and two Technicolor Merrie Melodies) starring Warner Bros. first cartoon superstar. The set includes cartoons dating from 1935 (with Porky’s first appearance in Friz Freleng’s I Haven’t Got A Hat) through 1943 (in Frank Tashlin’s Porky Pig’s Feat), presented in original release order. There is audio commentary on key cartoons from animation historians Greg Ford, Michael Barrier, Jerry Beck, and Mark Kausler, among others.” All these years, and still no pants…

image c. 2017 Warner Archives

Talk About Pigs on the Wing…!

Nick Abadzis (Laika) has returned. He’s written a new full-color graphic novel, illustrated by Jerel Dye, called Pigs Might Fly. “All the sensible hogfolk in Pigdom Plains know that if pigs were meant to fly, they’d have been born with wings―but there’s no convincing Lily Leanchops. The daughter of renowned inventor Hercules Fatchops, Lily has watched her father’s flying machines fail time and time again. Working in secret, Lily is trying to build what her father couldn’t: an aircraft that actually works. And of course, she’s following his example and employing scientific principals alone―not magic. (Well, a protection spell or two doesn’t count, right?) Lily’s secret project takes on a new sense of urgency when a mysterious enemy emerges from beyond the mountains. The Warthogs are coming, and they’re piloting flying machines powered by dangerous magic spells. To save Pigdom Plains, Lily must take to the skies in her own experimental aircraft ― and there’s no time for a test run.” It’s available now from First Second. There’s an extensive preview over at Bleeding Cool.

image c. 2017 First Second

The Pig of Destiny

And more stuff from Kingpin Books — this time something much much stranger called Ultra Pig Nipponic Roulette. It’s written by Mario Freitas and illustrated by Osvaldo Medina and Marta Lebre. Here’s what the publishers say, verbatim: “October 10, 1978. During the twinning cerimony between the Portuguese city of Aveiro and the Japanese city of Oita, the young Ultra Pig is kidnapped by three local businessmen and used as currency in a nefarious partnership with high-ranking officers of the Yakuza. Fearing for his son’s life, the illustrious Calouste Pig risks to face alone the bizarre joint-venture, but ends up getting caught in a very unusual sort of roulette. A very bizarre and very deadly game of roulette, like something out of a Tintin book, but on a cocktail of Manga influences and a ton of crazy.” It’s also coming this December in hardcover, says Previews.

image c. 2017 Kingpin Books

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Animals Along for the Ride

When anthropomorphic characters aren’t the star of the show, the most common place to find them is as a human character’s sidekick. Such is the case with two more pre-school animated TV series on their way to Netflix in the near future. First up there’s Kazoops (from Cheeky Little studio) in 2016, which “…follows the inquisitive young boy Monty and his best friend, a pig named Jimmy Jones, as they seek answers to the questions children routinely ask about everyday life.” There’s a teaser trailer over at Cartoon Brew. Then in 2017 look for True & the Rainbow Kingdom from Guru Studio: It stars a young girl who “…with the help of her best friend Bartleby the cat navigates the magical Rainbow Kingdom using her creativity and ingenuity in search of harmony and love for all.”

image c. Cheeky Little

image c. Cheeky Little

The Return of Pig and Fox

Besides the Oscar-winning animated short film Feast, one of the animated shorts that was making a whole lot of buzz during awards season was called The Dam Keeper. Here’s the description from Wikipedia: ” It tells the story of Pig, an introverted youth who lives in a windmill and keeps a dark fog from engulfing his town. Although socially rejected by his peers, he is befriended by the artistic Fox.” The Dam Keeper was directed by Robert Kondo and Daisuke Tsutsumi, both art directors at Pixar (they worked together on Monsters University). Now comes this bit of news from Cartoon Brew: “Tonko House, the studio founded by former Pixar art directors Robert Kondo and Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi, is developing a feature film based on their Academy Award-nominated short The Dam Keeper. The announcement was made along with the news that Tonko House is partnering with First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan, to expand their short into a graphic novel series. The first book in The Dam Keeper graphic novel series will be released in 2016, picking up the narrative some years after the original story of the orphaned Pig and his quest to maintain the town dam. It will address two questions unanswered in the film: what happened to Pig’s parents, and how did his world come to be at the mercy of a dark cloud? ” No more details yet about a release date for the feature film, but the animation community will be watching closely.

image c. 2015 Tonko House

image c. 2015 Tonko House

And Then MORE Monkeys in Space

Toonbox Entertainment (the folks who last year brought us The Nut Job) are starting to look as if they have a particular interest in furry characters. They’re hard at work on The Nut Job 2, but in the interim comes the announcement of Spark, a space adventure film currently in production and scheduled for release in 2016. Here’s what we got from ComingSoon.net: “Spark follows a teenage monkey Spark, voiced by Jace Norman (Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger), and his friends Vix, a battle-ready fox voiced by Jessica Biel, and Chunk, a tech-savvy warthog, as they embark on a mission to take back the besieged planet Bana from the power-mad General Zhong. Spark’s dangerous odyssey leads him to the farthest reaches of the universe, and to the secret of his true identity, with characters like the comically forgetful nanny robot Bananny, voiced by Susan Sarandon, and the noble, self-sacrificing Queen, voiced by Hilary Swank by his side.” Spark is being directed by Aaron Woodley. The film already has an official web site and also its own Facebook page.

image c. 2015 Toonbox Entertainment

image c. 2015 Toonbox Entertainment