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Science Fiction

And More Dogs — In Space!

Voyage of the Dogs is the very straight-forward title for a juvenile fiction novel from last year, written by Greg Van Eekhout. The publisher describes it like this: “Lopside is a Barkonaut, a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet. When the mission takes a disastrous turn, the Barkonauts on board suddenly find themselves completely alone on their severely damaged ship. Survival seems impossible. But these dogs are Barkonauts — and Barkonauts always complete their mission.” Look for it now (and hear an audio clip) from Harper Collins.

image c. 2019 Harper Collins

You Knew It All Along, Didn’t You?

Tell us: Do you trust your housecat? Well along comes another book series looking to make you look askance perhaps. How can you miss a title like Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat? Well that’s the new series of science fiction novels by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth (featuring art by Robb Mommaerts). It starts like this: “Klawde had everything. Sharp claws. Fine fur. And, being the High Commander of the planet Lyttyrboks, an entire world of warlike cats at his command. But when he is stripped of his feline throne, he is sentenced to the worst possible punishment: exile to a small planet in a quiet corner of the universe… named Earth… Raj had everything. A cool apartment in Brooklyn. Three friends who lived in his building. And pizza and comics within walking distance. But when his mom gets a job in Elba, Oregon, and he is forced to move, all of that changes. It’s now the beginning of summer, he has no friends, and because of his mother’s urgings, he has joined a nature camp. It’s only when his doorbell rings and he meets a furball of a cat that Raj begins to think maybe his luck is turning around… ” Three books in the series are available now from Penguin Random House. Fft Fft!

image c. 2019 Penguin Random House

 

New Adventures Brought Together

Boom! Studios recently collected two different comic book series of furry note (both of which we’ve talked about before!) into trade paperbacks. Ruinworld: Eye For An Eye brings together issues 1 through 5 of this funny animal fantasy series by Derek Laufman. “Join Pogo and Rex as they set out on a quest to hunt for valuable artifacts and magical weapons across the land. Along with plenty of not-always faithful companions, our heroes must battle dangerous tribes of Toadies, survive giant stone Golems, and stop a catastrophic world-ending disaster, all while evading a cunning gang of thieves as they race towards the biggest treasure of all time.” And then there’s Midas, a truly strange 8-issue science fiction series by Ryan North, Braden Lamb, and Shelli Paroline. “Space captain Joey, navigator Fatima, and scientist (and dinosaur) Cooper are headed to Earth—a planet completely sectioned off, abandoned, and covered in gold—and are confronted by the most powerful weapon in the universe: Some ancient dead guy’s body?! Now they gotta keep King Midas’s body from being dropped on planets across the universe, and figure out exactly what to do with a gross dead dude with one truly ridiculous superpower.” Yes, and a talking dinosaur too. Both collections are available now.

image c. 2019 Boom! Studios

Dig The Rock

Non-human adventures on a far-0ff planet. Sounds right up our alley. Glint is a new full-color graphic novel series for middle readers, written by Samuel Sattin and illustrated by Ian McGinty (Adventure Time). “On tiny Mora ― hurtling through space trying to find a star bright enough to sustain its fading life―everyone must do their part to keep the planet alive. Workers work. Leaders lead. Fighters fight. But Loon Ozoa, confined to the life of a pit worker but born with the heart and passion of a warrior, dreams of enlisting in the Temple of Sacred Defense and fighting the monstrous Feeders that threaten his people’s existence. When his friend Val Mol, second in command of the Rightful Blade, promises Loon a place in his ranks, Loon hopes to finally serve a higher purpose. But his hoverhog-riding, glint-slinging, mine-master grandma and her motley crew―the Cloud Raiders―are none too pleased about Loon trading in his drill rig for a shift sword. Determined to serve Mora, Val and Loon’s place in the military soon gets them lurched right into the murky waters of a conspiracy, one that holds dark secrets at the hands of their supreme regent. Will Val and Loon remain loyal to their commander, or will the secrets they uncover change everything they thought they knew about the purpose of their fight and fate of their planet?” The Hollywood Reporter actually did a write-up on this one. Glint Book One: The Cloud Raiders came out earlier this year from Lion Forge, and more volumes are on the way.

[Side note: We at InFurNation would like to extend our thoughts, prayers, and a good share of tears to the staff of Kyoto Animation — those who lost their lives and those who did not. Bright Blessings in this time of tragedy.]

image c. 2019 Lion Forge

Give Him That Medal!

Perhaps the most famous “fur-suiter” on the planet has left us. Peter Mayhew, best known as the human inside the massive “walking carpet” Chewbacca in the Star Wars series of films, passed away on April 30th at the age of 74. Interestingly, before Mr. Mayhew came to the attention of director George Lucas he appeared as another anthropomorphic character: The minotaur in 1976’s Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. Peter Mayhew played Chewbacca the 200-year-old wookie from the first Star Wars film in 1977 (Episode 4, aka A New Hope) until 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when he passed on the role to former basketball player Joonas Suatamo. But Peter Mayhew will always be known as the warbling roar that announced Star Wars to the world.

image c. 2019 The Verge

Are They Not Men?

IDW Publishing have an interesting new take on a very famous anthropomorphic story. They talk about it over at Bleeding Cool: “IDW will be publishing a gender-swapped adaptation of H.G. Wells The Island Of Dr Moreau by IDW founder Ted Adams and Locke & Key co-creator Gabriel Rodriguez. Protaginist Edward Prendick is now Ellen Prendick, as the comic book will be told Promethea-style in double page spreads… The Island of Doctor Moreau, an 1896 science fiction novel by H. G. Wells tells the story of a shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat who is left on the island home of Doctor Moreau, a mad scientist who creates human-like hybrid beings from animals via vivisection. The novel deals with a number of philosophical themes, including pain and cruelty, moral responsibility, human identity, and human interference with nature. Wells himself described it as ‘an exercise in youthful blasphemy’. And it is handily in the public domain.” This new version mini-series is due out in July.

image c. 2019 IDW Publishing

The Tall Blue Ones are Back

While everyone is waiting with baited breath for director James Cameron to really begin work on the sequel to Avatar (after he brought Pandora to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, of course), now Dark Horse Comics have a new full-color Avatar comic series hitting the shelves — Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path. “Tsu’tey, proud warrior of the Omatikaya clan, betrothed to Neytiri, has his life turned upside down by the arrival of Jake Sully of the Sky People. Reveals events only hinted at in James Cameron’s Avatar!” It’s written by Sherri L. Smith, and illustrated by Jan Duursema, Dan Parson, and Wes Dzioba. The first issue is available in stores now.

image c. 2019 Dark Horse Comics

Are You Offended?

Look, we’re just going to quote this direct from the folks over at Cartoonbrew — no way we could explain it any better. “Four new animated series based on Marvel characters are in the works at Hulu. The shows will collectively lead up to a special event bringing them all together titled The Offenders. All of these projects will target mature audiences. Jordan Blum (American Dad!) and comedian/actor Patton Oswalt are writing M.O.D.O.K., about an evil mastermind with limited body mass and big plans. Hit Monkey, with Josh Gordon and Will Speck as writers, follows a Japanese snow monkey transformed into a vengeful assassin in Tokyo’s criminal underworld. Set in Los Angeles, Tigra & Dazzler Show follows a pair of ‘woke’ female heroes pushing to stand out in a city full talented people. Comedian Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) have been tasked with writing the project. Lastly, there is Howard the Duck, centered on the publisher’s notorious anthropomorphic bird trapped in the human world. Director Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Dave Willis (creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) are writing this dark comedy and will also executive produce. Comic writer Jeph Loeb (also a producer on Smallville and Lost) will act as executive producer on all four projects, as well as the crossover finale. No writers have been announced yet for the crossover finale, in which all of these characters will ‘form a team no one asked for’ to save the world.” Got all that? No word yet on a release date for these shows, but we’ll be watching!

image c. 2019 Hulu

They’re Bad. Very Bad.

Recently we visited the Long Beach Comic Expo, and came across things like Devil’s Henchmen, “A comic about animals that misbehave”. And how! From the web site: “Welcome to The Devil’s Henchmen official site, a comic about a motley crew of dysfunctional bandits and their many misadventures. This comic is drawn and written by John Will Balsley” Sounds straightforward enough, but things get a lot weirder when you start to read it! The site includes not only the on-line comic itself but tons of background material and art.

image c. 2019 by JW Balsley