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Young Readers

If You Give A Mouse A TV Show

Looks like Amazon has brought us a classic children’s illustrated book series as a new animated TV series for their Amazon Prime service. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie (famously written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond in 1985) was adapted for animation by Mercury Filmworks in Canada. Show-Runner Joe Scarborough has quite the animation resume’, having worked on shows like Arthur, Doug, Curious George, Pocoyo, and Martha Speaks. This new series follows a young boy named Oliver and his best friend, an adventurous mouse. Their friends are various other kids whose companion animals include a cat, a pig, and even a moose. Check out the preview video over at YouTube.

image c. 2017 Amazon Prime

Quest of the Vegetables

Cucumber Quest is a popular on-line fantasy adventure comic for young readers, written and illustrated by Gigi D.G. Now it’s been assembled by First Second into a new full-color graphic novel, Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom. It goes like this: “What happens when an evil queen gets her hands on an ancient force of destruction? World domination, obviously. The seven kingdoms of Dreamside need a legendary hero. Instead, they’ll have to settle for Cucumber, a nerdy magician who just wants to go to school. As destiny would have it, he and his way more heroic sister, Almond, must now seek the Dream Sword, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Queen Cordelia’s Nightmare Knight. Can these bunny siblings really save the world in its darkest hour? Sure, why not?” The first volume is available now, in hardcover or trade paperback.

image c. 2017 First Second

The Inner Life of Plushies

There’s an interesting new hardcover book coming soon called Toys Talking. Here’s what they say at Drawn & Quarterly: “Always there to comfort and listen, stuffed animals provide a reassuring presence in many a childhood. With Toys Talking, acclaimed illustrator and author Leanne Shapton explores their inner lives, to reveal that their thoughts and feelings are just as complicated as our own. The concerns of these bunnies, bears, and ducks range from the mundane to the existential, and with each new pairing of character and text, we see a deeper portrait of their pensive, quiet world. Shapton holds a mirror to our own lives, to our insecurities and concerns, by revealing that the objects who comfort us have worries of their own. This board book brings Shapton’s gorgeously minimal brushstrokes to a younger audience, and will leave children and parents alike brimming with the beauty and melancholy of self-reflection.” Marketed for children, it’s more a sort of visual poetry. Look for it in November.

image c. 2017 Enfant

North, But Not Alaska

And the Christmas comic flood continues, this time with a new title from Action Lab — Northstars Volume 1: Welcome to Snowville. “Holly, the daughter of Santa Claus, and Frostina, the Yeti Princess, must put their differences aside to save the town of Snowville before Christmas is lost forever. They travel through an exotic underground world to save Christmas from the devious Krampus and his oafish Straw Lads.” Krampus who looks like an evil reindeer, it seems. They also said this: “Northstars is what you get if you combine Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with Adventure Time. Like the classic Rankin/Bass specials, it’s a wonderful world where holiday characters such as Santa and his daughter, Holly, rub shoulders with winter warlocks, snow dragons and fall fairies. Like Adventure Time, there is a wry sense of humor and a colorful, quirky cast of characters that both kids and adults will enjoy.” The first ultra-sized hardcover issue is written by Jim Shelley and Haigen Shelley, with illustration by Anna Liisa Jones. Look for it later this month.

image c. 2017 Action Lab

Classic Christmas from Classic Artists

It’s not too early to be thinking about Christmas, is it? (Our local department store certainly doesn’t think so…) In that spirit (Ha Ha), IDW have once again compiled The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories, edited by Craig Yoe. What’s especially interesting about this collection is some of the artists represented: Among them are Walt Kelly (creator of Pogo), Richard Scarry (famous creator of funny animal books for kids), John Stanley (Little Lulu), and many others. It’s coming out in trade paperback this November, and there’s a review over at the Graphic Novel Reporter site.

image c. 2017 IDW

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The Fox Returns

According to Previews, a classic British black & white wildlife comic called Marney the Fox is available again, now in a hardcover collection. We got this from Blimey, the Blog of British Comics: “Just to cover the basics; Marney the Fox appeared in Buster weekly from the issue dated 22nd June 1974 to 11th September 1976. This fictional story of a wandering fox cub was written by Scott Goodall and illustrated by John Stokes. The artwork was absolutely superb and many consider it to be amongst Stokes’ best work. (The artist himself regards it as some of his best too.) One thing that made Marney the Fox exceptional is that, unlike most other Buster adventure strips, it played up the emotional content.” The new collection is available now from Rebellion/2000AD.

image c. 2017 Rebellion/2000AD

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Once Upon A Time There Was A Wolf

Lion Forge have brought a new dark fantasy for young readers to North America with the English edition of The Little Red Wolf, written and illustrated Amelie Flechais. As edited and translated by Andrea Colvin, it goes like this: “A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him… but nice is not the same as good. A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2017 Lion Forge

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They’re Back to Move It Move It

Our zoo friends from New York… er, Africa… er, Monte Carlo… WHATEVER are back in a new full-color comic collection. Madagascar: Escape Plans brings together issues #1 through #4 of the comic book series from Joe Books in one trade paperback. “Join Marty, Alex, Melman and the whole Madagascar crew on hilarious adventures… Featuring a buddy-cop adventure starring Alex and his arch nemesis Nana, a zany escape plan from Madagascar, a struggle between King Julien and the usurper who’s stolen his throne, and more!” Written by Patrick Storck and illustrated by Rik Hoskin, it’s coming on October 10th.

image c. 2017 Joe Books

Beware of the Crow King

Well, somehow this passed under our noses… fortunately, they brought it back! We’ve talked before about the comic Hero Cats of Stellar City. Turns out that issues #16 to #18 took things in a whole new direction. Now Action Labs Entertainment have collected those issues together in a single trade paperback, Hero Cats of Skyworld. Bandit (a Hero Cat from Earth) and his robot friend (of course) are transported to Skyworld, a magical realm ruled with a scaly fist by Corvus the Crow King. There, Bandit meets a whole new group of Hero Cats and enlists their aid in his quest. Written by Kyle Puttkammer and illustrated by Omaka Schultz, this new graphic novel is available now. There’s an extensive review over at Comicosity, including several preview pages.

image c. 2017 Action Lab