Herobear and the Kid was a renowned and award-winning black & white all-ages comic book series created by animator Mike Kunkel back in the 1990′s. It told the story of a lonely young boy who receives a rag-doll white bear as a present from his grandfather. Unbeknownst to our young hero, both his grandfather and that toy bear are very special. Soon enough the bear springs to life as an 8-foot-tall, caped, flying ursine superhero, and as his sidekick “the Kid” our young protagonist is off with his new friend on adventures. Now, Boom! Studios have announced that Mr. Kunkel will be re-launching the Herobear series through their Kaboom! imprint this coming June. Comic Vine has a write-up about it, including a preview of the special “animation cel” variant cover that will be available at some retailers.
This is an announcement rather than a review because I have just found out about these two albums of bandes desinées, and I have not read them yet.
In the world of Pongeo, where all the animals talk and walk on two paws, Atlas and Axis are two mutts of very different characters and pedigrees: the first is intelligent and rational, while the second is controlled more by his feelings. One day when the two companions return to their village for a festival, they discover it ravaged by the cruel Vikiens, bloody brutes from the North who pillage and kill all who fall under their claws. So begins the saga of Atlas and Axis, the astonishing epic of two friends overflowing with courage, who leave to brave the great North to avenge their folk. In the grand tradition of adventuring duos, prepare to live a story funny and terrible, tender and epic … The kind of story that you’ll want to read and reread, wherein you’ll lose your innocence of a young puppy! (translation)
On Presidents’ Day weekend in Los Angeles, February 16 – 18, The Cinefamily and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will present a three-day Chuck Jones Centennial Celebration, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth (which was on September 21, 1912 actually, but what’s a few months among friends?), at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036; (323) 655-2510. The program begins at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at noon on Monday.
So what was popular, well-rated, or highly-commented? The answers may surprise you . . .
This “novel” collects Dickson’s three light space-opera adventures about humans, the bearlike Dilbians, and the jovial-but-sinister Hemnoids: Spacial Delivery, first published as a novel by Ace Books, November 1961, 123 pgs.; Spacepaw, first published as a novel by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, February 1969, 222 pgs.; and “The Law-Twister Shorty”, a novelette in The Many Worlds of Science Fiction, edited by Ben Bova (E. P. Dutton, November 1971, pp. 51-105).
Planet Dilbia is in a crucial location for both humans and their adversaries, the Hemnoids. Therefore making friends with the Dilbians and establishing a human presence there is of the utmost importance, which may be a problem, since the bearlike Dilbians stand some nine feet tall, and have a high regard for physical prowess. They're not impressed by human technology, either. A real man, er, bear doesn't need machines to do his work for him. But Dilbians are impressed by sharp thinking, and some have expressed a grudging admiration for the logical (and usually sneaky) mental maneuvers that the human "shorties" have used to get themselves out of desperate jams. Just maybe that old human craftiness will win over the Dilbians to the human side. If not, we lose a nexus, and the Dilbians will learn just how unbearable Hemnoids can be.... (back-cover blurb)
Riverdale, NY, Baen Books, December 2000, 431 pages, 0-671-31959-0, $6.99
The ABCs of Death is a horror anthology film which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Released as Video-on-Demand on January 31, it will screen in theatres from March 8 in the U.S.
The film is comprised of twenty-six different shorts – all themed around death – one for each letter of the alphabet. Spanning A is for Apocalypse to Z is for Zetsumetsu, each short has its own director and style.
H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion (by Thomas Cappelen Malling) features two anthropomorphic animal characters. A World War 2 British fighter pilot depicted as a jowly British Bulldog is shown watching a striptease performed by a sultry red fox who is concealing a deadly secret.
A short clip of the anthro characters can be found here - viewer discretion is advised.
The producers of Wastelander Panda, the tale of Arcayus (an anthropomorphic panda wandering a post-apocalyptic wasteland) have made a last-minute call for voice actors.
With the project now in post-production, the producers are looking for three actors to voice the three animal characters in the story. In particular, they are looking to voice:
- ISAAC – Male, 28-35 years of age. Deep voice – think Chris Hemsworth.
- ARCAYUS – Male, 40-50 years of age. Deep voice – think Sam Neill or Geoffrey Rush.
- AKIRA – Male, 25-35 years of age. Deep voice – think Ving Rhames.
For anyone tempted to try out for a part, the close of applications is imminent (February 1st).
Twelve-times Ursa Major Award winner Kyell Gold has announced his withdrawal from the Best Novel and Best Short Story categories this year, and for "a few more going forwards", to ensure that other authors win:
There is precedent in other awards for frequent winners stepping back. One of the people on the Ursa Major committee told me that in a musical award, when someone wins three years in a row, they are retired from that category by the award. That's not how the Ursas work: they have been very hands-off and admirably resistant to public opinion. When Stan Sakai won the Best Comic award multiple years running, they assured people that in time, other comics would win, and they were right. In response to my multiple wins, they have assured people that, in time, other authors will win.
I have no doubt that they are correct, given the profusion of talent in the fandom. In fact, each of the last two years I have been convinced I would not win one of the two awards (perhaps neither). But I have also observed that it would probably be better for the writing scene if that day comes sooner rather than later.
We've had a Treeless Squirrel; now we have a Waterless Trout.
Environmental groups in Colorado, USA, are trying to stop the diversion of large amounts of water out of the Fraser River, one of the tributaries of the Colorado River. 60% of the river's flow is already diverted to supply the Front Range urban development, and the environmental groups are concerned about plans to increase this by a further 15%.
To raise public awareness, the environmentalists have released a short video featuring a man(?) in an anthropomorphic fish costume. In the video, the fish (a trout) abandons his dried-up riverbed home, and hitch-hikes to downtown Denver, where he is reduced to begging for bottled water on a street corner.
This game is a nostalgia trip. Much like the original Epic Mickey, it highlights a diverse cast of classic Disney characters that don’t always get the spotlight; sure, there’s a matchmaking questline that unites Donald and Daisy Duck as romantic partners, but there’s also one featuring Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar. When was the last time you saw those two characters featured?
Well, probably the last Epic Mickey game; you also get that nostalgic kick just listening to the opening screen music if you’ve already played the first game. The world of the Epic Mickey, Wasteland, is a bizarre world of forgotten and buried cartoons; at one point, I found myself looking at a bizarre new form of sedimentary rock formed of discarded Disney paraphernalia. It’s a nice place to visit; I’m not sure if I want to live there, though. It’s strangely creepy.
And the camera still stinks, too.
SPOILER ALERT: I have tried to hide late game plot revelations as best I can, and believe I did an alright job. However, I totally spoil the ending of the first Saw movie after the break.
Update (Jan 29): Disney shutters Epic Mickey creator Junction Point Studios
Tailly responds to the wearer's heartbeat, wagging fast when a raised heartbeat indicates high emotion and slowing with the pulse to a swing.
This time, the target amount is $50,000 – just over half the Kickstarter goal of £60,000 – which needs to be raised by March 7th, 2013 if the project is to be funded.
Wyrmkeep Entertainment, who recently launched a Kickstarter project to fund a sequel to their perennial point & click adventure, have cancelled it, admitting the campaign was insufficiently compelling to non-fans. A post-mortem of the project is underway.
The original Inherit the Earth was released in '94 for IBM-PC and Macintosh computers, and has recently been re-released for modern computing and mobile platforms. AdventureGamers awarded it four stars out of five saying that it was "One of the most enjoyable adventures to come out of the mid-1990's."
Before its cancellation, the project had raised $8,507 of its $135,000 goal from 159 backers.
Fortunately for those who cannot get to London, the Wired article contains 27 of the pieces, and the link to the Framers Gallery’s website shows 39 of them. Click on the Exhibitors’ names to see their websites which contain many more works, some anthropomorphic.
During the early eighties, the FCC began to back off on restrictions on advertisements in children’s television, despite pressure from parents’ groups to apply more. The upshot was a series of Saturday morning cartoons (as well as other children’s shows) that were nothing but glorified commercials for various toy lines.
Hasbro was one of the companies involved in selling chunks of plastic to kids who could then nag their parents via the magic of animation. To be entirely fair, their products were probably the most artistically valid at the time, which I should stress was not saying much. Most of their shows have had a remarkable shelf life, long after the need to sell toys have gone.
In 1986, Hasbro had two movies hitting theaters based on their toylines; Transformers: The Movie and My Little Pony: The Movie, with a G.I. Joe: The Movie planned for 1987. However, both became massive box office flops, and G.I. Joe was sent direct to video. While Transformers quietly went on to become an animated cult hit, My Little Pony, well, didn’t.
The reason for this is simple; it’s not a very good movie. But looking at it today, it offers insights into why the newest incarnation of the property, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, has followed in Transformers: The Movie footsteps to become its own animated cult hit, as well as why bad movies are bad in general.