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Add a Dash of Childish Delight

With the help of Marvel Comics, Disney is bringing a fan-favorite character back — in his own steam-punk comic book adventure! “This summer, journey into the exciting depths of your own imagination in Figment #1, the new Disney Kingdoms series created by the unique collaboration between Marvel and Walt Disney Imagineering. This five-issue series, created by rising star writer Jim Zub (Skullkickers), fan-favorite artist Filipe Andrade (Captain Marvel) and blockbuster cover artist John Tyler Christopher, weaves an all-new steam-punk fantasy adventure that reveals the never-before-told origin of the inventor known as Dreamfinder and his trusty dragon companion!” Said dragon is Figment, if you didn’t know! Find out more at Inside the Magic, and look for this full-color miniseries starting in June.

image c. 2014 Marvel Comics

image c. 2014 Marvel Comics

Monkey-Boy and Thunder-Lizard

One of the lesser-known but much-beloved series by comic book great Jack Kirby returns as Marvel Comics collects Devil Dinosaur in a new trade paperback this May. “The adventures of a boy and his dinosaur! At the dawn of human evolution, during a time when primitive man co-existed with the dinosaurs that dominated the Earth, a unique friendship is born – a friendship that may be the only thing that can save mankind! Meet Moon Boy and his Tyrannosaurus pal – the red-skinned Devil Dinosaur – as they face off against giant spiders, enormous ants, and rampaging dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes!” Find out more at the Previews page. Devil Dinosaur: The Complete Collection brings together issues #1 – 9 of the original series.

image c. 2014 Marvel Comics

image c. 2014 Marvel Comics

'Peanuts' to appear as big-screen movie in 2015

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Peanuts, the much-loved comic strip by the late Charles M. Schulz, is set to become a 3D animated movie.

The movie, scheduled for release on November 6, 2015, is being made by 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. The writer is Brian Schulz (the grandson of Charles), and the producer is Charles Schulz's son Craig. Craig Schulz is keeping details a secret, saying only "it's about a round-headed kid and his dog, and that's about as far as I'm willing to go".

Space Cats to the Rescue

The creator of Tiny Titans is branching out in a funny animal direction now, as Art Baltazar and his friends bring us Captain Action Cat: The Timestream CATastrophe, a new full-color 4-issue comic miniseries starting this month from Dynamite Entertainment. Check out this promo from Comic Book Resources: “From the Eisner and Harvey award-winning, New York Times bestselling famous cartoonists Art Baltazar and Franco comes the crossover epic event of a lifetime! Finally, Captain Action Cat meets Action Cat and the characters from Aw Yeah Comics! Also crossing over with Dark Horse Comics characters such as Ghost, X, Captain Midnight, and The Occultist, this series promises the typical zaniness that the creators of Tiny Titans are known for. True story! In Captain Action Cat: The Timestream CATastrophe #1, there is something evil out there and Evil Cat is determined to find it… even if it means searching throughout the Silver Age to do it!”

image c. 2014 Dynamite Entertainment

image c. 2014 Dynamite Entertainment

He’s Big, He’s White, He Looks Good in a Cape

Animator Mike Kunkel returns to comics in a big way with the first new Herobear & The Kid series in over ten years. Young boy Tyler and his large flying friend are back in Herobear & The Kid: Saving Time, a new full-color 5-issue mini-series coming this month from Boom! Studios’ Kaboom! imprint. “Henry, the family’s magical butler, is missing!! It’s up to Tyler and Herobear to figure out what happened to their friend…only they might learn a lot more  about Henry than they initially thought…and be forced to get help from an unsuspected  source.” Check out the interview with creator Mike over at Comic Book Resources.

Image c. 2014 Kaboom!

Image c. 2014 Kaboom!

A Doggy Superhero with Three Legs

Sounds like the set-up for a bad joke, but it’s actually a new full-color comic book miniseries based on a real-life dog. After a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, conservationist Tod Emko (Whale Wars) has created A Piggy’s Tale, a 4-issue series (illustrated by Ethan Young) coming next month from Bohemian Press. Based on a real-life dog that Tod rescued from near death, Piggy tells the story of a street dog who loses a leg when he’s struck by a car… but who soon discovers that the accident has given him super-powers! Besides the ability to fly and super strength, it’s also given him the ability to detect suffering, anywhere in the world… which leaves him with the determination to help animals in need where-ever he may find them. There’s a preview of the comic at Ecorazzi, and an interview with Tod about the real Piggy and more at Comics Beat.

[Oh, and by the way: Thank you to everyone who nominated us for an Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Magazine! We are truly honored.]

Ponies and Vampires and Ghosts, Oh My…

And now for something… pretty darn different. Part of the Vamplets line of “cute horror” comics from Action Lab Entertainment, this time with a funny animal twist in Vamplets: Undead Pet Society. “The Legend of the Ghost Pony begins here in this terrifyingly sweet installment from Hasbro designer/illustrator of My Little Pony, Gayle Middleton! Ghost Ponies have been the harbingers of the weird for years. Whenever they appear, creatures near have disappeared, never to return. Where do they come from? What is their terrible secret? And what is the Ghost Pony’s connection to a vampyre baby named Lily Rose Shadowlyn?” You can head out to your local comic book shop right now and find out.

image c. 2014 Action Lab

image c. 2014 Action Lab

Rocket Raccoon gets his own comic book series

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Rocket Raccoon If you thought the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series from Marvel sounded interesting, but were disappointed at the gun-toting-raccoon-to-green-skinned-alien ratio, July will see that situation rectified. Rocket Raccoon is getting his own ongoing series.

The book will be drawn and written by Skottie Young, best known for his work on Marvel’s comic adaptations of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, along with cover work for many Marvel titles. He is known for his cartoony style, an obvious fit with Rocket Raccoon’s funny animal roots. Like Rocket, this will be Young’s first ongoing title as a writer. You can see uncolored inside art for the first issue at MTV News.

The comic’s title was originally Rocket Raccoon and Groot, but Rocket’s “personal houseplant/muscle” was demoted, though he’ll still feature prominently. The rest of the Guardians will mostly stay in their own book, though Rocket and Groot will remain a part of that book’s cast.

In case you somehow missed it, Rocket Raccoon will also, completely uncoincidentally, appear in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie hitting theaters August 1, directed by James Gunn, featuring Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.

Power Pig!

Brand new from Previews: “Tom Arvis’ legendary hero and indie favorite Mercenary Pig is now presented in one complete, full color volume! A walking, talking, thinking, humanoid pig takes on animal cruelty, genetically modified pigs, and, ultimately, an evil food conglomerate, in this pork-humor filled, action packed origin story! New material wraps up the entire Meatcutter story arc in these 48 pages, as Percy the pig begins his guerrilla fight for animal rights – with his fists!” We don’t make this stuff up folks — if we did, we’d get paid more! Mercenary Pig #1 is available this April from Aazurn Publishing. Check out the preview video on YouTube, too.

image c. 2014 Aazurn Publishing

image c. 2014 Aazurn Publishing

Hello Kitty! You’re Free!

New news for the upcoming Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 3rd at comic book stores all over. This time, from the Viz Media imprint Perfect Square: “Hello Kitty and her friends star in all-new comic book adventures, and this time they’re letting their imaginations run wild! Plus: Don’t miss the sneak peek of Perfect Square’s upcoming tribute book celebrating Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary.  Bonus feature! Perfect Square introduces exciting Bravest Warriors adventures featuring the irrepressible Catbug!” More on this and other Free Comic Book Day offerings can be found at the official web site.

image c. 2014 Perfect Square

image c. 2014 Perfect Square

Review: 'Kairos. T.2/3', by Ulysse Malassagne

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Kairos, book 2 Kairos, volume 2 of 3, is out! (My thanks again to Lex Nakashima for making this review possible.) Volume 1 was published in France in April, with an animated cartoon trailer for the whole series by the author at his new Studio La Cachette. Niils and his mysterious girlfriend Anaëlle (whom he is trying to talk into becoming his fiancée) are camping out in the French countryside. She is kidnapped by anthropomorphic dragons dressed as Medieval soldiers, and taken “home” through a dimensional portal to the world that she apparently came from in the first place. Niils follows to rescue her, and is met in the countryside by two friendly inhabitants; Kuma, a dragon monk, and Koyot, a brown, beaky peasant.

Tome 2 begins with Niils, Kuma, and Koyot coming to a peasants’ market town, where a big political argument is in progress between the supporters of the dragon royal family and those who accuse it of becoming tyrannical, weak, and no longer in touch with the people.

Roubaix, France, Ankama Éditions, October 2013, hardcover €11.90 (64 pages; on Amazon.fr).

Voting begins as 2013 Ursa Major Awards ballot released

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxx Here is the final ballot for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards. The voting is among the five titles in each category getting the most nominations. In several categories, there are six finalists because of ties for fifth place. In the Best Short Fiction category, only four finalists are listed because of too many ties for fifth place.

Voting is now open. Due to a technical issue, nominators will need to acquire a new key. The deadline is April 30.

As is not unusual, there were so many nominations for the fourth, fifth, and sixth place nominees in most categories that one more nomination could have made the difference between a title’s getting on the final ballot or not. Please nominate next year.

The 2013 Ursa Major Awards will be announced and presented at a ceremony at the CaliFur X convention, May 30-June 1, 2014, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel, 18000 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612.

Alice’s Other Adventures

In that same article at Broken Frontier in which we found out about the new Dragons comic they announced another new comic book of some interest to Furry Fans. The Weirding Willows, created by Dave Elliot, has previously run only in the comic anthologies A1 and Heavy Metal. Now Titan Comics have gathered together the first story arc — along with a brand new chapter — in hardcover. “When she was nine, Alice wandered into the Wild Woods and discovered a portal to another world. A world called Wonderland! Now a young woman, she has spent her childhood discovering just some of the wonders the dimensional nexus of the Weir has to offer – a place where the worlds of Earth, Wonderland, OZ, Neverland, Mars, Pelucidar and Elysium collide, and where anything, and anyone, could turn up when least expected!” The first story tells what happens when Alice’s father, Dr. Moreau, makes a dubious deal with the Wicked Witch of the West. Not to mention having Mr. Toad and his associates show up.  This full-color collection is available later this month.

Toothless on the Printed Page

Later this month Titan Comics premiers not one but two volumes of their new digest-sized full-color comic based on the hit TV series Dragons: Riders of Berk. From the preview at Broken Frontier: “Titan Comics proudly presents all-new original adventures of Hiccup and Toothless!  A thrilling all-ages publication and a broadening of the How To Train Your Dragon universe. Featuring gorgeous animation-inspired artwork by Iwan Nazif, and written by Simon Furman (Transformers, Doctor Who Magazine, Thundercats).”

image c. 2014 Titan Comics

image c. 2014 Titan Comics

In Between the Birdy Movies

In anticipation of the upcoming Rio 2 movie (coming to theaters this April), this month Papercutz Publishing begins a new series of Rio trade paperbacks, with Volume 1 filling in the gap between the first movie and this one. Rio: Snakes Alive is a 64-page full-color comic book written by Stefan Petrucha (Power Rangers) and illustrated by James Silvani (Darwing Duck). There’s a preview up at Bleeding Cool. “The first volume… catches up with Blu and Jewel, the last surviving Blue Spix Macaws, as they raise their kids in the Blu Bird Sanctuary near Rio de Janeiro. When the sanctuary is threatened by financial trouble, Blu and the gang embark on a quest deep into the jungle to find an ancient treasure that may save their home.”

image c. 2014 Papercutz

image c. 2014 Papercutz

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