Hodges Pond is the latest on-line funny animal comic strip created by Albert C. Pena. It carries on the characters and storyline originally presented in Orville (co-written with Richard Tackett) and Critter Country. The weekly black & white strip follows the adventures of Orville the [wannabe] flying squirrel and his friends and associates: Ralph, Rudy, twin sister Judy, Steve, Peter, the Reverend Jonas, and others in a quiet woodland setting that somehow is never far from its own brand of chaos. You can follow it on Twitter, or just check out the official web site.
For Christmas 2012, I received an unexpected present from a friend. The accompanying note explained that he'd acquired a second copy of a beloved book from his childhood and had thought of me as someone likely to appreciate it. The book was Badger's Moon by Elleston Trevor, and appreciate it I certainly did.
Who was Elleston Trevor? A prolific writer across a variety of genres, under several names. He is most famous for the novel Flight of the Phoenix, which has been filmed twice, and for his series of spy stories starring an agent named Quiller (as in Memorandum). He also wrote a large number of books for children, including Scamper-Foot the Pine Marten, Ripple-Swim the Otter, and Wumpus, which stars a koala. He was born in 1920 and died in 1995.
Badger's Moon is part of a series of children's books featuring the Woodlanders. These anthropomorphic creatures inhabit an idyllic, timeless landscape of hills, woods and rivers, rather like Winnie-the-Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood or Mole and Ratty's Riverbank. Other titles in the series include Mole's Castle and Sweethallow Valley.
If this was a commercially published novel, it would probably be age-rated 8 and up. That’s all right; Brian Jacques’ Redwall books are age-rated 8 and up, too. Picayune is a similar rousing and fast-moving talking animal adventure that all ages can enjoy.
Chapter One is misleading. Picayune (Sir Picayune?) is a knight in the service of the king. When a black dragon destroys the capital city and lays the kingdom to waste, the king charges Picayune to, “Defeat that hideous monster at any cost.” Picayune and his noble horse slog through a dismal mire and undergo numerous hardships to find the dragon’s lair. Picayune and the dragon battle to their apparent mutual death …
Note: I have been asked by crossaffliction to review this movie, as he is "on vacation". I understand I have big shoes to fill, so please, save the tomatoes until the end.
First off, I should probably explain the title of this review. It has to do with what a pain it was to go see this movie. My car is broken, and it is literally a hundred degrees outside. No biggie, go through Main Street and it isn't far from my house, walking won't be too hard, right? Unfortunately, Chanute won some Google-partnership thing. I'm not exactly sure why that means they have to tear up half of Main Street and temporarily close many small businesses there, but by God that's what they did.
What this meant for me was that I now had to walk much farther to circumvent the construction. Perhaps not much further, but I'm a hundred-something-pound weakling. I would have shaken my fists in anger to the heavens, but it was simply much too hot for such activity. So, by the time I reached the theater, I was sweating like a whipped bantha.
Anyway, on to the actual review.
Animator James Burks (who previously gave us Gabby & Gator from Yen Press) returns with Bird & Squirrel Volume 1: On the Run, a new full-color graphic novel from Graphix Press. “Bird and Squirrel outwit Cat and become best friends in this zany adventure. Squirrel is afraid of his own shadow. Bird doesn’t have a care in the world. And Cat wants to eat Bird and Squirrel. Of course, he’ll have to catch them first, and that’s not going to be easy. Join this trio as they head south for the winter in a hilarious road trip. But watch out! Cat is waiting around every bend, and he’s one pesky feline.” Barnes & Noble have pre-order information for the book, which is coming this August.
Fred Patten, who has been writing Furry book reviews since 1966, and who edited the first anthology of anthropomorphic short fiction, Best in Show, in 2003, has edited two new anthologies of anthropomorphic s-f & fantasy that will both premiere in June 2012.
- Already Among Us: An Anthropomorphic Anthology, will be published by Legion Publishing of Birmingham, AL on June 4. It will be available in a $18.95 hardcover and $9.99 trade paperback (x + 390 pages), and $8.99 Kindle version, with a wraparound cover by Roz Gibson.
- The Ursa Major Awards Anthology: A Tenth Anniversary Celebration, will be published by FurPlanet Productions of Dallas, TX. It will go on sale at Anthrocon 2012 on June 14, as a $19.95 trade paperback, x + 380 pages, with a wraparound cover by Blotch.
First off, Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!
Suddenly there is much ado about Hero Petz, written by Dale Mettam and illustrated by Juan Fleites. First off, a quick recap from the original series: “Even as the evil Itachi Clan of ninja weasels tightens its grasp on Peludo City, six heroes — okay, five heroes and a crazy Monkey — stand ready to defend the innocent and fight for justice. El Conejito the Rabbit; Wonder Squirrel; Steel Shell the Turtle; Sensei Penguin-San; Kapitan Brüllaffe the Monkey; and Golden Hamster are the Hero Petz! Together, they take it upon themselves to keep watch over the city and protect the innocent!” First off, this June Stan Lee’s Kids Universe is re-releasing the original 80-page graphic novel (from 1821 Comics) in trade paperback. Also, there’s a video trailer for a new Hero Petz video game — as well as several fan reviews — up on YouTube.
Isiah Jacobs: Hello there, ma'am! Thank you so much for joining me today! It's a pleasure to have you on the show!
Zelephas: Thanks, glad to be here :D
Isiah Jacobs: So, you currently run a Twitter feed called @BestofFurry. For those that aren't aware, could you please briefly explain what exactly you do with this feed?
Zelephas: Sure! The goal of BestofFurry is to be the one-stop-shop for the very BEST in the furry, fantasy, feral and mythical fandoms. Many sites allow you to see the top artists, but often mask the wonderful work that up-and-comers do, or only showcase digital art and not costumes, crafts, literature, music, dance or other performance. Furries and fantasy fans are an incredibly talented bunch in a variety of mediums, and my hope is to provide an outlet for fans to see the best of all of it.
Here is a “fairy tale” fantasy novel with a young anthropomorphic unicorn prince who must fight to regain his kingdom from the evil elk lord who has usurped the throne. Old-fashioned? Yes, but “once upon a time” never goes out of style.
Prince Tiran of Silverglen may be heir to the throne of all Asteria, but he's always felt more at home among the villagers, no matter how many lectures he gets from his father. But when the elk-lord Roden slaughters the royal family and claims the throne for himself, only Tiran is left to avenge their deaths and take his place as the rightful king. (publisher’s blurb)
Hamlet, anyone? Prince Tiran has always preferred to rub shoulders with the peasants and commoners of his kingdom than to take an interest in the affairs of state, as King Sevrin, his father, wishes. That is why Tiran is in a tavern, playing dice, when Duke Roden, a visiting elk-lord with his retinue, kills the king and the rest of his family at the castle banquet and takes over the kingdom.
Also from the folks at Kaboom! is the comic-book adaptation of Ice Age: Continental Drift, the new Blue Sky Studio film coming this July. The one-shot comic book, meanwhile, comes out in May. “Sid the Sloth, Manny the Mammoth, Diego the Saber-tooth Tiger, and the hilarious saber-toothed squirrel Scrat find themselves on another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Meeting new sea creatures and battling pirates, life is never boring for this wacky herd! Starring the beloved characters from the hit film series!” That’s what they say on their web site. It’s written by Caleb Monroe with full-color art by Shelli Paroline. Meanwhile the same team is also producing Ice Age: Playing Favorites, a full-color one-shot original Ice Age story. Both these titles are coming soon.
This week, stage plays with anthropomorphic animals are being performed on both sides of the Atlantic.
An adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is being presented at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, Ireland. The classic tale of man-cub Mowgli's adventures amongst the denizens of the jungle is brought to life with actors in animal roles wearing minimalist animal costumes.
Meanwhile, in Decatur, Georgia, USA, the PushPush Theatre company is presenting The Squirrel Trap. In this play, office drudge Gil finds his attic is inhabited by a talking squirrel – who readily dispenses advice on personal relationships. The role is played by a bearded actor in ordinary clothes with the addition of a large bushy tail.
This Thursday (July 21) sees the final performance of Squirrel, or The Origin of a Species, playing in the Redrum theater at Fort Fringe in Washington D.C., USA
The play is presented as a series of skits, jumping about about in time and setting but roughly following Darwin's life between his voyage on the HMS Beagle and his writing On the Origin of Species. Bustamante brings the Squirrel to life with only a grey hat with ear flaps, and his own squirrelly movements.
In Jason Squirrel Starts a Company (Amazon), the bushy-tailed protagonist grows tired of fetching heavy bags of nuts each day, and having no leisure time, and thus devises a plan to create a nut-collecting company.
After being denied a startup loan from Stan the Banking Turtle, Jason educates himself on the various aspects of running a business (from finance to marketing to staffing), and finds an investor in the form of Grandpa Crow. Overcoming various obstacles, Jason's dream is eventually realised and he expands his woodland business empire by hiring a group of raccoons.
Steiml, based the book on his own experiences in starting a business, saying "I thought there should be more books for younger children that talk about building your own company."
As a baby squirrel hopped towards a policeman in the grounds of a school, he took out his pepper spray, apparently to defend himself against the potentially infected animal. As school children pleaded with the officer not to harm the creature, the squirrel advanced and the man reacted by spraying it. The squirrel became disorientated and started writhing on the ground.
A Mesquite Animal Control officer was called and cleaned the spray off the squirrel. After being given a satisfactory bill of health, it was released back into the wild.
A video recording of the pepper-spraying incident, made by students, generated outrage after it was posting on YouTube. Having received over 700,000 views in one week, comments on the video are split between those condemning the officer's actions as heavy-handed, and those sympathising with his need to maintain personal safety in the face of a possibly rabid animal.
For the past few weeks, deputies at the Oklahoma Sheriff's Office have found their vehicles being vandalised, with tampering to the electrical wiring.
Closer examination revealed the wiring had been chewed through, with the culprit leaving a mass of tiny footprints in the engine compartment. Deputies have since observed a squirrel dropping down from under one of the vehicles, which showed signs of recent squirrel habitation, and have called in animal control. So far, attempts to trap the vandal squirrel have failed.
In a sign of the times, the Scofflaw Squirrel now has a Twitter account.