Merchandising isn’t the only big marketing move when it comes to promoting the latest Disney film, books are huge business too. Personally, I’ve become a huge fan of the junior novelization series which are often available a month or more before the film is released. It’s always fascinating to see just how similar the book, which is based on the actual scripts, is (or isn’t) to the final product. Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3 were dead-on while The Sorcerer’s Apprentice makes one imagine there’s a lot of film still sitting on the cutting room floor.
In just a few short years, BOOM! Studios has already had enormous successes with adapting many Disney and Pixar favorites to comic format, most recently with the Disney Afternoon cult classic Darkwing Duck.
Today BOOM! announced that, starting in December, it will begin producing an ongoing series based on Darkwing contemporary Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. Penned by Darkwing Duck writer Ian Brill and illustrated by Leonel Castellani (Marvel Superhero Squad), issue #1 will be released with two variant covers (with a 50/50 distribution) by Leonel Castellani and Magic Eye Studios plus a 1-in-10 incentive cover featuring Zipper by Jake Myler as pictured below.
Although most of its own publishing had been limited to those of the graphic novel persuasion, Disney had been licensing its domestic comic book properties to the likes of BOOM! Studios, Diamond and Slave Labor Graphics. Now it appears some of its properties will be headed over to newly acquired Marvel to harness its talent and publishing capabilities.
Rick Riordan’s best selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has already found a successful movie in The Lightning Thief and now it’s heading back to the pages in an all-new graphic novel format from Disney Hyperion. Scheduled to be released on October 12 and available for pre-order on Amazon.com, fans of the series can preview ‘the lost scene’ from the graphic novel adaptation here.
On the heels of his overwhelmingly successful Fairies, Fiends and Flatulence international tour, Eoin Colfer will tour the U.S. as part of the Artemis Rocks! show. The tour coincides with the publication of Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, the seventh title in Colfer’s best selling series of novels for young readers.
Artemis Rocks! launched with two sneak preview performances in Southern California on August 4th and 5th; the U.S. tour runs from September 14th through the 24th. This talk show-style performance features a monologue from Eoin, a first rate writer and part time comedian. Eoin will interview Artemis Fowl himself, and the shows feature original songs and newly created music videos. There will be audience participation and book signings at all events as well.
Hyperion and ABC Family announced today that The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens (Hyperion; $12.99) is now available as an enhanced eBook on the iBookstore, which is included in the free iBooks app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch (www.itunes.com/apps/ibooks). The first based on a television series on the iBookstore, this eBook is enhanced with video footage from Season One of ABC Family’s top-rated hit television series, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” integrating complementary text and video to provide a cohesive story.
On the heels of the success and industry recognition in the U.S. for its innovative format with the recently launched “Toy Story 3” app as well as with its “Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2,” and “The Princess and the Frog” read-along apps, Disney Publishing Worldwide has created its first ever international versions of the “Toy Story” read-along app for iPad.
Launching on July 20th in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, the “Toy Story” apps will each feature songs and movie clips in French, German, Italian and Spanish. The app will have special promotional pricing for a limited time at €2.99 through August 31st; pricing will then shift to €6.99. The Disney-Pixar feature film Toy Story 3 will launch in Europe throughout late July.
Disney Book Group will publish a middle-grade baseball series written by National Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and co-authored by Baltimore Sun sportswriter Kevin Cowherd. The series will feature characters from a Babe Ruth League team named the “Orioles”. The agreement for world rights was negotiated by Stephanie Owens Lurie, Editorial Director, Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group, and Ian Kleinert, of Objective Entertainment.
The first book in the series—Hothead—will be published in Winter 2011 under the Disney-Hyperion imprint. It centers on all-star third baseman Connor Sullivan, who has a big problem: his temper. The story was inspired by Cal’s own struggle with frustration as a young player. Additional books will follow every year.
OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and digital content to libraries and schools, today announced a preliminary agreement with Disney Digital Books (www.disneydigitalbooks.com) that will enable libraries to offer access to Disney’s comprehensive library of books online. Young library patrons and their parents will be able to enjoy — for the first time — unlimited access to over 600 new and classic Disney books for kids of all ages with just an Internet-connection and library card. The extensive library features hundreds of digital books available at the click of a mouse, including favorites from popular Disney franchises such as Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, Disney Princess, Cars, and Hannah Montana, along with many other classic and contemporary Disney stories.
ABC Family is launching its “Live Huge” campaign, a new health initiative in support of the network’s upcoming one-hour scripted series, “Huge.” The initiative, which runs across multiple platforms on the network, including on-air, online, and off-air, kicks off with a national bus tour beginning in Michigan on Friday, June 18. The “Live Huge” Bus will continue to make stops at festivals and fairs across the country throughout June and July 2010. “Huge,” starring Nikki Blonsky, premieres on ABC Family on Monday, June 28, at 9:00PM ET/PT.
The “Live Huge” Bus, wrapped in white, will serve as a blank canvas that will allow people to share how they “live huge” by writing messages directly on the bus that tell how they live their lives to the fullest. With each stop, photos of people signing the bus will be uploaded to abcfamily.com for use on the site’s digital mosaic – “The Live Huge Wall.” Additionally, ABC Family will be distributing recipe booklets featuring healthy recipes from two cookbooks by Jamie Oliver and published by Hyperion Books – Jamie’s Food Revolution (available now) and the soon-to-be-released Jamie’s America (coming in October).
The bus tour will kick off at Hamburg Family Fun Fest (Hamburg, MI) on Friday, June 18 and will continue on to make stops including: