We’re mostly about anthropomorphic animals around here, obviously, but now and then it’s interesting to find a project about real-life non-humans and their adventures. Such is the case with Four-Fisted Tales: Animals In Combat, a new non-fiction graphic novel by Ben Towle. “In virtually every military conflict in recorded history animals have fought — and often died — alongside their human counterparts. While countless stories of the men and women who’ve served in the trenches, jungles, and deserts of the world’s battlefields have been told, Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat shares the stories of the animals who fought alongside them. From Hannibal’s elephants in ancient Rome to mine-sniffing rats in Vietnam and everything in between, Four-Fisted Tales highlights the real-life contributions of these underappreciated animal warriors. Whether in active combat or simply as companions, these animals served and made their mark on history.” It’s available now from Dead Reckoning.
Previews recently gave us an interview with Matt Wendt, artist and co-creator (along with writer Chad Corrie) of Sons of Ashgard: Ill Met in Elmgard, a new fantasy graphic novel. “Erick Redfur seeks a new life. Exiled from his homeland he craves a fresh start, but has yet to find it. Hopeful of a better fate in Elmgard he soon finds himself embroiled in a series of troubling events that quickly escalate into a near kingdom-wide war. Yet even as he attempts a remedy through fast thinking and the aid of some new companions, he risks jeopardizing his chance for a more peaceful future. But in so doing he will find his redemption along with new hope for the days ahead.” It’s available now from Dark Horse.
Recently made a visit to the L.A. Times Festival of Books in Los Angeles (of course), and as usual came across some interesting furry items we want to tell you about. First up is the Red’s Planet series of graphic novels by Eddie Pittman — a Disney animator who worked on films like Emperor’s New Groove and Lilo & Stitch, as well as TV series like Phineas and Ferb. Here’s the run down: “Meet Red, a quirky, headstrong 10-year-old who longs to live in her own perfect paradise far away from her annoying foster family. But when a UFO mistakenly kidnaps her, Red finds herself farther away than she could have possibly imagined—across the galaxy and aboard an enormous spaceship owned by the Aquilari, an ancient creature with a taste for rare and unusual treasures. Before Red can be discovered as a stowaway, the great ship crashes on a small deserted planet, leaving her marooned with a menagerie of misfit aliens. With her newfound friend, a small gray alien named Tawee, Red must find a way to survive the hostile castaways, evade the ravenous wildlife, and contend with Goose, the planet’s grumpy, felinoid custodian. Surely this can’t be the paradise she’s been hoping for.” Three hardcover books are out so far from Amulet.
We got this announcement sent right to us from the source! Lisa Cheese and Ghost Guitar: Attack of the Snack is a new upcoming graphic novel from Top Shelf, written and illustrated by Kevin Alvir. “In Lisa Cheese and Ghost Guitar, a sweet unicorn girl from another dimension moves to Earth City hoping to make a name for herself as a folk singer…but her very first open mic is a disaster, leaving her with a bionic arm and an identity crisis. Now she’s starting a crummy office job, her parents back in their home dimension are laying on the guilt trip, and the cool girl at the record store leaves her tongue-tied. But once she’s drawn into a knock-down, drag-out encounter with a gang of hamburger-headed goons from the sinister megacorporation Beef is Burger, Lisa must rally a ragtag band of supernatural hipsters, conspiracy freaks, and burnt-out office coworkers to thwart their diabolical ambitions!” Might all make more sense if you check out the preview pages over at Major Spoilers. Lisa Cheese hits the shelves this September.
We just learned about a new graphic novel series for young readers, from Henry Holt and Company. The Surviving The Wild series is based on actual events with real animals “in the wondrous but hazardous wilds”. First up is Surviving The Wild: Sunny The Shark, by Remy Lai. “Sunny the Shark is a fearsome predator. As the oceanic whitetip shark searches for her next meal, a chatty school of pilot fish trails behind, cleaning her in exchange for food crumbs. But when Sunny mistakes a plastic ring for prey and it gets caught around her fin, she soon struggles to hunt. Will she be able to break free and find food before winter sets in?” It’s available now in hardcover from MacMillan.
There’s a new graphic novel out called Fox Fires, written and illustrated by Emilia Ojala. “Fox Fires is a fantasy-adventure that is inspired by Finnish folklore. ‘Fox Fires’ refers to the Northern Lights… The Fox Fires are a gate between this world and the land of the dead – it allows souls to visit their loved ones. But suddenly, the Fox Fires disappear. Our main character, a young raccoon dog named Raate, heads north to find what’s happened to Repo, the fire fox whose burning fur is said to make the Fox Fires appear in the sky. On her journey, Raate meets all kinds of interesting creatures, and also new friends.” The first volume is available in hardcover from Simon & Schuster.
The Sparkle Dragons is a new full-color graphic novel written by Emma Carlson Berne and illustrated by Luke Flowers. “Meet the Sparkle Dragons: The spunkiest crew in all of Princess Puff’s queendom! Trixie is fierce with brains and beauty. Rue is tough as nails with a heart of shimmering gold. And, last but not least, Glinda, who often has her head in the clouds, but her out-of-the-box problem-solving can be her strongest asset. With their unique powers combined, they are an unstoppable force! And let’s be honest: Fighting off bad guys with glitter beams can be pretty hilarious . . . and sticky!” Do tell. It’s available now in hardcover or trade paperback from Harper-Collins.
Young beginning readers can check out the Ollie and Bea series of graphic novels, written and illustrated by Renee Tremi. The set up is as simple as can be: “Ollie is an owl who wears glasses. And Bea is a bunny with very big feet. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to be best friends. Can they help each other to find their otter-ly awesome inner superhero?” It’s Owl Good and other books in the series are available now from Allen & Unwin Book Publishers.
The things we find. Ham-Let: A Shakespearean Mash-Up is a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, brought to us in hardcover by Dark Horse Press. “The eponymous Pig Prince himself returns home from college to find that his uncle Claude betrayed and murdered his father to seize the throne! But this familiar fable veers into the zany and adventurous when Ham-let calls upon his best friend Horatio and a troupe of rowdy, self-centered actors to aid him in halting his uncle’s evil plans.” Ham-Let is written by Jim Burnstein, Garrett Schiff, and Andrew Cosby, with illustrations by Elisa Ferrari. Go check out the preview pages over at the Dark Horse web site.
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.
I was just going to sit on this particular entry until a later time, since Maus is a novel I rather grew up with, having discovered it in college. Current events have ratcheted my schedule up to today. See the details in Sonious' article.
As such, Maus is also the latest example in a long line of important literature to see censorship such as To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, or even The Lorax. Like any of those other examples, the motivation for this censorship grays in contrast to the social and cultural impact the work has.
The story re-imagines the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor, through the anthropomorphic template of Jewish mice suffering at the paws of SS cats. The involved plot revolves around main character Artie and his tight-knit neighborhood of survivors, as they reflect on the horrors of the past. Of course, the weight of these events is more than enough to color their relatively safe present. Much of the novel does indeed read like a Jewish Historical Society compendium, and does not skimp an iota on content of the dire situation they survived.
Seven Seas Entertainment pretty much says it all here: “Flora moves into a mysterious mansion and finds it inhabited by a strange creature: Creepy Cat! Thus begins her strange and sometimes dangerous life with a feline roommate. This Gothic comedy brings the chuckles…and the chills! Since 2014, Cotton Valent’s hilarious webcomic Meawbin The Creepy Cat has charmed online audiences across the world. Enjoy this full-color graphic novel series for audiences new and old!” Creepy Cat is available now in paperback.
Tennessee school bans 'Maus', graphic novel involving holocaust history, from school for "language and nudity"Posted by Sonious on Thu 27 Jan 2022 - 17:48
When we discuss adult themes such as a government committing mass murder of its population, authors need to be wary not to say “God Damn” or have an unclothed character if they wish to reach a high school audience. These two items were front and center for the unanimous decision of a McMinn County school board as it barred the Pultzer winning graphic novel of Maus from its district curriculum. Maus is a graphic novel utilizing animal allegory to give a historical account of the holocaust.
The TN Holler has a full article of each of the board’s words on the removal of the book from the school. Many on social media are concerned that this is part of a trend of washing away the sins of authority by those that hold it. Though, given humanity’s inability to resist taking a bite of what is deemed as forbidden knowledge, banning the book within the classroom may rile the interest of rebellious teens to learn more about this banned literature outside the classroom.
And now for something quite a bit different… A popular and award-winning anime series takes on a classic of European fantasy with Aggretsuko: Down The Rabbit Hole. “When Retsuko attempts to go on vacation with Gori and Washimi, she’s pulled into a terrible world where she’s forced to work for her freedom. Featuring all of the fan favorite characters from the office in twisted versions of themselves, Aggretsuko must navigate the twists and turns of a world gone mad!” Written and illustrated by Patabot, this new hardcover graphic novel from the folks at Oni Press hits the shelves this October.