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Punky Brewster...the comic book?

Digital Publisher Lion Forge to create new comics based on TV shows from the 80's and 90's

July 02, 2013|Elliott Serrano, for Redeye

The concept of television shows being adapted into comic books is nothing new. Back when the show was at it's height, The A-Team had a comic book published by Marvel. Last I looked, there was a "Greatest American Hero" comic being written by the show's star William Katt.

But to see a publisher taking on the licenses for a number of live-action shows that are way past their sell-by date is a bit of a head scratcher. I mean, I can almost see a "Knight Rider" and "Air Wolf" comic, but "Saved by the Bell"? And "Punky Brewster"? I'm not so sure.

When news of this hit the internet earlier today, there was a bit of snickering among comic-book fans on social media. But is the brand-recognition of these titles going to prove the naysayers wrong?

Here are the details on the deal that was reached between NBCUniversal and digital publisher Lion Forge:

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NBCUniversal Taps Lion Forge Comics to Develop Digital Comic Books Based on Beloved 80s TV Shows

Digital Publisher to Re-imagine Iconic Properties Including "Knight Rider", "Miami Vice"
and "Saved by the Bell"

LOS ANGELES and ST. LOUIS - July 2, 2013 - NBCUniversal, one of the world's premier media and entertainment companies, has partnered with digital publisher Lion Forge Comics to develop licensed comic books based on popular TV shows from the 1980s and 90s. Under the agreement licensed through the NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products Group, Lion Forge will write, develop and publish digital comics based on the following shows:

"Partnering with the team at Lion Forge to bring classic TV properties to life in graphic novel format was a natural step for us as we continue to identify new ways to entertain our fans in the digital space," said Chris Lucero, director of Global Consumer Products Licensing for NBCUniversal Television. "We're excited to give fans a chance to revisit some of their favorite shows and characters in a completely new way."

Well-known writers currently signed on to work on the projects include: Joelle Sellner (Teen Titans, Jackie Chan Adventures, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi); Jonathan London (Geekscape); Geoffrey Thorne (LeverageBen 10) and David Gorden (Catalyst Prime: Accel and Catalyst Prime: Quincredible). 

Currently, Jason Johnson (Wetworks, Godstorm) and Lion Forge's own Carl Reed and Lorenzo Lizana are on board as artists. 

"From hugely popular characters such as Crockett and Tubbs, Zack Morris and Punky Brewster to highly stylized music and clothing choices, these TV franchises have had a significant impact on pop culture," said David Steward, CEO, Lion Forge. "We here at Lion Forge are looking forward to extending that influence by creating visually appealing and entertaining experiences on mobile devices for a whole new generation of fans."

The comics are planned for distribution in Q3 and Q4 2013, and will be available through the Amazon Kindle Bookstore, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble's The Nook Book Store and Kobo.

Lion Forge executives will participate on a panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 20, in Room: 26AB (SDCC), where they will discuss these and other properties in development. Members of the press interested in booking an appointment with a Lion Forge executive while at SDCC should contact LionForge@wonacottpr.com.

About NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products Group

NBCUniversal is a leader in providing entertainment programming to the domestic and international marketplaces. NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products Group manages all global ancillary television business endeavors for the NBCUniversal Television Group, including third-party home entertainment distribution, consumer products, musical soundtracks, special markets projects and www.nbcuniversalstore.com. For the latest product updates and an overview of the properties managed by the group, visit the NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products portal at http://nbcuconsumerproducts.com.

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 www.lionforge.com or the Lion Forge Facebook and Twitter pages.

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I reached out to Lion Forge to ask if any of the original creators or actors from these shows were going to be involved in the production of these comics. I received the following response from David Steward, CEO of Lion Forge, who said: "Currently, the comics are being developed independent of the creators, writers and actors from the original shows. However, this may change in the future."

So...are you ready for "Punky Brewster: Year One"? Or "Miami Vice: Secret Origins"? Or even "Before Knight Rider?"

I guess the market will decide.

Stay tuned!

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