Amid the excited bibliophilia on opening day of the Moscone Center exhibit floor at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference today, Roar Comics and AG Properties debuted a new reading experience for children of the ‘80s (and their kids): all new Care Bears comics for the first time in nearly 25 years.
Anchored by a standalone digital comics app with interactive educational content launching later this summer, the new Care Bears series will start as digital single issues with a print trade paperback following in May 2016. Written by Georgia Ball (My Little Pony, Scooby Doo), with illustrations by Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies), the new series promises the same emotion-driven cheerful adventure stories that first made the franchise a global phenomenon. Gillman will be drawing free Care Bears sketches and signing free previews at the Roar Comics booth (#205) tomorrow at 2:00PM.
“The best thing about writing Care Bears is that each of the core characters has a distinct personality and a role to play in stories that take them on exciting adventures to new places,” said writer Georgia Ball. “I’ve worked with American Greetings on comic books before and loved every minute of it; I’m thrilled to be writing with them again on a property that was such a major part of my childhood. Melanie Gillman’s art is just terrific — cheery and bright, just like Care-A-Lot itself. Kids are going to love it.”
Care Bears, which started as a line of greeting cards in 1981, quickly became a smash hit children’s entertainment franchise with a series of animated films and television and a blockbuster-selling toy line. The comics will launch ahead of the highly anticipated new animated series, Care Bears & Cousins, set to debut on Netflix in 2016. AG Properties and Roar Comics plan to reveal more artwork from the series and announce further licensed comic titles at a panel during next month’s Comic Con International in San Diego, featuring members of the original 1980s creative team.
Roar Comics, the young readers imprint of St. Louis-based publisher Lion Forge Comics, also announced its comprehensive digital library distribution plans at ALA 2015 to an audience of librarians eager for more digital content from publishers. Highlights include the company’s full catalog of e-book releases rolling out now on Follett’s digital lending platform, and pending deals with industry-leading lending services Overdrive and iVerse Media.
“Getting comics into the hands of kids everywhere is crucial to Lion Forge’s mission of making comics for everyone,” Lion Forge CEO Dave Steward II said. “Libraries are perhaps the most essential part of this for us so it was important that we announce these plans at the largest gathering of librarians in the country. We want our books – especially great new series like Care Bears — available to librarians and their patrons on any platform and medium they choose.”
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.
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.