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Kartoon Studios Partners with Powerhouse Publisher Legible for Publication and Distribution of Stan Lee Comics Across Its Broad Digital and Print Platform
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kartoon Studios (NYSE AMERICAN: TOON), the controlling partner of “Stan Lee Universe, LLC,” today announced plans for the launch of STAN LEE COMICS, a line of digital and print comic books based on never-before-released stories and characters created by Stan Lee. The Company is partnering with online book streaming platform and leading multimedia publisher Legible Inc. (CSE: READ) (OTCQB: LEBGF) (FSE: D0T) (“Legible”) to develop and distribute approximately 12 original comic book series, based on Stan Lee’s creations, across Legible’s broad publishing and reading platform, making them accessible to a global market.
The news follows a recent announcement that Legible secured print and digital print rights to bring a selection of Kartoon Studios’ IP to life through multimedia-enriched eBooks, featuring audio, video, animations and print comic books.
“We are celebrating Stan Lee’s 100th birthday this year and what better way to honor this true legend than to launch STAN LEE COMICS, with a logo envisioned by Stan himself, and bring his never-before-seen creations to life through this series of new digital and print comic books,” stated Jon Ollwerther, Kartoon Studios Executive Vice President of Business Development. “We are also excited to expand our relationship with Legible, who we believe is the ideal partner to help us bring these exciting Stan Lee creations to his legions of True Believer fans throughout the universe. With the never-before-seen comics, Stan also left us his unique editorial page as well, Yakkin’ with Stan, which will highlight each comic. Not unlike Stan’s Soapbox, which graced every Marvel Comic, Yakkin’ with Stan will speak to all the ‘True Believers’, leaving Stan’s unique take on everything from superheroes to world affairs, and of course ending in his signature, “EXCELSIOR!”
“Legible is honored to be selected by Kartoon Studios as the partner to bring STAN LEE COMICS and Stan Lee’s heretofore unseen incredible stories and characters to the public for the first time,” said Legible Inc. Founder and CEO, Kaleeg Hainsworth. “We know that this is only the beginning for these properties and the brands they will give rise to, and we’re thrilled to bring these new worlds, fantastic characters, powerful stories, and visionary themes to Stan Lee’s fans and to a global audience as never before in digital and print. Legible is bringing publishing and reading into the twenty-first century, and there is just no better way to do so than with Stan Lee, who was always ahead of his time.”
Kartoon Studios kicked off Stan Lee’s Centennial Celebration on December 28, 2022—what would have been Stan’s 100th birthday—with the launch of a new online store, exclusively featuring three Stan Lee collections: Stan Lee Comic, Stan Lee Retro, and Stan Lee Centennial, with additional product categories debuting throughout 2023. Initiatives have included the critically-acclaimed premiere of Marvel Studios’ Stan Lee Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in June, followed by its debut on Disney +. On July 18, in advance of the annual San Diego Comic-Con event, a first-ever exhibit, “Excelsior! The Life and Legacy of Stan Lee,” will launch at the Comic-Con Museum, featuring never-before-seen items donated by auction houses and private collectors. Many more initiatives and product launches are planned into 2024.
About Stan Lee
Stan Lee is one of the most prolific and legendary comic creators of all time. As Marvel’s editor-in-chief, Stan “The Man” Lee helped create and build a universe of interlocking continuity, one where fans felt as if they could turn a street corner and run into a super hero from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, and more. Stan went on to become Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972, and was eventually named chairman emeritus.
Stan also appeared in some of the most popular films of all time. His well-known cameos in Marvel films began in the 1989 telefilm The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. After the release of X-Men in 2000, he appeared in nearly every Marvel film and television project until his passing in 2018.
Among Stan’s many awards is the National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Bush in 2008, and the Disney Legends Award, received in 2017. He was also inducted into the comic industry’s Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame.
About Kartoon Studios
Kartoon Studios (NYSE AMERICAN: TOON) is a global end-to-end creator, producer, distributor, marketer, and licensor of entertainment brands. The Company’s IP portfolio includes original animated content, including the Stan Lee brand, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Kartoon Channel!; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal, on Kartoon Channel!, and a broad distribution platform, Rainbow Rangers, on Kartoon Channel! and Netflix; the Netflix Original, Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, and more.
In 2022, Kartoon Studios acquired Canada’s WOW! Unlimited Media and made a strategic investment becoming the largest shareholder in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment AG (FRA: RTV), one of Europe’s leading distributors and broadcasters of high-quality programs for children and families.
The company’s wholly-owned digital distribution network, Toon Media Group, consists of Kartoon Channel!, Kartoon Channel! Worldwide, Frederator Network, and Ameba. Kartoon Channel! is a globally distributed entertainment platform with full penetration of the U.S. television market and international expansion underway with launches in key markets around the world, including Germany, India, Australia, New Zealand, Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa and more. Kartoon Channel! and Ameba are available across multiple platforms, including Apple iOS, Apple TV, Android Mobile, Android TVWeb, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Fire, Roku, Pluto TV, Comcast, Cox, Dish, Sling TV, Tubi, Xumo, Samsung and LG Smart TVs, and YouTube. Frederator Network owns and operates the largest global animation network on YouTube, with channels featuring over 2000 exclusive creators and influencers, garnering on average over a billion views every month.
For additional information, please visit www.kartoonstudios.com.
About Legible Inc.
Legible Inc. is a book entertainment and media company with a mission: millions of books for billions of readers, globally. Legible provides innovative eReading experiences to anyone anywhere with an internet-enabled device. Legible has developed two high-value verticals: a browser-based, mobile-first B2C eBook entertainment platform delivering a global online bookstore, streaming over 2 million eBooks and reading system for the emerging web with high-growth potential called Legible.com; and a global B2B eBook conversion and production service with high revenue potential called Legible Publishing. Legible is transforming the digital publishing industry and gaining market share through innovative, 21st century publishing and global reading experiences, and embraces core values of sustainability, accessibility, and global literacy.
Visit Legible.com and discover the place where eBooks come to life.
KARTOON STUDIOS MEDIA CONTACT:
KARTOON STUDIOS INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT:
LEGIBLE MEDIA AND IR CONTACT:
EVP, Global Strategic Partnerships
Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “continue,” “predict,” “forecast,” “project,” “plan,” “intend” or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all; the potential issuance of a significant number of shares, which will dilute our equity holders; fluctuations in the results of our operations from period to period; general economic and financial conditions; our ability to anticipate changes in popular culture, media and movies, fashion and technology; competitive pressure from other distributors of content and within the retail market; our reliance on and relationships with third-party production and animation studios; our ability to market and advertise our products; our reliance on third-parties to promote our products; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; our ability to protect our intellectual property and those other risk factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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