Somewhere in the back of my mind – along with every other soul-searching moment of my youth – is a single panel from this novel featuring Bayshore clutching a fish and crying out Diego's name. I claim it as a symbol of a love long lost in the hazy days of my early adulthood, when uncertainty was the only certainty.
This is the story of a naive young otter chasing a free-spirited rascal. Through lovingly penned dialog and moody colours, it exposes the raw, vulnerable quick of youthful longing; Diego's light-hearted take on all things bursting into life against the shimmering backdrop of Bayshore's persistently searching but fatefully delicate glass heart. Through these illustrations, a pair of artists in love pour their hearts into their work in a way we can never see again.
The story ventures from "what does this mean" to "what do we do now," through "I knew it all along" and finally arrives at its natural conclusion of "I'm sorry" and "I was meant for you." But even after the second part – that was never published on the web, and only available in the printed work – it leaves us wondering how things will play out.
Although the comic, penned by a duo of artists under the pseudonym of Blotch, has been out of print for years, it will forever live in the hearts and minds of a generation of furries who discovered what it is to love and live in the forgiving embrace of furry fandom's nascent youth through to its maturity, and on through its inevitable slide into the mainstream.
BlackTeagan (real name Teagan Gavet) is one of five nominees for the Russ Manning Award, to be presented at Comic-Con International on 22 July. BlackTeagan has been nominated for the pencilling of Nordguard: Across Thin Ice, which she produced with Blotch co-collaborator Kenket (Tess Garman).
The Russ Manning Award, presented annually since 1982, is for the most promising newcomer in the comic book world. It's also a huge opportunity for positive exposure of the furry fandom's artwork, as Comic-Con 2011 attracted over 126?000 attendees and has been active since the '70s.
Fred Patten, who has been writing Furry book reviews since 1962, and who edited the first anthology of anthropomorphic short fiction, Best in Show, in 2003, has edited two new anthologies of anthropomorphic s-f & fantasy that will both premiere in June 2012.
- Already Among Us: An Anthropomorphic Anthology, will be published by Legion Publishing of Birmingham, AL on June 4. It will be available in a $18.95 hardcover and $9.99 trade paperback (x + 390 pages) [now $13.49], and $8.99 Kindle version, with a wraparound cover by Roz Gibson.
- The Ursa Major Awards Anthology: A Tenth Anniversary Celebration, will be published by FurPlanet Productions of Dallas, TX. It will go on sale at Anthrocon 2012 on June 14, as a $19.95 trade paperback, x + 380 pages, with a wraparound cover by Blotch.
The art collective (or pair at least) known as Blotch have a new item connected with their successful comic book/graphic novel series Nordguard. Now it’s the Nordguard Card Game, coming this summer from Sofawolf Press. The game itself was developed by Tempe O’Kun and Nic Wald, and play-testing was directed over the last year by Jeremia Heupel of ThinkTank Games. And the game itself? “You and your friends play as an anthropomorphized sled dog rescue team, overcoming cannibalistic strays and a landscape as capricious as it is lethal. Only your wits and your gear stand between you and certain disaster. Quick-reference instructions provide the rules in minutes, while a scalable difficulty curve provides a challenge for everyone from pups to even the most veteran sled dogs. A randomized map ensures no two missions will ever be the same. Based on the award-winning graphic novel Nordguard: Across Thin Ice, this slim set comes packed with over 120 illustrations by the artists Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet [aka Blotch].
It was totally worth it! Love the work of Blotch and love Skyrim!!
Update (29 Jan): Videl says he was bidding on behalf of his roommates as well as himself.
At this year's Anthrocon I was able to touch base for a few minutes with Blotch, the duo team of BlackTeagan and Kenket, and ask some questions about their latest release; Nordguard: Across Thin Ice, which debuted at AC ’11. (review)
Blotch is already famous in the fandom for their cover work on Kyell Gold’s books (Out of Position, Isolation Play) as well as winning multiple awards for their cover work on conbooks and for their first graphic novel, Dog’s Days of Summer, also available via Sofawolf Press.
Nordguard, Book One: Across Thin Ice
by Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, June 2011
Hardcover $39.95 (75 pages), paperback $19.95
Tess Garman (Kenket) & Teagan Gavet (BlackTeagan) – better known under their joint pseudonym of Blotch – have a well-deserved reputation for anthropomorphic light humor, with numerous cover paintings and their webcomic-turned-graphic novel Dog’s Days of Summer.
Now the duo show that they are equally adept at drama, with the beginning of a cold, cruel tale of murder and treachery in an anthropomorphic Far North.