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Rabbit

Bad, Bad Bunny

And more dark stuff from the Long Beach Comic Expo. Remember when we talked about the graphic novel Wretched Things? Well it turns out that the publisher, Source Point Press, has another creepy anthropomorphic title in their crop: Rottentail. “This deranged graphic novel comes straight from the minds and hands of David C. Hayes, Kevin Moyers, Kurt Belcher, and Henrik Horvath. Geeky fertility researcher Peter Cotton is bitten by a mutant rabbit and changes into the half-man/half-bunny Rottentail. What’s a boy to do? Why, take a hippity, hoppity trip home of course! Peter begins a bloody killing spree of revenge that culminates in his childhood hometown of Easter Falls.” Ready for this? Rottentail has even been made into a film!

image c. 2019 Source Point Press

Bunnies Who Are Bent

We came across this new 6-issue comic mini-series at a bookstore! “Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits is in danger. Run by the titular Agatha and her niece, Julie, this peculiar shelter cares for damaged and dysfunctional rabbits — and now it’s being threatened by a wealthy businessman who will stop at nothing to tear it down.” Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits is also the latest comic series from famed writer Keith Giffen, helped out by artist Benjamin Roman. It’s available now from Image Comics.

image c. 2018 Image Comics

Bunny Bound by Magic

Found this thanks to Animation World Network: “Netflix has announced that it will produce the animated feature film, Escape From Hat, from two-time Academy Award-nominated director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The Little Prince) together with writer Adam Kline (Artemis Fowl, The Clockwork War)… The screenplay is by Kline and Osborne, based on the book of the same name by Kline [illustrated by Brian Taylorye ed-otter], a new middle-grade novel that will be published by HarperCollins in Winter 2020… Escape From Hat brings light to the ancient mysteries of magic. In a fairy tale where black cats are bad and magic rabbits are good, balance is threatened when one such rabbit is cast into a mysterious realm of danger and shadow. There, our desperate hero rallies an unexpected band of allies and undertakes an impossible quest to escape from inside a magician’s hat – and return to the human boy he dearly loves.” Netflix say they plan to release the film in 2022.

image c. 2018 HarperCollins

All The World Shall Be Your Enemy

How on Earth did we not hear about this coming up? Well thanks to The Nerdist we did — and just in time too, as the newly-animated Watership Down is due very soon! “The BBC and Netflix are releasing a new CG-animated version this Christmas, and in order to more accurately portray the book, it’s going to come in two feature-length installments. The cast was already all-star, with James McAvoy as refugee rabbit leader Hazel, Nicholas Hoult as the psychic runt Fiver, John Boyega as the intimidating fighter Bigwig, Olivia Colman as bereaved doe Strawberry (a gender-flip from the book), Ben Kingsley as villain General Woundwort, Tom Wilkinson as doomed elder Threarah, and Taron Egerton as the rabbit Christ-analogue El-ahrairah (meaning “prince with a thousand enemies”). But now, via an official BBC announcement, they’ve revealed even more: Peter Capaldi will play the bunnies’ seagull ally Kehaar, Daniel Kaluuya is warren destruction survivor Bluebell, and Rosamund Pike is the Black Rabbit of Inle, a death/Satan figure and counterpart to the rabbit deity Frith.” All that plus director Noam Murro, the man behind 300: Rise of an Empire. Look for it on Netflix this coming December.

image c. 2018 BBC

Don’t Let The General Get You!

Lo and behold, it looks as if one of the original anthropomorphic role-playing games is digging into making a come-back. Frog God Games have opened a new Kickstarter campaign to try and bring about the 3rd Edition of the venerable game Bunnies & Burrows. We’ll let them tell you about it: “It’s not easy being a rabbit. Dangers abound in a hostile world of forests, fields, and farms. You and your woodland companions — rabbits and friends of rabbits — are a tough band of protectors and explorers, ready to take on the challenge. This tactical role-playing game views the world from a unique angle, with different goals and approaches than any kind of traditional role-playing game. Rich and complex mechanisms allow you to cover any angle of rabbit life — including war-gaming — if you choose to expand the game beyond the basics of role-playing woodland animals in a world where nature is red in tooth and claw. Frog God Games has partnered with Dr. B. Dennis Sustare and Dr. Scott R. Robinson to return a venerable and influential piece of tabletop role-playing games to print. This tactical role-playing game weighs in at approximately 200 pages of full color adventure in the style of Redwall and Watership Down.” With just under a month to go (as of this writing), they’ve nearly reached their funding goal.

image c. 2018 Frog God Games

Coming Soon From Italy. We Hope.

And they just keep showing up… More from Animation World Network. Rai Com (from Italy) have acquired several new animation projects for distribution, and of course several of them are furry in nature. Woof Meow is a CGI series directed by Alexey Kotenochkin and produced in Russia by AA Studios. “The series features the funny and entertaining adventures of the two kittens, Binx and Lulu, and their puppy-dog pals Oscar, Snickers, Sparky, and Hopper the Inventor. Together, they play games, make up new inventions and start real or imaginary adventuresome trips to explore the world around them. In each episode, someone gets in trouble and needs the support of the group of friends to solve the situation.” Then there’s Dixiland, a more traditional 2D animated series for preschoolers. “Dixi, the small winged elephant who is the protagonist of the story, joins other creatures as they experience joy, fun and problems.” Both are headed to MIPCOM and looking for international distribution.

image c. 2018 Rai Com

Cool Stuff From Europe. Finally. Maybe.

Last year we mentioned 44 Cats, an animated TV series from Rainbow Studio in Italy. Well now according to Animation Magazine (in their preview of the upcoming Brand Licensing Europe convention) it may just have found its way into North American markets. “44 Cats, produced in collaboration with Antoniano Bologna and Rai Ragazzi, follows the daily adventures of Lampo, Milady, Pilou, and Meatball – four adorable kittens who are part of a music band named The Buffycats. From their home in the Clubhouse (Granny Pina’s garage), they set out on to creative solve problems and help others while highlighting tolerance, diversity and acceptance. The show will debut on Rai Yoyo in November, whilst other broadcasting deals have been signed with Nickelodeon (multi-territorial), Discovery Kids (Latin America) and Super RTL (Germany). Major broadcasting deals in France, Russia, UK and many other countries are also in the pipeline.” Here’s hoping. Oh, the article also features a look at Mofy, a new stop-motion animated series from Sony Creative Products. “The story centers on Mofy, a fluffy, lovable rabbit who each episode learns about the world around her, discovers and understands feelings and emotions, and learns to be kinder and braver.” The show is already a hit with the preschool set in Japan.

image c. 2018 Rainbow Studio

When the Teacher’s Away…

And look: Here’s a whole new series of novels for young readers by Bruce Hale. The first book in the Class Pets series is called Fuzzy’s Great Escape. “Fuzzy is the ambitious and unfortunately named guinea pig of class 5B. He has big plans for this year — namely, to be president of the Class Pets Club. Then the cutest, most charming new bunny shows up and spins Fuzzy’s plan like a hamster wheel. There’s only one way to topple the adorable new club president: Fuzzy is taking the pets on a field trip!” Follow up that fun with Fuzzy Takes Charge and Fuzzy Freaks Out. All of them are available now from Scholastic Press.

image c. 2018 Scholastic Press

One Ear, Many Adventures

Keiran Larwood is a kindergarten teacher on the Isle of Wight in the UK. In the free time that leaves him, he’s created a series of fantasy adventure novels for young readers called Larwood. (In the USA — in Europe it’s called The Five Realms.) The first book is Podkin One-Ear.  From Amazon: “In a classic fantasy world of anthropomorphic rabbits, three young siblings are on the run from the villainous Gorm tribe who have killed and enslaved their clan. Podkin, once destined to be clan leader, has always been spoiled, but now he must act bravely as he, his older sister, and baby brother flee for their lives. Facing pursuit and treachery, the three collect allies in their search for refuge, until at last they are ready to fight back against the Gorm…” All three books in the series are available in hardcover from Faber & Faber.

image c. 2018 Faber & Faber