[Back from Biggest Little Fur Con, and there’s still more to catch up with…] At the L.A. Times Festival of Books this year we discovered Creative Creature Catcher — an “augmented reality children’s book”, to use the publisher’s phrase for it. “Welcome to the Society of Creative Creature Catchers! Your mission is simple: Find and learn about a variety of fantastical animals who have ended up lost in our world and then it’s your job to send them home to their families! Some hide in the curtains. Others hide under the bed. Don’t worry. They won’t hurt you. They’re scared, and their parents are worried about them.” Sounds like an interesting story, but then it goes further… “But this is just half the story. Creative Creature Catcher isn’t just about reading. It’s about doing. Anyone can read about these unfortunate animals, but Malcolm will teach you how to get personally involved. Grab your Apple or Android device (phone or tablet), and even stubborn readers will want to know more about the shifty Grumbaloo or the quick-footed Eeking Sfifter as 3D characters leap to life with Augmented Reality.” Visit their official web site to see more of what they’re talking about.
Well, here's one for dronon's list.
Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise has been around since 2004, and the title is self-explanatory. There are monsters. The player hunts them. These monsters aren't particularly anthropomorphic, but feature nice creature design, which furs appreciate, if the popularity of franchises like Pokémon and How to Train Your Dragon are anything to judge by.
And in Monster Hunter Rise, released in March for the Nintendo Switch, there are anthropomorphic animals in the form of the player's companions and helpers on the hunt, Palicoes and Palamutes. The former are cats who perform a variety of roles; while the latter are dogs, not anthro in form but probably sentient - though they are, well, mute. Together, they fight monsters!
Animation World Network let us know about Love Monster, a new animated series for the young set that’s coming soon to HBO Max. It’s based on a series of picture books by Rachel Bright. “Love Monster follows the colorful and funny exploits of one-of-a-kind, huggable hero Love Monster as he navigates the challenges involved in being a bit funny looking in a world of cute fluffy things. Every day provides Love Monster the opportunity to embark on all kinds of big adventures with his friends in Fluffytown, where, together, they learn all kinds of little life lessons. Full of heart and helping preschoolers understand and manage different emotions, Love Monster showcases the importance of kindness, empathy, connection, and instinct.” The AWN article includes an official trailer.
A great many people only experience science fiction by what my mother and millions of others referred to as "monster movies". From Frankenstein to Aliens and beyond, the unknown and the unexplored are often our undoing. Bleak Horizons, edited by Tarl Hoch, is a wonderful collection of 15 stories that mix SF and Horror with various levels of anthropomorphic settings and characters. And, full disclosure, one of those stories is mine. Happily, the mix includes more than just blood thirsty monsters and end of the universe scenarios.
Overall my favorite stories in this anthology are Hardwire, Pentangle, and The Ouroboros Plate. My least favorites are 4/13/2060 and Not Like Us. Below is a short review of all the pieces. I think you should snag a copy, if only to read my favorites and have a taste for this genre. However, I also really enjoyed Carmen Miranda's Ghost Is Haunting Space Station 3 so you have every right to question my taste.
Happy Family (IMDB page) is a 2017 animated movie from Germany, about a family that gets turned into monsters by a witch. It looks like a mashup of The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Hotel Transylvania.
Warner Bros. funded the production, and are distributing it in Europe and Latin America, presumably to be followed by direct-to-DVD sales in the U.S. in 2018. It's based on a book by David Safier.
Is it furry? Well, the family includes a kid who's a wolf-boy, there are talking bats, and VAMPIRES! (Boo.)
Monster Trucks. Do the trucks become anthropomorphic, or do the trucks become inhabited by anthropomorphic monsters? It’s hard to tell from this first trailer; but the movie, coming on January 13, 2017, does look like something that anthro fans will enjoy.
All of the information is in this Cartoon Brew article, so just read it there.
If there is a difference between anthro fans and furry fans, this movie may make it clearer. The monsters in Monster Trucks aren’t furry at all.
Monster, monster… no-one knows this thrilling feeling. Dizzy how, dizzy how - it's TeleMonster time!
I originally intended to add this review as a comment to the story that I remembered, but when I looked for the story, I couldn’t find it anyplace! It must have been on one of the animation websites. Monster Hunt, a 2015 Chinese animated feature, does not have any anthropomorphic animals, but it is full of anthropomorphic monsters.
Since this apparently hasn’t been on Flayrah before, here’s the background: Monster Hunt (Zhuo Yao Ji in Mandarin Chinese), is 111 minutes and directed by Raman Hui, the Hong Kong-born co-director of Shrek the Third and several animated shorts or TV series for DreamWorks Animation. It was released throughout China on July 16, 2015, a Thursday. It grossed 172 million yuan ($27,700,000) on its first day of release, and $72,000,000 by Saturday. That’s not only very, very good, it’s a world record. American theatrical distributors who had been ignoring it scrambled to license the American rights, dub it (the Chinese producer had already subtitled it), and get it into American theaters.
The American release in 3D was yesterday. My sister took me in my wheelchair to see the dubbed version at a theater in Burbank, California.
The File 770 science fiction fandom website reported on October 17 that the top-end Takashimaya Tokyo department store is selling a solid gold statuette of Baltan, a giant space lobster-man villain from the Ultraman TV series, for the yen equivalent of $91,000. A Japanese news video shows solid gold statuettes of Ultraman himself, plus other Ultraman space villains such as Bogleech.
Ultraman, a 40-foot-tall superhero from outer space, appeared on Japanese TV for 39 weekly half-hour episodes from July 17, 1966 to April 9, 1967. It was produced by Tsuburaya Productions, the company of Eiji Tsuburaya, the creator of Gojira (Godzilla) in 1954, and was meant to be for Japanese TV what Godzilla was for Japanese movies. It succeeded wildly.
Katie Cook is well-known these days as one of the main writers and sometimes artist of IDW’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic book series. Well, she has also created her own on-line comic series called Gronk: A Monster’s Story, which follows the adventures of a young and rather adorable monster… living out in the human world. Unable to make it as a scary thing that bumps in the night, she instead moves in with a young woman, her mischievous cat, and her friendly but very large dog. After several years on line, this full-color all-ages comic has now been collected into three softcover volumes by Action Lab Entertainment — all of them currently available at the Gronk web site.
What if… instead of developing atomic bombs, the USA and the Soviet Union had instead put their efforts into developing giant atomic monsters — and flung them at each other? That’s the idea behind World War Kaiju, a new illustrated novel written by Josh Finney and Michael Colbert with full color art by Patrick McEvoy. “What if Doctor Strangelove created Godzilla? World War Kaiju is the story of an alternate history, one in which the atom bomb was never created and the ultimate weapon of mass destruction is the kaiju: Fifty foot tall radioactive beasts spawned from the mysterious KAI-235 isotope. Follow the journey of one journalist as he teams up with a retired CIA operative to uncover the truth about the conspiracy behind the monsters.” World War Kaiju is available now in trade paperback by 01 Publishing. Check out the official web page, and of course the animated preview on YouTube.
Ndbag is a boogeyman, but not the scary people-eating kind. No, he’d much rather eat one of your dirty socks — usually the left one. Ndbag the Boogeyman lives in the closet clothes hamper of a little girl named Mylene. He’s made friends with her favorite plushie: A panda named Pandaman. They get along so well that Ndbag created his very own panda costume which he calls Pandabag. The little blue boogeyman is also “frenemies” with ZK, a fluffy dryer goblin who much prefers clean socks and munching on lint. Are you getting all of this? It all comes from the mind of Austrian artist E.F. Gludovacz, and you can find out more in the first Ndbag the Boogeyman book as well as the regularly-updated web comic… all at the official web site.
One of the big hits at this year’s WonderCon in Anaheim (California) was Tentacle Kitty. And why not? Who wouldn’t want a little pink 8-legged beastie crawling over to them and purring? Well… Created by the delightfully odd folks at TentacleKitty.com, this feline cephalopod lives with her friend in a strange and magical place of cotton candy mice (yum!) and rat-tailed unicorns (ooo!). Not making sense? Just visit the web site and check out the latest on-line comic and some of the available plushies and t-shirts and other tie-in items coming up. Plenty of people at WonderCon did.
Daniel and Dawna Davis, known collectively as Steam Crow, refer to themselves as “a husband and wife team based in Phoenix, Arizona, who make friendly monster-inspired art, prints, books, and other oddities”. With a weird sense of humor and an extreme graphic-arts style to boot. Their books include Caught Creatures, a book of “monster haiku”. You can find that and much more at the Steam Crow web site, as well as a blog updating the latest of what they’re working on — and what’s the next convention or festival they’ll be appearing at.