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On the heels of its distribution agreement with IDW Publishing, Lion Forge Comics has announced it will publish digital and print comics based on American Greetings properties Care Bears, Madballs and Packages from Planet X.
A St. Louis-based digital publisher, Lion Forge has released licensed comics based on 1980s NBC television series Airwolf, Miami Vice, Punky Brewster, Knight Rider and Saved By the Bell. Under the IDW deal, Lion Forge will bring its titles to print, beginning with Airwolf, Knight Rider and its original series Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier.
American Greetings introduced the Care Bears in 1981 for greetings cards, but the colorful bears quickly made the leap to toys and television, first in animated specials and then in a Saturday-morning series that aired from 1985 to 1988. The cuddly Care Bears, with their different tummy symbols and personalities, couldn’t be contained to the small screen, however, and quickly became movie stars. The characters were revived for television in 2012 with the CG-animated Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot on The Hub. They’re no stranger to comics, either: Marvel published a 20-issue Care Bears series as part of its Star Comics line.
Certainly not as well known as the Care Bears, Madballs also originated in the 1980s as American Greetings entered the gross-out humor market alongside the better-known by Wacky Packages and the Garbage Pail Kids. They’re simply rubber or foam bouncing balls with “gross” faces (an eyeball, a mutant football player, a head with exposed brain, etc.). As limited as that may seem, they nevertheless spawned a pair of direct-to-video animated releases and a Star Comics series.
Much newer is Packages from Planet X, an animated series that debuted last year on Disney XD. It centers on three friends who begin to receive alien packages, which they use to their own advantage. However, they must keep them out of the hands of the evil alien Copernicus, who wants to take over the world.
“Our library has grown immensely in the past year bringing a unique selection of comic books to readers of all ages,” Lion Forge CEO David Steward II said in a statement. “Bringing the lovable characters from Care Bears with the humor and action from Madballs and Packages from Planet X to our collection further diversifies our offerings while teaching and interacting with our younger fans in new, creative ways.”