Marvel comics launched two titles early this year featuring slightly obscure, slightly ridiculous and more-than-slightly furry characters; Howard the Duck and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Actually, they will both have two #1 issues by the end of the year (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl's second first issue came out this week, while Howard the Duck returns on November 4). Both have gained mostly positive reviews since their launches, so of course these two characters will appear in each other's books in a crossover next spring.
Not much detail is known at the moment about what these two characters will be doing that will require them to team-up, but Marvel has revealed an advance solicit (that is admittedly less than helpful):
This summer, the two most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe clash! You asked for it ... you demanded it ... and now you'll get it: GALACTUS versus WOLVERINE! Just kidding, the story's actually about Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck, and instead of fighting they solve problems together. Sorry for making you think Galactus and Wolverine would fight, maybe that should be our next team-up though since it's not a bad idea at all. Wolverine could get some Power Cosmic on her claws to create the Power Clawsmic and Galactus could be all "OH NO YOU DIDN'T". Anyway, in our story Howard and Squirrel Girl fight some dudes and learn some important lessons and Galactus doesn't even show up once, the end.
Every month, in addition to the solicits we'll get to in a minute, Preview runs top 100 bestsellers list; it's a few months behind, so it's a bit confusing, especially when you remember this is the October issue which comes out in September with solicits for December, and the top 100 list is for August. So, anyway, furry comics that made the list for August 2015 include:
- Howard the Human #1 at 87,
- Howard the Duck #5 at 82,
- Guardians of Knowhere #3 at 29 and
- Guardians of Knowhere #2 at 24.
Don Rosa is perhaps the only person associated with Disney’s Scrooge McDuck nearly as much as creator Carl Barks. Now IDW Comics bring us Don Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Volume 1 as their next Artists’s Edition release. What’s an Artist’s Edition? The pages are 14″ by 20″, the size of an actual comic artist’s drawing board — in other words, huge! Though the images are in black and white, they are copied from the original art in color — allowing the viewer to see things like paste-overs, blue sketch lines, editorial comments and more, straight from the artist’s original sheets. From the IDW web site: “Rosa’s Eisner-award winning work on The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck told the story of the penny-pinching mallard’s early days before he made his legendary fortune.” At over 160 pages, this hardcover edition (the first of three upcoming volumes) is headed to stores this April.
Not long after making his return to movies in the after credits gag from Guardians of the Galaxy after an infamous 1986 outing, Howard the Duck will gain his first ongoing comic since 1979 (not counting a mostly official two issue continuation of the series in 1986 in conjunction with the movie). He's appeared in various mini-series since that time, with many guest spots and cameos (Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis has claimed never to have typed the words "Howard the Duck" despite the character appearing in the background of multiple series by him), and he was one of the non-zombie leads in the Marvel Zombies 5 mini-series, but this is first ongoing since the seventies.
If you haven’t caught it yet, word is spreading fast that Disney TV Animation plans to bring back 90’s cartoon favorite Duck Tales in a whole new series on Disney XD, starting in 2017. We first heard about it over at Oh My Disney: “When Marc Buhaj—Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD—made the announcement, he said, ‘DuckTales has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history, it drew its inspiration from Disney Legend Carl Barks’ comic books and through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment that connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.’ The new series will star the same beloved characters as the old: Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Launchpad McQuack, Donald Duck, Duckworth, Gyro Gearloose, Flintheart Glomgold, Magica DeSpell, Poe, Ma Beagle, the Beagle Boys, Mrs. Beakley, and Webbigail Vanderquack.” Nothing more precise from Disney regarding a premier date yet, but Disney XD is starting to sound more and more interesting for animation.
IDW Publishing (busy, busy people!) have announced that after publishing the new edition of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck by Don Rosa (coming this March) they plan to carry one with a whole new series of Disney character comics — each one beginning with “#1″ from IDW, but actually they are continuations of the classic comics published by Gold Key and others. Only now featuring a slew of new artists and creators from around the world: People like Romano Scarpa, Daan Jippes, Casty, Giorgio Cavazzano, and Al Taliaferro. From the IDW web page: “April sees the debut of Uncle Scrooge #1, which will feature the best tales from creators around the world starring the iconic tycoon adventurer. Donald Duck #1 launches in May, Mickey Mouse #1 in June, and in July, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories will maintain the original numbering and launch with #721 as the first IDW issue.” Each issue will be available in one of two covers: A regular edition, and a special edition illustrated with a Disney Parks theme (Adventureland for Uncle Scrooge #1, EPCOT Center for Donald Duck #4, and so on through the rest of the year).
Here’s something for Thanksgiving: More birds! Now it’s Quackers, a new CGI animated film on its way from Russia’s Rome Animation and Film Studio. (Rome or not, it’s from Russia.) “A conflict flares up between local Mandarin Ducks and the Military Mallards who land on the Chinese island, mistaking it for Hawaii. While the fathers fight and argue, Longway, the Emperor’s son, and Erica, the commander’s daughter, meet and become friends. The kids must ally all the ducks to battle their foe, the daunting Ms. Knout, who seeks to destroy the Sun.” Got all that? Directed by Viktor Lakisov and due in 2016, Quackers has its own official web site, as well as a preview video up on Vimeo.
A Disney Afternoon favorite returns to comics as Joe Books (a new publisher out of Canada) presents the continuing adventures of Darkwing Duck — as written by Aaron Sparrow and illustrated by James Silvani, who previously illustrated the Terror That Flaps In The Night for Boom! Studios. This new series picks up where the Boom! series left off — but first, they’re bringing together the complete Boom! adventures of the hero of St. Canard (all 16 issues) in one massive, 400-page full-color trade paperback, Disney’s Darkwing Duck: Definitively Dangerous Edition. Read all about it over at Comic Book Resources, including an interview with James Silvani. Look for the book this January.
With interest in Howard the Duck rising again after his *Spoiler Alert!* momentary cameo in a recent hit movie from Marvel, they’ve decided that this October the time is right to re-release the Howard the Duck Omnibus — which has been out of print for more than six years. A massive hardcover (more than 800 pages) written entirely by Howard’s creator Stever Gerber — with artistic contributions from the likes of Val Mayerik, Frank Brunner, Gene Colan, Carmine Infantino, and John Buscema. This classic collection of the foul-mouthed foul “trapped in a world he never made” brings together stories from Adventures into Fear #19, Man-Thing #1, Giant-Size Man-Thing #4 – 5, Howard the Duck #1 – 33, Marvel Treasury Edition #12, and Marvel Team-Up #96. Read all about it at The Nerdist.
For all the hubbub about Marvel Studios deciding to go with an obscure team featuring a talking raccoon with a machine gun for their latest movie, they’re only continuing on as they started.
Think about it; not counting serials, what was the first DC universe character to get his own movie? Batman, followed by Superman (followed by Batman, Batman again, even more Batman, Superman, Superman and next Batman and Superman together). That’s their two biggest guns, and barring that weird Ryan Reynolds thing and Vertigo adaptations, that’s about it.
What was Marvel’s first superhero to get his own theatrical movie? Howard the Duck, followed by Blade, a character who struggles to headline his own comic books, but somehow managed a trilogy of movies. Yeah, Howard the Duck was the first obvious warning sign George Lucas wasn’t perfect, but now that Guardians of the Galaxy movie doesn’t sound so weird, does it?
Anyway, this is a special edition of Pull List; we’re taking a look back at one of the odder cult characters in mainstream comics. Howard the Duck got his start in a horror comic, of all places, created by weird writer extraordinaire Steve Gerber (four words: elf with a gun). Howard would have been a nobody in his home universe, where everybody is a duck, but he got stuck in our world, “trapped in a world he never made,” as the series’ tagline goes (which kind of applies to everybody, but whatever), so he got his own comic book series here.
His comics’ introduction describes him:
From the time of his hatching, he was … different. A potentially brilliant scholar who dreaded the structured environment of school, he educated himself in the streets, taking whatever work was available, formulating his philosophy of self from what he learned of the world about him. And then the Cosmic Axis shifted … and that world changed. Suddenly, he was stranded in a universe he could not fathom. Without warning, he became a strange fowl in an even stranger land.
For those looking for more of an intellectual take on some of these anthropomorphic concepts, check out this new book: Carl Barks’ Donald Duck: Your Average American, by Peter Schilling, Jr. From Amazon: “From 1942 to his retirement in 1966, Carl Barks drew Donald Duck comic books (the seventh greatest comic of the twentieth century according to The Comics Journal) for Walt Disney. He took what should have been a bland franchise and turned it into a classic of comics. Drawing on his own experiences (most notably a brief stint as a chicken farmer), Barks went to create a character who was remarkable . . . for not being remarkable. In his pursuit of a good job, his boredom with suburban life, his temper, his squabbles with neighbors, and his resolve in the face of his many failures, Barks’s Donald Duck was truly your average American.”
“Necrophilia is more erotic than that [censored!].”
-SWfan, Flayrah commenter
The ABCs of Death is the brainchild of producer Ant Timpson (an end credit suggests the whole thing was inspired by a nightmare of his): take 26 horror directors from around the world and give them a letter of the alphabet. They then pick a word with that letter, and direct a short film for $5,000 that depicts a death involving that word.
Pretty simple, and a great concept for a horror anthology, but why the review on a furry site? Well, there’s Thomas Malling’s “H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion,” which is basically a live action Tex Avery cartoon. And there are plenty of animal-related shorts available, as well; some of the best shorts on the roster, including “D is for Dogfight,” “N is for Nuptials,” “P is for Pressure” and “Q is for Quack,” involve animals, if not always anthropomorphic.
But are these highlights worth the time for furries?
We like this description of Odd Duck, a new illustrated storybook: “Theodora is a perfectly normal duck. She may swim with a teacup balanced on her head and stay north when the rest of the ducks fly south for the winter, but there’s nothing so odd about that. Chad, on the other hand, is one strange bird. Theodora quite likes him, but she can’t overlook his odd habits. It’s a good thing Chad has a normal friend like Theodora to set a good example for him. But who exactly is the odd duck here? Theodora may not like the answer.” Author Cecil Castellucci (Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd) hooks up with illustrator Sara Varon (Chicken and Cat) to create an unusual story of an unusual friendship. It’s coming this May in hardcover from First Second.
The Duck Dodgers TV series — based, as if you didn’t know, on the Chuck Jones-directed cartoon Duck Dodgers in the 24th 1/2 Century — ran on Cartoon Network from 2003 to 2005. [My, was it really that long ago? Sheesh... Ye ed-otter] Besides the obvious cast of Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as The Eager Young Space Cadet, and Marvin the Martian as the terrible Commander X-2, the show featured a host of Warner Brothers characters in bit roles — not to mention new characters like the dreaded Martian Queen. The regular voice cast included well-known voice actors like Joe Alaskey, Bob Bergen, Richard McGonagle, and John O’Hurley, as well as Michael Dorn (from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Tia Carrere (as the Martian Queen). Now Warner Brothers Home Video have (finally!) released the first 13 episodes on DVD in a collection entitled Duck Dodgers – Season 1: Dark Side of the Duck. It’s available now in stores and on-line everywhere.
When you think of France, what do you think of? No, no; keep it clean – fine wines!
The Cartoon Brew website reports that a series of six animated TV commercials for Fat Louis Wines featuring Fat Louis, an anthropomorphic French duck, has been made by animation artist/director Andy J. Smith of Newburyport, Massachusetts. The six commercials are collected into a 2’49” compilation, Les Aventures de Fat Louis.