EXCLUSIVE: Baobab Studios will venture into the world of graphic novels with Intercats, a new brand the Emmy-winning animation house is now developing as a namesake interactive series with broader tentpole aspirations.
First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, and Baobab are fast-tracking the publishing venture with plans for a 2020 release for the first graphic novel in a planned series. The illustrated books will showcase the wryly comedic feline fantasy created by Baobab Studios Chief Creative Officer Eric Darnell, the writer-director of all four Madagascar films and Antz.
Like those hit films, the visual humor of Intercats is rooted in the animal world but it also connects with audiences by scratching at deeper issues concerning the human heart.
“Taking what we think we know about animals and turning it on its ear can provide an elegant shorthand to getting at some of the things that make us human, Darnell explained. “The world of Intercats provides similar opportunities.”
The synopsis from Baobab Studios: “The comedic series follows a ragtag family of celebrity cats through their daily lives, aspiring to get what all cats want: their independence. But, to do so, they must utterly depend on one another.”
Darnell said the premise purrs with possibilities. “The characters of ‘Intercats’ reflect the sometimes heroic lengths we will all go to to find our own independence and individuality in a world that really only values those things as they relate to others,” says Darnell. “And perhaps, ultimately, that’s what matters anyway.”
For Mark Siegel, Editorial and Creative Director of Macmillan’s First Second, the partnership is an opportunity to unleash Darnell’s imagination in a new creative arena.
“Few people can write truly funny—and Intercats delivers characters and a universe that are
side-splittingly hilarious,” Siegel said. “To top it off, Eric is a living legend in animation whose credits include iconic videos and features, plus the founding of Baobab Studios. I’m thrilled to introduced Eric to a new creative playground, in the booming world of graphic novels.”