There’s an interesting new hardcover book coming soon called Toys Talking. Here’s what they say at Drawn & Quarterly: “Always there to comfort and listen, stuffed animals provide a reassuring presence in many a childhood. With Toys Talking, acclaimed illustrator and author Leanne Shapton explores their inner lives, to reveal that their thoughts and feelings are just as complicated as our own. The concerns of these bunnies, bears, and ducks range from the mundane to the existential, and with each new pairing of character and text, we see a deeper portrait of their pensive, quiet world. Shapton holds a mirror to our own lives, to our insecurities and concerns, by revealing that the objects who comfort us have worries of their own. This board book brings Shapton’s gorgeously minimal brushstrokes to a younger audience, and will leave children and parents alike brimming with the beauty and melancholy of self-reflection.” Marketed for children, it’s more a sort of visual poetry. Look for it in November.
We got this from Animation World Network: Although the second Paddington live action/CGI film won’t hit theaters until early next year, Studio Canal have announced at MIP Junior that they already have a new Paddington animated series in development for television. (Of course there was already an animated series back in the 1970’s. It was scripted by Paddington’s creator himself, Michael Bond, and animated with stop motion and paper cut-outs.) Studio Canal hopes to have the little bear’s new series available in late 2018 or early 2019.
Back to Halloween, it seems — and back to more strange new twists on old friendly characters. This time, it’s Archie and the Riverdale gang — in a new horror comic called Jughead: The Hunger. Yes. “Jughead Jones is an average (though endlessly hungry) teenage boy by day and a blood-thirsty werewolf by night. His latest victim in a spree of deadly attacks is longtime foe Reggie Mantle – after which Jughead left Riverdale without a trace. Now Betty Cooper: Werewolf Hunter and Jughead’s best friend Archie Andrews are hot on Jughead’s trail, but how many more lives will be sacrificed before they find him? On October 25th, join writer Frank Tieri (Wolverine) and artists Pat and Tim Kennedy (Death of Archie) for the terrifying first issue of the new Jughead: The Hunger series!” There’s an extensive review over at The Nerdist.
And the Christmas comic flood continues, this time with a new title from Action Lab — Northstars Volume 1: Welcome to Snowville. “Holly, the daughter of Santa Claus, and Frostina, the Yeti Princess, must put their differences aside to save the town of Snowville before Christmas is lost forever. They travel through an exotic underground world to save Christmas from the devious Krampus and his oafish Straw Lads.” Krampus who looks like an evil reindeer, it seems. They also said this: “Northstars is what you get if you combine Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with Adventure Time. Like the classic Rankin/Bass specials, it’s a wonderful world where holiday characters such as Santa and his daughter, Holly, rub shoulders with winter warlocks, snow dragons and fall fairies. Like Adventure Time, there is a wry sense of humor and a colorful, quirky cast of characters that both kids and adults will enjoy.” The first ultra-sized hardcover issue is written by Jim Shelley and Haigen Shelley, with illustration by Anna Liisa Jones. Look for it later this month.
It’s not too early to be thinking about Christmas, is it? (Our local department store certainly doesn’t think so…) In that spirit (Ha Ha), IDW have once again compiled The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories, edited by Craig Yoe. What’s especially interesting about this collection is some of the artists represented: Among them are Walt Kelly (creator of Pogo), Richard Scarry (famous creator of funny animal books for kids), John Stanley (Little Lulu), and many others. It’s coming out in trade paperback this November, and there’s a review over at the Graphic Novel Reporter site.
Over at DC Comics, the “let’s fool around with Hanna-Barbera” fun continues… with the premier of The Ruff & Reddy Show comic. “In the Golden Age of television, Ruff and Reddy were on top of the entertainment world…until the world turned, and they were forgotten. Now, Ruff is a washed-up television actor. Reddy is a clerk in an upscale grocery store. Can a hungry young agent convince the two one-time partners to make a comeback—and convince the world that it wants to see the famously infamous dog-and-cat comedy team back in the spotlight?” Written by none other than the famous Howard Chaykin, with art by Mac Rey. Look for it by the end of October.
[Back in town again, your ed-otter is happy to get caught up with new furry stuff!] Looking ahead to the delayed-but-still-coming film How to Train Your Dragon 3, Dreamworks Animation have a new full-color graphic novel coming early next year from Dark Horse. “This second standalone graphic novel based on the film series is a new adventure that takes place shortly after the events in How to Train Your Dragon 2, during the period in which Hiccup is desperately trying to fill his father’s role as the chief of Berk. Created with the help of the film’s writer, director, and producer, Dean DeBlois; it bridges the gap between the second and third films. Hiccup, Toothless, and the rest of the dragon riders encounter two deadly yet mysteriously linked threats: One is an island consumed by Dragonvine, an uncontrollable force of nature that’s poisonous to humans and deadly to dragons. The other is an all-new, all-terrifying dragon species – the web-spitting Silkspanners!” As they noted in the press release, How to Train Your Dragon: Dragonvine is written by Dean Deblois and Richard Hamilton, with illustrations by Francisco de la Fuente and Doug Wheatley.
According to Previews, a classic British black & white wildlife comic called Marney the Fox is available again, now in a hardcover collection. We got this from Blimey, the Blog of British Comics: “Just to cover the basics; Marney the Fox appeared in Buster weekly from the issue dated 22nd June 1974 to 11th September 1976. This fictional story of a wandering fox cub was written by Scott Goodall and illustrated by John Stokes. The artwork was absolutely superb and many consider it to be amongst Stokes’ best work. (The artist himself regards it as some of his best too.) One thing that made Marney the Fox exceptional is that, unlike most other Buster adventure strips, it played up the emotional content.” The new collection is available now from Rebellion/2000AD.
Lion Forge have brought a new dark fantasy for young readers to North America with the English edition of The Little Red Wolf, written and illustrated Amelie Flechais. As edited and translated by Andrea Colvin, it goes like this: “A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him… but nice is not the same as good. A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.” It’s available now in hardcover.
On the heels of the news that Philip Pullman’s new Book of Dust novel is finally coming out we have word that Knopf Publishing have collected the recent graphic novel of The Golden Compass into a single large hardcover, The Golden Compass: Complete Edition. Adapted from the original novel by Stephanie Melchio and illustrated by Clement Oubrerie, the Complete Edition is available now. Publisher’s Weekly says, “The story’s signature fantasies—the dæmons, the armored mercenary polar bears, and the alethiometer—are realized with compelling force. [This] retelling will bring Pullman’s work new fans and give previous readers new pleasure.” Look for it at Amazon.
Our zoo friends from New York… er, Africa… er, Monte Carlo… WHATEVER are back in a new full-color comic collection. Madagascar: Escape Plans brings together issues #1 through #4 of the comic book series from Joe Books in one trade paperback. “Join Marty, Alex, Melman and the whole Madagascar crew on hilarious adventures… Featuring a buddy-cop adventure starring Alex and his arch nemesis Nana, a zany escape plan from Madagascar, a struggle between King Julien and the usurper who’s stolen his throne, and more!” Written by Patrick Storck and illustrated by Rik Hoskin, it’s coming on October 10th.
Bolivar is a new hardcover graphic novel written and illustrated by Sean Rubin and published by Archaia. Here’s what Sean says on his blog: “When a young girl named Sybil moves to New York, she discovers that her next-door neighbor is a little unusual, even by local standards. Bolivar is the world’s last living dinosaur, but everyone in the city is too busy to notice him.When Sybil and Bolivar are pulled into an adventure that spans from City Hall to New York’s Natural History Museum, Bolivar must make a choice: He can continue to live unnoticed, or he can let the city see who he really is.” Turns out that Bolivar is already under development at Warner Brothers as a feature film, possibly to be directed by Kealan O’Rourke. Stay tuned for more about that.
And speaking of Aftershock, they also have a completely different sort of scary story: A new comic series called Dark Ark. “The wickedness of mankind has moved the Creator to destroy the world by way of the flood. Noah has been tasked with building an ark to save his family and the animals of the world. But this is not Noah’s story. For darker powers have commanded the sorcerer Shrae to build his own ark and save the unnatural creatures of the world — such as the vampires, the dragons, the naga, and the manticore. But what will happen on a vessel crawling with monsters, where insidious intrigue and horrific violence are the rule of law? From writer Cullen Bunn (X-Men Blue, Deadpool, Venom) and artist Juan Doe (American Monster, World Reader) comes a sinister tale of biblical proportions.” Issue #1 is out now, and there’s a review at Bleeding Cool.
Of course we’ve already talked about Animosity, the dystopia/black comedy comic book series from writer Marguerite Bennett. Well now Aftershock Comics are back with another one-shot tie-in called World of Animosity. “A journey through an apocalypse like none ever imagined—this singular one-shot brings readers and fans alike an exclusive look at the characters, creatures, maps, mysteries, enemies, histories, and the road-so-far in a world where the Animals have risen up to take revenge. This standalone collection includes a variant cover gallery, character designs, never-before-seen artwork, and summaries that will not only bring new readers up to speed, but allow existing readers to dive deep with new information into stories they already love!” It’s on the shelves now, and the Hollywood Reporter has a interview with Ms. Bennett. Hmmm, could that mean a movie adaptation is in the works…?
Well, somehow this passed under our noses… fortunately, they brought it back! We’ve talked before about the comic Hero Cats of Stellar City. Turns out that issues #16 to #18 took things in a whole new direction. Now Action Labs Entertainment have collected those issues together in a single trade paperback, Hero Cats of Skyworld. Bandit (a Hero Cat from Earth) and his robot friend (of course) are transported to Skyworld, a magical realm ruled with a scaly fist by Corvus the Crow King. There, Bandit meets a whole new group of Hero Cats and enlists their aid in his quest. Written by Kyle Puttkammer and illustrated by Omaka Schultz, this new graphic novel is available now. There’s an extensive review over at Comicosity, including several preview pages.
There’s a new full-color science fiction series out now from Image Comics called Angelic. Here’s what they say: “Winged Monkeys! Techno-Dolphins! Quantum Alleycats! Humanity’s long gone. Its memory lingers only as misunderstood rituals among mankind’s leftovers: The genetically modified animals they used and abused for eons. But for one young flying monkey, QORA, the routines are unbearable. All she wants is to explore. Instead she’s expected to settle down, to become a mother…to lose her wings… Eisner nominee Simon Spurrier (The Spire, CRY HAVOC, X-Men Legacy) and rising-star Caspar Wijngaard (LIMBO, Dark Souls, Assassin’s Creed) present your new bittersweet adventure obsession: Teenage rebellion and animal antics amidst the ruins of civilization! Think WALL-E by way of Watership Down.” Whew! The official Image page features a video introduction by the creators, and there’s an extensive review over at Monkeys Fighting Robots. Funny that…
Feels like it’s been a while now that author Philip Pullman has been promising his fans a follow-up to his landmark alternate-earth fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials. Now it looks as if the wait is over! La Belle Sauvage, the first book in the new trilogy The Book of Dust comes finally to bookshelves in late October. Here’s what the author says: ““I’ve always wanted to tell the story of how Lyra came to be living at Jordan College, and in thinking about it, I discovered a long story that began when she was a baby and will end when she’s grown up. This volume and the next will cover two parts of Lyra’s life: Starting at the beginning of her story and returning to her twenty years later. As for the third and final part, my lips are sealed.” Lots of talking animal companions are sure to abound in this, the author’s furriest universe.
Looks as if IDW gets the honor of publishing the tie-in comic for Disney’s new DuckTales animated series. After a preview “issue #0” this last summer, the first issue of Disney DuckTales hit the shelves recently. “In ‘The Great Experiment of the Washing Machine,‘ Donald and the Nephews visit a top-secret lab, chock-full of crazy inventions to make life easier… but might make them shorter, instead! And then, learn ‘The Chilling Secret of the Lighthouse!'” The comic is written by Joe Caramagna and illustrated by Luca Usai and Gianfranco Florio.
The strange meeting of Hanna-Barbera pushed sideways through DC Comics continues with the recent release of Dastardly & Muttley #1. According to them, it’s like this: “It’s a red-letter day for the good folk of Unliklistan as they start to power up their first atomic reactor. But after pushing the wrong button, the ultra-rare radioactive element, unstabilium, has been released into the atmosphere! Now it’s up to pilot Lt. Col. Richard ‘Dick’ Atcherly and his navigator Captain Dudley ‘Mutt’ Muller to save the day. Will they safely complete their mission? Or are things about to get a little…wacky?” Written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Mauricet, it’s available now.
If you’ve ever read horror comics from the 1970’s, then you know about Marvel Comics’ Werewolf By Night. Now they’re bringing the story together. “Jack Russell stars in tales to make you howl, as Marvel’s very own Werewolf! Learn how Jack became one of the grooviest ghoulies of the seventies in this classic collection of his earliest adventures! Afflicted with his family’s curse, Jack’s sets out in search for answers. Could they lie in the terrible tome known as the Darkhold? But Jack’s quest is fraught with danger – from mad monks to big-game hunters to a traveling freak show! Then there’s the terror of Tatterdemalion, the horror of Hangman and the torment of Taboo! But few encounters can compare with Krogg, the lurker from beyond – except, maybe, a Marvel Team-Up with Spider-Man – and a supernatural showdown with Dracula himself!” Werewolf By Night: The Complete Collection Volume 1 comes to stores this October.