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Listen to the Cat With Wings

Another notable-for-furry-fans young adult fantasy adventure series from author Kevin Gerard: Conor and the Crossworlds. “A Boy, a Mystical Creature, and the Journey of a Lifetime . . . Conor: An innocent ten year-old boy, not unlike other boys anywhere . . . Purugama: Immense, powerful, magical, a towering champion of the crossworlds . . . A young boy subconsciously calls forth the power of the crossworlds creators. They send the mystical beast, Purugama, to accompany him on a fantastic journey. After revealing a number of possible futures to his young companion, Purugama prepares to return him to his home. His plans are interrupted when Drazian, Purugama’s mortal enemy, faces the immense cougar in a ferocious battle. The prize? Conor’s life, or death, depending on the ultimate outcome . . .” As with his other series Diego’s Dragon, the author has created a Conor home page that features video previews and lots of other bits of information. The series is published by Author House.

image c. 2014 Author House

image c. 2014 Author House

Three comic book reviews: Pull List #17 ('MLP' and 'TMNT')

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It’s another IDW sweep, with two Micro-Series issues (Pinkie Pie and Old Hob are featured this time around), and another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue. Ben Bates returns; he’s the artist behind the aforementioned Pinkie Pie story, despite the fact that I pointed him out as a positive in earlier issue of TMNT. His art, however, makes a cameo in the TMNT issue; but more on that when we get to it. First, let’s see what Pinkie Pie’s up to, shall we?

My Little Pony: Micro-Series #5 featuring Pinkie Pie My Little Pony: Micro-Series #5 featuring Pinkie Pie

Normally I finish with whatever art comments I make (and I usually don’t make a lot of those), but since I’ve already talked about the artist, I might as well start there this time around. Bates is right at home in funny animal comics; besides TMNT, he’s also done Sonic the Hedgehog. Here, he’s a bit tied down by the fact that Pinkie Pie has to look like Pinkie Pie, after all; his backgrounds are also a bit simplistic, and could use more detail.

The story revolves around Pinkie Pie winning a contest by drinking 315 bottle of Colta Cola (no wonder she’s always wiggling around like she’s in desperate need of a bathroom on the show) to win a ticket with backstage passes to the great clown Ponyacci’s show. It turns out, however, Ponyacci is on the verge of retirement; Pinkie Pie is completely upset by this turn of events.

There are a couple of solid jokes in this issue; Pinkie talking to her Ponyacci doll is so in character, I can hear Andrea Libman’s voice while reading it. Twilight Sparkle plays straight mare for Pinkie; ironically, when Pinkie only wins two tickets, she doesn’t angst about it like Twilight does in a similar situation. Finally, it’s nice to see clowns and clown dolls played so straight (well, you know what I mean); we live in a world where vampires are protagonists for children’s cartoons, but there are not one, but two horror franchises based around killers who take the guise of dolls with playful catchphrases. Pinkie Pie knows what I’m talking about.

Anime: 'Space Dandy' to blast onto Japanese TV in 2014

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Space Dandy poster Space Dandy is cuming (pun deliberate) in January 2014 – but not to America.

The news is spreading that it was announced at guest Shinichir? 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!?

Business for the Right-Brained (with cartoon jaguars)

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Business for the Right BrainM.C.A. Hogarth is collecting funding to publish a "how-to" business book aimed at creative types (writers, artists, crafters, etc); the book features topics ranging from day jobs to time management to metrics (sample chapters) and is illustrated throughout by three cartoon jaguars, "Artist," "Business Manager" and "Marketer."

Four days into the campaign, the project is 43% funded; "perks" on offer include PDF and paper copies, cartoon sponsor page placements, and personal consultations.

Update (20 May): The project has been cancelled.

Ratha’s Creature… in Pictures?

Clare Bell is a science fiction and fantasy author best known for some very furry-themed books. What’s more, she’s actually been to several furry conventions — as a fan! She’s mostly known for a series called The Books of the Named, and the first book in the series is called Ratha’s Creature (check it out here on Amazon). In this book we meet Ratha, who is a young member of the Named: A species of prehistoric cat that are self-aware and possessing of culture, laws, and even primitive agriculture (they keep livestock). Ratha brings shock and dismay to her society when she learns to tame a strange ‘creature’ that glows, and flows, and burns…  most anything dry in fact. The rest of the series follows the adventures of Ratha, her friends, and her adversaries as events develop after Ratha’s discovery of this “creature”… and how she learns it can be useful. You can find out more about the series on the Clare Bell fan site. The reason we’re telling you all this now is that Clare Bell and Sheila Ruth (from Imaginator Press) are exploring the possibility of creating a Ratha’s Creature graphic novel — and they’d like the fans’ opinion of the idea, to see how popular it might be. Visit Clare Bell’s Fur Affinity page and check out the survey in her journal.

Bucktown Tiger first feline to win Fursuit Fracas

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Bucktown Tiger's fans, who go by the name of Shopwreckers, have reason to celebrate. The piano-playing fursuiter has become the first feline to win the Fandom's Favorite Fursuit Fracas, vanquishing opponent Twitch Da Woof in one of the most highly contested finals the competition has witnessed. Both furry musicians were underdogs in their own right, and neither were expected to make it as far as they did.

FEMA's furry family teaches about emergency preparedness

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The "Ready Kids" web site of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency enlists a family of mountain lions to teach kids about preparing for emergencies:

FEMA supply kit

Researchers link big cat habitat and coat patterns

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Creating a feline character? You might want to decide on their habitat before picking a coat.

Research by the University of Bristol's School of Experimental Psychology has found correlations between the complexity or irregularity of a cat's pattern and its habitat:

[...] cats living in dense habitats, in the trees, and active at low light levels, are the most likely to be patterned.

The researchers admitted that this rule did not explain the coat of cheetahs, who have evolved spots despite a preference for open plains.

The team discounted suggestions that coat patterns in big cats were linked to social hierarchy or gender, as they did not differ significantly between such individuals. Their paper, Why the leopard got its spots, was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Obsession for Men an obsession for big cats

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A recent Reuters story reports that biologists in Guatemala rely on Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men to attract jaguars for tracking and research purposes.

Use of the cologne stems from research done by The Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo, where researchers tested the effect of numerous scents on cheetahs. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, it was discovered that out of 24 scents tested, Obsession for Men was the favorite, with Nina Ricci's L'Air du Temps coming in second. Others fared much worse, such as Estée Lauder's Beautiful and Revlon's Charlie.