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Pig

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

The Girl, and Her Pig

We simply can’t describe Amity Blamity any better than the publishers do: “Meet Gretchen & Chester. Gretchen is a shy 4 year old and Chester is a potbellied pig. They live with Gretchen’s Grandma and listless Uncle Downey in rural America.  Mistaking their afternoon activity of playing office for entrepreneurial gusto, Downey recruits the duo to assist in his deluded aspirations of running moonshine (echoing his boyhood heroes Bo & Luke Duke). Unbeknownst to the outlandish family and their activities, strange forest critters begin to lurk in the woods nearby, disrupting their quirky daily life and sending them on an adventure to save their degenerate Uncle from a strange genetic mutation!” Got that? Now Slave Labor Graphics have published Mike White’s black & white on-line comic strip story (so far) as a single soft-cover trade paperback. Check it out (including a YouTube trailer) at SLG’s web site, and see the comic itself (including more full-color “Sundays”) at the official Blogspot.

image c. 2015 by Mike White

image c. 2015 by Mike White

Pigs Take Wing

Next year, the pigs come to power! Or at least, they take a crack at it… again. “In a dark, oppressive future, pig-men work tirelessly as the slaves of human masters, feeding a society they cannot fathom. When Oink realizes that the dogma being forced on them is all lies, he undertakes a path of revenge and revelation.” Written and illustrated by John Mueller, OINK: Heaven’s Butcher is celebrating its 20th anniversary with new sequences and a new paint job in this new trade paperback from Dark Horse Press. Over at Comic Book Resources they have more: “Influenced by George Orwell, Pink Floyd, and Simon Bisley, among others, OINK debuted in 1995 from Kitchen Sink Press, telling the dystopian story of pig-men who work as slaves to feed their human masters. But when Oink witnesses the execution of one of his comrades, he violently rebels and sets out on a quest for the truth about the creation of his race and revenge against its oppressors.” Check out the preview images too — and look for the graphic novel in February.

image c. 2014 Dark Horse Press

image c. 2014 Dark Horse Press

Power Pig!

Brand new from Previews: “Tom Arvis’ legendary hero and indie favorite Mercenary Pig is now presented in one complete, full color volume! A walking, talking, thinking, humanoid pig takes on animal cruelty, genetically modified pigs, and, ultimately, an evil food conglomerate, in this pork-humor filled, action packed origin story! New material wraps up the entire Meatcutter story arc in these 48 pages, as Percy the pig begins his guerrilla fight for animal rights – with his fists!” We don’t make this stuff up folks — if we did, we’d get paid more! Mercenary Pig #1 is available this April from Aazurn Publishing. Check out the preview video on YouTube, too.

image c. 2014 Aazurn Publishing

image c. 2014 Aazurn Publishing