Lion Forge Comics made some huge waves early this summer with the partnership with NBCUniversal. Which Lion Forge will be producing digital comics based on classic NBC shows like Airwolf and Miami Vice. Also, building up a strong core of IP titles like The Joshua Run and The Catalyst Prime. CBNAH caught up with David Steward II, founder and CEO, Lion Forge Comics to discuss SDCC, The NBCUniversal deal, and more.
CBNAH: For people who are unfamiliar with Lion Forge Comics can you give us a brief history of the company?
David Steward II: Lion Forge has been around since 2011, but we’ve been lurking in the background – we’re all big comics fans, but there are a lot of steps in between reading comics and making comics, so we wanted to be sure we were doing things right before rolling out our line in 2013.
CBNAH: How was Lion Forge Comics’ first year at SDCC and the Fall Lineup Panel?
David Steward II: This past SDCC was actually our 3rd time at the event. As I mentioned, there was a bit of a learning curve to get where we are now, so we spent our first two San Diego Cons meeting with different comics people and getting to know some great creators, including Brandon Easton, Joelle Sellner and Joe Phillips.
This past SDCC was definitely like no other! Our Fall Lineup panel was the first time we had to interact with all the great fans who attend the show. We launched Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier at the show, and got to surprise our panel audience with a personal Rampage appearance. We previewed our new original comics Wonderous: The Adventures of Claire Sinclair and The Joshua Run, had an awesome preview trailer out for our NBC titles, and had a blast. There’s so much work that goes into these comics, it’s sometimes hard to see the bigger picture – the readers that we’re making them for – so being able to have those fans in the audience, to hear when they laughed or applauded, and to see what they were really reacting to and what was engaging them was not only a lot of fun for us, but a great chance to learn some things we really couldn’t learn any other way.
CBNAH: Before SDCC, your company made headlines when your company reached a deal with NBCUniversal to produce digital comics based on several of their television properties. How did this deal come to be and what was the internal reaction from the company?
David Steward II: The NBCUniversal deal was something we actively pursued – with more people picking up digital comics, and growing numbers of different types of readers with different interests, we saw the opportunity to pick up some properties that may not have worked in print only. And when we saw some of the titles NBC had to offer, which we all remembered and loved in our younger days, we saw a chance to bring some beloved characters back to life in ways that weren’t possible before digital comics started taking hold.
What are some of the titles and the creators attach to those titles?
David Steward II: Lion Forge will write, develop and publish digital comics based on the iconic shows, “Airwolf,” “Knight Rider,” “Miami Vice,” “Punky Brewster” and “Saved by the Bell.”
o Joelle Sellner (Teen Titans, Ben 10, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Jackie Chan Adventures, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi) – Writing Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell
o Jonathan London (Geekscape) – Writing Miami Vice
o Geoffrey Thorne (Leverage, Ben 10) – Writing Knight Rider
o David Gorden (Catalyst Prime: Accel and Catalyst Prime: Quincredible) – Writing Airwolf
o Carl Reed (Lion Forge) – Art for Miami Vice
o Lorenzo Lizana – Art for Knight Rider
o Jason Johnson (Wetworks, Godstorm) – Art for Airwolf
o Chynna Clugston – Art for Saved by the Bell
o Lesley Vamos– Art for Punky Brewster
Outside of the NBCUniversal deal, you’re working with Claire Sinclair and Rampage Jackson. What's it like to work with them and do they have any input to the comics?
David Steward II: Bringing a Playmate of the Year and an MMA fighter into the comic book world is definitely an interesting achievement for us. They both were great to work with and have been fans for comics since they were kids. We’re also working with actor/comedian Flex Alexander on The Joshua Run. Each person had a lot of creative input that we capture in developing the books.
Can you give us an insight about the Catalyst Prime Series?
David Steward II: The Catalyst Prime series focuses on a group of adults and children who, after experiencing a cosmic event, develop superhuman abilities. The series explores how each of these individuals uses their powers, whether for good or evil.
The Joshua Run really caught my attention. Issue/chapter one came out about a month ago, when can people expect the next installment and how long will this series be?
David Steward II: The Joshua Run is an 8-issue story arc that will run out on a monthly basis. With this title as well as Wonderous, there is also video content that goes with each issue that you can view on our YouTube page.
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
David Steward II: We’re just really grateful for all of the success and positive responses we’ve had so far! Keep checking out Lion Forge comics and keep an eye out for all the great things we have in store for the rest of the year. You can find us online at www.lionforge.com.