We talk to the firm's creative director to find out how it is moving into the role of licensor, as well as licensee.
Following a long and successful career as a freelance comic book illustrator, Anthony Williams decided to set up his own company, Comic Stripper. For many years, Williams worked with Marvel Enterprises and DC Comics on all their marquee characters also creating many new ones for them.
Williams explained how the company began to grow: "Latterly, as my studio grew and I took on new talent to work alongside me, our clients broadened to include many well known licensed properties."
The decision was then taken to open a new arm of The Comic Stripper Studio in order to exploit Williams' own artwork and creative brands. He continues: "I saw the opportunity for many diverse markets and platforms.
"After exploring agent representation I selected a company, MGTV, with exclusive sub-agents in major world territories, who have 30 years experience and a proven track record dealing with international markets and international licensees. Now the studio and our new clients have unlimited possibilities and the ability to reach international markets."
With the agency on board, Comic Stripper has the opportunity for unlimited creativity and it now creates its own characters and artwork, while still working for many international licences.
At BLE 2010, Williams decided to launch his own brands into the licensing arena. Williams told Licensing.biz: "As a result of our efforts we signed a representation agreement with MaraGoldTV, based in New York to actively pursue licences for our Zero Heroes and The Horrids across the globe."
The first licensing agreement was signed with JFox and the company is currently in negotiation with the FIPO group for worldwide sales.
Williams explains: "Out strategy is under development for an exciting launch of new merchandise. Additionally, the story lines are being written for animation. With MaraGold TV Consultation, we are developing style guides for assorted companies worldwide to develop the product line."
Despite this evolution, Cartoon Stripper is still primarily an illustration and design studio. Williams notes: "Our work is mainly high quality artwork, ideas and humour. We have had a number of notable clients over the past twelve months. As well as ongoing work for the European arm of Marvel Enterprises, we have created illustrations for the BBC's Top Gear, promotional artwork for companies such as Samsung and licensed artwork for Ben 10, Gogo's Crazy Bones and Family Guy to name just a few."
Going forward, the ideal scenario would be to continue this client work and also to sign an animation deal for the company's own brands - The Horrids and Sero Heroes.
Williams adds: "Badtime Stories is going to create a real stir offer the next 12 months. Following on from these will be two new brands created and developed each year."
So there is lots of new content in the planning from Comic Strippers, but what is the secret to success with a new illustrated brand? "I would say that creating something fresh, new and deferent that separates myself and my style from what's already available," explains Williams.
"Each of us has a unique artist within and I have the opportunity to put my creative ideas out there. For that reason, it is important to stay true to myself my original branding concept , which is now being enhanced by international acceptance."