Stan Lee Media, Inc. (SLM) announced a strategic alliance with Canadian-based Toon Boom Technologies for the development of Web-based animation software, which SLM will utilize in constructing its episodic Web comics. Jamie Wilkinson, executive vice president, Internet strategy for SLM, will oversee Beta testing in late summer/early fall 2000, to take place in Montreal and at a number of animation houses throughout the world. Pentafour Software & Exports Ltd., a leading developer of 2D/3D graphics and animation, special effects and software, will also participate in the project. Toon Boom's software, the USAnimation V5 system, which permits animators to create programming for direct export to television, film and the Internet utilizing Macromedia Flash Player, is the most popular software in the 2D cartoon animation market and will be the framework used in creating the new software. Wilkinson said, "We look forward to working with Toon Boom on the creation of this groundbreaking Web animation software. The ability to maximize an animator's efforts in the creation of content for the Web is a breakthrough not only in time management, but also in creativity, quality and cost effectiveness." Toon Boom's president and CEO, Jacques Bilodeau said, "The relationship forged between us and Stan Lee Media is a wonderful opportunity for all of us as well as animators around the globe. With content needs for all mediums on the rise, we believe that the creation of this software will support an even greater opportunity for the development of quality content in a time effective and cost effective manner."