Last week, as Comic-Con International approached, publishers started getting some of their announcements out before the din of the con started up. One of them was from Lion Forge Comics, a small publisher based in St. Louis that has picked up some new licenses to add to their all ages imprint ROAR Comics.
Working with AG Properties, the licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, they have picked up three new children’s franchises; Care Bears, Madballs, and the Disney XD animated series, Packages from Planet X.
Care Bears and Madballs are properties that began in the 1980s, which is also the last time they saw print in comics through Marvel Comics’ Star Comics imprint. Care Bears were originally created for use on greeting cards, but they soon grew into a franchise with toys, a TV series, and three feature films. They have since returned with a new animated series on The Hub. It is about a group of bears with symbols on their stomachs that represent different feelings. They live in the Kingdom of Caring in their home of Care-a-lot, and they protect and guide small children from things that go bump in the night.
Madballs started as a toy that catered to the gross-out factor popular with kids and tweens. They were soft foam balls with weird and funny faces on them and featured names and a character descriptions. Two direct-to-home-videos were released in the 1980s, and they have recently seen a revival through toy company Art Asylum. Madballs didn’t have a story beyond the good balls fighting evil balls, as defined by the videos and comics.
Packages from Planet X is an animated series that runs on Disney XD. It follows Dan Zembrosky and his friends Troll and Amanda as they open the mysterious packages from an alien planet. They discover out-of-the-world gadgets that are designed to take over the world, and they try to keep them out of the hands of the evil alien, Dr. Copernicus.
These three new licenses will join ROAR’s other all ages properties, Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster, and will help diversify the line to appeal to younger readers. With lovable characters, humor, action and adventure, ROAR will really start to make some noise in the younger reader’s market.
The new comic books are planned for release later this year. Lion Forge is mainly a digital company, so issues will be available on Amazon Kindle, and through the Comics Plus app for iOS and Android devices. Print copies will also be available through select retail stores.