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Anything Can Happen — and It Usually Does

Gustav and Henri is a new graphic novel series for younger readers, written by Andy Matthews and illustrated by Peader Thomas. The first paperback volume is called Space Time Cake! No really. “Gustav is a goofy, optimistic and naively enthusiastic pig. Henri is a grounded, pragmatic and quietly sceptical dog. They are as drawn to each other as they are to the weird and ridiculous. Which is a lot. Whether it’s venturing into space to find a lost shuttlecock, or shrinking to the size of microbes to fight a cold, Gustav and Henri are always up for a madcap adventure, so long as they have each other.” Check out their web site too.

image c. 2023 Red Comet Press

Animated Animal Farm — Sort Of

Andy Serkis is a well-known actor, both in front of the camera and… behind the animation, as one of the world’s most famous motion-capture models. You’ve seen the results of his work as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and also in movies like King Kong and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Now Cartoon Brew has passed along the word the Mr. Serkis is looking to direct his own feature film — and wouldn’t you know it, he plans to do it using mo-cap! George Orwell’s famous allegorical fantasy Animal Farm has been filmed before of course, via traditional animation and also puppetry.  Now Mr. Serkis has bought the rights to the story and has it currently in development, hoping to direct the film himself. No word yet on a projected release date, but Mr. Serkis is currently working on a “proof of concept” short film to help him secure financing.

image c. 2012 Cartoon Brew

Bride of Porkula

Look, it’s probably better if we just let the creators describe this one: “Virginia Hamm along with friends Herford Bovis and Bill E. Goat travel to Porksilvania to claim the estate of her late uncle, Otto McMonster. Little does our trio know that they must survive the likes of Count Porkula, Beefenstein, Mr. Gruff and a host of other ghosts and ghouls to bring home the bacon!” Got it? Old McMonster’s Haunted Farm was created by Brent E. Erwin, and this first full-color 48-page graphic novel in the series, Bride of Porkula, was written and illustrated by Jay Fosgitt. Ape Entertainment will be releasing it on the world this October — and if none of this makes sense to you, then check out the preview on their web site. Blah! Blah!

image c. 2012 Ape Entertainment

Angry Birds on Paper

If you’re not busy flinging feathered folk at pig castles, you might check out these new Angry Birds tie-in books (from, of course). How best to describe Angry Birds: Bad Piggies’ Egg Recipes? Here, we’ll let them do it: “Be a pig for a day, no worries in the world, no Angry Birds trying to knock you down. The kitchen is your pigpen and life’s good! So go ‘head, crack an egg or two and fling your awesome self to new levels of egg-cellence with these easy and fuss-free (for the most part) recipes, addictively fun activities and impressive party moves. From the classics to off the wall, these top-secret egg recipes will fill your tummy and tickle your brain!” You heard ’em. Also available are the Angry Birds Big Red Doodle Book and Angry Birds Big Green Doodle Book, filled with fun drawing activities for Angry Birds fans of all ages.

image c. 2012 Rovio Entertainment

Amity Blamity

Now how could you miss a title like that? What is it? A new black & white graphic novel written and illustrated by Mike White, coming this May from Slave Labor Graphics. Here’s the publisher’s press release: “Meet Gretchen & Chester. Gretchen is a shy 4 year old girl and Chester is a talking 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’. 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!” You read it here folks. Amity Blamity, in softcover this May. Yep.

Spider Pig, Spider Pig…

And here YOU all thought Homer Simpson invented Spider Pig! Well, the folks at Marvel Comics have decided to clear things up (?) with the release of The Spider Ham 25th Anniversary Special. Here’s the press-release for this upcoming full-color one-shot: “Written by Tom Defalco and Tom Peyer; penciled by Jacob Chabot, Agnes Garbowska, and Adam Dekraker; cover by Joe Jusko. When J. Jonah Jackal, Mary Crane, and Pete’s beloved Aunt May are kidnapped on his 25th birthday, Spider-Ham must battle Doctor Octopuss and the Swinester Six! Six-to-one odds? Don’t get your tail in a bunch — when the slop’s on, this pig throws down — and Tom DeFalco & Jacob Chabot (X-Babies) are there to bring it to you. Then, take a look into the many possible fates of Spider-Ham as the Assistant Watcher answer the questions you never really thought about in Marvel: Why Not? – a six page Spider-Ham Extravaganza by Tom Peyer (Amazing Spider-Man) and Agnes Garbowska (Girl Comics). Finally, in the not too distant future, Swiney-Girl, the daughter of Spider-Ham, returns to face down Crayfin’s Last Bunt! by Tom Defalco and Adam DeKraker (Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution)”. You read it here, people. Look for all the fun coming your way in June.

B. B. Wolf and the 3 LP’s

Rich Koslowski (creator of the Ursa Major-nominated graphic novel Three Fingers) has returned with writer J.D. Arnold to bring us B.B. Wolf and the 3 Lp’s, a new black & white hardcover graphic novel coming this May from Top Shelf. Here’s the press release from “B.B.’s life seemed simple: farmer and family man by day, blues musician by night, and a drinker of fine spirits at any hour. But his fragile world comes crashing down when the LPs decide to take his land by any means possible. When all is lost, B.B. lashes out, setting into motion acts of revenge that only a big bad wolf could unleash. Set in the Mississippi Delta of the 1920s, B.B. Wolf & the 3 LP’s is a classic story of racism, murder, revenge, and music, all wrapped up in the clever re-telling of a timeless fairy tale.”