Comic Riffs recently met with a King Features salesman who wasn't just excited by his syndicate's new comic panel "Oh, Brother!" He also enthused something serious about the comic's dedicated interactive website.
Now, that very site is beginning to take shape.
"Oh, Brother!" -- which launched this summer -- is created by the Emmy-winning Jay Stephens ("The Secret Saturdays" and "Tutenstein") and Bob Weber Jr. ("Slylock Fox" and "Comics for Kids"), and its style is very evocative of such visually warm "kids' " comics as John Stanley and "Little Lulu."
Online, however, King Features hopes "Oh, Brother!" will be more reminiscent of, say, "Big Nate."
As Comic Riffs recently reported, that Lincoln Peirce strip has found a huge new audience on Poptropica.com after nearly two decades in newspapers. Guided largely by "Wimpy Kid" creator Jeff Kinney, Poptropica says it's the world's most popular interactive entertainment/education website for kids.
Numerous other kids' comics, of course, offer bells and whistles and games online. But from its very launch, "Oh, Brother!" seems to hewing quite closely to the Poptropica model, So far it offers a Game Room and an Art Gallery, and the Activities section is "coming soon."
Will this approach work for a new comic not jumping on to an already popular kids' website such as Poptropica? Comic Riffs will be watching closely. And you can bet that so, too, will newspaper comics editors.