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bears

Oh, Bother

Another in the how-did-we-miss-this category: Pooh vs. Bambi, a new 3-issue comic miniseries. “In war there are rules, but the forest has none. Abandoned by his country, betrayed by those he once called family, and hunted by those who want nothing more than to keep him as a trophy, Pooh is on a mission and no amount of honey will sate his thirst—he wants revenge!” One of the creators is Joe Brusha, long-time mainstay at Zenescope Comics, who has a history of bringing us some unusual and often very violent furry stuff. This one is written by Noah Mitchell, with artwork by Jordi Tarragona and Juan Manuel Rodriguez. Check out the reviews over at League of Comic Geeks.


image c. 2024 Zenescope Comics

Look Within for Beauty

At this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books we met Bill Herrin, who was showing off his brand new illustrated book. It seems that while his granddaughters were visiting one day, they noticed his pet peacock interacting with a large wooden bear statue he has in his back yard. They asked him why the bird would do that… and he came up with this story on the spot. “A proud Peacock with beautiful colorful feathers belittles Paws the Bear brown fur, but Paws soon discovers through the help of Father Owl, what real beauty is. The Peacock and the Bear picture book takes you on a journey with Peter the Peacock and Paws the Bear through generosity and understanding that each forest animal is a special beautiful creature.” Illustrated in a striking style (it looks like an animated film!) by Ilham Fatkurahman, the book is available now in hardcover.


image c. 2024 Safe Skies

Do You Speak Not You?

At WonderCon we met Josh Oaktree, the founder of Oak Tree Comics. Their mission is simple, and stated right on the front page of their web site: “A children’s book publisher where imagination meets environmentalism”. To that end they created the Art and Oakie Ask series of illustrated graphic novels for young readers, featuring the wordless adventures of young Art and their friend Oakie the ambulatory oak tree. In Do You Speak Tree?, Oakie tries to speak up for his forest home — but he only speaks “tree”, and no one understands. Perhaps Art and their crayon skills can help out? This was followed by Do You Speak Bear? and, most recently, Do You Speak Bee? Oak Tree also features a nature-themed fantasy comic series called Thorn the Unicorn, and a very unusual picture book called The Weird Animal Hour, which we’ll leave to them to explain.


image c. 2024 Oak Tree Comics

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

Movie review: Three foreign animated films from 2017-2019

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

'The Angel in the Clock' poster Three foreign animated film reviews! Behold the trailers for:

The Angel in the Clock,
White Fang, and
The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily.

All of these films successfully blend 3D and 2D animation in their own different styles.

White Fang is the most 3D, applying a brush-like texture to characters to create a 2D, painted look. Angel's main characters are 2D, with 3D designs used for the settings. Bears uses 3D for almost everything, then alters its visuals to look as 2D as possible.

Bear Out Of Nowhere

Driving around Southern California, we saw this on a billboard, of all things. Bearific.com. Knowing nothing about it, we had to investigate! Here’s what we found out about Bearific Books: “Katelyn Lonas is 16 years old and the CEO of her company, Bearific. Currently, she has over 60 published books, which are sold worldwide and available on Barnes & Noble and Walmart. Katelyn has also published five apps on the Google Play Store and has a YouTube channel called Bearific Studios, where she posts drawing videos and cartoons based on her books. She published her first book when she was 9 years old, and it was called Bearific Adventure.” And yes, it’s all about bears. Check out her web site!


image c. 2023 Bearific Books

Review: 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish'

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (10 votes)

pussinbootsthelastwish.jpgLet's start at the beginning.

Before Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, even. How about DreamWorks Animation's new studio bumper? It's a bit ostentatious, even a bit overly pleased with itself. Maybe goes on a little long. But, then again, what studio bumper doesn't, nowadays? But, being a celebration of DreamWorks past triumphs, it's interesting to note what franchises were chosen to be spotlighted.

Right out the gate, the Bad Guys are getting quite a vote of confidence, despite being the new guys with one movie under their belts. So I think it's safe to say we're getting a sequel. Also for furries, the Kung Fu Panda series is featured, and we already know that's got a fourth movie coming. The How To Train Your Dragon series is also represented by Toothless, despite the fact that the last movie came to a very decisive story end. It's one of the more acclaimed franchises of DreamWorks, so it has to show up, and even if there are no more movies, smaller screen spinoffs are still happening. There are also appearances by the Trolls and Boss Baby franchises, but they aren't furry, so who cares?

There are some notable absences, however. Despite featuring four movies, the Madagascar franchise is ignored. Spirit, you know, the one with the horse? That somehow managed two movies, but is apparently not an ongoing concern. And obviously, the Shrek franchise is prominently featured, but the star of the movie we're about to actually start reviewing is not. Maybe he'll show up in the bumper for movies he's not the star of?

Bear With Him

This is a bit complex, so we’ll let Animation World Network explain it: “Nickelodeon has released a handful of first look images for Bossy Bear, the new animated preschool series from husband-and-wife team David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim (UglyDolls, Tea Time Cats), based on the Korean / U.S. pop culture blend book series by Horvath. The series follows the misadventures of unlikely besties Bossy Bear (an overly enthusiastic extrovert) and Turtle (a thoughtful introvert) in their Koreatown-inspired city of Pleasantburg.” Look for the show on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. in 2023. [And have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!]


image c. 2022 Nickelodeon

First Nation Furries

In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Netflix recently premiered an interesting new animated TV series for young viewers. “Spirit Rangers explores the beauty of nature through the eyes and adventures of half-Chumash, half-Cowlitz siblings Kodi, Summer, and Eddy Skycedar, who all share a secret: They are ‘Spirit Rangers’ who help protect the land and spirits of the national park they call home in California. Taking on new perspectives as a grizzly bear cub, red-tailed hawk, and spunky turtle, the Skycedar kids face every challenge — from helping a lost thunderbird to waking a sleepy sun — with courage and compassion.” The series is created by Karissa Valencia, herself a member of the Samala Chumash tribe. Animation World Network has an extensive article.


image c. 2022 Netflix

Movie review: 'Perlimps' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Perlimps (trailer) is a Brazilian 2D animated film, the second from animator and director Alê Abreu. After seeing his earlier film, Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo, 2013), I really wanted to see what his next project would be like. I wasn't expecting to wait nine years!

Abreu's films definitely do not adhere to typical Hollywood narrative structures, veering towards the artsy without being self-indulgent. Boy and the World, for example, has no dialog at all, and conveys things entirely with sounds and visuals. (As well as being an abstract statement about growing up and the poverty that comes from the exploitation of labor.)

Perlimps is way more approachable in comparison. On the surface, judging by its trailer, I thought it was going to be another film about the devastation of the environment by humans. It does some of that, sure, but that's just surface stuff.

The rest of the film's surface is all in the trailer. Claé (an orange wolf) and Bruô (a blue bear) are secret agents from the opposing kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, trying to find the Perlimps, mysterious entities who can help save the forest from the encroachment of man.

Season 6 teaser image shows 'Fortnite' just got a lot furrier

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (13 votes)

fortnite_0.jpg

Season 6 of the popular "Battle Royale" shooter Fortnite is launching September 25, this Thursday, and for the second season in a row, the first teaser image released by Epic Games features a new character wearing an animal mask, in this case, a Deadmau5-esque DJ wearing a llama mask, after the Season 5 teaser featured a kabuki-inspired fox mask teaser.

The next Season 6 teaser image featured a cowgirl (the "Wild West" type of cowgirl, not the furry type, unfortunately), but it wasn't until the third and final teaser image, that things got really furry with an apparent werewolf character featured, seen above.

Update: The llama DJ is named DJ Yonder and is the tier 1 reward for the Season 6 Battle Pass; the werewolf is named Dire and is the tier 100 reward, and features further unlockable styles (he is unlocked as a human but most players will already have enough experience points reaching tier 100 to unlock his werewolf form when he is unlocked). Season 6 is also introducing Pets that players can carry on their back to the game; a dog, chameleon and baby dragon will all be unlockable in the pass.

Movie review: 'Paddington 2'

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (14 votes)

paddington2.jpg"Paddington 2 honors its star's rich legacy with a sweet-natured sequel whose adorable visuals are matched by a story perfectly balanced between heartwarming family fare and purely enjoyable all-ages adventure."
- Rotten Tomatoes Paddington 2 Critics Consensus

"I'm gonna wait for the goofy gorilla review."
- the late ba, Internet commenter

Reviewing Paddington 2 at this point is less an exercise in reviewing a movie than reviewing the very idea of a reviewing a movie.

It broke the record on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes for most reviews for a movie that still managed to retain a "100% positive" rating on the site with 187 "fresh" reviews, beating the previous record holder, Toy Story 2, which had 163. And though Flayrah reviews do not count towards the 'Tomato-Meter', even if they did, I have no intention of Armond White-ing the movie. It's a good movie. See it.

Movie review: 'Guardians' (2017)

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (21 votes)

The Guardians' English promotional image.Guardians (English trailer) is a Russian superhero film released in February 2017. The early trailers looked promising - fights, explosions, and a bear-guy! It's the Russian Avengers! Expectations were high, and it did well on its opening weekend... and was so disappointing that by its second weekend, it only took in 10% of its previous box office revenue.

It's a very formulaic movie. This isn't necessarily bad - Sing was formulaic too. But if you're going to use a formula, you have to do it well. You have to add a couple of entertaining surprises, mix it up a little, and maybe throw in some humor that mocks the very structure you're relying on. Guardians fails on all these counts.

Baidu India promotes World Environment Day with 'The Last Conversation'

Your rating: None Average: 4 (7 votes)

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. It is on Sunday, June 5 in 2016. This year’s theme is: “fight against the illegal trade in wildlife”, with the slogan "Go Wild for Life”, and some search engines are getting on board:

#TheLastConversation, featuring Foxy and DU bear Baidu’s India office will launch a new social campaign named “The Last Conversation” to raise awareness of wildlife depletion. The campaign will feature Baidu’s mascot, the “DU bear”, having a final conversation with different endangered animals through a series of posts on Facebook and Twitter, with the goal of urging people to avoid products that cause harm to wildlife. (Baidu India’s 31 May press release)

Baidu's campaign, which started June 1st on Facebook and Twitter, shows the ultra-cute DU bear interviewing critically-endangered species living in India, such as the Himalayan brown bear, as well as other popular species of lesser concern, such as the Bengal fox.

Review: 'The Boy and the Beast', anime film

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

A bear and a human boy stand dramatically in the street.The Boy and the Beast (aka Bakemono no koEnglish trailer) is a 2015 animated film from Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda, who directed the film Wolf Children in 2012. Both are of furry interest; this one even more so!

Ren is a 9-year-old boy who runs away to the busy streets of Tokyo after his mother dies. He has no way of contacting his father, whom his mother divorced, and has no love for his mother's relatives who want to take him in. Angry and upset, he wanders by accident into a parallel Earth, the beast world, where everyone is an anthropomorphic animal.

In the city of beasts, the current Grand Master (a rabbit) intends to transcend and reincarnate into a god, with two possible successors: a bear named Kumatetsu, or a boar named Yozen.