Turns out to be rather a dud of a new TV season in terms of new TV animation, let alone anything of interest to anthropomorphic fans. So instead, we wind up focusing on upcoming feature films for the furry fan in all of us. Read on for more helpful information on upcoming furry fandom conventions too, after a brief update from our intrepid reporters...
Important announcement, the short form: Michael-Scot McMurry, creator of Zonie the Coyote and friend to many a furry fan and creator, has recently been struck with cancer. Following surgery, the cancer appears to be in remission. However, now "McMoo" finds himself up to his beard in bills! With that in mind, Shanda Fantasy Arts has collected and released In The Zone, a one-shot furry comic and tribute. It features single-page black & white contributions from a wide variety of furry and comic-book artists (Steve Gallacci, Jim Groat, James Hardiman, and many others) and a cover by Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo). Of course, all proceeds from this one-shot go to McMoo himself. Ask for it. Find it. Buy it. Nuff said.
Probably the biggest event this season for movies (and if it isn't the biggest, they're trying to make you think it is!) will be Universal's release of the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas feature film, starring Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura, The Truman Show) and directed by Ron Howard (Willow, Apollo 13). Look for a complete marketing blitz to accompany the film, as every form of media or trinket imaginable has already had a Grinch tie-in designed for it. (They even had posters plugging the Grinch tied in to the coverage of the Sydney Olympics!) Among the unusual items to look for (most likely at your local comic book shop) is a brand new full-color lithograph poster by none other than The Brothers Hildebrandt.
Coming soon to a theater near you (on December 8, in fact, from New Line Cinema) is the long (long!) awaited feature film version of that old TSR classic, Dungeons & Dragons. Needless to say, what most of us are likely to pay attention to is the dragons, but it turns out that many other creatures and hazards from the old fantasy role-playing game also make their appearances in the new feature. The story follows a group of simple thieves who wind up going on a quest to help a young empress wrestle her kingdom back from the clutches of an evil magic-user (The Lion King's Scar, Jeremy Irons). For more information, get on the Web and check out www.dndmovie.com.
On December 15, Walt Disney Pictures present their 39th animated feature film, The Emperor's New Groove. Here's why it's mainly of note to furry fans: The story follows a head-strong and arrogant young emperor of a Central American nation, Kuzko (voiced by David Spade) after he's transformed into a talking llama by the evil sorceress Yzma (voiced by Eartha Kitt). Now he must seek the help of a simple yet noble peasant (voiced by John Goodman) to regain his throne before Yzma takes over completely. As reported here and elsewhere the film was previously titled Kingdom of the Sun, but it was changed recently to better reflect the silly nature of the finished film. It's directed by Mark Dindal (Cats Don't Dance) and Tony Bancroft (Mulan). It was reported that Roger Allers (The Lion King) also worked as a director on the film, but we don't know at this point how much of what he did remains. Oh, the film also features a score by Mark Shaiman (South Park - Bigger, Longer, and Uncut) and songs by Sting.
Recently seen movie trailer: Cats and Dogs. In this new live-action adventure/comedy (with computer enhancements, a la Babe) we learn that cats and dogs have an ancient and on-going battle for whom shall be the rulers of the earth. While we're not looking, they employ some amazing high-tech weaponry to fight their war. The film is coming to you in 2001 from Warner Brothers - and when they let us know more, we'll let YOU know more!
In the not-new-stuff-but-moved-stuff department: Nickelodeon network has moved the entire line-up of it's "Nick Jr." block to Saturday Mornings on the CBS network. This means that CBS's Saturday morning line-up now includes Blue's Clues, Little Bill, Little Bear, Franklin, Klipper, and a new series called Dora the Explorer.
More and more furry fans are discovering the unusual children's educational program called Between the Lions on PBS. Here's the basic idea: A lion couple and their two children help run a local library. Simple eh? Yet that quick blurb hardly begins to describe this mad, manic mix of puppetry, live action, animation and many other media, all designed to help children learn to spell and develop a love of reading. The creators of the show are an impressive mix; they include several ex-Muppet performers (like Kathryn Mullen, who worked on The Dark Crystal and Fraggle Rock) along with Fred Newman, the vocal-sound-effects guy from A Prairie Home Companion. Look for the show in the mornings on your local PBS affiliate, or check out the stories and games at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/lions/. By the way: The show recently won an award from the National Television Critics' Association for Best Children's Program.
Also new in children's television is Nini's Treehouse on The Learning Channel (mornings). In this fursuit show for preschoolers, Nini is a creature who is a little bit dog, a little bit cat, and maybe a dab of cow. He also can draw - and his drawings come to life. With the help of his friends Treezle B and Treezle D (twin fuzzies), Nini learns (and helps children learn) about basic concepts like near and far, and night and day.
BKN Kids (a syndicated animation 'package' of shows) and Philippine Animation Studio, Inc. have joined forces to create Kong, the Animated Series, as well as a direct-to-video feature entitled Kong, King of Atlantis. The 40-episode series and the video follow the adventures of a giant, genetically altered ape named Kong. Not new, but hey.
Word has gotten around that Nelvana's animated TV series based on Brian Jacques' Redwall series has proven popular enough around the world that they will soon begin work on a second series, Mattimeo, based on the adventures of Mathias the mouse's son. PBS is scheduled to begin showing the original Redwall series sometime soon. Those who'd like to find out more can check the web at the Brian Jacques fan site www.redwall.org, or find the Redwall page at www.teletoon.ca.
Recent furry or semi-furry movies heading to home video and DVD include Titan A.E. from Fox (November 7), Fantasy 2000 (letterbox) from Disney (November 14), Chicken Run from Universal (November 21), and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer from Warner Video (say what??). Of course, Disney's Toy Story 2 is already out on video and DVD, and selling well. The biggest-selling anthropomorphic movie of last summer, Disney's Dinosaur, won't be out on video or DVD until next January. But those who pre-order the film from their local Disney Store (or the Science Fiction Book Club's video service) can get their hands on a special door-sized double-sided poster of characters from Dinosaur.
Two recent anime phenomena are of interest to the furry fan mostly due to characters involved. Cowboy BeBop is a wild science fiction adventure of bounty hunters and professional thieves in space - which happens to feature an super-intelligent little dog named Ein. It's been released in North America by Anime Village (in both sub-titled and re-dubbed formats, on video and DVD), and it's also going to be a game for the Sony PlayStation soon. Meanwhile, there's Those Who Hunt Elves, which follows the adventures (often rather silly and featuring a lot of coarse language!) of a diverse group of humans who fall through a dimensional rift into a magical land by mistake. The high priestess of the local elves agrees to cast a spell to get them home, but things go awry, resulting in two odd situations: Some pages of our lady's book of spells wind up scattered about the land as tattoos on the bodies of various elves, and she herself winds up transformed into a small, fat dog. Now it's up to her human friends to find the elves, set things right, and still try to get home. Oh, did we mention their tank? They travel about in a living tank. It thinks it's a cat. Yes. (It's all on video, dubbed, from ADV Films.)
Available now on DVD from BMG Distribution is Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat. This 90-minute omnibus collects together some of Felix's classic adventures like "The Petrified Cheeze" and "Mars Needs Felix".
Chuck Jones: Extremes and Inbetweens is a new 90-minute video celebrating the man himself, creator of Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner, Pepe le Pew and one of the best-known animation directors to come out of Warner Brothers. Besides presenting highlights from Mr. Jones' career, this also features commentary and praise from such well-known stars as Whoopi Goldberg, Matt Groening (Life in Hell, The Simpsons), Ron Howard, John Lasseter (Toy Story, A Bug's Life), Steven Spielberg, Leonard Maltin, and Robin Williams.
New from Cartoon Books (the home of Bone) is Rose, a full-color comic mini-series written by Jeff Smith (Bone) and painted by Charles Vess (Sandman). It follows the adventures of Gran'ma Ben from Bone, back in the days when she was a young warrior defending her kingdom with the help of mighty dragons.
In Mike Hoffman's Tigress #1, an exotic cat-girl of the jungles and plains must face not only marauding hunters on safari, but also a spaceship full of crash-landed lizard aliens! It's 24 pages in black & white from Black Daze Publishing, and it's also available (in very limited quantities) with a green foil cover.
"Designed to frighten and amuse children of all ages" is how one source describes Louis - Red Letter Day by Metaphrog. Louis, a non-descript young animal in a quaint little village, longs for a live of adventure and danger. As they say, be careful what you wish for With full-color illustrations, the book is available in hardcover and soft-cover from Metaphrog.
With the newest issue (#9), New Horizons from Shanda Fantasy Arts is going quarterly. In this latest issue, we learn how Steven Gallacci's Erma Felna met her best friend Toki in a story by Mike Sagara and Mike Curtis. It also features black & white contributions from Steve Addlesee, Tanamin, George Broderick Jr., and Ken Asche. Also coming soon from SFA are SFA Spotlight #8 - Women in Fur 2000 (with a cover by Mary Hanson-Roberts and contributions by Carole Curtis, Roberta Gregory, Donna Barr, Carla Speed McNeil, and many others) and the Supermegatopia Special #1 by The Brothers Grinn.
While you're at it, look for Furrlough #96 from Radio Comics. Look for the cover by fantasy artist Diana Harlan Stein. Furrlough is beginning its tenth year of publication, which as to be a record of some sort for an anthropomorphic publication (not counting Pogo or Carl Barks' stuff, mind you).
Complex City is one of those hard-to-explain comics, but here goes: Bulldog Malone is the toughest cop in Complex City. He is also, in fact, a bulldog. Albeit a 6-foot tall, well-armed bulldog in a trench coat. In issue #1, he must battle a strange creature called a Shadowling and a double-brained robot for possession of a valuable safe - contents unknown. From the creator of Bulletproof comes this black & white comic, published by Better Comics.
From Basement Comics comes the newest Cavewoman series by Devon Massey, Cavewoman - Intervention. In it, our prehistoric heroine battles with a meddling alien who also happens to be an under-clad babe like her. The first issue is available with a special limited-edition wraparound cover by Budd Root. Also, look for the new large-size limited edition poster of Cavewoman and Klyde (the gorilla) illustrated by Liberty Meadows creator Frank Cho.
Star Trek's first reptilian aliens return the new hardcover graphic novel, Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Gorn Crisis. In this story written by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, the Enterprise NCC 1701-E is unable to help out in the Dominion War (as portrayed in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) because Captain Picard and the rest of the crew are stuck in another part of the galaxy fighting off an insurgence of Gorn warriors bent on revenge. This 96-page graphic novel is illustrated by Igor Kordey, and published by the Wildstorm imprint of DC comics.
Another new graphic novel is Deeger, Volume 2 by Y.C. Park. In a time of mutant animals and confusion, young Deeger's parents are murdered by a monkey creature - who's now after him. That is, until he befriends mutant black panther and enlists his aid. This 161-page black & white collection is published by Komics, Inc.
For those who've been reading Dragon magazine for a while, Dynasty Presentations is proud to bring you the SnarfQuest trade paperback. This 224-page compilation includes all of Larry Elmore's Snarf episodes that appeared in Dragon, along with great many that never did. Follow the adventures of this strange pointy-nosed creature as he searches for adventure, treasure and (of course) babes.
The Star Wars: Chewbacca mini-series from Dark Horse Comics has now been collected in a trade paperback. Featuring writer Darko Macan and a score of comic book artists, the stories here detail the life of the famous wookie from his younger days to his heroic death (as portrayed in the New Jedi Order novel Vector Prime). This collection also features a brand new introduction by Chewbacca's human actor, Peter Mayhew.
If you're going to get instruction, get it from folks who know. New from Antarctic Press is the How to Draw Manga series, featuring tips and tricks from Adam Warren, (Dirty Pair), Ben Dunn (Ninja High School), and Fred Perry (Gold Digger). Issue #1 discusses figure drawing, and is available with three different covers, one by each of the featured artists. (There are different comments from the artists exclusive to each cover version.)
Now available as an import (from Hawk Books in the UK) is The Rupert Bear Dossier in Hardcover. It collects together some of the more recent adventures of the famous young white bear, and also includes several brand new pictures. FYI Department: Rupert's adventures were first published in the UK in 1920. That makes him six years older than Winnie the Pooh.
A new novel from Tor Books, released earlier this year and recently stumbled across: In The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson, a young kitsune (fox-fae, if you didn't know) falls in love with one Kaya no Yoshifuji, a young human husband and father. He and his family have moved into the ancestral home of the kitsunes, and now this particular fox-spirit begs her grandfather to teach her the art of transforming into a human woman - so that she might steal away the object of her desire.
And now for something completely different. Sort of. In Future Eden, a new novel by Colin Thompson, a young man living in a devastated future for Earth attempts to commit suicide - that is, until a chicken talks him out of it. It seems that this chicken is in fact an omnipotent being named Ethel, who's been living on Earth since creation. And now she needs this boy's help to fix the mess we humans have made of the place. Got that? Good. It's from Simon & Schuster and it's available now.
How's this: The mice who live in 'the skirtings' keep far away from a horrible place known as 'The Grill', which marks the edge of their territory and the beginning of realm of the sewer rats and their terrible god, Jupiter. When one of their fathers is captured for discovering Jupiter's nefarious plans, it's up to a group of young mice, plus two bats with the power of prophecy, to take the dangerous journey to rescue him. What is it? It's The Dark Portal, the first novel in the new 'Depfort Mice' trilogy by Robin Jarvis. It's new from Seastar Publishing.
Premiering in October from Greenwillow Press is Year of the Gryphon, a sequel to The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. The youngest daughter of the world's most powerful sorcerer, who happens herself to be a golden gryphon, enrolls in a wizards' college and soon finds herself in over her wings in adventure and danger.
New from DAW Books is Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff. In a future time of war between the multi-species Confederation and a mysterious enemy known only as 'The Others', a group of human soldiers is dispatched to the home planet of a war-like reptilian species to try convince them to hook up with the Confederation. It's available in paperback.
Image Comics has released a set of miniature figurines based on Maurice Sendak's best-selling and world-famous 1963 children's book Where the Wild Things Are. The set of seven full-color figures includes that naughty dreamer, "King" Max, and 6 of the well-known monsters.
As part of its theme of "Funny Animals at
the Movies", ConFurence 12 (Apr 19-22, 2001, Burbank, California)
would like to invite 'morph fans everywhere to join in voting to
select the Best Anthropomorphic Motion Pictures and TV Series of
the Twentieth Century! To find out more about this special award
ceremony, and how you can help, check out the "Special Award"
flyer included in this very issue.
From the CF Mailbox
Further Confusion 2001 (Jan 25-28, 2001, San Mateo, California) is
pleased to announce that joining our Guests of Honor Diane Duane and
Peter Morwood are the award-winning authors Poul and Karen Anderson,
G. David Nordley, and Pat Murphy. Also, if their schedules permit,
C.J. Cherryh and Jane Fancher will be joining us. We are really pleased
to offer such a great group of writers to the fandom this year. www.furtherconfusion.org
Advertising in In-Fur-Nation:For those who've been asking, ads in In-Fur-Nation come in these sizes: 1/8-page "business card" size for $5.00 per issue, and 1/4-page size (4 1/2" tall by 3 1/4" wide) for $10.00 per issue. Full-page inclusions can also be arranged for $50.00 an issue. Check should be made out to ConFurence. Send camera-ready art and text to P.O. Box 1958, Garden Grove, CA 92642-1958.
(Many thanks to the people who helped provide information for this
issue, both by mail and via Internet! Also, our appreciation to Previews
Stuff has ConFurence Stuff!
What, you're looking for NEW ConFurence Stuff?
How do I keep up my Subscription to In-Fur-Nation? We're glad you asked! After nearly a decade of functioning as a newsletter for ConFurence, and a furry newsletter second, In-Fur-Nation is expanding its role in the furry community by presenting you the whole length and breadth of furry: Not just comic books, animated films, picture books, and the rest, but the growing number of furry-themed fan conventions popping up around the continent, and around the world! So now, a subscription to In-Fur-Nation will bring you even more of what furry fans are looking for around the globe. Find out what to look for, and where to go! Brought right to your doorstep three times a year (spring, summer, and fall). And what's it gonna cost you? A whopping $5.00 for a year's subscription. That's right, for a year. Just send a check made out to "Furry Stuff" (and note it's for In-Fur-Nation), or heck, just send a $5.00 bill in a darkened envelope. (Trust us, it's an old tradition in the 'zine community. It works). To subscribe, to find out more info, or to send us notes for our Furry News, write us at:
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A Request to Our Readers:
Guess what? In-Fur-Nation is looking for
Advertising in In-Fur-Nation:
(Many thanks to the people who helped provide information for this
issue, both by mail and via Internet! Also, our appreciation to Previews
And here's a look at Coming Attractions
More Furry Conventions All Around!
Here's a quick look at some of the many furry gatherings popping
up around the country, and around the world
meet YOU at some of them ourselves!
Here's the run-down on some upcoming furry gatherings in other parts
of the country
Coming in the next In-Fur-Nation (early March, 2001) will be some
vital information for dealers, artists, and just plain furries who
will be joining us. Happy Holidays, everyone! Don't be left in the
burrow! Keep in touch with the world of Anthropomorphics! Subscribe
to In-Fur-Nation today! That's a wrap! Print it!