Bonfire Ignites All-Ages Comics Ad Network

NEW YORK, NY (May 8, 2012) – Entertainment and pop culture advertising and marketing firm Bonfire Agency announced today the launch of a new advertising network uniting leading publishers of “kids and up” comic books under the banner of the “Archie All-Ages Comics Ad Network.”  The new network combines the collective companies’ wide reach in mass market, bookstores and comic book shops and brings together such recognizable brands as Archie, Sonic the Hedgehog, Richie Rich, Ghostbusters, Peanuts, Kung-Fu Panda and Adventure Time.

“All-ages comics reach a large, untapped audience that continues to grow and hunger for more, similar content and entertainment,” said Steve Rotterdam, Partner & Co-Founder of Bonfire Agency.  “These easily accessible, consistently entertaining and expertly crafted periodicals are the perfect vehicles for advertisers looking to reach kids, parents and families with their message.”

As the name of the network suggests, comics published by Archie Comics comprise the majority of the network’s combined monthly circulation of more than half a million.  These comics include the traditional Archie titles that have entertained generations of readers for more than 70 years (as well as licensed titles like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega-Man), digest-sized collections commonly merchandised at grocery and mass, and the enormously popular magazine-sized Life with Archie that carries forward the “what if” storylines that began with the game-changing Archie Marries Betty and Archie Marries Veronica publishing events of 2010.

“We are supremely excited to be partnering with the team at Bonfire,” said Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “The agency knows our market and knows that there is a growing and excited fanbase eager to interact with our characters and the stories we produce. This is a major move for all-ages books, and comics in general, and we’re happy to help lead the charge.”

Joining the Archie titles are comics published by Ape Entertainment (including Richie Rich, Casper’s Scare School and comics and magazines developed around Dreamworks licenses like Kung-Fu Panda, The Penguins of Madagascar and Shrek), BOOM! Studios’ KaBOOM! imprint (featuring Peanuts, Garfield, Roger Langridge’s Snarked! and Adventure Time) and IDW Publishing (including Transformers, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the newly launched Popeye).

“We here at Ape are extremely excited to be a part of this network,” said Ape Entertainment COO Brent E. Erwin. “Combining the young reader titles that Ape publishes with the incredible titles published by our fellow group members is a win -win for us and advertisers everywhere.”

The all-ages network extends the scope of Bonfire’s ComicsUnited initiative, launched last year, that brings together titles from leading “independent” publishers of comics meant for older audiences in a group that averages just over a million in monthly print circulation. IDW and BOOM! are already part of ComicsUnited, as are Dynamite Entertainment, Top Cow, Aspen MLT, Zenescope and Skybound.

“This new ad network brings together some of the most powerful brands in entertainment,” said ComicsUnited Vice-President of Sales and Business Development, Kris Longo.  “The lineup of Archie, Ghostbusters, Peanuts, Shrek and more is something media buyers will instantly want to be a part of, and one that clearly communicates an ‘all-ages’ audience.”

LEGO Systems of North America is already running advertising through the network.  “We’re also actively exploring integrated campaigns, including online, digital and in-store, across the network and with individual publishers,” added Longo.  “This will include event sponsorships and underwriting of “free content.”

The launch of the network comes in the midst of a relative resurgence in comics for kids and all-ages audiences.  The first issue of BOOM! Studios’ Adventure Time, developed in partnership with the creators of the hit Cartoon Network series, is now in its third printing.  IDW just launched Popeye to critical and commercial acclaim (issue #1 sold out and is in a second printing) with all-new adventures in the original style of creator E.C. Segar.  And Ape Entertainment recently announced the first Sesame Street comic book series in the award-winning PBS staple’s 43-year history.

“These are comics produced by publishers whose commitment to this underserved segment of comics readership has never wavered,” said Ed Catto, Bonfire partner and co-founder.