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Heart To Spare

We met writer and illustrator Cherie Okonski at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, and she introduced us to her creation, Gumper the Rabbit. Here’s the description of her first book: “The Secret of Gumper the Rabbit is a story about a bunny who is born different from the other rabbits. Gumper’s best friend Oink, an easily frazzled guinea pig, helps him to use his differences to save the day at the pet store. Gumper learns many new lessons about being different while discovering a secret that is taught to all bunnies.” Here’s part of the secret: Proceeds from the sale of this and other Gumper the Rabbit books go to help children born with congenital heart disease. The official Gumper web site has more, including links to the YouTube channel. (There’s a fursuit!)


image c. 2024 Xulon Press

If You Build It…

Stuart Ng Books always have a fascinating booth at any number of fannish conventions. At WonderCon, they introduced us to Paisley Rabbit and the Treehouse Contest, an illustrated book for children that came out in 2018 from writer Steve Richardson and illustrator Chris Dunn. “Can a lone girl rabbit with all the odds stacked against her actually surprise boastful Jimmy Squirrel to win the big tree house construction contest? It is the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year, Jimmy Squirrel, whose dad owns the biggest construction company in the city, agrees to a tree house contest. To everyone”s surprise, Paisley Rabbit, who has never touched a hammer or a nail and has no one to help her, is a long shot to win. But the imaginative and determined Paisley, demonstrates her resourcefulness and strategic planning abilities that eventually amazes her friends and silences the smug Jimmy Squirrel.” The book is available now in hardcover. Check out the preview pictures — the artwork is gorgeous. Interesting note: Chris Dunn also illustrated an edition of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. We’ll have to look it up.


image c. 2024 Impossible Dreams

Review: 'LAPIN'

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

The rabbits of <i />LAPIN.LAPIN (available on Steam) is a 2D precision platformer from South Korean Studio Doodal released in the second half of 2023. In it, you play as the abandoned pet rabbit Liebe who, accompanied by four rabbits who took her in, must go on a journey to find a new home.

Plot

The basic plot: forced to leave your home in the local park due to construction work, you must journey to find a new home, following a legendary rabbit explorer's map. This immediately echoes those childhood staples The Animals of Farthing Wood (reviewed here) and Watership Down; both have bands of animals – also rabbits in the latter case – forced to leave their home and journey to find a new one. Given that the rabbits are constantly searching for "Paradise", there may also be some influence from Wolf's Rain.

Hopper of Hops

Sometimes maybe the publisher isn’t the best at describing a work. Here’s what they have to say about the new graphic novel Spero: “Taking up a defensive home base within the city of Vurgstraad, a council of ancient sorcerers have spent the last hundred years fending themselves off from a barrage of attacks by The House of Bayek. While three generations of Bayek have tried to destroy Vurgstraad, a counter-weapon was born within the heart of the city. A weapon with the ability to recapture the hearts of those once condemned to evil. A weapon known as The Heartbreaker. Hidden deep within a mysterious crystallized universe, a secret race of caretakers have waited for this weapon to be claimed by The Chosen One. A hero said to be the sole champion capable of wielding it. The Breaker of Hearts. The Healer of Worlds.” And, by the way, a rabbit. Somehow they skipped that part. But we’ll tell you! We’ll also mention it’s written by Garrett Gunn, illustrated by Martha Webby, and available now.


image c. 2024 Source Point Press

VR to the Next Level

We just learned about Shangri-La Frontier, a black & white manga written by Katarina and illustrated by Ryosuke Fuji. “Second-year high school student Rakuro Hizutome loves nothing more than finding so-called ‘trash games’ and beating the crap out of them. When he decides to change things up by playing a new, ‘god-tier’ VR game known as Shangri-La Frontier (a.k.a. SLF), he does what he does best: Min-maxes, skips the prologue, and jumps straight into action! Clad in nothing but shorts and a bird mask, Rakuro (player name: Sunraku) launches into the world of SLF. Things are going well at first as he takes down a goblin, a bunny, and even a python. But then Sunraku comes up against a huge, hard-hitting wolf known as Lycagon the Nightslayer. Will Sunraku’s years of ‘trash game’ experience be enough, or is he about to suffer a rude awakening just a few hours into his SLF adventure?” The series is available now from Kodansha International. What’s more, there’s already an anime adaptation series available on Crunchyroll — and YouTube has a preview.

Celebrate Diversity — All Around You

Right on time! A couple of years ago we told you about a new animated TV series headed to the Disney Channel in 2023 — and now here we are. Animation World Network has this news: “Disney-Branded Television announced that Kiff, their nutty new animated buddy-comedy about optimistic squirrel Kiff and her chill bunny bestie Barry, will premiere Friday, March 10, on Disney Channel and Wednesday, March 15, on Disney+. Kimiko Glenn (Orange Is the New Black) stars in the titular role of Kiff, whose thirst for life takes her on countless adventures through their city alongside Barry, voiced by H. Michael Croner (Craig of the Creek). From creators and executive producers Lucy Heavens and Nic Smal, the series follows Kiff and Barry as they navigate school, relationships and their often-eccentric community in Table Town, a world where animals and magical oddballs tackle day-to-day life together.” We’ll see it all this spring!


image c. 2023 The Disney Channel

Streaming review: 'Zootopia+'

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (8 votes)

Zootopia+ banner featuring minor characters from the film

Oh, look, another Zootopia review!

It's been six years since Zootopia was released to theaters. In that time, a lot has happened. America has managed the change to two different presidents. Across the pond in the UK, where the movie was known as Zootropolis, they've managed to beat that turnover rate for heads of state with four new prime ministers, plus a new monarch. That's kind of prescient for a movie where the titular city burns through two mayors over the course of its plot.

In all that time, Zootopia has managed to remain popular with furries. It also, perhaps a bit surprisingly, has managed to remain popular with non-furries. It is one of only three Disney Animated Studio movies to break into the billion dollar club (the other two are both Frozen). It also managed critical and industry awards accolades to go along with the commercial success, giving it the hat trick of movie success criteria. So, a lot of people would probably not be averse to a sequel, right?

Well, how about a series of animated shorts released over half a decade later with little fanfare to a streaming service, instead?

Lost: One Plushie Rabbit

Just today we learned of a new urban-fantasy miniseries streaming later this month: “Netflix has shared an official trailer and key art for the upcoming four-part animation/live-action hybrid series Lost Ollie, inspired by the book Ollie’s Odyssey by prolific author, illustrator, and Oscar-winning filmmaker William Joyce (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore). All four parts of the limited series hit the streamer on August 24… The series is an epic adventure about a lost toy who braves the many dangers of childhood as he searches the countryside to reunite with the boy who lost him; and the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend… Shannon Tindle (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline) serves as creator, writer, and executive producer. The series was directed by Academy Award winner Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), who also serves as executive producer.” Animation World Network has more information and the official trailer. Interestingly, the last time Mr. Ramsey directed a William Joyce story, it was Rise of the Guardians.


image c. 2022 Netflix

Bunny and Bird. Of Course! Why Not?

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.


image c. 2022 Allen & Unwin

Flayrah moves to faster server, software; WikiFur to follow

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (112 votes)

khyot's 'Of Inle' Flayrah has migrated to new North American hosting, with WikiFur planned to join it by the end of the year.

The 'new' server is based on a quad-core Xeon-D 1521 with 32GB RAM and four 2TB HDDs - 2015-era hardware, but double the capacity of prior hosting provided by Timduru. Base software has been upgraded from PHP 5.6 (first released in 2014) to PHP 8.1, resulting in major performance improvements, along with recent releases of nginx, Debian and MariaDB.

Update (April 2024): Another move is due; to a cheaper, ~40% faster server with 64GB RAM, running a Xeon E5-1630 v3 @ 3.8Ghz. Some downtime is expected.

These features may be more important for WikiFur, which will be upgraded to a newer and more complex version of the MediaWiki software; with the intent to add Wikibase to process and visualize data about convention instances, as well as better-documenting "furspeech" words used within the fandom and languages such as Foxish, Lapine and Primal.

F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch - Part Brawler, Part Metroidvania, All Fur Fighting Fun

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

FIST.jpgWhen some Western furries hear about anthropomorphic content from China they may typically think of web pages that sell knock off fursuits, but F.I.S.T. is here and gives that stereotype a good solid punch in the face. This original property developed by the Eastern developer of Bilibili for the PlayStation (4 & 5) and PC pounds in the action and exploration of any player willing to fight on behalf of the furtizens being oppressed by the Legion’s mechanical beings.

Furtizens, by the way is not my word, but the game’s own neologism describing the furry citizens. It is such a simple word, and it amazes me that of all things a game would be the etymology of it and not from popularization from furry fans (visa vi: fursona). The story’s main conflict is on two rabbit characters: Ray and Cicero.

It is one of three furry games I played released in 2021, and is certainly going on my list of nominations for this year’s Ursa Major. It is a game of two main elements that have been blended together quite well. Combat is intimate and has the feel of a brawler game of old like a more polished Double Dragon, but it takes place in an open and explorable world where your weapons can double as traversal items, putting it in the Metroid space. So it’s part brawler and part metroidvania and it blends these two elements seamlessly.

Twitter bans toon-fur in pseudo-violence crackdown

Your rating: None Average: 3 (11 votes)

Aster Squeeze Toon violence is a strange form of affection within the community of toony furs. Dropping anvils, hitting people with mallets, or slamming someone with a meringue pie are all par for the course. However, recently this community has found that the machines overseeing them cannot discern this toony culture amongst the social media landscape. Confused algorithms have recently started to take the violent jest seriously.

This was found out by a toon furry by the name of Aster in late 2021 as Twitter suddenly brought down the hammer to his account. With no warnings, or any form of communication, the toon bunny character found himself unable to access the social media of choice of most furries on December 7th, 2021. Aster himself is quite a prolific tweeter stating he believed himself to have made one hundred and two hundred tweets within the last few weeks before his account’s termination.

Review: 'Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts Of Vader's Castle #2'

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

'Ghosts of Vader's Castle' A-cover, by Francesco Francavilla 'Ghosts of Vader's Castle' B-cover, by Derek Charm

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.

New translation of 'Star Fox' designer's interview sheds light on the series' furry characters

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

Takaya Imawmura and Krystal shmuplations.com is, in its own words, "a repository of Japanese game developer translations, covering primarily (but not exclusively) older arcade and console games". Recently, they featured an interview that originally ran in the November 21, 2002 issue of Nintendo Dream with Takaya Imamura; video game character designer for the Star Fox series. The interview was designed to highlight Rare's then-recently-released Star Fox Adventures, but also covers Imamura's early work with the franchise.

For furry fans, this information is interesting, as he discusses the creation of some iconic furry characters, including Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare and Krystal (also, Slippy Toad). Imamura also reveals how Shigeru Miyamoto not only introduced the furry aspects to the series, but also always intended the series to be a bit more "mature" than the average Nintendo game.

As 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' draws nigh, non-furry Twitter processes its feelings for cartoon rabbits

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (11 votes)

Lola Bunny's New Look. As of this article's writing (~7:30 P.M. CST, Thursday, March 4, 2021), basketball-playing Looney Tunes character Lola Bunny was second on Twitter's local trends list, behind only NBA professional Lebron James. Both will be playing basketball together in the upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy, of which new details were revealed today; hence the reason for the trending (James is also making his seventeenth appearance in today's NBA All-Star Game, boosting him over his lapine teammate.)

Lola trending, of all the Looney Tunes making an appearance in the movie, is a bit unique, because it's for particularly furry reasons. She was introduced in the original Space Jam, so there was never any doubt she was coming back. But with the first real good look at the new character designs, people have noted changes. They aren't that drastic. But noticeable.

To put it bluntly, she's just not as sexy this time.

The design changes aren't all that much compared to her redesign for 2011's The Looney Tunes Show. If anything, the new design is a reversion back to her original look, and the biggest change is to her costume. She's switched out her old short shorts and midriff-baring top for an actual athletic uniform. Physically, she does seem to have had a reduction to her bust size.