Dogpatch Press

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Tag: Roz Gibson

Tim’rous Beastie, edited by Amanda Lafrenais – review by Roz Gibson.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Announcement – until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. This is Roz’s furry graphic novel review part 6. Read in order as they were posted: 1) Myre 2) Angelic Book 1  3) Marney the Fox 4) Shanda the Panda  5) Cinderfrost 6) Tim’rous Beastie. See Roz’s tag for the rest. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers.

Tim’rous Beastie

Edited by Amanda Lafrenais
Story and art by a whole lot of people

This is an anthology put out by a name that should be very familiar to older fans—Charla Trotman. She’s moved from being an anti-furry gadfly and troll to publishing indy graphic novels using Kickstarter to fund them, under the name of C. Spike Trotman or Charlie Spike Trotman. This particular anthology is not supposed to be furry per se, but closer to RedwallWind in the Willows and Watership Down.

The book has 18 stories, and I’m not going to give detailed reviews of all of them, just brief comments on the art and specific comments on the ones I did read. A lot of stories fell under the blanket of “too long; didn’t read,” (People really need to take to take to heart the ‘less is more’ school of storytelling.) There was also a repeated theme of cute animals with a “surprise!” twist ending where something awful happens, or the characters discuss profound philosophical ideas.

The first two stories, A Pig Being Lowered into Hell in a Bucket and Better Nature are both philosophical discussion. The first is exactly what the title says, with very toony style art, and the second has some nice art but a ‘meh’ story, unless you’re into philosophical discussions. The third story, Burrows, has some very nice artwork of Watership Down-style rabbits. This falls under the “Surprise! Something grotesque happens to cute animals” theme. The story after it, Chosen Ones, also follows that trope, but has dialogue spoken in rhyme which was kind of neat. That was one of the handful I actually did read.

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Cinderfrost (volumes 1 and 2)  Story and art by Demicoeur. – review by Roz Gibson

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Announcement – until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. This is Roz’s furry graphic novel review part 5 of 6 on the way. Read in order as they post: 1) Myre 2) Angelic Book 1  3) Marney the Fox 4) Shanda the Panda  5) Cinderfrost 6) Tim’rous Beastie. See Roz’s tag for the rest. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers.

Cinderfrost (volumes 1 and 2) 

Story and art by Demicoeur. 

Of everything reviewed here, this is the type of book people think of when you mention ‘furry comic:’ slick digital art with a distinct manga influence, and lots (and lots) of dick. Along with cock, more dick, and one naked chick. Artist Demicoeur has an extremely successful Patreon, which has been serializing Cinderfrost for years, along with other stories that are outright pornography (or ‘erotica.’ Choose your label). 

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Shanda the Panda #50, by Mike Curtis and Razorfox – review by Roz Gibson

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Announcement – until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. This is Roz’s furry graphic novel review part 4 of 6 on the way. Read in order as they post: 1) Myre 2) Angelic Book 1  3) Marney the Fox 4) Shanda the Panda  5) Cinderfrost 6) Tim’rous Beastie. See Roz’s tag for the rest. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers.

Shanda the Panda #50 

Written by Mike Curtis 
Art by Razorfox 

Part of the furry comics boom in the early 1990’s, Shanda the Panda recently published its fiftieth and final issue. Written by Mike Curtis, illustrated by a dozen or so artists over the years, it was one of the longest-lived furry titles. Following the life and loves of the titular character and featuring a large cast of friends, family and neighbors, it was the quintessential slice-of-life furry comic. Each issue featured a main story, with one or two back-up comics focusing on the supporting characters. 

Over the 50 issue series there was a lot of stuff going on, with side plots and a cast of thousands. The main story followed Shanda (the panda) and her courtship with Richard (a Cajun raccoon). This is complicated by her lesbian best friend Terri, who wants to be more than just friends, and Richard’s very vindictive ex-wife.  Shanda works as a movie theater manager, and the other employees (mostly high school kids) provide a lot of the supporting cast. Shanda’s very traditional Chinese family, who doesn’t want her dating anyone other than another panda,  Richard’s nasty ex-wife and a misogynistic panda from Hong Kong provide some antagonists to keep things interesting. 

And “interesting” is certainly a word to describe this series. A furry soap opera is probably closer to what Shanda the Panda is than simple slice-of-life. Among the issues the characters deal with: domestic abuse, incest, unplanned pregnancy, kidnapping, murder and alcoholism. There’s also lots of sex among the cast, particularly the randy high school kids and the lesbian Terri. One of the kids is nicknamed “Tripod” because he has an enormous penis, and the main character attribute for a rabbit girl is that she’s extremely promiscuous.  

Characters grow and evolve over the course of the series. Enemies become friends, couples break up and form new relationships, people die or move on.  Despite the lack of plausibility with some of the events or character motivations (Richard is unrealistically tolerant of Terri’s pursuit of Shanda, for example) I always found the book to be extremely readable. There were several distinct multi-issue story arcs, as well as stand-alone issues that made it easy for new readers to jump into the series, with the back-up stories adding extra depth to the world. 

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Marney the Fox, by Scott Goodall and John Stokes – review by Roz Gibson

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. This is Roz’s furry graphic novel review part 3 of 6 on the way. Read in order as they post: 1) Myre 2) Angelic Book 1  3) Marney the Fox 4) Shanda the Panda  5) Cinderfrost 6) Tim’rous Beastie. See Roz’s tag for the rest. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers.

Marney the Fox 

Story by Scott Goodall
Art by John Stokes

I discovered this by accident in the local comics shop. Other than the fact it’s about a fox, it probably wouldn’t appeal to the average furry fan. All the characters are ‘regular’ animals (although the fox does have thoughts and can talk to other foxes), the traditional pen and ink art is in black and white, and I’m sure it all looks terribly dated to people used to slick digital work. It was originally done as a magazine serial in the UK during the early 1970’s, so it plays fast and loose (to put it mildly) with real animal behavior, and some story elements may grate on modern politically correct sensibilities. 

Still… considering the success of the modern French “Love” graphic novels about realistic animals, there may be a place for Marney the Fox.  The book reads very much like one of those endlessly ongoing manga comics—short story arcs that end with weekly cliffhangers, but with no particular goal until the writer simply decides to end it. 

Poor Marney is subjected to just about every injury and indignity a fox could experience during the course of the book. His mother and siblings are killed by hunters in the first few pages, and that’s just the beginning. A partial list of things he endures includes: nearly drowning (several times), being attacked by dogs, otters, birds of prey, ferrets and weasels, bitten by a poisonous snake, being buried alive, snared, trapped, shot at, blinded by chemicals, captured by evil gypsies and nearly blown up by the military. 

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Angelic book 1: Heirs and Graces – review by Roz Gibson

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. This is Roz’s furry graphic novel review part 2 of 6 on the way. Read in order as they post: 1) Myre 2) Angelic Book 1  3) Marney the Fox 4) Shanda the Panda  5) Cinderfrost 6) Tim’rous Beastie. See Roz’s tag for the rest. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers.

Angelic book 1: Heirs and Graces 

Story by Simon Spurrier
Art by Caspar Wijngaard

Comics giant Image has been dabbling in the furry genre. First with the excellent Autumnlands series, and now with Angelic.  The first story arc was collected in a graphic novel last year, which I finally got around to picking up. The basic premise is a familiar one — uplifted animals in the ruins of a human civilization trying to discover what their purpose is. But just because something’s been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done again if it’s done well, which this is. 

The protagonist is Qora, an adolescent winged monkey (yes, just like from Wizard of Oz) living with her tribe in a ruined city by the seashore. They fight occasional skirmishes with mechanized dolphins under the control of equally mechanized manatees. Qora chafes under all the rules and rituals of her tribe, including the suppression of any dissent or questioning of why things are done a certain way. While all the monkeys are born with wings, the females lose their wings when they become adult and mate, something that (obviously) Qora is not looking forward to. 

With that unpleasant fate looming over her, Qora is talked into a dangerous journey into the toxic city by the manatees, with one of them accompanying her. The majority of the book is the duo going deep down the proverbial rabbit hole, as Qora slowly discovers the history of her people and what happened to ‘the makers.’ They are followed by a dangerously unbalanced ‘Fazecat,’ whose motives and designs towards Qora are unknown. 

Other creatures encountered are giant squid augmented into fighter planes, and cormorants that work as fishers for the monkeys. There’s lots of action as the war between the monkeys, dolphins and manatees heats up after Qora leaves, and the plot contains a number of twists to keep things interesting. 

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Myre: The Chronicles of Yria volume 1, by Alectorfencer – review by Roz Gibson

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. This is Roz’s furry graphic novel review part 1 of 6 on the way. Read in order as they post: 1) Myre 2) Angelic Book 1  3) Marney the Fox 4) Shanda the Panda  5) Cinderfrost 6) Tim’rous Beastie. See Roz’s tag for the rest. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers.

Myre: The Chronicles of Yria volume 1 

Art and story by Claudya (Alectorfencer) Schmidt
Story and Dialogue by Matt (2 the Ranting Griffin) Davis

One of the most popular artists working in the furry genre, German Alectorfencer ran a very successful crowd funding campaign to produce her graphic novel magnum opus: Myre: the Chronicles of Yria #1. It was published in January 2017 as a hardcover and trade paperback. Sometime this year a spin-off graphic novel called Haunter of Dreams will be released, and in the autumn of 2019 production will begin on chapter 2 of Myre. 

Now I’ve pointed out many times that the fandom is littered with carcasses of epic multi-part graphic novels that fizzled out after 1 volume, when the artists realized what a huge amount of work it is for basically no money. (I will give props to Heathen City for actually lasting 3 issues before dying, which is 2 better than most of them). Even if Alectorfencer manages to get #2 done, I’m not sure how much momentum she or the public will be able to maintain if it takes 4 or 5 years between volumes. 

So how is Myre? The production values are great—rich color printing on heavy stock. Unfortunately it suffers from a very common problem with digital printing—everything is too dark. Art that looks good on the screen often prints dark. I’ve seen this in other color comics, particularly ones that use the fully painted technique. I assume there’s ways to avoid that issue, since most of the pro published books look OK, but that’s not my area of expertise. 

The story is a western with fantasy trappings. After a brief world-creation and downfall myth involving dragons at the beginning, the rest of Volume 1 is the protagonist Myre (dressed in a poncho, hat and perpetually dangling cigarette like Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name) wandering around a desolate landscape with her faithful dragon steed. When she runs out of ‘fuel’ for her cigarette lighter (I guess they don’t have matches here…) she ends up getting injured by some thugs while trying to buy more, taken to a wise old man for healing, sent on an errand to a distant city, runs into more trouble there, and that’s basically volume 1. 

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Final Days for Roz Gibson Kickstarter for Griffin Ranger

by Pup Matthias

Longtime creator, Roz Gibson, is running a Kickstarter for her final novel of the Griffin Ranger series The Monster Lands. Better known for her art like the character Jack Salem, the comic series City of Ice, and, one of my favorite, an amazing comic adaptation of The Killers song, Mr. Brightside. In recent years, she has expanded into the world of writing with her first novel, Griffin Rangers: Crossline Plains.

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Now she is wrapping the story up, but needs your help to make it happen. As stated on the Kickstarter, The Monster Lands pick up where Crossline Plains left off. The Griffin Ranger, Harrell, wishes to find his missing daughter, but his journey will take him to our very own earth where he is captured and force to fight for his very life while hoping his fellow Rangers, Kwap and Tirrsill, can rescue him as they themselves are being hunted.

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With a goal of 4,500, the money will go towards editing, cover art, and printing cost. Depending on what you donate, you can get e-books of books one and 2, backer exclusive artwork by Roz herself, signed copies of the books, original artwork, etc… The book will be available in paperback and Kindle and will be published by FurPlanet. If you are a fan of Roz’s work or just a big old nerd for griffins, then check out the Kickstarter and check out the first book. Till next time Fluffer Nutters. Stay awesome. Stay amazing. Stay you.

-Matthias