Review: 'The Mystic Sands', by Alflor Aalto

No votes yet

The Mystic Sands The bad news: The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto is a funny animal novel. The characters, all anthropomorphized animals, are interchangeable surrogate humans. There is no reason for any of them to be raccoons, rabbits, foxes, weasels, squirrels, or anything other than humans. They are all human-sized, wear regular human clothes (imagine a human-sized squirrel wearing Victorian clothes), eat human diets, etc. They do occasionally refer to their animal natures:

And don’t you worry your fluffy ringed tails, my friends. (p. 36)

The good news: The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto is a ripping good page-turner, a guaranteed attention-holding light thriller of the 1930s Weird Tales sort with anthropomorphized animals that will have you wanting to finish it in one session. Go buy it!

Las Vegas, NV, Rabbit Valley Comics, May 2013, trade paperback $20.00 (245 pages).

Furry webcomic 'At Arm's Length' seeks Patreon supporters

No votes yet

At Arm's Length: ReeceA month shy of its sixth anniversary, long-running webcomic At Arm's Length is actively moving to acquire support, in the form of a Patreon campaign.

Written by DarkWingDude (aka Equestrian Horse Wrangler) and drawn by Brooke Scovil, At Arm's Length focuses primarily on three women who are emigrants from a hidden society of four-armed magical beings. Our heroines, Ally (rabbit; specializes in illusions) Sheila (kangaroo; the most direct, forthright member of the trio) and Reece (fox; psychic and generally peculiar) appreciate the mortal world to the point where they put the smackdown on magical threats that mundane authorities simply cannot handle.

Those who choose to support the strip via Patreon can gain access to web badges and wallpapers available nowhere else, and can even introduce new characters with speaking parts.

Review: 'Blacksad T.5, Amarillo', by Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Blacksad Tome 5 Amarillo As is now usual, I want to thank Lex Nakashima for ordering this from Amazon.fr and loaning it to me for this review.

Spanish writer Juan Díaz Canales and artist Juanjo Guarnido met while working at an animation studio in Madrid in the early 1990s. After both moved to Paris, they met again and agreed to collaborate for the French comics market on this anthropomorphic crime noir/hardboiled detective series set in America in the 1950s, featuring feline private investigator John Blacksad.

The first album, Somewhere Among the Shadows was published by Dargaud in November 2000. The multiple prize-winning comics series has been published in 23 languages. So far there have been five 56-page cartoon-art novels, set in Hollywood, Chicago, amidst the Red paranoia/nuclear bomb-shelter craze, New Orleans and now the Midwest.

Paris, Dargaud, November 2013, hardcover €13.99 (56 pages), Kindle €9.99.

Video review: 'Red Devil', by Kyell Gold

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Isiah reviews Kyell Gold's latest novel, "Red Devil", set in his Dangerous Spirits universe.

Review: 'Jeangot. T.1, Renard Manouche', by Joann Sfar & Clément Oubrerie

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Jeangot Tome 1: Manouche RenardOnce again, I owe thanks to Lex Nakashima for ordering this from France and loaning it to me to write this review for Flayrah.

Joann Sfar is probably best-known in the furry community as the author of Le Chat du Rabbin/The Rabbi’s Cat (art by Antoine Delesvaux); the 2003-2006 five-album bandes dessinés, and especially the 2011 animated feature which he directed, released in the U.S. in 2013, featuring a talking cat in Algiers in the 1920s.

Sfar has written other unusual anthropomorphic comics drawn by other artists, such as the 2003-2009 three-volume Socrates the Half-Dog/Socrate le Demi-Chien with art by Christophe Blain, about Héraclès’ semi-divine dog in mythological ancient Greece. In Jeangot, Sfar has begun a new, all-funny-animal cartoon-art series, drawn by Clément Oubrerie, that carries “bizarreness” to a new extreme.

Paris, Éditions Gallimard, November 2012, hardcover €14.50 (54 pages).

June 2014 Newsbytes archive

No votes yet

Contributors this month include crossaffliction, dronon, earthfurst, Fred, GreenReaper, mwalimu, Patch Packrat, Poetigress, Rakuen Growlithe, RingtailedFox and Sonious.

Upcoming furry comics for August 2014 (Previews and Marvel Previews)

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Furry comics that made the top 100 best-seller’s list for April 2014 include:

See also: July 2014

'Kaze, Ghost Warrior' released for free; new series to be introduced at Anthrocon 2014

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

The full verison of Kaze, Ghost Warrior (2004; Flayrah review) has been released to YouTube, in advance of a panel at Anthrocon 2014 covering a planned successor series.

E. Amadhia Albee: On Friday, July 4th at Anthrocon from 3-4pm in room DLCC 319-321, after a short retrospective about where the search for Hollywood funding succeeded and where it failed, we will be introducing the production team behind Kaze: Winds of Change, the new series that chronicles the love between Kaze and 'Bay, and the fall of the Kenmai dynasty.

We will be announcing an open casting call for the remaining parts in episodes 1 & 2 (scheduled for release at FurWAG in early October of this year), and we will be sharing a teaser recording of some of our principal cast doing a read-through of one of the scenes from the upcoming episodes. Close to 4p, we will be sharing a major bit of news that will likely have great appeal to Kaze fans.

VCL seeks "stability, if not relevance" with updates

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (6 votes)

Could the VCL, once a key furry art site, reverse its trend towards irrelevance?
VCL button
On newly-reinstalled forums, site admin Ch'marr declared that he had:

[…] enough motivation collected to bring VCL back to stability, and perhaps some level of functionality to keep it a useful and enjoyable place to play around with. Certainly not to it's former "splendour", but that's not the goal.

While the VCL's main page still sports several broken links, it now includes a Twitter feed:

'Beyond Beyond' takes rabbits to the Feather King's realm

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

'Beyond Beyond' poster It looks like 2014 is not only the year for animated features, it is the year for animated features featuring anthropomorphic animals – and fruits – and rolls of toilet paper.

Here is the 1’32” trailer for the Swedish 79-minute Resan Till Fjäderkungens Rike, or Beyond Beyond, directed by Esben Toft Jacobsen, released March 21 in Sweden, and expected to screen at international animation festivals throughout the year.

Judging by the publicity so far, this is a strong contender to become the Ernest et Célestine of 2014. It’s got seagoing and circus-performing rabbits, and a giant furry bird, and a frog sea-captain, and… trolls? And what are those little blue things? Anyway, it looks like a feature that furry fans will love.

Three comic book reviews: Pull List #20 ('GotG' and 'MLP')

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Applejack party hat It’s another milestone issue, so we’re bringing back the “animals wearing party hats” tag. I couldn’t find a picture of Rocket Raccoon wearing a party hat, however. Seems he’s not the type to do something like that. But Applejack is the best pony for wearing hats (in addition to being best pony, period), and her Micro-Series is finally here, so there we go.

Also, since this issue number is divisible by ten, there’s another index of previous issues, in case you’ve been looking forward to it.

Animation: 'Lisa Limone and Maroc Orange: A Rapid Love Story'

No votes yet

Hah! I have always said that Estonian animation is ununderstandable! Incomprehensible, even. Here is a 4’47” trailer for a 72-minute 2013 stop-motion animated grand opera about the star-crossed love affair between an anthropomorphized rich-girl lemon and a poor refugee orange, directed by Mait Laas. Lisa Limone’s cruel father (a lemon with a comic-relief moustache) runs a slave-labor tomato plantation and ketchup factory.

Don’t worry if you don’t speak Estonian. Nobody understands the lyrics in opera, anyway. Besides, the trailer is subtitled in English.

Review: 'Play Little Victims', by Kenneth Cook

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Play Little Victims This short but deadly satire is set in the U.S., but has never been published there. Does it cut too close to home?

In 2000 (this was written in 1978), God decides to wipe out all life on Earth by covering everything instantly with giant glaciers. (Actually, He intended to wipe out all life in 1000 A.D., but He forgot.) He misses one two-square-mile valley in the center of North America, inhabited by two field mice, Adamus and Evemus. Because God also scraps the laws of evolution, the mice immediately develop intelligence. Not knowing that God missed them by accident, they decide that they are God’s new chosen people; and since the small valley has a town with a radio and TV station, an automobile factory, and lots of back issues of newspapers, they assume that He wants them to model themselves upon humans.

In no time at all, because mice breed fast, there are enough of them for Adamus to appoint a Board to help him guide the common mice.

‘I mean,’ continued Adamus, ‘it is obvious to all that this wonderful world in which we live did not just happen by accident. There has to be a Divine Plan and we are part of that Plan. We have a destiny which we must fulfill.’
The mice all looked at each other and nodded wisely.
‘Well,’ said Adamus, ‘I have discovered what it’s all about. What happened was this: the source of all being is God, who made the Valley and everything else in the universe. To prepare the way for mousekind God sent a sort of vanguard of creatures He called Men, who might best be thought of as sort of supermice. These Men prepared the Valley for us and left us all these marvelous technological aids for our existence. They also left us a vast body of literature for our guidance. Our destiny in life is to fulfill the plan of God by making the Valley an extension of Heaven. To guide us in this task we have the Word of Man, so we just can’t go wrong.’ (p. 12)

Needless to say, the mice go wrong with almost every decision that Adamus makes. One mouse on the Board, Logimus, thinks for himself and has doubts about Adamus’ pronouncements about what God wants. But Adamus, backed by his Board of yes-mice, steamrollers right over him.

Rushcutters Bay, NSW, Australia, Pergamon Press, June 1978, vi + 87 pages, 0-08-023123-3, $A9.00. Illustrated by Megan Gressor.

Review: 'The Hobbit 2: Hobbit Harder'

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug I went back and forth on whether I was going to review this movie for Flayrah. I meant to when I watched it, as I knew it would contain quite a few talking animals, including the titular dragon, but then I got behind, and I wrote my top ten list, where it fell at number eight, so I figured that was good enough.

Then it was nominated for the Ursa Majors (which I called early, by the way), and wound up as the second-most-furry nominee of the year (after the still-not-very-furry My Little Pony: Equestria Girls), so I decided to review it for Flayrah after all. Better late than never. That doesn’t mean I’ll be reviewing the other nominees, even though I did enjoy three quarters of them (and, surprisingly, it’s not the Pixar movie I’m hating on here); I just didn’t find them sufficiently furry, or even furry at all, and am a bit perplexed at their nomination over furrier fare like Ernest and Celestine, Epic, Turbo, Free Birds, or even The ABCs of Death.

Review: 'Songs in the Year of the Cat', by H. Leighton Dickson

No votes yet

Songs in the Year of the Cat This is Book 3 of the Tails from the Upper Kingdom; the direct sequel to To Journey in the Year of the Tiger and To Walk in the Way of Lions. In those two, Captain Kirin Wynegarde-Grey, a genetic lion-man (yes, he has a tail) and commander of the Empress’ personal guard in a far-future post-apocalypse dynastic China (with touches of feudal Japan) that has forgotten its past, leads an expedition consisting of his geomancer brother, his snow leopard-woman adjutant, a young tiger-woman scholar, a cheetah-woman alchemist, and a mongrel-man (mixed feline) priest into unknown western lands. They encounter canine nomads in what was Mongolia, and really exotic animal-peoples in what was Europe; and they learn the true history of the world and the apocalypse that destroyed it. The expedition is much smaller when the survivors return to the Empress’ court in the Upper Kingdom two years later, just as the Year of the Tiger has ended.

In the Oriental Zodiac, the Year of the Tiger is followed by the Year of the Rabbit – except in Vietnam, which recognizes the Year of the Cat. (True; look it up.) In this novel, the future Vietnam is called simply Nam, and there is no word for rabbit. (In the real world and the present, the Vietnamese word for rabbit is ‘tho’.)

And so, we begin our story with the birth of a baby, the weeping of a dog and a cup of hot sweet tea, naturally in the Year of the Cat. (p. 1)

CreateSpace, July 2013, trade paperback $14.99 (i + 312 pages), Kindle $2.99.

From the Yerf Archive