Classics Illustrated Sold


Aug 22, 2011, 10:26 ET from First Classics, Inc.

CHICAGO, Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard Berger, President of First Classics, Inc., announced the purchase of Classics Illustrated properties from the California-based Frawley Corporation. The complete purchase of the trademarks, copyright and other assets of the Classics Illustrated line amount to over 800 titles. "First Classics, Inc. is now positioned to expand and re-introduce this famous line of graphic classic literature to millions of new readers around the world," Berger said.

Classics Illustrated(CI), the original series of comic-book adaptations of literary masterpieces, was launched in New York by Albert L. Kanter 70 years ago, on Columbus Day 1941. After producing 167 titles, including Hamlet, Ivanhoe, and Faust, Kanter's Gilberton Company sold the line in 1967 to California businessman Patrick Frawley, owner of Frawley Corporation. Frawley Corporation owned all Classics Illustrated properties from that time until First Classics, Inc. successfully closed their sale on August 16, 2011.

After Frawley ceased publication of the original CI line in 1971, several efforts were made to revive the trademark. In 1988, an agreement between Frawley Corporation, Berkley Publishing Group, First Publishing, Inc. of Chicago, and Classics Media Group, Inc. led to a series, published in 1990-1991, of 26 graphic-novel adaptations featuring illustrations by Peter Kuper, Rick Geary and other outstanding contemporary artists. First Publishing evolved into First Classics, Inc., and oversaw the publication by Acclaim Books of 62 digest-size CI study guides in 1997-1998.

In 2002, First Classics, Inc. and Jack Lake Productions, Inc., of Toronto, Canada, reached an agreement where Jack Lake Productions Inc. began the current revival of the Gilberton-Frawley CI line, foreign and domestic. Now more than 100 titles in the various original series are in print worldwide. Presently, some licensees include Papercutz (U.S.), Egmont (Norway), Modern Times (Greece) and Classic Comics Store Ltd. (U.K.). The organization has supported the use of artwork in scholarly works, such as the second edition of William B. Jones Jr.'s Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, just published by McFarland to coincide with the series' 70th anniversary.

"This partnership of all CI properties will create greater possibilities for international and United States growth," stated Richard Berger. For all licensing requests contact Jaak Jarve, President, Jack Lake Productions Inc., the official licensing agent. For sales and inquiries visit or telephone: (416) 222-9445(416) 222-9445.

SOURCE First Classics, Inc.