New Licensing Initiative for B.C. and Wizard of Id; Classic Comic Strip Properties Move to Widen Presence into Promotions and Merchandising

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John Hart Studios announced a fresh licensing initiative for classic comic strip properties B.C. and Wizard of Id.

I have thousands of random thoughts and ideas; some are actually funny.

John Hart Studios announced today their intention to launch a fresh licensing initiative to expand the reach of their classic comic strip properties B.C. and Wizard of Id.

Newly energized thanks to the talents of a younger generation of Harts, the studio recently launched a new website, http://www.johnhartstudios.com, and seized upon social media sites Facebook and Twitter to contemporize these iconic comic strip properties.

Originally created over 50 years ago by Johnny Hart (B.C. and Wizard of Id) with Brant Parker as the Wizard of Id illustrator, the iconic comic strips, each currently syndicated in over 1,000 newspapers worldwide, are now penned by Hart’s grandsons, Mason Mastroianni (https://twitter.com/Mason_BC) and Mick Mastroianni (https://twitter.com/mickmastroianni). The studio is managed by Hart’s daughters, Patti Hart and Perri Hart, and his wife, Bobby Hart. Hart, legendary in the comics’ world and two-time recipient of the National Cartoonist Society’s highest honor, the Reuben Award, passed away in 2007.

“The team that works on these properties now has a unique sense of balance between the slapstick, vaudevillian roots that made these strips so iconic, and the fresh modern humor that has allowed them to continue to grow today,” said Mason Mastroianni. “We’ve received enthusiastic reactions to the work on Facebook and Twitter, enough to encourage us to extend the reach of our humor through more publishing, promotions and merchandizing.”

Social networking is not Mason’s only outreach. He recently joined a USO tour where he and seven other members of the National Cartoonists Society entertained troops stationed at the Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. This is Mason’s fourth tour with the group, which also visits the Walter Reed hospital annually.

While Mason tends to the writing and illustration of B.C., younger brother Mick serves as writer for Wizard of Id (Brant Parker’s son Jeff illustrates Id.) “Stand-up comedians Lewis Black, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Stephan Colbert, and of course the legendary George Carlin, are huge influences on my writing,” reports Mick Mastroianni. “I'm always trying to come up with ideas. If I’m out with friends and something funny happens, I'll write it down in my smart phone. I have thousands of random thoughts and ideas in there; some are actually funny.”

Mick and Mason collaborated in 2010 to launch a new comic strip, Dogs of C-Kennel, now sold and distributed by Creators Syndicate in twenty US newspapers and as a popular web comic.

Brad Bushell, an experienced and highly successful licensing professional, has been retained by John Hart Studios to develop the licensing program and implement it over the coming months. “The Hart team is not only a riot to work with; they have a wealth of talent to draw upon to assist licensors.”

Patti Hart endorsed Bushell saying, “We have known Brad a long time and he’s a perfect addition to our team. He can lead us into the scary world of licensing.”

B.C. and Wizard of Id have had previous licensing successes. Thirty-seven B.C. books have been published; and B.C. Reinvents the Wheel was released by Willow Creek Press, Inc. in 2012. Thirty Wizard of Id books have been published over the years by numerous publishers.

To explore licensing opportunities, call Brad Bushell at 203.656.2353 or email Brad(at)johnhartstudios(dot)com.

ABOUT B.C.
The B.C. comic strip was created by Johnny Hart in 1958. Grandsons Mason Mastroianni and Mick Mastroianni took over the strip in 2007 when Johnny passed away. Now appearing in slightly over 1,000 publications worldwide, the strip is distributed by Creators Syndicate. Awards include the Reuben for Best Humor Strip, Best Cartoonist of the Year, the Gold Spike Award, the Yellow Kid Award, the Silver Bell Award and a Telly. Thirty-seven B.C. books have been published; including B.C. Reinvents the Wheel, recently released by Willow Creek Press. It is the second most popular comic strip on GoComics.com behind Calvin and Hobbes.
https://www.facebook.com/BCcomic
https://twitter.com/BCcomic

ABOUT THE WIZARD OF ID
The Wizard of Id comic strip was launched in 1964, created by Johnny Hart and illustrated by Brant Parker. Now written by Mick Mastroianni, drawn by Jeff Parker and produced by Nicola Parker, the strip is distributed by Creators Syndicate, appearing in 1,000 newspapers in 24 countries and translated into 8 languages. It enjoys over 10,000 Facebook fans plus 118,000 subscriptions on GoComics.com. Thirty Wizard of Id books have been published. https://www.facebook.com/WizardofId
https://twitter.com/WIZARDOFIDcomic

ABOUT JOHN HART STUDIOS
On April 7, 2007, Johnny Hart passed away quietly at his drawing board doing what he loved, bringing laughter to the world through his two comic strips, B.C. and Wizard of Id. Shortly thereafter, Bobby Hart, Johnny's wife, assembled a team with the best qualifications to carry on her husband's legacy. They share his DNA. The creative team lead by grandson Mason Mastroianni, B.C. cartoonist; grandson Mick Mastroianni, Wizard of Id writer and contributing B.C. writer; daughter, Perri Hart, writer, letterer and colorist; and daughter Patti Hart, business coordinator will ensure that B.C. and Wizard of Id continue for future generations to enjoy.

CONTACT:     Sales, Brad Bushell     203.656.2353 Brad(at)johnhartstudios(dot)com.

© John L. Hart FLP. All rights reserved.

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Kim Campbell Beasley

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