As noted in January, Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comics (including Sonic Universe and Overdrive) have been delayed for unspecified reasons, with suspicion falling on a renewed contract dispute with SEGA.
Today, the official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account announced that SEGA of America were "parting ways" with Archie; promising that it was not "the end of Sonic in comics", but a "decision to take a different direction for the series that will be announced at a later date".
Not just fans, but current and former staff of the series were stunned by the news.
The Autumnlands is the creative result of writer Kurt Busiek and artist Benjamin Dewey, with help from colourist Jordie Bellaire and typesetter John Roshell and published by Image. Started in 2014, it is still in continuation with a recent release of a second volume.
The story revolves around the city of Keniel, one of seventeen great floating cities above the earth, resides a relatively peaceful community of anthropomorphic people living in a world of sorcery. In the eyes of Dunstan, a young bull terrier lad, life is going fairly well as he learns from his father to take on the family trade business.
Though not all is well as it seems in the world. Magic fades at an alarming rate and the great mages seek to desperately restore it. In relative secret a group of mages seek to bring back a great hero of legend to restore the world’s magic, despite the warnings of their council superiors.
Unfortunately for them, things don't play out as planned.
It’s a phenomenal story collecting the first six issues of the action/fantasy series featuring primarily anthropomorphic animal characters. While these topics of talking animals and magic seem like the things a child would like to read about, it’s noted that this comic touches into more mature territory pretty quick.
In this series you will find nudity, racial segregation and stereotyping, violent impalement and disembowelment. And this is just within the very first chapter!
It immediately sets itself up as being a story for mature readers, and a clear reminder that some comic books aren’t written for children.
Legend is a graphic novel by Samuel Sattin and Chris Koehler. It combines the popular post-apocalyptic story setting with talking animals - giving it furry appeal - and wonders how domesticated animals would survive after humanity is wiped out in a biological attack. To be fair, not all the humans are dead, but the only ones that we encounter have been turned into flesh-hungry zombies.
The first volume of Legend begins after humanity has already fallen. We meet a pack of dogs living in The Grounds, an open patch of a land next to a city. They need to choose a new leader as their previous one has just been killed by a mysterious creature in the ruins of the city. Vowing revenge, the new leader of the pack, Legend, begins a journey which leads him to ally with a clowder of cats and traverse a dangerous world which is undergoing dramatic changes.
Much of the comic is dedicated to setting up the world, introducing us to its cast of characters, the land they inhabit, and the back stories that underlie their motivations and mythology. This is all done well. Volume 1 contains the first five chapters of Legend and at the beginning of each chapter is a map. Chapter-by-chapter more of the “fog of war” gradually disappears as we learn the surrounding geography. The flashbacks, too, are entertaining and each one is visually distinct; based on the emotions of the character. It is only in one happy flashback that we ever see the world brightly lit and in full colour.
Throughout the entire comic, the artwork is excellent and does a good job of conveying the tone of the story. The majority of the scenes are highlighted in specific colours to convey mood and were a deliberate choice by the artist to limit his palette to better reflect the dogs’ limited colour range. However, the dark tone that falls over most of the story also makes it challenging at times to make out what is happening.
With $40 that I sent to a collector, I dove into the interesting pool of furry fanzines. Anyone can publish furry art and comics online these days, but back when the Internet was more BBS than WWW, it seems like any artist who wanted to get their name out there did a fanzine. There are an incredible number of them, and that's why in my opinion it's impossible to list them all. I know some have tried and failed.
"Bestiary", "Scrap", "Karno's Klassics", "Furplay" and "PentMouse" are just a very small number of what was out there. The quality of the art ranges widely, and so far I've come across more than one comic that makes absolutely no sense at all. But those are exceptions; most of what I've seen has been quite good.
For the most part, furry fanzines were published with anywhere between 8 to 50 pages. They're a really interesting view of the early days of the fandom. One thing I noticed - the style of art hasn't changed that much. But what has definitely changed is how furry fans have viewed their fandom.
Klaw is a French comic book series that will soon be available in English from Magnetic Press, so this is a good time for a review! It's a young adult superhero/action comic with anthropomorphic content. Will it appeal to furry fans? Possibly. Bonus points if you're a fan of tigers. It's written by Antoine Ozanam and drawn by Joël Jurion.
Angel Tomassini is a kid in early high school who gets bullied a lot, even though everyone (except him) seems to know that his father is the head of the Chicago mafia. Within the space of a particularly bad week, Angel learns the truth about his dad, is questioned by the police over the suspicious death of another student, is attacked by ninjas, goes on his first date, and finds out he has the power to turn into a powerful, muscled were-tiger.
I've probably made it fairly clear in past Pull Lists, but just in case I haven't, Squirrel Girl is my favorite superhero. For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Doreen Green is a Marvel mutant with the ability to talk to squirrels, as well as squirrel like agility, plus a squirrel tail. Together with her squirrel sidekick, Tippy Toe, she fights crime as Squirrel Girl. Very well. At risk of sounding like a hipster, I liked Squirrel Girl before Squirrel Girl was cool. Of course, Squirrel Girl is cool because she is not cool (which also sounds super hipster-y), but my love for the character is not ironic.
I like her because she is a genuine superhero; she both has superpowers and acts heroically, but more importantly, she also likes being a superhero. She has fun being a superhero. If she doesn't take, say, an encounter with Doctor Doom seriously, it's not because she herself sees the ridiculousness of the situation. She doesn't see fights with supervillains as something to worry about; she's a superhero. She is supposed to fight supervillains; and she wants to fight supervillains. On a meta-level (and though she doesn't quite go to, say, Deadpool's textual awareness level, like most "humorous" Marvel characters, she has her medium aware moments), she believes that she will win any fight with a supervillain because she is a superhero, and superheroes always win in the superhero stories she reads; therefore, by choosing to be a superhero, she chooses to win. It is not "realistic" that she should, say, beat Doctor Doom with squirrels, but, seeing as how she isn't real, reality does not concern her.
This is why she is such a divisive character; a certain sort of comic book fan believes that comic book superheroes can only be taken seriously if it is presented "realistically." This viewpoint has been the default comic book fan view for decades now, to the point where a character who regularly and unequivocally wins fights with supervillains, and doesn't angst about it, stands out like a sore thumb, and is therefore a breath of fresh air, especially if your personal preference (like mine) is Guardians of the Galaxy over Watchmen. This is not to say a comic book that deals with the consequences of superheroics is bad; it's to say that a comic book that deals with the consequences of superheroics isn't automatically good. And comic books that don't aren't automatically bad. Or for that matter, that "realism" and "explores consequences" are mutually exclusive.
So, anyway, Squirrel Girl has her own comic book now, and it's awesome. Here's a review of the first three issues.
Furry comics making the top 100 list for February 2015 include:
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2 at 87,
- Rocket Raccoon #8 at 45 and
- Guardians of the Galaxy #24 at 45.
Furry comics making the best-sellers list for the month of January 2015 include:
Benjamin Bear gets his way — Often by methods that are quite unusual but somehow they work. Now he’s back in his latest full-color book for kids, Brain Storm. Check it out over at the Toon Books web site: “The out-of-this-world outlook of a down-to-earth bear! Benjamin Bear can always surprise his friends, whether it’s by walking on his hands during a snowstorm or by using a tree as a parachute. His zany approach to life has earned him two Eisner Award nominations and bestseller status among kids everywhere. French star author Philippe Coudray continues to delight readers by bending the rules of common sense and breaking the laws of physics.” Also look out for the other Benjamin Bear comic books in hardcover, Fuzzy Thinking and Bright Ideas.
Not long after making his return to movies in the after credits gag from Guardians of the Galaxy after an infamous 1986 outing, Howard the Duck will gain his first ongoing comic since 1979 (not counting a mostly official two issue continuation of the series in 1986 in conjunction with the movie). He's appeared in various mini-series since that time, with many guest spots and cameos (Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis has claimed never to have typed the words "Howard the Duck" despite the character appearing in the background of multiple series by him), and he was one of the non-zombie leads in the Marvel Zombies 5 mini-series, but this is first ongoing since the seventies.
March Grand Prix is a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, published by Capstone. It comes to us from the mind of Kean Soo, creator of the award-winning comic book series Jellaby. “March Hare wants to be the fastest and furriest race-car driver around. But first, this rabbit racer must prove his skills at the speedway, on the streets, and in the desert. With pedal-to-the-metal illustrations and full-throttle action, March Grand Prix is sure to be a winner!” It’s set for publication this July in hardcover (and then a month later in trade paperback), but Capstone is releasing a special preview edition as part of this year’s Free Comic Book Day (on May 2nd).
One day, a washer-woman encountered a talking fox, who begged her to hide him from a trio of hunters. She did, concealing him in her laundry basket. Of course, this simply made him fall in love with her. Now he wished that she would love him back… and she wished he were a human instead of a fox. So begins the dark fable Outfoxed, written and illustrated by Dylan Meconis. In 2012 Outfoxed was nominated for Best Digital Comic at the Eisner Awards. Now it’s finally available on dead trees thanks to the folks over at Toonhound Studios. You can also check it out over at the author’s web site.
At this point, I’m a bit behind of recent comic books, but I’m trying to get caught back up to recent times while bringing our readers reviews of every issue of Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and a few even newer series we’ll be getting to eventually.
But for now, we’ve got Guardians of the Galaxy, plus I finish up the final couple of TMNT villains issues.
Back in 1997, Antarctic Press decided to move away from funny animal comics (a move which brought about the birth of Radio Comix) and instead concentrate on “American Manga”. Well now, to celebrate their 30th anniversary Antarctic are back in the furry herd with a new full-color one-shot called Furry Tails. “As a special event for our 30th-anniversary year, Antarctic Press is going back to one of its (hairy) roots-anthropomorphic comics! Includes work from Sonic the Hedgehog artist David Hutchison, plus an all-new, all-furry fun-fest from Fred Perry! Fast and Furriest: When the world order makes every aspect of life miserable for the poor multitudes, Turbo Ninjas take to the highways to rob from the rich and give to the poor!” Check it out over at Bleeding Cool.
Katie Cook is well-known these days as one of the main writers and sometimes artist of IDW’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic book series. Well, she has also created her own on-line comic series called Gronk: A Monster’s Story, which follows the adventures of a young and rather adorable monster… living out in the human world. Unable to make it as a scary thing that bumps in the night, she instead moves in with a young woman, her mischievous cat, and her friendly but very large dog. After several years on line, this full-color all-ages comic has now been collected into three softcover volumes by Action Lab Entertainment — all of them currently available at the Gronk web site.