All Ages

Friday, October 15, 2004

Lions, Tigers and Bears preview

Newsrama has a press release of a new all-ages book recently picked up by Image called LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS by Mike Bullock and Jack Lawrence of Runemaster Studios.

Described as Monsters Inc. meets The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the story revolves around "Joey Price as he discovers that the noises he hears at night aren't just figments of his imagination. Those noises come from the monstrous Beasties, who spend every night trying to "get" little children. Luckily for Joey, his stuffed animals are more than he ever thought they were, as they come to life to defend him from the Beastie perils."

The premise seems strong, and children will easily relate the love of a stuffed animals and imaginary friends. The artwork is reminscient of a Disney style which will make it appealing to a mass audience. The lion character on the cover looks like it was pulled right from the Lion King and in fact the artist, Lawrence did work for Disney on the Lion King at some point.

What worries me about this is the fact that Image publisher, Erik Larsen has decided to release it as a 4 issue mini series instead of a straight-to-graphic novel. It's not like Image hasn't released books like this in the past. With the book store market poised on filling their shelves with more childrens graphic novels, this seems like a missed opportunity to me. Does this mean another kids comic will not reach its intended audience because only a small groups of fans will pick up the book in singles from the Direct Market? And in turn, will the possibilty of poor sales in the singles cause doubt as to the graphic novel selling? I hope not...this is the direction we don't want to go. And on first glance, LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS looks like a fun book that deserves a chance.

The first issue ships in January, expect a full review then.


  • Then again, maybe their plan is to try to make as much money off the individual issues to cover costs for the book printing. (And to pay the creators a decent page rate instead of a more modest book page rate

    That's what DC's publishing plan is based on. Or used to be. Judging from what I've heard about some cartoonists' advances these days, that kind of plan may be a thing of the past.

    By Blogger chris duffy, at 10:42 PM  

  • Hey, I'm Jack Lawrence, the artist on LTB. The reason for the individual books coming out before a trade is indeed a financial one. I'm one of those genuine starving artists. For me to do 88 pages of strip before the thing sees print, and therefore before any pay, would be absolutely impossible. But don't worry, there will certainly be a trade (and it'll have added material!)

    Just to clear something up, I didn't actually work on the Lion King movie. I've done some animation stuff for DIsney and Cartoon Network, among others, but not in feature films. :D

    Thanks so much for the interest in LTB!


    By Blogger Jackademus, at 3:08 AM  

  • Thanks for the coverage. This looks like a great place to keep an eye on all-ages material.

    To add to what Jack said and calm your fears, Lions, Tigers & Bears will be released in trade paperback format after the series is completed. Several major book retailers have already expressed great interest. Look for the trade sometime around late spring/early summer 2005.

    -Mike Bullock

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:18 PM  

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