Monday, August 31, 2009

Everyone calm down, it's OK!

As everyone has heard by now Disney has acquired Marvel Entertainment, as announced earlier this morning. We've actually received frantic phone calls at the shop, because many customers are concerned for their favorite comic and character's well being. Really, everything is going to be OK. There is absolutely NO NEED to panic. This can only be a good thing. Just look at DC and their partnership with their parent company, Warner Brothers. Warner Brother acquired DC back in 1969 I believe, and it has only HELPED the comic company grow. So Disney now owns Marvel, just think of the merchandising opportunities alone. The folks involved will be making some serious cash. We can only assume that they will leave the comic publishing end alone, very much like Warner Brothers does with DC, a spokesperson for Disney has pretty much already stated this. I have a feeling the entire editorial team will be kept, so everyone can breath a big sigh of relief.

What do I think this will mean in the long run? Not much from the comic book business point of view, but licensing will make a HUGE difference. I imagine we will see one or two new Marvel themed amusement parks open, or maybe they will add some Marvel themed rides to the existing Disney parks. I also assume, that eventually, when their contract runs out, Boom will not be renewing their current license for Disney/Pixar themed kids comics. Marvel Entertainment is already a merchandising machine, just open any current issue of a Marvel comic, and you will see at least 3 or 4 ads for licensed Marvel goodies: sleeping bags, toothpaste, messenger bags, and skate boards, just to name a few. So add the Disney insanity to this mix and I think we'll see Marvel themed Happy Meal toys in the near future, and many of them at that! Also, Disney does a huge business in the kids book market, so I imagine we will see WAY more Marvel themed kids books, like Spiderman chapter books, picture books etc. This is already done on a small level, through DK and others, but I think we will see just a TON coming out next year and the years to follow. Remember the deal won't be completely done and everything integrated until the end of the year, so we won't really see any CHANGES take place until next year.

There is already talk of a Pixar/Marvel relationship. That would kick ass! Marvel animated features, of the Pixar quality, hitting the multiplex near you, just think of it! That would be a great way to get the kids exited about the Marvel characters. The movies and video games already do this, but most of those are rates PG, so if we suddenly have G rated animated movies hitting theatres, there would be a ton of new kids poised to become comic book fans, or so I would like to think. Yes, we do have direct to dvd animated specials already from Marvel, but they are so-so, some are hits, some are misses, and not all of them are G rated, many are PG if not PG-13. And yes Marvel does make some kids Saturday morning cartoons, or whatever they are, but I don't think those are super big hits with the kids, but a Pixar/Marvel combination? That could well be magic!

It has been pointed out elsewhere that Marvel has always struggled with the boys market. They have that huge "princess" end of the business, which quite frankly makes me want to gag, but little girls really buy into it, so that stuff sells by the buckets. If Marvel suddenly was able to merchandise the f#@* out of the Marvel characters for boys and girls, lots of potential dollars on the horizon for them, I'm sure of it!

As details become available, I will keep you posted, but I'm sure you can find this information just about anywhere: it was reported on most major news reports, the New York Times, and of course the Wall Street Journal.

Really, I think this whole purchase can only work out for Marvel's benefit. Will comic shops see any of those benefits? Possibly, raising brand and character awareness always helps the health of our industry.

We could well see a HUGE kids line of comics develop over at Marvel, which would be great! Not only can they publish and sell a hell of a lot of Disney themed comics, but think of the options suddenly opened for the kids versions of Marvel characters. Yes, we have some of this already, a little anyway, with the Marvel Adventures line, but I would love to see MORE!

Disney/Marvel craziness here we come! Don't worry, I think this will work out very well for everyone involved. Disney has said that they not only bought the characters, but the people at Marvel, so it looks like Quesada will still be around, which means it should be business as usual at Marvel Comics.


  1. Woohoo! This is going to be great! Now Howard and Donald of the Duck family can finally be reunited. And think of all the other titanic face-offs and classic battles that might now be possible. Who wouldn't give up some of their hard earned cash to see the Fantastic Four battle the Incredibles, Fin Fang Foom vs Mulan, Wallee meets Herbie the robot, Buzz Lightyear vs Thanos, Lilo & Stitch vs Wolverine (Or Weapon-X vs Experiment 626), Namor meets the Little Mermaid & Henry Pym meets Jiminy Cricket. Just think about it, the possibilities are endless!

  2. I personally have no concerns or qualms about Disney buying Marvel insofar as the comics are concerned. Marvel Comics will still be Marvel Comics and that is unlikely to change all that much.

    What concerns me is the future of the movies.

    I am REALLY looking forward to the Thor movie.

    I am REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY looking forward to the Captain America movie.

    I am excited about them bringing Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Cap and Nick Fury into the Avengers movie (along with, I'm sure, some Avengers faves.) I would love for them to somehow get the rights to use the X-men and Spiderman as parts of their shared universe. And I just read today that Fox wants to do another Fantastic Four movie, which I'm sure Disney's acquisition of Marvel played some part in. It would be nice for the FF to get invovled in the shared universe too. Hey, we can dream of a perfect world, right?

    I just don't want Disney to come in and say 'We're not going to do a Thor movie. We're not going to do a Captain America movie.' I just don't want them doing anything that will stop them from being made.

    Because I personally feel that merchandising and DVD sales are the reason Disney is making the acquisition to begin with. I don't think they care so much about what happens in the comics because that will always be the same, more or less. They want that mass market family money.

    So let's keep our fingers crossed and hope the Mouse doesn't stick his big snout into the movie plans.

  3. Quesada is retarded. Him being apart of Marvel still does not please me.

  4. Tom -

    At this point, I don't think Disney CAN stop those movies, legally. Now maybe they can snatch up the properties once the deals that are currently in place run out. Or I suppose they could break the deals and pay a ridiculous amount of damages for doing so, but that is extremely unlikely. So I wouldn't worry too much about that.

  5. Disney on Ice starring Captain America in Ice. I said it on my blog and I will say it here: The story simply writes itself.