Cuphead collection debuts at Zara

King Features Syndicate, along with its local agent in Spain, Caravanserai, has announced that gaming phenomenon Cuphead is building on its successful international presence with a new clothing collection at ZARA, the Inditex Group’s popular apparel retailer.

Cuphead, Mugman and other fan favourite characters are jumping off the screen and onto the runway with new apparel for adults and kids. Available now at ZARA stores worldwide, the collection features t-shirts, sweatshirts and shorts with designs inspired by the highly celebrated game’s classic animation style.

Cuphead continues to resonate with dedicated fans around the world and inspire pop-culture collaborations across all categories,” says Carla Silva, VP/GM, global head of licensing, King Features. “Working with ZARA is a true reflection of Cuphead’s popularity, and we are thrilled to partner with such a prominent brand to bring fresh and exciting fashion styles to fans worldwide.”

Cuphead is continuing to level up around the world with new publishing programmes in development for art books and graphic novels. Dark Horse and Norma Editorial are expanding the existing lineup of Cuphead books based on the original video game with “The Art of Cuphead” art book launching in Spain. The book will also hit shelves globally in markets across Europe and Asia such as France, Italy, Japan and more. Additionally, Cuphead graphic novels will launch in Spain, France, Italy, Israel, Japan and additional markets across Europe and Asia.

Studio MDHR’s Cuphead is celebrated by fans around the world for its arcade-action gameplay, highly original art design and award-winning soundtrack, featuring almost three hours of original jazz, early big band and ragtime music. A true cultural phenomenon, the game has sold millions of units worldwide and won over 20 major awards. In addition to a wide range of new product releases, this year, on 30June the Studio will launch Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course which will add an entire new island to the game, as well as introducing a new playable character, Ms. Chalice.

The game was also recently transformed into an animated series on Netflix. The first episodes of The Cuphead Show!, which debuted on February 18, made the Top 10 Kids list in 90+ countries. Due to its successful premiere, The Cuphead Show! is returning with a fresh set of episodes dropping this summer on August 19.

Launch of Netflix show inspires raft of deals for Cuphead

Global gaming phenomenon Cuphead is building on its successful international presence with new products and partners tied to Netflix’s The Cuphead Show!, which debuted on February 18. Since launch, The Cuphead Show! has made the Top 10 Kids list in over 90 countries.

Studio MDHR’s eight-time platinum-selling video game Cuphead has been a global sensation since its 2017 release and is continuing the momentum with new licensing partners across a wide range of product categories tied both to the new Netflix series and the classic video game, including publishing, apparel, home decor and novelties. Cuphead is represented for licensing and entertainment by King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most popular entertainment characters.

Cuphead and Mugman characters and a few new faces from the show have jumped off the TV screen and into homes through a curated collection of products from iam8bit, available now. Known by fans for crafting unique and memorable experiences and products inspired by their favourite brands, the online store includes T-shirts, socks and pins as well as a limited-edition, 1930s-era-inspired art poster celebrating The Cuphead Show! launch.

Additionally, activewear, dresses, loungewear, jackets and more from Mad Engine are available at; a line of artisanal hot sauces and craft coffees starring Cuphead, Mugman, the Devil, Elder Kettle, Ms. Chalice and King Dice are also in the works with Jade City Foods and will be available at; and vinyl collectible figures from Youtooz will debut this spring.

The Cuphead Show! is also being supported by a full children’s publishing programme from Random House Children’s Books set to launch this May, which includes Screen Comix, frame-by-frame retellings of the episodes in comic book form, as well as Step Into Reading, C&A, Little Golden Books and 8×8 formats.

The first books in the series, a Screen Comix titled “Handle With Care” and a first Step Into Reading book titled “Welcome to the Inkwell Isles”, are available for pre-order now and will be officially released on May 3, 2022.

Additionally, The Art of The Cuphead Show! coffee table book is currently in development with Dark Horse Comics and slated for release in Q2 2023. Dark Horse has also renewed its worldwide deal to further extend the existing lineup of Cuphead books based on the original video game following the introduction of its The Art of Cuphead art book and graphic novels to international markets.

“It’s an unbelievable full-circle moment to see Cuphead, which was so inspired by classic cartoons of the 1930s, become a cartoon of its own made with such craft and care by the amazing team at Netflix Animation,” says Studio MDHR Co-Director Chad Moldenhauer. “We take great care in working closely with our merchandising partners to ensure that we are proud of the things that are created for the Cuphead community, and it’s wonderful to see the same care being taken by great partners to represent the world of The Cuphead Show!

Cuphead’s classic animation style and design will also be featured on new products, including metal art posters from Displate; additional vinyl figures and plushies from Youtooz; puzzles and novelty items from Toynk Toys; and Funko has recently launched new Cuphead collectible figures, apparel and accessories worldwide. Plus, hats, stickers, keychains and more from Scotty Gear Retail Corp will release later this year.

Cuphead publishing is still going strong with the aforementioned Dark Horse programme expansion, a series of game-based prose novels from Little, Brown Young Readers and a mini kit book from Running Press that will launch summer 2022. And in Japan, 1000Toys recently debuted new action figures, while new branded apparel and accessories are set to launch from Kaitentai and Smarprise, as well as new novelties and giftables from Ensky.

Cuphead’s incredible momentum continues with the debut of its groundbreaking animated series on Netflix and the DLC is hot on its heels,” says King Features Vice President, North America Licensing, Jarred Goro. “We are proud to work with these incredible partners to launch products that fans will love. Cuphead is a true pop culture phenomenon and we look forward to expanding the brand’s presence around the world.”

Cuphead is celebrated by fans around the world for its arcade-action gameplay, highly original art design and award-winning soundtrack, featuring almost three hours of original jazz, early big band and ragtime music. A true cultural phenomenon, the game has sold millions of units worldwide and won over 20 major awards. In addition to a wide range of new product releases, this year, fans can look forward to the June 30 release of The Delicious Last Course, the highly anticipated next chapter to the hit video game.


King Features expands global publishing to tap into new audiences for its classic IP

King Features Syndicate is revitalising its global publishing programme in a move to deliver its classic franchises, such as The Phantom, Flash Gordon, and Popeye to younger generations through graphic novels, coffee table books, YA books and more. The initiative to develop new partnerships for original content is being overseen by publishing director, Christina Nix Lynch

To date, the traditonal publishing programme, spanning IP including Prince Valiant and Mandrake the Magician has focused on comic reprints. While maintaining its reprint market, King Features recently shifted the focus on developing new content for both its classic and new IP.

The new publishing approach gives King Features the opportunity to introduce new audiences to its iconic properties via graphic novels, coffee table books, and YA and middle reader books.

This past year, King Features partnered with StoneBot Studios to relaunch Mandrake the Magician with a young adult comic miniseries that introduced his niece, Mandy, as the lead character. Legacy of Mandrake the Magician unveils a new generation of heroes anchored by a strong female lead who faces off against familiar Mandrake universe foes. By weaving in elements of the original storyline that first debuted more than 85 years ago, the series appeals to both old fans and new.

Last year also marked the 40th anniversary of the Flash Gordon cult-classic film and in celebration, Titan Publishing released Flash Gordon: The Official Story of the Film, a coffee table book filled with cast and crew interviews, never-before-seen concept art and more, allowing fans to find new things to love about the film four decades later.

In addition, King Features is planning to launch a YA graphic novel series for Flash Gordon with Macmillan that offers a new twist on the classic story as the original characters are re-imagined as young adult heroes. More information, including the imprint and launch dates for the series, will be released soon.

King Features is also reaching new audiences through publishing for its roster of syndicated comics and puzzles. Hermes Press is bringing Bill Holbrook’s On The Fastrack to young readers with a graphic novel centered around Dethany, one of the lead characters from the 36-year-old comic strip. Meanwhile, tapping into the surge in popularity that puzzles have seen over the last year, Leap Year Publishing is working to bring puzzle books based on King Features’ most popular syndicated puzzles to market.

King Features has also spotted the potential to grow its global fan bases through publishing, and in 2020 the firm’s international agents signed more than 50 publishing deals.

Since the first costumed superhero’s debut 85 years ago, King Features has continued to build awareness and grow The Phantom’s fanbase internationally. In India, where The Phantom has been a beloved character for decades, Regal Publishers is releasing 77 new titles in Malayalam and English to tap into affinity for the brand and keep the character fresh for his millions of fans. It is also introducing Mandrake the Magician to the region this year with 20 new titles.

Also in the territory, Shakti Comics will be releasing comics in English, Hindi and Bengali for Flash Gordon, The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician, while Lion Comics will launch Secret Agent X9, Rip Kirby, The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician comics in Tamil. The Phantom’s popularity also continues in Australia with comics from Frew, and has been thriving in the Nordics for decades thanks to the works distributed by Egmont.

“We are always seeking fresh approaches for our classic IP by partnering with a variety of publishing partners in cutting edge,” said King Features’ director of licensing Christina Nix Lynch.

“For both the longevity of our classic properties and the growth of newly launched or represented IP, it is critical that we find the right partners to develop unique and engaging takes on these characters that will appeal to both original fans and untapped audiences. We are thrilled to have such an incredible roster of publishers helping us achieve this and look forward to working closely together to continue bringing new content to fans worldwide.”

Carla Silva, King Features’ general manager and vice president, global head of licensing, added: “Publishing is a key driver in King Features’ strategic plan to re-imagine classic brands and introduce them to new audiences. And Christina’s work has been instrumental in achieving our goals. From her in-depth analysis of the category to creative thinking around formats, distribution channels and markets, while securing fresh, best-in-class publishing houses as well as emerging talent, she continues to successfully grow our program with partners that are passionate about comics and our brands. Thanks to her efforts, our publishing program is flourishing and positioned for continued growth.”

This autumn, King Features and Hermes Press will release a new coffee table-sized retrospective dedicated to the 90-plus year history of Popeye the Sailorman, while for the company’s slate of newer IP, publishing affords the opportunity to raise awareness for the brands and build a richer, more complex world for fans to explore.

One such example is the robust publishing program that King Features is developing for the acclaimed video game property, Cuphead. Ahead of the highly anticipated release of The Cuphead Show!on Netflix, King Features has signed on a full slate of global publishing partners for graphic novels, art books and middle grade readers.

Dark Horse Comics has renewed its worldwide deal to further expand its lineup of Cuphead books, detailing the launch of the “Art of Cuphead” art book and the graphic novels.

Additionally, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, who released two Middle Grade novels inspired by the video game in 2020, is expanding their program into Russia with the Exmo Publishing Group in 2021. In Spring 2022, Running Press (a subsidiary of Hachette) is joining the video game’s publishing roster with plans to release a Cuphead “Mini Kit”, consisting of a mini book and a Cuphead character figure.

In the future, King Features is also planning to introduce new graphic novels and early reader books to further expand the world of Cuphead for younger audiences.

King Features builds global licensing slate for hit video game IP, Cuphead

King Features Syndicate has detailed a ‘robust international expansion’ for its hit gaming property, Cuphead, with activity encompassing new agents and licensing deals on a global scale for the brand.

The raft of new signings will see Cuphead grow its domestic and international presence with products across apparel, accessories, novelties, publishing, and more, all of which will land ahead of the debut of The Cuphead Show this year. The series has been developed in partnership with Netflix Animation.

Studio MDHR’s award-winning video game will now come to life across the Asian market, with new accessories, apparel, houseware, novelties, toys and games from Ensky and Elsonic this year, along with a collection of apparel and accessories inspired by the game from GZ Fanthful.

Cuphead and Mugman will also be growing their presence in new territories as King Features taps new international licensing agents for the Cuphead brand. The property will be represented by Caravanserai in Spain and Portugal, and by Vertical Licensing in Brazil.

“Cuphead is a true gaming and pop culture sensation, with its popularity continuing to grow as it is discovered in new territories around the globe,” said King Features vice president and general manager, global head of licensing, Carla Silva.

“With the new animated series set to debut on Netflix later this year, we expect the demand for the property to skyrocket and we are thrilled to be expanding our licensing programs with new partnerships and renewed deals to continue bringing fans around the world products inspired by Cuphead, Mugman and their adventures.”

King Features is also growing Cuphead’s publishing program with additional graphic novels from Dark Horse Comics, which has renewed its worldwide deal to expand its existing lineup of Cuphead books. Dark Horse has also expanded its publishing programme internationally on behalf of the “Art of Cuphead” and the graphic novels, with Pix ‘N Love in France, Editoriale Cosmo in Italy, Norma in Spain, Comme il faut in Russia and Sebundo/G Novels in Japan.

Meanwhile, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, who released two Middle Grade novels inspired by the video game in 2020, is expanding its programme into Russia with the Exmo Publishing Group in 2021 and releasing a new “How To Draw” format in late 2022.

Last but not least, Running Press (a subsidiary of Hachette) is joining the roster of new partners with plans to release a Cuphead “Mini Kit” in Spring 2022, consisting of a mini book and a Cuphead character figure.

Cuphead-inspired apparel, accessories, art, toys, and novelty items are available from partners including Fifth Sun, PowerA, YouTooz, Forbidden Planet, Insert Coin Limited,