Lex Nakashima & I have started a project to inform YOU of the best untranslated French-language funny-animal adventure cartoon albums. The Blacksad series by Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido has found a good American home at Dark Horse, but there are others that Americans are not being informed of.
Lex & I recently brought you a review of the first two The Saga of Atlas & Axis albums by Jean-Marc Pau. Next up is The Sword of Ardenois by Étienne Willem, to be completed in four albums, the first two of which are now available.
Author/artist Willem has said in interviews that The Sword of Ardenois is his homage to all of the Medieval-setting talking-animal fantasies that have influenced him; notably the medieval Roman de Renard, the Disney 1973 anthropomorphic-animal Robin Hood animated film, and Brian Jacques’ Redwall novels.
Willem’s first volume, Garen, won a BD Gest’ Art 2010 award (in 2011, for the best bande dessinée of the previous year) for the Best Youth Album of 2010.
My thanks to Lex Nakashima for ordering these albums from France and loaning them to me.
There was an announcement for these two albums on Flayrah in February. Then I did not know any more about them than I could find out online, on Ankama’s own website and on Amazon.fr. They looked good. Now that I have seen them, I can say that they look excellent; worth buying for the art even if you cannot read the French text.
Amid Amidi at the Cartoon Brew presents a true rarity: a 1947 unsold half-hour recording for a children’s radio show, “Sally in Hollywoodland”. Recorded on June 3, 1947, the pilot is about a little girl who falls asleep and dreams herself into an adventure with Walter Lantz’s famous Hollywood animal cartoon characters.
This episode stars Woody Woodpecker (voice of Theodore Von Eltz), Andy Panda (Sarah Brenner), Oswald Rabbit (June Foray), Wilbur Wolf (Billy Bletcher, who was the Big Bad Wolf in Disney’s 1933 Silly Symphony), and Wally Walrus (Herb Lytton). Amidi says that the recording was discovered by Randy Riddle, and that notes show that if the pilot had sold, Sally would have continued to have adventures with the Lantz characters, not other studios’.
Well, not exactly. You are probably vaguely aware that there have been a lot of French-language funny-animal bandes dessinées going back decades. Chlorophylle the dormouse. Attila the dog. Billy the Cat. Gai-Luron the hound. Poussy. Inspector Canardo. Chaminou the cat. Jungle Fever. The Centaurs. (Are centaurs funny animals?) Yakari is a little North American Indian boy who meets lots of talking/magic animals. Pif the dog and Hercule the cat. The Schtroumpfs/Smurfs aren’t exactly funny animals, but they aren’t exactly humans, either. Not to mention many famous supporting characters: Tintin’s dog Snowy, Spirou’s squirrel Spip. The long-tailed marsupilami started out as a supporting character in the adventures of Spirou and Fantasio, eventually getting his own series.
What you may not be aware of is that these characters did not appear in their own magazines. They were serialized, usually two pages at a time, in long-running weekly magazines, more like newspaper Sunday supplements in America; and then reprinted in their own albums. Spirou. Tintin. Pilote. Vaillant. Le Journal de Mickey.
Jerry Beck at the Cartoon Brew has posted this gallery of sixteen World War II-related funny animal comic book covers.
This goes nicely with my retrospective, “Talking Animals in World War II Propaganda”, published here last January 5th.
Just in time for the 100th anniversary of George Herriman’s world-famous Krazy Kat comic strip, Sunday Press Books is re-releasing Krazy Kat: A Celebration of Sundays in hardcover. “A Centennial Celebration! Finally, Krazy Kat as it was meant to be seen. From the publishers of the celebrated and much-awarded Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays! deluxe oversized reprint edition, come 135 full-size Sunday pages from 1916-1944 — plus dozens more early comics from George Herriman. It’s the eternal triangle of the comics — Kat, Mouse, and Pupp, along with the catalytic brick. Here are their glorious, poignant, and hilarious stories from the genius of George Herriman, reprinted for the first time in their original size and colors. Included in the 14 x 17-inch collection is a sampling of all Herriman’s creations for the Sunday newspaper comics from 1901-1906: Professor Otto, The Two Jackies, Major Ozone, and more, many of which have never been reprinted before. Now, 100 years after Ignatz tossed his first brick, step back in time to delight in the timeless tales of America’s great comic strip artist and his greatest creation, Krazy Kat.” Check it out on Amazon.
Now, patrons of San Francisco's Public Library may be tickled to have his art work in their pockets.
According to this cartoon illustrated tour, seven million people a year pass through SFPL's main branch alone (one of 27 branches in the city). Library membership is over 350,000, with over nine million loans circulated per year. That's a lot of patrons who could become card-carrying appreciators of furry art!
3,000 submissions were received for the SFPL card design contest. Judges selected ten finalists in each of five age-based categories. The top vote-winners will be printed on SFPL library cards in 2013.
Walter Ringtail's submission "The Bedtime Story" was chosen for the adult level finals. Now, it's up to the public to vote for the winner.
Long articles could be (and have been) written on the adventures of Donald and Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Gandy Goose and Homer Pigeon. In the last decade, most American propaganda cartoons have been re-released on DVD, so we can see them for ourselves; they are also on YouTube.
Volumes could also be written of the wartime funny-animal comic book and newspaper comic strip characters who fought the Axis, usually on the Home Front against saboteurs and hoarders. World War II's talking-animal propaganda novels are less well-known. In fact, they are forgotten today except in movie-adaptation credits. That’s too bad, as the books are still enjoyable reading.
Contrary to popular belief, the furry fandom did not originate before the 1970's, nor were we the first anthropomorphic fandom.
Before the furry fandom originated there was another fandom called "funny animal lovers". Unlike the furry fandom, funny animal lovers viewed it as a hobby and there wasn't any porn of the characters, sexual aspect came later on
Nintendo's Wii has been pretty good to furries who enjoy "Zelda-esque" 3-D platformers. The console shipped with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, featuring a lupine Link, followed shortly by the generally considered superior port of Ōkami. The console's backwards compatibility also brought the ridiculously furry Star Fox Adventures to the table.