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Classic comics return in new formats

Specialist children’s publisher Egmont UK has signed a deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s consumer products division, owner of many classic brands created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, to publish many classic Anderson original comic strips in new formats.

Egmont has acquired the rights to the classic Thunderbirds comic strips, along with other much-loved creations such as Stingray, Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet. They will be published in ‘best of’ gift book format as well as e-books based on the original comic strips.

The portfolio of comic strips was originally published by Fleetway Publications. Egmont purchased Fleetway in 1991. Today demand for Thunderbirds output in particular has reached new heights, boosted by the ITVS GE licensing programme and the imminent fiftieth anniversary of the television series. The return of these comic strips in modern formats is expected to receive an enthusiastic response from original fans of the groundbreaking series as well as a whole new audience.

The first output from the deal will be available in October this year when Egmont will republish the original 1960s and 1970s Thunderbirds strips both digitally and in special collectable print editions.

The Thunderbird strips are based on the incredibly popular TV show, which first went on air in 1965. David Riley, Managing Director of Egmont’s licensed character division, Egmont Publishing Group said: “We are honoured to have acquired the publishing rights for these Anderson classics and in particular to be launching with Thunderbirds in October. We are now looking forward to building a series of titles that will remind fans, old and new, of the genius of Thunderbirds and so many other incredible Anderson creations.”

Trudi Hayward, Head of Global Merchandising, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, adds: “Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s creations have enchanted and amazed fans of all ages for nearly fifty years. We welcome the appearance of these classic comic strips at a time when awareness of Thunderbirds, and the many other great Anderson titles, is stronger than ever.”

The Anderson comic strips form part of Egmont’s extensive Classic Comics archive which includes Roy of the Rovers, Battle Picture Weekly, Action, Whizzer & Chips, Misty, Tammy and Jinty. Egmont’s digital comics (including Roy of the Rovers, Johnny Red, The Thirteenth Floor, Misty, Major Eazy and Charley’s War) are available from the iBooks Store on iPad format for £1.99 each.

The classic Thunderbirds name and brand have remained popular and loved for nearly half a century — which will be highlighted in 2015 when Thunderbirds celebrates its 50th anniversary and ITVS GE launches the hotly anticipated new series of this iconic action-adventure show, Thunderbirds are Go!

For further information please contact:
Katy Williams, PR Manager on 020 3220 0640 or at [email protected]

London 17th April 2013

About Egmont Publishing

In the UK, Egmont Publishing is the leading specialist children’s publisher for babies to teens, inspiring children to read through more than 25 million award-winning books, magazines, ebooks and apps sold each year. We’re proud to be home to many of the world’s favourite stories and best-loved authors, illustrators and characters such as Michael Morpurgo, Andy Stanton, Enid Blyton, Julia Donaldson, Lemony Snicket, Michael Grant (Gone series and BZRK), Winnie-the-Pooh, Tintin, Mr. Men, Thomas & Friends, Disney Princess, Ben 10, Fireman Sam, Angry Birds, Minecraft and Star Wars.

Egmont Publishing is part of Egmont, a leading Danish media group, with activities in 30 countries and 6,600 employees. Our media world includes Nordisk Film, TV2 in Norway, cinemas, book publishers, educational publishers and PlayStation, as well as a number of partly owned film companies, including Zentropa.

Egmont is a commercial foundation that generates revenue amounting to EUR 1.6 billion. Every year we donate over EUR 10 million to help improve the lives of children and young people.