Have you heard that Satan is a Furry; a cat-man from the Large Magellanic Cloud, responsible for all the evils on Earth?
That might be funny if over ten million people did not believe it.
This probably would have made more sense back around Halloween, but… Pick your own horror adventure: On four paws! “Inspired by the gamebook fad of the 80′s, You Are a Cat in the Zombie Apocalypse! is the much-anticipated sequel to the first book in the Pick-a-Plot series, You Are a Cat! Lavishly illustrated from the first-person feline floor purrspective, the furightening and appawling You Are a Cat in the Zombie Apocalypse! is a horror tail that will stalk you, surround you and eat you alive.” This very strange black & white paperback graphic novel — where you choose on each page which horrible experience you have next — is available now on Amazon. It’s written and illustrated by Sherwin Tija, and published by Conundrum Press.
Lots of fandom folks (anime, furry, science fiction and otherwise) got excited this fall with the news that the team behind Cowboy BeBop had created a new, openly-silly science fiction anime called Space Dandy. The teaser trailer started making the rounds on YouTube. Well now comes even better news: Thanks to the efforts of Funimation, Space Dandy will be the first ever anime to premier in Japan and dubbed on American TV, simultaneously. It’ll be part of Adult Swim’s Toonami collection. Here’s what the producers say: “Space Dandy is a dandy in space! This dreamy adventurer with a to-die-for pompadour travels across the galaxy in search of aliens no one has ever laid eyes on. Each new species he discovers earns him a hefty reward, but this dandy has to be quick on his feet because it’s first come – first served!
“Coming in 2013!” Many movies that are announced never come out. Two that were announced in 2013 as “coming soon” and then disappeared seem to be unfortunate M.I.A.s, from Flayrah’s point of view.
Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie. “Ever since the world was born, two forces have been locked in perpetual battle. Their struggle is so Manichean, so ferocious, so Herculean that it makes the clash between good and evil look like a game of checkers! This ancestral duel is so ancient and so merciless that it can only be...Oggy against the Cockroaches!” The trailer, featuring the eternal battle between cats and cockroaches “from the Stone Age to the Space Age”, shows an imaginative mixture of animation styles, with the Stone Age and Medieval age in traditional 2D cartoon animation, the present as a mixture of cartoon and computer graphic imagery, and the futuristic Space Age sequences in all CGI.
Did you ever hear of Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie? Did you ever hear of an Oggy and the Cockroaches regular animated TV series? Then you’re not French, Indian, or Vietnamese. Oggy et les Cafards, 7 minutes an episode, has been broadcast in France since 1998, and has sold to Indian and Vietnamese TV. The Indian broadcast appears on the Cartoon Network there, but in Hindi. The two-hour movie premiered in French theaters on August 7, 2013, and since a trailer in English exists, someone is apparently trying to get it distributed in America. Good luck.
Felix the Cat, the creation of Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer, is perhaps one of the most famous and long-lived cartoon animals ever — pre-dating even Mickey Mouse. In the 1950′s, Joe Oriolo created a well-known series of cartoon shorts for Trans Lux Productions, which helped to bring Felix and his friends (and enemies!) to a new generation. Since the 1980′s, control of the “Felix Empire” has belonged to Joe’s son, Don Oriolo. Don has overseen the creation and distribution of Felix’s image on numerous products and in numerous media. Many of the images of Felix used for these were drawn and painted by Don himself. Now, IDW Publishing have collected Don Oriolo’s works together in a new full-color hardcover book, Felix the Cat Paintings. Check it out at Amazon, before it hits the shelves early next year. The book features a forward by comic book historian Craig Yoe, as well as essays from cartoon aficionados like Jerry Beck, Mark Evanier, David Gerstein, and Paul Castiglia.
As if that were news to anyone! Well, just in case you weren’t sure, comic strip artist Jeffrey Brown is here to tell you about it in his collection called, appropriately enough, Cats Are Weird and More Observations. Published back in 2010 (somehow we missed it!), this hardcover collection brings together both black & white and color observations of a pair of felines as they learn about the worlds both inside and out. Earlier, back in 2009, Jeffrey had success with his first cat-themed collection, Cat Getting Out of a Bag. You can see both of these books at Jeffrey’s Amazon page. More recently, he’s made a name for himself with the popular Darth Vader and Son comic strip series.
Otters in Space: The Search for Cat Havana by Mary E. Lowd is a short novel that received a 2010 Ursa Major Award nomination. It's a work of light science-fiction that I think might appeal to young adult readers. It's available from FurPlanet and Amazon, and in electronic format - see the author's website for details and links. I read the FurPlanet 2012 edition, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-61450-043-8.
See also: Fred Patten's earlier summary and review. (Contains spoilers.)
Mary Lowd's name really first stood out to me in the 2012 Ursa Recommended Anthropomorphics List, which included six of her short stories. It's not unusual to see authors with multiple recommendations on the list, although when they all appear at the same time, it feels like overkill. Anyway, of those six, I definitely enjoyed St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta, appearing in ROAR volume 4, so I was curious what she would do in a longer format.
Does anyone besides me care about this bureaucratic trivia? This is a good read, in a handy trade paperback edition for those who don’t want to read it on their computer. Get it in one format or the other.
But this is a direct sequel to Lowd’s Ursa-Major-nominated Otters in Space: The Search for Cat Havana. If there is any flaw with Otters in Space II, it is that you need to have read the first book to really understand it. Or at least read the review of it, in Flayrah on February 6, 2012.
Treecat Wars is the third novel in the Star Kingdom series of annual Young Adult s-f novels by David Weber and Jane Lindskold, following A Beautiful Friendship (reviewed here on October 10, 2011) and Fire Season (review October 26, 2012). These are the prequels to Weber’s immensely popular Honor Harrington series of military science-fiction, set about 350 years earlier, when the planet Sphinx is just being settled by humans. In A Beautiful Friendship, Honor’s ancestor Stephanie Harrington, then an 11-year-old precocious tomboy, discovers Sphinx’s six-legged empathetic treecats, and bonds with the one she names Lionheart, but whose own name is Climbs Quickly. In Fire Season, Stephanie and Climbs Quickly are hard-pressed to keep the secret of the treecats’ intelligence during Sphinx’s dry season, when raging forest fires threaten to wipe out whole treecat clans.
As before, Treecat Wars is primarily Sphinx’s human settlers’ story, centered around now 15½-year-old Stephanie Harrington and her family and teenage friends. But there are enough scenes with Climbs Quickly and the treecats to satisfy Flayrah’s readers.
Guskō Budori no Denki (The Life of Guskou Budori) is a 105-minute anime film released in 2012. The story had been previously adapted into anime in 1994, however the 2012 version did it with anthropomorphic cats - largely identical to the cats in the 1985 anime film Night on the Galactic Railroad. Not coincidentally, both films were directed by Gisaburo Sugii, and both were based on stories written by Japanese author Kenji Miyazawa, published in the 1930s.
The 2012 Life of Guskou Budori is visually rich, but has an incredibly dull narrative. Full spoilers ahead! Budori, his parents and his younger sister have an idyllic life in a forest by the mountains, but two years of sudden cold weather leads to the death of his parents and everyone leaving the local village. Oh, and his sister is taken away by a mysterious entity. To paraphrase:
Supernatural cat: I'm here to save you from famine. You're good kids, but that won't help you. Hey girl, if you stay here, you'll starve. Come with me.
(Budori's sister goes to him, seemingly in a trance.)
Supernatural cat: Well, bye! (vanishes)
Budori: ...Hey! You thief!
Housepets! Are Gonna Sniff Everybody is the fourth annual collection of Rick Griffin’s award-winning (Ursa Major Awards, Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip, 2009 to 2012) Internet full-color comic strip, following Housepets! Are Naked All the Time, Housepets! Hope They Don’t Get Eaten, and Housepets! Can Be Real Ladykillers. Book 4 collects the strips from June 6, 2011 to June 4, 2012. These are the story-arcs #43, “The Great Water Balloon War” to #55, “The Trial in Heaven”, plus all the one-off gag strips between those.
Book 4 is back to lacking a real title page. Boo, hiss!
Endtown has been a black-&-white Monday-Friday webcomic since January 18, 2009. Its popularity has grown fast, and it was shortlisted for the 2011 Ursa Major Award in the Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story category. A rave review by Bill Sherman in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (June 24, 2011) [originally on Blogcritics] began:
A snappy blend of Boy and His Dog sci-fi plus funny animal comics, Aaron Neathery's Endtown is one of the underseen gems in web comics. Originally debuting on the Modern Tales site - and more recently migrated to GoComics - the weekday series charts the travails of the beleaguered underground survivors of a mutant spawning radiation plague.
Endtown is set six years after a cataclysmic war has destroyed almost all life on Earth, leaving only a lifeless, desertlike surface and a few subterranean towns. The survivors are divided between the airtight-suited Topsiders, ruthless 100% human purists who kill other survivors on sight because they may be mutants, and the mutants and “impure” humans who try to survive in the underground enclaves. The “mutagenic plague” transformed its human victims into horrific monsters or, what makes this strip of Furry interest, anthropomorphic animals.
“Endtown 4”, by Aaron Neathery. [Introduction by Steve Gallacci.] Bellevue, WA, Jarlidium Press, July 2013, trade paperback $15.00 (131 [+3] pages).
Police investigators say Tannenholz, 28, had "sexual contact by penetration" with the animal at a Boise house on several occasions between January 2012 and January 2013. An arrest warrant was issued on July 31, and he was arrested on August 1. Police did not specify how the alleged activities came to light.
Tannenholz was charged with six felony counts of crimes against nature, and one misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal. If convicted, he would face a minimum of five years in prison for each of the felony counts, and up to six months and a fine for the misdemeanor charge. Tannenholz’s bond was set at $250,000; a preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 16.
It was hard to believe that a man could see twenty-three winters before he began to live. It is harder even to believe that his life began all at once, on one night, with the occurring of three obscure and apparently random things; the death of a bird, the flash of golden eyes and the first of One Hundred Steps. But for Kirin Wynegarde-Grey, it did happen, just this way. His life began, as all great and terrible things do, in the Year of the Tiger. (p. 1)
And that, boys and girls, is how to begin a novel!
It is the reader’s option whether to take Dickson’s Tails from the Upper Kingdom series, of which these are Books 1 and 2, as science-fiction, set about 5,000 years in the future, or as high fantasy.
This is a powerful, post-apocalyptic story of lions and tigers, wolves and dragons, embracing and blending the cultures of Dynastic China, Ancient India and Feudal Japan. Half feline, half human, this genetically altered world has evolved in the wake of the fall of human civilization. (blurb)
Kirin Wynegarde-Grey is a genetic lion-man, and there are plenty of other half-feline men and women – leopards, tigers, ocelots, cheetahs, jaguars, lynx -- in these two books to please the reader.