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Young Readers

Junk… In… Space!

Lion Forge Comics have launched their new Caracal imprint for younger readers with Quantum Mechanics, an all-alien themed graphic novel written and illustrated by Jeff Weigel. “On a nowhere asteroid on the far rim of the galaxy, two young alien girls-Rox and Zam-spend their days tearing apart and repairing clunkers in a spaceship junkyard. These aspiring gearheads yearn for the chance to test their skills on something besides rusted old rockets and broken-down planet-hoppers. Their big chance finally comes when the captain of a mysterious ship called the Quasar Torrent enlists the kids for some repair work. But what initially looks like a golden opportunity quickly becomes a nightmare when the young friends find they’ve been kidnapped by what turns out to be a band of space pirates! Rox and Zam find themselves swept up in the astro-bucaneers’ vendetta against a huge intergalactic corporation that’s forced this motley band of working stiffs from across space into a life of crime. Now the girls must chose: Do they want the comforts of home and family, or the glamorous adventure of a lifetime-to be part of a crew of colorful misfits intent on plunder, revenge, and excitement? Their lives, friendship . . . and maybe even the fate of a galaxy . . . hangs in the balance!” Comicosity has an in-depth review.

image c. 2018 Caracal Comics

Carrying On with Finn and Jake

Now it’s KaBOOM! Studios’ turn to get back on the animation bandwagon with their new series Adventure Time Season 11. Here’s what they say: “Cartoon Network’s award-winning animated series Adventure Time will conclude this fall with Season 10-but this October, KaBOOM! proudly continues telling the stories of Finn and Jake in a new Season 11 comic series! In the aftermath of The Great Gum War, Finn, Jake, and the entire land of Ooo begin to pick up the pieces with some new and unexpected friends. Written by Eisner Award-winning writer Sonny Liew (The Art of Charlie Hock Chye) and illustrated by Marina Julia (Lumberjanes: Faire and Square), this is the only place fans can get new stories in the land of Ooo!” There are several issues out already now.

image c. 2018 KaBOOM! Studios

Jingle Egg Shells, Jingle Egg Shells…

A perfect seasonal item, now on the bookshelves: It’s The Christmasaurus, a new novel for young readers written by singer/songwriter and YouTube celebrity Tom Fletcher. “Once upon a time–long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth–an egg rolled away from its mother and landed in the ocean, where it froze solid and stayed peacefully for thousands of years. Then one day Santa and his elves discover the frozen egg, and Santa sits on it to see if it will hatch. But he can’t guess what’s inside. . .  a dinosaur! Meanwhile, a young boy named William Trundle has only ever wished for one thing for Christmas: A dinosaur! So when Santa accidentally gives William the real Christmasaurus instead of a stuffed replica, it’s the Best Christmas Ever! Until an evil man known as the Hunter decides a dinosaur will be the perfect addition to his collection…” With illustrations by Shane Devries, The Christmasaurus is available now in hardcover from Penguin Books/Random House.

image c. 2018 Penguin Books

Feline Foundations

New from First Second: “All Marmalade wants to do is build things. She is, after all, a trained architect. She’s also a distractingly adorable kitten. Fed up with not being taken seriously because she’s so cute, Marmalade bands together with a handful of other aspiring builders—all of them kittens. But in a world where humans call the shots, can the Kitten Construction Company prove their worth… without giving up the very things that make them kittens?” Meet The House Kittens is the first volume of the Kitten Construction Company, a new full-color graphic novel series for young readers written and illustrated by John Patrick Green (creator of Hippopotamister, which we’ve talked about before). It’s out now in hardcover, distributed by Macmillan & Company.

image c. 2018 First Second

E-Books for Kids — and Art Collectors

And more from CTN Expo (it’s always cool!). According to their web site, “Mighty Yeti is an independent storytelling studio creating stories for the current generation of kids who enjoy their media and entertainment in exciting new ways. Founders Jennie Book and Josh Book have taken their many years of experience in the traditional entertainment industry and created products which children can interact with in a truly active way.” To that end they’ve created a series of interactive e-books for young readers — and some of those books have decidedly anthro content. Especially the one called A Shark Knocked On The Door. “Gutter races with Grandma are the best! But when a beloved toy boat is lost down the sewer, all seems lost until a friendly shark returns it and takes the boy and his grandma on a fantastical underseas adventure.” The publishers have built up enough material designing and creating these books that they’ve actually released The Art of Mighty Yeti Storybooks collection, featuring art by Eddie Betancourt, Roman Laney, Justin Rodrigues, and Nick Swift.

image c. 2018 Mighty Yeti

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

He’s Unda Da Sea

Paptercutz brings us a new full-color mini-comic series for young readers: Gillbert the Little Merman, Volume 1 by Art Baltazar (writer and illustrator of Tiny Titans and Captain Action Cat). Here’s the preview over at their web site: “In the deepest part of the ocean, unexplored by man and too deep for humans to swim, lives a little sea creature named Gillbert. Gillbert the Sea Creature is the son of King Nauticus, king of all the oceans. One day, Gillbert will be king. But in the meantime, his playful curiosity takes him away from the kingdom on a journey of discovery.Gillbert meets an amphibious mermaid and follows her into unknown parts of the ocean. Where he meets many unknown and undiscovered species of underwater creatures. He didn’t know these things existed so close to home. Gillbert’s world just got a whole lot bigger!” It’s available at comic book stores in paperback and hardcover editions.

image c. 2018 Papercutz

The Power of the Sea — To Hurt and To Heal

Katie O’Neill is well-known among comic collectors as the creator of Princess Princess Ever After and The Tea Dragon Society. Now comes her latest work, Aquicorn Cove, out now from Oni Press. “When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a big storm, Lana remembers how much she’s missed the ocean—and the strong, reassuring presence of her aunt. As Lana explores the familiar beach, she discovers something incredible: a colony of Aquicorns, small magical seahorse-like creatures that live in the coral reef. Lana rescues an injured Aquicorn and cares for it with the help of her aunt, who may know more about these strange creatures than she’s willing to admit. But when a second storm threatens to reach the town, choices made many years ago about how to coexist with the sea start to rise to the surface.” This full-color graphic novel is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Oni Press

Friends In Spite Of Everything

We had not heard of this, but evidently it’s a thing — and now it’s collected all together. “Anouk Ricard’s bold and colorful comics of this quirky, grumpy gang of pals are delightfully weird yet thoroughly realistic in their honest and hilarious portrayal of friendship. Anna, Froga, Christopher the worm, Ron the cat, and Bubu the dog continue their non-adventures with bickering, needling, cajoling, and honest friendship. No white lie goes unexposed, no small embarrassment goes unrevealed, no secret is kept, everyone’s foibles are fodder for jokes. Anna and Froga: Completely Bubu collects all five issues of the acclaimed Anna & Froga series into an accessible paperback.” It’s out now from Drawn & Quarterly.

image c. 2018 Drawn & Quarterly