King Features Syndicate – distributors of newspaper strips such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Beetle Bailey, Betty Boop, Blondie, The Phantom and many more – is positioning itself for a year of growth in licensing, and is seeking new IP to grow its portfolio.
King Features Syndicate is a member of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, and is the world’s leading distributor of comics, columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games, distributing in print and online some 150 features to nearly 5,000 daily, Sunday, weekly and digital newspapers and other outlets around the globe.
From its many popular comic strips and panels to columns by well-known personalities, from incisive editorial cartoons to a wide variety of puzzles and games to newspapers, King Features covers the world with informative, entertaining features for today’s readers.
King Features is also one of the largest and most experienced organisations in merchandise licensing and entertainment. Among its most beloved and successful classic characters are Popeye and Betty Boop and in recent years, the company has expanded its portfolio and now represents a varied array of pop culture and art properties.
Now the firm is looking to build off the success of the Popeye brand’s recent 90th anniversary celebrations, including looking toward Betty Boop’s 90th anniversary, as well as the international gaming sensation Cuphead.
Last month saw the debut of the highly-anticipated “Popeye’s Cartoon Club” on ComicsKingdom.com. First seen in the 1930s, the original “Popeye’s Cartoon Club” ran at the end of E.C. Segar’s “The Thimble Theater” comic strip and featured fan art that he personally selected. The renewed Cartoon Club pays homage to the original run by inviting top cartoonists from around the world, such as Erica Henderson, Liniers and Roger Langridge to be part of the anniversary celebration with by creating original Popeye comic strips in their own unique styles.
Recently, the company renewed its representation of Garfield, working with Paws Inc. to oversee the Garfield brand to create more product deals and collaborations across giftware, novelties, apparel, beauty, accessories and more.
Archie Comics – which continues to be a hot comic book property across the globe – has also renewed its representation agreement with King Features, who will continue to oversee all merchandise rights, excluding publishing and entertainment in the US and Canada.
Internationally, King Features agents – which include Allsorts Media Limited in the UK –
will look to bring classic characters such as Betty Boop, Popeye, Phantom, Flash Gordon and more to new fans around the world.
“Leading the charge with Popeye, Betty Boop and Cuphead, we are continuing to expand our iconic brands in new categories around the world and are looking forward to growing our IP with both new and classic properties in the future,” said Carla Silva, VP and general manager, global head of licensing for King Features.
“As we look to the future, we are excited to welcome new partners on board to celebrate Betty Boop’s 90th anniversary in 2020 and to share a new property representation that will be announced soon.”
• King Features Syndicate is online at kingfeatures.com
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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.