Presented annually by the Hollywood Chapter of ASIFA (the International Animated Film Society), the Annie Awards are considered by many to the the Oscars of animation — and often enough, a vital clue as to who is likely in the running for Academy Awards from this year. Recently, the nominees for the Annie Awards of 2019 were announced. Surprising no one, Disney dominated in several categories, most especially in Best Feature Film. Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4 were both on that list, along with Missing Link, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and Klaus. Missing Link did surprise many, matching Frozen 2 at 8 overall nominations each. Over in the TV categories, notable furry nominees included Bojack Horseman, Disney Mickey Mouse, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a pleasant surprise: Tuca & Bertie in several categories. Visit the official Annie Awards web site to find out more. The Awards will be presented at a ceremony live from UCLA on January 25th, 2020.
First off, our belated Thanksgiving gratitude to YOU, our readers. We hope to keep informing you for years to come! Now then… do you remember when we covered a graphic novel called Fuzzy Baseball, written and illustrated by John Steven Gurney? Well he’s back again in full color with Fuzzy Baseball 2: Ninja Baseball Blast. “Talk about away games! The Fernwood Valley Fuzzies will fly to the far side of the Foamy Sea to take the field against the Sashimi City Ninjas. This will be the first time any Big League Baseball team has faced a team from the mysterious Manga Baseball League.” The fight of many centuries is out there now in hardcover from Papercutz.
Our thanks to Changa Lion over at Furry.Today for letting us know about this: Mooneye Studios have recently released the game Lost Ember for the PS4 system. “Go on a journey as a wolf able to possess any animal you meet and [make them] her companion. Experience the contrasting stories of the fall of mankind and the lush life in the world that nature reclaimed.” Check out the preview over at the official Playstation web site.
Here’s one from last year we somehow missed, but we’re glad we found it now: Atomic Frenchie, a full-color graphic novel series. “When Kirby, a French Bulldog with a serious Napoleon Complex, moves to a new home in the quaint New England town of Strasburg, Massachusetts, and stumbles upon a forgotten secret laboratory, he realizes that his dreams of Planetary Conquest are finally within paw’s reach. But, suddenly, Kirby realizes he isn’t alone. Seemingly out of nowhere, a strange group of people appear, exhibiting what Kirby can only describe as superpowers! Kirby must rise up against all who stand in his way to emerge victorious in this ultimate quest for world domination.” We’re up to Volume 2 by now, written by Tom Sniegoski and illustrated by Tom McWeeney. (Look, we don’t make these things up…) Both volumes are available now in hardcover from Insight Comics.
So how did we miss this one… And, what is it?? It’s the first black & white issue of Cerebus Woman, that’s what. “Epic-length all-in-one 24-page issue! Ever wonder what the illegitimate daughter of Batvark and the Whore of Babylon would be like? Gosh! Who hasn’t? Get ready for Cerebus Woman, the tyrannical queen of Real Amazon.com Island and her legion of Mason-Dixon Greek Man O’Horsies! First appearance of her invisible robot bulldozer! First appearance of the ancient Greek Real Amazon.com national anthem! Jingles, everyone’s favorite CGC-dog comic collector, as Cerebus Woman’s interspecies love interest! Don’t miss Cerebus Woman tied up with her own magic lasso!” Have you… got all that? It’s written by Dave Sim (of course) with art by Mr. Sim and Gustave Dore. Published by Aardvark-Vanaheim (also of course), it’s available now.
Bags (or a story thereof) is a new full color graphic novel from Boom! Studios. We’ll let them tell you about it: “This is the tale of John Motts. He is a man who had a dog, but now that dog is gone. John searches his house, his street, and his town, but the dog is nowhere to be found. John soon realizes that he must travel further, past the road and into the trees if he’s ever to find out the truth of what happened to his dog. BAGS (or a story thereof) is a journey of love and suspense as John Motts searches through the world he knows, and a world he doesn’t, weaved together beautifully by Pat McHale, creator of the Emmy Award-winning Cartoon Network series, Over The Garden Wall, and Gavin Fullerton (Disney’s Space Chickens in Space).” Look for it now — and check out the free preview over at Boom! as well.
Hey! We’re easing our way into the Christmas Season… How ’bout a gift for the Ninja Turtle fan in your life, courtesy of IDW: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 35th Anniversary Box Set. “Revisit the glorious origins of the TMNT during the 35th anniversary month! This special box set includes Mirage Publishing’s TMNT #1-4 and the Raphael Micro-Series at their original 8 ⅜ x 10 ⅞ dimensions enclosed in a box with new art from TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman. A must-have for all shell-heads!” You said it, dude.
Got this right from Animation Scoop: “This month marks Disney Television Animation’s 35th Anniversary, the studio that created pop culture phenomena beloved by multiple generations, including, among others: DuckTales, TaleSpin, Recess, Kim Possible, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Phineas and Ferb, and Gravity Falls.” Your ever-lovin’ ed-otter feels the need to make mention of Gargoyles, too! Take a look at the video celebrating the milestone and interviewing several creative folk about what it’s like to work for The Mouse on the small screen.
Another successful Kickstarter project we discovered at a recent comic convention: Franklin and Ghost, a full-color graphic novel series written by Garrett Gunn and illustrated by Nic Touris. Check out the glowing review over at Outright Geekery. And now comes news from the publisher, Source Point Press, that a Franklin and Ghost animated series is in development. So what’s it all about? “‘Franklin and Ghost is a sci-fi adventure story about two trouble-making aliens who escape slavery on their home planet by stealing a space ship and crashing it on Earth,’ says Source Point Press Editor-In-Chief Travis McIntire. ‘They inhabit the closest bodies to the crash site, one being a fox and the other a skull from a cemetery. It’s absolute chaos from there, as they cause all sorts of trouble, landing them on the radar of galactic police forces.'” Got that?
Well, now that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has reached it’s conclusion… *sniff* Excuse us, we need a moment… *Ahem* Well, now that it’s done, it’s nice to know that the IDW comic tie-ins will continue into the future. Including, now, another brand-new mini-series, My Little Pony: Spirit of the Forest. “The Cutie Mark Crusaders are back! When Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle take a trip into the woods, they find a forest filled with trash! Just what could be causing this mess?! Looks like it’s another mystery for our favorite fillies to solve — and one where not everything is as it seems…” Written by Ted Anderson and illustrated by Brenda Hickey, the full series is available now.
Happy Halloween! Be safe, and watch the sugar. Recently we came across Beastlands, a new independent fantasy comic book series written by Curtis Clow and illustrated by Jo Mi-Gyeong. “Beastlands is an action adventure story set in a beautiful medieval fantasy world, where some people have companion beasts known as ‘Keepers’. In Beastlands you’ll go on an adventure with a group of 3 teenage friends, Mac, Ava and Ping. They’re on a journey to find out what Mac’s father, an explorer, was trying to discover before he disappeared. On this quest their friendships will be put to the test all while a tyrannical King looks to outlaw Keepers from the land.” The comic got quite a lot of chatter going when its Kickstarter campaign topped its original goal in just a matter of days. Check out the interview and preview video over at Comic Burst.
And now thanks to Animation Scoop we find out about Dino Girl Gauko, a new collection of anime shorts by director Akira Shigino (Osomatsu-kun). “In this Netflix original comedy series set in Japan, Naoko Watanabe is a typical 14 year old, except that she possesses a strange gift and curse. When her anger exceeds a maximum level she turns into Gauko the fire breathing dinosaur girl!” Look for it to premier on Netflix this November the 22nd.
Recently at Los Angeles Comic Con we came across the work of Jonathan Hallett. He’s a career storyboard artist for a living, but in the original art he creates on the side he has a very special affinity for the alien half of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch — so much so that he draws the little blue one (and the pink one, Angel) as just about every other character from every other story you can possibly think of. (With an occasional visit from Toothless of How To Train Your Dragon, as well.) Visit his Etsy store, Stitchtoons, and see what he has to offer.
Interesting news: Bob Weinstein, brother of the infamous-many-times-over Harvey, is still making movies… and his next project is animated. And furry, according to Animation World Network. “Bob Weinstein… is back on the scene with a new production company, Watch This Entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new boutique production house’s first film is animated: Endangered, a family adventure being co-produced with Téa Leoni, who will also voice the lead character. The film is based on a 2017 book of animal photography by U.K. wildlife photographer Tim Flach. French collective Illogic, a group of six artists known for their work on the 2018 Oscar-nominated short film, Garden Party, will write and direct the film.” That’s all we know so far. Keep your ears up for when we learn more about the plot and the release date!
Just today the trailers for the upcoming sequel to Peter Rabbit have hit the Internet. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is coming to theaters next April, once again directed by Will Gluck. According to Wikipedia, “The film stars the voice of James Corden as the title character, with Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Daisy Ridley, and David Oyelowo also starring.” Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter says, “The sequel to 2018’s Peter Rabbit catches up with Thomas, Bea and the rabbits that have become a makeshift family. Despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous tendencies. When adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated. Conflict ensues when his family risks everything to come looking for him, which forces Peter to figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.” Check out the trailer for yourself.
The most interesting and unusual things seem to keep coming out of Disney’s Italian wing… now just in time for Halloween we find out about two new full-color graphic novels from Dark Horse Publishing, Disney Dracula Starring Mickey Mouse and Disney Frankenstein Starring Donald Duck. Both are adapted by Bruno Enna with art by Fabio Celoni. According to the write-ups (here and here) both try to stick pretty close to the original Gothic works upon which they’re based. Go on and judge for yourself, if you dare!
Again, something big we missed this summer. So, time to catch up! Dog Days of Summer is a one-shot comic collection from DC. “‘Who let the dogs out?’ DC does this summer as we unleash the beast within and join Krypto and Superman, Bat-Cow and Batman, Wonder Woman and Ferdinand, and many more for eight sun-kissed stories in this can’t-miss animal-sized spectacular!” Featuring a great big herd of writers and artists, it’s still available on the shelves.
Some things you just don’t expect… and some things, you don’t know what to make of when you find out about them. This could be both. From Animation World Network: “Netflix has just announced that their new series, Green Eggs and Ham, from Warner Bros. Animation, will debut November 8. Adapted from the classic Dr. Seuss children’s book, the 13-episode series stars Adam Devine, Michael Douglas, Ilana Glazer, Diane Keaton, Keegan-Michael Key, Eddie Izzard, Jeffrey Wright, Jillian Bell, John Turturro, Tracy Morgan, and Daveed Diggs.” Amazing cast. Okay, check try to follow along: “The story of Green Eggs and Ham is like a postmodern Planes, Trains and Automobiles through the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Sam rescues the rare Chickeraffe from the Glurfsburg Zoo, hides it in a briefcase, and attempts to make his way to Meepville where he can charter a cold air balloon to take the Chickeraffe to his island home. Guy just flopped his last big chance at being a world-famous inventor for the industrial Snerz Co. He packs up his invention in a briefcase and resigns to give up on his dreams and become a paint watcher. A chance meeting at a diner with Sam, and a switch up with the briefcases results in these two unlikely souls getting mixed up on an adventure that takes them on a journey of self-discovery.” You heard it here. And there. And soon everywhere.
Thanks to Animation Scoop we found out about The Bad Guys — a new feature film currently in production at Dreamworks Animation, slated for a 2021 release. “After a lifetime of pulling legendary heists, five notorious bad guys — Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark and Ms. Tarantula — attempt their most challenging job yet: Going good. Nobody has ever failed so hard at trying to be good as The Bad Guys… Based on the bestselling Scholastic blockbuster book series by Aaron Blabey, which has more than 8.2 million copies in print worldwide, The Bad Guys is directed by Pierre Perifel (director, DWA award-winning short Bilby; animator, the Kung Fu Panda films), making his feature-directing debut, from a script by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder, Get Hard) and Hilary Winston (NBC’s Community and ABC’s Happy Endings).” Got all that?
We can always depend on interestingly strange stuff to come at us from Silver Sprocket, and much of it rather furry-fannish. This is no exception: I Think Our Friend Dan Might Be A Dolphin (yes that’s the title) by James Stanton (creator of Gnartoons). “He tried to pass it off as back sweat, but there’s no mistaking a blow hole stain on the back of a shirt. This is a very funny comic book for grown-ups (printed in fluorescent blue and black ink on thick matte cover stock). Check it out over at Previews.