Official Press Release
Baltimore, Maryland A nationally syndicated comic strip that ends on a
cliffhanger? That’s exactly what Liberty Meadows creator Frank Cho has
planned when he ends the popular strip from Creators Syndicate this
December. And it’s more than just a publicity stunt.
For six years, Cho’s fans have been delighted by (and become wrapped up
in) the topsy-turvy, seemingly unrequited love of veterinarian Frank for
animal psychologist Brandy. Frank is an introverted, almost painfully
shy fellow, and Brandy is often barely aware she’s a physical goddess
and totally intimidating to Frank. The unlikely duo is surrounded by a
creature cast of supporting players including Dean (a male chauvinist
pig), Leslie (a frog), Ralph (a midget bear), Oscar (a wiener dog), and
other wild characters, and together they’ve had reckless adventures,
epic quests, and about as many sight gags as could be fit into a daily
and Sunday strip. In the end, though, it usually came down to Frank
desperately seeking to express his feelings for Brandy.
On Sunday, December 30, 2001, though, it all comes to a close. At least
in the newspapers. “This was a difficult choice for me,” said Frank
Cho. “I’ve enjoyed and appreciated the response from my newspaper
readers while at the same time I was growing more frustrated with the
restrictions the syndicated comic form put on me.” It was the
cartoonist’s own choice to remove Liberty Meadows from the papers. Cho
is a winner and nominee for many awards both in the newspaper field and
in the field of comic books. Industry watchers and fans alike have
often speculated on the potential of Cho’s exceptional illustration
abilities if they were on display in a form that allowed for larger
display. They will soon have a tangible result to view.
In January 2002, Cho will address many of the issues left hanging from
the strip in a comic book special, The Liberty Meadows Wedding Album, a
special edition published by Insight Studios Group.
Liberty Meadows already enjoys a continuing healthy life as an award
wining comic book. For twenty four issues thus far (most of which have
had numerous printings), older strips have been collected and then
devoured by a whole new audience. Unlike its counterparts, The Liberty
Meadows Wedding Album will contain new material picking up where the
strip leaves off.
For some newspapers, the departure of Liberty Meadows from their pages
may unintentionally harken back to a few ill-fated editorial decisions
to remove Liberty Meadows. Every time it was tried, including by such
notable newspapers as the Washington Post, readers responded with a
significant level of agitation until the strip returned.
“We’re trying to deflect any unwarranted criticism of the papers that
carry Liberty Meadows by making it clear that they’re not canceling the
strip. It’s simply moving to comic book form,” said Wheatley. “By
announcing it as we have, we’re creating an opportunity for them to make
sure their readers know where to get the continuing adventures of these
In a unique move, all through December, Cho will be planting references
the toll free Comic Shop Locator Service phone number, (888) COMIC BOOK,
in the newspaper version of Liberty Meadows.
“After several years of stagnation following a decline in the mid-90s,
the comic book market is enjoying a creative and sales renaissance,”
says Insight Studios Group’s Mark Wheatley. “The comic book version of
Liberty Meadows has been ahead of the trend for its entire life, gaining
readers with each passing issue and repeatedly going back to press for
new printings. This new comic book exclusive story is Frank’s way of
making an even bigger push for comic books.”
The work of Liberty Meadows creator Frank Cho has appeared in Jimgrim
and the Devil at Ludd, Titanic Tales (both from Insight Studios Group)
and World’s Funniest, and on the covers of Hammer of the Gods (also from
Insight), Codename: Knockout and Jingle Belle. He has won or been
nominated for The Eisner Award, The Ignatz Award, The National
Cartoonist Society Award For Book Illustration, Scripps Howard Award And
The Charles Schulz Award. His work is featured in the top-selling
retrospective volumes Frank Cho Illustrator and IS Art: The Art of
Insight Studio, and his Liberty Meadows work continues to be collected
bi-monthly in comic book form. Insight Studios recently published a
hardcover featuring the first year of the series, The Liberty Meadows
Big Book of Love.
Another book, University2 (pronounced University Squared) collects of
all Cho’s daily college strips from his days at University of Maryland.
This college strip launched his career and was the precursor to Liberty
Meadows. It is also available from Insight Studios Group.
Insight Studios Group, 7844 St. Thomas Drive, Baltimore, MD 21236,
publishes books, comic books, and on-line daily and weekly comic strips.
Insight Studios print titles are available through Diamond Comic
Distributors, FM International, and Cold Cut Comics Distribution. Recent
publications include the books, Jimgrim and the Devil at Ludd, and
Titanic Tales. Insight also publishes the coffee table art book; Gray
Morrow Visionary and comic book series Hammer of the Gods and Liberty
Meadows, as well as the on-line strips Doctor Cyborg, Naked Brain and
The Body. Insight Studios can be found on the Internet at
www.insightstudiosgroup.com and www.sunnyfundays.com.
Insight Studios Group supports the efforts of the toll-free Comic Shop
Locator Service. Can’t find a comic shop? Call (888)COMIC BOOK (888 266
4226) for the store nearest you!
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