Whee! We’re bringing you announcements from Cartoon Brew of lots of international animated theatrical features that will probably never come to the U.S. This time it’s a French movie, variously Evolution Man, or, How I Ate My Father or Animal Kingdom: Let’s Go Ape, that is being released theatrically in Britain this month.
Is it anthropomorphic? Surely, if you consider pre-homo sapiens primates to be animals. Otherwise? Hard to say from this trailer (which is one of two), but there are at least lots of animals presented in a manner that furry fans should enjoy.
Image copyright Bob Carr of Getty Images
Also, colt American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown, becoming the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and, finally today, the Belmont Stakes since Affirmed in 1978. American Pharoah is only the twelfth horse to win all three races since Sir Barton became the first in 1919.
Tiki Paws have made a name for themselves crafting tropical-themed clothing, toys, and other accessories for dogs. Yes, really — we’ve covered them before. Well now the line has expanded! Tiki Paws have grown to include Geeky Paws — a new line of Halloween costumes for dogs, based around any number of fannish themes. Just the thing for when you’re out trick-or-treating and want a little friendly protection along. Check out their web site to see all the latest.
TeeTurtle.com are an outfit (pun intended) that specialize in t-shirt designs featuring animals and familiar cartoon characters of a particularly “chibi” variety. “Teeturtle was founded in 2012 by designer RamyB to scratch your insatiable itch for cute, funny, popculture-y shirts. Since then, we have made it our goal to provide the best possible experience for you… Here at TeeTurtle, our shirts are our pride and joy. That’s why we use only the softest shirts on the market. We know that you will fall in love as soon as you slip into one of our ultra comfy tees. Plus, with killer designs from both our in house artists and some of the best guest designers on the internet, what more could you want?” They said it.
More news from Cartoon Brew: The first major-studio release of a faith-based animated feature film. “Academy Award-nominated director Tim Reckart (Head Over Heels) will make his feature directorial debut with faith-based feature The Lamb, Sony Pictures Animation revealed today in a late-Easter Weekend announcement. First announced in September 2014, The Lamb will be a fully CG-animated pic based on the Christian nativity story, telling the ‘inspirational story of a young lamb who will change the world’ with an all-animal cast.” Lest you forget, the last time there was a faith-based anthropomorphic animated film (independently released) it was Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie. Stay tuned for more information on a release date for The Lamb.
It’s hard to describe The Woodland Welfare Manifesto any better than Slave Labor Graphics do: “Woodland Welfare Manifesto is the story of Burnt Bear, Crazy Rabbit, and Perverted Monkey — three proletarian animals who struggle against the corrupt capitalist system that oppresses their forest with an iron fist of injustice! Will this trio of friends triumph when working-class livelihoods are threatened, or will Crazy Rabbit’s anarchist methods threaten to make them all enemies of the state?” There you have it. Well, except to say that this full-color short graphic novel (written by Justin Sane and illustrated by John Hageman) is coming soon in trade paperback from SLG. Check out the more detailed review over at Fanboy Comics.
We stumbled across a new on-line graphic story created by Rose Morgan. “Nails & Teeth follows the story of a detective on Earth, who is tasked with solving a number of apparent murders- the perpetrators appear to be wild animals, but the mystery lies in which species. The damage is far greater than she or humanity realizes, however; Two worlds have collided, and they must now work together to inhibit the destruction.” The brand-new official web page features profiles of the characters and a link to Patreon page — where subscribers can see the newest comic pages before anyone else.
“… of the animals who didn’t get on the Ark.” That’s the official tag line of Oops! Noah is Gone, a new CGI feature film coming out later this year. Produced in Germany and animated all over Europe, it follows the story of David and his young son Finny, the last of the Nestrians, and what happens when one of them misses the boat — literally. The official English trailer explains it all better… sort of. No word yet on if it’s to be released to North American theaters or only on DVD. Thanks to Cartoon Brew for the heads-up.
[Don’t forget, nominations for the Ursa Major Awards are open now! And with that, we’ll see you all after Further Confusion!]
Writer C.R. Grey has created a new fantasy series for young readers that’s described as “Drawing on the traditions of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials… a fantastical boarding-school adventure with steampunk sensibilities and political intrigue…” The first book in the Animas series, Legacy of the Claw, goes like this: In a world where everyone eventually hooks up with a non-human animal, known as a “kin”, in a spiritual connection known as an “animus bond”, 12-year old Bailey Walker fears that he will become an outcast if he doesn’t find his own kin soon. But darker forces are at work in his world… forces that seek to enslave all the kin and destroy the power of animus forever. This new series is available now from Disney-Hyperion. Check it out over and Barnes & Noble.
More from MIPCOM. Aurore Damant is a former Gobelins student (if you don’t know who they are, every animation fan should!) who is now a professional character designer and art director. His latest project is called Zip Zip, produced in France by Go-N Productions. The premise is simple: A group of forest animals see that human civilization is encroaching on their habitat, and they figure if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And so they conspire to disguise themselves as regular domestic house pets using zip-up costumes. Easy, yes? The show has debuted in France and it’s currently looking for international buyers to distribute it. Mr. Damant has several screen shots up on his blog to see.
We’re not really certain about how “anthropomorphic” it’s going to be, but Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit is definitely about fantastic animals! “In a world where a rhino can be gene-spliced with a dog, freakish animals are everywhere, and the Creature Cops have to deal with them! From vicious gator-snakes to cute panda-dogs, these animal cops think they’ve seen it all… until they discover a nest of illegal hybrids that resemble mythological griffins, and suddenly find themselves on the trail of a death cult with even darker plans…” Created by writer Rob Anderson (Rex, Zombie Killer) and artists Fernando Melek (Crossed), Novo Malgapo, and Leandro Panganiban, this new full-color three issue miniseries arrives from IDW (and their new partner, Comics Experience) this January. Flickering Myth has a more detailed preview, and there’s even more at the comic’s official web site.
This is the fifth volume in Sofawolf Press' Artistic Visions series of art-sketch format albums. The first four each showcase one (or two) of the best artists in furry fandom; Kenket (Tess Garman), Brian and Tracy Reynolds, Ursula Vernon and Henrieke Goorhuis. Each is a professional artist, but is especially well-known in furry fandom for convention conbook covers, badge art and other commissioned art, and trades with other Furry artists; many of which are posted on DeviantART, FurAffinity and other art websites.
Hibbary (Hillary Leutkemeyer) has been a member of DeviantART for over a decade, and she was Artist Guest of Honor at Furry Weekend Atlanta 2013, but otherwise she is little known in furry fandom. This large (8½” x 11”) volume of Artistic Visions should change that.
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, July 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (99 pages).
This August a group of walkers spotted a rare white hummingbird in the Million Ranch development of South Fork. This turned out to be the first true albino hummingbird photographed in Colorado.
Local resident Kim Krahn first spotted the unusual bird on a morning walk around 8 a.m. Monday, August 25.
“I was the first to say anything, at least,” Kim said. “I just saw this bird flying back and forth. It sounded like a hummingbird, but it was white.”
She pointed it out to her husband Ken as well as fellow walkers Don and Betty Law of Balko, Oklahoma. At around 9 a.m., Don and Betty’s grandson, Jarret Kachel, took multiple pictures of the bird. Ken Trahn tried to get his own pictures later that night.
“It was already gone by the time I tried to look for it that night, to try and get some pictures of my own,” Ken said. “It must have already been migrating through.”
"Every now and again I sit back and wonder what it would be like if other animals could really fight back against the egregious violence to which we subject them in a wide variety of venues ranging from research laboratories and classrooms to zoos, circuses, rodeos, factory farms, and in their own homes in ours and in the wild. This thought experiment takes life in The Awareness and reflects their points of view, and it's clear they do not like what routinely and thoughtlessly happens to themselves, their families and their friends. By changing the playing field Gene Stone and Jon Doyle force us to reflect how we wantonly and selfishly abuse other animals and the price we would pay if they could truly fight back. This challenging book also asks us to reflect on the well-supported fact that we need other animals as much as they need us. It should help us rewild our hearts, expand our compassion footprint, and stop the reprehensible treatment that we mindlessly dole out." - Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado (quoted blurb)
Suspense/terror/horror stories in which all animals, or all of certain species, turn against mankind go back at least to Arthur Machen’s unreadable “The Terror” (1917). Probably the best-known is Daphne du Maurier’s “The Birds” (1952). I recently reviewed Steven Hammond's Rise of the Penguins (2012). In movies, the terror-animals have ranged from rats to all of the giant mutations like Them and Night of the Lepus.
How successful any of these are usually depends on two factors. The skill of the author (or the director) in building a mood of terror, and the plausibility of the reason given for the animals to turn against humanity. In The Awareness, both of these fail.
NYC, The Stone Press, March 2014, paperback $14.95 (ix + 221 [+3] pages), Kindle free.
These are the first two volumes of T.R. Brown’s Reflections series. Amazon.com has a special subcategory for them: Genetic Engineering Science Fiction. They should be required reading for every furry author who plans to write human-into-anthropomorphized-animal fiction. They are also good reading for everyone else.
The two are narrated by the protagonist, Todd Hershel. The setting is an unspecified future, but there are automatic/robot cars, artificial islands (“Libertarian Colonies”) for dissidents, personal computers that unfold from pocket-size, artificially-grown organ harvesting, references to a second American Civil War in the recent past and “the Vatican in exile” and bioengineered animal people grown for soldiers in wars. For legal reasons, these humanoid “neos” are required to look like the animals they are based upon.
I was driving back from a meeting with a supplier and there was a semi pulling a load of scrap metal slightly ahead of me in the next lane. My car alerted me to be ready to take over manual control, pulling me away from the e-mails I had been working on. I saw the reason immediately. An accident a couple of miles ahead. An ambulance and other emergency personnel were already on site. That probably saved my life. […] the semi next to me had a blowout in the front wheel. […] Autopilots are good, but they can’t handle an emergency like that and, before the operator could take over, the semi jerked into my lane […] (p. 1)
Todd wakes up in a hospital two months later. His body was completely crushed by the scrap metal. Since this was an unplanned medical emergency, no substitute body has been prepped for him. The only suitable usable body that can be found on emergency notice is a brain-dead felis neo – a female, at that. Todd’s wife Colleen is not happy about that, but she agrees that the important thing is to save his life. They can worry later about getting a new human body, or at least a sex-change operation back to male and cosmetic surgery to make him look more human, later.
The first 50-odd pages are filled with the details of Todd’s exploring his new body, bioengineered from a panther to be a brawny feline soldier.
“We considered just putting your head on the new body,” Walt [a doctor] continued, “but, in addition to the aesthetic problem of a human head on a felis body, there would also have been tissue rejection to deal with.” (p. 9)
The Face in the Mirror; A Transhuman Identity Crisis, by T. R. Brown, Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, August 2012, trade paperback $17.40 (501 pages), Kindle $2.99.
Chained Reflections, by T. R. Brown, Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, August 2013, trade paperback $19.99 (558 pages), Kindle $2.99.