Coming up fast on ConFurence Twelve, folks! The granddaddy of furry conventions has moved to Burbank, California, in one of the most popular hotels for fannish events in the whole LA basin. And we're here to tell you all about it - But first, here's some more of what we're known best for: Furry news!
Calling it quits: Apparently, Yogurt was wrong - merchandising isn't the answer to everything. Warner Brothers recently announced that they will be closing all of their mall-based Warner Brothers Stores, due to less-than-expected sales revenues. Seems like things are tough all over - Disney recently had to close several Disney Stores, especially in Europe.
Recently, well-known furry artist Dark Natasha was the Grand Prize winner of White Wolf's Werewolf: The Apocalypse Illustration Contest, put on by Previews magalog. The second prize went to Brett Weldele of Montana, and the third prize to Michelle Paluzzi of Michigan. Congratulations, all!
Disney's animated feature The Emperor's New Groove seems to have surprised nearly everyone and become that great Hollywood rarity: An unexpected hit. Despite troubles during production (like, having to virtually start over from scratch) that delayed its release considerably, the film has grossed more than $85 million (domestic U.S.) as of this writing. And all that with almost none of the usual Disney merchandizing machinery to help it out. Kudos to (director) Mark Dindal and his crew. Oh, by the way - the video and DVD will be hitting stores on May 1st, and Disney has a special offer to go with them: Pre-order the video or DVD (also available in a special edition) at any Disney Store and they'll throw in a set of four lithographs featuring scenes from the film.
On the other paw, a very large advertising campaign is underway for the release of Shrek this May. It's the new CGI film from Dreamworks and PDI (the folks who brought you Ants), and it features the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow. The story goes like this: The self-centered and arrogant Lord of the kingdom has banished all fairy-tale creatures from the land. Unfortunately for him, the creatures all fled to the deep dark woods patrolled by an ogre named Shrek. The sudden population explosion is enough to send our ogre friend off to confront the Lord himself. Along the way, he slays a fire-breathing dragon (awww ), woos a pretty maiden, and picks up a friend in the form of a talking donkey who just won't shut up. Follow all that? Good Merchandising tie-ins for Shrek are numerous, with perhaps the biggest being a line of full-sized and miniature figures from McFarlane Toys (as in Todd McFarlane, he of Image Comics). The film, meanwhile, hits theaters on May 18. Check out more at www.shrek.com.
Also coming to theaters in May, as mentioned last issue, is the new live-action comedy/adventure Cats and Dogs from Warner Brothers. As it turns out, the plot goes like this: The current battle of dogs vs. cats is over a serum, invented by scientist Jeff Goldblum, which would permanently cure and all allergies to dogs. Needless to say, this would shift the balance of power immensely - so the cats are conspiring to destroy the serum. Our hero, a young dog, winds up on the team trying to save it. You can find out more - and download the movie trailer - at http://catsanddogsmovie.warnerbros.com/cmp/main.html. All this comes to theaters on July 4.
And, coming soon to theaters (some might say finally) is the film version of the video game, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Like the game, this CGI feature film follows the adventures of a woman scientist who helps to defend the Earth from an alien invasion. Directed by the game's creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and produced by Christopher Lee, the film features the voices of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin, Ming-Na, Ving Rhames, Donald Sutherland, and James Woods. Look for it on July 13.
And, let us not forget, soon we will see the release of the third Pokemon movie, appropriately titled Pokemon 3. It's currently set to hit theaters on April 11.
Much of Hollywood is buzzing about the long-awaited (try decades) re-make of Planet of the Apes, which has finally been brought about by director Tim Burton. (With a lot of help from make-up artist Rick Baker, too!) In our next issue we'll have a lot more about the film - which will be released on July 27, 2001. Meanwhile, Dark Horse Comics, who will be releasing a movie tie-in, have included a brand new Planet of the Apes poster in Dark Horse Extra #34.
First word department: Next year (2002) be on the lookout for The Country Bears from Disney. Yep, you guessed it, a film based on The Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Word is that the film will be live-action, with the bears being high-tech fur-suits created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The story goes like this: Young Beary, adopted son of a human family, makes an amazing discovery: He is, in fact, a bear. Well now. Soon he heads off into the woods to find more of his own kind. The film features the voice of Haley Joel Osment as Beary, and several new songs by folk-rock legend John Hiatt. We'll keep you posted when we know more.
Meanwhile, currently in theaters (See it while you can - it might not be for long) is Monkeybone, the new live-action feature film by Nightmare Before Christmas and James & the Giant Peach director Henry Selick. The story goes like this: Brendan Fraser plays a cartoon creator who's channeled all of his crazy, lustful hidden desires into his creation, a toon named Monkeybone. (Oh, the Freud comes fast and thick in this movie, folks - ye ed-otter.) On the night he's going to propose to his girlfriend/therapist, a car accident puts him in a coma - and his mind in a place called Downtown, a nightmare world between life and death. There, he meets none other than his creation in the flesh, along with a beautiful cat-woman (with a very active tail!). The story is based on a comic book by Kaja Blackley (The Menagerie) and Vanessa Chong.
Two new TV shows of furry note, both plugged at the NATPE show by Egmont Entertainment of Great Britain (and currently seeking distribution): Drip and Dasher, in which a pair of Scandinavians named Drip and Magnus live next to a zoo where Santa's reindeer and their animal friends stay during the off-season, and Hamilton Mattress, featuring the adventures of a jazz-playing aardvark and his caterpillar friend.
Newly released on video and DVD is Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure. Scamp, as collectors of old comics may recall, was the lone male pup born to Lady and Tramp - and he's in some ways even more of a rascal than his dad was! In this new direct-to-video animated feature from Walt Disney Home Video, Scamp runs off to "the wrong side of town" and falls into an adventure with a beautiful young pup and her junkyard-dog friends. [Personal connection department: At community college in California, your humble ed-otter took a cartooning course from Roger Armstrong, who for years was the un-credited artist who drew the Scamp comics.]
Several items of note are now available for fans of the popular SciFi Channel series Farscape. Episodes #1 and #2 are now available on one DVD, and #3 & #4 will soon be out. Also look for Farscape: The Illustrated Companion paperback book, available as an import in the U.S. A new set of 'In Motion' collector cards is available from Rittenhouse Archives, and the first Farscape soundtrack CD is out from GNP/Crescendo Records.
In Tokyo-smashing news: Godzilla 2000, the most recent giant-monster epic to hit our shores and our theaters, is now available on video tape and DVD.
Available in comic stores now is the re-issue of Mike Kunkel's Herobear & The Kid #1 and #2 - both sporting brand new covers. Also available are two new 3-color designs of Herobear t-shirts, each available in children's large and adult XL. Oh, and make sure to look out for the new Herobear beanbag plush! Check out Mike's web site too, at http://www.theastonishfactory.com.
New from MU Press is the Frontiers graphic novel by Adrian Kleinberger. According to Previews, it's "an epic tale of love, loss, betrayal, and flight". [That's as in airplanes.] It's also 96 pages in black & white.
Lately, The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius by Judd Winick has been taking a decidedly furry turn. In the current story arch, Barry winds up the unwilling and un-thrilled companion of a giant talking gorilla - like him, a new step in evolution. Issue #1 of this silly black & white series is currently on the shelves from Oni Press, Inc.
Shanda Fantasy Arts presents SFA Spotlight #10: Plush Beauties. Well-known furry pin-up artist Oscar Marcus gets a chance to make his own comic book title, and he brings us the story of a furry fashion magazine who's new model is something to see, even from far away: She's a giraffe. The book is 48 pages in black & white. Soon after, look for SFA Spotlight #11: Atomic Mouse. The famous Carlton Comics character returns in new and reprinted stories by his creator Vince Fago and a host of others (Curtis, Ettinger, Broderick, Yambar, Scot-McMurry, Phillips, Schirmeister, Addlesee, and Gafford). Meanwhile, from United Publications (released in the U.S. through SFA) comes Sabrina Online Year Three: New Blood, the latest Sabrina collection on dead trees by Eric Schwartz and friends. Watch what happens when the prim and proper skunk lady winds up employed as a web designer - for ZigZag and her adult film studio!
New from Kenzer & Co. is Dungeons & Dragons: In the Shadow of Dragons, a full-color 8-issue comic book mini-series. A small village has been invaded by three powerful dragons - who demand that a series of ancient treasures be found and handed to them, lest the village be destroyed. The comic follows a group of young adventurers who are gathered to retrieve the treasures.
Looney Tunes #76 from DC Comics features the triumphant return of Lola Bunny. It seems that the athletic lady bunny has become a pizza-delivery rabbit - and her very first delivery call is from Atlantis!
Mike Hoffman's popular character Tigress has returned in the new black & white comic series Tigress Tales from Amryl Entertainment.
Prolific comic-book artist and writer Richard Moore has yet another new black & white series out from Radio Comics, Déjà Vu. Deja is a young witch who, with her familiar named Wulf (who can be any number of things), travels about battling evil forces that try to invade our world. The first mini-series was called Blood War, and on the shelves now is the one-shot called The Pond.
Speaking of Radio Comix, they are pleased and proud to present Issue #100 of Furrlough - one of the longest-running furry anthology comics in existence. This giant 80-page black & white issue features a giant gallery section of past Furrlough contributors, including Ted Sheppard, Richard Moore, Diana X. Sprinkle, Shon Howell, Joe Rosales, Brian Sutton, Phil Morrissey, Gan Metaru, Dean L. Norton, Mark Moore, Thor Thorvaldson, Megan Giles, William Ruzicka, and many more. That along with stories by Lage, Calderon, Moran, Mills, Hanson, Garcia, and Arsenault. Even the cover is special: It's a giant gatefold that features all the Furrlough covers from #1 to #99. While you're looking for it, ask about the brand new Furrlough t-shirt, with art by Joe Rosales.
Captain Camel and the Space Chicken. Now that's just the sort of title that makes furries sit up and take notice, isn't it? Art Baltazar and his friends (who previously brought you Patrick the Wolf Boy) are responsible for this very silly black & white comic series coming soon from Blindwolf Studios.
Recently found: Stray, from Homage Comics (an imprint of Wildstorm and DC Comics). It's the full-color adventures of a young actress named Katherine - and, her telepathic talking dog. You see, they're out to stop a threat from another world, all while she's trying to land a big part. Got it? Good. It's brought to you by Scott Lobdell, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Adam Pollina.
On the shelves now from Dark Horse Comics is the latest Usagi Yojimbo collection by Stan Sakai, The Demon Mask. This collection of diverse stories of the rabbit samurai is available in both trade paperback and hardcover formats.
In more trade paperback news, Image Comics has released the Tellos TP Volume 1: Reluctant Heroes. The 152-page full-color book collects issues #1 - #5 of the furry/fantasy comic series by Todd Dezago and Mike Wieringo. Meanwhile, look for the new Tellos spin-off series, Tales of Tellos: Maiden Voyage. This full-color mini-series features background stories on several characters from the main story arch.
In the reprints department, DC Comics has re-released the Animal Man trade paperback, featuring the original stories of the animal-power superhero by Grant Morrison illustrated by Chas Troug, Tom Grummett, and Doug Hazlewood.
Also hitting shelves now is Frank Cho: Illustrator in soft-cover from Insight Studio Group. The Liberty Meadows creator here collects some of his favorite Sunday color strips, along with his illustrations for Cavewoman, various science fiction and fantasy stories, and erotic works. More of Mr. Cho's artwork can be seen in IS Art: The Art of Insight Studios, a new full-color trade paperback that also features the art of Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel.
The first two collections of Masashi Tanaka's Gon (Gon and Gon Again) have been re-collected in the new double-sized 224-page Gon Trade Paperback. At the same time, the Gon Color Spectacular is being re-released. These classic, wordless adventures of the tiny dinosaur are available from Paradox Press.
EC Comics presents the Carl Barks Library Set, Volume 1. Featuring Donald Duck issues #9 - #233, this black & white oversized collection is presented with full-color hardbound covers.
Science fiction author Anne McCaffery returns with The Skies of Pern, the first new Dragonriders novel in three years. Following the events of All the Weyrs of Pern and The Dolphins of Pern, this new hardcover from Ballantine Books follows the adventures of the Dragon Riders in the years after the end of Thread. In other news, the TV mini-series based on the original Dragonriders of Pern series is set to be broadcast sometime this year.
Two new novels by furry favorite Paul Kidd are available as trade paperbacks from Vision Books. A Whisper of Wings, released last year, has been re-solicited, and the new novel The Rats of Acomar will soon be available. This new book, set in the "Tales from the Morn Mist" shared universe created by Lynn Abbey and Ed Greenwood, tells the tale of the 'villains' of this world, the rats known as the Itheem -and why the other creatures of this world hate them and keep them fenced in. It features 10 full-page interior plates by Terrie Smith. Also, the long-awaited book version of The Fangs of K'aath is now available in hardcover from United Publications - featuring a cover by Monica Livingstone.
Recently stumbled across: The Dragon Chronicles by Susan Fletcher. This fantasy trilogy for young people follows the adventures of a young girl who, as a child, is saved from a deadly illness by a magick known as "Dragon's Milk". Years later, the young girl becomes a "dragon sayer" - one who can communicate with the giant beasts, and who becomes charged with protecting them from destruction. The books in the series are Dragon's Milk, Flight of the Dragon Kyn, and Sign of the Dove. They're available from Aladdin Paperbacks.
Also recently found was Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies, published by Dutton Books. Set in ancient Scotland, the novel follows a herd of red deer, who refer to themselves as the Herla. When one young fawn is born with a leaf-shaped marking on his forehead, some the Herla believe him to be the reincarnation of their god come to save them from danger. He's not really that, of course or is he?
ConFurence 11 Guest of Honor Christopher Rowley has returned to his Arna series with a new novel, The Shast War from Penquin/Roc. On a world where humans have vanished and the ape-like inhabitants speak of them as an ancient evil, all hell breaks loose when "man the Cruel' returns. A young Arnan named Thru Gillo is captured by humans and brought to their world - where he escapes, and tries to find his true love so that they both can go home.
New from Alan Dean Foster and Warner/Aspect Books is the novel Kingdoms of Light. In this fantasy, the Kingdom of the Gowdlands has been conquered by the evil Khaxan Munudrucu, who curses the kingdom to an eternity of grey skies and fog. However, when Mundurucu killed the good wizard Susnam Evyndd, a powerful magick spell was unleashed - one that morphs the good wizard's dog, canary, three cats, and snake into humanoid form. Thus changed, our heroes head on a quest across the kingdoms of color, looking for a source of pure white light with which to destroy the evil back home.
Veteran fantasy author Katherine Kurtz has released St. Patrick's Gargoyle through Berkeley/Ace Books. It turns out, you see, that gargoyles are actually magickal creatures who come to life at night to protect us from evil. (All right, Disney fans, calm down ) When an ancient evil from Hell is nearly ready to break loose, it's up to the gargoyles of Dublin, Ireland and their human friends to set things right.
Anne Rice's sister Alice Borchardt has returned with The Wolf King, her latest fantasy/romance novel chronicling the adventures of the lady werewolf Regeane. It's available from Ballantine/Del Rey.
Redwall creator Brian Jacques has a new novel out from Philomel Books, and it's not set in the Redwall Abbey universe. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman follows a young boy named Ben, and his talking Dog, Ned. After falling off the Flying Dutchman, Ben and Ned try to help the villager who rescues them to save his town from destruction.
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From the CF Mailbox
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!
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A Note to the staff members of our many Furry Conventions:
Guess what? In-Fur-Nation is looking for
Advertising in In-Fur-Nation:
(Information in this issue provided by Mark Merlino, Rod O'Riley,
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And here's a look at Coming Attractions
Furry Conventions Coming Your Way This Year!
Further Confusion 2001 held a Furry Songwriting Contest this year, and the winner (by audience choice) was Tom Turrittin. Here then are the lyrics to his winning song!
Do You Have a Tail?
Words & music c. 2001 by Tom Turrittin (Dronon Brassmane)
It would be nice to have one
Are you a fox? with a long bushy brush
Are you an otter? do you swim with grace
Do you have a tail?
It would be nice to have one
Are you a skink? you can lose it then mend
Are you a bird? does it help you lift your wings
Do you have a tail?
It would be nice to have one