Freaky Friday – From Comic strips to the Licensed Publishing World

Comic Strips – Something which is equally loved by tiny tots to grown-ups. They are simple yet funny and can make you go through a laugh riot. The best thing about comic strips/ books is that they connect with each individual at different level. Comic books provide you much diverse range of  stories, characters and art than ever before.

The connection between the character in the comic book and the individual creates a symbiotic relationship wherein the person starts liking the character no matter where it goes. Character Merchandising and Publication Licensing go hand-in-hand. In the west, with the help of character licensing the publishing properties go hit in the market. The Characters and Franchises when are spread via books then they become a popular category of publication licensing.

If we take a dip into the history of character licensing, we find that most of them are born out of comic strips and their most loved character.

This week we tell you about 5 comic strips which made it big to the licensed publishing world-

  1. Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit first appeared in the book ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ in 1902 by Beatrix Potter. Eventually she entered into a licensing agreement in 1902 with the British publisher, Frederick Warne & Co. who published a color version of the work that same year. And thus began the story of the oldest licensing character – Peter Rabbit.


  1. Little Orphan Annie

Began as comic strip character, even Annie made it to the licensing world. This famous comic character was so popular that it even went on to become a popular radio show by Ovaltine. It appeared on the Tribune Media services for many years and last comic strip was published in 2010.


  1. Shaktimaan 

The Indian superman Shaktimaan although began as a television series, the comic book and publications were not far behind. Soon after it became a hit, the Shaktimaan producer Mukesh Khaana entered the merchandising business by launching a range of products for youngsters like Shaktimaan T-shirts, caps, watches, toys, stickers, pencil boxes, lunch boxes and mugs.


  1. Archie

Archie first appeared in Pep Comics #22 on December 22, 1941, drawn by Montana and written by Vic Bloom. Since that time Archie has entered into very successful merchandising programs that include a myriad of different products from apparel to television series. Never knew licensing would be present for Archie back then too! (That’s surprising)


  1. Buck Rogers

It is unbelievable that even Buck Rogers started initially as a comic strip in 1942 and was taken over a movie and television series. The character created was an immediate hit as a licensing property among everyone. It was extensively licensed for comic books and many assorted merchandise.



In India, this category is still not been discovered by many and is at its nascent stage. When it comes to licensed publication work, being innovative with the product and the character is the key to success, although some formats might do well.

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