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Furry graphic novels

August 13, 2013

Duncan the wonder dog

When thinking about comics and graphic novels of the furry variety, there are two that come quickly to mind: the mystical tale of Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines and the quirkily funny Bigfoot by Pascal Girard. The award winning Duncan the Wonder Dog meditates on a world where animals can not only talk but form militant groups in reaction to their ill-treatment by the human world. Bigfoot on the other hand, despite its title and the appearance of the hairy hominid throughout the tale, weaves a story uniquely human in its awkwardness and is one of the most honest and funny graphic novels of late.

Animal man

Among the ranks of the superheroes, there’s Marvel’s favourite adamantium-boned hero Wolverine, and the progressively more animalistic, yet artistically brilliant Beast, who also appears with Wolvie alongside the X-men as well as with The Defenders and The Avengers. From the DC universe there are of course Batman, Catwoman and Penguin and, if you can get a hold of it, Grant Morrison’s Animal Man is well worth a read. Alan Moore’s brilliant Saga of the Swamp Thing, though maybe more moss than fur, is just as topical and poignant as ever with its strong humanitarian and environmental themes. While on the lighter side of saving the world the mentally-ill The Tick by Ben Edlund is a hilarious parody of the superhero genre.

Adults will enjoy 60’s cult hits The Fabulous Furry Freak Bros and Robert Crumb’s seminal Fritz the Cat  strip that can be found throughout collected editions of Crumb’s work or, for an even more psychedelic furread, try any of Jim Woodring’s Frank collections. More serious and factual furreads include The Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan, which imagines a pride of lions from the Baghdad Zoo after the bombings in that city during 2003 and of course Art Spiegelman’s holocaust epic MAUS in which the humans of WWII are represented by mice, cats and dogs.  Also by Grant Morrison is WE3, a sci-fi adventure about a bionically enhanced rabbit, cat and dog team struggling to reconcile their immutable instincts with their military mission.

Pride of Baghad

Furry favourites from newspaper comic strips Footrot flats, Garfield and Peanuts are all worth revisiting, as is my personal all-time favourite stuffed tiger Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes, which never seems to get any older or less hilarious the more I read it. From the World of Warcraft comes the new fantasy adventure Pearl of Pandaria  which tells of Li Li’s adventure in Azeroth where Pandans, (panda like creatures) Orcs, Elves and all manner of other fantastic creatures dwell.

Pearl of Pandaria

For lovers of fantasy Bone is a wonderful series the whole family will enjoy and while there’s not much fur on the bones, there’s plenty on the rat creatures that are forever trying to catch them and eat them! Mouseguard by David Petersen is another furry favourite that is one adventure that you won’t want to end and the new, darker and canine focused Nordguard by Tess Garman and Teagan Gavet is shaping to be a great series but one that’s difficult at present to find in Australia. The Redwall series by Brian Jacques has now been condensed into one single graphic novel volume great for reluctant or young readers daunted by the number of original books in the series.

Mouse Guard

Bone

Amulet

If Manga is more your style, the popular Warriors series by Erin Hunter now has a several manga spin-off stories independent from those found in the books. These are ideal if you’re looking for an intro to the series or want to explore the backgrounds of the feline characters in more detail. Or, join Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai and follow the adventures of the samurai rabbit as he travels historic Japan battling other animal warriors for good… and sometimes for money!  Amulet is another great adventure story in graphic novel format for readers of all ages where you’ll meet a whole cast of furry critters including man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, and a talking fox.

Warriors

Fables

Usagi Yojimbo

There are some great graphic retellings of classics that include furry adaptations of original characters. Nicki Greenberg’s Hamlet, where the characters are some kind of furry, tailed and masked creatures, or her take on The Great Gatsby which is a fishy remake of the Scott F. Fitzgerald classic, are two to watch out for. And finally Bill Willingham’s Fables series that reunites characters furry and otherwise from the worlds of fairy tales and mythology including The Big Bad Wolf, The Three Bears and Beast from Beauty and the Beast, in a modern day New York setting, is another modern furread not to miss.

Ok now, let get our #furread on.

Dave Murray

Youth Officer

Manly Library

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