As we reported back in February from the New York Comic-Con’s panel with Disney Publishing Worldwide, Gemstone got a poor reception from the audience who felt that the publishing house wasn’t giving Mickey and pals the comic presence they richly deserved. To the panel’s credit, Disney’s response was fair and ambiguous: as long as the relationship was mutually good, it would stay.
Shortly after that, word that Gemstone was losing the franchise starting to spread and Gemstone published a notice on their website stating that the economy has forced them to make cuts which placed the Disney comics in limbo.
Today we get word courtesy of Newsarama that BOOM! Studios has picked up the rights to publish the Disney comics going forward. BOOM!, which has since created the Boom Kids line to handle its incredibly well-received publications based on the Pixar and Muppets properties.
While BOOM! has obtained the rights to re-print the older comics, they will be introducing all new comics featuring Mickey and pals, beginning in September with Disney’s Comics and Stories #699 and Mickey Mouse and Friends #297. BOOM! maintains they do have plans for the classic strips as well.
Another property talked about during the NYCC09 panel was the Disney Classics characters getting comic books as well. With this sort of momentum and success, there’s little doubt that BOOM! may soon be offering comics based on properties such as The Little Mermaid as well.
Courtesy of the Newsarama article, here’s a summary of the first new issue of Mickey Mouse and Friends:
One of the longest-lived, most-successful comic book series in the industry’s history comes to BOOM! and brings a little magic — presenting Wizards of Mickey! Student of the great wizard Grandalf, Mickey Mouse hails from the humble village of Miceland. Allying himself with Donald Duck and his pet dragon named Fafnir, and team mate Goofy, Mickey’s come to the great tournament to get his revenge on Peg Leg Pete, who has stolen the Rain Crystal from Miceland! Join Mickey Mouse and his friends on an epic tale of magic and wonder!