This probably would have made more sense back around Halloween, but… Pick your own horror adventure: On four paws! “Inspired by the gamebook fad of the 80′s, You Are a Cat in the Zombie Apocalypse! is the much-anticipated sequel to the first book in the Pick-a-Plot series, You Are a Cat! Lavishly illustrated from the first-person feline floor purrspective, the furightening and appawling You Are a Cat in the Zombie Apocalypse! is a horror tail that will stalk you, surround you and eat you alive.” This very strange black & white paperback graphic novel — where you choose on each page which horrible experience you have next — is available now on Amazon. It’s written and illustrated by Sherwin Tija, and published by Conundrum Press.
The Cartoon Brew has a critique by Amid Amidi of Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 hybrid CGI/cartoon 6’46” short, “Earl Scouts”, in which Barry the strawberry and one of the pickle foodimals humorously(?) try to kill each other.
Did you know that there were any Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 short cartoons? I didn’t, but the whole “Earl Scouts” is on YouTube. Seeing is believing … well, not that foodimals are real, but that “Earl Scouts” is. Officer Earl is at the beginning and the end, but most of the short features the two anthropomorphized foodimals. Does Sony Pictures Animation plan any more shorts like this?
Well, enough of the doom and gloom, it’s a brand-new, shiny awards season. This month, let’s look at how the race is shaping up at the Oscars. Maybe we’ll even spare a thought for the Annies.
On 3 October, the statues were auctioned to raise money for an expansion of Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. One lot, Gromit Lightyear, designed by animation studio Pixar and depicting Gromit as Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story franchise, sold for £65,000.
The eighty-one statues, depicting Gromit in a variety of styles, were designed by several artists, including Nick Park (creator of Wallace and Gromit), and Simon Tofield (animator of Simon's Cat). In total, £2.3 million was raised for the hospital. Nick Park said he was "stunned" by how successful the auction was.
What Happens Next: An Anthology of Sequels is a collection of short stories by 11 authors, assembled and edited together by Fred Patten. The theme? Each work is an expansion upon story universes that the authors have previously established.
If you're not familiar with the writers or their worlds, don't worry; each story is pretty self-contained. You're not going to feel like you're being left out; Fred provides an introduction to each, explaining the settings and contexts to new readers. Altogether it's about 430 pages long, and was published in July 2013 by FurPlanet, ISBN 9781614501169. The cover art is by Sara Miles, and each story is accompanied by at least one illustration, from a variety of artists.
This review was heavily re-written after listening to episode 4 of the Fangs and Fonts podcast.
Love it or hate it, you gotta admit that Pocket Monsters, a.k.a. Pokémon, are anthropomorphic. In Japan, “monsters” are any fantasy animals; “pocket monsters”, like Pikachu, are monsters small enough to fit into your pocket – although since they were introduced almost twenty years ago, there have been some giant Pokémon as well.
The annual Pokémon theatrical movies started in Japan 16 years ago and are still being churned out, but in America they have gone direct to TV for the last few years. This year’s, Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (96 minutes), will premiere in English on the Cartoon Network on October 19, at 12:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. It will follow last year’s movie, Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice at 11:00 a.m., if you haven’t seen that yet.
Retromania is a Let's Play series by 2 the Ranting Gryphon & DJ EAR, focusing on retro-style games. It's one of several new shows being produced for "RGStv", which is intended to be a 24/7 Internet TV station for furries.
On November 2, Retromania will go live for a full day of gaming & comedy as part of the Extra Life worldwide fund raising event to raise money for children with terminal illnesses. Hosts are asking for a donation of $25 each (a dollar per hour of gaming) to reach their target goal of $1,000. Funds raised are to go directly to The Childrens Hospital Colorado.
The event starts at 8am and will be streamed live on RGStv until 9am the next morning. Viewers are encouraged to suggest games, spread the word, and listen in on November 2. You can watch Retromania on the RantingGryphonStudio YouTube channel.
À la française, a very anthropomorphic student film by Julien Hazbroucq, Ren Hsien Hsu, Emmanuelle Leleu, William Lorton, and Morrigane Boyer of the SUPINFOCOM animation school of Arles, France, has won Best in Show at the (40th annual) SIGGRAPH 2013 convention in Anaheim, California, July 23-25, and is considered a sure nominee for the 2013 Best Animated Short Film Award (Oscar) at the 86th Academy Awards, March 2, 2014.
P.S.: Many of SUPINFOCOM's student films are anthropomorphic. Here is a clip from "Home Sweet Home", about anthropomorphic houses, from the international animated film festivals circuit; and another from "My Little Croco", about a crocodile who is married to a sheep.
This promotional newsletter was provided by Fangcon. Story written by Nightwolf.
Welcome one and all, to the furriest show on Earth! Come to a convention unlike any you've seen before!
What makes Fangcon stand out from the rest? We've packed this weekend full of activities to enjoy all weekend long by all ages. Test your skill and luck at our carnival corner, with games provided by furries from all over Tennessee. Enjoy the fursuit parade and watch the suiters compete in the fursuit games. For a more refined feel, take a seat in the poker tournament. Relax in the hotel's heated pool before the late night dances.
By the way, this is the third year anniversary of Newsbytes.
These are Books 4 and 5 in Jobling’s Wereworld saga. Book 1, Rise of the Wolf, was reviewed here in May 2012, and Books 2 and 3, Rage of Lions and Shadow of the Hawk, were reviewed in January 2013. The final volume, War of the Werelords, will be published on October 8.
The Wereworld Young Adult series is set on the island-continent of Lyssia on a fantasy world, in which each of the kingdoms is ruled by a therian Werelord who can transform into an animal, including birds and fish. School Library Journal has called the series “Game of Thrones for the tween set”. In Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf, teen farmboy Drew Ferran learns that he is adopted and is really the werewolf son of the murdered Wolf King Wergar of Westland, Lyssia’s most powerful nation, which has been usurped by Lion King Leopold who has replaced the old wolf aristocracy with his own lion nobility.
In Rage of Lions and Shadow of the Hawk, the animal nations of Lyssia fall into civil war over whether to acknowledge Drew’s claim to the Westland throne, or whether they should acknowledge any ruling nation rather than declaring their independence; while the supporters of the Lions try to reconquer the whole island-continent. Drew gains allies, but he is betrayed several times, and loses his left hand.
How complex the series has become is shown by Nest of Serpents beginning with a Cast of Characters that takes four pages. Wolflords, Lionlords, Catlords, Staglords, Hawklords, Ratlords, Crowlords, Jackallords, Bearlords, Foxlords, Horselords – you name the animal, and there is probably a werelord for it. (I don’t think there are any Skunklords or Raccoonlords – but those are North American animals, and these are American editions of British books.) And lots of human commoners.
“Wereworld: Nest of Serpents”, Jan. 2013, hardcover $16.99 ([xiv] + 494 +  pgs.), Kindle $9.78.
“Wereworld: Storm of Sharks”, May 2013, hardcover $16.99 ([xvi] + 454 +  pgs.), Kindle $9.78.
Both by Curtis Jobling, published by The Penguin Group/Viking, with a map by the author.
Have you noticed a trend of mainstream music videos that some call "pseudo-furry"? It might be a stretch to connect every video that has animal mascot costumes, but their frequency seems like no coincidence. They've been around for years but I seem to notice more and more. Newsbytes posted by GreenReaper and Sonious sparked my notice, and Flayrah's music tag has many more examples. What does this say about marketing? What does "pseudo-furry" imply?
What does the Fox Say?
Anthropomorphic art has been around for much longer than a dedicated fandom for it. Furry fandom didn't spring from an original concept in the 1980's- it's specific inspirations include golden age post-WWII animation, Disney movies and much more. Popular culture and it's gateways are an undeniably important influence. But identifying a trend for pop culture to re-absorb the Furry subculture that it helped spin off could make a good discussion about interplay. Is this happening because Furry is being accepted as a legitimate subculture, beyond a bastard child of the movies, shows, games and comics that furries enjoy?
We know what the fox says… but why? This animated remix from Twintrash (extended audio) proposes a backstory for the vulpine's curious vocalizations. [tip: Starling]
Animation, music and vocals by Tommy & Markus Vad Flaaten; narration by Aras Afsaji.
A new art form is being developed in the furry fandom. It is like a soap opera in that a central cast of characters tells story arcs in chapters within a larger consistent setting. When one story arc is over, another begins. But unlike a soap opera, at the end of each chapter or episode is a covered song or parody song that relates to the chapter or episode. Each chapter averages eight minutes long. The production is titled The Beach Bears.
After listening to the a few chapters, I wanted to know more of the story, and more about how this exciting work came to exist. The Beach Bears was created and is produced by Max DeGroot. Mr. DeGroot was kind enough to grant me an interview to satisfy my curiosity.
TG: Could you tell us a little about yourself?
MDG: Well I have been active in the Furry Fandom for many years as a furry convention chair, a puppeteer, and a musician. One of my current labors of love is an audio drama series titled The Beach Bears.
TG: I have listened to The Beach Bears and I must say it is a very unique and entertaining format that has me hooked. How did you come up with the concept?
Furry comics to make the Previews top 100 best-selling comic books list for June include:
Space Dandy is cuming (pun deliberate) in January 2014 – but not to America.
The news is spreading that it was announced at guest Shinichirō Watanabe’s panel at Otakon 2013, August 9-11 in Baltimore, that he is directing Studio Bones’ new TV anime space comedy, Space Dandy, scheduled for broadcast next January in Japan.
This is exciting news because Watanabe is the brilliant director of Cowboy Bebop, and two of the sequences in The Animatrix, among others. Though Dandy may be human, there are plenty of anthropomorphic aliens in it, starting with Meow, his partner.
Watanabe said that this will be "not an anime to be taken seriously." Oh, you think!?