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A Heavy Load To Bear

We can’t say it better than the publishers did: “Bear, Staffan Gnosspelius’s debut book, is a gorgeous visual meditation on depression. In this deeply affecting, wordless picture book for adults, a bear is maddeningly afflicted with a cone that covers his head and that he is unable to take off. He furiously stomps and yells and tears at the cone, he implores the skies and fate for relief, he is drawn to dark and wild and scary places. The depths of his sadness feel like a defeat. It’s a battle he wages until he’s mentally and physically exhausted. Then, one day, Bear hears notes of music, the humming of a friendly hare. The hare hovers nearby, concerned, sometimes driven away by Bear’s frustration and anger, more often staying close and gently offering support.” This full-color graphic novel is available in hardcover from Seven Stories Press.

image c. 2024 Seven Stories Press

Review: 'The Mystic Sands', by Alflor Aalto

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

The Mystic Sands The bad news: The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto is a funny animal novel. The characters, all anthropomorphized animals, are interchangeable surrogate humans. There is no reason for any of them to be raccoons, rabbits, foxes, weasels, squirrels, or anything other than humans. They are all human-sized, wear regular human clothes (imagine a human-sized squirrel wearing Victorian clothes), eat human diets, etc. They do occasionally refer to their animal natures:

And don’t you worry your fluffy ringed tails, my friends. (p. 36)

The good news: The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto is a ripping good page-turner, a guaranteed attention-holding light thriller of the 1930s Weird Tales sort with anthropomorphized animals that will have you wanting to finish it in one session. Go buy it!

Las Vegas, NV, Rabbit Valley Comics, May 2013, trade paperback $20.00 (245 pages).

Anthro animation airs at Aero Theatre, Santa Monica, Dec. 7

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

For fans of Robert McKimson’s Leon Schlesinger/Warner Bros. 1940s-1950s theatrical cartoons, there will be a screening of 35 mm. prints of eleven of them on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403; (310) 260-1528. The eleven, which McKimson was the director of, include Hillbilly Hare, Devil May Hare, Rabbit’s Kin, Hot Cross Bunny, The Foghorn Leghorn, Bedevilled Rabbit, Bill of Hare, Tabasco Road, The High and the Flighty, Falling Hare, and Walky Talky Hawky; featuring Bugs Bunny and Foghorn Leghorn & Henery Hawk.

This event is in celebration of publication of the brand-new biography I Say, I Say….Son! A Tribute to Legendary Animators Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson, by Robert McKimson Jr., with a foreword by John Kricfalusi (the creator of Ren & Stimpy) and an introduction by Darrell Van Citters. McKimson Jr., Kricfalusi, and Van Citters will sign copies of the book in the lobby beginning at 6:00 p.m., and hold a discussion following the screening.

(And don’t miss my review of the book.)

Little Nutbrown Hare on TV

Guess How Much I Love You is an popular and award-winning children’s book written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram. Now SLR Productions has created Guess How Much I Love You: The Adventures of Little Nutbrown Hare, a 2D animated TV series with young children in mind. Like the book, the series takes place in an idyllic woodland where Little Nutbrown Hare lives and learns with his father, Big Nutbrown Hare, and all their friends. The series has been running on Disney Junior Australia, and is set to premier soon on Disney Junior USA. If you check out the SLR Productions web site for the show, you’ll find a link to another interesting TV series they’re working on called Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs. Yes.

image c. 2011 by Anita Jeram








Review: 'Sixes Wild: Manifest Destiny', by Tempe O'Kun

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)
Sixes Wild cover Sixes Wild: Manifest Destiny by Tempe O’Kun. Illustrated by ShinigamiGirl. St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, June 2011 Paperback $15.95 (vii + 147 pages)

This slim volume is described on the Sofawolf LiveJournal as "a straight western crossdressing romance." It is more a straight Western, except for steamy interludes where the crossdressing hare gunslinger and the fruit bat sheriff lose their clothes and get into each other’s fur.

Sixes Wild is intended for an adult audience only and contains explicit sexual material of Male/Female nature. It is not for sale to persons under the age of 18.

This stereotypical Frontier drama, set in a small town in Arizona, is an unusual mixture of funny animals and anthropomorphics. Most of the folk of White Rock are typical funny animal characters who could just as easily have been humans: Six (Six Shooter), the hare outlaw; Doc Richards, the fox saloon-keeper; Harding, the bloodhound deputy sheriff; Morgan, the squirrel farrier; the ’yote native Americans; Morris, the villain’s marmot henchman; and so forth.

And then there is Jordan Blake, the fruit bat sheriff.

Hares exhibit permanent pregnancy

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While foxes have the reputation of being sluts in the furry fandom, perhaps this title should rather fall to hares, who have been shown to have simultaneous pregnancies.

The hares show superfetation — the ability to become pregnant before giving birth from an earlier pregnancy. Scientists at the Liebniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research found that pregnant European brown hares can become pregnant again about four days before delivery. This decreases the amount of time between litters and makes the hares capable of being permanently pregnant.