Cartoon Brew recently pointed us at a new upcoming animated film called Leo, being created for Netflix by Adam Sandler and his production company. “Netflix describes the film as ‘a coming-of-age animated musical comedy about the last year of elementary school – as seen through the eyes of a class pet. Jaded 74-year-old lizard Leo has been stuck in the same Florida classroom for decades with his terrarium-mate turtle. When he learns he only has one year left to live, he plans to escape to experience life on the outside, but instead gets caught up in the problems of his anxious students – including an impossibly mean substitute teacher. It ends up being the strangest but most rewarding bucket list ever…’ Leo’s animation is being produced by Netflix Animation and Animal Logic (The Lego Movie, DC League of Super-Pets)”. Look for it streaming on November 22nd.
Merry Christmas! Recently we stumbled across a new Internet star known as Tito Lizzardo, an animated lizard singer who pals around with a sexy feline dancer named Catty Baby (aka Catty B). Virtual Humans (a site we also just discovered!) has this to say about them: “Tito is a lizard that likes to dress in his school jacket. Catty Baby is a cat that rocks her sporty looks every day. Their TikTok account is exploding with the couple’s dance moves next to the beach and the palm trees in Miami. Tito and Catty are a couple of artists doing remixes of famous Latin songs like ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ or ‘Hey DJ’. Their gang is completed with Juan Gato, Catty’s brother who is always wearing a Miami Heat shirt. All together they create amazing videos of their song remixes, targeting very young audiences with their cute, animalistic appeal.” Tito and crew first appeared in a series of short, at times rather risque dance videos on TikTok. Since then, they’ve released several much-more-family-friendly music videos on their YouTube channel. Who’s behind all this? We don’t know! But we’d love to meet them!
At Midwest FurFest we met Stacy Bender. She’s a science fiction and fantasy author based in Cincinnati, Ohio. As you can see from her Amazon page, many of her works have a degree of anthropomorphism to them… But what she’s especially known for is the Poached Parody series of furry noir novels (written under the name P.C. Hatter), featuring hard-boiled detectives Lucius Anoraq (wolf), Kaiser Wrench (tiger), and Lizard Fifth (guess!). Most of her works are available in paperback, kindle, and even audio book form, from Byrnas Books.
Not since the 1980s have anthropomorphic animals and the Olympics come together more than in the news out of Australia in the past few weeks. As the Summer Olympics get ready to begin after a year's delay due to the global pandemic, one artist has brought some furry thunder for the teams Down Under.
Mozilla has been forced to state that the increasingly-stylized fox in their browser logo is "alive and well" — despite mounting evidence of Doge influence in Nightly, the twice-a-day distribution of Firefox code.
Their blog post was a response to a series of memes decrying the ongoing march towards minimalism, implying that a 2019 re-branding exercise – in which Firefox was turned into a 'parent brand' composed of a 'swoop' design from which the browser icon and others were derived – represented elimination of the fox from the product.
First Second brings us a popular fantasy comic from France, collected now in one hardcover graphic novel. Kairos is written and illustrated by Ulysse Malassagne. “Nills and Anaelle are looking forward to their first night in their rustic cabin in the woods. But the couple’s idyllic vacation is suddenly thrown into turmoil when a strange flash of light bursts from the fireplace. A portal appears, and out of it spill dragon-like creatures that are armed to the teeth. They grab Anaelle and flee back through the portal, leaving a distraught Nills with a sudden decision: Stay behind, or leap through after her? He leaps. And that’s when things get really weird.” This new English translation is available now.
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.
Kairos, volume 1 of 3, has just been published in France. It was announced here last month with an animated trailer from Studio La Cachette in Paris that had me salivating for the album! (Ankama’s catalogue lists a volume title that does not appear on the volume; “His Kingdom”.)
Now the book is here. Is it worth the hype?
(My thanks again to Lex Nakashima for making this review possible.)
Oh, yeah. This first album is both disappointing and tantalizing, only beginning to show the world in the trailer; its first scene, where the dragons emerge at night to kidnap Anaëlle, does not come before page 23 in the album.
Tome 1 ends with Nills, Koyot (the short, brown, beaky character), and Kuma (the big, green dragon? with short chin whiskers) walking towards the castle. Much is to be revealed in t.2.
When I announced that Lex Nakashima and I were going to bring you news of new French anthropomorphic bandes desinées, I wasn’t expecting to mix that with animation. But Kairos has its own animated trailer, by Studio La Cachette in Paris:
So the main character is human! There are still lots of anthropomorphic characters in the world that he goes to. Lex & I will have a review of tome 1 of Kairos, published April 25 by Ankama, as soon as we can. [Until then, check out this preview.]
Jason Brubaker works by day as a visual design artist at Dreamworks Animation, and by night as a self-published comic book creator. His story reMIND… well, here, we better let him describe it: “Sonja, the lighthouse keeper at a seaside oil drilling town, loses her cat, Victuals. Everyone blames the Lizard Man, the local boogeyman, which Sonja knows is a myth created by her late father to generate interest in the town. But when Victuals unexpectedly returns and has the brain of a strange intelligent creature; it seems someone is doing experimental transplants. With the brain of a lizard and the body of a cat, Victuals must now fight to recover his original lizard body and confront what he thought was the all-powerful god.” So, you got that? Good. reMIND has been collected into one hardcover graphic novel previously, and Volume 2 has just been released. And of course, you can visit the reMIND web site to keep up with the latest adventures.
Shut Up Cartoons is a YouTube channel of original animated series put together by the Smosh Channel, which claims to be the third largest Channel on YouTube. In amongst titles like Oishi High School Battle and Zombies vs. Ninja are a couple of shows that furry fans might want to take notice of. Krogzilla is one of the newest. “Born as an unknown mutation of aquatic lizard, Krogzilla was a 200-foot tall fire-breathing sea monster that terrorized coastal cities all over the world, until a team of scientists defeated him by shrinking. Now reduced to only six feet in height, Krogzilla has to figure out how to become a functioning member of society. First thing Krog needs to do is find a job”. The series updates every Thursday, and you can find it on YouTube here. While you’re there you might also want to check out the preview trailer for Weasel Town, which premiers next week.
Exiled: Clan of the Claw, Book One
Edited by Bill Fawcett
Stories by S. M. Stirling, Harry Turtledove, Jody Lynn Nye, John Ringo, Michael Z. Williamson
Riverdale, NY, Baen Books, August 2011, hardcover $25.00 (294 pages)
Exiled: Clan of the Claw is ostensibly alternate-universe science fiction, not fantasy. Editor Bill Fawcett postulates that the Giant Meteor that struck the Earth 65.5 million years ago, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs (according to one theory), never occurred.
The dinosaurs continue to live, evolving into an intelligent humanoid reptile “man” – the Liskash. Mammals evolve, too, resulting in an intelligent humanoid feline “man” – the Mrem. The two are instinctual deadly adversaries; both use “mind magic” against each other, but this is arguably a psionic talent, not a supernatural power.
When the Atlantic Ocean breaks into and fills the dry Mediterranean basin 5.3 million years ago, it cuts off the Mrem to the north from the Liskash to the south – except for one Mrem clan stranded in our world’s North Africa. Vastly outnumbered by its vicious Liskash neighbors, the isolated Clan of the Claw begins a desperate trek around the New Water to reunite with its Mrem brethen, in four novellas by different authors in this “Book One of a new series”.