He’s in L.A. County, we’re in the O.C., so of course we meet up at WonderCon this year — and made sure to pick up his comic book, Super Lucha Cats! Interestingly, we came across this in a local newspaper: “When vampires, demons, and all manner of things that go bump in the night threaten the town, who will be there to save it? The Super Lucha Cats will. Created by 33-year-old Bell Gardens native Javier Solorzano, Super Lucha Cats is a brand-new comic inspired by Latin folklore, a love of lucha libre, and a couple of feline friends. It follows the adventures of Coco, Pizza, Nopalito, and Fresa; four cats adopted off the street by a retired luchadora who – with the help of a magical lucha mask – raised and trained the four siblings to piledrive the forces of evil.” Check out the interview from our local NPR radio station too.
In late January 2022, the internet was flooded with news stories about a concerned parent in a school meeting in Michigan. However the news of the inaccuracy of the salacious rumor didn’t seem to reach one State Senator in Nebraska by the name of Bruce Bostelman of District 23. He instead took the State Senate floor and defecated it with the rumor he, like the woman before him, was appalled by.
I was just going to sit on this particular entry until a later time, since Maus is a novel I rather grew up with, having discovered it in college. Current events have ratcheted my schedule up to today. See the details in Sonious' article.
As such, Maus is also the latest example in a long line of important literature to see censorship such as To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, or even The Lorax. Like any of those other examples, the motivation for this censorship grays in contrast to the social and cultural impact the work has.
The story re-imagines the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor, through the anthropomorphic template of Jewish mice suffering at the paws of SS cats. The involved plot revolves around main character Artie and his tight-knit neighborhood of survivors, as they reflect on the horrors of the past. Of course, the weight of these events is more than enough to color their relatively safe present. Much of the novel does indeed read like a Jewish Historical Society compendium, and does not skimp an iota on content of the dire situation they survived.
Seven Seas Entertainment pretty much says it all here: “Flora moves into a mysterious mansion and finds it inhabited by a strange creature: Creepy Cat! Thus begins her strange and sometimes dangerous life with a feline roommate. This Gothic comedy brings the chuckles…and the chills! Since 2014, Cotton Valent’s hilarious webcomic Meawbin The Creepy Cat has charmed online audiences across the world. Enjoy this full-color graphic novel series for audiences new and old!” Creepy Cat is available now in paperback.
On the 20th of December 2021, a school board meeting was held for the Midland Public Schools in Michigan. At this meeting a woman had accused schools around the nation of placing cat litter pans in their gender neutral bathrooms for their “furry” students. A video of this rumor being presented started to go viral among the furry spaces a month later, along with a response from the school board.
The reason for the month's delay to reach traction throughout the internet was that the interaction was shared by the Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, on her Facebook account. In her post she seemed to be gung-ho about bringing an end to this cat pan menace. Maddock is currently under investigation over elector schenangans within the state of Michigan during the 2020 Presidential elections.
While the parent in the shared video started with a statement about her opposition to the Test-to-Stay program enacted toward unvaccinated students, the mother found two of her allotted three minutes directed at a statement she heard a child say a few months back about furries, and subsequently, cat pans in the restroom.
With temperatures down, and entertainment options becoming more and more—homegrown, let's say—it's a good time to catch up on that new-to-you material that aligns with your interests. Here are two of those lesser-known but deserving properties, marketed toward youth. For those of you who were sold on The Secret of NIMH, Redwall, and everything in between, at first view.
The Mistmantle Chronicles by M.I. McAllister has jacket flaps that compare it to The Wind In The Willows and Watership Down, although as you can see from the first installment's cover, there's much more of a Redwall yen in this series. As they say, though, DON'T judge a book by its cover, as the experiences of brave squirrel Urchin on the titular island carry their own identity. This flies in the face of origins that speak to many favorite role-playing games, as he evolves from his discovery on an empty beach to his eventual destiny in foiling a royal coup.
Camaraderie and species characteristics also run heavy in this, as in Redwall, however there is a noticeable amount of personification of reactive emotion and atmosphere as well, where dread and evil are given concrete outlines. Given my frequent mention of the property in the paragraph, you can gather the audience to which Mistmantle speaks. Dig on into this if you're part of that audience, since Miramax has purchased movie rights [albeit in 2004], and some sort of photo-play is probably not far off.
This one we stumbled across on Twitter, of all places! Little Kitty, Big City is a new on-line game created by Wholesome Games. “You’re a curious little kitty with a big personality, on an adventure to find your way back home. Explore the city, make new friends, wear delightful hats, and leave more than a little chaos in your wake. After all, isn’t that what cats do best?” Ours certainly do. The official web site has a preview video and lots more information too.
A Whisker Away (trailer) is an anime film about a young Japanese teenager who gains the ability to turn into a cat. Released in the summer of 2020, it was written by Mari Okada, directed by Junichi Sato and Tomotaka Shibayama, and animated by Studio Colorido. Its original title is Nakitai Watashi wa Neko o Kaburu, which translates to "Wanting to cry, I pretend to be a cat".
The main protagonist is a girl in her early teens, nicknamed Muge. She's madly in love with Hinode, a boy in her class who doesn't appreciate her advances. One night, she encounters a mysterious anthropomorphic feline who offers to sell her a magical mask. With it, Muge can turn into a cat and spend time with Hinode, getting to know him better. As she switches back and forth, she begins to wonder if she'd prefer to be a cat, rather than a human - but doesn't know what it might cost her.
In this short by Piti Yindee, released today, we see a cat and dog digging up bones. Completely silent except for music, it lets animation tell the story of their contrasting means to this end.
Claws of Furry is a game that gives you the ability to play with multiple friends as you scratch your way through four worlds with varying baddies, trying to save your master, who's been kidnapped by what appears to be Lady and the Tramp's Trusty in a mech suit.
As cool as this sounds, this game is not too polished and I would only recommend it for those that adore the brawler genre so much that they have to play every one of them. It may also be good for fans of the old-school Flash game feel. However, in general there are better brawlers out there, with more punch for your buck.
Do feline puns make you cat-atonic or drive you to hiss-teria? Then this game is not for you and you can move on. However if you can’t get enough of the purrfect punny feline punchlines, and like going on a dungeon crawling adventure with action RPG mechanics then carry on.
Cat Quest is a very streamlined and slick action RPG with a catty protagonist. Or at least their spirit companion is, as for the hero themselves they are traditionally silent. However, the other Non-Playable Cats (hereby refurred to as NPCs) are loaded with charm, purrsonality, and the aforementioned cat puns.
Well, here's one for dronon's list.
Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise has been around since 2004, and the title is self-explanatory. There are monsters. The player hunts them. These monsters aren't particularly anthropomorphic, but feature nice creature design, which furs appreciate, if the popularity of franchises like Pokémon and How to Train Your Dragon are anything to judge by.
And in Monster Hunter Rise, released in March for the Nintendo Switch, there are anthropomorphic animals in the form of the player's companions and helpers on the hunt, Palicoes and Palamutes. The former are cats who perform a variety of roles; while the latter are dogs, not anthro in form but probably sentient - though they are, well, mute. Together, they fight monsters!
Fairly early on while watching this movie, I came to an epiphany: I really don't like Jerry.
Seriously, he's a jerk. I mean, it'd be one thing if he violently thrashed his onscreen partner, Tom, because, after all, Tom is a cat, and cats eat mice. It'd be self-defense. I don't hate the Road Runner when Wile E. Coyote gets squished yet again, even if do feel sorry for Wile. But Tom rarely seems to have any interest in eating Jerry. Neither is Jerry like Bugs Bunny, who doesn't go looking for trouble. In the old shorts, Jerry frequently attacks Tom first, without provocation.
Take, as an example, how Tom and Jerry meet in their latest movie, released this weekend. Tom is busking in New York City's Central Park, when Jerry rudely interrupts him. Now, Tom is not without his own flaws; he's pretending to be blind to attract more customers, which is not cool. But Jerry doesn't seem to be bothered by this; his beef with Tom is clearly that Tom is making money, and he's not. So, he tries to steal his crowd, and then, in a bout of inevitable slapstick violence, breaks Tom's keyboard, which is clearly important to Tom beyond just a means of money. I'm on Tom's side, here.
Well, anyway, Tom & Jerry is a movie about Tom and Jerry. Tom is a cat. Jerry is a mouse. They starred in a bunch of cartoon shorts together starting in 1940, meaning that 2020 was their 80th anniversary. This movie was supposed to commemorate that milestone, but, well, COVID-19. It's mostly a live-action film; only the animals are animated (it wasn't submitted for consideration in the Academy Awards' 2020 Best Animated Feature category, which it would've qualified for under the extended "awards year", which implies the filmmakers consider it live-action). Besides Tom and Jerry (who are basically mute, and charmingly credited as "Themselves"), the movie stars Chloë Grace Moretz and Michael Peña.
To help distract quarantined Doctor Who fans, there are Doctor Who: Lockdown! simulcast watch-alongs of popular episodes of the "New" series of the show, featuring creatives behind the scenes Tweeting along, as well as short videos to go along with the watch-along.
With the May 30 watch-a-long of the loose "trilogy" of episodes "The End of the World", "New Earth" and "Gridlock" a sort of illustrated audio ""The Secret of Novice Hame", written by Russell T. Davies, was attached. The titular character and narrator of the story is Novice Hame (played by Anna Hope), who appeared in the "New Earth" and "Gridlock" episodes and is an anthropomorphic cat. She tells the story of her life among the various anthropomorphic animals of the far future planet of New Earth, and is visited by David Tennant's "Tenth" incarnation of the Doctor.
An interesting implication of the short piece is that it opens up the possibility that the Doctor themself might someday become an anthropomorphic animal; Novice Hame notes that there are stories of the Doctor in various forms, including animals.
Cats is such a bizarre phenomenon, I don't really know where to even start.
It's not just the movie. That a stage play based on a series of children's nonsense poems would not only be made, period, but that it would go on to be one of the most popular plays in some of the biggest venues is one of those things that make people say things like "well, it was the 80s" and "cocaine is a hell of a drug". Heck, there isn't even a lot of anecdotal evidence that drugs were involved any more than usual, if at all.
But, of all the inexplicable things, I'd like to point out the original tagline of the movie, which is so generic for such a weird property, stood out to me. "You Will Believe".
I will believe what, exactly? Neither the poems, play nor, it turns out, this feature length film has much in the way of thematic content, other than maybe "cats". Certainly, questions of faith or belief are not addressed. You could say the "jellicle cats" are a sort of feline cult to the moon, but there is no interest in the philosophy or theology of this possible cult. Certainly, I didn't come away believing there is some "Heaviside Layer" that would grant cats an extra life if they sing a song really good. Furthermore, I don't think the movie was trying very hard to make me a "believer".
So let's actually talk about the movie. The very first shots are set at a human level, as a canvas bag with a cat inside that we will learn is named Victoria (Francesca Hayward) is thrown out the window of a moving vehicle, apparently abandoned by her human owners, who we never see. This departure from the stage play, where we are given a point of view character who is new to the world of movie to have stuff explained to, is a welcome addition.
It's also the only thing the opening scene gets right.