The announcement of Ape Entertainment’s Strawberry Shortcake Comics Reader app just made Comic Book Resources:
Oh, the cuteness! Ape Entertainment has just released a Strawberry Shortcake app, based on the iVerse platform and featuring three of their new Strawberry Shortcake comics priced at $1.99 each (plus a free preview). The comics are a few months old, but that’s hardly going to matter to the core Strawberry Shortcake demographic; what will matter is that these comics are colorful, competently drawn, and full of lively characters and silly situations.
The big digital-comics news this week was that the publisher IDW, an early iVerse partner, migrated to comiXology for support of its apps. Where iVerse seems to be hanging tough is in the kids’ market—they also run the Pocket God app, and when I spoke to iVerse CEO Michael Murphey a few weeks ago, he said that their biggest selling properties were not adult comics on the iPad but children’s comics on the iPhone/iPod Touch: “Our largest selling products are kids’ products,” he told me. “Kids get the hand-me-down phones and iPod Touches. As they start getting the hand-me-down iPads after Christmas this year, that will evolve.”
In that context, a stand-alone app makes a lot of sense; Strawberry Shortcake is easy to discover in the iTunes store, and you don’t have to download a separate comics reader or create an account to use it. I do think some extras would really send this app over the top, though. A separate Strawberry Shortcake game app already exists, but it would be nice to see some puzzles, coloring pages, even music or videos, to bump up the fun content even more.
I’ve quoted the article in its entirety because there are some very significant points here:
The biggest selling iVerse properties are children’s comics (see Pocket God)
Adding some puzzles and games is a good idea
The available comics are a few months old but there is a fourth issue coming soon
$1.99 is half the paper version price
I’m glad they think the characters are lively, and if they think the situations have been silly so far, wait for issue #4
It looks as if Sesame Street, the television series that’s educated and entertained children since 1969, could be making the move to comics.
It all seems very tentative, but Ape Entertainment has announced it’s in talks with Sesame Workshop to produce a series of a series of comicbooks featuring such beloved characters as Ernie, Bert, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Elmo. If the deal pans out, the comics would debut next year in print and digital editions.
“We are incredibly excited about our current negotiations with Sesame Workshop and the possibility of being able to bring their expertise in educating and entertaining children to comics,” Ape COO Brent E. Erwin said in a statement.
Ape already publishes several licensed children’s comics, including Richie Rich, Casper Scare School,Strawberry Shortcake and Shrek.
My publisher is out to make comics for kids cool again! In the wake of Kaboom losing their Disney licenses and no word whether Marvel will continue the titles, every partnership is an exciting new twist.
APE ENTERTAINMENT HOPES TO SET UP SHOP ON SESAME STREET
Ape Entertainment and Sesame Workshop in Negotiations to Create Educational Comics for Young Readers
(SAN DIEGO, CA, October 13, 2011) – Ape Entertainment announced today that it is currently negotiating with Sesame Workshop for the right to produce a series of comic books featuring the cast of the beloved children’s show Sesame Street.
Ape Entertainment hopes to work with Sesame Workshop to create a series of comic books that will be both educational and entertaining for young readers. Subject to successful negotiations, the comics will be produced in full color and available in printed editions as well as in digital editions that will be available through the Sesame Street store on Apple’s iTunes in 2012.
“We are incredibly excited about our current negotiations with Sesame Workshop and the possibility of being able to bring their expertise in educating and entertaining children to comics,” said Ape Entertainment COO Brent E. Erwin. He went on to say, “I love the idea of creating educational comics that will both teach and entertain children. And the possibility of getting to work with Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Grover, well…that’s just a dream come true.”
Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization with the mission of making a meaningful difference in the lives of children worldwide by addressing their critical developmental needs. Sesame Workshop has been producing Sesame Street for over forty years.
Ape Entertainment intends to continue its mission to grow the comics industry by increasing awareness about comics among a new generation of readers. Ape Entertainment hopes young readers and their parents will discover the exciting world of comics and start visiting a local comic book shop.