We see a lot of characters and ideas being pitched against each other in pop culture these days – Freddy vs. Jason, Alien vs. Predator, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World… – even the bizarrely popular Plants vs. Zombies game rides this bandwagon. And hey, what’s a storyline without a bit of “good vs. evil” battling, eh? (Or “evil vs. evil,” as is often the case now…).
There’s certainly one demographic that will always be up for a good “VS” story format, and that’s kids, of course. Stan Lee’s Kids Universe (SLKU) is proud to announce its brand new children’s publication, Dragon vs. Pandas, a picture-book for pre-schoolers. It may sound trivial, but this marks a significant cornerstone in the company’s endeavors being their first foray into international content.
Dragons vs. Pandas was created by Chelsea Kenna, who is both the writer and illustrator. I was intrigued to know as to how other cultures receive comics and illustrated publications, so I asked Stan Lee what the reception is like in countries such as China. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when he said that, “they can’t wait to get our stuff,” given that Asia is not known to shy away from cartoons and animations. However, growing up with a strict Chinese mother, I had to ask – hours of cartoons and picture books were never usually on the daily list of activities. Alas, how do you convince certain parents that comics and pictures can be educational and good for kids? Aren’t parents notorious for telling their kids not to spend their pocket money on comics? Take away the comics and pretty pictures and they’ll study better, right? Well, I questioned Stan about that, and he quite confidently answered that that was “nonsense.” Amen to that. As he puts it, “The only thing wrong with comics is that they were badly written during the 30s and 40s. We started Marvel, we decided to write them intelligently and accompanied them with good drawings.” So there you have it, parents. Pictures are awesome.
Anyway, it’s great to see a name like SLKU branch out internationally, adapting its content to varying target audiences. Dragons vs. Pandas will see its release in late 2016, debuting in the U.S. and China, and is to be published in both English and Mandarin. Oh, and there’ll be a cartoon as well as an iPhone game! (I wish my books would have come with an iPhone game as a kid….) Other titles by SLKU include Reggie the Veggie, Monsters vs. Kittens, and the upcoming, B is for Blobfish (a fun A to Z book by Kevin Payne that finally gives “the underdogs of the animal world” a chance to shine).
TLDR: Stan Lee’s Kids Universe puts out awesome educational material for children, Dragons vs. Pandas being their latest project announcement. Stan Lee says, “The more kids can read, the more they’ll buy my books!” So I guess by default they have to be educational! Bam.
Special thanks to the lovely Edith of Dumont Marketing for reaching out to us.