wolves

'Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games' - marks for effort, animation still needs work

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Alpha and Omega 3They're making these sequels fast; I think they've been working on them the past three years, ever since the first movie came out. Check out the trailer. [TheChriZ1995] The movie is in stores March 25; the Blu-ray & DVD edition is exclusive to Walmart and is currently offered for $18.96; it'll also be on iTunes for $14.99/$9.99 HD/SD.

While Alpha and Omega 2 had a very low quality, with a lack of shading and choppy animation, at least they tried to work on the issues for this one. It's a huge graphics upgrade from the second movie. Sadly the animation still needs work to be smooth like the first Alpha and Omega movie (review). Yet while the quality may not match up to the original, at least they are trying - I think it looks reasonable for what is essentially an extended TV show. For a company that isn't Pixar, they're doing a fairly good job at the moment.

I have a feeling some people on here may not like it, but this is for those who might want it, even if they never heard of it. It's great to have the fandom for this, though.

Review: 'Sunset of Lantonne', by Jim Galford

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Sunset of Lantonne This is Book 3 of The Fall of Eldvar. I reviewed Book 1, In Wilder Lands, here in March 2012, and Book 2, Into the Desert Wilds, in November 2012. Those were a two-part subseries, “the wildling story arc”, within the larger saga of The Fall of Eldvar. Galford said on his website that Book 3 would feature new characters, an elf and a human; and no wildlings (furries). Yet Darryl Taylor’s cover for Sunset of Lantonne clearly features Raeln, a seven-foot tall wolf wildling, with Ilarra, his elf “sister” by his side. Did Galford lie?

Not exactly. The main characters in Sunset of Lantonne are Ilarra, the young elf wizard-in-training, and Therec, the older human Turessian necromancer. Raeln is only a supporting character – but you woudn’t guess it from this cover. Or from the first chapter, which plays up Ilarra and Raeln. Galford debuted Sunset of Lantonne at Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2013. Featuring a furry on the cover was a good marketing move.

And a justified one, if it will get furry fans to read Sunset of Lantonne. It is an excellent novel; Raeln is a memorable character even if he is not the star; and there are plenty of wildling incidental characters. Read it; you will not be disappointed. Also read Jim Galford’s website, especially if you have not read In Wilder Lands and Into the Desert Wilds yet. It contains a tremendous amount of background information on this series.

Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, August 2013, trade paperback $14.99 (545 pages), Kindle $3.99. Edited by Tricia Kristufek.

Don’t Mess With The Barbarian Wolf

Amigo Comics is a publisher and distributor of creator-owned comic book series. One of their recent titles is Ghost Wolf, a new full-color barbarian adventure series written by El Torres and illustrated by Siku. “The full saga of the Ghost Wolf, the spirit of vengeance of the northern wastes. When the sons of Corr lost their courage, they were swept by the wild tribes. But there was one man decided to fight – and paid with his life. He will become the vessel for the long, forsaken spirit of vengeance. The Ghost Wolf!” Take a look over at the Previews web site before the comic hits the shelves this March.


image c. 2014 Amigo Comics

Furry novella anthology 'Five Fortunes' to debut at Further Confusion 2014

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

Five Fortunes Fred Patten will have a new anthology, Five Fortunes, on sale at Further Confusion 2014. The 415-page tome, published by FurPlanet, presents five brand-new novellas by fan-favorite Furry authors, four of them featuring their popular characters or settings:

The wraparound cover is by Terrie Smith, illustrating Phil Geusz’s “Chosen People”.

Review: 'Le Bois des Vierges', by Jean Dufaux and Béatrice Tillier

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Front cover of the R. Laffont edition Le Bois des Vierges (The Virgins' Woods) is a French comic set in a medieval half-human, half-anthropomorphic world. It was released in three volumes between 2008 and 2013, written by Jean Dufaux and illustrated by Béatrice Tillier. Originally published by Robert Laffont (who then dropped their comics division), it was picked up by a second publisher, Delcourt, who re-released the first volume with a different cover. I reviewed the first book for Anthrozine.

To be honest, this won't appeal to most North American furry fans, for several reasons. Not only is it in French, the wording is deliberately archaic, though not quite bordering on the Shakespearian. The human characters are the main focus, and the story isn't especially creative with the anthropomorphic ones. Oh, and good luck finding the set for under $75, not including shipping.

The main conflict in the story involves speciesism between four groups. The "tall beasts" (mainly wolves), the "short beasts" (including foxes), the humans, and the hybrids. The foxes and wolves are digitigrade and humanoid, but they consider themselves beasts. All the animal-people don't like humans very much, and the feeling is mutual. The tall beasts also hold the short beasts in contempt, and everyone hates the hybrids.

Animation: 'Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure'

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure Oh, goody! Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure. For all of you who couldn’t wait for a sequel. Available direct-to-DVD and Blu-ray as a Walmart kiddy exclusive.

Well, no; it’s also available as a digital download on iTunes and Google Play [tip: Blindwolf8], and as a video-on-demand. Sort of the equivalent of vanity-pressed novels.

Is there a tag for “bad CGI”?

How much do you think they spent on these trailers? $1.00? 50¢? 25¢?

I am not sure which is worse; the title pun, the music, or the animation.

See more (if you dare): The Making of Alpha and Omega 2 [Higgs Raccoon]

Review: 'Kavishar; Reflections in A Wolf's Eyes', by L. Kyle

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Kavishar; Reflections in A Wolf's Eyes Laura Kyle is a self-professed animal lover. In the About the Author, she says,

Laura loves all animals, and has previously enjoyed the companionship of dogs, cats, ferrets, gerbils, rats, hamsters and a horse, though allergies now sadly prevent her from sharing her house with any furry friends. (page [+2])

A wildlife organization, Friends of the Wolf in Vancouver, British Columbia, has assisted in verifying that Kyle’s descriptions of wolf behavior are accurate. Kyle admits that the zoo in Kavishar is based on the old-fashioned “animals in small cages” model that is being phased out throughout the world, and urges readers to support modern “animal friendly” zoos and animal-rescue organizations, especially those that work with wolves.

Kavishar is a true-life animal adventure novel like Jack London’s White Fang and The Call of the Wild, except for the fantasy element that the animals are intelligent and can speak with one another. Think of Disney’s Lady and the Tramp with a story about a young wolf trying to get the town’s dogs to accept him as a fellow dog. Some Furry fans may be disappointed because the animals are not more anthropomorphized, but Kavishar is an excellent blend of true-life animal fiction and “if animals could talk” fantasy.

Bright Prospects, LLC, August 2013, trade paperback $11.99 (466 [+ 2] pages), Kindle $0.99.

A Wolf, His Mate, and Their Cubs

Turns out that the original Alpha and Omega (from 2010) was successful enough to “spawn” a sequel — at least a 44-minute direct-to-video sequel, Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure. According to Cartoon Brew (never very kind to standard Hollywood fare), the sequel is again directed by Richard Rich. It was animated in India. In this new film, the wolves Humphrey and Kate strive to bring their cubs — Stinky, Claudette, and Runt — a happy season at Christmas time. The preview trailer is up now on YouTube. Look for the DVD from Lionsgate, coming to your local store on October 8th.


Image c. 2013 Lionsgate Pictures

Furry short fiction anthology 'What Happens Next' due July

'Wonderfilled Anthem' prescribes Oreos for wolves, vampires

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (6 votes)

Even if it was not anthropomorphic, how could we ignore an animated TV commercial for Oreos from Studio Animal (Barcelona), to a lively tune by Owl City?

Fortunately, the 1’30” Wonderfilled Anthem, directed by Martin Allais, is very anthropomorphic, with the Big Bad (Blue) Wolf, the three pigs, vampires, sharks, baby seals, squids, and more. Cartoon Brew’s Michael Ruocco has the story.

Review: 'Doc Rat. Vols. 8-10', by Jenner

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)
Doc Rat vol. 8
Doc Rat vol. 9
Doc Rat vol. 10

These three pocket-sized books contain the Doc Rat daily (Monday-Friday) comic strips from #951 to #1088 (February 15 to August 25, 2010), #1089 to #1218 (August 26, 2010 to February 23, 2011), and #1219 to #1426 (February 24 to December 12, 2011).

Each volume collects approximately six months of the strip, except that Jenner does not break them off in the midst of a story sequence. That is why volume 10 runs to 110 pages, the longest in the series to date.

“Doc Rat. Vol. 8, Yeah Not Too Great, Doc”, December 2011, trade paperback AUS$16 ([76 pgs.])
“Doc Rat. Vol. 9, There When I Needed You, Doc”, June 2012, trade paperback AUS$16 ([76 pgs.])
“Doc Rat. Vol. 10, Listen, Doc”, December 2012, trade paperback AUS$18 ([110 pgs.])
By Jenner, Platinum Rat Productions, Melbourne, Vic., Australia

Review: 'Farmost Star I See Tonight', by Jonathan W. Thurston

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Farmost Star I See TonightFull disclosure: I wrote a blurb for this book, which is quoted on the back cover.

Farmost Star I See Tonight is a mystical, dreamy, touching romantic fantasy for shy teenagers. Whether humans or wolves, ‘omega’ adolescents may feel that they are alone. This novel will help them to see that their troubles are not unique or their fault, and that, even if they have not met them yet, there is someone out there for them.

Rian is a black-furred adolescent wolf and Lissa is white-furred. Otherwise, they are almost identical. Both are shy and lonely members of their packs, blamed by their parents for refusing to socialize, but finding nobody among their peers with whom they can truly be friends. Rian’s father Gull despises him for having no interest in pack dominance battles, and Lissa is left to take care of her younger siblings while her parents bicker and ignore them.

Then, Lissa was left alone in the dark with only her feelings of sorrow, self-hate, and loneliness to sooth her into sleep. (p. 7)

CreateSpace, March 2013, trade paperback $14.95 (188 [+ 3] pages), Kindle $6.00.

Wolves After The Fall

Creative Mind Energy (CME) describe themselves as “a creative consortium of artists, designers, inventors, story-tellers and writers who pool their educations, talents and creative abilities to bring outstanding new products to all media markets and industries”. To that end they have several comic book series in various stages of development — and several of them are Furry in nature. First up is The Gifted, a largely black & white comic book with water-color style illustrations. According to the CME blog, “The Gifted is set in a dystopian future, in which humans have devastated the earth. What animals remain endure a barren, dangerous existence, constantly being hunted and exterminated by man. But some of the animals find themselves gifted with sophisticated intelligence and the power of speech, and rise up against man to protect their earth.” The first issue will be available at their on-line store soon. Visit their web site to find out more about this and other upcoming titles.


image c. 2013 by CME

Full Steam ahead for furry video games

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

Steam LogoNormally, damp or wet fur isn't a pleasant thought or smell, but in this case, it's a very good thing! Five upcoming furry-themed video games have been found on Steam's Greenlight Program, and are given previews in this roundup.

Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin

Currently available for iOS devices and Google Android and coming soon to Windows and Mac OS X via Steam, Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin is the first appearance of the lapine in a video game since his adventures on the Commodore 64, back in 1988 — 25 years ago (at the time this story was posted)! This game by Happy Giant is based on the classic comic book series by Stan Sakai. Usagi Yojimbo is renowned for his appearances in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and television series. In the game, you act as Miyamoto Usagi, the rabbit warrior, on an epic journey to restore order to the land of feudal-era Japan, with only your trusted sword Grasscutter to assist you. In the game, you will battle over fifty different types of enemies, with three boss monsters from the comics.

Foxes or wolves?

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