Furstarter is a brand new blog created by Corbeau Fundhound. It describes itself as “A weekly look at furry and fur-friendly crowdfunded projects”. Here’s his announcement: “Howdy howdy – I’m working on a blog focused on upcoming furry and fur-friendly kickstarter projects. Just now beginning week 2, so no promises on longevity of this, but I’ve been working on other blog projects for several years now without totally blowing my deliverables. I’m still tweaking the look and feel of the place, it should be a little more visitor-friendly once some of the art commissions I’ve got in place come through, but since by definition the information is time-sensitive I wanted to get content up and running!” Check it out at http://www.furstarter.com.
ZooZoo is a 55-minute performance comprised of a series of short, silent theatre pieces, each from four to seven minutes in length. The cast of five play animals ranging from fireflies to hippos, in skits that include penguins playing musical chairs, and anteaters dressed as waiters. As the promotional video shows, there is quite a bit of audience interaction:
Having completed most of their tour already, the production appears in Ithaca, New York on Friday, April 12, and then moves on to Cleveland, Ohio (May 7-11) and St. Albert, Alberta (May 28-June 1).
What do university professors do after they retire? If they are like Dr. Roger C. Schlobin, Ph.D., they write a fantasy novel based upon Chinese mythology, self-publish it (in an unusual size; 9” x 6”), and try to get it sold to be made into an animated feature film.
Good luck. It seems too far outside the mainstream of animated fantasy cinema to obtain the backing necessary to become an animated movie. Those have production budgets averaging $50 million dollars and up today. As a fantasy novel, however …
Inkbunny is celebrating three years online by announcing a major redevelopment project – and a T-shirt contest.
We want to move to an open source model to get the community involved in extending the capabilities of the site, and so that anyone can easily create their own art/social site.
To do this we are creating the new site engine from the ground up. It will have all the features that people like from Inkbunny v1.0, but will use an established web framework, will have a new and improved interface and will launch with a bunch of new features we've always wanted to see added to the site.
The site, which saw its 300,000th submission this week, was launched in June 2010 after three months of closed testing. Since then, Inkbunny has added various features, including user-suggested keywords, but development has come in bursts due to time constraints.
'Why, what's the matter?' said his wife, 'and why do you want to know who Tommy Tildrum is?'
'Oh, I've had such an adventure. I was digging away at old Mr Fordyce's grave when I suppose I must have dropped asleep, and only woke up by hearing a cat's Miaou.'
'Miaou!' said Old Tom in answer.
'Yes, just like that! So I looked over the edge of the grave, and what do you think I saw?'
'Now, how can I tell?' said the sexton's wife.
'Why, nine black cats all like our friend Tom here, all with a white spot on their chestesses. And what do you think they were carrying? Why, a small coffin covered with a black velvet pall, and on the pall was a small coronet all of gold, and at every third step they took they cried all together, Miaou -- '
'Miaou!' said Old Tom again.
'Yes, just like that!' said the sexton; 'and as they came nearer and nearer to me I could see them more distinctly; because their eyes shone out with a sort of green light. Well, they all came towards me, eight of them carrying the coffin, and the biggest cat of all walking in front for all the world like -- but look at our Tom, how he's looking at me. You'd think he knew all I was saying.'
Fans of the last year’s The Avengers (like this article’s author) who were willing to pay at least US$150 (unlike this article’s author) for the ”Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1: Avengers Assembled” Blu-Ray six movie combo pack were given a glimpse at Marvel’s “Phase 2” of movies, including next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, featuring Rocket Raccoon. Most of the revealed content for the upcoming movie was available online fairly soon afterwards, including this concept artwork for Rocket Raccoon.
It’s pretty cool.
There aren't too many anthropomorphic computer adventure games out there, so I thought I'd review Jolly Rover, a swashbuckling scenario by an Australian company called Brawsome (aka Andrew Goulding). This game is aimed at the casual market, so it's pretty easy-going, taking about 5-8 hours. It's available for less than $9 for PC, Mac, and on Steam. (Watch the trailer.)
The story is populated by anthropomorphic dogs, and the protagonist is Gaius James Rover, a dachshund who dreams of eventually starting his own circus. Hoping to earn money towards this project, he invests his life savings in a cargo delivery of rum - which goes horribly wrong, thanks to a corrupt governor and a band of mercenary pirates. His only hope of financial salvation lies in joining the pirates and locating a long-lost treasure before they do.
Normally, damp or wet fur isn't a pleasant thought or smell, but in this case, it's a very good thing! Five upcoming furry-themed video games have been found on Steam's Greenlight Program, and are given previews in this roundup.
Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin
Currently available for iOS devices and Google Android and coming soon to Windows and Mac OS X via Steam, Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin is the first appearance of the lapine in a video game since his adventures on the Commodore 64, back in 1988 — 25 years ago!
This game by Happy Giant is based on the classic comic book series by Stan Sakai. Usagi Yojimbo is renowned for his appearances in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and television series. In the game, you act as Miyamoto Usagi, the rabbit warrior, on an epic journey to restore order to the land of feudal-era Japan, with only your trusted sword Grasscutter to assist you. In the game, you will battle over fifty different types of enemies, with three boss monsters from the comics.
This is extremely short notice, but this Saturday (6-10PM) the Van Eaton Galleries in the Sherman Oaks suburb of Los Angeles are holding the opening reception for The HB Show, “a group art show tribute to Hanna-Barbera” of paintings by numerous artists including some of HB’s former staff. The paintings are mostly of HB’s human characters such as the Flintstones and Penelope Pitstop, but there are some of Yakky Doodle, Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and H-B's other anthropomorphic animal characters.
More importantly, the whole art show/auction is online. You can still see it all and bid on unsold paintings.
The HB Show will be up at the Van Eaton Galleries, 13613 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91423, (800) 599-3693, until April 20 (Adolf Hitler’s birthday! Is this significant?), so if you can get there, you can still see it all even after the art auction. And, of course, the Van Eaton Galleries have other animation goodies on display.
OGPlanet, a publisher of free-to-play, massively-multiplayer-online, downloadable PC games, has announced that their new game Gundog has entered its beta-test phase.
In Gundog, a third-person shooter with card-collection elements, teams of anthropomorphic canines fight in a World-War scenario. The game involves six different character classes, and two rival camps (Union and Empire). The beta-test phase runs over April 4-8.
Hank the Cowdog and the Case of the Dinosaur Birds is number 54 in John R. Erickson’s long running series of short novels for children featuring the misadventures of Hank the Cowdog, Head of Ranch Security.
The books are published by Erickson’s own Maverick Books, based out of his hometown of Perryton, Texas. The books are not unknown outside the area; but in the surrounding region, very few children grow up without encountering Hank and his humorous stories. The realistic depiction of life on a Texas cattle ranch as seen through the eyes of a vainglorious but not particularly bright ranch dog has also garnered many adult fans in the region.
The books feature illustrations by Gerald R. Holmes. However, this review is based on the audiobook version of the story, featuring Erickson’s reading. Erickson is a talented voice actor; the story is presented more like a radio play than a straight recitation, with Erickson playing all parts: human and animal, male and female, each distinctive and memorable. Quite a few fans, and this reviewer, feel that you haven’t experienced Hank the Cowdog until you have heard one of the audiobooks.
“Hank the Cowdog and the Case of the Dinosaur Birds”, by John R. Erickson. Illustrated by Gerald R. Holmes. Maverick Books Inc., 2009, paperback $4.99, CD audio book $17.99, paperback/CD combo pack $19.99, online audio $9.95.
Faol Carric[k] was born to rule, inheriting the dukedom upon the passing of his father. Immediately tested by the conspiracy of the usurper Virgil Dol, Faol will need to prove his worth as a leader, a fighter, and a strategist if he is to survive—much less regain his place as the rightful ruler of the Goldenlea. (publisher’s blurb)
Faol Carrick is a wolf, Duke Ignis was a wolf, Balthasar Viverra is a genet; and we are off and running in a Medievalish anthropomorphic adventure of treachery and redemption among the nobility.
This title is a work of anthropomorphic fiction for adult readers only. (publisher’s advisory)
Previews for May featured an interview with Stan Sakai; he’s finishing up 47 Ronin soon and looking forward to getting back to Usagi Yojimbo. Before that, though, he mentions that he wants to do a non-canonical mini-series featuring the ronin rabbit versus the Martians from The War of the Worlds. So that’s something to look forward to.
Also, remember Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 4.
For those who missed out on the news over the last three months, here's a quick roundup.
Further Confusion 2013 garnered some coverage, including a Kotaku contributor's weekend at a furry convention – which started out with party-hopping, followed by a fursuit parade (admittedly, the experience for many FC attendees). The author reached the [adjective][species] statistics panel before returning to the party floor . . . and then, the dance floor.
SanJose.com also provided coverage of FC, albeit limited to an apparently remote Q&A session with the con's media representative, Chairo. The brief piece was fact-filled, yet in comparison with Kotaku did not venture deeply into the motivations of those attending.
Sneaking in at the end of the month was a cover piece in Nashville LGBT monthly Out & About (subtitled "It's not all about sex in fur suits"), and a photo-heavy article of the "everyday lives of furries at home", featuring the furry photography of Tom Broadbent. [tip: HappyWulf]
The Cartoon Brew reports that Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced Dory, the regal blue tang fish with short-term memory loss in Pixar’s 2003 Finding Nemo, has announced that Pixar has asked her to reprise her role in the forthcoming sequel, Finding Dory. It will also be directed by Andrew Stanton, who directed Finding Nemo. Its tentative release date is November 25, 2015.
Finding Nemo is Pixar’s #2 grosser, behind only Toy Story 3.
This is one of those officially-Young Adult books (recommended age: 10 to 18) that adults should enjoy equally. Advance reviews are comparing it favorably with Jacques’ Redwall books and “Hunter’s” Warriors books about the talking cat clans.
With the stealth of a warrior, Darrel hopped along a wide branch, tracking the two scouts below. A waterfall roared in the distance, and a tasty-looking fig wasp flitted past.
Darrel ignored a pang of hunger, resisting the urge to shoot his tongue at the wasp for a quick snack.
Dinner could wait until he’d dealt with the enemy. (p. 1)
An Army of Frogs gets off to a rousing start. The back-cover blurb is a good summary:
Darrel, a young frog, dreams of joining the Kulipari, an elite squad of poisonous frog warriors sworn to defend the Amphibilands. Unfortunately, Darrel’s dream is impossible, because he isn’t a poisonous frog and no one’s seen the Kulipari since the last scorpion war, long ago. Anyway, now the frogs’ homeland is protected by the turtle king’s magic. So it no longer needs defending – or does it?
Enter the spider queen, a powerful dreamcaster capable of destroying the turtle king’s protective spell. She and her ally Lord Marmoo, leader of a vicious army of scorpions, are bent on conquering the frogs’ lush homeland. The frogs have never been more vulnerable. Can Daryl save the day and become the warrior of his dreams?