The celebrated and multi-award-winning creator Ursula Vernon first came to most people’s attention through her black & white web comic called Digger. Now, a decade later, Grim Oak Press gives us Digger Unearthed: The Complete Tenth Anniversary Collection. “Digger Unearthed is the story of a shrewd, sensible wombat engineer named Digger-of-unnecessarily-convoluted-tunnels, who finds herself stranded in a fantasy world that is far from logical. Thrust into the middle of a puzzling and often perilous situation involving gods, demons, destiny, and redemption, she finds her way based on a pragmatic honesty and the sincere belief in doing the right thing… To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Digger Unearthed offers the complete web comic collection in a single volume that can be fully enjoyed by young adult readers, yet also contains layers of sophistication that become deeper and more meaningful with age and experience.” Which we have. It’s available now in both paperback and hardcover.
Another one that slipped beneath our radar — but fortunately it’s still available! It’s the Tuff Stuff one-shot comic, created by Kevin Delgado. “Tuff Stuff is a washed out cretin who spends his days scouring the beach boardwalk for loose drugs. When a string of disasters causes his normal haunts to be destroyed he sets out on a quest for retribution. His goal: To Save Spring Break! For fans of cheesy 80’s/90’s B-Action Movies… and cats.” Ask the folks at Source Point.
We came across a brand-new comic from Boom! Studios called Animal Pound. It goes like this: “When animals grow tired of being caged, killed, and sold off-it’s only a matter of time before they’ve had enough… When an uprising puts a pound in control of the animals, they quickly find themselves as comrades, united against everything that walks on two legs. But with this newfound power comes a sudden challenge: how best to lay the groundwork for this new democracy as they write their first constitution!” Written by Tom King (Love Everlasting) and illustrated by award-winning artist Peter Gross (The Books of Magic), Animal Pound comes to comic shops later this week.
Another cool thing we’ve been missing all year, but we’re happy to find out about it now. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Invader Comics released the Back To Fairtaylia comic series, written by Jorg Alberts and Roland Heep, with artwork by P.R. Dedelis. “Once upon a time, childhood friends found a magical doorway to Fairtaylia, an enchanted realm full of wizardry and wonder. 20 years later they are a bunch of self-absorbed adults who don’t believe in fairy-tales anymore… until a talking squirrel and a chainsaw-wielding fairy show up on their doorsteps. In a fast-paced quest to save Fairtaylia from an unspeakable evil, the gang has to evade wicked witches, battle orcs and ogres, and break into Cinderella’s castle while suffering through fairy farts, skimpy outfits, and several musical numbers. Good luck with happily ever after…” Issues are available now.
If we’re being honest, that great superstar of Chinese myth and legend known as the Monkey King is basically a superhero. Well now, none other than DC Comics have taken that thought quite literally and given us The Monkey Prince — a new continuing series, which is part of their celebration of Asian-American creators. “Introducing the newest hero in the DCU, the great sage, equal to the heavens, better than his predecessor the legendary Monkey King, even better than the Justice League — and definitely the Teen Titans — (actually, all the heroes combined), everyone put your hands together for…the Monkey Prince! Marcus Sun moves around a lot because his adoptive parents are freelance henchpeople, so this month he finds himself as the new kid at Gotham City High School, where a mysterious man with pig features asks Marcus to walk through a water curtain to reveal himself as who Marcus really is…someone who has adventured through The Journey to the West, can transform into 72 different formations, can clone himself using his hairs, and is called… the Monkey Prince!” Written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Bernard Chang, it’s out now.
The results of the 2021 Ursa Major Awards were announced this Sunday, with motivated fan-bases driving decisive voting in certain categories, while others were finely balanced.
Littlefur/adult baby slice-of-life comic Shine by UK artist Star ran off with Best Graphic Story; coming second was a remake of Found, another of her works under the name Toddlergirl. Both had seen strong support in last years' Ursa Major Awards.
Netting twice the points of the next nominee for Dramatic Short Work was Frank Behring's "Nobody Does It Better", derived from Best Comic Strip Carry On. Artist Kathy Kellogg (KD Nightstar) also took Best Published Illustration for "A World of Our Own" — beating all other nominees by 50%.
Somewhere in the back of my mind – along with every other soul-searching moment of my youth – is a single panel from this novel featuring Bayshore clutching a fish and crying out Diego's name. I claim it as a symbol of a love long lost in the hazy days of my early adulthood, when uncertainty was the only certainty.
This is the story of a naive young otter chasing a free-spirited rascal. Through lovingly penned dialog and moody colours, it exposes the raw, vulnerable quick of youthful longing; Diego's light-hearted take on all things bursting into life against the shimmering backdrop of Bayshore's persistently searching but fatefully delicate glass heart. Through these illustrations, a pair of artists in love pour their hearts into their work in a way we can never see again.
The story ventures from "what does this mean" to "what do we do now," through "I knew it all along" and finally arrives at its natural conclusion of "I'm sorry" and "I was meant for you." But even after the second part – that was never published on the web, and only available in the printed work – it leaves us wondering how things will play out.
Although the comic, penned by a duo of artists under the pseudonym of Blotch, has been out of print for years, it will forever live in the hearts and minds of a generation of furries who discovered what it is to love and live in the forgiving embrace of furry fandom's nascent youth through to its maturity, and on through its inevitable slide into the mainstream.
Kismet on a recent outing brought me into contact with an issue of this Star Wars offshoot, published by IDW Comics, which advertises itself in that usual, effective way.
Ghosts Of Vader's Castle #2, which offers a choice of subtitles between "Attack Of The 50-Foot Wookie" and "The Wicked Wookie", is a diversion of a diversion that hit distribution in September. It comes from regular writer Cavan Scott and is illustrated by mainstays Francesco Francavilla and Derek Charm. Permit me to guess your thoughts; no, Disney has NOT purchased Bucky O' Hare.
One thing this last summer did of course was bring attention back to everyone’s favorite ocean-born anthro-villain, King Shark. Taking obvious advantage of that, DC Comics have brought us the new Suicide Squad: King Shark 6-part miniseries, written by Tim Seeley and illustrated by Scott Kolins and John Kalisz. “On leave from the Suicide Squad, King Shark and unfortunate tagalong the Defacer get swept into a mystical tournament for totemic animal spirits at the behest of King Shark’s father, the god of sharks! Now King Shark must battle brutal warriors like Queen Tiger, King Roach, Prince Nematode, Princess Peregrine, and the terrifying Man King to finally attain his destiny and make his dour dad proud!” Sounds even furrier than usual, don’t it? There’s a review over at CBR.
AlectorFencer (Claudya Schmidt) was recently awarded the Best Artist prize for Artwork in the 2020 Rudolph Dirks Award, named after German-American cartoonist Rudolph Dirks, for her comic Haunter of Dreams.
Haunter of Dreams - released at Eurofurence 25, where she was Guest of Honour - is just one of several comics and illustrations set in the world of Yria which have earned AlectorFencer honours. She received a Rudolph Dirks Award in 2018 for her work on MYRE - Chronicles of Yria Volume 1. Earlier this year, she won a silver Spectrum Award in the comic category for her illustration Flora, depicting a mythical being from Yria.
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.
Can I Pet Your Werewolf? is a 160-page comics anthology that came out in 2017, after a successful kickstarter by Kel McDonald. Recently there was a second kickstarter to make a new print run, so I got in on the PDF version, and my hardcopy should be shipping pretty soon.
The project is described as "A light-hearted anthology featuring tales of friendship, family, and romance shared between those who get hairy under a full moon. Just because they have sharp teeth and claws doesn't mean they have to be a monster out for blood."
There are 13 stories, black and white, from mostly women cartoonists of many backgrounds and art styles. They're short popcorn tales, ranging from 8 to 19 pages in length. Not a lot of time for deep world-building, but in each one you're seeing a personal little snippet of a larger setting.
IDW has a new anthology comic sure to catch the interest of TV animation watchers — and furry fans: Disney Afternoon Giant. According to them, “It’s the first issue of a brand-new series featuring stories from your favorite Disney Afternoon shows! It’s a blast from the past in the present as we feature classic DuckTales, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, and Darkwing Duck stories, all together in one place for the first time!” The first issue features stories by Warren Spector and Ian Brill, with art by Leonel Castellani, Jose Massaroli, James Silvani, Jake Myler, and Braden Lamb.
A Furry Fandom favorite moves further into the eye of the mainstream, thanks to AMP! Comics For Kids. Now they bring us the Ozy and Millie Graphic Novel Volume 1 — written and illustrated by Dana Simpson, of course. “From the creator of the enormously popular Phoebe and Her Unicorn series comes Ozy and Millie, a playful comic exploring the friendship between two foxes. Meet Ozy and Millie, two middle-grade students in Seattle who also happen to be foxes. This comic centers around these two best friends as they take on the everyday challenges all middle-graders face-bullies, tests, and the dread of going back to school after a surprise snow day. Ozy is a young male fox whose adoptive father happens to be a dragon and frequent presidential candidate. Ozy’s calm and thoughtful demeanor is constantly tested by Millie’s rambunctious and rebellious pursuits.” Find out more over at Previews. Available now from Andrews McMeel.
I'm sorry to report that Vicky Wyman passed away on August 3, 2018. According to a post by Defenbaugh on Fur Affinity, she'd recently found out that she had a very bad case of intestinal cancer. After an attempted surgery failed to improve her prospects, she made the choice to let go. She was in her 60s.
I'm not really qualified to write an obituary about Vicky Wyman, so if there are details and memories you'd like to share, please post a comment! I can update this article as necessary. What follows is some history with personal reflections.