September 26, 2014
Cartoon Network launches imprint with Penguin Books for Young Readers
by Rachel Smitley
Remember reading books when you were a kid and wishing that someone would turn them into a cartoon or movie so you could see what the characters really looked and sounded like? Do you remember wishing that your favorite cartoons and movies would be turned into books so you could read about the characters? No? Well, apparently Cartoon Network and Penguin Books for Young Readers think that kids these days want exactly what you thought they would never want, and are teaming up to turn the television network’s most popular shows into books.
In what seems to be a reversal of the trend of books being turned into television shows and movies, Cartoon Network will be publishing their imprint, Cartoon Network Books, with Penguin starting in 2015. The two companies have worked together for a few years in a partnership capacity, with Penguin holding licensing rights to books associated with some of the channel’s popular shows, including Adventure Time, Regular Show, and The Amazing World of Gumball. The publishing house has helped Cartoon Network publish chapter books, kits, and Mad Libs in the past, but this new imprint will make Penguin the ultimate destination for Cartoon Network publishing.
Penguin will get a wide audience of devoted television fans to buy their books, while Cartoon Network will be able to leverage an existing brand into more revenue. But it’s not just a matter of dollars and cents. Cartoon Network will also be able to expand storylines by providing detailed backstory content; these won’t be novelizations, they’ll be standalone books that expand the show’s respective universes. In other words, Cartoon Network is branching out from the licensing business and into the actual book business itself. There will even be a revival of the Powerpuff Girls in both book and television format come 2016. Yay. Maybe next they’ll publish an Aqua Teen Hunger Force chapter book series and break into a whole new market segment. Now that would be interesting. (Ed. note: Give me Adult Swim Books.)