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Sofawolf Press

Review: 'God of Clay', by Ryan Campbell

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

God of Clay - The Fire Bearers: Book One The cover bears the line, The Fire Bearers: Book One, letting you know it ends on a cliffhanger. It is, in fact, the first volume of a trilogy.

In the prehistoric past, when men shared the world with anthropomorphized animal-gods, there were two very different brothers in a tribe. Clay, the older brother, respects and worships the old gods who control all men’s lives, while irreverent Laughing Dog mocks the unseen gods, and swears that he controls his own destiny. The brothers love each other, in their own ways, but their differences lead both to disaster.

Doto crouched in the forest, his clawed fingers pressing down beneath the grasses and bed of fallen leaves to touch the earth below. He went out, out, into the soil, into the trunks of the trees, the branches and leaves, the grasses and ferns. He felt the air swaying branches, the sunlight on the leaves. He felt the rodents skittering across the forest floor. […] He leapt from branch to branch and winged over the canopy. He spread himself out, farther and farther. Through the keen eyes of the birds and the considering gaze of a monkey clinging to a branch above, he could see himself, crouched on the ground far below, so still that he was nearly undetectable. […] All the surrounding life lived through him. But all was not right. There was an uneasiness in the forest, somewhere around the edges. Could great Atekye have risen herself up in the south of the forest, swelling her swamps to flood the forest floor once again? (p. 1)

Sofawolf Press, September 2013, trade paperback $17.95 [on Amazon] ([5] + 259 [+ 2] pages), Kindle $7.99. Illustrated by Zhivago.

Review: 'The Art of Hibbary', by Hillary Renee Luetkemeyer

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

The Art of HibbaryThis is the fifth volume in Sofawolf Press' Artistic Visions series of art-sketch format albums. The first four each showcase one (or two) of the best artists in furry fandom; Kenket (Tess Garman), Brian and Tracy Reynolds, Ursula Vernon and Henrieke Goorhuis. Each is a professional artist, but is especially well-known in furry fandom for convention conbook covers, badge art and other commissioned art, and trades with other Furry artists; many of which are posted on DeviantART, FurAffinity and other art websites.

Hibbary (Hillary Leutkemeyer) has been a member of DeviantART for over a decade, and she was Artist Guest of Honor at Furry Weekend Atlanta 2013, but otherwise she is little known in furry fandom. This large (8½” x 11”) volume of Artistic Visions should change that.

St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, July 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (99 pages).

Review: 'Red Devil', by Kyell Gold

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Red DevilRed Devil, a sequel to Kyell Gold's Green Fairy, is both the second volume of his Dangerous Spirits series, and part of his Forester series (Out of Position, Isolation Play, Waterways, Bridges and others), set in an alternate contemporary America inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. Solomon Wrightson, the homosexual teenage wolf who was the protagonist of Green Fairy, is the best friend of Alexei Tsarev, the fox protagonist here.

Alexei, a young Siberian in the States on a student visa that expires in two months, hopes to impress the Vidalia Peaches semi-professional soccer team enough to become a member.

If they sponsored Alexei, he could apply for a visa that would allow him to stay in this country indefinitely. (p. 3)

Besides being good athletes, everyone on the Peaches is gay. Alexei has only recently come to the States from his hometown of Samorodka, Siberia, partially to play soccer but really to escape the brutal anti-gay attitude prevalent in Siberia. (Gold is clearly using Siberia to refer to all Russia in this anthropomorphic world.) Alexei misses his sister Caterina, with whom he was especially close. They were exchanging letters, but she has not answered his last few missives. Alexei is sure that their abusive parents are preventing her from writing.

Alexei is rooming with Sol at the house that Sol shares with Meg, the mannish teenage otter from Green Fairy, in Sol’s room where his portrait of Niki, the murdered 19th-century fox transvestite is hanging. Alexei, who semi-believes in ghosts, already is influenced by the spirit of his great-grandmother “Prababushka”, whom he feels may have followed him to the States to protect him. In addition to worrying about Cat back in Samorodka, and getting onto the Peaches soccer team to stay in the States, Alexei has developed a crush on one of the Vidalia amateur players, Mike, a friendly Dall sheep; but the insecure, withdrawn Siberian fox is always being shoved aside by Kendall, a more brash and self-assertive pine marten also on the local amateur team. Alexei is unsure whether Mike is just being polite to Kendall, or if he really prefers the more outgoing marten. Or whether Alexei should continue to concentrate on his feelings for Mike, rather than looking for another boyfriend in Vidalia and the States’ more open and relaxed straight and gay sexual atmosphere.

Illustrations by Rukis, St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, January 2014, trade paperback $19.95 ([iii +] 269 [+ 2] pages), Kindle $9.99.

Review: 'The Art of Henrieke', by Henrieke Goorhuis

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

The Art of HenreikeThis is the fourth volume in Sofawolf PressArtistic Visions series of art-sketch format albums, each showcasing one of the best artists in furry fandom. Each is a professional artist, but is especially well-known in furry fandom for convention conbook covers, badge art and other commissioned art, and trades with other Furry artists; many of which are posted on DeviantART, Fur Affinity and other art websites.

The art in these albums emphasize anthropomorphized-animal cartoons and similar humorous work, rather than realistic animal depictions. Other Artistic Visions albums have showcased the work of Hibbary (Hillary Leutkemeyer), Brian and Tracy Reynolds, Kenket (Tess Garman) and Ursula Vernon. These are all American artists.

The Art of Henrieke is the first to feature a European artist. Henrieke Goorhuis, a Dutch artist born in 1990, has become very popular in just the last five years for European Furry convention art and T-shirts, commissioned art featuring fans’ personal icons and for commissioned art for European zoos. Her most popular character is her own cartoon icon, Kiki the ring-tailed lemur.

Good artbooks speak for themselves. Almost every page of The Art of Henrieke: Sketches, Works in Progress, and Commentary by the Artist is crammed with sketches and finished line art.

St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, January 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (75 [+ 1] pages).

Sofawolf Press calls for submissions via new system

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Sofawolf Press logo Furry publisher Sofawolf Press has announced use of a new submissions and reviews system, Submittable, aiming to simplify the process for both editors and creative types.

The following anthologies are currently open for submissions:

  • Heat #11 (romantic/erotic stories, comics and poetry): open until September 30th
  • New Fables (literary fiction and poetry): open until filled
  • Hot Dish #2 (longer romantic/erotic stories of 10,000–20,000 words): open until filled

Sofawolf is also accepting submissions for novels and graphic novels. Those interested can visit sofawolfpress.submittable.com to read submission guidelines and submit their work.

Cats with Swords

Sofawolf Press have announced that Caterwall, a new full-color young adult graphic novel by Spain Fischer, will be arriving this summer. Originally announced last spring, this sword & sorcery tale follows the adventures of Pax, a feline would-be adventurer. Pax is “ the orphaned son of the kingdom of Katia’s greatest knights. His family name and reputation has been tarnished, however, and Pax is to blame. When the young cat intercepts troubling news from the neighboring kingdom of the dogs, Dewshire, his warnings fall on deaf ears. Banished from Caterwall after insulting the Dewshire diplomat, Pax must decide if he will try to stop the dangerous tide approaching Caterwal l– or turn his back on the home which cast him out.” The story will be told in a series of three 100-page graphic novels. We’ll admit to some confusion regarding the web site for this project. Some promotional posters released at Further Confusion and elsewhere give the web site as www.caterwall.net, which leads you to a “Coming Soon” page with an illustration. More actual information, however, can be found at www.caterwall.com, which includes artwork and background write-ups.

'Heat 9' interview: RayFKM

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Isiah had the chance to interview most of the contributors to annual adult anthology Heat 9, published by Sofawolf; some could not be reached. Related interviews: Whyte Yote & Alastair WildfireCamron & VantidAlopexHuskyteerKandrel & ScappoTempe O'kun

Isiah Jacobs: Good evening, Ray! Thank you so much for coming on! It's nice to have you on the show!

RayFKM: Pleasure to be here.

Isiah Jacobs: You have a story in Heat 9 that you titled "Stupid". Could you please tell me a little about this story?

RayFKM: Oh, yeah. It's the story of a lonely guy who wants to find some love... and does not matter how!

Isiah Jacobs: And this guy is straight, but he convinces himself to be gay just for sake of companionship, is that correct?

RayFKM: Yes, totally.

Isiah Jacobs: Why did you decide on this story?

'Heat 9' interview: Tempe O'kun

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Isiah had the chance to interview most of the contributors to annual adult anthology Heat 9, published by Sofawolf; some could not be reached. Related interviews: Whyte Yote & Alastair WildfireCamron & VantidAlopexHuskyteerKandrel & ScappoKyell Gold & Nimrais

Isiah Jacobs: Hello again, Tempo! Welcome back to the show! It's been too long!

Tempo: Happy to be back. :)

Isiah Jacobs: So, you have a story in this year's publication of Heat. And you were actually able to get it illustrated by Blotch!

Tempo: Yep! The story behind that story starts a couple years back when Blotch and I were talking about what we liked in each other's work. I liked that Blotch's pics often felt like they had a world behind them, like there were stories behind them. They ended up asking if I wanted to write one of those stories and we paged through their prints until we found "The Prisoner". (NSFW)

Isiah Jacobs: That's the one with Drust tied to a tree or something, right?

'Heat 9' interview: contributors Kyell Gold and Nimrais

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Isiah had the chance to interview most of the contributors to annual adult anthology Heat 9, published by Sofawolf; some could not be reached. Related interviews: Whyte Yote & Alastair WildfireCamron & VantidAlopexHuskyteerKandrel & ScappoTempe O'kun

Isiah Jacobs: Good evening, Nimrais, thank you so much for joining us tonight! It's nice to have you on the show! Kyell, always a pleasure!

Nimrais: Good evening, it's a pleasure to talk to you two!

Kyell Gold: Likewise! Thanks, Isiah, for setting this up.

Isiah Jacobs: Obviously, you two produced content for Heat 9 this year; a story called "Rewind". Before we discuss the story itself, I'm just curious. Have you two heard of each other before this?

'Heat 9' interview: contributors Whyte Yote and Alastair Wildfire

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Isiah had the chance to interview most of the contributors to annual adult anthology Heat 9, published by Sofawolf; some could not be reached. Related interviews: Camron & VantidAlopexKandrel & ScappoHuskyteerKyell Gold & NimraisTempe O'kun

Isiah Jacobs: Good evening, gentlemen! Thank you both so much for joining me tonight, it's a pleasure to have you both on the show!

Whyte Yote: Thanks for having us.

Isiah Jacobs: Whyte, Alastair, as I understand it, you both have sort of collaborated in this year's issue of Heat. Whyte, you wrote a short story called "Two Minutes" and Alastair, you provided the illustrations.

Whyte Yote: Well, I wouldn't call it "collaboration" as much as "I didn't know who was doing my illustrations until Alopex told me after they were done." XD He likes surprises. Plus, publisher's prerogative.

'Heat 9' interview: Alice 'Huskyteer' Dryden

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Isiah had the chance to interview most of the contributors to annual adult anthology Heat 9, published by Sofawolf; some could not be reached. Related interviews: Whyte Yote & Alastair WildfireCamron & VantidAlopexKandrel & ScappoKyell Gold & NimraisTempe O'kun

Isiah Jacobs: Good evening, Ms. Dryden, thank you so much for coming on!

Huskyteer: Thank you for inviting me!

Isiah Jacobs: You submitted a story to Heat 9 this year, and it was illustrated by Cara Mitten. Unfortunately, she couldn't join us.

Huskyteer: I should confess I haven't got my mitts on my copy of Heat yet, so I haven't seen the illustrated version. I hope it gets through Customs. Sometimes stuff from the US arrives in a matter of days, sometimes it...doesn't.

Isiah Jacobs: Your story is called "Bad Timing." Could you please briefly explain what your story is about?

'Heat 9' interview: contributors Camron and Vantid

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Isiah had the chance to interview most of the contributors to annual adult anthology Heat 9, published by Sofawolf; some could not be reached. Related interviews: Whyte Yote & Alastair WildfireKandrel & ScappoAlopexHuskyteerKyell Gold & NimraisTempe O'kun

Isiah Jacobs: Good evening, Camron! Vantid! Thank you both so much for coming on the show!

Vantid: Good to be here.

Camron Cucce: Good evening, Isiah. Thanks for having us. Pleasure to be here in old Detroit.

Isiah Jacobs: I don't think it would really be a pleasure, but alright! Camron, for this year's edition of Heat you decided to write a poem and it was illustrated by Vantid here. Could you tell me what this poem is about, please?

'Heat 9' interview: contributors Kandrel and Scappo

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Isiah had the chance to interview most of the contributors to annual adult anthology Heat 9, published by Sofawolf; some could not be reached. Related interviews: Whyte Yote & Alastair WildfireCamron & VantidAlopexHuskyteerKyell Gold & NimraisTempe O'kun

Isiah Jacobs: Good evening, Kandrel, Scappo. Thank you both so much for coming on to the show. I really appreciate this! Kandrel, I understand you submitted a story to this year’s volume of Heat and Scappo, you provided the illustrations. Have you two heard of each before you were brought on to do Heat?

Kandrel: Yeah, I had definitely heard of Scappo before. I tend to try to keep my eye on good artists. Mainly because I like collecting art. Usually I recognize most of the artists that are up and coming by name, if not by their style.

Scappo: Well, I’m glad you like my art! Heh. I had never heard of Kandrel before, but that’s usually because I’ve got my head buried in commissions. So I don’t really have a whole lot of time to read. But I did read and enjoy “Better”. I think it’s one of the better stories that I’ve read.

'Heat 9' interview: Series editor Alopex

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Isiah had the chance to interview most of the contributors to annual adult anthology Heat 9, published by Sofawolf; some could not be reached. Related interviews: Whyte Yote & Alastair WildfireKandrel & ScappoCamron & VantidHuskyteerKyell Gold & NimraisTempe O'kun

Isiah Jacobs: Alopex, thank you so much for coming on! It's a pleasure to have one of the Sofa Wolves here!

Alopex: Thank you for having me! It's not often the editors get the attention of the media. :)

Isiah Jacobs: I agree! I see interviews featuring films and you mostly see the actors. You never see the minds behind the magic, like the writers, the producers, the directors, etc.

Alopex: That's what the director commentary tracks are wonderful for...at least with films.

Isiah Jacobs: There is your "Afterglow" with Heat, but you're only given so much room to express your thoughts.

Alopex: Well, it was a good idea initially, but often I struggle to find something new to say that doesn't just rehash what the volume was about. Sometimes having a limited space to fill is a blessing -- especially when I leave that part until the very end. :)

Isiah Jacobs: And we'll be getting to that in just a bit. This is the ninth instalment of Heat, and the range of the authors and illustrators in this volume is amazing. Do you feel that you've come a long way since the first issue?

Nordguard: The Card Game

The art collective (or pair at least) known as Blotch have a new item connected with their successful comic book/graphic novel series Nordguard. Now it’s the Nordguard Card Game, coming this summer from Sofawolf Press. The game itself was developed by Tempe O’Kun and Nic Wald, and play-testing was directed over the last year by Jeremia Heupel of ThinkTank Games. And the game itself? “You and your friends play as an anthropomorphized sled dog rescue team, overcoming cannibalistic strays and a landscape as capricious as it is lethal. Only your wits and your gear stand between you and certain disaster. Quick-reference instructions provide the rules in minutes, while a scalable difficulty curve provides a challenge for everyone from pups to even the most veteran sled dogs. A randomized map ensures no two missions will ever be the same. Based on the award-winning graphic novel Nordguard: Across Thin Ice, this slim set comes packed with over 120 illustrations by the artists Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet [aka Blotch].