[NOTE: The following press release was issued by Insight Studios Group yesterday. Following this release Image put out their own today detailing the move.]
Official Press Release
Baltimore, Maryland - Insight Studios Group is simultaneously proud andsorry to announce that Frank Cho's Liberty Meadows is leaving the studioto fly solo. The last Insight issue will be Liberty Meadows #26 for May2002.
Debuting in 1995 as newspaper strip from Creators Syndicate and 1999 asa comic book from Insight Studios Group, Liberty Meadows has been a hitwith audiences in both formats. Cho recently ended the syndicated stripto concentrate on the comic book version and other projects.
"Back when we first saw University2, the strip that Frank did incollege, we knew he was an amazing creative talent from the word 'go.'We've been extremely proud to produce the Liberty Meadows comic and thebest-selling Frank Cho Illustrator and Liberty Meadows: The Big Book ofLove hardcovers under the Insight banner," said Mark Wheatley, publisherof Insight Studios Group.
In addition to his own strip, comic book, art book and collections, Chohas also contributed to Insight's Titanic Tales, IS Art: The Art ofInsight Studios, Jimgrim and the Devil at Ludd, Hammer of the Gods, andother projects. In addition he has provided pin-ups and covers for manyother titles during his tenure with Insight.
"Liberty Meadows is still gaining readers with each issue, and we knowthat Frank's fans will be looking forward to it at its new home withImage Comics," Wheatley said. "At Insight, we've had the opportunity towatch Frank become a very popular artist, and I'm sure that he'llcontinue to attract an incredible fan following wherever he goes. We'lldefinitely be watching him, and we are pleased that he has indicatedhe'll be contributing to several of our upcoming projects, so fansshould stay tuned."
In January 2002, Cho addressed many of the plot threads left hangingfrom the strip's December 31, 2001 cliffhanger ending in the newspaperswith a comic book special, the Liberty Meadows Wedding Album, a specialedition published by Insight Studios Group. The Liberty Meadows WeddingAlbum has sold out of its first printing and is now available in asecond printing.
The current Insight Studios printings of Liberty Meadows comic bookswill be the last, so retailers are advised to check their stock now toprevent shortages during the transition. Cho's books Frank ChoIllustrator (soft cover) and Big Book of Love (hard cover) are inlimited supply but presently remain available from Insight. Frank Chohas won or been nominated for The Eisner Award, The Ignatz Award, TheNational Cartoonist Society Award For Book Illustration, Scripps HowardAward And The Charles Schulz Award.
Official Press Release
Liberty Meadows Gets a New Image
Frank Cho's Award-Winning Series Moves to Image in July
ORANGE, CA -- 13 February, 2002 -- Frank Cho's award-winning independentseries, Liberty Meadows, has moved to Image Comics and is set to debut inJuly with an all-new trade paperback collection. The ongoing series willfollow in August with issue #27.
Liberty Meadows joins Image in the midst of a creative resurgence that hasincluded the addition of the Joseph Michael Linsner library, Leave it toChance, Bastard Samurai, Guardian Angel, The Micronauts, Athena, Inc.,Creed: Utopiate, Noble Causes, Nowheresville, and G.I. Joe to an alreadydiverse line of comics that includes Spawn, Powers, The Red Star, Age ofBronze, Savage Dragon, and A Distant Soil.
"Image is the perfect home for Liberty Meadows," said Cho. "It's THE bestplace for today's comic artists and writers to be in now. Image has thecreative freedom and the big company resources that Liberty Meadows need togrow on."
Image VP/Publisher Jim Valentino added, "Liberty Meadows is a perfect fitfor us here at Image, filling in an enormous gap in our line -- humour. Ihave long been an admirer of this strip and Frank's work, and I amabsolutely delighted he has chosen to come to Image."
Along with the change in publishers, Liberty Meadows will also be undergoinga slight change in format: The Image series will be published in landscapeformat ala The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book. The covers,however, will continue to be run in the standard vertical format used bymost comics, for ease of display in comics shops. Liberty Meadows willcontinue to be published in black and white on a bimonthly basis.
The trade paperback collection, entitled Liberty Meadows, Volume One, willbe published in the same format as Cho's recent art book, The Frank ChoIllustrator, and will feature all the daily strips reprinted in LibertyMeadows #1-9. The Sunday strips will be collected in a separate book.
Frank Cho has enjoyed amazing success since releasing a collection of hiscollege comic strip, University2, in 1996. Upon graduating from theUniversity of Maryland in 1996, Cho signed with Creators Syndicate Inc. fora continuation of Universty2 as Liberty Meadows. Since then, the comic bookversion of Liberty Meadows has been a consistent bestseller with earlyissues now in their fourth printings. Cho has won the Charles Schulz Plaquefor Excellence in Cartooning, the Scripps-Howard Award for Best CollegeCartoonist and the Ignatz Awards for Outstanding Artist and OutstandingComic. Cho has also been nominated for Eisner, Harvey, and NationalCartoonist Society awards.