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Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: publishers

The Furry Library Archive Presents: Rabbit Valley’s February Lootbox

by Summercat

Thanks to Summercat for this guest post.

Rabbit Valley is the oldest fandom publisher and one of the “Big Three” (with Furplanet and Sofawolf.) It’s been covered here in Furry Publishers – A Resource for Artists and Authors, and: The State of Furry Publishing – Fred Patten gives the inside story of eight groups.

The folk at Rabbit Valley also distribute books and comics by others. A fun way to try some is a “Buy It By The Box” deal: a pre-packaged box of merchandise pulled from back stock for just $25 (plus shipping). I’ve found it contains comics, books, dvds, cds, and one time even a shirt, a combined value of more than $25 when they packed the box.

Once again, I’m sharing what I’ve found in the The Box.  It’s about the only form of gambling I let myself enjoy, and as Rabbit Valley has been in the Furry mail-order business since 1987, they’ve got quite an interested selection of things in here! So what does the box look like?

In the background you can see I shop at Costco

Now admittedly, Rabbit Valley does open up the box and consolidate the contents with the rest of your order. So they see what’s in the box when they ship it to you, but it also saves on shipping and the number of suspicious packages being left on your doorstep by a rabbit when it’s not even Easter.

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Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books – review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books, by Michael Barrier. Illustrated.
Oakland, CA, University of California Press, November 2014, hardcover $60.00 (xxi + 407 pages), trade paperback $34.95, Kindle $19.49.

download (1)“Way back when the idea of a ‘comics scholar’ sounded like the punch line to a bad joke, Michael Barrier was a serious historian, a discriminating aesthetician, a trustworthy guide, and a impassioned lover of… funnybooks,” says Art Spiegelman in his endorsement. With this book, Barrier has started filling in one of the last important gaps in comic-book scholarship. There have been recent de luxe collections of the classic works of the best funny-animal artist-writers, and studies of their individual works. There have been serious histories of the superhero comics, the romance comics, the Westerns, the horror and crime comics, and others, and of their creators like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. But there have not been any serious studies of the children’s fantasy/funny-animal comics as a genre. Funnybooks is the first of these.

There is much still to be done. Barrier recognizes this in his Preface. “My initial plan was to cast my net wider, but eventually Funnybooks became a history of the Dell comic books, concentrating on the years before comics of all kinds fell under the censor’s axe and with only a nod to great cartoonists like Harvey Kurtzman and Will Eisner whose work was for other publishers.” (p. xiv) My own favorite hero of funnybooks in my childhood, I learned later, was Sheldon Mayer (1917-1991), the writer-artist of Dizzy Dog, Doodles Duck, McSnertle the Turtle, Ferenc the Fencing Ferret, the Three Mousketeers, and his most acclaimed series even if it did feature human babies, Sugar and Spike. My earliest comic-book character who I wanted to grow up to be just like, when I was about five years old, was Mayer’s Amster the Hamster. He could fast-talk his way out of any situation; a talent that at five years old, surrounded by bossy adults, seemed very desirable to me. But Mayer spent his lifelong career writing and drawing for DC Comics, one of Dell’s main rivals; so he is not mentioned here. I could name other favorite funny-animal characters and their writer-artists, such as Superkatt by Dan Gordon, who was earlier a great writer-animator at the Fleischer Brothers studio and later was one of the first great writer-animators for Hanna-Barbera; or the alley cat Robespierre by Ken Hultgren, an ex-Disney animator. (Gordon and Hultgren are briefly mention in a chapter on Dell’s rivals.) But the point is that there is still much to do.

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