With comics dominating the multiplex, the best-seller lists, and even mobile devices, the art form’s popularity is at an all-time high. Yet this new comics-related hype often leaves children – the next generation of aficionados – out of the fun. Lion Forge, the new digital-first comics publisher, intends to turn that around with Roar, a game-changing young readers imprint launching in June to meet this fast-growing market need.
Anchored by a slate of tie-ins to classic TV shows and bolstered by several original series, Roar takes the idea of comics for all ages quite literally. “The comics industry has been increasingly supportive of all-ages comics in recent years, but we felt it was time to actually make comics for all young readers age groups,” Lion Forge CEO David Steward said. “We established Roar to reach preschool, middle grade, and young adult readers across sales channels, especially the school and library market, with a dedicated, high-quality effort. There’s just nothing like it right now, and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of the books.”
Roar titles are available on digital platforms today, and the imprint’s national print launch in partnership with IDW Publishing will kick off in June with three series written by Joelle Sellner (Teen Titans, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes). Leading the pack is SAVED BY THE BELL, a modern reboot of the NBC teen sitcom with expressive artwork by multiple Eisner Award-nominated Chynna Clugston Flores (Blue Monday, Queen Bee) and Tim Fish (The Graphic Canon, Uncanny X-Men: Nation X). PUNKY BREWSTER follows in July, based on the NBC primetime series about a homeless girl and her foster father making a brand new family, and lushly illustrated by future superstar Lesley Vamos. SAVED BY THE BELL and PUNKY BREWSTER content is developed through a licensing agreement with Universal Partnerships & Licensing. November sees the release of MER, an original YA graphic novel that brings mermaid legends into a modern setting, where high-fantasy underwater adventure meets high school intrigue, and illustrated by Abby Boeh (Fionna and Cake, Lady Knights/Women Warriors).
Headed by Senior Editor Adam Staffaroni, Roar intends to stand out for more than just its under-served target audience. “Every one of our comics is unique, with one thing in common: a highly kinetic style that’s just as entertaining as all the TV shows and digital devices competing for kids’ attention today,” Staffaroni said. “They’re even more fun, actually, because comics can activate a child’s imagination in a way all those other media can’t.”
Staffaroni has plans to expand the line throughout 2015 with print releases of the digital series CRYSTAL CADETS (a magical girl story by Anne Toole and Katie O’Neill), along with new licensed titles featuring American Greetings Properties CARE BEARS, MADBALLS, and PACKAGES FROM PLANET X.
“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes for a couple years now, and it’s all been leading up to this incredible program launch,” Staffaroni said.
About Lion Forge Comics
Lion Forge is a St. Louis-based transmedia studio with a focus on digital publishing. With both original and licensed titles, Lion Forge brings together the brightest talent to acquire and develop content and character franchises within the comic book, television, film, and interactive gaming industries. Lion Forge applies cinematic elements to each property to create compelling, story-driven experiences from start to finish, bringing unique entertainment experiences to both traditional and digital marketplaces. For more information, please visit lionforge.com or the Lion Forge Facebook and Twitter pages.
Saved by the Bell is a trademark and copyright of NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC 2015. All Rights Reserved.
Punky Brewster is a trademark and copyright of National Broadcasting Company, Inc. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC 2015. All Rights Reserved.
About Universal Partnerships & Licensing
Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP&L) oversees NBCUniversal’s consumer product and digital licensing for Universal Pictures, NBC Television, Focus Features and Sprout Channel. This dedicated division is also responsible for film, home entertainment and television promotions. UP&L is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
About AG Properties
AG Properties (AGP) is the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation. Built upon the successful re-launch of Care Bears™, AGP develops multi-platform campaigns for its properties through digital media, entertainment, marketing and merchandising. In addition to Care Bears, AGP’s active classic brands include Holly Hobbie™ and Madballs™, as well as new properties Boofle™, Packages from Planet X™ and Twisted Whiskers™. Children can experience AGP online at www.agkidzone.com. For more information on AGP, visit www.agpbrands.com.
About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY; Paramount/CBS’s Star Trek; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; 2000AD’s Judge Dredd; The Rocketeer; Toho’s Godzilla; Zombie vs Robots by Chris Ryall and Ashley Woods; Ragnarök from Eisner Award-winner Walter Simonson; and Little Nemo from the award-winning duo of Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez. IDW is also home to acclaimed imprints such as the Library of American Comics, which publishes classic comic reprints, Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio, IDW Artist’s Editions, and Top Shelf Productions.
IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot; Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Warner Brothers are producing a film based on Ashley Wood’s Lore; Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Sony are bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film, Alex Kurtzman is producing a movie based on Locke & Key at Universal.