Shanda The Panda
Setting and premise
Much like its predecessor, Omaha the Cat Dancer, the series is set in a world largely like the real world except for the fact that the inhabitants are humanoid versions of various animals, birds, reptile and insect species with some traits of their more primitive relatives - for example, characters rendered as American Bison represent Native Americans. It is the longest-running anthropomorphic slice of life comic book series.
The title character is Shanda Bruin, a Chinese-American panda and manager of a movie theater in a small city named Cedar Rabbits in Iowa. The series involves in part the personal and professional lives of Shanda, her family, friends, and her staff.
One important story arc is her romantic relationships with a cajun raccoon nicknamed Double R and her lesbian cricket bartender lover, Terri. Another storyline concerns their clashes with the villainous Wing and the emotionally abusive and bigoted ex-spouse of Double R, Trixie. The comic has a cast of almost 50 characters, from infants to senior citizens. Several cast members and storylines are based on real people and events in Mike's theater career, such as an armed robbery and a riot.
The comic's first issue — then numbered "issue 1" but now referred to as "issue 0" — was published by Mu Press, where Shanda first appeared as part of the comic anthology A Very MU Christmas in 1992. The series continued for fifteen issues with Antarctic Press, then moved to Vision Press before becoming the flagship title of Shanda Fantasy Arts in 1999 at issue #22. At last count, it ended with issue #50, with ten annuals and nine adult digests. It has also spawned an adult comic, Shanda's Bedtime Tails.
Several artists have drawn the adventures of Shanda, in short stories and backup features. The main story of each issue is usually drawn by alternating illustrators, including original artist Mike Sagara, Michele Light, Carla Speed McNeil, and Heather Maranda, among others. Since the beginning, the covers have set a trend of being parodies of popular feature films. In fact, author Mike Curtis says that is the hardest part of each issue, finding a movie poster that relates to the story.
In 2011, issues 49 and 50 of Shanda The Panda were published, concluding the series. In issue 50, Michele Light did the cover, Danny Valentini (Razorfox) created the lead story, dealing with Shanda's wedding, while then original Shanda artist Mike Sagara reteamed with Mike Curtis to do the backup story.
- Danny Valentini (Razorfox)- Interview on The N8Dogg Blog. Dated February 23, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- Shanda the Panda #50, by Mike Curtis and Razorfox – review - Roz Gibson, Dogpatch Press. Dated March 7, 2019. Retrieved ?.
- Shanda the Panda official webpage (archived May 18, 2011 via the Internet Wayback Machine)
- Shanda The Panda on the Comic Vine
- Shandaverse mailing list on Yahoo! Groups
- Shanda the Panda on FurNation (archived ? via the Internet Wayback Machine)
|Shanda Fantasy Arts|
|Some of this page is derived from Wikipedia. The original article was at Shanda the Panda, but has since been deleted or merged. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WikiFur, the text of Wikipedia is available under CC-BY-SA and the GFDL.|