Official Press Release
Baltimore, Maryland A nationally syndicated comic strip that ends on acliffhanger? That's exactly what Liberty Meadows creator Frank Cho hasplanned when he ends the popular strip from Creators Syndicate thisDecember. And it's more than just a publicity stunt.
For six years, Cho's fans have been delighted by (and become wrapped upin) the topsy-turvy, seemingly unrequited love of veterinarian Frank foranimal psychologist Brandy. Frank is an introverted, almost painfullyshy fellow, and Brandy is often barely aware she's a physical goddessand totally intimidating to Frank. The unlikely duo is surrounded by acreature cast of supporting players including Dean (a male chauvinistpig), Leslie (a frog), Ralph (a midget bear), Oscar (a wiener dog), andother wild characters, and together they've had reckless adventures,epic quests, and about as many sight gags as could be fit into a dailyand Sunday strip. In the end, though, it usually came down to Frankdesperately seeking to express his feelings for Brandy.
On Sunday, December 30, 2001, though, it all comes to a close. At leastin the newspapers. "This was a difficult choice for me," said FrankCho. "I've enjoyed and appreciated the response from my newspaperreaders while at the same time I was growing more frustrated with therestrictions the syndicated comic form put on me." It was thecartoonist's own choice to remove Liberty Meadows from the papers. Chois a winner and nominee for many awards both in the newspaper field andin the field of comic books. Industry watchers and fans alike haveoften speculated on the potential of Cho's exceptional illustrationabilities if they were on display in a form that allowed for largerdisplay. They will soon have a tangible result to view.
In January 2002, Cho will address many of the issues left hanging fromthe strip in a comic book special, The Liberty Meadows Wedding Album, aspecial edition published by Insight Studios Group.
Liberty Meadows already enjoys a continuing healthy life as an awardwining comic book. For twenty four issues thus far (most of which havehad numerous printings), older strips have been collected and thendevoured by a whole new audience. Unlike its counterparts, The LibertyMeadows Wedding Album will contain new material picking up where thestrip leaves off.
For some newspapers, the departure of Liberty Meadows from their pagesmay unintentionally harken back to a few ill-fated editorial decisionsto remove Liberty Meadows. Every time it was tried, including by suchnotable newspapers as the Washington Post, readers responded with asignificant level of agitation until the strip returned.
"We're trying to deflect any unwarranted criticism of the papers thatcarry Liberty Meadows by making it clear that they're not canceling thestrip. It's simply moving to comic book form," said Wheatley. "Byannouncing it as we have, we're creating an opportunity for them to makesure their readers know where to get the continuing adventures of thesecharacters."
In a unique move, all through December, Cho will be planting referencesthe 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 ofLiberty Meadows has been ahead of the trend for its entire life, gainingreaders with each passing issue and repeatedly going back to press fornew printings. This new comic book exclusive story is Frank's way ofmaking an even bigger push for comic books."
The work of Liberty Meadows creator Frank Cho has appeared in Jimgrimand 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 fromInsight), Codename: Knockout and Jingle Belle. He has won or beennominated for The Eisner Award, The Ignatz Award, The NationalCartoonist Society Award For Book Illustration, Scripps Howard Award AndThe Charles Schulz Award. His work is featured in the top-sellingretrospective volumes Frank Cho Illustrator and IS Art: The Art ofInsight Studio, and his Liberty Meadows work continues to be collectedbi-monthly in comic book form. Insight Studios recently published ahardcover featuring the first year of the series, The Liberty MeadowsBig Book of Love.
Another book, University2 (pronounced University Squared) collects ofall Cho's daily college strips from his days at University of Maryland.This college strip launched his career and was the precursor to LibertyMeadows. 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 ComicDistributors, FM International, and Cold Cut Comics Distribution. Recentpublications include the books, Jimgrim and the Devil at Ludd, andTitanic Tales. Insight also publishes the coffee table art book; GrayMorrow Visionary and comic book series Hammer of the Gods and LibertyMeadows, as well as the on-line strips Doctor Cyborg, Naked Brain andThe Body. Insight Studios can be found on the Internet atwww.insightstudiosgroup.com and www.sunnyfundays.com.
Insight Studios Group supports the efforts of the toll-free Comic ShopLocator Service. Can't find a comic shop? Call (888)COMIC BOOK (888 2664226) for the store nearest you!