Iconic cartoon character Felix the Cat — who first appeared more than a century ago, and has been a pop culture staple ever since — is returning to comics, with the animated feline heading up a new kid-friendly imprint from indie publisher Rocketship Entertainment.
The new comic book incarnation of Felix the Cat, currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, is intended as the launch title for Rocketship’s new line of middle-grade and young adult titles, BottleRocket. Created by Mike Federali, Bob Frantz, and Tracy Yardley — with colors by Matt Herms and a cover from Thom Zahler — it’s the first book Rocketship will be publishing as part of a deal with Studio Stario, a creative studio headed by Federali, with at least two others (Go Bezeerk! and Cosmic Fox) already in the works.
In a statement, Federali said, "We've put a lot of love and time into this story, and I'm so grateful that it's making its way to the fans. Felix has always been a favorite of mine, so it was very important to take the time with NBCUniversal [parent company of Dreamworks, which owns the Felix character] to get it right. Being able to bring new Felix stories to life is a dream come true, and I hope the fans enjoy the ride as much as we did.”
Federali’s reference to taking time to get things right is particularly notable in that this project was originally announced last year, and coming from a different publisher altogether. Back in August 2021, Source Point Press unveiled a partnership with Studio Stario and Dreamworks for what was intended to be a regular comic book series featuring the character. That book, too, was intended to be the anchor of a plan to increase Source Point’s presence in the young reader comic book market.
Quite what happened to cause the shift in publishers remains a secret; Rocketship’s CEO Tom Akel simply told ICv2, “we’re not privy to what those terms were [with Source Point] and it went back to Studio Stario. Later, Studio Stario approached Rocketship to publish the book.”
The new Felix the Cat graphic novel is expected for release in 2023.
Source Point might have lost the Felix the Cat license, but it made headlines earlier this year by announcing plans for global print on demand comics to launch in 2023.