Upcoming furry comics for January 2016

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I was beginning to worry there for a moment, but Rocket Raccoon will return in his own comic book series again next year. Stupid awkward Marvel "reboot" thingy.

See also: October 2015 - November 2015 - December 2015

'Blazing Saddles' + animation = 'Blazing Samurai'

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Blazing SamuraiCan a massive theatrical animated hodgepodge make a massive theatrical animated anthropomorphic hit? That’s what a lot of people are hoping when Blazing Samurai, an animated pastiche of the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles, only with samurai in Old Japan instead of cowboys in the Old West and animated cats and dogs instead of humans, hits the theaters in August 2017.

How much of a hodgepodge is it? Blazing Samurai is announced as the first feature produced by former Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Yair Landau’s Mass Animation online company, founded in August 2008 to “develop wikimovies and content using a new production model – a virtual animation studio and an open invitation to artists around the world to collaborate in creating the next generation of animated stories.” Mass Animation has attracted “over 58,000 participants from 101 countries”, and has produced the 5-minute “Live Music”, advertised as “the first ever theatrically released crowdsourced animated film”.

'Star Fox Zero' has a release date ... again

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Back in August, Nintendo announced that Star Fox Zero would be coming to its Wii U console Friday after next. Then the game got delayed, so don't line up at your nearest game store next Thursday; you'll have to wait until April 22 of next year. In the meantime, enjoy this new trailer.

The announcement didn't note why the game had been delayed, though it has long been a Nintendo policy that "a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."

'Danger Mouse' moves from England to Northern Ireland

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His animation studio, that is. The original Danger Mouse was produced by Cosgrove Hall Films in Manchester, England, U.K., for Thames Television from September 1981 to March 1992. The new Danger Mouse is being produced by Boulder Media in Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K. from September 2015 to who knows? DM, Penfold, Baron Greenback and the whole gang are back. With some differences.

Baron Silas Greenback is now Baron Silas von Greenback, mit ein Cherman agzent. Professor Squawkencluck is now female, the niece of the original Professor. A new character is Jeopardy Mouse, an American equivalent of the British DM, and a female. Count Duckula, star of another Cosgrove Hall series of the 1980s, is a supporting character in the new DM.

Review: 'Song of the Summer King' by Jess E. Owen

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15751365.jpgWhile I could say that Song of the Summer King by Jess E. Owen is a very satisfying action adventure young adult book played straight (which is true; it follows a coming of age story formula and it knows it), there's a lot of subtle choices made by the writer which makes this book stand out: how inaction is in itself implicit action; how listening can appear to be a prophetic power to those who have never attempted empathy; how refusing to choose between two bad options can be a valid choice.

From the beginning of the novel, Shard lives passively: he's enthralled by a patriarchal society of fascist conqueror griffins who believe only the strongest survive. He lives in constant (well-founded) fear of never being trusted and eventual exile, which are his driving influences to seek strength and social accolades. But when Shard's own heritage gets foisted upon him, he has to choose between being comfortable or being ethically consistent with what he finds to be the truth, all the while reconciling his racial differences from the dominant griffin tribe.

Shard has to question everything when he discovers that the world is more complicated than he once thought, and that it is incredibly frustrating when those closest to him continue to live trapped in their oversimplifications about what it means to live a good life.

Spoiler warning: This review does discuss plot elements some may consider spoilers below the break.

Five Elements Press, 2012, $4.99 Kindle, $25 hardcover, $12.99 paperback (264 pages). Illustrated by Jennifer Miller.

'Ice Age 5' or 'Ice Age: Collision Course'

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Ice Age 5, a.k.a. Ice Age: Collision Course, is scheduled for a July 22, 2016 release. IMDb has a brief summary provided by 20th-Century Fox:

Scrat's epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters.

Now its first teaser trailer is released. Are we quivering with anticipation?


 

Submissions for Best Animated Feature Oscar revealed

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regularshowthemovie.jpgSince 2011, the Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars has featured five nominees. This year, that streak could be in jeopardy, as 16 movies have been submitted for consideration by the Academy. 16 is the absolute minimum number of movies that can qualify for the award in a year and still have a full slate of five nominees; if any of the submissions are disqualified, 2015 will only feature four nominees for the first time ever.

However, none of movies are live action/animation hybrids (the type of submission most likely to be disqualified, such as The Smurfs 2 back in 2013), or use controversial, but historically qualified, techniques such as motion capture. The only way one of the submissions might drop out is if they fail to make a qualifying run of a week long screening at a theater in Los Angeles County, California. All feature length movies in all categories are required to have a this qualifying run to be considered for the Oscars.

Three comic book reviews: Pull List #26 ('The New Avengers', 'The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl')

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squirrelgirlsandoval.jpg

This will be the second Pull List in a row to feature only Squirrel Girl comics (and also the second Pull List in a row to feature a The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, because Marvel's doing a thing again). Between her and all the Friendship is Magic comics, this Pull List thing has just become one big, happy ball of positive energy. Except when I throw in a Hack/Slash, an Avengers Arena or a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #4, and things get a little darker.

But, the stories we tell (and the stories we enjoy) influence how we think of the world; it's much easier to believe the world will end in some kind of apocalypse when your favorite TV show is The Walking Dead (a show about the apocalyptic end of the world), even if you don't necessarily believe it will come via zombie plague. It's harder if you watch a show where you have to take a time machine five million years into the future to see the end of the world. So, anyway, if you're looking for a comic book series that might influence you to see the world more positively, basically, stuff with Squirrel Girl helps.

Review: 'God of Clay' by Ryan Campbell

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Goccover.jpgWhen I finished God of Clay by Ryan Campbell, I described the experience as "satiating something I was hungry for." And usually when I read genre fiction, I have to take bits and pieces of things I want from the books I read and make compromises. "Well, this book had gay protagonists at least, even if the conflict didn't let you forget that, and the characters paid for it." Or "this book has people of color as opposed to the assumption of a main character's innate whiteness, but it is overshadowed by western mores and still exhibits egregious exoticism." Or "well, there's a woman over 40 who plays a significant role, but she's more or less window dressing."

God of Clay, on the other hand, was a buffet of the things I was hungry for: colorful sensory splendor; anthro and human presence; smart character decisions the fueled further conflict; a non-white cast of main characters; gay protagonists with sexuality not intrinsically tied to the main conflict; a world where you can still be older than 40 and be a woman and make life changing decisions for yourself and your tribe.

See also: Review by Fred.

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

Newsbytes archive for October 2015

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Contributors this month include crossaffliction, DarkXander, dronon, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Kakurady, mwalimu, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe, RingtailedFox and Sonious.

Review: 'Naughty Sexy Furry Writing: Enter At Your Own Risk' by Rainfurrest volunteers

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NSFW:Enter At Your Own RiskThe RainFurrest Annual Charity Anthology was created to celebrate and showcase the literary aspect of the anthropomorphics fandom as well as to raise funds for charity. NSFW: Enter At Your Own Risk is the adult version. Lots of sex with anthropomorphic animals.

Features the following writers, all who donated stories: Bryan Nickleberry, Rechan, Cheshire, Bill Kieffer, Kits and PJ Wolf, and featuring art by Dr. West, Bill "Greyflank" Kieffer and P. Gaither with a cover by Rhari.

The collection is nice, not as uneven as some anthologies, although some stories could use a bit more proof-reading.

Disclaimer: I am one of the story writers of the anthology. I am also the biggest offender in the proof-reading sense.

Illustrated, Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Publications, September 2015, trade paperback $10.00 (124 pages).

Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck to crossover in 2016

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squirrelgirlhowardtheduckcrossover.jpgMarvel comics launched two titles early this year featuring slightly obscure, slightly ridiculous and more-than-slightly furry characters; Howard the Duck and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Actually, they will both have two #1 issues by the end of the year (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl's second first issue came out this week, while Howard the Duck returns on November 4). Both have gained mostly positive reviews since their launches, so of course these two characters will appear in each other's books in a crossover next spring.

Not much detail is known at the moment about what these two characters will be doing that will require them to team-up, but Marvel has revealed an advance solicit (that is admittedly less than helpful):

This summer, the two most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe clash! You asked for it ... you demanded it ... and now you'll get it: GALACTUS versus WOLVERINE! Just kidding, the story's actually about Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck, and instead of fighting they solve problems together. Sorry for making you think Galactus and Wolverine would fight, maybe that should be our next team-up though since it's not a bad idea at all. Wolverine could get some Power Cosmic on her claws to create the Power Clawsmic and Galactus could be all "OH NO YOU DIDN'T". Anyway, in our story Howard and Squirrel Girl fight some dudes and learn some important lessons and Galactus doesn't even show up once, the end.

The tin dog from 'Doctor Who' is getting his own movie

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k9.jpgThe long running British science fiction television series Doctor Who has somehow managed to avoid a film adaptation in this day and age when any property with even a bit of brand recognition is getting an expensive cinematic treatment, or at the very least a gritty reboot (admittedly, it was adapted back in the 1960s). However, K9, the robot dog who guest starred with the Doctor back in the 1970s, will star in K9: TimeQuake, which is planned to be released in 2017, which will mark the 40th anniversary of the character.

At this point, the only name (besides K9's, of course) attached to the project is that of the writer's, Bob Baker, who originally created the character (along with writing partner Dave Martin). Writers for Doctor Who were allowed to retain rights to their creations, allowing them to use the characters for their own purposes, so Baker can spin-off K9 (sometimes variantly written K-9). Besides his work on Doctor Who, Baker is probably best known for his work on the Wallace and Gromit series of animated films.

2015 Anthropomorphic Recommended List, October 15 update

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by Heather BrutonThe ALAA’s 2015 Anthropomorphic Recommended List has been updated from August to October 15. This includes all of the anthropomorphic works published or released during 2015 that have been submitted by someone as being worth reading, looking at, or playing. Look it over and see if you have been missing anything.

If there is any 2015 work that you feel is worth recommending that is not on here, please submit it for the next update to recommended@ursamajorawards.org. It is almost the end of 2015, so do not delay!

It's anthropomorphic, but do you have $91,000 to spare?

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The File 770 science fiction fandom website reported on October 17 that the top-end Takashimaya Tokyo department store is selling a solid gold statuette of Baltan, a giant space lobster-man villain from the Ultraman TV series, for the yen equivalent of $91,000. A Japanese news video shows solid gold statuettes of Ultraman himself, plus other Ultraman space villains such as Bogleech.

Ultraman, a 40-foot-tall superhero from outer space, appeared on Japanese TV for 39 weekly half-hour episodes from July 17, 1966 to April 9, 1967. It was produced by Tsuburaya Productions, the company of Eiji Tsuburaya, the creator of Gojira (Godzilla) in 1954, and was meant to be for Japanese TV what Godzilla was for Japanese movies. It succeeded wildly.

From the Yerf Archive