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Friendship is Yummy

Have you noticed that people who create stuff for young readers love to name characters after food?  Well here we go again… Blue, Barry & Pancakes is a new hardcover graphic novel from First Second. It’s written and illustrated by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson, creators of the animated TV series Rocket Monkeys for Nickelodeon. “One day, when the gang goes to the beach, Barry and Pancakes lose Blue’s beloved beach ball. They come up with a plan to get it back, but things go way off course. Now, these pals will have to go inside a giant whale’s stomach, crash a pool party on an alien spaceship, and survive Duckzilla’s volcanic birthday bash if they ever hope to see Blue’s beach ball again!” Got that? The bunny, frog, and snake are available now.

image c. 2021 First Second

Educated at Slytherin?

Sorry about that… Thanks to Twitter we learned about a new animal fantasy series from Bad Dog Books: Disbanded, first in the Serpentia series by Frances Pauli. “Sookahr the architect is just one of many snakes within Serpentia, an underground society where snakes and their rodent companions have lived in peace for as long as anyone can remember. Their destinies are preordained at birth, when they are fit with skymetal bands to enhance the telekinetic powers that aid them everyday. Given an opportunity unheard of for a snake of his caste, Sookahr and Kwirk, his mouse aid, venture to a recently-destroyed outpost at the far edges of Serpentia, hoping to redesign the structure and prove his skill as an architect. But something watches from the jungle, and whatever attacked the outpost is poised to strike again. Will Sookahr’s drive to rise above his station get his team killed? Or will he respond to the call he’s heard since birth, and be the hero who can save them all?” Not a lot of books out there starring snakes, let alone furry fantasy books! Take a look over at Barnes & Noble to find out more and order it in papeback.

image c. 2020 Bad Dog Books

Stop That Snake

Here’s a new animated feature in the works we found out about through Animation World Network. “Timeless Films will begin selling worldwide rights to Rodrigo Pérez Castro’s upcoming animated feature Koati, created and produced by Anabella Sosa Dovarganes from Upstairs Productions and Los Hijos de Jack Productions, at the upcoming Cannes International Film Festival. Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy award-nominee Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), is attached to star and will executive produce… Koati is an animated comedy film starring three unlikely heroes: A free-spirited coati, a fearless monarch butterfly, and a hyperactive glass frog who embark on a glorious adventure to stop a wicked coral snake (Vergara) from destroying their homeland and friends. ‘Koati is an invitation to celebrate, for the first time in an animated film, the magical realism of the Latin American jungles, of the Amazonian rainforest, and the fun, exotic creatures that call it home,’ says Vergara, whose voice is heard in The Smurfs and Happy Feet 2. ‘It’s a coming-of-age comedy starring a cool and real family of animals the world needs to meet.'” The article tells us to look for it in 2019.

image c. 2018 Timeless Films

Rattle and Hummmm…

We came across this announcement from Screen Daily: “Kaleidoscope Film Distribution (KFD) is handling world sales on animated feature Danny Diamondback, which Aardman Animation alumni Darren Walsh (Shaun The Sheep TV series) will direct. It’s the story of a young rattlesnake with a musical talent in his tail. The film is based on the children’s novella of the same name, first published by Harper Collins and written by illustrator and production designer Barry Jackson (How The Grinch Stole Christmas). Jackson has written the script and will be heading up production design on the project. Siege Train Studios’ Curtis Augspurger (Valiant), Matthew Hampton, and Cora Palfrey will produce the film alongside Jackson. Bibo Bergeron (Shark Tale) will serve as executive producer.” That’s one heck of a lotta veteran anthropomorphic talent on one project. No word yet on if the film is to be CGI or claymation. Guess we’ll find out after they give us a projected release date!

image c. 2016 Kaleidoscope Entertainment

image c. 2016 Kaleidoscope Entertainment

Rik-Tikki-Tikki The Ivory-Fanged

New discoveries from this year’s WonderCon: Rikki is a full-color comic book adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s well-known mongoose-vs.-cobra story Rikki Tikki Tavi. The story was adapted and updated to a more modern setting by Norm Harper, with illustrations by Matthew Foltz-Gray. Originally created as a 4-issue comic book mini-series, after a successful Kickstarter campaign they re-released Rikki as a graphic novel in trade paperback, complete with the original Kipling story as well as a cover-gallery by the artist Christine Knopp. Find out more over at the publisher, Karate Petshop.

image c. 2016 Karate Petshop

image c. 2016 Karate Petshop

Boy and Talking Snake. Film at Eleven.

Sanjay and Craig is a popular animated TV series on Nickelodeon, following the adventures of (you guessed it) Sanjay (a human boy) and his pet snake, Craig (who talks — but only Sanjay is supposed to know that). Well now Paperkutz (home of Geronimo Stilton and family) have released the first Sanjay and Craig tie-in graphic novel, Sanjay and Craig: Fight the Future with Flavor! “Does your neighbor have butt implants and a blueberry obsession? Can your best friend do ANYTHING without barfing? Welcome to Lundgren, where Sanjay Patel and Craig Slithers have the most rad-awesome adventures imaginable. From their collection of fart jars to their shared love of chicken wings, Sanjay and Craig are more than a boy and his pet snake… they’re family! Ready for the ride? Buckle up your fart baby and grab some napkins because Sanjay and Craig are about to douse you in awesome-sauce. NOICE! See you at the Frycade!” Did any of that make sense to you? Then you might want to have a look at the Paperkutz preview page. Fight the Future with Flavor! is out now in hardcover and trade paperback.

image c. 2015 Paperkutz

image c. 2015 Paperkutz


A Boy and His Snake… or Vice Versa

Suddenly everyone is talking about Sanjay and Craig, a new animated TV series on Nickelodeon. It stars the voice of Chris Hardwick (comedian, bowler, and head honcho of The Nerdist Channel on YouTube) as Craig, the best friend of a young suburban boy named Sanjay. Craig, it turns out, just happens to be a talking snake. The Nerdist web site has more details, and you can check out the glowing review at Gerry Beck’s Animation Scoop, also. The series is up and running on Nickelodeon now.

image c. 2013 Nickelodeon

Save the Snakes! Save the World!

Serusis is the title of a new 5-issue full-color comic mini-series coming late in June from Big Dog Ink. “Planet Serusis is under the control of the Reliton army and its ruthless leader, Snogard. In an attempt to save their world, two Serusisans kidnap a group of humans in the hopes that they will be able to access the secrets of the creators of Serusis itself. Four humans versus the Reliton army? Good luck with that.” The Serusisans, by the way, resemble large snakes with terrific hairdo’s. The Relitons are big reptiles too, with four limbs and lots of attitude. This all-ages series is written by Tom Hutchison (Critter) and illustrated by Owen Gieni (Avengelyne). Things From Another World has more.

image c. 2013 Big Dog Ink

The Gruffalo

Another in the “how’d we miss this?” category… The Gruffalo is an award-winning children’s book from the U.K., written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. It was first published in 1999 by Macmillan Children’s Books. It tells the tale (via a mother squirrel giving her children a bedtime story) of a mouse walking through the woods.  When he is threatened in turn by a predatory fox, snake, and owl, he scares each of them off by telling them he is on his way to meet his friend the “Gruffalo” — a monstrous creature who is much more dangerous than any of them. He’s making it all up, of course, and he thinks he’s so clever… until he runs into the real Gruffalo. After the book became enormously popular in the U.K. and elsewhere, Magic Light Pictures and Studio Soi made The Gruffalo into a 30-minute CGI film, which was broadcast on U.K. television for Christmas 2009. It featured (among others) the voices of Helena Bonham Carter (as the mother squirrel), John Hurt, and Robbie Coltrane (as the Gruffalo). The BBC has a trailer for the show on-line, and there’s also a making-of video from Magic Light.

image c. 2011 Axel Scheffler