Monday, June 29, 2015

Care Bears Roar Onto The Comic Scene

After a 25 year lapse, the Care Bears are returning to the pages of a comic book series.  Roar Comics, the young readers imprint of St. Louis-based publisher Lion Forge Comics, has announced it will be bringing the popular characters from the '80s back to life in their own comic book that will be debuting in a digital format this year and in print next year.  Readers will be able to download an app that will feature the new Care Bears series as digital single issues along with interactive educational content.  That will be followed up by a print collection of the digital issues that is scheduled to be available in May 2016.

The Care Bears series is being written by Georgia Ball (My Little Pony, Scooby Doo) with illustrations by Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies).  The publisher is promising that this new series will have the same emotion-driven cheerful adventure stories that first made the Care Bears franchise a global phenomenon in the 1980s.  Care Bears started as a line of greeting cards in 1981 and quickly became a smash hit children's entertainment franchise with a series of animated films and television cartoons along with a blockbuster-selling toy line.  The new comics will launch ahead of a new animated series, Care Bears & Cousins, set to debut on Netflix in 2016.

"The best thing about writing Care Bears is that each of the core characters has a distinct personality and a role to play that take them on exciting adventures to new places," writer Georgia Ball relayed to A Geek Daddy blog via email.  "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."

Roar Comics plans to provide more information on the new series plus release artwork samples  during the big Comic Con convention in San Diego.  The publisher also announced during the American Library Association's recent annual conference that the company's full catalog of e-book releases will be available via Follett's digital lending platform for access by library patrons across the country.  If you have a library card, you may want to check out what e-books and digital comics you may have access to.  I know that's a service our family doesn't take as much benefit from as we probably could.

"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 noted before attendees at the American Library Association's Annual Conference.  "We want our books - especially great new series like Care Bears - available to librarians and their patrons on any platform and medium they choose."

Those are words I like to hear!   Keep an eye out for more information about the Care Bears comic books as their app becomes available on digital platforms, the printed books hit retail shelves next year, and hopefully the digital and print versions will be available soon at your local public library.  I'm pretty sure a lot of children (and their parents who were kids in the 80s) are going to be excited by this new comic book series.

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