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Leading Comics Publisher Papercutz Develops Monthly Comics & Kids’ Graphic Novels Featuring Iconic Character
Joe Clokey, President of Premavision/Clokey Productions and son of Gumby creator Art Clokey, is proud to announce that Papercutz, “the #1 Kids’ Graphic Novel Publisher” will launch a series of new comics and graphic novels featuring the legendary character Gumby–the stop-motion animated TV star and top-selling toy. The first issue debuts on July 5, 2017.
Papercutz is creating new material based on the original hit Gumby television series. The episodes have found a new generation of fans through TV broadcasts, streaming services, YouTube and DVD releases. Gumby has millions of fans worldwide, and toys, DVDs and other merchandise are sold through mass-market retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, and specialty stores. This resurgence in popularity is driving the creation of new media. Premavision recently announced development of a new television series (in partnership with the Jim Henson Company) and a feature film. With the recent 60th anniversary of the Gumby TV show, the timing is perfect for the character to return to comics.
“I’m always delighted by how the character my father created has touched the hearts of so many people,” observed Clokey. “The proliferation of user-generated content online, the emergence of Gumby centered fan conventions and the huge reception we’ve received at places like Comic Con International show just how important Gumby is to so many people. We wanted to make sure we found a publishing partner who not only appreciated the property but also shared the approach and values that have made Gumby such an enduring character. Papercutz shares our commitment to creating great stories. And they also have some of the biggest Gumby fans I’ve ever met on staff. That made them the ideal choice for a publishing partner.”
The Papercutz Team and Gumby Love
Chief among those fans is Papercutz Associate Managing Editor Jeff Whitman who will be one of the writers on the ongoing comic book series. “I’ve been a Gumby fan for as long as I can remember,” explained Whitman, “And I think Terry [Nantier] and Jim [Salicrup] wouldn’t have known how to deal with me if we hadn’t been selected as the publisher for these characters. Did I wear a full-size Gumby costume to the office to help convince them we should go after this property? Maybe. What I can say for sure is we’re committed to capturing the magic that Art Clokey brought to his creation and that we’ll be exploring all the different settings and characters in the Gumbyverse while staying true to the essence of Gumby. He can jump into any book (with his pony pal, Pokey, too), so the story potential is virtually endless. We’ll also be finding out more about the Blockheads, Gumby’s sister Minga, his friends Prickle and Goo, and more recently introduced characters like his ‘girl friend,’ Tara. These comic will celebrate Gumby’s past, present, and future. As the theme song goes, ‘If you’ve a heart, then Gumby’s a part of you.’”
“Jeff may be the biggest Gumby fan in the office, but he’s certainly not the only comics creator with a love for the property,” observed Papercutz Editor in Chief Jim Salicrup. “We’ve had numerous people approach us about working on the series and I think a lot of people will be excited to hear the first roster of creators we announce.”
Current plans call for an ongoing monthly comic book series to launch in July with the first issue debuting at this year’s Comic Con International. The 32 page, $3.99 issues will feature a lead story and a five-page backup story, which will provide the opportunity for multiple creators to try their hand at the adventures of the “little green ball of clay.”
In addition to the new comic books, the series will be collected in graphic novel format starting in November 2017. “Gumby certainly has a lot of adult fans, but the character is also one of the great kids’ properties,” explained Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier. “The graphic novels will let us place the character in bookstores, schools and libraries and reach a whole new generation of fans. It’s a brand-new format for Gumby to explore, and I’m sure he’ll prove just as popular in this category as he has in other media and toys!”
Added Clokey, “Gumby is a timeless character with universal appeal. I’m excited that we’ll be able to share his new adventures with both Gumby enthusiasts and new fans. Working together, we’ll be able to create a new chapter in the character’s rich history.”
GUMBY #1 will be on sale at comic book stores, online retailers and bookstores everywhere on July 5th.Read More »
Comic Fest 2016, held at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, was a blast! A smaller, more intimate version of Comic Con, the festival had a great line-up of presentations, workshops, signings and exhibits.
Featured speakers, Joe and Joan Clokey, gave a fascinating presentation, “Gumby through the Years,” in which they described how Gumby was created, and they highlighted key events through Gumby’s rich 60-year history. The audience was treated to some rarely seen behind-the-scenes footage, the long lost Gumby pilot that first aired on NBC in 1956, and personal anecdotes about the creator Art Clokey. The Clokeys hinted at new productions in the works.
Artists, writers, publishers and even costumed characters were on hand to discuss their work and passions during the three-day festival. Fans had the opportunity to get to know the people behind the creative works. Attendees learned about: the past, present and future of comics; how the industry has changed over time; and the rising importance of digital comics and graphic novels. Students and aspiring artists got some insider tips on creating, publishing and selling comics.
Mike Towry, a comics dealer in San Diego, was part of the small group of fans who founded a festival in 1969, which became known as the Sn Diego Comic Con. Mike and other Comic Con veterans started the first Comic Fest in 2012, following the 40th anniversary of the original Comic Con. The founders sought to re-create the vibe of the very first Comic Con, which was focused on the writing and art of comics.
Comic Fest 2016 provided inspiration and entertainment for all whom attended.
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The Gumby Team Presents ‘Sixty Years of Gumby’
Panel at Comic Con on Sunday, July 12.
Get a glimpse into Gumby’s world during a panel presentation at Comic Con in San Diego on Sunday, July 12, 2015, at 11 a.m. in Room 29AB.
A panel from Gumby’s studio (Premavision/Clokey Productions) and industry experts will discuss the creation of Gumby, stop motion animation and the art and stories of Gumby’s Eisner Award-winning comic books.
The family that created the beloved clay boy will share the inside scoop on how Gumby became such a pop culture icon. Art and Ruth Clokey brought Gumby to life six decades ago in 1955. As the world celebrates the 60th anniversary of Gumby being molded from clay, Joe (Art and Ruth’s son) and his wife Joan carry on the family tradition as they head up Gumby’s studio.
Art Clokey, a pioneer in the field of stop motion animation has inspired generations of artists, animators, photographers, puppet makers, directors and producers. He received the Inkpot Award in 2006 for lifetime achievement.
With new productions in the works, and a newly re-mastered library of episodes being released on DVD, Gumby is poised for a major Renaissance.
The Comic Con panel will feature:
- Joe (President and Producer) and Joan Clokey (Creative Director), who will share some personal anecdotes about Gumby, show behind-the-scene clips and touch on the history of the character
- Gumby Animation Director Anthony Scott (Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, Corpse Bride, The Little Prince…)
- Harry Walton (Indiana Jones, Nightmare Before Christmas…), longtime Gumby animator and FX guru
- Rick Geary (National Cartoonist award winner…), Gumby comic book illustrator
- Mary Flynn (NCircle Entertainment)
We’ll see you there!
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