Serusis is the title of a new 5-issue full-color comic mini-series coming late in June from Big Dog Ink. “Planet Serusis is under the control of the Reliton army and its ruthless leader, Snogard. In an attempt to save their world, two Serusisans kidnap a group of humans in the hopes that they will be able to access the secrets of the creators of Serusis itself. Four humans versus the Reliton army? Good luck with that.” The Serusisans, by the way, resemble large snakes with terrific hairdo’s. The Relitons are big reptiles too, with four limbs and lots of attitude. This all-ages series is written by Tom Hutchison (Critter) and illustrated by Owen Gieni (Avengelyne). Things From Another World has more.
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.
It’s a new hardcover book called Animals with Sharpies, created by two of the founding members of the world-renowned collective The Royal Art Lodge. Again, we’re going to defer to their description, since we really can’t top it: “Animals with Sharpies is a collection of paintings with hand-lettered texts. In each painting, Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber have depicted an animal holding a Sharpie, ostensibly writing a message. These messages are varied in nature: Political and religious tracts, confessions, recipes, arithmetic problems, and more. Above all, these paintings are funny, but they are also startlingly poignant and jarring for the humanness of the suffering and longing depicted in these animals’ simple words.” Check it out at Amazon. It’s coming to shelves this June.
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.
Look, there’s really no way we can explain it better: “Welcome to ‘the Blister’ — a bizarre other-world colonized by humans sometime in the 22nd century, which quickly became a hotly-contested source of fertile land and natural resources long ago exhausted on Earth. In this new frontier, a rogue gunslinger and his companion wander across a wilderness in the grips of a civil war, encountering lawlessness, natives, and perversions of civilization in a world at the crossroads between the past and the future. The fact that said gunslinger is a bio-surgically modified silverback gorilla toting a pair of enormous revolvers is neither here nor there.” That’s the story of Six Gun Gorilla from Boom! Studios, coming this June. It’s written by Simon Spurrier (X-Men: Legacy) with interior art by Jeff Stokely (Fraggle Rock, The Reason for Dragons) and featuring a cover by Eisner Award-winning artist Ramón Pérez (see below). The story behind the comic is even more interesting: It’s based on an obscure 1930′s comic which no one seems to know the source of. Major Spoiler’s write-up might make it all easier to follow. Or not.
D.G. Flamand is an author who has made a name for himself as writing books for children and adults that are pointedly violence-free. Not so much as a political statement, but because he feels that people should have more options to read literature that encourages solving problems without violence. He explains it all clearly at his web site. Several of his books have more than a little furry leaning to them. In The Old Druid and the Pursuit of Happiness, the animals of the Land of Peace notice that their ruling druid is troubled — and they follow him as he seeks out the fabled Garden of Happiness. In The Great Secret of the Seas, a young boy and girl are granted the power to swim beneath the ocean — but find they must use all their resources to save the many creatures they meet there from a terrible fate. Flamand’s latest book (coming this June) is A Thousand Rainbows, where we meet and follow the adventures of various creatures (an owl, a buck, a fish, and more) in the land of Cornucopia. All of these books and more can be found at Tate Publishing.
This coming June, IDW will release something new and special for the myriad fans of their very popular My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic line of comics. The My Little Pony “Color Me” Treasury Edition is a special reprint of the first issue of IDW’s My Little Pony in black and white, showcasing the inking work of artist Andy Price. In addition, this collection brings together all 48 versions (!!) of the various covers for issues #1 – #4 of the comic (the first story arc). Previews magalog has a first look at this upcoming collection.
This June, IDW Publishing is releasing a new edition of a popular, devilishly hard-to-find companion for fans of the Ninja Turtles: It’s called the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Artobiography, and it was originally published by Heavy Metal over a decade ago. “TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman guides you through a dazzlingly, in-depth look at the creation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. From the modest beginnings to the merchandising, pop culture juggernaut, this collection of concept art, comics pages, and insider-behind-the-scenes notes-has been ‘sold out’ and hard to find for years. But now it’s back in print for a new generation of fans to enjoy.” And in hardcover no less. Check it out at the Previews web site.
“When Hooligan Bear and his nephew Little Louie return home to the bear factory and find it has been closed, they are faced with a problem. It’s a turning point for the little bears and the beginning of many adventures.” That’s the description of Home, the first book in the new series of Hooligan Bear adventures written by Ian Toynton and illustrated by Andrea Dietrich. Hooligan bear and his four friends are a set of plushie bears who must learn about the world around them as they work and play in this series for young readers. This being the modern age, the books are not only available on-line (from Big Tent Books), but Hooligan Bear even has his own Facebook page and his own Twitter feed.
And another furry Kickstarter campaign of note: Fox Hollow Tales is the creation of Jennifer Carson (writer, designer) and Pat Ann Lewis (illustrator). It’s a series of full-color illustrated books for young readers, featuring the adventures of a multi-species cast of characters in late 19th Century New England. The first book in the series, Wojer and the Wizard of the Wood, is nearing completion — and the creators are seeking crowdfunding to get it there, as well as to get started on the second book in the series, Wojer and the Black Knight. Visit their Kickstarter page to find out more, and to see a video trailer for the series.
Jerry Beck’s Animation Scoop has an interesting article about a pair of independent animation projects in the works — both of which just happen to be very furry. First up is Ghost of a Tale, a new video game designed by Lionel “Seith” Gallat. Lionel has worked as a supervising animator at Dreamworks on movies like The Prince Of Egypt, The Road to Eldorado, Spirit, Sinbad, SharkTale, and others. More recently he’s been a director for Illumination on films like Despicable Me and The Lorax. Ghost of a Tale follows the adventures of a medieval mouse battling rat zombies on a mysterious island. In a very different vein is Dogonauts by Shel and Justin Rasch. “Mortal enemies, a Dogonaut Pilot and a Space Flea, shoot each other down only to awake, marooned side by side on an alien desert planet.” Justin is a stop-motion animator known for films like Paranorman. He and his wife Shel completed Dogonauts in their garage, all the while both of them working full-time jobs. Both of these projects are seeking crowdfunding help to move from their current levels of production up to the next, and hopefully get them out into the world. The Scoop article features trailers as well as the official pitches for each of these projects. Check ‘em out.
Out in the wide Arizona desert, near a top-secret military research facility, there lived a young kitten with the unusual name of Three. Then one day, there was a terrible accident at at the facility… That’s the story behind Sonora, a new full-color comic book series written by Mike Kessler and illustrated by Erin Taylor. After a terrible explosion, the surviving animals of this desert region awaken to find they have gained amazing powers… Some of them will use those powers for good, and others… will not. Published by Bleating Goat Comics, whose web site has information about this and other independent comic books.
Where have we been? Looks like even classic toys are taking on a furry angle. Legends of Chima is a new line of Lego toys the world-famous plastic brick system introduced this year. From the Wikipedia entry: “Chima is a land where anthropomorphic animals lived in peace with one another until a conflict caused a civil war with the eight animal tribes: Lion, Eagle, Raven, Wolf, Gorilla, Rhino, Bear, and Crocodile. The members of the factions fiercely battle over a powerful natural resource called Chi, which could allow its possessor to create or destroy.” The toy sets are already available — and a TV series based on the line has already been produced by Prime Focus for the Cartoon Network. Later this summer, a free MMORPG of Chima will be available on line as well.
And yet more designer toys, clothes, and art, this time from an outfit known as Beefy & Co. “Established in 2011 by designer, illustrator, modeler & animator Menh Voong, ushered a new fusion of iconic art. Inspired by generations of comic superheros, animations and illustrations merging with today’s Pop Culture, the passion is instilled in each limited piece of artwork. Artistic and collectible, the new age of art influences dominate the brand Beefy & Co.” You heard it here folks. Check out their latest designs at www.beefyco.com.
It’s called Fat Rabbit Farm — and that explains it pretty well. “Fat Rabbit Farm is a magical, floating kingdom inhabited by spontaneous and adventurous friends, including a fluffy bunny who loves ice cream, a lone pirate bunny who sailed from beyond the skies, a quiet little turtle, and a bad tempered mushroom.” Created by Jason Ponggasam and Patty Variboa, two independent artists and designers, Fat Rabbit Farm is a showcase for their posters, t-shirts, original toys, and storybooks. Find it all at www.fatrabbitfarm.com.
After a wildly successful run of Ratchet & Clank releases for the Sony Playstation, Insomniac Games have announced they are teaming up with Sony Computer Entertainment, Rainmaker Entertainment, and Blockade Entertainment to bring the planet-hopping lombax and his little robot companion to the big screen in a brand-new CGI animated film — set to be released in 2015. According to an article in Forbes, Insomniac’s own TJ Fixman will be lead writer on the film, and voice talent will feature James A. Taylor as Ratchet, David Kaye as Clank, and Jim Ward as the lumbering human Qwark — all of whom are well-known from the game series. The article on-line also features a new teaser-trailer for the upcoming film.
Unicornatopia is a collection of artists, craft-makers, and enthusiasts dedicated to the lore of the unicorn — from Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn to My Little Pony and beyond. To that end they maintain a unicorn-themed web site, and also travel in groups to various fannish conventions to sell not only artwork but custom-made wearable unicorn horns and other crafts. Their web site is unicornatopia.com, and it includes numerous links to other unicorn-themed sites as well as various artists associated with the group.
Stephanie Gladden is a multi-talented artist and cartoonist, best known for her work on licensed properties like tie-in comics for The Simpsons, Ren & Stimpy, Looney Tunes, The Powerpuff Girls and Tom & Jerry. Furry fans, however, might know her best for her original creator-owned comic book series Hopster’s Tracks from the late 90′s. Well now, Stephanie has created her first on-line comic series, The Girls of Monster Paradise. You know all those old Sci Fi and Horror movies where the monsters show up and grab a screaming pretty girl, then drag her off slung over their shoulder? Just what do they do with those women? Do they eat them? Do they let them go? Neither! They take them to Monster Paradise, a tropical island where the party never ends — and where the girls stick around because they like their cool new monster friends! Find out all about it on-line here.
Also from Creative Mind Energy comes The Adventures of Professor Wallaby, a series of illustrated books for young readers by two of the minds behind CME: Damian Wassel (story) and Nathan Gooden (art). “One quiet spring morning, on the far, far side of the island of Roo, an old wizard, Professor Wallaby, wakes to find Yazz, a helpless yak, caught by a gang of rats. Little does the Professor know that this mornin will spark a long series of adventures for him and his new friend. Filled with ancient secrets, dazzling warriors, fearsome pirates, close calls, and struggles of magic and might with a dark wizard seeking revenge, The Adventures of Professor Wallaby spans nine books, showing us all the true power of friendship”. Again, find out more at the CME web site.
Creative Mind Energy (CME) describe themselves as “a creative consortium of artists, designers, inventors, story-tellers and writers who pool their educations, talents and creative abilities to bring outstanding new products to all media markets and industries”. To that end they have several comic book series in various stages of development — and several of them are Furry in nature. First up is The Gifted, a largely black & white comic book with water-color style illustrations. According to the CME blog, “The Gifted is set in a dystopian future, in which humans have devastated the earth. What animals remain endure a barren, dangerous existence, constantly being hunted and exterminated by man. But some of the animals find themselves gifted with sophisticated intelligence and the power of speech, and rise up against man to protect their earth.” The first issue will be available at their on-line store soon. Visit their web site to find out more about this and other upcoming titles.