The things we come across! K’s Car Can Go Anywhere! is a new graphic novel by Jonathan Tune and Eleanor Doughty. “Tadpole J is ready for a lazy Saturday in Lilypad City, but his big sister, frog K, has other plans – they’re going on a road trip! K built a spectacular car that can go anywhere, so J packs them a picnic lunch and off they go! Beyond the lakeside cliffs, through the Spikey Spike Forest, and past the Domed City of Fafa. But when the road gets blocked at the Waterfall Mountains, they get stopped right in their tracks. Or do they? Because when K says her car can go anywhere, she really means anywhere!” You saw it here — and on the shelves now from Penguin Workshop.
Another series we’re only just learning about! Breaking Cat News is a comic strip for middle-grade readers, created by Georgia Dunn. The latest collection is called Behind The Scenes With Burt. “It’s big changes for the kitties at BCN! Burt is bringing this news station up a notch. Join Burt behind the scenes as he updates some of our favorite broadcasts from the past, with better imagery and brand new footage! Including a trip to the vet, exploring the cupboards, hordes of trick-or-treaters, the action packed ‘Our IX Lives’ Christmas special, and Puck daring to believe in the elusive, mythical Mailman.” Have you got all that? Then look for it in trade paperback from Andrews McMeel.
The convention sensation comes to dead trees now in Tentacle Kitty: Tales Around The Teacup, a new graphic novel from Dark Horse. “Join ‘The Pink One’ and friends as the whole tentacle kitty gang regales us with tales of action and adventure over tea! From hunting down cotton candy mice, to pirate hijinks, and mega convention run ins, this tome features stories for all readers, told only as a Tentacle Kitty can!” Written by Tentacle Kitty creators John and Raena Merritt, and illustrated by Jean-Claudio Vinci.
Just today we learned of a new urban-fantasy miniseries streaming later this month: “Netflix has shared an official trailer and key art for the upcoming four-part animation/live-action hybrid series Lost Ollie, inspired by the book Ollie’s Odyssey by prolific author, illustrator, and Oscar-winning filmmaker William Joyce (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore). All four parts of the limited series hit the streamer on August 24… The series is an epic adventure about a lost toy who braves the many dangers of childhood as he searches the countryside to reunite with the boy who lost him; and the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend… Shannon Tindle (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline) serves as creator, writer, and executive producer. The series was directed by Academy Award winner Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), who also serves as executive producer.” Animation World Network has more information and the official trailer. Interestingly, the last time Mr. Ramsey directed a William Joyce story, it was Rise of the Guardians.
We had not heard of the on-line comic How To Speak Cat, but now it’s available in a new book, How To Speak Cat: Fake Mews. “Not sure what your cat is trying to tell you? Learn To Speak Cat is the book for you. Have a friend who’s potty about their moggy? Learn To Speak Cat is the perfect book for them. Anthony Smith has been translating cat-speak for years, both as a long-running cartoon in The Metro and as a webcomic. Read, laugh and wonder no more what Tiddles has been trying to tell you!” Meow. From Soaring Penguin Press.
Look, we’ll admit it: There are no anthropomorphic animals (that we know of) in Dolphin Girl Volume 2: Eye of the Baloney Storm. But just listen to the description of this new graphic novel for young readers by Zach Smith: “Ever since the evil Sea Cow tried to steal Dolphin Girl and Captain Dugong’s restaurant/hideout in Trouble in Pizza Paradise!, business has been bad. Dolphin Girl attempts to rebrand the restaurant, but everyone who works there hates the new outfits and the new music. Even worse, there’s a new superhero in town—everyone loves, Wonder Friend and they seemingly can do no wrong. On the other hand, Dolphin Girl is getting everything wrong. But when Sea Cow returns to cover Midwestern Deerburbia in a blizzard of baloney, Dolphin Girl and Otter Boy have no choice but to team up with the all-too-wonderful Wonder Friend to prevent their town from becoming a big Jimmy John’s sandwich!” Top that. Volume 1 and Volume 2 are available now from Pixel & Ink.
Speaking of bunnies… Quite a while ago (in the pre-COVID Before Times even) we told you about a Kickstarter campaign to bring back one of the original role-playing games, Bunnies & Burrows. Well now it finally looks as if that goal is coming to fruition: “Frog God Games has partnered with Dr. B. Dennis Sustare and Dr. Scott R. Robinson to return a venerable and influential piece of tabletop role-playing games to print… Bunnies & Burrows (B&B) is a role-playing game (RPG) that features animal characters contending with enemies and hazards in a world of nature. Published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1976, the game centered on intelligent rabbits. It introduced several innovations to role-playing game design, being the very first game to allow players to have non-humanoid roles, and the first to have detailed martial arts and skill systems. FGU published a second edition of the game in 1982, and the game was modified and republished by Steve Jackson Games as an official GURPS supplement in 1992. As rabbits, player characters are faced with dangers mirroring those in the real world. The only true ‘monsters’ in the game are humans, but there are many predators, traps, and natural hazards. The characters’ position in the food chain promotes an emphasis on role-playing and problem solving over combat.” Frog God has lots more information — and supplements too!
As you may recall, for a while now we’ve been following news of the upcoming reboot of Warner Brothers’ popular animated TV series Tiny Toon Adventures (originally created by Tom Ruegger and Steven Spielberg, who of course would later give us Animaniacs and Road Rovers). Now we finally have word that the new show, Tiny Toons Looniversity, will be coming to HBO Max and Cartoon Network sometime later this year. According to Warner Brothers, all of the original Tiny Toons characters will be returning for the new show — with one big change among them. Remember Babs and Buster Bunny, friends who would sometimes date, and who were always saying “No relation”? Well now the two of them are presented as twin siblings. That news certainly has the Internet talking!
There is the first volume in the Tiny Fox and Great Boar series of graphic novels for young readers. They’re written and illustrated (in lush watercolors) by Polish artist Berenika Kolomycka. “One beautiful fall day, as Tiny Fox relaxes under his favorite tree, he meets a new friend: Great Boar! Great Boar loves to explore the beauty of nature and the changing seasons, but Tiny Fox thinks adventuring can be scary… but so is the idea of being without his new pal! What will Tiny Fox do?” You can find out now in hardcover from Oni Press.
And then there’s Orange Blossom Monkey Clan, a new full-color comic written and illustrated by Erik Klaus (Ninjas & Robots). “These Samurai Monkeys were trained to guard the southern islands of Mount Kumo, but after generations of peace, many have abandoned the Way of the Warrior. Now that danger looms on the horizon, a small crew of counter-culture monkeys are ready to prove that they have kept their battle skills sharp!” Available now from Keenspot.
Dinomighty! is a new graphic novel series for young readers, from Clarion Books. “On their own, they are four mild-mannered dinos, but together they are . . . Dinomighty! Everything is pleasant and good in Dinotown . . . until Teri-Dactyl discovers a cryptic email that says the precious Golden Egglettes are in danger! Dinomighties unite! But can they spring into action fast enough to save these valuable jewels from evil baddies?” Written by Doug Paleo (!) and illustrated by Aaron Blecha (Shark School), volumes are available now.
For a while we had been hearing about the film The Sea Beast, but we didn’t know much about it other than it has a little girl and a big monster. Turns out that this animated feature is the latest work of writer and director Chris Williams, who previously gave us Moana and Big Hero 6 for Disney. Now with the help of Sony Imageworks he has brought this new film to Netflix, and the results are quite an eyeful! In a world much like our own but different, sailing ships and sailing crews travel the seas to hunt and destroy giant ship-crunching monsters… that is, until one day when an eager young girl stows away on the greatest monster-hunter ship, and things begin to rapidly change. The film is quite notable for the ethnic and sexual diversity of its animated cast. But of course, what furry fans are here to see are the kaiju-like sea monsters, and they do not disappoint. In fact, the young girl (and soon others) quickly learn that the giant monsters humans have been fighting may be far more than they appear to be… Check this one out. It’s currently streaming.
Past The Last Mountain is a new full-color alternate reality series from Comics Experience. It’s written by Paul Allor, with art by Louie Joyce and Gannon Beck. “Half a century ago, the United States rounded up and imprisoned all the fantasy creatures that live amongst us. Now, a faun, a dragon and an adorable troll boy have escaped confinement, and are on the run from the United States Army!” Also featured in each issue are other short stories by the same writer.
Didn’t hear about this coming, but here it is: “Disney Channel has dropped the official trailer for its upcoming 2D animated sibling superhero comedy Hamster & Gretel. From Disney Branded Television and produced by Disney Television Animation, the series introduces Kevin and his younger sister Gretel, who are prepped and readied to become a superhero sibling duo. In the show, the super siblings are about to receive superpowers from space aliens. But alas, things do not go as planned, and Gretel’s pet hamster, who happens to be named ‘Hamster,’ suddenly has new abilities. So now Kevin must figure out how to work with Gretel and Hamster to protect their city from mysterious dangers.” Check out the trailer at Animation World Network. It hits the air (ha ha) on August 12th.
Young beginning readers can check out the Ollie and Bea series of graphic novels, written and illustrated by Renee Tremi. The set up is as simple as can be: “Ollie is an owl who wears glasses. And Bea is a bunny with very big feet. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to be best friends. Can they help each other to find their otter-ly awesome inner superhero?” It’s Owl Good and other books in the series are available now from Allen & Unwin Book Publishers.
And once again, thanks to Animation World Network for pointing us at something we might have missed otherwise — Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience. (Top that for a title!) “Get ready because a rock opera like no other is coming, based on Mo Willems’ New York Times best-selling picture book of the same name… The animated musical event is a fun and funny tale about a sensitive, curious, and rockin’ Naked Mole Rat named Wilbur (voiced by Jordan Fisher) who ‘scandalously’ decides to (gasp!) get dressed! See what happens when Wilbur’s newfound love of rocking outfits rocks Naked Mole Rat society to its core.” It’s already up and running on HBO Max. Seriously, you have to see the trailer to believe it! And even then…
You may recall that recently we discovered the Bad Kitty series of books by Nick Bruel. Well now thanks to Animation World Network we have this news: “Independent entertainment company Boat Rocker has landed the rights to develop an animated television series based on the popular Bad Kitty children’s book series from author Nick Bruel. Since its release in 2005, the Bad Kitty series has become a New York Times best-seller to the tune of over 20 million copies sold, and has been published in 23 languages across dozens of territories internationally. The stories center around a mischievous housecat named Kitty who has a unique knack for creating chaos throughout her owner’s home.” No word yet when this will bust out of development, but we’ll be watching.
Creator Charles Brubaker has returned with a new installment of the Ursa Major Award nominated cartoon series Fuzzy Princess, called Oingo Bongo. “Wanting to win a new set of bongo drums, Chiro enters herself and Kuma in a poetry contest. Can Chiro keep the ever-hungry Kuma ‘inspired’?” The short is already up on YouTube, and there are links to lots of Fuzzy Princess books as well.
Now we’re getting word on Illumination’s next animated feature project. We got this from Deadline: Migration is billed as a modern-day comedy following a family of ducks who convince their overprotective father to go on the vacation of a lifetime as they attempt to migrate from New England, through New York City, and ultimately down to the Bahamas. Oscar nominee Benjamin Renner (Ernest et Célestine) is directing the pic from an original screenplay by Mike White (School of Rock, The White Lotus).” They migrate this way in December of 2023.
Don’t blame us — that’s their joke. Here’s another phenomenon we somehow missed — brought back to us now by Acme Ink. “Here comes the first exciting issue of Charley & Humphrey — with cover art by Darick Robertson! When a motley crew of fleas stow away on Charley — it’s up to accident-prone Humphrey to save the day before the itchy interlopers ruin an important ceremony down at the Sea Horse Docks. Based upon the popular puppet characters created by Pat McCormick — which have delighted audiences for over 60 year! Get in on the adventures of America’s favorite Dog and Pony show!” Told you. It’s written by Justin Sane (!), with interior art by John Hageman.